Anaplasma Phagocytophilum

Maiara S Severo; Kimberly D Stephens; Michail Kotsyfakis; Joao HF Pedra


Future Microbiol. 2012;7(6):719-731. 

In This Article

Future Perspective

An extensive characterization of A. phagocytophilum biology has been made in the past 10 years. This is primarily due to a combined effort made by rickettsiologists, physicians, epidemiologists and entomologists. Yet, significant challenges lie ahead to fully understand how A. phagocytophilum triggers pathogenesis and immunity. For example, it is mostly unclear which immune cells contribute to A. phagocytophilum immunopathology. It is known that neutrophils are the main site of pathogen colonization. However, other immune cells such as macrophages and monocytes seem to play a larger role in the onset of disease. How A. phagocytophilum manages to colonize mammalian cells and arthropod vectors remains poorly understood. Genetic manipulation of A. phagocytophilum associated with noninvasive, real-time imaging technology will offer new insights into pathogen trafficking. Likewise, the use of A. phagocytophilum mutants should uncover novel biochemical pathways necessary for A. phagocytophilum survival in both the arthropod vector and the mammalian host. In addition, the role of host microbiota, chromatin dynamics, autophagy, noncoding RNAs, ubiquitination and intermediary metabolism during A. phagocytophilum transmission and acquisition remains mostly unknown. Finally, how the tick immune system responds to A. phagocytophilum infection has not been thoroughly studied. Considering that the tick immune system manages vector competence, considerable effort should be applied to this research area.


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