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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2001 Dec;95(8):755-71.

Modulation of host immunity by haematophagous arthropods.

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Entomology Department, Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Unit 3800, APO AA 34031, USA.


The medical and veterinary public-health importance of haematophagous arthropods is immense and continuing to increase because of the emergence of new vector-borne infectious agents and the resurgence of well known ones. Control of blood-feeding arthropods and the pathogens they transmit is compounded by drug, insecticide and acaricide resistance. Novel control strategies are needed. Immunological control is one very promising approach to these problems. In order to develop anti-arthropod vaccines that block pathogen transmission and establishment, the immunological interactions occurring at the interface of the blood-feeding arthropod and host must be characterized. An important component of these interactions is arthropod modulation of the host's innate and acquired, specific immune defences. This review discusses current knowledge regarding the ability of haematophagous arthropods to alter their hosts' immune defences, the impact of those changes on pathogen transmission, the molecular bases for the immunomodulation, and strategies for identification of the molecules in arthropod saliva that are responsible for the immunomodulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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