Authors contributed equally.
Defending the fort: a role for defensin-2 in limiting Rickettsia montanensis infection of Dermacentor variabilis
Article first published online: 29 APR 2014
© 2014 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Royal Entomological Society.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Insect Molecular Biology
Volume 23, Issue 4, pages 457–465, August 2014
How to Cite
Pelc, R. S., McClure, J. C., Sears, K. T., Chung, A., Rahman, M. S. and Ceraul, S. M. (2014), Defending the fort: a role for defensin-2 in limiting Rickettsia montanensis infection of Dermacentor variabilis. Insect Molecular Biology, 23: 457–465. doi: 10.1111/imb.12094
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2014
- Article first published online: 29 APR 2014
- National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Grant Numbers: 1K22AI08040-01A1, R01AI043006, R01AI017828
- innate immunity;
The importance of tick defensins is evidenced by their expression in a wide variety of tick tissues and prevalence across many tick genera. To date, the functional and biological significance of defensin-2 as a rickettsiastatic or rickettsiacidal antimicrobial peptide has not been addressed. In a previous study, defensin-2 transcription was shown to increase in Dermacentor variabilis ticks challenged with Rickettsia montanensis. In the present study, the hypothesis that defensin-2 is functional as a rickettsiastatic and/or rickettsiacidal antimicrobial peptide is tested. We show that defensin-2 plays a role in reducing burden after acquisition of Rickettsia montanensis through capillary feeding. Moreover, defensin-2 is shown to associate with R. montanensis in vitro and in vivo, causing cytoplasmic leakiness.