Cystatins play role in tick blood feeding and pathogen infection
Methodology/Principal findings: The gene expression profile in tick tissues provided an evidence for physiological role during the slow or fast blood feeding stage. The functional assay with RNA interference of selected cystatins showed the reduction in tick blood meal uptake. Though, the exact mechanism of tick cystatin protein family in<i> R. parkeri </i>pathogenesis is not known yet. Expression of cystatins genes were differentially expressed with <i> R. parkeri </i> infection which may facilitate pathogen for colonization and proliferation.
Conclusions/Significance: Our results underscore the importance of tick cystatins during blood meal acquisition and pathogen infection.
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