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Immunomodulatory effects of tick saliva

Author(s): MI Camargo Mathias | KC Scopinho Furquim | PH Nunes

Journal: Invertebrate Survival Journal
ISSN 1824-307X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 231;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: tick saliva | immunomodulation | immunosuppression | salivary glands

Ticks are bloodsucking ectoparasites that cause great damage to host organisms, so these ectoparasites are of great importance in medicine and veterinary medicine. All the biological success achieved by ticks is due to the action of bioactive components present in their saliva, which are synthesized by the salivary glands. These components have great diversity of functions such as enabling feeding and the permanence of ectoparasites on hosts, since they modulate immune system acting as complement inhibitors, immunosuppressors, cytokine expression modulator and chemokine binders of hosts. In addition, these components are an important source of protective antigens. In this sense, salivary glands/saliva are considered a potential source of multifunctional molecules. In this context, many studies have been conducted aiming at searching to establish a better understanding on the biology and morphophysiology of some organs such as salivary glands, as well as elucidate the complex relationship of these ectoparasites with their hosts. Such studies are conducted with the main objective of developing new immunobiological products aimed at the alternative control of ticks, as well as for the identification and isolation of bioactive molecules with pharmacological properties and with great therapeutic potential in the search for treatments for some diseases.
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