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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


VELASQUEZ, Juan José; NAVARRO-VARGAS, José Ricardo  and  MONCADA, Ligia. Potential pharmacological use of salivary compounds from hematophagous organisms. [online]. 2017, vol.65, n.3, pp.501-505. ISSN 0120-0011.


The saliva of hematophagous or blood-sucking insects contains different substances that allow obtaining and ingesting the blood of their vertebrate hosts without being detected.


To explore the salivary compounds of hematophagous insects which have vasodilator, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anesthetic properties, and that can be exploited due to their high pharmacological potential.

Materials and methods:

A non-systematic literature review was done in PubMed, EMBASE, and ScienceDirect OvidSP; data was not limited by date, language nor item type. Articles on salivary compounds of blood-sucking insects, whose main topic was the effects on hemostasis, immunomodulation and drug use, were sought. 59 articles met the criteria for inclusion in the review.


The saliva of hematophagous insects has a wide variety of molecules that constitute a source of research and have an incalculable potential for the discovery of compounds that could be pharmacologically useful.

Keywords : Saliva; Pharmacology; Anticoagulants; Vasodilators; Anti-inflammatory; Anesthetics (MeSH).

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