Wonders of tick saliva

Nuttall, Patricia A.. 2019 Wonders of tick saliva. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 10 (2). 470-481.

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Saliva of ticks is arguably the most complex saliva of any animal. This is particularly the case for ixodid species that feed for many days firmly attached to the same skin site of their obliging host. Sequencing and spectrometry technologies combined with bioinformatics are enumerating ingredients in the saliva cocktail. The dynamic and expanding saliva recipe is helping decipher the wonderous activities of tick saliva, revealing how ticks stealthily hide from their hosts while satisfying their gluttony and sharing their individual resources. This review takes a tick perspective on the composition and functions of tick saliva, covering water balance, gasket and holdfast, control of host responses, dynamics, individuality, mate guarding, saliva-assisted transmission, and redundancy. It highlights areas sometimes overlooked – feeding aggregation and sharing of sialomes, and the contribution of salivary gland storage granules – and questions whether the huge diversity of tick saliva molecules is ‘redundant’ or more a reflection on the enormous adaptability wonderous saliva confers on ticks.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 1877-959X
Additional Keywords: saliva, anti-hemostatic, immunomodulator, individuality, mate guarding, saliva-assisted transmission, redundancy
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 11 Feb 2019 11:26 +0 (UTC)

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