Tick-borne viral diseases continue to emerge in the United States, as clearly evident from the increase in Powassan encephalitis virus, Heartland virus, and Bourbon virus infections. Tick-borne flaviviruses (TBFVs) are transmitted to the mammalian host along with the infected tick saliva during blood-feeding. Successful tick feeding is facilitated by a complex repertoire of pharmacologically active salivary proteins/factors in tick saliva. These salivary factors create an immunologically privileged micro-environment in the host’s skin that influences virus transmission and pathogenesis. In this review, we will highlight tick determinants of TBFV transmission with a special emphasis on tick–virus–host interactions at the cutaneous interface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases