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Sample records for fever spirochete borrelia

  1. Detection of a Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato relapsing-fever group spirochete from Ixodes pacificus in California.

    PubMed

    Mun, Jeomhee; Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Lane, Robert S

    2006-01-01

    We investigated whether host-seeking nymphs and adults of the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, the primary vector of Lyme disease spirochetes in far-western North America, are infected naturally with relapsing-fever group spirochetes in Mendocino County, California. Relapsing-fever group borreliae were detected in four (1.7%) of 234 nymphal and two (0.7%) of 282 adult host-seeking I. pacificus ticks by polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA and flagellin genes, respectively, exhibiting 99 and 98.5% sequence homology to Borrelia miyamotoi Fukunaga. Phylogenetic analysis based on these two genes revealed that the borreliae detected in these ticks belong to the relapsing-fever group and that these are closely related to, if not identical with, B. miyamotoi. PMID:16506458

  2. Tick Surveillance for Relapsing Fever Spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi in Hokkaido, Japan

    PubMed Central

    Konnai, Satoru; Ohashi, Kazuhiko; Nakao, Minoru; Ito, Takuya; Andoh, Masako; Maeda, Ken; Watarai, Masahisa; Sato, Kozue; Kawabata, Hiroki

    2014-01-01

    During 2012–2013, a total of 4325 host-seeking adult ticks belonging to the genus Ixodes were collected from various localities of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Tick lysates were subjected to real-time PCR assay to detect borrelial infection. The assay was designed for specific detection of the Relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi and for unspecific detection of Lyme disease-related spirochetes. Overall prevalence of B. miyamotoi was 2% (71/3532) in Ixodes persulcatus, 4.3% (5/117) in Ixodes pavlovskyi and 0.1% (1/676) in Ixodes ovatus. The prevalence in I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi ticks were significantly higher than in I. ovatus. Co-infections with Lyme disease-related spirochetes were found in all of the tick species. During this investigation, we obtained 6 isolates of B. miyamotoi from I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi by culture in BSK-M medium. Phylogenetic trees of B. miyamotoi inferred from each of 3 housekeeping genes (glpQ, 16S rDNA, and flaB) demonstrated that the Hokkaido isolates were clustered with Russian B. miyamotoi, but were distinguishable from North American and European B. miyamotoi. A multilocus sequence analysis using 8 genes (clpA, clpX, nifS, pepX, pyrG, recG, rplB, and uvrA) suggested that all Japanese B. miyamotoi isolates, including past isolates, were genetically clonal, although these were isolated from different tick and vertebrate sources. From these results, B. miyamotoi-infected ticks are widely distributed throughout Hokkaido. Female I. persulcatus are responsible for most human tick-bites, thereby I. persulcatus is likely the most important vector of indigenous relapsing fever from tick bites in Hokkaido. PMID:25111141

  3. Chromosome and Linear Plasmid Sequences of a 2015 Human Isolate of the Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Spirochete, Borrelia turicatae

    PubMed Central

    Batra, Dhwani; Replogle, Adam; Sexton, Christopher; Rowe, Lori; Stermole, Benjamin M.; Christensen, Anna M.

    2016-01-01

    The sequences of the complete linear chromosome and 7 linear plasmids of the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia turicatae are presented in this report. The 925,547 bp of chromosome and 380,211 bp of plasmid sequence were predicted to contain a total of 1,131 open reading frames, with an average G+C content of 29.7%. PMID:27417836

  4. Chromosome and Linear Plasmid Sequences of a 2015 Human Isolate of the Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Spirochete, Borrelia turicatae.

    PubMed

    Kingry, Luke C; Batra, Dhwani; Replogle, Adam; Sexton, Christopher; Rowe, Lori; Stermole, Benjamin M; Christensen, Anna M; Schriefer, Martin E

    2016-01-01

    The sequences of the complete linear chromosome and 7 linear plasmids of the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia turicatae are presented in this report. The 925,547 bp of chromosome and 380,211 bp of plasmid sequence were predicted to contain a total of 1,131 open reading frames, with an average G+C content of 29.7%. PMID:27417836

  5. Variable Tick Protein in Two Genomic Groups of the Relapsing Fever Spirochete Borrelia hermsii in Western North America

    PubMed Central

    Porcella, Stephen F.; Raffel, Sandra J.; Anderson, Donald E.; Gilk, Stacey D.; Bono, James L.; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2005-01-01

    Borrelia hermsii is the primary cause of tick-borne relapsing fever in North America. When its tick vector, Ornithodoros hermsi, acquires these spirochetes from the blood of an infected mammal, the bacteria switch their outer surface from one of many bloodstream variable major proteins (Vmps) to a unique protein, Vtp (Vsp33). Vtp may be critical for successful tick transmission of B. hermsii; however, the gene encoding this protein has been described previously in only one isolate. Here we identified and sequenced the vtp gene in 31 isolates of B. hermsii collected over 40 years from localities throughout much of its known geographic distribution. Seven major Vtp types were found. Little or no sequence variation existed within types, but between them significant variation was observed, similar to the pattern of diversity described for the outer surface protein C (OspC) gene in Lyme disease spirochetes. The pattern of sequence relatedness among the Vtp types was incongruent in two branches compared to two genomic groups identified among the isolates by multilocus sequence typing of the 16S rRNA, flaB, gyrB, and glpQ genes. Therefore, both horizontal transfer and recombination within and between the two genomic groups were responsible for some of the variation observed in the vtp gene. O. hermsi ticks were capable of transmitting spirochetes in the newly identified genomic group. Therefore, given the longevity of the tick vector and persistent infection of spirochetes in ticks, these arthropods rather than mammals may be the likely host where the exchange of spirochetal DNA occurs. PMID:16177341

  6. Endemic Foci of the Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Spirochete Borrelia crocidurae in Mali, West Africa, and the Potential for Human Infection

    PubMed Central

    Schwan, Tom G.; Anderson, Jennifer M.; Lopez, Job E.; Fischer, Robert J.; Raffel, Sandra J.; McCoy, Brandi N.; Safronetz, David; Sogoba, Nafomon; Maïga, Ousmane; Traoré, Sékou F.

    2012-01-01

    Background Tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes are maintained in endemic foci that involve a diversity of small mammals and argasid ticks in the genus Ornithodoros. Most epidemiological studies of tick-borne relapsing fever in West Africa caused by Borrelia crocidurae have been conducted in Senegal. The risk for humans to acquire relapsing fever in Mali is uncertain, as only a few human cases have been identified. Given the high incidence of malaria in Mali, and the potential to confuse the clinical diagnosis of these two diseases, we initiated studies to determine if there were endemic foci of relapsing fever spirochetes that could pose a risk for human infection. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated 20 villages across southern Mali for the presence of relapsing fever spirochetes. Small mammals were captured, thin blood smears were examined microscopically for spirochetes, and serum samples were tested for antibodies to relapsing fever spirochetes. Ornithodoros sonrai ticks were collected and examined for spirochetal infection. In total, 11.0% of the 663 rodents and 14.3% of the 63 shrews tested were seropositive and 2.2% of the animals had active spirochete infections when captured. In the Bandiagara region, the prevalence of infection was higher with 35% of the animals seropositive and 10% infected. Here also Ornithodoros sonrai were abundant and 17.3% of 278 individual ticks tested were infected with Borrelia crocidurae. Fifteen isolates of B. crocidurae were established and characterized by multi-locus sequence typing. Conclusions/Significance The potential for human tick-borne relapsing fever exists in many areas of southern Mali. PMID:23209863

  7. Relapsing Fever Borreliae in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Elbir, Haitham; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2013-01-01

    The study of relapsing fever borreliae in Africa has long suffered from the use of non-specific laboratory tools for the direct detection of these spirochetes in clinical and vector specimens. Accordingly, Borrelia hispanica, Borrelia crocidurae, Borrelia duttonii, and Borrelia recurrentis have traditionally been distinguished on the basis of geography and vector and the unproven hypothesis that each species was exclusive to one vector. The recent sequencing of three relapsing fever Borrelia genomes in our laboratory prompted the development of more specific tools and a reappraisal of the epidemiology in Africa. Five additional potential species still need to be cultured from clinical and vector sources in East Africa to further assess their uniqueness. Here, we review the molecular evidence of relapsing fever borreliae in hosts and ectoparasites in Africa and explore the diversity, geographical distribution, and vector association of these pathogens for Africans and travelers to Africa. PMID:23926141

  8. Inactivation of genes for antigenic variation in the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia hermsii reduces infectivity in mice and transmission by ticks.

    PubMed

    Raffel, Sandra J; Battisti, James M; Fischer, Robert J; Schwan, Tom G

    2014-04-01

    Borrelia hermsii, a causative agent of relapsing fever of humans in western North America, is maintained in enzootic cycles that include small mammals and the tick vector Ornithodoros hermsi. In mammals, the spirochetes repeatedly evade the host's acquired immune response by undergoing antigenic variation of the variable major proteins (Vmps) produced on their outer surface. This mechanism prolongs spirochete circulation in blood, which increases the potential for acquisition by fast-feeding ticks and therefore perpetuation of the spirochete in nature. Antigenic variation also underlies the relapsing disease observed when humans are infected. However, most spirochetes switch off the bloodstream Vmp and produce a different outer surface protein, the variable tick protein (Vtp), during persistent infection in the tick salivary glands. Thus the production of Vmps in mammalian blood versus Vtp in ticks is a dominant feature of the spirochete's alternating life cycle. We constructed two mutants, one which was unable to produce a Vmp and the other was unable to produce Vtp. The mutant lacking a Vmp constitutively produced Vtp, was attenuated in mice, produced lower cell densities in blood, and was unable to relapse in animals after its initial spirochetemia. This mutant also colonized ticks and was infectious by tick-bite, but remained attenuated compared to wild-type and reconstituted spirochetes. The mutant lacking Vtp also colonized ticks but produced neither Vtp nor a Vmp in tick salivary glands, which rendered the spirochete noninfectious by tick bite. Thus the ability of B. hermsii to produce Vmps prolonged its survival in blood, while the synthesis of Vtp was essential for mammalian infection by the bite of its tick vector. PMID:24699793

  9. Inactivation of Genes for Antigenic Variation in the Relapsing Fever Spirochete Borrelia hermsii Reduces Infectivity in Mice and Transmission by Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Raffel, Sandra J.; Battisti, James M.; Fischer, Robert J.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia hermsii, a causative agent of relapsing fever of humans in western North America, is maintained in enzootic cycles that include small mammals and the tick vector Ornithodoros hermsi. In mammals, the spirochetes repeatedly evade the host’s acquired immune response by undergoing antigenic variation of the variable major proteins (Vmps) produced on their outer surface. This mechanism prolongs spirochete circulation in blood, which increases the potential for acquisition by fast-feeding ticks and therefore perpetuation of the spirochete in nature. Antigenic variation also underlies the relapsing disease observed when humans are infected. However, most spirochetes switch off the bloodstream Vmp and produce a different outer surface protein, the variable tick protein (Vtp), during persistent infection in the tick salivary glands. Thus the production of Vmps in mammalian blood versus Vtp in ticks is a dominant feature of the spirochete’s alternating life cycle. We constructed two mutants, one which was unable to produce a Vmp and the other was unable to produce Vtp. The mutant lacking a Vmp constitutively produced Vtp, was attenuated in mice, produced lower cell densities in blood, and was unable to relapse in animals after its initial spirochetemia. This mutant also colonized ticks and was infectious by tick-bite, but remained attenuated compared to wild-type and reconstituted spirochetes. The mutant lacking Vtp also colonized ticks but produced neither Vtp nor a Vmp in tick salivary glands, which rendered the spirochete noninfectious by tick bite. Thus the ability of B. hermsii to produce Vmps prolonged its survival in blood, while the synthesis of Vtp was essential for mammalian infection by the bite of its tick vector. PMID:24699793

  10. Periplasmic Flagellar Export Apparatus Protein, FliH, Is Involved in Post-Transcriptional Regulation of FlaB, Motility and Virulence of the Relapsing Fever Spirochete Borrelia hermsii

    PubMed Central

    Guyard, Cyril; Raffel, Sandra J.; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Dahlstrom, Eric; Sturdevant, Daniel; Ricklefs, Stacy M.; Martens, Craig; Hayes, Stanley F.; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Hansen, Bryan T.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2013-01-01

    Spirochetes are bacteria characterized in part by rotating periplasmic flagella that impart their helical or flat-wave morphology and motility. While most other bacteria rely on a transcriptional cascade to regulate the expression of motility genes, spirochetes employ post-transcriptional mechanism(s) that are only partially known. In the present study, we characterize a spontaneous non-motile mutant of the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia hermsii that was straight, non-motile and deficient in periplasmic flagella. We used next generation DNA sequencing of the mutant’s genome, which when compared to the wild-type genome identified a 142 bp deletion in the chromosomal gene encoding the flagellar export apparatus protein FliH. Immunoblot and transcription analyses showed that the mutant phenotype was linked to the posttranscriptional deficiency in the synthesis of the major periplasmic flagellar filament core protein FlaB. Despite the lack of FlaB, the amount of FlaA produced by the fliH mutant was similar to the wild-type level. The turnover of the residual pool of FlaB produced by the fliH mutant was comparable to the wild-type spirochete. The non-motile mutant was not infectious in mice and its inoculation did not induce an antibody response. Trans-complementation of the mutant with an intact fliH gene restored the synthesis of FlaB, a normal morphology, motility and infectivity in mice. Therefore, we propose that the flagellar export apparatus protein regulates motility of B. hermsii at the post-transcriptional level by influencing the synthesis of FlaB. PMID:24009690

  11. Relapsing Fever Borreliae: A Global Review.

    PubMed

    Cutler, Sally J

    2015-12-01

    Relapsing fever borreliae were notorious and feared infectious agents that earned their place in history through their devastating impact as causes of both epidemic and endemic infection. They are now considered more as an oddity, and their burden of infection is largely overshadowed by other infections such as malaria, which presents in a similar clinical way. Despite this, they remain the most common bacterial infection in some developing countries. Transmitted by soft ticks or lice, these fascinating spirochetes have evolved a myriad of mechanisms to survive within their diverse environments. PMID:26593261

  12. Characterization of a Novel Relapsing Fever Spirochete in the Midgut, Coxal Fluid, and Salivary Glands of the Bat Tick Carios kelleyi

    PubMed Central

    Raffel, Sandra J.; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Gill, James S.; Piesman, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Bat ticks, Carios kelleyi, from Iowa were examined for the presence of relapsing fever group borreliae. A novel spirochete was characterized by DNA sequence analysis of polymerase chain reaction amplicons for the 16S rRNA, flaB, and glpQ genes in either triturated tick pools or single ticks. All loci and the concatenated DNA sequence of 3,289 bases identified the Carios bacterium as a relapsing fever spirochete most closely related to, but distinct from, Borrelia turicatae. Spirochetes reactive with a Borrelia-specific monoclonal antibody were observed microscopically in the coxal fluid and salivary glands from one tick. These data confirm the presence of a novel species of relapsing fever spirochete in bat ticks and the potential for new enzootic foci for endemic relapsing fever that warrants further investigation. The name Borrelia johnsonii is proposed for this novel spirochete in honor of Dr. Russell C. Johnson. PMID:19281412

  13. Borrelia hispanica Relapsing Fever, Morocco

    PubMed Central

    Sarih, M’hammed; Garnier, Martine; Boudebouch, Najma; Bouattour, Ali; Rihani, Abdelaziz; Hassar, Mohammed; Gern, Lise; Postic, Danièle

    2009-01-01

    We found that 20.5% of patients with an unexplained fever in northwestern Morocco had tick-borne relapsing fever. Molecular detection specific for the 16S rRNA gene identified Borrelia hispanica. The noncoding intergenic spacer sequence domain showed high sensitivity and good resolution for this species. PMID:19861058

