Tick saliva and its role in pathogen transmission

Nuttall, Patricia A.. 2023 Tick saliva and its role in pathogen transmission. Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, 135. 165-176.

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Tick saliva is a complex mixture of peptidic and non-peptidic molecules that aid engorgement. The composition of tick saliva changes as feeding progresses and the tick counters the dynamic host response. Ixodid ticks such as Ixodes ricinus, the most important tick species in Europe, transmit numerous pathogens that cause debilitating diseases, e.g. Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis. Tick-borne pathogens are transmitted in tick saliva during blood feeding; however, saliva is not simply a medium enabling pathogen transfer. Instead, tick-borne pathogens exploit saliva-induced modulation of host responses to promote their transmission and infection, so-called saliva-assisted transmission (SAT). Characterization of the saliva factors that facilitate SAT is an active area of current research. Besides providing new insights into how tick-borne pathogens survive in nature, the research is opening new avenues for vaccine development.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0043-5325
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: Ixodes ricinus, vaccine, saliva-assisted transmission, tick-borne encephalitis virus, Borrelia burgdorferi
NORA Subject Terms: Health
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 08 May 2019 13:22 +0 (UTC)

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