Ticks are obligate hematophagous arthropods and vectors of pathogens affecting human and animal health worldwide. Cement is a complex protein polymerization substance secreted by ticks with antimicrobial properties and a possible role in host attachment, sealing the feeding lesion, facilitating feeding and pathogen transmission, and protection from host immune and inflammatory responses. The biochemical properties of tick cement during feeding have not been fully characterized. In this study, we characterized the proteome of Rhipicephalus microplus salivary glands (sialome) and cement (cementome) together with their physicochemical properties at different adult female parasitic stages. The results showed the combination of tick and host derived proteins and other biomolecules such as α-Gal in cement composition, which varied during the feeding process. We propose that these compounds may synergize in cement formation, solidification and maintenance to facilitate attachment, feeding, interference with host immune response and detachment. These results advanced our knowledge of the complex tick cement composition and suggested that tick and host derived compounds modulate cement properties throughout tick feeding.
Authors: Margarita Villar, Iván Pacheco, Octavio Merino, Marinela Contreras, Lourdes Mateos-Hernández, Eduardo Prado, Diana Karen Barros-Picanço, Jose Francisco Lima-Barbero, Sara Artigas-Jerónimo, Pilar Alberdi, Isabel G. Fernández de Mera, Agustín Estrada-Peña, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz, José de la Fuente,