Laboratoř genomiky a proteomiky vektorů
Describing the role of arthropod effectors in manipulating vertebrate host homeostasis and the transmission of vector-borne illnesses
Our research focuses on:
● Applying a systems-based and multimodal approach to discover the effectors that determine arthropod vectorial capacity.
● Understanding the vertebrate proteolytic cascades that are regulated by arthropod salivary secretions at sites of disease vector infestation and that facilitate blood meal uptake and/or pathogen transmission.
● Testing the pharmacological action of recombinant arthropod salivary proteins with the goal of describing their mechanism of action in the vertebrate host at the molecular, cellular, and organismal level in order to expedite drug development.
Our research project aims to:
● Explore basic mechanisms of pathogen transmission by disease vectors as the conceptual basis for the development of novel methods/tools (e.g., vaccines and diagnostic kits to monitor the exposure of vertebrate hosts to arthropod disease vectors) to control vector-borne illnesses.
● Demonstrate the pharmacological action of arthropod salivary proteins in the regulation of vertebrate host homeostasis (haemostasis, vascular biology, immunity, neuromodulation) and their potential for the treatment of human diseases (e.g., cancer, multiple sclerosis, allergic asthma).
Our research currently focuses on the tick Ixodes ricinus, the vector of Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis virus in Europe. This tick serves as an excellent model organism for the description of arthropod recombinant proteins that may have the potential in drug development or/and serve as targets for establishing of novel methodologies to control tick-borne diseases in Europe.