Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz

Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz
French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) | INRAE · Department of Animal Health

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Principal Investigator

About

194
Publications
66,099
Reads
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3,549
Citations
Introduction
Graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 2006, I joined the CIGB, Cuba. After a research stay at the University of Oxford, I was granted a Marie Curie fellowship to complete a Master in Parasitology, Jihočeská univerzita. Thirsty for more science, I completed two PhD programs, and in 2017 I joint INRAE as a PI and created my group, NeuroPaTick. March 15, 2022, with a group of entrepreneurial researchers, I founded microXpace, a start-up that harnesses the power of microbes to improve animal health.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - October 2014
University of Castilla-La Mancha
Position
  • PhD
Description
  • During this PhD I worked on the characterization of the genetic diversity of tick-borne pathogens of the family Anaplasmataceae using surface proteins (PLoS ONE. 2013. 8(6): e65243; Parasit Vectors. 2014. 7:584; Ticks tick-borne dis. 2014. 5(4): 423–431).
October 2013 - September 2016
Institut Pasteur de Lille
Position
  • PhD
Description
  • During this PhD I worked on Schistosoma mansoni epigenetics. I applied the knowledge acquired in this PhD to ticks. As result, we published the first manuscript on tick epigenetics (Epigenetics. 2016. 11(4):303-19).
April 2011 - October 2013
University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
Position
  • Master's Student
Description
  • During this master I worked on the characterization of a new species of tick-borne pathogen of the genus Ehrlichia: E. minasensis (International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2016. 66: 1426-1430.).
Education
January 2014 - October 2014
University of Castilla-La Mancha
Field of study
  • Ticks and Tick-borne pathogens (family Anaplasmataceae)
October 2013 - September 2016
Université de Lille
Field of study
  • Parasite Epigenetics
April 2011 - October 2013
University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Field of study
  • Parasitology

Publications

Publications (194)
Article
Full-text available
Tick-borne infectious diseases and allergies are a growing problem worldwide. Tick bite allergy has been associated with the direct effect of immunoglobulin E (IgE) response to tick salivary antigens, or secondary to the induction of allergy to red meat consumption through IgE antibodies against the carbohydrate α-Gal (Gal α 1-3Gal β 1-(3)4GlcNAc-R...
Article
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Ticks and the pathogens they transmit constitute a growing burden for human and animal health worldwide. Vector competence is a component of vectorial capacity and depends on genetic determinants affecting the ability of a vector to transmit a pathogen. These determinants affect traits such as tick-host-pathogen and susceptibility to pathogen infec...
Article
Tick-induced allergy to red meat is associated with anti-α-Gal IgE antibody levels. We propose that tick salivary prostaglandin E2 triggers antibody class switching in mature B cells, increasing the levels of anti-α-Gal IgE antibodies. Immune tolerance to a-Gal in blood type B individuals might reduce the risk to this allergy.
Article
Full-text available
The carbohydrate Galα1-3Galβ1-(3)4GlcNAc-R (α-Gal) is produced in all mammals except for humans, apes and old world monkeys that lost the ability to synthetize this carbohydrate. Therefore, humans can produce high antibody titers against α-Gal. Anti-α-Gal IgE antibodies have been associated with tick-induced allergy (i.e. α-Gal syndrome) and anti-α...
Article
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The identification of factors affecting the susceptibility to infectious diseases is essential toward reducing their burden on the human population. The ABO blood type correlates with susceptibility to malaria and other infectious diseases. Due to the structural similarity between blood antigen B and Galα1-3Galβ1-(3)4GlcNAc-R (α-Gal), we hypothesiz...
Article
Trained immunity (TRAIM) may be defined as a form of memory where innate immune cells such as monocytes, macrophages, dendritic and natural killer (NK) cells undergo an epigenetic reprogramming that enhances their primary defensive capabilities. Cross‐pathogen protective TRAIM can be triggered in different hosts by exposure to live microbes or micr...
Article
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The possibility of exploiting the human immune response to glycan α-Gal for the control of multiple infectious diseases has been the objective of recent investigations. In this field of research, the strain of Escherichia coli O86:B7 has been at the forefront, but this Gram-negative microorganism presents a safety concern and therefore cannot be co...
Article
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Purpose: The F3II cell line is a highly invasive variant of mammary carcinoma. Although it is frequently used as a model to evaluate the efficacy of immunotherapy, its impact on the immune system remains poorly understood. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of F3II tumors on the development of chronic inflammation and t...
