Author(s): Steen NA, Barker SC, Alewood PF
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Abstract The saliva of ticks (Suborder Ixodida) is critical to their survival as parasites. A tick bite should result in strong responses from the host defence systems (haemostatic, immune and inflammatory) but tick saliva appears to have evolved to counter these responses. We review current knowledge of tick saliva components, with emphasis on those molecules confirmed to be present in the secreted saliva but including some that have only been confirmed to be present in salivary glands. About 50 tick saliva proteins that are well described in the literature are discussed. These saliva components include enzymes, enzyme inhibitors, amine-binding proteins and cytokine homologues that act as anti-haemostatic, anti-inflammatory or immuno-modulatory agents. Sequence comparisons are illustrated. The importance of tick saliva and the significance of the findings to date are also discussed.
This article was published in Toxicon
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems