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A bite so sweet: the glycobiology interface of tick-host-pathogen interactions

  • Vechtova, Pavlina1, 2
  • Sterbova, Jarmila1, 2
  • Sterba, Jan1, 2
  • Vancova, Marie1, 2
  • Rego, Ryan O. M.1, 2
  • Selinger, Martin1, 2
  • Strnad, Martin1, 2
  • Golovchenko, Maryna1
  • Rudenko, Nataliia1
  • Grubhoffer, Libor1, 2
  • 1 Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Branišovská 31, České Budějovice, CZ-37005, Czech Republic , České Budějovice (Czechia)
  • 2 University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science, Branišovská 1760, České Budějovice, CZ-37005, Czech Republic , České Budějovice (Czechia)
Published Article
Parasites & Vectors
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Nov 14, 2018
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-3062-7
Springer Nature


Vector-borne diseases constitute 17% of all infectious diseases in the world; among the blood-feeding arthropods, ticks transmit the highest number of pathogens. Understanding the interactions between the tick vector, the mammalian host and the pathogens circulating between them is the basis for the successful development of vaccines against ticks or the tick-transmitted pathogens as well as for the development of specific treatments against tick-borne infections. A lot of effort has been put into transcriptomic and proteomic analyses; however, the protein-carbohydrate interactions and the overall glycobiology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens has not been given the importance or priority deserved. Novel (bio)analytical techniques and their availability have immensely increased the possibilities in glycobiology research and thus novel information in the glycobiology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens is being generated at a faster pace each year. This review brings a comprehensive summary of the knowledge on both the glycosylated proteins and the glycan-binding proteins of the ticks as well as the tick-transmitted pathogens, with emphasis on the interactions allowing the infection of both the ticks and the hosts by various bacteria and tick-borne encephalitis virus.

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