Amblyomma americanum: identification of tick salivary gland antigens from unfed and early feeding females with comparisons to Ixodes dammini and Dermacentor variabilis

Exp Parasitol. 1990 Feb;70(2):217-26. doi: 10.1016/0014-4894(90)90102-i.


Salivary gland antigens involved in host resistance to tick feeding by Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick) have been identified. Gland extracts from unfed and partially fed 12-, 48-, 72-, 96-, and 120-hr females and their corresponding midgut tissues were analyzed by immunoblotting with sera from naturally immune and hyperimmune sheep and rabbits. Polypeptides at 90, 75, 58, 45, 33, and 23 kDa from the salivary glands of A. americanum females were consistently observed with antibodies from both sheep and rabbits. No antigens unique to tick midgut tissue were detected with immune sera. Female Dermacentor variabilis and Ixodes dammini shared 90- and 45-kDa salivary gland antigens with A. americanum, and these may represent conserved polypeptides. We speculate that some of the salivary gland antigens represent components of tick cement, while others are playing some other yet undetermined role in tick feeding.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / analysis*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Dermacentor / immunology*
  • Eating
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Female
  • Immune Sera / analysis
  • Immune Sera / biosynthesis
  • Immunoblotting
  • Salivary Glands / immunology
  • Ticks / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Immune Sera