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Chapter 3 : The Tick: a Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens

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Abstract:

Tick-borne pathogens, especially the ehrlichias, anaplasmas, and spirochetes, are recognized as causing a growing spectrum of diseases in domestic and feral animals and humans. One of the underlying principles governing the life cycle of tick-borne pathogens is their ability to survive and thrive in two extremely different environments—one presented by the homeostatic environment of the mammal, and the other presented by the vector tick, under conditions that change dramatically with activity and feeding status. The microbes must be able to sense pathophysiological changes in their hosts, distinguish the multitude of signals received, and react appropriately. Differential expression of specific antigens (DESA) mediates transition to the new host. This chapter highlights what is known about the response of these microbes to host cues and how they manage existence in and passage between the divergent environments of mammalian host and vector tick. It focuses on the human pathogenic rickettsiae and spirochetes as they prepare to leave the ticks and invade the mammalian host. The chapter also covers the basic features of the tick as a microbial environment and how the tick environment differs from that of the vertebrate host and how ticks recognize and respond to microbial invaders.

Citation: Munderloh U, Jauron S, Kurtti T. 2005. The Tick: a Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens, p 51-78. In Goodman J, Dennis D, Sonenshine D, Tick-Borne Diseases of Humans. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816490.ch3

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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Phylogenetic relationship of bacteria associated with ticks. Endosymbionts and pathogens transmitted by ticks are shown in boldface type. The relationships between major bacterial groups are somewhat uncertain, and those shown in this unrooted tree are inferred from 16S rDNA sequences available in GenBank with the neighbor-joining method with PAUP*. The number of nucleotides being compared is 791. A list of the sequences used to construct this tree is available on request.

Citation: Munderloh U, Jauron S, Kurtti T. 2005. The Tick: a Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens, p 51-78. In Goodman J, Dennis D, Sonenshine D, Tick-Borne Diseases of Humans. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816490.ch3
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Transmission electron micrographs of ovarian tissues from unfed female ticks. This female was from the colony of ticks used to isolate cell line DAE100 chronically infected with . Ovarian tissues are coinfected with and the -related DAS bacterium. (A) Low magnification view of section of ovary with oogonia (og) and interstitial cells (ic). The ovary is surrounded by the tunica propria (tp) and external epithelium (ee). Note that interstitial cells (ic) are heavily infected with (Rp) and the DAS bacterium (DAS). Bar, 2 μm. (B) Cytoplasmic region of an interstitial cell containing aggregates of DAS bacterium and Bar, 1 μm.

Citation: Munderloh U, Jauron S, Kurtti T. 2005. The Tick: a Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens, p 51-78. In Goodman J, Dennis D, Sonenshine D, Tick-Borne Diseases of Humans. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816490.ch3
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

Transmission electron micrographs of ovarian tissues. This unfed female was from a laboratory colony persistently infected with a rickettsial organism (RS) closely related to , isolated from (215). Ovarian tissues are heavily infected with rickettsiae free in the cytoplasm (arrows) or within vacuoles (arrowheads). (A) Low-magnification view of section of ovary with oogonia (og) and interstitial cells (ic). Ovary is surrounded by the tunica propria (tp) and external epithelium (ee). Bar, 2 μm. (B) Cytoplasm of interstitial cell containing rickettsiae free in the cytoplasm (arrows) and being digested within phagolysosomes (arrowheads) Bar, 0.5 μm.

Citation: Munderloh U, Jauron S, Kurtti T. 2005. The Tick: a Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens, p 51-78. In Goodman J, Dennis D, Sonenshine D, Tick-Borne Diseases of Humans. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816490.ch3
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Image of Figure 4
Figure 4

Electron micrograph of in the tick cell line ISE6. Note the considerable degree of pleomorphism of individual organisms in an endosome. Note a convoluted network of excess membranes at one pole of some microbes, long, tail-like extensions arising from several of the anaplasmas within intracellular inclusions (white arrowheads). Black arrowheads indicate extracellular organisms. Bar, 3 μm.

Citation: Munderloh U, Jauron S, Kurtti T. 2005. The Tick: a Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens, p 51-78. In Goodman J, Dennis D, Sonenshine D, Tick-Borne Diseases of Humans. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816490.ch3
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Image of Figure 5
Figure 5

Electron micrograph of an morula in a rhesus endothelial cell. The inclusion contains a heterogeneous mixture of reticulate and dense forms. Bar, 1 μm.

Citation: Munderloh U, Jauron S, Kurtti T. 2005. The Tick: a Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens, p 51-78. In Goodman J, Dennis D, Sonenshine D, Tick-Borne Diseases of Humans. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816490.ch3
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