  14. Borrelia hispanica relapsing fever, Morocco.

    PubMed

    Sarih, M'hammed; Garnier, Martine; Boudebouch, Najma; Bouattour, Ali; Rihani, Abdelaziz; Hassar, Mohammed; Gern, Lise; Postic, Danièle; Cornet, Muriel

    2009-10-01

    We found that 20.5% of patients with an unexplained fever in northwestern Morocco had tick-borne relapsing fever. Molecular detection specific for the 16S rRNA gene identified Borrelia hispanica. The noncoding intergenic spacer sequence domain showed high sensitivity and good resolution for this species. PMID:19861058

  15. Relapsing Fever Spirochetes Retain Infectivity After Prolonged in vitro Cultivation

    PubMed Central

    Schrumpf, Merry E.; Raffel, Sandra J.; Policastro, Paul F.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Borrelia hermsii and Borrelia burgdorferi, two closely related spirochetes, are the etiological agents of tick-borne relapsing fever and Lyme disease, respectively. Previous studies have shown the loss of infectivity of B. burgdorferi is associated with in vitro cultivation. This diminished infectivity of B. burgdorferi has occurred as early as three in vitro passages, and the loss of plasmids have been observed with these less virulent to noninfective cultures. The effects of long-term in vitro cultivation on B. hermsii have not been investigated. However, understanding the degree of genomic degradation during in vitro cultivation is important for investigating pathogenic mechanisms of spirochetes. In this study, we analyzed the effects of continuous in vitro cultivation on the genomic composition and infectivity of B. hermsii and B. turicatae. We report that all seven isolates of B. hermsii and the one isolate of B. turicatae examined retained infectivity in mice after 1 year of continuous in vitro cultivation. Furthermore, there were few apparent differences in the plasmid profiles after long-term cultivation. Two isolates of B. hermsii remained infective after high passage despite losing a portion of the 200-kb linear plasmid containing the fhbA gene encoding the factor H binding protein. Also, sequence analysis of multiple B. hermsii isolates demonstrated two types of fhbA with complete congruence with the two genomic groups of B. hermsii spirochetes. Therefore, these results suggest that relapsing fever spirochetes are genetically stable during in vitro cultivation, and the fhbA-containing segment of DNA that is lost during cultivation is not required for infection. PMID:18637723

  16. Global ecology and epidemiology of Borrelia garinii spirochetes

    PubMed Central

    Comstedt, Pär; Jakobsson, Tobias; Bergström, Sven

    2011-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a tick-transmitted infectious disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s. l.). In Europe, three different Borrelia species are the main causative agents of LB: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia garinii. The latter depends heavily on birds as its main reservoir hosts. In fact, birds can act both as biological carriers of Borrelia and transporters of infected ticks. The seasonal migration of many bird species not only aid in the spread of B. garinii to new foci but also influence the high level of diversity found within this species. B. garinii have been isolated not only from terrestrial birds in Europe, but also from seabirds worldwide, and homology between isolates in these two different infection cycles suggests an overlap and exchange of strains. In addition, it has been shown that birds can maintain and spread B. garinii genotypes associated with LB in humans. This review article discusses the importance of birds in the ecology and epidemiology of B. garinii spirochetes. PMID:22957111

  17. A Novel Surface Antigen of Relapsing Fever Spirochetes Can Discriminate between Relapsing Fever and Lyme Borreliosis▿ † ‡

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Job E.; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Nagarajan, Vijayaraj; Raffel, Sandra J.; McCoy, Brandi N.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2010-01-01

    In a previous immunoproteome analysis of Borrelia hermsii, candidate antigens that bound IgM antibodies from mice and patients infected with relapsing fever spirochetes were identified. One candidate that was identified is a hypothetical protein with a molecular mass of 57 kDa that we have designated Borrelia immunogenic protein A (BipA). This protein was further investigated as a potential diagnostic antigen for B. hermsii given that it is absent from the Borrelia burgdorferi genome. The bipA locus was amplified and sequenced from 39 isolates of B. hermsii that had been acquired from western North America. bipA was also expressed as a recombinant fusion protein. Serum samples from mice and patients infected with B. hermsii or B. burgdorferi were used to confirm the immunogenicity of the recombinant protein in patients infected with relapsing fever spirochetes. Lastly, in silico and experimental analysis indicated that BipA is a surface-exposed lipoprotein in B. hermsii. These findings enhance the capabilities of diagnosing infection with relapsing fever spirochetes. PMID:20147497

  18. Cotransmission of Divergent Relapsing Fever Spirochetes by Artificially Infected Ornithodoros hermsi▿†

    PubMed Central

    Policastro, Paul F.; Raffel, Sandra J.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2011-01-01

    The soft tick Ornithodoros hermsi, which ranges in specific arboreal zones of western North America, acts as a vector for the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia hermsii. Two genomic groups (genomic group I [GGI] and GGII) of B. hermsii are differentiated by multilocus sequence typing yet are codistributed in much of the vector's range. To test whether the tick vector can be infected via immersion, noninfected, colony-derived O. hermsi larvae were exposed to reduced-humidity conditions before immersion in culture suspensions of several GGI and GGII isolates. We tested for spirochetes in ticks by immunofluorescence microscopy and in mouse blood by quantitative PCR of the vtp locus to differentiate spirochete genotypes. The immersed larval ticks were capable of spirochete transmission to mice at the first nymphal feeding. Tick infection with mixed cultures of isolates DAH (vtp-6) (GGI) and MTW-2 (vtp-5) (GGII) resulted in ticks that caused spirochetemias in mice consisting of MTW-2 or both DAH and MTW-2. These findings show that this soft tick species can acquire B. hermsii by immersion in spirochete suspensions, that GGI and GGII isolates can coinfect the tick vector by this method, and that these spirochetes can be cotransmitted to a rodent host. PMID:21965393

  19. Louse-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia recurrentis) in asylum seekers from Eritrea, the Netherlands, July 2015.

    PubMed

    Wilting, K R; Stienstra, Y; Sinha, B; Braks, M; Cornish, D; Grundmann, H

    2015-01-01

    Two patients from Eritrea, recently arrived in the Netherlands, presented with fever and were investigated for malaria. Bloodfilms showed spirochetes but no blood parasites. Louse-borne relapsing fever caused by Borrelia recurrentis was diagnosed. Treatment was complicated by severe Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions in both patients. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of B. recurrentis infection in migrant populations who travel under crowded conditions, especially after passing through endemic areas such as Ethiopia and neighbouring countries. PMID:26250069

  20. Cystitis induced by infection with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in mice.

    PubMed Central

    Czub, S.; Duray, P. H.; Thomas, R. E.; Schwan, T. G.

    1992-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the urinary bladder is a consistent source for isolating the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, from both experimentally infected and naturally exposed rodents. We examined histopathologic changes in the urinary bladder of different types of rodents experimentally infected with Lyme spirochetes, including BALB/c mice (Mus musculus), nude mice (M. musculus), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), and grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster). Animals were inoculated intraperitoneally, subcutaneously, or intranasally with low-passaged spirochetes, high-passaged spirochetes, or phosphate-buffered saline. At various times after inoculation, animals were killed and approximately one-half of each urinary bladder and kidney were cultured separately in BSK-II medium while the other half of each organ was prepared for histologic examination. Spirochetes were cultured from the urinary bladder of all 35 mice inoculated with low-passaged spirochetes while we were unable to isolate spirochetes from any kidneys of the same mice. The pathologic changes observed most frequently in the urinary bladder of the infected mice were the presence of lymphoid aggregates, vascular changes, including an increase in the number of vessels and thickening of the vessel walls, and perivascular infiltrates. Our results demonstrate that nearly all individuals (93%) of the four types of mice examined had a cystitis associated with spirochetal infection. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:1443051

  1. Early Cytokine Release in Response to Live Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Spirochetes Is Largely Complement Independent

    PubMed Central

    Säve, Susanne; Bergström, Sven; Forsberg, Pia; Jonsson, Nina; Ernerudh, Jan; Ekdahl, Kristina N.

    2014-01-01

    Aim Here we investigated the role of complement activation in phagocytosis and the release of cytokines and chemokines in response to two clinical isolates: Borrelia afzelii K78, which is resistant to complement-mediated lysis, and Borrelia garinii LU59, which is complement-sensitive. Methods Borrelia spirochetes were incubated in hirudin plasma, or hirudin-anticoagulated whole blood. Complement activation was measured as the generation of C3a and sC5b-9. Binding of the complement components C3, factor H, C4, and C4BP to the bacterial surfaces was analyzed. The importance of complement activation on phagocytosis, and on the release of cytokines and chemokines, was investigated using inhibitors acting at different levels of the complement cascade. Results 1) Borrelia garinii LU59 induced significantly higher complement activation than did Borrelia afzelii K78. 2) Borrelia afzelii K78 recruited higher amounts of factor H resulting in significantly lower C3 binding. 3) Both Borrelia strains were efficiently phagocytized by granulocytes and monocytes, with substantial inhibition by complement blockade at the levels of C3 and C5. 4) The release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines IL-1β, IL-6, TNF, CCL20, and CXCL8, together with the anti-inflammatory IL-10, were increased the most (by>10-fold after exposure to Borrelia). 5) Both strains induced a similar release of cytokines and chemokines, which in contrast to the phagocytosis, was almost totally unaffected by complement blockade. Conclusions Our results show that complement activation plays an important role in the process of phagocytosis but not in the subsequent cytokine release in response to live Borrelia spirochetes. PMID:25265036

  2. Destruction of spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi round-body propagules (RBs) by the antibiotic Tigecycline

    PubMed Central

    Brorson, Øystein; Brorson, Sverre-Henning; Scythes, John; MacAllister, James; Wier, Andrew; Margulis, Lynn

    2009-01-01

    Persistence of tissue spirochetes of Borrelia burgdorferi as helices and round bodies (RBs) explains many erythema-Lyme disease symptoms. Spirochete RBs (reproductive propagules also called coccoid bodies, globular bodies, spherical bodies, granules, cysts, L-forms, sphaeroplasts, or vesicles) are induced by environmental conditions unfavorable for growth. Viable, they grow, move and reversibly convert into motile helices. Reversible pleiomorphy was recorded in at least six spirochete genera (>12 species). Penicillin solution is one unfavorable condition that induces RBs. This antibiotic that inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis cures neither the second “Great Imitator” (Lyme borreliosis) nor the first: syphilis. Molecular-microscopic techniques, in principle, can detect in animals (insects, ticks, and mammals, including patients) helices and RBs of live spirochetes. Genome sequences of B. burgdorferi and Treponema pallidum spirochetes show absence of >75% of genes in comparison with their free-living relatives. Irreversible integration of spirochetes at behavioral, metabolic, gene product and genetic levels into animal tissue has been documented. Irreversible integration of spirochetes may severely impair immunological response such that they persist undetected in tissue. We report in vitro inhibition and destruction of B. burgdorferi (helices, RBs = “cysts”) by the antibiotic Tigecycline (TG; Wyeth), a glycylcycline protein-synthesis inhibitor (of both 30S and 70S ribosome subunits). Studies of the pleiomorphic life history stages in response to TG of both B. burgdorferi and Treponema pallidum in vivo and in vitro are strongly encouraged. PMID:19843691

  3. Beta-Amyloid Deposition and Alzheimer's Type Changes Induced by Borrelia Spirochetes

    SciTech Connect

    Miklossy,J.; Kis, A.; Radenovic, A.; Miller, L.; Forro, L.; Martins, R.; Reiss, K.; Darbinian, N.; Darekar, P.; et al.

    2006-01-01

    The pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) consist of {beta}-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in affected brain areas. The processes, which drive this host reaction are unknown. To determine whether an analogous host reaction to that occurring in AD could be induced by infectious agents, we exposed mammalian glial and neuronal cells in vitro to Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes and to the inflammatory bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Morphological changes analogous to the amyloid deposits of AD brain were observed following 2-8 weeks of exposure to the spirochetes. Increased levels of {beta}-amyloid presursor protein (A{beta}PP) and hyperphosphorylated tau were also detected by Western blots of extracts of cultured cells that had been treated with spirochetes or LPS. These observations indicate that, by exposure to bacteria or to their toxic products, host responses similar in nature to those observed in AD may be induced.

  4. Tick-borne Relapsing Fever and Borrelia hermsii, Los Angeles County, California, USA

    PubMed Central

    Raffel, Sandra J.; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Webster, Larry S.; Marques, Adriana R.; Spano, Robyn; Rood, Michael; Burns, Joe; Hu, Renjie

    2009-01-01

    The primary cause of tick-borne relapsing fever in western North America is Borrelia hermsii, a rodent-associated spirochete transmitted by the fast-feeding soft tick Ornithodoros hermsi. We describe a patient who had an illness consistent with relapsing fever after exposure in the mountains near Los Angeles, California, USA. The patient’s convalescent-phase serum was seropositive for B. hermsii but negative for several other vector-borne bacterial pathogens. Investigations at the exposure site showed the presence of O. hermsi ticks infected with B. hermsii and the presence of rodents that were seropositive for the spirochete. We determined that this tick-borne disease is endemic to the San Gabriel Mountains near the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. PMID:19624916

  5. Comparative Genome Analysis of the Pathogenic Spirochetes Borrelia burgdorferi and Treponema pallidum

    PubMed Central

    Subramanian, G.; Koonin, Eugene V.; Aravind, L.

    2000-01-01

    A comparative analysis of the predicted protein sequences encoded in the complete genomes of Borrelia burgdorferi and Treponema pallidum provides a number of insights into evolutionary trends and adaptive strategies of the two spirochetes. A measure of orthologous relationships between gene sets, termed the orthology coefficient (OC), was developed. The overall OC value for the gene sets of the two spirochetes is about 0.43, which means that less than one-half of the genes show readily detectable orthologous relationships. This emphasizes significant divergence between the two spirochetes, apparently driven by different biological niches. Different functional categories of proteins as well as different protein families show a broad distribution of OC values, from near 1 (a perfect, one-to-one correspondence) to near 0. The proteins involved in core biological functions, such as genome replication and expression, typically show high OC values. In contrast, marked variability is seen among proteins that are involved in specific processes, such as nutrient transport, metabolism, gene-specific transcription regulation, signal transduction, and host response. Differences in the gene complements encoded in the two spirochete genomes suggest active adaptive evolution for their distinct niches. Comparative analysis of the spirochete genomes produced evidence of gene exchanges with other bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotic hosts that seem to have occurred at different points in the evolution of the spirochetes. Examples are presented of the use of sequence profile analysis to predict proteins that are likely to play a role in pathogenesis, including secreted proteins that contain specific protein-protein interaction domains, such as von Willebrand A, YWTD, TPR, and PR1, some of which hitherto have been reported only in eukaryotes. We tentatively reconstruct the likely evolutionary process that has led to the divergence of the two spirochete lineages; this reconstruction seems

  6. TLR1/TLR2 heterodimers play an important role in the recognition of Borrelia spirochetes.

    PubMed

    Oosting, Marije; Ter Hofstede, Hadewych; Sturm, Patrick; Adema, Gosse J; Kullberg, Bart-Jan; van der Meer, Jos W M; Netea, Mihai G; Joosten, Leo A B

