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Parasitol Today. 1997 Oct;13(10):383-9.

Tick-host immunology: Significant advances and challenging opportunities.

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Department of Entomology. 127 Noble Research Center. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.


Immunological interactions at the tick-host interface involve innate and acquired host defenses against infestation and immunomodulatory countermeasures by the tick. The cellular and molecular immunological bases of these host-parasite relationships are being defined. Acquired resistance to tick infestation involves humoral and cellular immunoregulatory and effector pathways. Ticks respond by suppressing antibody production, complement, and cytokine elaboration by both antigen-presenting cells and specific T-cell subsets. Tick-borne disease-causing agents probably exploit tick suppression of host defenses during transmission and initiation of infection. Because of the public health importance of ticks and Pick-borne diseases, it is crucial that we understand these interactions and exploit them in novel immunological control strategies. Here, Stephen Wikel and Douglas Bergman discuss recent advances in understanding tick-host immunology and propose future studies.

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