Special Issue "Innate Immune Responses to Tick-Borne Infections"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Immunological Responses and Immune Defense Mechanisms".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 2274

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Diana Gerardi Scorpio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Brunswick, NJ 08902, USA
Interests: innate immunity; disease pathogenesis; Rickettsiales infections; animal models of tick-borne infections; co-infections

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As tick populations continue to grow and ticks expand geographically, cases of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, including spotted fever rickettsiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis have been increasing steadily in the United States and globally. There are currently at least 18 known tick-borne infectious pathogens, with 20 known conditions and 13 illnesses resulting from tick bites. These pathogens are problematic for both human and animal populations, therefore necessitating a fundamental One Health approach to targeting prevention and treatment strategies.

Much remains to be determined regarding tick-borne disease pathogenesis, including host-pathogen interaction and innate immune responses to these organisms. This innate immune response is the phylogenetically oldest component of host immunity. Mechanisms of innate immunity work collectively to inhibit the entry of a pathogen or eliminate it, thus preventing infection. Alternatively, it controls infection until the slower adaptive immune response can be mounted. It is of great complexity and consists of numerous barriers to infection, such as mucosal surfaces, antimicrobial peptides and proteins, humoral components (i.e. complement and opsonins) and cellular components (i.e. neutrophils, monocytes/macrophages, dendritic cells, and innate lymphoid cells). The tick-borne pathogens have developed quite sophisticated evasion strategies to allow competent and successful infection of their host, accomplished by multifaceted mechanisms aimed at survival and propagation.

This Special Issue “Innate Immune Responses to Tick-Borne Infections” aims to showcase the current research landscape in tick-borne infection and disease, and associated host innate immune responses. We invite the submission of original research articles, case studies, short reports, and reviews that highlight the genetic diversity of tick-borne organisms, transmission biology, pathogen evasion strategies, pathogenesis of induced disease, and host innate immune mechanisms towards development of innovative diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic measures.


Dr. Diana G. Scorpio
Guest Editor



  1. Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, 2018 Report to Congress, Chapter 1, p. 5 (https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/tbdwg-report-to-congress-2018.pdf).

Dr. Diana Gerardi Scorpio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • Tick-borne
  • Innate immunity
  • Animal models
  • Host-pathogen
  • Vaccine
  • Co-infection

Published Papers (1 paper)

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The Acari Hypothesis, II: Interspecies Operability of Pattern Recognition Receptors
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091220 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1756
Hypersensitivity to galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-gal) is an informative example of a pathologic IgE-mediated process. By way of their saliva, ticks are able to sensitize humans to tick dietary elements that express α-gal. Mites, which along with ticks constitute the phyletic subclass Acari, feed on [...] Read more.
Hypersensitivity to galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-gal) is an informative example of a pathologic IgE-mediated process. By way of their saliva, ticks are able to sensitize humans to tick dietary elements that express α-gal. Mites, which along with ticks constitute the phyletic subclass Acari, feed on proteinaceous foodstuffs that represent most, if not all, human allergens. Given: (1) the gross nature of the pathophysiological reactions of allergy, especially anaphylaxis, (2) the allergenicity of acarian foodstuffs, and (3) the relatedness of ticks and mites, it has been hypothesized that human-acarian interactions are cardinal to the pathogenesis of allergy. In this report, a means by which such interactions contribute to that pathogenesis is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innate Immune Responses to Tick-Borne Infections)
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