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Tick saliva reduces adherence and area of human neutrophils.

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Abstract

During natural infection with the agent of
Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, spirochetes are delivered with vector saliva, which contains anti-inflammatory and antihemostatic activities. We show here that the saliva of ixodid ticks reduces polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) adhesion via downregulation of beta2-integrins and decreases the efficiency of PMN in the uptake and killing of spirochetes. Inhibition of integrin adhesion and signaling reduces anti-inflammatory functions of PMN. These effects may favor the initial survival of spirochetes in vivo.

Infect Immun. 2004 May;72(5):2989-94. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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