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Parasite immunology

Tick saliva increases production of three chemokines including monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, a histamine-releasing cytokine.


PMID 25545116

Abstract

The effect of Ixodes ricinus tick saliva on the production of various cytokines and chemokines by mouse splenocytes was tested by a cytokine array. We demonstrated a strong upregulation of three chemokines, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), thymus-derived chemotactic agent 3 (TCA-3) and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2). MCP-1 could be induced by tick saliva itself. While TCA-3 and MIP-2 are engaged in Th2 polarization of the host immune response associated with tick feeding, MCP-1 may act as a histamine release factor, increasing blood flow into the feeding lesion thus facilitating tick engorgement in the late, rapid feeding phase.