Comparative analysis of hemocyte phagocytosis between six species of arthropods as measured by flow cytometry

Jonathan D. Oliver, J. Dusty Loy, Grishma Parikh, Lyric Bartholomay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Phagocytosis of pathogens by hemocytes is a rapid-acting immune response and represents a primary means of limiting microbial infection in some species of arthropods. To survey the relative capacity of hemocyte phagocytosis as a function of the arthropod immune response, we examined the extent of phagocytosis among a wide taxonomic range of arthropod species including a decapod crustacean (Litopenaeus vannamei), three ixodid tick species (Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis), a mosquito species (Aedes aegypti), and a larval moth (Manduca sexta). Injected fluorescent beads were used as a model to elicit phagocytosis and were measured by flow cytometry, a technique provided in detail that may be adapted for use with any species of arthropod. The data indicated that smaller arthropods generally had a higher proportion of phagocytic cells than larger arthropods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-130
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ticks were obtained from the Oklahoma State University Tick Rearing Facility. Larval M. sexta were provided by the Iowa State University Insect Zoo. This journal paper of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa, Project 5111, is based upon work supported by the Hatch Act and State of Iowa funds. Flow cytometry was performed at the Iowa State University Flow Cytometry Facility by Shawn Rigby.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Flow cytometry
  • Hemocyte
  • Immune response
  • Immunity
  • Phagocytosis


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