Tick-tock: times up!

UGH ticks really…TICK me off!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

While universally hated for their blood sucking and disease spreading, ticks aren’t loners. They carry bacteria critical for their growth, reproduction, and disease transmission! What if we could break up this dynamic duo?

Enter Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz from the National Institute of Agricultural Research in France and team.

Researchers immunized a group of mice using vaccines targeted against a specific bacteria. This lowered the gut levels of the bacteria in the ticks thriving on these mice. This significantly impacted the tick’s ability to pass diseases on to their hosts.

In the future, these vaccines could break these disease spreading habits! If only OUR bad habits could be broken so easily!

Ready or not ticks, here we come – hiking off-trail, in our shorts, doused in sugar water… Come and get it! Just need to release my army of vaccinated mice first.

Reference: Mateos-Hernández, L., Obregón, D., Wu-Chuang, A., Maye, J., Bornères, J., Versillé, N., de la Fuente, J., Díaz-Sánchez, S., Bermúdez-Humarán, L. G., Torres-Maravilla, E., Estrada-Peña, A., Hodžić, A., Šimo, L., & Cabezas-Cruz, A. (2021). Anti-Microbiota Vaccines Modulate the Tick Microbiome in a Taxon-Specific Manner. Frontiers in Immunology, 12. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.704621