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Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2004;49(3):327-36.

Tick saliva in anti-tick immunity and pathogen transmission.

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Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 142 20 Prague, Czechia.


When feeding on vertebrate host ticks (ectoparasitic arthropods and potential vectors of bacterial, rickettsial, protozoal, and viral diseases) induce both innate and specific acquired host-immune reactions as part of anti-tick defenses. In a resistant host immune defense can lead to reduced tick viability, sometimes resulting in tick death. Tick responds to the host immune attack by secreting saliva containing pharmacologically active molecules and modulating host immune response. Tick saliva-effected immunomodulation at the attachment site facilitates both tick feeding and enhances the success of transmission of pathogens from tick into the host. On the other hand, host immunization with antigens from tick saliva can induce anti-tick resistance and is seen to be able to induce immunity against pathogens transmitted by ticks. Many pharmacological properties of saliva described in ticks are shared widely among other blood-feeding arthropods.

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