Tick–Pathogen Interactions: The Metabolic Perspective

The first tick genome published in 2016 provided an invaluable tool for studying the molecular basis of tick-pathogen interactions. Metabolism is a key element in host-pathogen interactions. However, our knowledge of tick-pathogen metabolic interactions is very limited. Recently, a systems biology approach, using omics datasets, has revealed that tick-borne pathogen infection induces transcriptional reprograming affecting several metabolic pathways in ticks, facilitating infection, multiplication, and transmission. Results suggest that the response of tick cells to tick-borne pathogens is associated with tolerance to infection. Here we review our current understanding of the modulation of tick metabolism by tick-borne pathogens, with a focus on the model intracellular bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum