A proteomics approach was employed to identify proteins secreted into the hemolymph of Ornithodorus savignyi ticks 2 h after immune-challenge with the yeast, Candida albicans. Profiling of the proteins present in hemolymph of unchallenged ticks versus ticks challenged with heat-killed yeast revealed five proteins to be differentially expressed. The modulated protein spots were subjected to tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis, but could not be positively identified. These proteins can be assigned to the
immune response as they were not induced after aseptic injury. In an attempt to identify
hemolymph proteins that recognize and bind to yeast cells, hemolymph obtained from both
unchallenged and challenged ticks was incubated with C. albicans. Elution of the bound proteins followed by SDS–PAGE analysis indicated that three proteins (97, 88 and 26 kDa) present in both unchallenged and challenged hemolymph samples bind to yeast cells. The constant presence of these three proteins in tick hemolymph leads us to believe that they may be involved in non-self recognition and participate in yeast clearance from tick plasma. The analyzed yeast-binding proteins could also not be positively identified, suggesting that all the tick immune proteins investigated in this study are novel.