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SALIVARY GLAND EXTRACTS OF CULICOIDES SONORENSIS INHIBIT MURINE LYMPHOCYTE PROLIFERATION AND NO PRODUCTION BY MACROPHAGES

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Laboratory, USDA–ARS, Laramie, Wyoming; SCYNEXIS, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, IFAS, Vero Beach, Florida

Culicoides biting midges serve as vectors of pathogens affecting humans and domestic animals. Culicoides sonorensis is a vector of several arboviruses in North American that cause substantial economic losses to the US livestock industry. Previous studies showed that C. sonorensis saliva, like the saliva of many hematophagous arthropods, contains numerous pharmacological agents that affect hemostasis and early events in the inflammatory response, which may enhance the infectivity of Culicoides-borne pathogens. This paper reports on the immunomodulatory properties of C. sonorensis salivary gland extracts on murine immune cells and discusses the possible immunomodulatory role of C. sonorensis saliva in vesicular stomatitis virus infection of vertebrate hosts. Splenocytes treated with C. sonorensis mitogens were significantly affected in their proliferative response, and peritoneal macrophages secreted significantly less NO. A 66-kDa glycoprotein was purified from C. sonorensis salivary gland extract, which may be in part responsible for these observations and may be considered as a vaccine candidate.

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