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Ixodid ticks require comparatively large bloodmeals for their development and survival. Blood-feeding elicits signaling events in the host leading to wound healing responses (hemostasis, inflammation, and tissue repair) and immunity. Bioactive molecules present in tick saliva sabotage these host responses at several levels. One of them is neutralization of cellular communication by binding of specific saliva molecules to cytokines that have important roles in innate and adaptive immunity. Chemokines are a subset of cytokines having chemotactic activities. We show anti-chemokine activities in salivary gland extracts (SGE) of adult Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ticks against human chemokines CXCL8, CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, and CCL11. At comparable protein concentrations, male Ixodes ricinus SGE showed activity against all the chemokines; SGE of female I. ricinus had comparatively lower levels of activity against all the chemokines but no detectable activity against CCL5 and CCL11. However, when the equivalent of a single pair of salivary glands was tested, male I. ricinus showed little or no activity against CCL3 and CCL5. No fundamental differences in activity were observed against mouse compared with human chemokines. A comparison with previously published data for Dermacentor reticulatus and Amblyomma variegatum indicates that the level of anti-cytokine activity depends on the species, developmental stage (adult or nymph), and amount of SGE used, as well as on the number of days the tick has been feeding.

Original publication




Journal article


Vet Parasitol

Publication Date





274 - 278


Animals, Chemokines, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Ixodidae, Male, Mice, Species Specificity, Time Factors