Research Papers: Immunology:

Tick-host conflict: immunoglobulin E antibodies to tick proteins in patients with anaphylaxis to tick bite

Lourdes Mateos-Hernández, Margarita Villar, Angel Moral, Carmen García Rodríguez, Teresa Alfaya Arias, Verónica de la Osa, Francisco Feo Brito, Isabel G. Fernández de Mera, Pilar Alberdi, Francisco Ruiz-Fons, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz, Agustín Estrada-Peña and José de la Fuente _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:20630-20644. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15243

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Lourdes Mateos-Hernández1, Margarita Villar1, Angel Moral2, Carmen García Rodríguez3, Teresa Alfaya Arias3, Verónica de la Osa2, Francisco Feo Brito3, Isabel G. Fernández de Mera1, Pilar Alberdi1, Francisco Ruiz-Fons1, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz4,5, Agustín Estrada-Peña6 and José de la Fuente1,7

1 SaBio, Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Cinegéticos, IREC-CSIC-UCLM-JCCM, Ciudad Real, Spain

2 Department of Allergy, Hospital Virgen del Valle, Toledo, Spain

3 Allergy Section, General University Hospital of Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real, Spain

4 Institute of Parasitology, Biology Center of the Academy of Sciences of The Czech Republic, České Budějovice, Czech Republic

5 Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic

6 Department of Animal Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Spain

7 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

Correspondence to:

José de la Fuente, email:

Keywords: immunology, allergy, alpha-Gal, anaphylaxis, proteomics, Immunology and Microbiology Section, Immune response, Immunity

Received: November 07, 2016 Accepted: January 28, 2017 Published: February 09, 2017


Tick-borne infectious diseases and allergies are a growing problem worldwide. Tick bite allergy has been associated with the direct effect of immunoglobulin E (IgE) response to tick salivary antigens, or secondary to the induction of allergy to red meat consumption through IgE antibodies against the carbohydrate α-Gal (Gal α 1-3Gal β 1-(3)4GlcNAc-R). However, despite the growing burden of this pathology, the proteins associated with anaphylaxis to tick bite have not been characterized. To address this question, a comparative proteomics approach was used to characterize tick proteins producing an IgE antibody response in a healthy individual with record of tick bites, which had not resulted in any allergic reactions, and two patients with anaphylactic reactions to Rhipicephalus bursa or Hyalomma marginatum tick bites. Both patients and the healthy individual were red meat tolerant. The results supported a patient-specific IgE antibody response to tick species responsible for the anaphylaxis to tick bite. Both patients and the healthy individual serologically recognized tick proteins with and without α-Gal modifications, with proteins differentially recognized by patients but not control sera. These proteins could be used as potential antigens for diagnostics, treatment and prevention of tick bite-induced allergies.

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