Oct, 2022 - By SMI
Researchers have discovered that tick saliva reduces the skin's ability to defend itself, raising the risk of illnesses including tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme disease.
One of the nations with the highest tick frequency is Austria. The two most prevalent tick-borne infections, Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), are present in about every second European tick. At a temperature of seven degrees, the spiders begin active. Ticks are becoming a problem in higher-altitude areas of Austria and well into late fall as of the rising temperatures brought on by climate change. The Department of Dermatology at MedUni Vienna's research team, coordinated by Johanna Strobl and Georg Stary, found that tick saliva reduces the skin's ability to defend itself, raising the risk of illnesses including tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme disease. The Journal of Clinical Investigation recently published the findings.
In order to simulate the bite of the most prevalent European tick, the researchers conducted their studies using skin samples from volunteers and models of human skin . In both instances, the research team led by Georg Stary in collaboration with the Hannes Stockinger research team identified rapidly occurring patterns of immunomodulation. For instance, it was shown that contact with tick saliva interfered with immune cell function, particularly T cell function, which is crucial for immunological memory.
Researchers discovered that tick feeding results in significant immune system alterations in the skin, which suppress the local immunological response. This implies that harmful pathogens, which tick saliva introduces into the skin, can grow more quickly and cause infection. Furthermore, it weakens the immune system and can occasionally result in lethality or death. These kinds of conditions currently account for 20% of sepsis cases.
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