    2011-01-01

    After infection with Borrelia species, the risk for developing Lyme disease varies significantly between individuals. Recognition of Borrelia by the immune system is mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), such as TLRs. While TLR2 is the main recognition receptor for Borrelia spp., little is known about the role of TLR1 and TLR6, which both can form functionally active heterodimers with TLR2. Here we investigated the recognition of Borrelia by both murine and human TLR1 and TLR6. Peritoneal macrophages from TLR1- and TLR6- gene deficient mice were isolated and exposed to Borrelia. Human PBMCs were stimulated with Borrelia with or without specific TLR1 and TLR6 blocking using specific antibodies. Finally, the functional consequences of TLR polymorphisms on Borrelia-induced cytokine production were assessed. Splenocytes isolated from both TLR1-/- and TLR6-/- mice displayed a distorted Th1/Th2 cytokine balance after stimulation with B.burgdorferi, while no differences in pro-inflammatory cytokine production were observed. In contrast, blockade of TLR1 with specific neutralizing antibodies led to decreased cytokine production by human PBMCs after exposure to B.burgdorferi. Blockade of human TLR6 did not lead to suppression of cytokine production. When PBMCs from healthy individuals bearing polymorphisms in TLR1 were exposed to B.burgdorferi, a remarkably decreased in vitro cytokine production was observed in comparison to wild-type controls. TLR6 polymorphisms lead to a minor modified cytokine production. This study indicates a dominant role for TLR1/TLR2 heterodimers in the induction of the early inflammatory response by Borrelia spirochetes in humans. PMID:21998742

  7. African Relapsing Fever Borreliae Genomospecies Revealed by Comparative Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Elbir, Haitham; Abi-Rached, Laurent; Pontarotti, Pierre; Yoosuf, Niyaz; Drancourt, Michel

    2014-01-01

    Background: Relapsing fever borreliae are vector-borne bacteria responsible for febrile infection in humans in North America, Africa, Asia, and in the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Relapsing fever borreliae are phylogenetically closely related, yet they differ in pathogenicity and vectors. Their long-term taxonomy, based on geography and vector grouping, needs to be re-apprised in a genomic context. We therefore embarked into genomic analyses of relapsing fever borreliae, focusing on species found in Africa. Results: Genome-wide phylogenetic analyses group Old World Borrelia crocidurae, Borrelia hispanica, B. duttonii, and B. recurrentis in one clade, and New World Borrelia turicatae and Borrelia hermsii in a second clade. Accordingly, average nucleotide identity is 99% among B. duttonii, B. recurrentis, and B. crocidurae and 96% between latter borreliae and B. hispanica while the similarity is 86% between Old World and New World borreliae. Comparative genomics indicates that the Old World relapsing fever B. duttonii, B. recurrentis, B. crocidurae, and B. hispanica have a 2,514-gene pan genome and a 933-gene core genome that includes 788 chromosomal and 145 plasmidic genes. Analyzing the role that natural selection has played in the evolution of Old World borreliae species revealed that 55 loci were under positive diversifying selection, including loci coding for membrane, flagellar, and chemotaxis proteins, three categories associated with adaption to specific niches. Conclusion: Genomic analyses led to a reappraisal of the taxonomy of relapsing fever borreliae in Africa. These analyses suggest that B. crocidurae, B. duttonii, and B. recurrentis are ecotypes of a unique genomospecies, while B. hispanica is a distinct species. PMID:25229054

  8. Population Bottlenecks during the Infectious Cycle of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Rego, Ryan O. M.; Bestor, Aaron; Štefka, Jan; Rosa, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is a zoonotic pathogen whose maintenance in nature depends upon an infectious cycle that alternates between a tick vector and mammalian hosts. Lyme disease in humans results from transmission of B. burgdorferi by the bite of an infected tick. The population dynamics of B. burgdorferi throughout its natural infectious cycle are not well understood. We addressed this topic by assessing the colonization, dissemination and persistence of B. burgdorferi within and between the disparate mammalian and tick environments. To follow bacterial populations during infection, we generated seven isogenic but distinguishable B. burgdorferi clones, each with a unique sequence tag. These tags resulted in no phenotypic changes relative to wild type organisms, yet permitted highly sensitive and specific detection of individual clones by PCR. We followed the composition of the spirochete population throughout an experimental infectious cycle that was initiated with a mixed inoculum of all clones. We observed heterogeneity in the spirochete population disseminating within mice at very early time points, but all clones displayed the ability to colonize most mouse tissues by 3 weeks of infection. The complexity of clones subsequently declined as murine infection persisted. Larval ticks typically acquired a reduced and variable number of clones relative to what was present in infected mice at the time of tick feeding, and maintained the same spirochete population through the molt to nymphs. However, only a random subset of infectious spirochetes was transmitted to naïve mice when these ticks next fed. Our results clearly demonstrate that the spirochete population experiences stochastic bottlenecks during both acquisition and transmission by the tick vector, as well as during persistent infection of its murine host. The experimental system that we have developed can be used to further explore the forces that shape the population of this vector-borne bacterial pathogen

  9. Transovarial transmission of Borrelia spirochetes by Ixodes scapularis: a summary of the literature and recent observations.

    PubMed

    Rollend, Lindsay; Fish, Durland; Childs, James E

    2013-02-01

    Transovarial transmission (TOT) of Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), the agent of Lyme disease, by the Ixodes persulcatus group of hard ticks (Ixodidae) has frequently been reported in the literature since the discovery of Lyme disease 1982. Evidence for and against TOT by B. burgdorferi has led to uncertainty and confusion in the literature, causing misconceptions that may have public health consequences. In this report, we review the published information implicating B. burgdorferi as a bacterium transovarially transmitted among ticks of the Ixodes persulcatus group and present new data indicating the transovarially transmitted agent is actually Borrelia miyamotoi. B. miyamotoi, first described in 1995, is antigenically and phylogenetically related to B. burgdorferi, although more closely related to the relapsing fever-group Borrelia typically transmitted by soft ticks (Argasidae). Borrelia infections of unfed larvae derived from egg clutches of wild-caught Ixodes scapularis are demonstrated to result from transovarial transmission of B. miyamotoi, not B. burgdorferi. The presence of this second Borrelia species, apparently sympatric with B. burgdorferi worldwide also may explain other confusing observations reported on Borrelia/Ixodes relationships. PMID:23238242

  10. Confirmation of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes by polymerase chain reaction in placentas of women with reactive serology for Lyme antibodies.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, R; Bracero, L A; Aguero-Rosenfeld, M; Beneck, D; Coleman, J; Schwartz, I

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to determine whether Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes were present in placentas of asymptomatic women with reactive Lyme serology using a silver stain, and to confirm the identity of the spirochetes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sixty placentas of asymptomatic women with ELISA-positive or-equivocal serology for Lyme antibodies during pregnancy were examined for spirochetes using a silver stain. The results of the ELISA serology were confirmed by Western blot analysis. PCR amplification for B. burgdorferi was performed on placentas identified to have spirochetes and on a group of placentas negative for spirochetes. Spirochetes were identified by silver staining in 3 (5%) of the 60 placentas. PCR confirmed B. burgdorferi nucleotide sequences in 2 of the placentas. The 5 women had equivocal Lyme ELISA and negative syphilis serology. The results of the Western blot analysis were negative in 2 cases and indeterminate in 1 case. Six controls were negative for spirochetes by silver staining and PCR. A normal perinatal outcome was observed in all cases. Spirochetes identified in placental tissue of pregnancies with reactive Lyme serology were confirmed by PCR to be B. burgdorferi. There was no relationship between the presence of placental spirochetes and the results of Lyme serology or the pregnancy outcome. PMID:8793493

  11. Hypothetical Protein BB0569 Is Essential for Chemotaxis of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kai; Liu, Jun; Charon, Nyles W.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi has five putative methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs). In this report, we provide evidence that a hypothetical protein, BB0569, is essential for the chemotaxis of B. burgdorferi. While BB0569 lacks significant homology to the canonical MCPs, it contains a conserved domain (spanning residues 110 to 170) that is often evident in membrane-bound MCPs such as Tar and Tsr of Escherichia coli. Unlike Tar and Tsr, BB0569 lacks transmembrane regions and recognizable HAMP and methylation domains and is similar to TlpC, a cytoplasmic chemoreceptor of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. An isogenic mutant of BB0569 constantly runs in one direction and fails to respond to attractants, indicating that BB0569 is essential for chemotaxis. Immunofluorescence, green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion, and cryo-electron tomography analyses demonstrate that BB0569 localizes at the cell poles and is required for chemoreceptor clustering at the cell poles. Protein cross-linking studies reveal that BB0569 forms large protein complexes with MCP3, indicative of its interactions with other MCPs. Interestingly, analysis of B. burgdorferi mcp mutants shows that inactivation of either mcp2 or mcp3 reduces the level of BB0569 substantially and that such a reduction is caused by protein turnover. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the domain composition and function of BB0569 are similar in some respects to those of TlpC but that these proteins are different in their cellular locations, further highlighting that the chemotaxis of B. burgdorferi is unique and different from the Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica paradigm. IMPORTANCE Spirochete chemotaxis differs substantially from the Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica paradigm, and the basis for controlling the rotation of the bundles of periplasmic flagella at each end of the cell is unknown. In recent years, Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, has

  12. Use of T7 RNA polymerase to direct expression of outer Surface Protein A (OspA) from the Lyme disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunn, John J.; Lade, Barbara N.

    1991-01-01

    The OspA gene from a North American strain of the Lyme disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, was cloned under the control of transciption and translation signals from bacteriophage T7. Full-length OspA protein, a 273 amino acid (31kD) lipoprotein, is expressed poorly in Escherichia coli and is associated with the insoluble membrane fraction. In contrast, a truncated form of OspA lacking the amino-terminal signal sequence which normally would direct localization of the protein to the outer membrane is expressed at very high levels (less than or equal to 100 mg/liter) and is soluble. The truncated protein was purified to homogeneity and is being tested to see if it will be useful as an immunogen in a vaccine against Lyme disease. Circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy was used to characterize the secondary structure and study conformational changes in the protein. Studies underway with other surface proteins from B burgdorferi and a related spirochete, B. hermsii, which causes relapsing fever, leads us to conclude that a strategy similar to that used to express the truncated OspA can provide a facile method for producing variations of Borrelia lipoproteins which are highly expressed in E. coli and soluble without exposure to detergents.

  13. Genetic control of the innate immune response to Borrelia hermsii influences the course of relapsing fever in inbred strains of mice.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Vivian M; Petrich, Annett; Alugupalli, Kishore R; Marty-Roix, Robin; Moter, Annette; Leong, John M; Boyartchuk, Victor L

    2010-02-01

    Host susceptibility to infection is controlled in large measure by the genetic makeup of the host. Spirochetes of the genus Borrelia include nearly 40 species of vector-borne spirochetes that are capable of infecting a wide range of mammalian hosts, causing Lyme disease and relapsing fever. Relapsing fever is associated with high-level bacteremia, as well as hematologic manifestations, such as thrombocytopenia (i.e., low platelet numbers) and anemia. To facilitate studies of genetic control of susceptibility to Borrelia hermsii infection, we performed a systematic analysis of the course of infection using immunocompetent and immunocompromised inbred strains of mice. Our analysis revealed that sensitivity to B. hermsii infections is genetically controlled. In addition, whereas the role of adaptive immunity to relapsing fever-causing spirochetes is well documented, we found that innate immunity contributes significantly to the reduction of bacterial burden. Similar to human infection, the progression of the disease in mice was associated with thrombocytopenia and anemia. Histological and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of infected tissues indicated that red blood cells (RBCs) were removed by tissue-resident macrophages, a process that could lead to anemia. Spirochetes in the spleen and liver were often visualized associated with RBCs, lending support to the hypothesis that direct interaction of B. hermsii spirochetes with RBCs leads to clearance of bacteria from the bloodstream by tissue phagocytes. PMID:19995898

  14. Reservoir competence of Microtus pennsylvanicus (Rodentia: Cricetidae) for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Markowski, D.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Hyland, K.E.; Hu, R.

    1998-01-01

    The reservoir competence of the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus Ord, for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner was established on Patience Island, RI. Meadow voles were collected from 5 locations throughout Rhode Island. At 4 of the field sites, M. pennsylvanicus represented only 4.0% (n = 141) of the animals captured. However, on Patience Island, M. pennsylvanicus was the sole small mammal collected (n = 48). Of the larval Ixodes scapularis Say obtained from the meadow voles on Patience Island, 62% (n = 78) was infected with B. burgdorferi. Meadow voles from all 5 locations were successfully infected with B. burgdorferi in the laboratory and were capable of passing the infection to xenodiagnostic I. scapularis larvae for 9 wk. We concluded that M. pennsylvanicus was physiologically capable of maintaining B. burgdorferi infection. However, in locations where Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque) is abundant, the role of M. pennsylvanicus as a primary reservoir for B. burgdorferi was reduced.

  15. Distribution and molecular analysis of Lyme disease spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi, isolated from ticks throughout California.

    PubMed Central

    Schwan, T G; Schrumpf, M E; Karstens, R H; Clover, J R; Wong, J; Daugherty, M; Struthers, M; Rosa, P A

    1993-01-01

    Previous studies describing the occurrence and molecular characteristics of Lyme disease spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi, from California have been restricted primarily to isolates obtained from the north coastal region of this large and ecologically diverse state. Our objective was to look for and examine B. burdorferi organisms isolated from Ixodes pacificus ticks collected from numerous regions spanning most parts of California where this tick is found. Thirty-one isolates of B. burgdorferi were examined from individual or pooled I. pacificus ticks collected from 25 counties throughout the state. One isolate was obtained from ticks collected at Wawona Campground in Yosemite National Park, documenting the occurrence of the Lyme disease spirochete in an area of intensive human recreational use. One isolate from an Ixodes neotomae tick from an additional county was also examined. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, immunoblot analysis, agarose gel electrophoresis, Southern blot analysis, and the polymerase chain reaction were used to examine the molecular and genetic determinants of these uncloned, low-passage-number isolates. All of the isolates were identified as B. burgdorferi by their protein profiles and reactivities with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, and all the isolates were typed by the polymerase chain reaction as North American-type spirochetes (B. burgdorferi sensu stricto). Although products of the ospAB locus were identified in protein analyses in all of the isolates, several isolates contained deleted forms of this locus that would result in the expression of chimeric OspA-OspB proteins. The analysis of OspC demonstrated that this protein was widely conserved among the isolates but was also quite variable in its molecular mass and the amount of it that was expressed. Images PMID:8308101

  16. Characterization of outer membranes isolated from Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete.

    PubMed Central

    Radolf, J D; Goldberg, M S; Bourell, K; Baker, S I; Jones, J D; Norgard, M V

    1995-01-01

    The lack of methods for isolating Borrelia burgdorferi outer membranes (OMs) has hindered efforts to characterize borrelial surface-exposed proteins. Here we isolated OMs by immersion of motile spirochetes in hypertonic sucrose followed by isopycnic ultracentrifugation of the plasmolyzed cells. The unilamellar vesicles thus obtained were shown to be OMs by the following criteria: (i) they contained OspA and OspB; (ii) they did not contain flagellin, NADH oxidase activity, or the 60-kDa heat shock protein; and (iii) their morphology by freeze-fracture electron microscopy was identical to that of OMs of intact organisms. Consistent with previous studies which employed immunoelectron microscopy and detergent-based solubilization of B. burgdorferi OMs, only small proportions of the total cellular content of OspA or OspB were OM associated. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) fluorography of OMs from spirochetes metabolically radiolabeled with [3H]palmitate or 35S-amino acids demonstrated that the OMs contained both nonlipidated and lipidated proteins. This fractionation procedure was also used to isolate OMs from virulent and avirulent isolates of the well-characterized B. burgdorferi N40 strain. SDS-PAGE fluorography revealed that OMs from the two isolates differed with respect to both nonlipoprotein and lipoprotein constituents. When whole cells, protoplasmic cylinders, and OMs were immunoblotted against sera from mice persistently infected with B. burgdorferi N40, the majority of antibody reactivity was directed against intracellular proteins. The availability of isolated OMs should facilitate efforts to elucidate the complex relationship(s) between B. burgdorferi membrane composition and Lyme disease pathogenesis. PMID:7768594

  17. Identification and function of the RNA chaperone Hfq in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Lybecker, Meghan C.; Abel, Cassandra A.; Feig, Andrew L.; Samuels, D. Scott

