Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A tick's spit leads to an entire lesson in blood clotting

Date:
July 1, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
There really is such a thing as tick spit -- that is, the saliva of a tick. And there's something about it that might help fight heart disease and stroke.

There really is such a thing as tick spit -- that is, the saliva of a tick. And there's something about it that might help fight heart disease and stroke.

Related Articles


The link comes from a protein found in the spit of ixodes (ik-SO-deez) ticks, which are also known as blacklegged ticks, or deer ticks.

These kinds of ticks tear their way into skin and feed on their host's blood for several days. They damage small blood vessels, which would normally trigger the body to start a process called coagulation -- or blood clotting.

Clotting is important because it stops bleeding. But it also can play a role in heart attacks and strokes.

That leads back to the ticks, and their spitting.

These ticks spit where they bite their host. In doing so, they project a protein that blocks the body's natural clotting process; it happens similar to the way blood thinners -- or "anticoagulants" -- work.

The new thing researchers have learned is that the two clotting factors, called factor X and factor V, that get blocked by the tick spit end up working together and activating a third clotting element, so the clotting eventually happens.

Scientists already knew which coagulation factors are able to activate Factor V but they didn't know that factor X was extremely important in this process.

Thanks to these ticks -- and their spit -- we have a better understanding of the clotting process.

The result is a new model for blood coagulation, which is an important discovery for our understanding of how clots are formed, why certain anti-clotting drugs help and how new drugs could be developed.

Imagine all that information from those little ticks, and their spit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Maria M. Aleman; Alisa S. Wolberg. Tick Spit Shines a Light on the Initiation of Coagulation. Circulation, July 1 2013 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.003800
  2. Tim J. Schuijt, Kamran Bakhtiari, Sirlei Daffre, Kathleen DePonte, Simone J. H. Wielders, J. Arnoud Marquart, Joppe W. Hovius, Tom van der Poll, Erol Fikrig, Matthew W. Bunce, Rodney M. Camire, Gerry A. F. Nicolaes, Joost C. M. Meijers, and Cornelis van 't Veer. Factor Xa Activation of Factor V is of Paramount Importance in Initiating the Coagulation System: Lessons from a Tick Salivary Protein. Circulation, July 1 2013 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.003191

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "A tick's spit leads to an entire lesson in blood clotting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130701163845.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, July 1). A tick's spit leads to an entire lesson in blood clotting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130701163845.htm
American Heart Association. "A tick's spit leads to an entire lesson in blood clotting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130701163845.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Washington Post (Mar. 4, 2015) The Affordable Care Act is facing another challenge at the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, which deals with subsidies for health insurance. The case could cut out a major provision of Obamacare, causing the law to unravel. Here’s what you need to know about the case. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) ProPublica and NPR&apos;s joint investigation found drastic cuts to workers compensation benefits and employees&apos; access to those benefits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins