Ticks bring hope of new anti-coagulant without side-effects

Researchers at the Amsterdam Medical Centre have discovered a protein in the saliva of ticks that clots blood.

The protein is found in ticks that live off the blood of vertebrates. By using their saliva to keep the blood flowing, they can stay in the same spot and feed for days.

Current anti-coagulants work well but often have serious side-effects.

‘This protein provides a fundamental new insight into the working of our own clotting system,’ researcher Tim Schuijt told the Nos.

Research into the tick and its saliva will continue, he said.


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