    2010-01-01

    Summary Hfq is a global regulatory RNA-binding protein. We have identified and characterized an atypical Hfq required for gene regulation and infectivity in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Sequence analyses of the putative B. burgdorferi Hfq protein revealed only a modest level of similarity with the Hfq from Escherichia coli, although a few key residues are retained and the predicted tertiary structure is similar. Several lines of evidence suggest that the B. burgdorferi bb0268 gene encodes a functional Hfq homolog. First, the hfqBb gene (bb0268) restores the efficient translation of an rpoS::lacZ fusion in an E. coli hfq null mutant. Second, the Hfq from B. burgdorferi binds to the small RNA DsrABb and the rpoS mRNA. Third, a B. burgdorferi hfq null mutant was generated and has a pleiotropic phenotype that includes increased cell length and decreased growth rate, as found in hfq mutants in other bacteria. The hfqBb mutant phenotype is complemented in trans with the hfq gene from either B. burgdorferi or, surprisingly, E. coli. This is the first example of a heterologous bacterial gene complementing a B. burgdorferi mutant. The alternative sigma factor RpoS and the outer membrane lipoprotein OspC, which are induced by increased temperature and required for mammalian infection, are not upregulated in the hfq mutant. Consequently, the hfq mutant is not infectious by needle inoculation in the murine model. These data suggest that Hfq plays a key role in the regulation of pathogenicity factors in B. burgdorferi and we hypothesize that the spirochete has a complex Hfq-dependent sRNA network. PMID:20815822

  18. Blood-Borne Candidatus Borrelia algerica in a Patient with Prolonged Fever in Oran, Algeria.

    PubMed

    Fotso Fotso, Aurélien; Angelakis, Emmanouil; Mouffok, Nadjet; Drancourt, Michel; Raoult, Didier

    2015-11-01

    To improve the knowledge base of Borrelia in north Africa, we tested 257 blood samples collected from febrile patients in Oran, Algeria, between January and December 2012 for Borrelia species using flagellin gene polymerase chain reaction sequencing. A sequence indicative of a new Borrelia sp. named Candidatus Borrelia algerica was detected in one blood sample. Further multispacer sequence typing indicated this Borrelia sp. had 97% similarity with Borrelia crocidurae, Borrelia duttonii, and Borrelia recurrentis. In silico comparison of Candidatus B. algerica spacer sequences with those of Borrelia hispanica and Borrelia garinii revealed 94% and 89% similarity, respectively. Candidatus B. algerica is a new relapsing fever Borrelia sp. detected in Oran. Further studies may help predict its epidemiological importance. PMID:26416117

  19. Complex Population Structure of Lyme Borreliosis Group Spirochete Borrelia garinii in Subarctic Eurasia

    PubMed Central

    Comstedt, Pär; Asokliene, Loreta; Eliasson, Ingvar; Olsen, Björn; Wallensten, Anders; Bunikis, Jonas; Bergström, Sven

    2009-01-01

    Borrelia garinii, a causative agent of Lyme borreliosis in Europe and Asia, is naturally maintained in marine and terrestrial enzootic cycles, which primarily involve birds, including seabirds and migratory passerines. These bird groups associate with, correspondingly, Ixodes uriae and Ixodes ricinus ticks, of which the latter species may bite and transmit the infection to humans. Studies of the overlap between these two natural cycles of B. garinii have been limited, in part due to the absence of representative collections of this spirochete's samples, as well as of the lack of reliable measure of the genetic heterogeneity of its strains. As a prerequisite for understanding the epidemiological correlates of the complex maintenance of B. garinii, the present study sought to assess the diversity and phylogenetic relationships of this species' strains from its natural hosts and patients with Lyme borreliosis from subarctic Eurasia. We used sequence typing of the partial rrs-rrl intergenic spacer (IGS) of archived and prospective samples of B. garinii from I. uriae ticks collected predominantly on Commander Islands in North Pacific, as well as on the islands in northern Sweden and arctic Norway. We also typed B. garinii samples from patients with Lyme borreliosis and I. ricinus ticks infesting migratory birds in southern Sweden, or found questing in selected sites on the islands in the Baltic Sea and Lithuania. Fifty-two (68%) of 77 B. garinii samples representing wide geographical range and associated with I. ricinus and infection of humans contributed 12 (60%) of total 20 identified IGS variants. In contrast, the remaining 25 (32%) samples recovered from I. uriae ticks from a few islands accounted for as many as 10 (50%) IGS types, suggesting greater local diversity of B. garinii maintained by seabirds and their ticks. Two IGS variants of the spirochete in common for both tick species were found in I. ricinus larvae from migratory birds, an indication that B

  20. Lyme disease and relapsing fever Borrelia elongate through zones of peptidoglycan synthesis that mark division sites of daughter cells.

    PubMed

    Jutras, Brandon Lyon; Scott, Molly; Parry, Bradley; Biboy, Jacob; Gray, Joe; Vollmer, Waldemar; Jacobs-Wagner, Christine

    2016-08-16

    Agents that cause Lyme disease, relapsing fever, leptospirosis, and syphilis belong to the phylum Spirochaetae-a unique lineage of bacteria most known for their long, spiral morphology. Despite the relevance to human health, little is known about the most fundamental aspects of spirochete growth. Here, using quantitative microscopy to track peptidoglycan cell-wall synthesis, we found that the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi displays a complex pattern of growth. B. burgdorferi elongates from discrete zones that are both spatially and temporally regulated. In addition, some peptidoglycan incorporation occurs along the cell body, with the notable exception of a large region at the poles. Newborn cells inherit a highly active zone of peptidoglycan synthesis at midcell that contributes to elongation for most of the cell cycle. Concomitant with the initiation of nucleoid separation and cell constriction, second and third zones of elongation are established at the 1/4 and 3/4 cellular positions, marking future sites of division for the subsequent generation. Positioning of elongation zones along the cell is robust to cell length variations and is relatively precise over long distances (>30 µm), suggesting that cells ‟sense" relative, as opposed to absolute, cell length to establish zones of peptidoglycan synthesis. The transition from one to three zones of peptidoglycan growth during the cell cycle is also observed in relapsing fever Borrelia. However, this mode of growth does not extend to representative species from other spirochetal genera, suggesting that this distinctive growth mode represents an evolutionary divide in the spirochete phylum. PMID:27506799

  1. Reservoir competence of native North American birds for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.; Buckley, P.A.; Balmforth, M.G.; Zhioua, E.; Mitra, Siddhartha; Buckley, F.G.

    2005-01-01

    Reservoir competence of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, was tested for six species of native North American birds: American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal. Wild birds collected by mistnetting on Fire Island, NY, were held in a field lab in cages over water, and locally collected larval ticks were placed on the birds, harvested from the water after engorgement, and tested for infection by DFA after molting to the nymphal stage. American Robins were competent reservoirs, infecting 16.1% of larvae applied to wild-caught birds, compared to 0% of control ticks placed on uninfected lab mice. Robins that were previously infected in the lab by nymphal feeding infected 81.8% of applied larvae. Wild-caught Song Sparrows infected 4.8% of applied larvae, and 21.1% when infected by nymphal feeding. Results suggest moderate levels of reservoir competence for Northern Cardinals, lower levels for Gray Catbirds, and little evidence of reservoir competence for Eastern Towhees or Brown Thrashers. Lower infection rates in larvae applied to wild-caught birds compared to birds infected in the lab suggest that infected birds display temporal variability in infectiousness to larval ticks. Engorged larvae drop from birds abundantly during daylight hours, so the abundance of these bird species in the peridomestic environment suggests that they might contribute infected ticks to lawns and gardens.

  2. Reservoir competence of native North American birds for the lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorfieri.

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, Howard S; Buckley, P A; Balmforth, Maxon G; Zhioua, Elyes; Mitra, Shaibal; Buckley, Francine G

    2005-05-01

    Reservoir competence for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, was tested for six species of native North American birds: American robin, gray catbird, brown thrasher, eastern towhee, song sparrow, and northern cardinal. Wild birds collected by mist netting on Fire Island, NY, were held in a field laboratory in cages over water and locally collected larval ticks were placed on the birds, harvested from the water after engorgement, and tested for infection by direct fluorescentantibody staining after molting to the nymphal stage. American robins were competent reservoirs, infecting 16.1% of larvae applied to wild-caught birds, compared with 0% of control ticks placed on uninfected laboratory mice. Robins that were previously infected in the laboratory by nymphal feeding infected 81.8% of applied larvae. Wild-caught song sparrows infected 4.8% of applied larvae and 21.1% when infected by nymphal feeding. Results suggest moderate levels of reservoir competence for northern cardinals, lower levels for gray catbirds, and little evidence of reservoir competence for eastern towhees or brown thrashers. Lower infection rates in larvae applied to wild-caught birds compared with birds infected in the laboratory suggest that infected birds display temporal variability in infectiousness to larval ticks. Engorged larvae drop from birds abundantly during daylight, so the abundance of these bird species in the peridomestic environment suggests that they might contribute infected ticks to lawns and gardens. PMID:15962798

  3. The cyclic-di-GMP signaling pathway in the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Novak, Elizabeth A.; Sultan, Syed Z.; Motaleb, Md. A.

    2014-01-01

    In nature, the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi cycles between the unrelated environments of the Ixodes tick vector and mammalian host. In order to survive transmission between hosts, B. burgdorferi must be able to not only detect changes in its environment, but also rapidly and appropriately respond to these changes. One manner in which this obligate parasite regulates and adapts to its changing environment is through cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP) signaling. c-di-GMP has been shown to be instrumental in orchestrating the adaptation of B. burgdorferi to the tick environment. B. burgdorferi possesses only one set of c-di-GMP-metabolizing genes (one diguanylate cyclase and two distinct phosphodiesterases) and one c-di-GMP-binding PilZ-domain protein designated as PlzA. While studies in the realm of c-di-GMP signaling in B. burgdorferi have exploded in the last few years, there are still many more questions than answers. Elucidation of the importance of c-di-GMP signaling to B. burgdorferi may lead to the identification of mechanisms that are critical for the survival of B. burgdorferi in the tick phase of the enzootic cycle as well as potentially delineate a role (if any) c-di-GMP may play in the transmission and virulence of B. burgdorferi during the enzootic cycle, thereby enabling the development of effective drugs for the prevention and/or treatment of Lyme disease. PMID:24822172

  4. Conversion of a linear to a circular plasmid in the relapsing fever agent Borrelia hermsii.

    PubMed Central

    Ferdows, M S; Serwer, P; Griess, G A; Norris, S J; Barbour, A G

    1996-01-01

    Spirochetes of the genus Borrelia have genomes composed of both linear and circular replicons. We characterized the genomic organization of B. burgdorferi, B. hermsii, B. turicatae, and B. anserina with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. All four species contained a linear chromosome approximately 1 Mb in size and multiple linear plasmids in the 16- to 200-kb size range. Plasmids 180 and 170 kb in size, present in the relapsing fever agents B. hermsii and B. turicatae but not in the other two species, behaved as linear duplex DNA molecules under different electrophoretic conditions. A variant of strain HSI of B. hermsii had a 180-kb circular instead of linear plasmid. There were no detectable differences in the growth rates or in the expression of cellular proteins between cells bearing linear forms and those bearing circular forms of the plasmid. The conversion to a circular conformation of monomeric length was demonstrated by the introduction of strand breaks with irradiation, restriction endonuclease analysis, and direct observation of the DNA molecules by fluorescent microscopy. Consideration of different models for the replication of linear DNA suggests that circular intermediates may be involved in the replication of linear replicons in Borrelia spp. PMID:8550515

  5. Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Spirochetes in Wild Birds in Northwestern California: Associations with Ecological Factors, Bird Behavior and Tick Infestation

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Erica A.; Eisen, Lars; Eisen, Rebecca J.; Fedorova, Natalia; Hasty, Jeomhee M.; Vaughn, Charles; Lane, Robert S.

    2015-01-01

    Although Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) are found in a great diversity of vertebrates, most studies in North America have focused on the role of mammals as spirochete reservoir hosts. We investigated the roles of birds as hosts for subadult Ixodes pacificus ticks and potential reservoirs of the Lyme disease spirochete B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) in northwestern California. Overall, 623 birds representing 53 species yielded 284 I. pacificus larvae and nymphs. We used generalized linear models and zero-inflated negative binomial models to determine associations of bird behaviors, taxonomic relationships and infestation by I. pacificus with borrelial infection in the birds. Infection status in birds was best explained by taxonomic order, number of infesting nymphs, sampling year, and log-transformed average body weight. Presence and counts of larvae and nymphs could be predicted by ground- or bark-foraging behavior and contact with dense oak woodland. Molecular analysis yielded the first reported detection of Borrelia bissettii in birds. Moreover, our data suggest that the Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla), a non-resident species, could be an important reservoir for B. burgdorferi s.s. Of 12 individual birds (9 species) that carried B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected larvae, no birds carried the same genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l. in their blood as were present in the infected larvae removed from them. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed. Our study is the first to explicitly incorporate both taxonomic relationships and behaviors as predictor variables to identify putative avian reservoirs of B. burgdorferi s.l. Our findings underscore the importance of bird behavior to explain local tick infestation and Borrelia infection in these animals, and suggest the potential for bird-mediated geographic spread of vector ticks and spirochetes in the far-western United States. PMID:25714376

  6. Distribution of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in Naturally and Experimentally Infected Western Gray Squirrels (Sciurus griseus)

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Kelly; Salkeld, Daniel J.; Lane, Robert S.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The dynamics of Borrelia burgdorferi infections within its natural hosts are poorly understood. We necropsied four wild-caught western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus) that were acquired during a previous study that evaluated the reservoir competence of this rodent for the Lyme disease spirochete. One animal was infected experimentally, whereas the others were infected in the wild before capture. To investigate dissemination of B. burgdorferi and concurrent histopathologic lesions in different tissues, blood specimens, synovial and cerebrospinal fluid, ear-punch biopsies, and diverse tissue samples from skin and various organs were taken and examined by culture, polymerase chain reaction, and histology. Borrelia-positive cultures were obtained from three of the squirrels, that is, from skin biopsies (7 of 20 samples), ear-punch biopsies (2 of 8), and one (1 of 5) lymph node. Sequencing of amplicons confirmed B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) infection in 9 of 10 culture-positive samples and in DNA extracted from all 10 positive cultures. The experimentally infected squirrel yielded most of the positive samples. In contrast, bodily fluids, all other organ specimens from these animals, and all samples from one naturally infected squirrel were negative for Borrelia for both assays. None of the necropsied squirrels exhibited specific clinical signs associated with B. burgdorferi. Similarly, necropsy and histological examination of tissues indicated the presence of underlying infectious processes, none of which could be ascribed conclusively to B. burgdorferi infection. Based on these results, obtained from a small number of animals investigated at a single time point, we suggest that B. burgdorferi s.s. infection in S. griseus may result in rather localized dissemination of spirochetes, and that mild or nonclinical disease might be more common after several months of infection duration. Since spirochetes could be detected in squirrels 7–21 months

  7. Hypercholesterolemia and ApoE deficiency result in severe infection with Lyme disease and relapsing-fever Borrelia

    PubMed Central

    Toledo, Alvaro; Monzón, Javier D.; Coleman, James L.; Garcia-Monco, Juan C.; Benach, Jorge L.