Article
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Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused mainly by Aspergillus fumigatus that often results in respiratory disease in birds. Aspergillosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in managed penguin species. Currently, there is no registered vaccine to prevent aspergillosis. Recent research demonstrated that oral administration of gram-negativ...
Article
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Among blood-sucking arthropods, ticks are recognized as being of prime global importance because of their role as vectors of pathogens affecting human and animal health. Ticks carry a variety of pathogenic, commensal, and symbiotic microorganisms. For the latter, studies are available concerning the detection of endosymbionts, but their role in the...
Article
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The tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) causes a life-threatening disease named Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). The clinical symptoms associated with TBE range from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous system and are very similar to the clinical presentation of other viral meningitis/encephalitis. In consequence, TBE is often...
Article
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Animal and human pathogens that are transmitted by arthropods are a global concern, particularly those vectored by mosquitoes (e.g., Plasmodium spp. and dengue virus). Vector microbiota may hold the key to vector-borne pathogen control, as mounting evidence suggests that the contributions of the vector microbiota to vector physiology and pathogen l...
Article
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Crops are threatened by numerous fungal diseases that can adversely affect the availability and quality of agricultural commodities. In addition, some of these fungal phytopathogens have the capacity to produce mycotoxins that pose a serious health threat to humans and livestock. To facilitate the transition towards sustainable environmentally frie...
Article
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Natural antibodies (Abs), produced in response to bacterial gut microbiota, drive resistance to infection in vertebrates. In natural systems, gut microbiota diversity is expected to shape the spectrum of natural Abs and resistance to parasites. This hypothesis has not been empirically tested. In this ‘Hypothesis and Theory’ paper, we propose that e...
Article
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Ticks carry numerous pathogens that, if transmitted, can cause disease in susceptible humans and animals. The present study describes our approach on how to investigate clinical presentations following tick bites in humans. To this aim, the occurrence of major tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in human blood samples (n = 85) and the ticks collected (n =...
Article
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Introducción. Babesia caballi, Theileria equi y varias especies de rickettsias son agentes de enfermedades transmitidas por vectores que afectan a los equinos. El objetivo del presente estudio fue detectar infecciones por B. caballi y T. equi en caballos e identificar rickettsias en caballos y garrapatas en la región occidental de Cuba. Métodos. Se...
Article
Full-text available
Human and animal pathogens that are transmitted by arthropods are a global concern, particularly those vectored by ticks (e.g. Borrelia burgdorferi and tick‑borne encephalitis virus) and mosquitoes (e.g. malaria and dengue virus). Breaking the circulation of pathogens in permanent foci by controlling vectors using acaricide‑based approaches is thre...
Article
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Passive immunotherapy with convalescent COVID-19 plasma (CCP) is used as a therapeutic procedure in many countries, including Serbia. In this study, we analyzed the association between demographic factors, COVID-19 severity and the reactivity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (Abs) in Serbian CCP donors. Individuals (n = 468) recovered from confirmed S...
Article
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The α-Gal syndrome is a complex allergic disease characterized by the development of specific IgE antibodies against the carbohydrate galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal), an oligosaccharide present in cells and tissues of non-primate mammals. Individuals with IgE antibodies to α-Gal suffer from a delayed form of anaphylaxis following red meat consump...
Article
Background Ticks are obligate hematophagous arthropods that synthesize the glycan Galα1-3Galβ1-(3)4GlcNAc-R (α-Gal) associated with the alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) or allergy to mammalian meat consumption. Research design and methods In this study, we used a proteomics approach to characterize tick proteins in salivary glands (sialome SG), secreted s...
Article
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Variations in the composition and diversity of tick microbiome due to high temperatures may influence the hierarchy of community members as a response to environmental change. Modifications in the community structure are hypothesized to drive alterations in the presence and/or abundance of functional pathways in the bacterial metagenome. In this st...
Article
The genus Anaplasma contains various species capable of causing disease in animals and humans. Anaplasma marginale is one of the main tick-borne pathogens of bovines in tropical and subtropical regions; however, these bacteria are now being detected more frequently in other regions of the world including Europe. In July 2017, abortions, mortality a...
Article
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Ticks have complex life cycles which involve blood-feeding stages found on wild and domestic animals, with humans as accidental hosts. At each blood-feeding stage, ticks can transmit and/or acquire pathogens from their hosts. Therefore, the circulation of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs), especially the zoonotic ones, should be studied in a multi-layere...
