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Parasit Vectors. 2019 Apr 3;12(1):154. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3413-z.

The alpha-Gal syndrome: new insights into the tick-host conflict and cooperation.

Author information

1
SaBio, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM)-Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha (JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13005, Ciudad Real, Spain. jose_delafuente@yahoo.com.
2
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078, USA. jose_delafuente@yahoo.com.
3
SaBio, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM)-Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha (JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13005, Ciudad Real, Spain.
4
UMR BIPAR, INRA, ANSES, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, Université Paris-Est, Maisons-Alfort, 94700, France.

Abstract

This primer focuses on a recently diagnosed tick-borne allergic disease known as the alpha-Gal syndrome (AGS). Tick bites induce in humans high levels of IgE antibodies against the carbohydrate Galα1-3Galβ1-(3)4GlcNAc-R (α-Gal) present on tick salivary glycoproteins and tissues of non-catarrhine mammals, leading to the AGS in some individuals. This immune response evolved as a conflict and cooperation between ticks and human hosts including their gut microbiota. The conflict is characterized by the AGS that mediate delayed anaphylaxis to red meat consumption and certain drugs such as cetuximab, and immediate anaphylaxis to tick bites. The cooperation is supported by the capacity of anti-α-Gal IgM and IgG antibody response to protect against pathogens with α-Gal on their surface. Despite the growing diagnosis of AGS in all world continents, many questions remain to be elucidated on the tick proteins and immune mechanisms triggering this syndrome, and the protective response against pathogen infection elicited by anti-α-Gal antibodies. The answer to these questions will provide information for the evaluation of risks, diagnosis and prevention of the AGS, and the possibility of using the carbohydrate α-Gal to develop vaccines for the control of major infectious diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Allergy; Alpha-Gal syndrome; Immune response; Tick; Vaccine

PMID:
30944017
PMCID:
PMC6448316
DOI:
10.1186/s13071-019-3413-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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