Neural basis of tick-pathogen interactions
(insight into the establishment of NeuroPaTick)
Ticks and tick-borne pathogens constitute a growing burden for animal and human health worldwide. The development of effective control strategies of these medically important arthropods, along with pathogens they transmit, is currently hampered by our limited understanding of their complex interactions. Specifically, the interrelationship between pathogens, entering tick body, and tick signalling systems literally represents a “black box”. This neglected area in tick research, along the scientific curiosity of both PI’s created a base line for an establishment of the research project NeuroPaTick. We believe that investigation of tick signalling system interactions with the pathogens they transfer will ultimately generate a unique research area that we have named "Neural basis of tick-pathogen interactions". The major questions we aim to address are: (i) have tick-borne pathogens the capacity to manipulate tick signaling molecules and subsequently modulate tick physiology or behavior? (ii) do the pathogen and/or the tick benefit from such modulation of tick physiology or behavior? and most importantly (iii) how can tick signalling pathways, be at the basis of devising better control strategies for ticks and subsequently the pathogens they transmit? Based on the previous research experiences of both PIs, along the variety of in-house tools established, the NeuroPaTick has the strong potential to shed a completely new light on tick-pathogen interaction research.
In addition to this common project that combine the skills and expertise of both PIs, the NeuroPaTick has several research interests you may see by clicking the buttons below.