Article
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Drug resistance has become a threat to global health, and new interventions are needed to control major infectious diseases. The composition of gut microbiota has been linked to human health and has been associated with severity of malaria. Fermented foods contribute to the community of healthy gut bacteria. Despite the studies connecting gut micro...
Article
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Tick-borne pathogen co-infections are common in nature. Co-infecting pathogens interact with each other and the tick microbiome, which influences individual pathogen fitness, and ultimately shapes virulence, infectivity, and transmission. In this review, we discuss how tick-borne pathogens are an ideal framework to study the evolutionary dynamics o...
Article
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Arthropod antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) offer a promising source of new leads to address the declining number of novel antibiotics and the increasing prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens. AMPs with potent activity against Gram-negative bacteria and distinct modes of action have been identified in insects and scorpions, allowing the...
Article
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Assassin bug venoms are potent and exert diverse biological functions, making them potential biomedical goldmines. Besides feeding functions on arthropods, assassin bugs also use their venom for defense purposes causing localized and systemic reactions in vertebrates. However, assassin bug venoms remain poorly characterized. We collected the venom...
Article
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Mycobacteriosis affects wild fish and aquaculture worldwide, and alternatives to antibiotics are needed for an effective and environmentally sound control of infectious diseases. Probiotics have shown beneficial effects on fish growth, nutrient metabolism, immune responses, disease prevention and control, and gut microbiota with higher water qualit...
Article
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The lack of tools for the precise manipulation of the tick microbiome is currently a major limitation to achieve mechanistic insights into the tick microbiome. Anti-tick microbiota vaccines targeting keystone bacteria of the tick microbiota alter tick feeding, but their impact on the taxonomic and functional profiles of the tick microbiome has not...
Article
Full-text available
The main importance of ticks resides in their ability to harbor and transmit microorganisms that cause disease to animals and humans. In addition to pathogens, ticks coexist and interact with symbionts, and commensal bacteria that together form an ecological unit, the tick holobiont. The holobiont is an additional organismal level on which natural...
Article
Full-text available
Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) have complex life cycles involving tick vectors and vertebrate hosts. However, there is limited empirical evidence on the zoonotic circulation of TBPs. In this study, we used a One Health approach to study the possible circulation of TBPs in ticks, animals and humans within a rural household in the foothills of the Frušk...
Article
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The main importance of ticks resides in their ability to harbor pathogens that can be transmitted to terrestrial vertebrates including humans. Recently, studies have focused on the taxonomic and functional composition of the tick microbiome, its microbial diversity and variation under different factors including tick species, sex, and environment a...
Article
Humans evolved by losing the capacity to synthesize the glycan Galα1-3Galβ1-(3)4GlcNAc-R (α-Gal), which resulted in the development of a protective response mediated by anti-α-Gal IgM/IgG/IgA antibodies against pathogens containing this modification on membrane proteins. As an evolutionary trade-off, humans can develop the alpha-Gal syndrome (AGS),...
Article
Full-text available
Ticks and the pathogens they transmit, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and helminths, constitute a growing burden for human and animal health worldwide. The ability of some animal species to acquire resistance to blood-feeding by ticks after a single or repeated infestation is known as acquired tick resistance (ATR). This resistance has been...
Preprint
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Anti-tick microbiota vaccines have been shown to impact tick feeding but its specificity has not been demonstrated. In this study we aimed to investigate the impact of immune targeting of keystone microbiota bacteria on tick performance, and tick microbiota structure and function. Vaccination against Escherichia coli, the selected keystone taxon, i...
Article
Ehrlichia spp. are important tick-borne pathogens of animals in Brazil, and Ehrlichia canis is the most prevalent species infecting dogs. Moreover, Ehrlichia minasensis has also recently been identified as a novel ehrlichial agent that infects cattle in Brazil. The objective of this study was to determine whether dogs could be infected by E. minase...
Article
Full-text available
Ticks and tick-borne diseases (TBDs) represent a burden for human and animal health worldwide. Currently, vaccines constitute the safest and most effective approach to control ticks and TBDs. Subolesin (SUB) has been identified as a vaccine antigen for the control of tick infestations and pathogen infection and transmission. The characterization of...
Article
Full-text available
Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common tick-borne disease in Serbia and other European countries. Rabies is a fatal zoonosis distributed worldwide and is caused by the rabies virus. Professionals at risk of rabies—including veterinarians, hunters, communal service workers, and forestry workers—overlap with some professions at a higher risk of exp...
