Ben J. Mans
Bio: Ben J. Mans is an academic researcher from University of South Africa. The author has contributed to research in topics: Tick & Theileria parva. The author has an hindex of 37, co-authored 99 publications receiving 4499 citations. Previous affiliations of Ben J. Mans include National Institutes of Health & University of Pretoria.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: This review will address the vertebrate mechanisms of these barriers as a guide to identify the possible targets of these large numbers of known salivary proteins with unknown function.
Abstract: When attempting to feed on their hosts, ticks face the problem of host hemostasis (the vertebrate mechanisms that prevent blood loss), inflammation (that can produce itching or pain and thus initiate defensive behavior on their hosts) and adaptive immunity (by way of both cellular and humoral responses). Against these barriers, ticks evolved a complex and sophisticated pharmacological armamentarium, consisting of bioactive lipids and proteins, to assist blood feeding. Recent progress in transcriptome research has uncovered that hard ticks have hundreds of different proteins expressed in their salivary glands, the majority of which have no known function, and include many novel protein families (e.g., their primary structure is unique to ticks). This review will address the vertebrate mechanisms of these barriers as a guide to identify the possible targets of these large numbers of known salivary proteins with unknown function. We additionally provide a supplemental Table that catalogues over 3,500 putative salivary proteins from various tick species, which might assist the scientific community in the process of functional identification of these unique proteins. This supplemental file is accessble fromhttp://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/tick_review/Sup-Table-1.xls.gz.
TL;DR: Over 8000 expressed sequence tags from six different salivary gland cDNA libraries from the tick Ixodes scapularis support the hypothesis that gene duplication, most possibly including genome duplications, is a major player in tick evolution.
TL;DR: It appears that counteracting biogenic amines is of strong adaptive value in the convergent evolution of arthropods to hematophagy in ticks, bugs, and mosquitoes.
TL;DR: Serological and molecular assays exist for most economic important Theileria species and the concept of what constitute a Theilaria species impacts on accurate diagnostics.
Abstract: An extensive range of serological and molecular diagnostic assays exist for most of the economically important Theileira species such as T. annulata, T. equi, T. lestoquardi, T. parva, T. uilenbergi and other more benign species. Diagnostics of Theileria is considered with regard to sensitivity and specificity of current molecular and serological assays and their use in epidemiology. In the case of serological assays, cross-reactivity of genetically closely related species reduces the use of the gold standard indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Development of antigen-specific assays does not necessarily address this problem, since closely related species will potentially have similar antigens. Even so, serological assays remain an important line of enquiry in epidemiological surveys. Molecular based assays have exploded in the last decade with significant improvements in sensitivity and specificity. In this review, the current interpretation of what constitute a species in Theileria and its impact on accurate molecular diagnostics is considered. Most molecular assays based on conventional or real-time PCR technology have proven to be on standard with regard to analytical sensitivity. However, consideration of the limits of detection in regard to total blood volume of an animal indicates that most assays may only detect >400,000 parasites/L blood. Even so, natural parasitaemia distribution in carrier-state animals seems to be above this limit of detection, suggesting that most molecular assays should be able to detect the majority of infected individuals under endemic conditions. The potential for false-negative results can, however, only be assessed within the biological context of the parasite within its vertebrate host, i.e. parasitaemia range in the carrier-state that will support infection of the vector and subsequent transmission.
TL;DR: It is concluded that the main tick families adapted independently to a blood-feeding environment and this has several implications for future tick research in terms of tick genome projects and vaccine development.
TL;DR: The review focuses on the principal biochemical, cell biological, catalytic, and structural properties of the enzymes and provides brief reference to tissue distribution, and physiological and pathophysiological functions.
Abstract: Ecto-nucleotidases play a pivotal role in purinergic signal transmission. They hydrolyze extracellular nucleotides and thus can control their availability at purinergic P2 receptors. They generate extracellular nucleosides for cellular reuptake and salvage via nucleoside transporters of the plasma membrane. The extracellular adenosine formed acts as an agonist of purinergic P1 receptors. They also can produce and hydrolyze extracellular inorganic pyrophosphate that is of major relevance in the control of bone mineralization. This review discusses and compares four major groups of ecto-nucleotidases: the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases, ecto-5′-nucleotidase, ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterases, and alkaline phosphatases. Only recently and based on crystal structures, detailed information regarding the spatial structures and catalytic mechanisms has become available for members of these four ecto-nucleotidase families. This permits detailed predictions of their catalytic mechanisms and a comparison between the individual enzyme groups. The review focuses on the principal biochemical, cell biological, catalytic, and structural properties of the enzymes and provides brief reference to tissue distribution, and physiological and pathophysiological functions.
TL;DR: A number of overarching structural, functional, and evolutionary generalities of the protein families from which these toxins have been frequently recruited are discussed and a revised and expanded working definition for venom is proposed.
Abstract: Throughout evolution, numerous proteins have been convergently recruited into the venoms of various animals, including centipedes, cephalopods, cone snails, fish, insects (several independent venom systems), platypus, scorpions, shrews, spiders, toxicoferan reptiles (lizards and snakes), and sea anemones. The protein scaffolds utilized convergently have included AVIT/colipase/prokineticin, CAP, chitinase, cystatin, defensins, hyaluronidase, Kunitz, lectin, lipocalin, natriuretic peptide, peptidase S1, phospholipase A2, sphingomyelinase D, and SPRY. Many of these same venom protein types have also been convergently recruited for use in the hematophagous gland secretions of invertebrates (e.g., fleas, leeches, kissing bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks) and vertebrates (e.g., vampire bats). Here, we discuss a number of overarching structural, functional, and evolutionary generalities of the protein families from which these toxins have been frequently recruited and propose a revised and expanded working definition...
TL;DR: The molecular characterization of the tick-pathogen interface is rapidly advancing and providing new avenues for the development of novel control strategies for both tick infestations and their associated pathogens.
Abstract: Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) transmit a wide variety of pathogens to vertebrates including viruses, bacteria, protozoa and helminthes. Tick-borne pathogens are believed to be responsible for more than 100,000 cases of illness in humans throughout the world. Ticks are considered to be second worldwide to mosquitoes as vectors of human diseases, but they are the most important vectors of disease-causing pathogens in domestic and wild animals. Infection and development of pathogens in both tick and vertebrate hosts are mediated by molecular mechanisms at the tick-pathogen interface. These mechanisms, involving traits of both ticks and pathogens, include the evolution of common and species-specific characteristics. The molecular characterization of the tick-pathogen interface is rapidly advancing and providing new avenues for the development of novel control strategies for both tick infestations and their associated pathogens.
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