A tick is an amazing insect, its bite is almost imperceptible, and it can live on a human body long enough. So what is the secret of its secrecy? I will tell you about this in my article. Whose bitten tick knows that its bite is absolutely painless and it is very difficult to find it on your body. There were cases when ticks lived on the human body for more than two weeks. The insect itself does not pose a danger, but now tolerated diseases from encephalitis to fever can seriously impair human health. So why does a tick, like a secret agent, bite into the skin without bringing any pain? It’s all about the chemical or molecular composition of its saliva. In specialized laboratories, scientists have found that there are more than 3,500 different proteins in the mite’s
Such a diverse protein cocktail of ticks has developed because, unlike other parasites, ticks (the majority) their whole life cycle, feed on the blood of one host. This is another reason why they need such a variety of chemical elements.
Why is the tick bite invisible?
In mammals, including humans, a very complex immune system, which has multi-level protection, and so the saliva of a tick can completely neutralize it. When a tick bites a person, it immediately releases saliva and dulls the work of histamine, which causes itching or redness, weakens the signals causing pain. Further, with its “proboscis”, the tick does not just suck the blood, but forms a blood “pond” under the skin, which is constantly replenished with blood. Our body does not feel the bite, but the body understands and begins to send immune cells, including white blood cells to fight the enemy. However, the tick is not scary. Remember the three and a half thousand proteins in his saliva? They, in addition to preventing blood from clotting, in the “little lake” completely nullify all the efforts of the immune system, neutralize white blood cells, that could harm the tick. The body, realizing that its methods of struggle are ineffectual, begins a new level of attack on already known proteins and the contents of saliva. But during this time, the mite’s saliva changes its molecular structure and the new attack of the immune system fails again. Such a rich mixture of the saliva of this insect made it interesting for a narrow circle of scientists and researchers. Over millions of years of evolution, ticks have learned to change the immune system of other organisms.