    2015-01-01

    The Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and relapsing-fever (Borrelia hispanica) agents have distinct infection courses, but both require cholesterol for growth. They acquire cholesterol from the environment and process it to form cholesterol glycolipids that are incorporated onto their membranes. To determine whether higher levels of serum cholesterol could enhance the organ burdens of B. burgdorferi and the spirochetemia of B. hispanica in laboratory mice, apolipoprotein E (apoE)-deficient and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR)-deficient mice that produce large amounts of serum cholesterol were infected with both spirochetes. Both apoE- and LDLR-deficient mice infected with B. burgdorferi had an increased number of spirochetes in the joints and inflamed ankles compared with the infected wild-type (WT) mice, suggesting that mutations in cholesterol transport that result in high serum cholesterol levels can affect the pathogenicity of B. burgdorferi. In contrast, elevated serum cholesterol did not lead to an increase in the spirochetemia of B. hispanica. In the LDLR-deficient mice, the course of infection was indistinguishable from the WT mice. However, infection of apoE-deficient mice with B. hispanica resulted in a longer spirochetemia and increased mortality. Together, these results argue for the apoE deficiency, and not hypercholesterolemia, as the cause for the increased severity with B. hispanica. Serum hyperlipidemias are common human diseases that could be a risk factor for increased severity in Lyme disease. PMID:25870274

  8. Divergence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes could be driven by the host: diversity of Borrelia strains isolated from ticks feeding on a single bird

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The controversy surrounding the potential impact of birds in spirochete transmission dynamics and their capacity to serve as a reservoir has existed for a long time. The majority of analyzed bird species are able to infect larval ticks with Borrelia. Dispersal of infected ticks due to bird migration is a key to the establishment of new foci of Lyme borreliosis. The dynamics of infection in birds supports the mixing of different species, the horizontal exchange of genetic information, and appearance of recombinant genotypes. Methods Four Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strains were cultured from Ixodes minor larvae and four strains were isolated from Ixodes minor nymphs collected from a single Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). A multilocus sequence analysis that included 16S rRNA, a 5S-23S intergenic spacer region, a 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer, flagellin, p66, and ospC separated 8 strains into 3 distinct groups. Additional multilocus sequence typing of 8 housekeeping genes, clpA, clpX, nifS, pepX, pyrG, recG, rplB, and uvrA was used to resolve the taxonomic status of bird-associated strains. Results Results of analysis of 14 genes confirmed that the level of divergence among strains is significantly higher than what would be expected for strains within a single species. The presence of cross-species recombination was revealed: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto housekeeping gene nifS was incorporated into homologous locus of strain, previously assigned to B. americana. Conclusions Genetically diverse Borrelia strains are often found within the same tick or same vertebrate host, presenting a wide opportunity for genetic exchange. We report the cross-species recombination that led to incorporation of a housekeeping gene from the B. burgdorferi sensu stricto strain into a homologous locus of another bird-associated strain. Our results support the hypothesis that recombination maintains a majority of sequence polymorphism within Borrelia

  9. Enhanced Adhesion and OspC Protein Synthesis of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia Burgdorferi Cultivated in a Host-Derived Tissue Co-Culture System

    PubMed Central

    Şen, Ece; Sigal, Leonard H.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The adhesion process of Borrelia burgdorferi to susceptible host cell has not yet been completely understood regarding the function of OspA, OspB and OspC proteins and a conflict exists in the infection process. Aims: The adhesion rates of pathogenic (low BSK medium passaged or susceptible rat joint tissue co-cultivated) or non-pathogenic Borrelia burgdorferi (high BSK medium passaged) isolate (FNJ) to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) cultured on coverslips and the synthesis of OspA and OspC proteins were investigated to analyze the infection process of this bacterium. Study Design: In-vitro study. Methods: Spirochetes were cultured in BSK medium or in a LEW/N rat tibiotarsal joint tissue feeder layer supported co-culture system using ESG co-culture medium and labelled with 3H-adenine for 48 hours. SDS-PAGE, Western Blotting, Immunogold A labeling as well as radiolabeling experiments were used to compare pathogenic or non pathogenic spirochetes during the adhesion process. Results: Tissue co-cultured B. burgdorferi adhered about ten times faster than BSK-grown spirochetes. Trypsin inhibited attachment to HUVEC and co-culture of trypsinized spirochetes with tissues reversed the inhibition. Also, the synthesis of OspC protein by spirochetes was increased in abundance after tissue co-cultures, as determined by SDS-PAGE and by electron microscopy analysis of protein A-immunogold staining by anti-OspC antibodies. OspA protein was synthesized in similar quantities in all Borrelia cultures analyzed by the same techniques. Conclusion: Low BSK passaged or tissue co-cultured pathogenic Lyme disease spirochetes adhere to HUVEC faster than non-pathogenic high BSK passaged forms of this bacterium. Spirochetes synthesized OspC protein during host tissue-associated growth. However, we did not observe a reduction of OspA synthesis during host tissue co-cultivation in vitro. PMID:25207103

  10. Vector competence of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, for the recently recognized Lyme borreliosis spirochete Candidatus Borrelia mayonii.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Marc C; Hojgaard, Andrias; Hoxmeier, J Charles; Replogle, Adam J; Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B; Sexton, Christopher; Williams, Martin A; Pritt, Bobbi S; Schriefer, Martin E; Eisen, Lars

    2016-07-01

    A novel species within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, provisionally named Borrelia mayonii, was recently found to be associated with Lyme borreliosis in the Upper Midwest of the United States. Moreover, B. mayonii was detected from host-seeking Ixodes scapularis, the primary vector of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in the eastern United States. We therefore conducted a study to confirm the experimental vector competence of I. scapularis for B. mayonii (strain MN14-1420), using colony ticks originating from adults collected in Connecticut and CD-1 white mice. Larvae fed on mice 10 weeks after needle-inoculation with B. mayonii acquired spirochetes and maintained infection through the nymphal stage at an average rate of 12.9%. In a transmission experiment, 40% of naïve mice exposed to a single infected nymph developed viable infections, as compared with 87% of mice fed upon by 2-3 infected nymphs. Transmission of B. mayonii by one or more feeding infected nymphs was uncommon up to 48h after attachment (one of six mice developed viable infection) but occurred frequently when nymphs were allowed to remain attached for 72-96h or feed to completion (11 of 16 mice developed viable infection). Mice infected via tick bite maintained viable infection with B. mayonii, as determined by ear biopsy culture, for at least 28 weeks. Our results demonstrate that I. scapularis is capable of serving as a vector of B. mayonii. This finding, together with data showing that field-collected I. scapularis are infected with B. mayonii, indicate that I. scapularis likely is a primary vector to humans of this recently recognized Lyme borreliosis spirochete. PMID:26922324

  11. The bdr gene families of the Lyme disease and relapsing fever spirochetes: potential influence on biology, pathogenesis, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Roberts, D M; Carlyon, J A; Theisen, M; Marconi, R T

    2000-01-01

    Species of the genus Borrelia cause human and animal infections, including Lyme disease, relapsing fever, and epizootic bovine abortion. The borrelial genome is unique among bacterial genomes in that it is composed of a linear chromosome and a series of linear and circular plasmids. The plasmids exhibit significant genetic redundancy and carry 175 paralogous gene families, most of unknown function. Homologous alleles on different plasmids could influence the organization and evolution of the Borrelia genome by serving as foci for interplasmid homologous recombination. The plasmid-carried Borrelia direct repeat (bdr) gene family encodes polymorphic, acidic proteins with putative phosphorylation sites and transmembrane domains. These proteins may play regulatory roles in Borrelia. We describe recent progress in the characterization of the Borrelia bdr genes and discuss the possible influence of this gene family on the biology, pathogenesis, and evolution of the Borrelia genome. PMID:10756144

  12. Phagocytosis of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme Disease Spirochete, Potentiates Innate Immune Activation and Induces Apoptosis in Human Monocytes▿

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Adriana R.; Moore, Meagan W.; La Vake, Carson J.; Eggers, Christian H.; Salazar, Juan C.; Radolf, Justin D.

    2008-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated that phagocytosed Borrelia burgdorferi induces activation programs in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells that differ qualitatively and quantitatively from those evoked by equivalent lipoprotein-rich lysates. Here we report that ingested B. burgdorferi induces significantly greater transcription of proinflammatory cytokine genes than do lysates and that live B. burgdorferi, but not B. burgdorferi lysate, is avidly internalized by monocytes, where the bacteria are completely degraded within phagolysosomes. In the course of these experiments, we discovered that live B. burgdorferi also induced a dose-dependent decrease in monocytes but not a decrease in dendritic cells or T cells and that the monocyte population displayed morphological and biochemical hallmarks of apoptosis. Particularly noteworthy was the finding that apoptotic changes occurred predominantly in monocytes that had internalized spirochetes. Abrogation of phagocytosis with cytochalasin D prevented the death response. Heat-killed B. burgdorferi, which was internalized as well as live organisms, induced a similar degree of apoptosis of monocytes but markedly less cytokine production. Surprisingly, opsonophagocytosis of Treponema pallidum did not elicit a discernible cell death response. Our combined results demonstrate that B. burgdorferi confined to phagolysosomes is a potent inducer of cytosolic signals that result in (i) production of NF-κB-dependent cytokines, (ii) assembly of the inflammasome and activation of caspase-1, and (iii) induction of programmed cell death. We propose that inflammation and apoptosis represent mutually reinforcing components of the immunologic arsenal that the host mobilizes to defend itself against infection with Lyme disease spirochetes. PMID:17938216

  13. Borrelia burgdorferi CheD Promotes Various Functions in Chemotaxis and the Pathogenic Life Cycle of the Spirochete.

    PubMed

    Moon, Ki Hwan; Hobbs, Gerry; Motaleb, M A

    2016-06-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi possesses a sophisticated chemotaxis signaling system; however, the roles of the majority of the chemotaxis proteins in the infectious life cycle have not yet been demonstrated. Specifically, the role of CheD during host colonization has not been demonstrated in any bacterium. Here, we systematically characterized the B. burgdorferi CheD homolog using genetics and biochemical and mouse-tick-mouse infection cycle studies. Bacillus subtilis CheD plays an important role in chemotaxis by deamidation of methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein receptors (MCPs) and by increasing the receptor kinase activity or enhancing CheC phosphatase activity, thereby regulating the levels of the CheY response regulator. Our biochemical analysis indicates that B. burgdorferi CheD significantly enhances CheX phosphatase activity by specifically interacting with the phosphatase. Moreover, CheD specifically binds two of the six MCPs, indicating that CheD may also modulate the receptor proteins. Although the motility of the cheD mutant cells was indistinguishable from that of the wild-type cells, the mutant did exhibit reduced chemotaxis. Importantly, the mutant showed significantly reduced infectivity in C3H/HeN mice via needle inoculation. Mouse-tick-mouse infection assays indicated that CheD is dispensable for acquisition or transmission of spirochetes; however, the viability of cheD mutants in ticks is marginally reduced compared to that of the wild-type or complemented cheD spirochetes. These data suggest that CheD plays an important role in the chemotaxis and pathogenesis of B. burgdorferi We propose potential connections between CheD, CheX, and MCPs and discuss how these interactions play critical roles during the infectious life cycle of the spirochete. PMID:27021244

  14. Temporal Changes in Outer Surface Proteins A and C of the Lyme Disease-Associated Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, during the Chain of Infection in Ticks and Mice

    PubMed Central

    Schwan, Tom G.; Piesman, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    The Lyme disease-associated spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, is maintained in enzootic cycles involving Ixodes ticks and small mammals. Previous studies demonstrated that B. burgdorferi expresses outer surface protein A (OspA) but not OspC when residing in the midgut of unfed ticks. However, after ticks feed on blood, some spirochetes stop making OspA and express OspC. Our current work examined the timing and frequency of OspA and OspC expression by B. burgdorferi in infected Ixodes scapularis nymphs as they fed on uninfected mice and in uninfected I. scapularis larvae and nymphs as they first acquired spirochetes from infected mice. Smears of midguts from previously infected ticks were prepared at 12- or 24-h intervals following attachment through repletion at 96 h, and spirochetes were stained for immunofluorescence for detection of antibodies to OspA and OspC. As shown previously, prior to feeding spirochetes in nymphs expressed OspA but not OspC. During nymphal feeding, however, the proportion of spirochetes expressing OspA decreased, while spirochetes expressing OspC became detectable. In fact, spirochetes rapidly began to express OspC, with the greatest proportion of spirochetes having this protein at 48 h of attachment and then with the proportion decreasing significantly by the time that the ticks had completed feeding. In vitro cultivation of the spirochete at different temperatures showed OspC to be most abundant when the spirochetes were grown at 37°C. Yet, the synthesis of this protein waned with continuous passage at this temperature. Immunofluorescence staining of spirochetes in smears of midguts from larvae and nymphs still attached or having completed feeding on infected mice demonstrated that OspA but not OspC was produced by these spirochetes recently acquired from mice. Therefore, the temporal synthesis of OspC by spirochetes only in feeding ticks that were infected prior to the blood meal suggests that this surface protein is involved in

  15. Purine Salvage Pathways among Borrelia Species▿

    PubMed Central

    Pettersson, Jonas; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Raffel, Sandra J.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Guyard, Cyril; Lawrence, Kevin; Gherardini, Frank C.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2007-01-01

    Genome sequencing projects on two relapsing fever spirochetes, Borrelia hermsii and Borrelia turicatae, revealed differences in genes involved in purine metabolism and salvage compared to those in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The relapsing fever spirochetes contained six open reading frames that are absent from the B. burgdorferi genome. These genes included those for hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (hpt), adenylosuccinate synthase (purA), adenylosuccinate lyase (purB), auxiliary protein (nrdI), the ribonucleotide-diphosphate reductase alpha subunit (nrdE), and the ribonucleotide-diphosphate reductase beta subunit (nrdF). Southern blot assays with multiple Borrelia species and isolates confirmed the presence of these genes in the relapsing fever group of spirochetes but not in B. burgdorferi and related species. TaqMan real-time reverse transcription-PCR demonstrated that the chromosomal genes (hpt, purA, and purB) were transcribed in vitro and in mice. Phosphoribosyltransferase assays revealed that, in general, B. hermsii exhibited significantly higher activity than did the B. burgdorferi cell lysate, and enzymatic activity was observed with adenine, hypoxanthine, and guanine as substrates. B. burgdorferi showed low but detectable phosphoribosyltransferase activity with hypoxanthine even though the genome lacks a discernible ortholog to the hpt gene in the relapsing fever spirochetes. B. hermsii incorporated radiolabeled hypoxanthine into RNA and DNA to a much greater extent than did B. burgdorferi. This complete pathway for purine salvage in the relapsing fever spirochetes may contribute, in part, to these spirochetes achieving high cell densities in blood. PMID:17502392

  16. Geographic uniformity of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its shared history with tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Wei-Gang; Dykhuizen, Daniel E; Acosta, Michael S; Luft, Benjamin J

    2002-03-01

    Over 80% of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States occur in coastal regions of northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. The genetic structure of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its main tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) was studied concurrently and comparatively by sampling natural populations of I. scapularis ticks along the East Coast from 1996 to 1998. Borrelia is genetically highly diverse at the outer surface protein ospC. Since Borrelia is highly clonal, the ospC alleles can be used to define clones. A newly designed reverse line blotting (RLB) assay shows that up to 10 Borrelia clones can infect a single tick. The clone frequencies in Borrelia populations are the same across the Northeast. On the other hand, I. scapularis populations show strong regional divergence (among northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and southern states) as well as local differentiation. The high genetic diversity within Borrelia populations and the disparity in the genetic structure between Borrelia and its tick vector are likely consequences of strong balancing selection on local Borrelia clones. Demographically, both Borrelia and I. scapularis populations in the Northeast show the characteristics of a species that has recently expanded from a population bottleneck. Major geological and ecological events, such as the last glacial maximum (18,000 years ago) and the modern-day expansion of tick habitats, are likely causes of the observed "founder effects" for the two organisms in the Northeast. We therefore conclude that the genetic structure of B. burgdorferi has been intimately shaped by the natural history of its main vector, the northern lineage of I. scapularis ticks. PMID:11901105

  17. Geographic uniformity of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its shared history with tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Wei-Gang; Dykhuizen, Daniel E; Acosta, Michael S; Luft, Benjamin J

    2002-01-01

    Over 80% of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States occur in coastal regions of northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. The genetic structure of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its main tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) was studied concurrently and comparatively by sampling natural populations of I. scapularis ticks along the East Coast from 1996 to 1998. Borrelia is genetically highly diverse at the outer surface protein ospC. Since Borrelia is highly clonal, the ospC alleles can be used to define clones. A newly designed reverse line blotting (RLB) assay shows that up to 10 Borrelia clones can infect a single tick. The clone frequencies in Borrelia populations are the same across the Northeast. On the other hand, I. scapularis populations show strong regional divergence (among northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and southern states) as well as local differentiation. The high genetic diversity within Borrelia populations and the disparity in the genetic structure between Borrelia and its tick vector are likely consequences of strong balancing selection on local Borrelia clones. Demographically, both Borrelia and I. scapularis populations in the Northeast show the characteristics of a species that has recently expanded from a population bottleneck. Major geological and ecological events, such as the last glacial maximum (18,000 years ago) and the modern-day expansion of tick habitats, are likely causes of the observed "founder effects" for the two organisms in the Northeast. We therefore conclude that the genetic structure of B. burgdorferi has been intimately shaped by the natural history of its main vector, the northern lineage of I. scapularis ticks. PMID:11901105

  18. Characterization of spirochetes isolated from ticks (Ixodes tanuki, Ixodes turdus, and Ixodes columnae) and comparison of the sequences with those of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strains.

