Ticks are considered worldwide as important vectors of animal and human diseases. Most recently, tick bites have emerged as trigger of anaphylactic reactions in humans. In particular, tick bites are considered to induce the generation of specific IgE-antibodies directed at the carbohydrate galactose-a-1,3-galactose (alpha-Gal). These serum IgE-antibodies are associated with a previously unrecognized form of delayed anaphylaxis occurring upon consumption of mammalian meat, the alpha-Gal syndrome. The investigation of the sensitizing source, the allergenic molecules involved and the mechanisms underlying the sensitization process will generate basic knowledge on immune responses to carbohydrates and provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.
Project partners: Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), Eberhard-Karls University of Tuebingen, Technical University of Munich, Helmholtz Center Munich, University of Hohenheim.
Co-funding: FNR-CORE project IRGal