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Med Vet Entomol. 1997 Jul;11(3):270-6.

Immunology of interactions between ticks and hosts.

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Institute of Zoology, University of Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland.


Infestation with ixodid tick stimulates the immune regulatory and effector pathways of the hosts involving antigen presenting cells, T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, basophils, mast cells, eosinophils and a variety of bioactive molecules like cytokines, antibodies and complement. Tick-mediated immunosuppression has been investigated using cells derived from infested animals and by exposing cells from uninfected animals to tick salivary gland molecules. Tick-induced suppression of host immune defences is characterized by reduced ability of lymphocytes from infested animals to proliferate in vitro in the presence of concanavalin A (Con A), diminished primary antibody responses to T-cell dependent antigen, and decreased elaboration of macrophage (IL-1 and TNF-alpha) and Th1-lymphocyte cytokines (IFN-gamma), whereas Th2 cytokines production (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10) is enhanced. It is known that IL-10 inhibits Th1 cell development and also reduces the in vitro T-lymphocyte proliferative response to Con A stimulation. Proteins which inhibited T-lymphocyte in vitro responsiveness to Con A were also isolated from tick salivary glands.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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