    PubMed Central

    Fukunaga, M; Hamase, A; Okada, K; Inoue, H; Tsuruta, Y; Miyamoto, K; Nakao, M

    1996-01-01

    Ixodes persulcatus serves as a tick vector for Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii in Japan; however, unidentified spirochetes have been isolated from other species of ticks. In this study, 13 isolates from ticks (6 from Ixodes tanuki, 6 from Ixodes turdus, and 1 from Ixodes columnae) and 3 isolates from voles (Clethrionomys rufocanus) were characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, rRNA gene restriction fragment length polymorphism, partial sequencing of the outer surface protein C (OspC) gene, whole DNA-DNA hybridization, and 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison. All of the results revealed that these Borrelia strains clearly represent at least two new species. A third is also likely, although additional strains have to be isolated and characterized before a separate species is designated. We designated all isolates of I. tanuki and C. rufocanus as group Hk501 and all isolates of I. turdus as group Ya501. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences distinguished these Borrelia strains from those belonging to hitherto known Borrelia species. Furthermore, the genomic groups, each with its own tick vectors with enzootic cycles, were quite different from each other and also from those of Lyme disease Borrelia species known to occur in Japan. The results of 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison suggest that the strain Am501 from I. columnae is related to group Hk501, although its level of DNA relatedness is less than 70%. PMID:8779571

  19. Ability of experimentally infected chickens to infect ticks with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Piesman, J; Dolan, M C; Schriefer, M E; Burkot, T R

    1996-03-01

    Chickens were used as a laboratory model to determine the conditions affecting the ability of birds to infect ticks with Lyme disease spirochetes. Chicks (Gallus gallus) were exposed to 12 nymphal Ixodes scapularis at one week or three weeks of age. Xenodiagnostic larval ticks fed these birds at weekly intervals thereafter. Chicks exposed to infected nymphs at one week of age infected 87% of larvae at three weeks of age, but only infected 3% of larvae at four weeks and 0% of larvae at five weeks. Chicks exposed to nymphs at three weeks of age infected only 12% of larvae at four weeks, and 0% thereafter. Thus, experimentally infected chicks can infect larval ticks, but only for a brief interval after exposure. Young chicks are more infectious than older chickens. The immune response of infected chicks was rapid and directed against diverse antigens. PMID:8600769

  20. Whole-Genome Sequences of Borrelia bissettii Borrelia valaisiana and Borrelia spielmanii

    SciTech Connect

    Schutzer S. E.; Dunn J.; Fraser-Liggett C. M.; Qiu W.-G.; Kraiczy P.; Mongodin E. F.; Luft B. J.; Casjens S. R.

    2012-01-01

    It has been known for decades that human Lyme disease is caused by the three spirochete species Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia garinii. Recently, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia spielmanii, and Borrelia bissettii have been associated with Lyme disease. We report the complete genome sequences of B. valaisiana VS116, B. spielmanii A14S, and B. bissettii DN127.

  1. Genome Stability of Lyme Disease Spirochetes: Comparative Genomics of Borrelia burgdorferi Plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Casjens, Sherwood R.; Mongodin, Emmanuel F.; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Luft, Benjamin J.; Schutzer, Steven E.; Gilcrease, Eddie B.; Huang, Wai Mun; Vujadinovic, Marija; Aron, John K.; Vargas, Levy C.; Freeman, Sam; Radune, Diana; Weidman, Janice F.; Dimitrov, George I.; Khouri, Hoda M.; Sosa, Julia E.; Halpin, Rebecca A.; Dunn, John J.; Fraser, Claire M.

    2012-01-01

    Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne human illness in North America. In order to understand the molecular pathogenesis, natural diversity, population structure and epizootic spread of the North American Lyme agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, a much better understanding of the natural diversity of its genome will be required. Towards this end we present a comparative analysis of the nucleotide sequences of the numerous plasmids of B. burgdorferi isolates B31, N40, JD1 and 297. These strains were chosen because they include the three most commonly studied laboratory strains, and because they represent different major genetic lineages and so are informative regarding the genetic diversity and evolution of this organism. A unique feature of Borrelia genomes is that they carry a large number of linear and circular plasmids, and this work shows that strains N40, JD1, 297 and B31 carry related but non-identical sets of 16, 20, 19 and 21 plasmids, respectively, that comprise 33–40% of their genomes. We deduce that there are at least 28 plasmid compatibility types among the four strains. The B. burgdorferi ∼900 Kbp linear chromosomes are evolutionarily exceptionally stable, except for a short ≤20 Kbp plasmid-like section at the right end. A few of the plasmids, including the linear lp54 and circular cp26, are also very stable. We show here that the other plasmids, especially the linear ones, are considerably more variable. Nearly all of the linear plasmids have undergone one or more substantial inter-plasmid rearrangements since their last common ancestor. In spite of these rearrangements and differences in plasmid contents, the overall gene complement of the different isolates has remained relatively constant. PMID:22432010

  2. Genome Stability of Lyme Disease Spirochetes: Comparative Genomics of Borrelia burgdorferi Plasmids

    SciTech Connect

    Casjens S. R.; Dunn J.; Mongodin, E. F.; Qiu, W.-G.; Luft, B. J.; Schutzer, S. E.; Gilcrease, E. B.; Huang, W. M.; Vujadinovic, M.; Aron, J. K.; Vargas, L. C.; Freeman, S.; Radune, D.; Weidman, J. F.; Dimitrov, G. I.; Khouri, H. M.; Sosa, J. E.; Halpin, R. A.; Fraser, C. M.

    2012-03-14

    Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne human illness in North America. In order to understand the molecular pathogenesis, natural diversity, population structure and epizootic spread of the North American Lyme agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, a much better understanding of the natural diversity of its genome will be required. Towards this end we present a comparative analysis of the nucleotide sequences of the numerous plasmids of B. burgdorferi isolates B31, N40, JD1 and 297. These strains were chosen because they include the three most commonly studied laboratory strains, and because they represent different major genetic lineages and so are informative regarding the genetic diversity and evolution of this organism. A unique feature of Borrelia genomes is that they carry a large number of linear and circular plasmids, and this work shows that strains N40, JD1, 297 and B31 carry related but non-identical sets of 16, 20, 19 and 21 plasmids, respectively, that comprise 33-40% of their genomes. We deduce that there are at least 28 plasmid compatibility types among the four strains. The B. burgdorferi {approx}900 Kbp linear chromosomes are evolutionarily exceptionally stable, except for a short {le}20 Kbp plasmid-like section at the right end. A few of the plasmids, including the linear lp54 and circular cp26, are also very stable. We show here that the other plasmids, especially the linear ones, are considerably more variable. Nearly all of the linear plasmids have undergone one or more substantial inter-plasmid rearrangements since their last common ancestor. In spite of these rearrangements and differences in plasmid contents, the overall gene complement of the different isolates has remained relatively constant.

  3. Spirochetes in ticks and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in white-tailed deer from Connecticut, New York State, and North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Magnarelli, L A; Anderson, J F; Apperson, C S; Fish, D; Johnson, R C; Chappell, W A

    1986-04-01

    Ticks were screened for spirochetes and serum samples from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were assayed for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi during 1983-1984. Using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled rabbit antibodies produced to B. burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, spirochetes were detected in Ixodes dammini (10.5% of 1,193) and Dermacentor albipictus (0.6% of 157) adults from Connecticut, I. dammini nymphs (49.1% of 108) and adults (64.7% of 99) from Armonk, New York, and in I. scapularis (0.4% of 531) and Amblyomma americanum (3.5% of 173) adults from North Carolina. Infected ticks were either seeking hosts or feeding on deer during the summer and fall. Direct fluorescent antibody staining also revealed spirochetes in two larvae of I. scapularis that emerged from eggs deposited by separate females in the laboratory. Using indirect immunofluorescence tests, antibodies to B. burgdorferi were identified in white-tailed deer living in tick-infested areas of all three states. Aside from minor cross-reactivity, there was no serologic evidence of Treponema or Leptospira infections. Ixodes dammini is a primary vector of B. burgdorferi in northeastern United States, but in North Carolina, other ixodid ticks may transmit this spirochete to humans and wildlife. PMID:3520030

  4. Prevalence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Blacklegged Ticks, Ixodes scapularis at Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Anderson, John F; Durden, Lance A; Smith, Morgan L; Manord, Jodi M; Clark, Kerry L

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease has emerged as a major health concern in Canada, where the etiological agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), a spirochetal bacterium, is typically spread by the bite of certain ticks. This study explores the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, collected at Dundas, Ontario (a locality within the region of Hamilton-Wentworth). Using passive surveillance, veterinarians and pet groomers were asked to collect blacklegged ticks from dogs and cats with no history of travel. Additionally, I. scapularis specimens were submitted from local residents and collected by flagging. Overall, 12 (41%) of 29 blacklegged ticks were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing, two borrelial amplicons were characterized as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Notably, three different vertebrate hosts each had two engorged I. scapularis females removed on the same day and, likewise, one cat had three repeat occurrences of this tick species. These multiple infestations suggest that a population of I. scapularis may be established in this area. The local public health unit has been underreporting the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis in the area encompassing Dundas. Our findings raise concerns about the need to erect tick warning signs in parkland areas. Veterinarians, medical professionals, public health officials, and the general public must be vigilant that Lyme disease-carrying blacklegged ticks pose a public health risk in the Dundas area and the surrounding Hamilton-Wentworth region. PMID:27226771

  5. Prevalence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Blacklegged Ticks, Ixodes scapularis at Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Scott, John D.; Anderson, John F.; Durden, Lance A.; Smith, Morgan L.; Manord, Jodi M.; Clark, Kerry L.

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease has emerged as a major health concern in Canada, where the etiological agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), a spirochetal bacterium, is typically spread by the bite of certain ticks. This study explores the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, collected at Dundas, Ontario (a locality within the region of Hamilton-Wentworth). Using passive surveillance, veterinarians and pet groomers were asked to collect blacklegged ticks from dogs and cats with no history of travel. Additionally, I. scapularis specimens were submitted from local residents and collected by flagging. Overall, 12 (41%) of 29 blacklegged ticks were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing, two borrelial amplicons were characterized as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Notably, three different vertebrate hosts each had two engorged I. scapularis females removed on the same day and, likewise, one cat had three repeat occurrences of this tick species. These multiple infestations suggest that a population of I. scapularis may be established in this area. The local public health unit has been underreporting the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis in the area encompassing Dundas. Our findings raise concerns about the need to erect tick warning signs in parkland areas. Veterinarians, medical professionals, public health officials, and the general public must be vigilant that Lyme disease-carrying blacklegged ticks pose a public health risk in the Dundas area and the surrounding Hamilton-Wentworth region. PMID:27226771

  6. Evidence of a conjugal erythromycin resistance element in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Charlene R.; Boylan, Julie; Frye, Jonathan G.; Gherardini, Frank C.

    2007-01-01

    We report the identification of isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi strain B31 that exhibit an unusual macrolide–lincosamide (ML) or macrolide–lincosamide–streptogramin A (MLSA) antibiotic resistance pattern. Low-passage isolates were resistant to high levels (>100 μg/mL) of erythromycin, spiramycin and the lincosamides but were sensitive to dalfopristin, an analogue of streptogramin B. Interestingly, the high-passage erythromycin-resistant strain B31 was resistant to quinupristin, an analogue of streptogramin A (25 μg/mL). Biochemical analysis revealed that resistance was not due to antibiotic inactivation or energy-dependent efflux but was instead due to modification of ribosomes in these isolates. Interestingly, we were able to demonstrate high-frequency transfer of the resistance phenotype via conjugation from B. burgdorferi to Bacillus subtilis (10−2–10−4) or Enterococcus faecalis (10−5). An intergeneric conjugal system in B. burgdorferi suggests that horizontal gene transfer may play a role in its evolution and is a potential tool for developing new genetic systems to study the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. PMID:17905571

  7. Molecular Typing of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guiqing; Liveris, Dionysios; Mukherjee, Priyanka; Jungnick, Sabrina; Margos, Gabriele; Schwartz, Ira

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is a group of spirochetes belonging to the genus Borrelia in the family of Spirochaetaceae. The spirochete is transmitted between reservoirs and hosts by ticks of the family Ixodidae. Infection with B. burgdorferi in humans causes Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis. Currently, 20 Lyme disease-associated Borrelia species and more than 20 relapsing fever-associated Borrelia species have been described. Identification and differentiation of different Borrelia species and strains is largely dependent on analyses of their genetic characteristics. A variety of molecular techniques have been described for Borrelia isolate speciation, molecular epidemiology, and pathogenicity studies. In this unit, we focus on three basic protocols, PCR-RFLP-based typing of the rrs-rrlA and rrfA-rrlB ribosomal spacer, ospC typing, and MLST. These protocols can be employed alone or in combination for characterization of B. burgdorferi isolates or directly on uncultivated organisms in ticks, mammalian host reservoirs, and human clinical specimens. PMID:25082003

  8. Borrelia miyamotoi–Associated Neuroborreliosis in Immunocompromised Person

    PubMed Central

    Lobenstein, Sabine; Hermann, Beate; Margos, Gabriele; Fingerle, Volker

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a newly recognized human pathogen in the relapsing fever group of spirochetes. We investigated a case of B. miyamotoi infection of the central nervous system resembling B. burgdorferi–induced Lyme neuroborreliosis and determined that this emergent agent of central nervous system infection can be diagnosed with existing methods. PMID:27533748

  9. Borrelia miyamotoi-Associated Neuroborreliosis in Immunocompromised Person.

    PubMed

    Boden, Katharina; Lobenstein, Sabine; Hermann, Beate; Margos, Gabriele; Fingerle, Volker

    2016-09-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a newly recognized human pathogen in the relapsing fever group of spirochetes. We investigated a case of B. miyamotoi infection of the central nervous system resembling B. burgdorferi-induced Lyme neuroborreliosis and determined that this emergent agent of central nervous system infection can be diagnosed with existing methods. PMID:27533748

  10. Population structure of the lyme borreliosis spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) in Northern California.

