The Tick Cell Biobank: Arthropod Vector Cell Lines for Human and Animal Health


  • Dr Benjamin Makepeace

    University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

  • Prof Alistair Darby

    University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

  • Dr Van Lun Low

    University of Malaya, Malaysia

Project summary

Arthropods such as ticks, insects and mites transmit many serious diseases, caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites, to humans and domestic animals. Cell lines derived from these arthropods are important research tools in the battle to control disease, reducing the need for laboratory animals and allowing research groups, especially those in lower- and middle-income countries who cannot afford expensive experimental animal and arthropod-rearing facilities, to carry out important studies on both arthropods and pathogens. In the Tick Cell Biobank (TCB), a unique global biomedical resource, we generate, store, characterise and distribute these arthropod cell lines, and training in their maintenance, to scientists worldwide. In this project we will characterise our novel tick and insect cell lines to improve their applicability and continue to maintain and develop the TCB as a global resource, allowing scientists to grow arthropod-borne pathogens in the laboratory and learn how they interact with their vectors.