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Parasitol Today. 1990 May;6(5):157-60.

The role of vector saliva in transmission of arthropod-borne disease.

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Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Blood-sucking arthropod disease vectors all share one important feature: while probing for blood in the vertebrate host's skin they salivate into the wound they create. Recent studies on the pharmacological properties of vector saliva have revealed an array of activities that are potentially beneficial to both the vector and to the pathogen. These observations may help explain why certain vectors and pathogens have co-evolved. In this article, Richard Titus and Jose Ribeiro discuss the role vector saliva may play in disease transmission, and the prospects for its use in the control of arthropod-borne pathogens.

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