    PubMed

    Girard, Yvette A; Travinsky, Bridgit; Schotthoefer, Anna; Fedorova, Natalia; Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Barbour, Alan G; Lane, Robert S

    2009-11-01

    Factors potentially contributing to the lower incidence of Lyme borreliosis (LB) in the far-western than in the northeastern United States include tick host-seeking behavior resulting in fewer human tick encounters, lower densities of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected vector ticks in peridomestic environments, and genetic variation among B. burgdorferi spirochetes to which humans are exposed. We determined the population structure of B. burgdorferi in over 200 infected nymphs of the primary bridging vector to humans, Ixodes pacificus, collected in Mendocino County, CA. This was accomplished by sequence typing the spirochete lipoprotein ospC and the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (IGS). Thirteen ospC alleles belonging to 12 genotypes were found in California, and the two most abundant, ospC genotypes H3 and E3, have not been detected in ticks in the Northeast. The most prevalent ospC and IGS biallelic profile in the population, found in about 22% of ticks, was a new B. burgdorferi strain defined by ospC genotype H3. Eight of the most common ospC genotypes in the northeastern United States, including genotypes I and K that are associated with disseminated human infections, were absent in Mendocino County nymphs. ospC H3 was associated with hardwood-dominated habitats where western gray squirrels, the reservoir host, are commonly infected with LB spirochetes. The differences in B. burgdorferi population structure in California ticks compared to the Northeast emphasize the need for a greater understanding of the genetic diversity of spirochetes infecting California LB patients. PMID:19783741

  11. Interaction of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi with Brain Parenchyma Elicits Inflammatory Mediators from Glial Cells as Well as Glial and Neuronal Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Ramesh, Geeta; Borda, Juan T.; Dufour, Jason; Kaushal, Deepak; Ramamoorthy, Ramesh; Lackner, Andrew A.; Philipp, Mario T.

    2008-01-01

    Lyme neuroborreliosis, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, often manifests by causing neurocognitive deficits. As a possible mechanism for Lyme neuroborreliosis, we hypothesized that B. burgdorferi induces the production of inflammatory mediators in the central nervous system with concomitant neuronal and/or glial apoptosis. To test our hypothesis, we constructed an ex vivo model that consisted of freshly collected slices from brain cortex of a rhesus macaque and allowed live B. burgdorferi to penetrate the tissue. Numerous transcripts of genes that regulate inflammation as well as oligodendrocyte and neuronal apoptosis were significantly altered as assessed by DNA microarray analysis. Transcription level increases of 7.43-fold (P = 0.005) for the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α and 2.31-fold (P = 0.016) for the chemokine interleukin (IL)-8 were also detected by real-time-polymerase chain reaction array analysis. The immune mediators IL-6, IL-8, IL-1β, COX-2, and CXCL13 were visualized in glial cells in situ by immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy. Concomitantly, significant proportions of both oligodendrocytes and neurons undergoing apoptosis were present in spirochete-stimulated tissues. IL-6 production by astrocytes in addition to oligodendrocyte apoptosis were also detected, albeit at lower levels, in rhesus macaques that had received in vivo intraparenchymal stereotaxic inoculations of live B. burgdorferi. These results provide proof of concept for our hypothesis that B. burgdorferi produces inflammatory mediators in the central nervous system, accompanied by glial and neuronal apoptosis. PMID:18832582

  12. Interaction of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi with brain parenchyma elicits inflammatory mediators from glial cells as well as glial and neuronal apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Ramesh, Geeta; Borda, Juan T; Dufour, Jason; Kaushal, Deepak; Ramamoorthy, Ramesh; Lackner, Andrew A; Philipp, Mario T

    2008-11-01

    Lyme neuroborreliosis, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, often manifests by causing neurocognitive deficits. As a possible mechanism for Lyme neuroborreliosis, we hypothesized that B. burgdorferi induces the production of inflammatory mediators in the central nervous system with concomitant neuronal and/or glial apoptosis. To test our hypothesis, we constructed an ex vivo model that consisted of freshly collected slices from brain cortex of a rhesus macaque and allowed live B. burgdorferi to penetrate the tissue. Numerous transcripts of genes that regulate inflammation as well as oligodendrocyte and neuronal apoptosis were significantly altered as assessed by DNA microarray analysis. Transcription level increases of 7.43-fold (P = 0.005) for the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha and 2.31-fold (P = 0.016) for the chemokine interleukin (IL)-8 were also detected by real-time-polymerase chain reaction array analysis. The immune mediators IL-6, IL-8, IL-1beta, COX-2, and CXCL13 were visualized in glial cells in situ by immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy. Concomitantly, significant proportions of both oligodendrocytes and neurons undergoing apoptosis were present in spirochete-stimulated tissues. IL-6 production by astrocytes in addition to oligodendrocyte apoptosis were also detected, albeit at lower levels, in rhesus macaques that had received in vivo intraparenchymal stereotaxic inoculations of live B. burgdorferi. These results provide proof of concept for our hypothesis that B. burgdorferi produces inflammatory mediators in the central nervous system, accompanied by glial and neuronal apoptosis. PMID:18832582

  13. Diversity and Distribution of Borrelia hermsii

    PubMed Central

    Raffel, Sandra J.; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Porcella, Stephen F.

    2007-01-01

    Borrelia hermsii is the most common cause of tickborne relapsing fever in North America. DNA sequences of the 16S–23S rDNA noncoding intergenic spacer (IGS) region were determined for 37 isolates of this spirochete. These sequences distinguished the 2 genomic groups of B. hermsii identified previously with other loci. Multiple IGS genotypes were identified among isolates from an island, which suggested that birds might play a role in dispersing these spirochetes in nature. In support of this theory, all stages of the tick vector Ornithodoros hermsi fed successfully on birds in the laboratory and advanced in their life cycle. B. hermsii produced a detectable spirochetemia in 1 chicken inoculated subcutaneously. Additional work is warranted to explore the role of birds as enzootic hosts for this relapsing fever spirochete. PMID:17552097

  14. Transmission Dynamics of Borrelia turicatae from the Arthropod Vector

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, William K.; Wilder, Hannah K.; Lawrence, Amanda M.; Lopez, Job E.

    2014-01-01

    Background With the global distribution, morbidity, and mortality associated with tick and louse-borne relapsing fever spirochetes, it is important to understand the dynamics of vector colonization by the bacteria and transmission to the host. Tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes are blood-borne pathogens transmitted through the saliva of soft ticks, yet little is known about the transmission capability of these pathogens during the relatively short bloodmeal. This study was therefore initiated to understand the transmission dynamics of the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia turicatae from the vector Ornithodoros turicata, and the subsequent dissemination of the bacteria upon entry into murine blood. Methodology/Principal Findings To determine the minimum number of ticks required to transmit spirochetes, one to three infected O. turicata were allowed to feed to repletion on individual mice. Murine infection and dissemination of the spirochetes was evaluated by dark field microscopy of blood, quantitative PCR, and immunoblotting against B. turicatae protein lysates and a recombinant antigen, the Borrelia immunogenic protein A. Transmission frequencies were also determined by interrupting the bloodmeal 15 seconds after tick attachment. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed on infected salivary glands to detect spirochetes within acini lumen and excretory ducts. Furthermore, spirochete colonization and dissemination from the bite site was investigated by feeding infected O. turicata on the ears of mice, removing the attachment site after engorment, and evaluating murine infection. Conclusion/Significance Our findings demonstrated that three ticks provided a sufficient infectious dose to infect nearly all animals, and B. turicatae was transmitted within seconds of tick attachment. Spirochetes were also detected in acini lumen of salivary glands by SEM. Upon host entry, B. turicatae did not require colonization of the bite site to establish murine

  15. Expression of the Tick-Associated Vtp Protein of Borrelia hermsii in a Murine Model of Relapsing Fever

    PubMed Central

    Marcsisin, Renee A.; Lewis, Eric R. G.; Barbour, Alan G.

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia hermsii, a spirochete and cause of relapsing fever, is notable for its immune evasion by multiphasic antigenic variation within its vertebrate host. This is based on a diverse repertoire of surface antigen genes, only one of which is expressed at a time. Another major surface protein, the Variable Tick Protein (Vtp), is expressed in the tick vector and is invariable at its genetic locus. Given the limited immune systems of ticks, the finding of considerable diversity among the Vtp proteins of different strains of B. hermsii was unexpected. We investigated one explanation for this diversity of Vtp proteins, namely expression of the protein in mammals and a consequent elicitation of a specific immune response. Mice were infected with B. hermsii of either the HS1 or CC1 strain, which have antigenically distinctive Vtp proteins but otherwise have similar repertoires of the variable surface antigens. Subsequently collected sera were examined for antibody reactivities against Vtp and other antigens using Western blot analysis, dot blot, and protein microarray. Week-6 sera of infected mice contained antibodies that were largely specific for the Vtp of the infecting strain and were not attributable to antibody cross-reactivities. The antibody responses of the mice infected with different strains were otherwise similar. Further evidence of in vivo expression of the vtp gene was from enumeration of cDNA sequence reads that mapped to a set of selected B. hermsii genes. This measure of transcription of the infecting strain’s vtp gene was ~10% of that for the abundantly-expressed, serotype-defining variable antigen gene but similar to that of genes known for in vivo expression. The findings of Vtp expression in a vertebrate host and elicitation of a specific anti-Vtp antibody response support the view that balancing selection by host adaptive immunity accounts in part for the observed diversity of Vtp proteins. PMID:26918760

  16. Louse-borne relapsing fever in a refugee from Somalia arriving in Belgium.

    PubMed

    Darcis, Gilles; Hayette, Marie-Pierre; Bontems, Sebastien; Sauvage, Anne-Sophie; Meuris, Christelle; Van Esbroeck, Marjan; Leonard, Philippe

    2016-03-01

    We report a case of louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) in a refugee from Somalia who had arrived in Belgium a few days earlier. He complained of myalgia and secondarily presented fever. Blood smears revealed spirochetes later identified as Borrelia recurrentis. LBRF should be considered in countries hosting refugees, particularly those who transit through endemic regions. PMID:27356309

  17. Fibronectin-Binding Protein of Borrelia hermsii Expressed in the Blood of Mice with Relapsing Fever

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Eric R. G.; Marcsisin, Renee A.; Campeau Miller, Shelley A.; Hue, Fong; Phillips, April; AuCoin, David P.

    2014-01-01

    To identify and characterize surface proteins expressed by the relapsing fever (RF) agent Borrelia hermsii in the blood of infected mice, we used a cell-free filtrate of their blood to immunize congenic naive mice. The resultant antiserum was used for Western blotting of cell lysates, and gel slices corresponding to reactive bands were subjected to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, followed by a search of the proteome database with the peptides. One of the immunogens was identified as the BHA007 protein, which is encoded by a 174-kb linear plasmid. BHA007 had sequence features of lipoproteins, was surface exposed by the criteria of in situ protease susceptibility and agglutination of Vtp− cells by anti-BHA007 antibodies, and was not essential for in vitro growth. BHA007 elicited antibodies during experimental infection of mice, but immunization with recombinant protein did not confer protection against needle-delivered infection. Open reading frames (ORFs) orthologous to BHA007 were found on large plasmids of other RF species, including the coding sequences for the CihC proteins of Borrelia duttonii and B. recurrentis, but not in Lyme disease Borrelia species. Recombinant BHA007 bound both human and bovine fibronectin with Kd (dissociation constant) values of 22 and 33 nM, respectively, and bound to C4-binding protein with less affinity. The distant homology of BHA007 and its orthologs to BBK32 proteins of Lyme disease species, as well as to previously described BBK32-like proteins in relapsing fever species, indicates that BHA007 is a member of a large family of multifunctional proteins in Borrelia species that bind to fibronectin as well as other host proteins. PMID:24686059

  18. Molecular identification of Borrelia genus in questing hard ticks from Portugal: Phylogenetic characterization of two novel Relapsing Fever-like Borrelia sp.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Mónica; Parreira, Ricardo; Maia, Carla; Lopes, Nádia; Fingerle, Volker; Vieira, M Luísa

    2016-06-01

    In the last decades, several studies have reported pathogenic species of Borrelia related to those that cause Tick-borne Relapsing Fever (RF), but unexpectedly suggesting their transmission by hard ticks, known vectors of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi s.l.) species, rather than by soft ticks. This study was designed to update the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. species in ticks from several districts of mainland Portugal, where Ixodes ricinus had been previously described. Ticks (a total of 2915 specimens) were collected in seven districts throughout the country, and analyzed using molecular methods. Three nested-PCR protocols, targeting the flagellin gene (flaB), the intergenic spacer region (IGS) located between 5S and 23S rRNA, and the glpQ gene, and a conventional PCR targeting the 16S rRNA, were used for Borrelia DNA detection. Borrelia DNA was detected in 3% of the ticks from Braga, Vila Real, Lisboa, Setúbal, Évora and Faro districts. The obtained amplicons were sequenced and analyzed by BLASTn, and 15/63 (24%) matched with homologous sequences from Borrelia lusitaniae and 15/63 (24%) with B. garinii, being these the most prevalent species. DNA from B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), B. valaisiana and B. afzelii were detected in 7/63 (11%), 6/63 (10%), and 2/63 (3%) of the specimens, respectively. Unexpectedly, DNA sequence (flaB) analysis from eight (13%) samples, two from Rhipicephalus sanguineus and six from Haemaphysalis punctata tick species, revealed high homology with RF-like Borrelia. Phylogenetic analyses obtained from three genetic markers (16S rRNA, flaB, and glpQ) confirmed their congruent inclusion in a strongly supported RF cluster, where they segregated in two subgroups which differ from the other Relapsing Fever species. Therefore, the results confirm the circulation of multiple species of B. burgdorferi s.l. over a wide geographic range, covering most of the Portuguese mainland territory. Surprisingly, the obtained data

  19. A Single-Domain FlgJ Contributes to Flagellar Hook and Filament Formation in the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kai; Tong, Brian A.; Liu, Jun

    2012-01-01

    FlgJ plays a very important role in flagellar assembly. In the enteric bacteria, flgJ null mutants fail to produce the flagellar rods, hooks, and filaments but still assemble the integral membrane-supramembrane (MS) rings. These mutants are nonmotile. The FlgJ proteins consist of two functional domains. The N-terminal rod-capping domain acts as a scaffold for rod assembly, and the C-terminal domain acts as a peptidoglycan (PG) hydrolase (PGase), which allows the elongating flagellar rod to penetrate through the PG layer. However, the FlgJ homologs in several bacterial phyla (including spirochetes) often lack the PGase domain. The function of these single-domain FlgJ proteins remains elusive. Herein, a single-domain FlgJ homolog (FlgJBb) was studied in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Cryo-electron tomography analysis revealed that the flgJBb mutant still assembled intact flagellar basal bodies but had fewer and disoriented flagellar hooks and filaments. Consistently, Western blots showed that the levels of flagellar hook (FlgE) and filament (FlaB) proteins were substantially decreased in the flgJBb mutant. Further studies disclosed that the decreases of FlgE and FlaB in the mutant occurred at the posttranscriptional level. Microscopic observation and swarm plate assay showed that the motility of the flgJBb mutant was partially deficient. The altered phenotypes were completely restored when the mutant was complemented. Collectively, these results indicate that FlgJBb is involved in the assembly of the flagellar hook and filament but not the flagellar rod in B. burgdorferi. The observed phenotype is different from that of flgJ mutants in the enteric bacteria. PMID:22155773

  20. Decorin-binding proteins A and B confer distinct mammalian cell type-specific attachment by Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Joshua R.; Parveen, Nikhat; Magoun, Loranne; Leong, John M.