Article
Full-text available
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), caused by the TBE virus (TBEV), is a life-threatening disease with clinical symptoms ranging from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous system. Despite TBE is a notifiable disease in Serbia since 2004, there is no active TBE surveillance program for the serologic or molecular screening of TBEV inf...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Ehrlichia includes tick-borne bacterial pathogens affecting humans, domestic and wild mammals. Ehrlichia minasensis has been identified in different animal species and geographical locations, suggesting that this is a widely distributed and generalist Ehrlichia. In the present study, we evaluated Ehrlichial infection in 148 Equidae presen...
Article
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Despite the advances and potential impact that new vaccines represent for the prevention and control of COVID-19, interventions boosting the immune response to α-Gal with a broader and not pathogen-specific immunity may contribute not only to the control of COVID-19 but also to potential re-infections by SARS-CoV-2-related genetic variants or other...
Article
Full-text available
Neuropeptides are small signaling molecules expressed in the tick central nervous system, i.e., the synganglion. The neuronal-like Ixodes scapularis embryonic cell line, ISE6, is an effective tool frequently used for examining tick–pathogen interactions. We detected 37 neuropeptide transcripts in the I. scapularis ISE6 cell line using in silico met...
Article
Humans evolved by losing the capacity to synthesize the glycan Galα1-3Galβ1-(3)4GlcNAc-R (α-Gal), which resulted in the capacity to develop a protective response mediated by anti-α-Gal IgM/IgG antibodies against pathogens containing this modification on membrane proteins. As an evolutionary trade-off, humans can develop the alpha-Gal syndrome (AGS)...
Article
Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) pose a major threat to human health in Europe and the whole northern hemisphere. Despite a high prevalence of TBPs in Ixodes ricinus ticks, knowledge on the incidence of tick-borne diseases in humans infested by this tick species is limited. This study was conducted in the year 2019 on patients who presented themselves t...
Chapter
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This expert opinion focuses on the possible impact of climate change on the tick microbiome, with potential consequences for disease ecology. Within the text, 'microbiome' refers to the microorganisms and their genes, whereas 'microbiota' only refers to the microbes themselves. 'Holobiont' refers to the close association between host and microbes,...
Article
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There are several reports of the onset of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Previously, we reported that reduction in anti-α-Gal IgE, IgM and IgG antibody titers and alteration of anti-α-Gal antibody isotype composition correlated with COVID-19 severity. In this case study, we aimed to compare the anti-α-Gal antibody resp...
Article
Full-text available
Humans evolved by losing the capacity to synthesize the glycan Galα1-3Galβ1-(3)4GlcNAc-R (α-Gal), which resulted in the development of a protective response mediated by anti-α-Gal IgM/IgG/IgA antibodies against pathogens containing this modification on membrane proteins. As an evolutionary trade-off, humans can develop the alpha-Gal syndrome (AGS),...
Article
Full-text available
The tick microbiota is a highly complex ensemble of interacting microorganisms. Keystone taxa, with a central role in the microbial networks, support the stability and fitness of the microbial communities. The keystoneness of taxa in the tick microbiota can be inferred from microbial co-occurrence networks. Microbes with high centrality indexes are...
Article
Full-text available
The taxonomic composition and diversity of tick midgut microbiota have been extensively studied in different species of the genera Rhipicephalus, Ixodes, Amblyomma, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma, Dermacentor, Argas and Ornithodoros, while the functional significance of bacterial diversity has been proportionally less explored. In this study, we used prev...
Article
Full-text available
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has affected millions of people worldwide. Considerably lower prevalence and fatality rates resulting from COVID-19 are reported in Africa and Asia than in the industrialized world. In this Viewpoint, we discuss the poss...
Article
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Ticks and tick-borne diseases (TTBDis) are a major constraint to the health and production of small ruminants in Pakistan. Despite being the subject of intermittent studies over the past few decades, comprehensive information on the epidemiology and control of TTBDis is lacking. Herein, we have systematically reviewed the current knowledge on TTBDi...
Article
Full-text available
Blood feeding arthropods are a highly diverse group of animals that use blood as the main nutrient source. During this process, they transmit various viral, bacterial and protozoal pathogens that are responsible for some of the worlds' deadliest diseases leading to millions of human deaths as well as that of livestock every year. Understanding the...