Tick saliva inhibits differentiation, maturation and function of murine bone-marrow-derived dendritic cells. (1/44)

Haematophagous arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes, tsetse flies, sandflies and ticks have evolved salivary immunomodulatory factors that prevent the vertebrate host from rejecting them meanwhile enhancing pathogen transmission. As dendritic cells (DC) play a major role in host immune responses, we studied the effects of Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick saliva on DC differentiation and maturation. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that the addition of saliva to bone marrow cells inhibits the differentiation of DC and decreased the population of differentiated immature DC, increasing the levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II while not altering the expression of costimulatory (CD40, CD80 and CD86) and adhesion (CD54) molecules. Furthermore, maturation of DC stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the presence of saliva resulted in a lower expression of costimulatory molecules, but did not alter the up-regulation of MHC class II and CD54. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-matured DC cultured with saliva also presented reduced production of interleukin-12, whereas interleukin-10 production was unaltered. Assessment of the function of DC cultured with tick saliva revealed them to be poor stimulators of cytokine production by antigen-specific T cells. Our data indicate a novel modulatory role for the saliva of arthropod vectors at an initial step of the immune response through the inhibition of differentiation and maturation of DC into functional antigen-presenting cells.  (+info)

Rocky Mountain spotted fever from an unexpected tick vector in Arizona. (2/44)

BACKGROUND: Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a life-threatening, tick-borne disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii. This disease is rarely reported in Arizona, and the principal vectors, Dermacentor species ticks, are uncommon in the state. From 2002 through 2004, a focus of Rocky Mountain spotted fever was investigated in rural eastern Arizona. METHODS: We obtained blood and tissue specimens from patients with suspected Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ticks from patients' homesites. Serologic, molecular, immunohistochemical, and culture assays were performed to identify the causative agent. On the basis of specific laboratory criteria, patients were classified as having confirmed or probable Rocky Mountain spotted fever infection. RESULTS: A total of 16 patients with Rocky Mountain spotted fever infection (11 with confirmed and 5 with probable infection) were identified. Of these patients, 13 (81 percent) were children 12 years of age or younger, 15 (94 percent) were hospitalized, and 2 (12 percent) died. Dense populations of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks were found on dogs and in the yards of patients' homesites. All patients with confirmed Rocky Mountain spotted fever had contact with tick-infested dogs, and four had a reported history of tick bite preceding the illness. R. rickettsii DNA was detected in nonengorged R. sanguineus ticks collected at one home, and R. rickettsii isolates were cultured from these ticks. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation documents the presence of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in eastern Arizona, with common brown dog ticks (R. sanguineus) implicated as a vector of R. rickettsii. The broad distribution of this common tick raises concern about its potential to transmit R. rickettsii in other settings.  (+info)

Ticks, ivermectin, and experimental Chagas disease. (3/44)

Following an infestation of dogticks in kennels housing dogs used for long-term studies of the pathogenesis of Chagas disease, we examined the effect of ivermectin treatment on the dogs, ticks, trypanosome parasites, and also on triatomine vectors of Chagas disease. Ivermectin treatment was highly effective in eliminating the ticks, but showed no apparent effect on the dogs nor on their trypanosome infection. Triatominae fed on the dogs soon after ivermectin treatment showed high mortality, but this effect quickly declined for bugs fed at successive intervals after treatment. In conclusion, although ivermectin treatment may have a transient effect on peridomestic populations of Triatominae, it is not the treatment of choice for this situation. The study also showed that although the dogticks could become infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, this only occurred when feeding on dogs in the acute phase of infection, and there was no evidence of subsequent parasite development in the ticks.  (+info)

Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae), the brown dog tick, parasitizing humans in Brazil. (4/44)

The objective of this paper is to describe four cases of human parasitism by Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latrielle) in Brazil. During an investigation regarding the species of ectoparasites of domestic dogs from the metropolitan region of Recife, Pernambuco state, four dog owners were found to be parasitized by ticks. The ticks were collected from these individuals and their dogs. All the ticks were identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus . These are, to our knowledge, the first four cases of human parasitism by this tick species in Brazil. The possible implications of this finding are discussed here.  (+info)

Isolation and identification of Rickettsia massiliae from Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks collected in Arizona. (5/44)

