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Trends Parasitol. 2007 Sep;23(9):397-407. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Tick anti-hemostatics: targets for future vaccines and therapeutics.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa. christine.maritz@up.ac.za


For ticks, a significant obstacle in obtaining a blood meal is counteracting the hemostatic system of the host. To this end, ticks have developed a broad array of anti-hemostatics, which is reflected in the presence of structurally related tick proteins with different functions. Disruption of blood flow which blocks successful tick feeding makes anti-hemostatics attractive targets for anti-tick vaccines. Moreover, the limited number of drugs currently available for a range of important cardio-vascular diseases makes ticks a potential source of novel therapeutics. This review aims to summarize the key features of tick anti-hemostatics, their structures, mode of action and possible future application as vaccines and novel therapeutic agents.

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