Tick as a Model for the Study of a Primitive Complement System
Ticks are blood feeding parasites transmitting a wide variety of pathogens to their vertebrate hosts. The transmitted pathogens apparently evolved efficient mechanisms enabling them to evade or withstand the cellular or humoral immune responses within the tick vector. Despite its importance, our knowledge of tick innate immunity still lags far beyond other well established invertebrate models, such as drosophila, horseshoe crab or mosquitoes. However, the recent release of the American deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, genome and feasibility of functional analysis based on RNA interference (RNAi) facilitate the development of this organism as a full-value model for deeper studies of vector-pathogen interactions.
KeywordsLyme Disease Tick Species Horseshoe Crab Hard Tick Soft Tick
This work was supported by grant P506/110/2136 to P.K. from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, the Research Centre LC06009 and Research projects Z60220518 and MSMT6007665801 from Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic.
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