Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Grandeur Alliances: Symbiont Metabolic Integration and Obligate Arthropod Hematophagy.

  • Author(s): Rio, Rita VM;
  • Attardo, Geoffrey M;
  • Weiss, Brian L
  • et al.

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.

Several arthropod taxa live exclusively on vertebrate blood. This food source lacks essential metabolites required for the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis, and as such, these arthropods have formed symbioses with nutrient-supplementing microbes that facilitate their host's 'hematophagous' feeding ecology. Herein we highlight metabolic contributions of bacterial symbionts that reside within tsetse flies, bed bugs, lice, reduviid bugs, and ticks, with specific emphasis on B vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis. Importantly, these arthropods can transmit pathogens of medical and veterinary relevance and/or cause infestations that induce psychological and dermatological distress. Microbial metabolites, and the biochemical pathways that generate them, can serve as specific targets of novel control mechanisms aimed at disrupting the metabolism of hematophagous arthropods, thus combatting pest invasion and vector-borne pathogen transmission.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item