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Immune responses of the argasid tick Ornithodoros moubata moubata induced by infection with the filarial worm Acanthocheilonema viteae

  • D. Hutton (a1), A.P. Reid (a1) and S. Townson (a1)


Investigations were undertaken to determine whether the tick Ornithodoros moubatamoubata mounted a detectable immune response to primary and secondary infections with Acanthocheilonema viteae. Uninfected control tick survival rate was 70%, but only 45% in the primary infection group. Post-secondary infection survival rate (82%) was comparable to controls, indicating that these selected ticks had some protective advantage. Mean A. viteae infective larvae recovery from ticks with secondary infections was 31.4% lower than expected, suggesting the development of immunity. SDS–PAGE of haemolymph for proteins induced post-primary infection yielded a stronger signal at 45 kDa than controls, which was further elevated post-secondary infection. Proteins at 48, 22 and 16 to 18 kDa were detected in haemolymph from infected ticks but not seen from controls. The direct effect of haemolymph on microfilarial viability was examined using a novel in vitro assay; in these preliminary trials no differences were observed in parasite viability when exposed to haemolymph from infected or uninfected groups of ticks.


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*Address for correspondence: Tropical Parasitic Diseases Unit, Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research, Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3UJ, UK Fax: 020 8869 3270 E-mail:


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Immune responses of the argasid tick Ornithodoros moubata moubata induced by infection with the filarial worm Acanthocheilonema viteae

  • D. Hutton (a1), A.P. Reid (a1) and S. Townson (a1)


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