Twenty Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks collected in eastern Arizona were tested by PCR assay to establish their infection rate with spotted fever group rickettsiae. With a nested PCR assay which detects a fragment of the Rickettsia genus-specific 17-kDa antigen gene (htrA), five ticks (25%) were found to contain rickettsial DNA. One rickettsial isolate was obtained from these ticks by inoculating a suspension of a triturated tick into monolayers of Vero E6 monkey kidney cells and XTC-2 clawed toad cells, and its cell culture and genotypic characteristics were determined. Fragments of the 16S rRNA, GltA, rOmpA, rOmpB, and Sca4 genes had 100%, 100%, 99%, 99%, and 99%, respectively, nucleotide similarity to Rickettsia massiliae strain Bar29, previously isolated from R. sanguineus in Catalonia, Spain (L. Beati et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 34:2688-2694, 1996). The new isolate, AZT80, does not elicit cytotoxic effects in Vero cells and causes a persistent infection in XTC-2 cells. The AZT80 strain is susceptible to doxycycline but resistant to rifampin and erythromycin. Whether R. massiliae AZT80 is pathogenic or infectious for dogs and humans or can cause seroconversion to spotted fever group antigens in the United States is unknown.  (+info)

Tick acquisition of Ehrlichia canis from dogs treated with doxycycline hyclate. (6/44)

Doxycycline generally alleviates clinical monocytic ehrlichiosis, but its efficacy in the control of monocytotropic ehrlichial pathogens requires further investigation. In this study, Ehrlichia canis was detected in dogs treated with doxycycline for 14 days and in ticks fed on these dogs, suggesting that treated dogs can remain reservoirs for E. canis.  (+info)

Molecular cloning and characterization of a highly selective chemokine-binding protein from the tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus. (7/44)

Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that secrete a number of immuno-modulatory factors to evade the host immune response. Saliva isolated from different species of ticks has recently been shown to contain chemokine neutralizing activity. To characterize this activity, we constructed a cDNA library from the salivary glands of the common brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Pools of cDNA clones from the library were transfected into HEK293 cells, and the conditioned media from the transfected cells were tested for chemokine binding activity by chemical cross-linking to radiolabeled CCL3 followed by SDS-PAGE. By de-convolution of a single positive pool of 270 clones, we identified a full-length cDNA encoding a protein of 114 amino acids, which after signal peptide cleavage was predicted to yield a mature protein of 94 amino acids that we called Evasin-1. Recombinant Evasin-1 was produced in HEK293 cells and in insect cells. Using surface plasmon resonance we were able to show that Evasin-1 was exquisitely selective for 3 CC chemokines, CCL3 and CCL4 and the closely related chemokine CCL18, with K(D) values of 0.16, 0.81, and 3.21 nm, respectively. The affinities for CCL3 and CCL4 were confirmed in competition receptor binding assays. Analysis by size exclusion chromatography demonstrated that Evasin-1 was monomeric and formed a 1:1 complex with CCL3. Thus, unlike the other chemokine-binding proteins identified to date from viruses and from the parasitic worm Schistosoma mansoni, Evasin-1 is highly specific for a subgroup of CC chemokines, which may reflect a specific role for these chemokines in host defense against parasites.  (+info)

More about the role of 2,6-dichlorophenol in tick courtship: identification and olfactometer bioassay in Amblyomma cajennense and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. (8/44)

This study aimed to identify 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP) in Amblyomma cajennense and to evaluate its role in A. cajennense and Rhipicephalus sanguineus courtship. Hexanic extract from attractive females was purified by solid phase extraction and the phenol was identified by the single ion monitoring method using GC/MS. In an olfactometer, the responses of A. cajennense and R. sanguineus males to females, control rubber septa or rubber septa impregnated with 2,6-DCP at 50, 500, and 5000 ng, respectively, were studied. 2,6-DCP was identified in A. cajennense extract and the males oriented themselves toward the concentration of 500 ng. These septa and the females were recognized as copula partners. The septa treated with 2,6-DCP did not attract and were not even recognized by the R. sanguineus males, whereas the females were recognized. Due to the presence of 2,6-DCP in A. cajennense and the results of biological bioassays, it was concluded that this compound acts as an attractant and mounting sex pheromone in this tick, but it does not play any role in R. sanguineus courtship.  (+info)