Kathleen Deponte

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The Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi is primarily transmitted to vertebrates by Ixodes ticks. The classical and alternative complement pathways are important in Borrelia eradication by the vertebrate host. We recently identified a tick salivary protein, designated P8, which reduced complement-mediated killing of Borrelia. We now discover that P8(More)
Arthopods such as Ixodes scapularis ticks serve as vectors for many human pathogens. The arthropod gut presents a pivotal microbial entry point and determines pathogen colonization and survival. We show that the gut microbiota of I. scapularis, a major vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, influence spirochete colonization of ticks.(More)
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the agent of human anaplasmosis, the second most common tick-borne illness in the United States. This pathogen, which is closely related to obligate intracellular organisms in the genera Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma, persists in ticks and mammalian hosts; however, the mechanisms for survival in the arthropod are not(More)
The tick Ixodes scapularis is an efficient vector for microbes, including the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks engorging on vertebrates induce recruitment of inflammatory cells to the bite site. For efficient transmission to the vector, pathogens have to traffic through this complex feeding site while avoiding the deleterious effects of immune(More)
Rabbits or guinea pigs infested with Ixodes scapularis acquire resistance to tick bites, a phenomenon, known as tick immunity, that is partially mediated by antibody. To determine the salivary gland antigens that elicit antibodies in the host, an I. scapularis salivary gland cDNA expression library was probed with serum from tick-immune rabbits. Sera from(More)
Survival of Borrelia burgdorferi in ticks and mammals is facilitated, at least in part, by the selective expression of lipoproteins. Outer surface protein (Osp) A participates in spirochete adherence to the tick gut. As ospB is expressed on a bicistronic operon with ospA, we have now investigated the role of OspB by generating an OspB-deficient B.(More)
The saliva of hematophagous arthropods contains potent anti-inflammatory and antihemostatic activities that promote acquisition of the blood meal and enhance infection with pathogens. We have shown that polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) treated with the saliva of the tick Ixodes scapularis have reduced expression of beta(2) integrins, impaired PMN(More)
In North America, the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, an obligate haematophagus arthropod, is a vector of several human pathogens including Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent. In this report, we show that the tick salivary gland transcriptome and proteome is dynamic and changes during the process of engorgement. We demonstrate, using a(More)
Ixodes scapularis ticks transmit many pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti. Vaccines directed against arthropod proteins injected into the host during tick engorgement could prevent numerous infectious diseases. Salp14, a salivary anticoagulant, poses a key target for such intervention. Salp14 is the(More)
We examined the effect of repeated infestation of guinea pigs with Ixodes scapularis on the capacity of ticks to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Repeated challenges with nymphs or larvae lead to a reduction in duration of nymphal tick attachment and weight of recovered ticks consistent with the development of tick immunity. Only one of 18 I.(More)