    2003-01-01

    Host cell binding is an essential step in colonization by many bacterial pathogens, and the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, which colonizes multiple tissues, is capable of attachment to diverse cell types. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitously expressed on mammalian cells and are recognized by multiple B. burgdorferi surface proteins. We previously showed that B. burgdorferi strains differ in the particular spectrum of GAGs that they recognize, leading to differences in the cultured mammalian cell types that they efficiently bind. The molecular basis of these binding specificities remains undefined, due to the difficulty of analyzing multiple, potentially redundant cell attachment pathways and to the paucity of genetic tools for this pathogen. In the current study, we show that the expression of decorin-binding protein (Dbp) A and/or DbpB, two B. burgdorferi surface proteins that bind GAGs, is sufficient to convert a high-passage nonadherent B. burgdorferi strain into one that efficiently binds 293 epithelial cells. Epithelial cell attachment was mediated by dermatan sulfate, and, consistent with this GAG-binding specificity, these recombinant strains did not bind EA-Hy926 endothelial cells. The GAG-binding properties of bacteria expressing DbpB or DbpA were distinguishable, and DbpB but not DbpA promoted spirochetal attachment to C6 glial cells. Thus, DbpA and DbpB may each play central but distinct roles in cell type-specific binding by Lyme disease spirochetes. This study illustrates that transformation of high-passage B. burgdorferi strains may provide a relatively simple genetic approach to analyze virulence-associated phenotypes conferred by multiple bacterial factors. PMID:12773620

  1. Fatal spirochetosis due to a relapsing fever-like Borrelia sp. in northern spotted owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, N.J.; Bunikis, J.; Barbour, A.G.; Wolcott, M.J.

    2002-01-01

    Acute septicemic spirochetosis was diagnosed in an adult male northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) found dead in Kittitas County, Washington, USA. Gross necropsy findings included marked enlargement of the liver and spleen and serofibrinous deposits on the serous membranes lining the body cavities and the pericardial and perihepatic sacs. Microscopic observations included macrophage infiltration in the liver and spleen with mild thrombosis and multifocal necrosis, as well as hemorrhage and acute inflammation in the choroid plexus of the brain. No viruses or pathogenic bacteria were isolated from brain, liver, or spleen, and no parasites were found in blood smears or impression smears of the liver. Chlamydial culture attempts were unsuccessful and no chlamydial antibodies were detected in serum. In silver-stained microscopic sections and by transmission electron microscopy of liver, numerous long, thin, spiral-shaped bacteria were seen in the liver, spleen, cerebral ventricles, and within blood vessels in many organs. The organism was identified as a member of the Borrelia genus by sequence analysis of the PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene. The most closely related species is B. hermsii, an agent of relapsing fever in humans in the western United States. This is the first report of a relapsing fever-related Borrelia in a wild bird.

  2. The OspE-Related Proteins Inhibit Complement Deposition and Enhance Serum Resistance of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme Disease Spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Kenedy, Melisha R.; Akins, Darrin R.

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete, binds the host complement inhibitors factor H (FH) and FH-like protein 1 (FHL-1). Binding of FH/FHL-1 by the B. burgdorferi proteins CspA and the OspE-related proteins is thought to enhance resistance to serum-mediated killing. While previous reports have shown that CspA confers serum resistance in B. burgdorferi, it is unclear whether the OspE-related proteins are relevant in B. burgdorferi serum resistance when OspE is expressed on the borrelial surface. To assess the role of the OspE-related proteins, we overexpressed them in a serum-sensitive CspA mutant strain. OspE overexpression enhanced serum resistance of the CspA-deficient organisms. Furthermore, FH was more efficiently bound to the B. burgdorferi surface when OspE was overexpressed. Deposition of complement components C3 and C5b-9 (the membrane attack complex), however, was reduced on the surface of the OspE-overexpressing strain compared to that on the CspA mutant strain. These data demonstrate that OspE proteins expressed on the surface of B. burgdorferi bind FH and protect the organism from complement deposition and subsequent serum-mediated destruction. PMID:21282413

  3. Tickborne Relapsing Fever, Bitterroot Valley, Montana, USA

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Joshua; Fischer, Robert J.; McCoy, Brandi N.; Raffel, Sandra J.

    2015-01-01

    In July 2013, a resident of the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana, USA, contracted tickborne relapsing fever caused by an infection with the spirochete Borrelia hermsii. The patient’s travel history and activities before onset of illness indicated a possible exposure on his residential property on the eastern side of the valley. An onsite investigation of the potential exposure site found the vector, Ornithodoros hermsi ticks, and 1 chipmunk infected with spirochetes, which on the basis of multilocus sequence typing were identical to the spirochete isolated from the patient. Field studies in other locations found additional serologic evidence and an infected tick that demonstrated a wider distribution of spirochetes circulating among the small mammal populations. Our study demonstrates that this area of Montana represents a previously unrecognized focus of relapsing fever and poses a risk for persons of acquiring this tickborne disease. PMID:25625502

  4. Sequence Analysis and Serological Responses against Borrelia turicatae BipA, a Putative Species-Specific Antigen

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Job E.; Wilder, Hannah K.; Boyle, William; Drumheller, L. Brock; Thornton, Justin A.; Willeford, Bridget; Morgan, Timothy W.; Varela-Stokes, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    Background Relapsing fever spirochetes are global yet neglected pathogens causing recurrent febrile episodes, chills, nausea, vomiting, and pregnancy complications. Given these nonspecific clinical manifestations, improving diagnostic assays for relapsing fever spirochetes will allow for identification of endemic foci and expedite proper treatment. Previously, an antigen designated the Borrelia immunogenic protein A (BipA) was identified in the North American species Borrelia hermsii. Thus far, BipA appears unique to relapsing fever spirochetes. The antigen remains unidentified outside of these pathogens, while interspecies amino acid identity for BipA in relapsing fever spirochetes is only 24–36%. The current study investigated the immunogenicity of BipA in Borrelia turicatae, a species distributed in the southern United States and Latin America. Methodology/Principal Findings bipA was amplified from six isolates of Borrelia turicatae, and sequence analysis demonstrated that the gene is conserved among isolates. A tick transmission system was developed for B. turicatae in mice and a canine, two likely vertebrate hosts, which enabled the evaluation of serological responses against recombinant BipA (rBipA). These studies indicated that BipA is antigenic in both animal systems after infection by tick bite, yet serum antibodies failed to bind to B. hermsii rBipA at a detectable level. Moreover, mice continued to generate an antibody response against BipA one year after the initial infection, further demonstrating the protein's potential toward identifying endemic foci for B. turicatae. Conclusions/Significance These initial studies support the hypothesis that BipA is a spirochete antigen unique to a relapsing fever Borrelia species, and could be used to improve efforts for identifying B. turicatae endemic regions. PMID:24069498

  5. Laboratory Diagnosis of Tick-Borne African Relapsing Fevers: Latest Developments.

    PubMed

    Fotso Fotso, Aurélien; Drancourt, Michel

    2015-01-01

    In Africa, relapsing fevers caused by ectoparasite-borne Borrelia species are transmitted by ticks, with the exception of Borrelia recurrentis, which is a louse-borne spirochete. These tropical diseases are responsible for mild to deadly spirochetemia. Cultured Borrelia crocidurae, Borrelia duttonii, and Borrelia hispanica circulate alongside at least six species that have not yet been cultured in vectors. Direct diagnosis is hindered by the use of non-specific laboratory tools. Indeed, microscopic observation of Borrelia spirochaeta in smears of peripheral blood taken from febrile patients lacks sensitivity and specificity. Although best visualized using dark-field microscopy, the organisms can also be detected using Wright-Giemsa or acridine orange stains. PCR-based detection of specific sequences in total DNA extracted from a specimen can be used to discriminate different relapsing fever Borreliae. In our laboratory, we developed a multiplex real-time PCR assay for the specific detection of B. duttonii/recurrentis and B. crocidurae: multispacer sequence typing accurately identified cultured relapsing fever borreliae and revealed diversity among them. Other molecular typing techniques, such as multilocus sequence analysis of tick-borne relapsing fever borreliae, showed the potential risk of human infection in Africa. Recent efforts to culture and sequence relapsing fever borreliae have provided new information for reassessment of the diversity of these bacteria. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been reported as a means of identifying cultured borreliae and of identifying both vectors and vectorized pathogens such as detecting relapsing fever borreliae directly in ticks. The lack of a rapid diagnosis test restricts the management of such diseases. We produced monoclonal antibodies against B. crocidurae in order to develop cheap assays for the rapid detection of relapsing fever borreliae. In this paper, we

  6. Laboratory Diagnosis of Tick-Borne African Relapsing Fevers: Latest Developments

    PubMed Central

    Fotso Fotso, Aurélien; Drancourt, Michel

    2015-01-01

    In Africa, relapsing fevers caused by ectoparasite-borne Borrelia species are transmitted by ticks, with the exception of Borrelia recurrentis, which is a louse-borne spirochete. These tropical diseases are responsible for mild to deadly spirochetemia. Cultured Borrelia crocidurae, Borrelia duttonii, and Borrelia hispanica circulate alongside at least six species that have not yet been cultured in vectors. Direct diagnosis is hindered by the use of non-specific laboratory tools. Indeed, microscopic observation of Borrelia spirochaeta in smears of peripheral blood taken from febrile patients lacks sensitivity and specificity. Although best visualized using dark-field microscopy, the organisms can also be detected using Wright–Giemsa or acridine orange stains. PCR-based detection of specific sequences in total DNA extracted from a specimen can be used to discriminate different relapsing fever Borreliae. In our laboratory, we developed a multiplex real-time PCR assay for the specific detection of B. duttonii/recurrentis and B. crocidurae: multispacer sequence typing accurately identified cultured relapsing fever borreliae and revealed diversity among them. Other molecular typing techniques, such as multilocus sequence analysis of tick-borne relapsing fever borreliae, showed the potential risk of human infection in Africa. Recent efforts to culture and sequence relapsing fever borreliae have provided new information for reassessment of the diversity of these bacteria. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been reported as a means of identifying cultured borreliae and of identifying both vectors and vectorized pathogens such as detecting relapsing fever borreliae directly in ticks. The lack of a rapid diagnosis test restricts the management of such diseases. We produced monoclonal antibodies against B. crocidurae in order to develop cheap assays for the rapid detection of relapsing fever borreliae. In this paper, we

  7. Investigation of venereal, transplacental, and contact transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Woodrum, J E; Oliver, J H

    1999-06-01

    A hamster was inoculated with the SI-1 strain of Borrelia burgdorferi and subsequently served as a host to larval Ixodes scapularis Say. Approximately 68% of the nymphs resulting from the fed larvae were infected. Nymphs from this group were fed on uninfected hamsters, and 3 of 4 males and 6 of 6 females became infected. The infected hamsters were allowed to mate with uninfected partners to test for venereal transmission. Six infected females were mated with 6 uninfected males, whereas 3 infected males were mated with 6 uninfected females. None of the uninfected hamsters became infected after mating. Two protocols were used to determine if transplacental transmission of B. burgdorferi occurred. One group included 6 nonpregnant infected females that were subsequently mated and became pregnant. Three of the females were allowed to carry to full term, whereas the other 3 were killed prior to parturition. All fetuses and offspring were negative for B. burgdorferi based on cultures and monoclonal antibody assays. Another group of 6 females was infected via tick bite after becoming pregnant; those females were allowed to carry fetuses to birth and all were negative. Attempts at contact transmission of B. burgdorferi from 2 infected females to 2 uninfected male and 2 uninfected female hamsters and from 2 infected males to 2 uninfected male and uninfected female hamsters via urine or feces failed. PMID:10386432

  8. Tick-borne relapsing fever in a premature infant.

    PubMed

    Brasseur, D

    1985-09-01

    Relapsing fever is caused by the Borrelia species of spirochetes. Louse-born epidemics of the disease may occur but the endemic disease is usually transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick (Ornithodorus). Transplacental infection was suggested more than 75 years ago (1) but has been rarely documented (2). We describe a case of neonatal relapsing fever where maternal infection was the probable cause of the premature delivery and infection in the infant. PMID:2415056

  9. A relapsing fever group Borrelia sp. similar to Borrelia lonestari found among wild sika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis) and Haemaphysalis spp. ticks in Hokkaido, Japan.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyunglee; Takano, Ai; Taylor, Kyle; Sashika, Mariko; Shimozuru, Michito; Konnai, Satoru; Kawabata, Hiroki; Tsubota, Toshio

    2014-10-01

    A relapsing fever Borrelia sp. similar to Borrelia lonestari (herein referred to as B. lonestari-like) was detected from wild sika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis) and Haemaphysalis ticks in the eastern part of Hokkaido, Japan. The total prevalence of this Borrelia sp. in tested deer blood samples was 10.6% using conventional PCR and real-time PCR. The prevalence was significantly higher in deer fawns compared to adults (21.9% and 9.4%, respectively). Additionally, there was significant regional difference between our two sampling areas, Shiretoko and Shibetsu with 17% and 2.8% prevalence, respectively. Regional differences were also found in tick species collected from field and on deer. In the Shiretoko region, Haemaphysalis spp. were more abundant than Ixodes spp., while in Shibetsu, Ixodes spp. were more abundant. Using real-time PCR analysis, B. lonestari-like was detected from 2 out of 290 adult Haemaphysalis spp. ticks and 4 out of 76 pools of nymphs. This is the first report of a B. lonestari-like organism in Haemaphysalis spp. ticks, and the first phylogenetic analysis of this B. lonestari-like organism in Asia. Based on our results, Haemaphysalis spp. are the most likely candidates to act as a vector for B. lonestari-like; furthermore, regional variation of B. lonestari-like prevalence in sika deer may be dependent on the population distribution of these ticks. PMID:25108784

  10. Insights into Borrelia miyamotoi infection from an untreated case demonstrating relapsing fever, monocytosis and a positive C6 Lyme serology.

    PubMed

    Sudhindra, Praveen; Wang, Guiqing; Schriefer, Martin E; McKenna, Donna; Zhuge, Jian; Krause, Peter J; Marques, Adriana R; Wormser, Gary P

    2016-09-01

    We describe a patient from the United States with PCR- and serology-confirmed Borrelia miyamotoi infection who recovered without antibiotics. Our findings suggest that B. miyamotoi infection may cause relapsing fever, blood monocytosis and antibody reactivity to the C6 peptide. Further studies are required to better define the spectrum of clinical and laboratory findings for this emerging tick-transmitted infection. PMID:27412815

  11. [Diseases produced by Borrelia].

    PubMed

    Escudero-Nieto, Raquel; Guerrero-Espejo, Antonio

    2005-04-01

    Lyme borreliosis, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, is a multi-organ infection with dermatological, rheumatological, neurological, and cardiac manifestations. The main characteristic is a skin lesion, named erythema migrans. Relapsing fever, caused by numerous species of Borrelia, is characterized by a periodic cycle of acute and afebrile episodes. The serological diagnosis of these infections has limited value in sensitivity, specificity and predictive values. Lyme borreliosis is usually diagnosed by recognition of a characteristic clinical picture with serological confirmation, and the diagnosis of relapsing fever relies on direct observation of spirochetes in peripherical blood. The elected treatment is almost always tetracycline for the young or for adults but not for pregnant women, although betalactamic (such as penicillin or 3rd generation cephalosporin for the central nervous system) or macrolides are indicated in several situations. The prognosis, with adequate treatment, is good. In the majority of Spanish regions, due to the low incidence of these diseases, the prophylactic antimicrobial treatment after a tick bite is not indicated. PMID:15826549

  12. Tickborne Relapsing Fever Diagnosis Obscured by Malaria, Togo

    PubMed Central

    Nordstrand, Annika; Bunikis, Ignas; Larsson, Christer; Tsogbe, Kodjo; Schwan, Tom G.; Nilsson, Mikael

    2007-01-01

    Given the prevalence of relapsing fever (RF) in Senegal, this disease may cause illness and death in other areas of West Africa. We performed a cross-sectional, clinic-based study to investigate the presence of RF in Togo during 2002–2004. Blood samples from patients with fever were examined for RF spirochetes by microscopy, PCR, and DNA sequencing of amplicons and for antibodies to the glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase antigen. Although no spirochetes were seen in blood smears, ≈10% of the patients were positive by PCR and ≈13% were seropositive for spirochetes. DNA sequencing demonstrated that Borrelia crocidurae and B. duttonii were present. Most patients were treated for malaria whether or not plasmodia were observed. Thus, many RF patients originally had a misdiagnosis of malaria, which resulted in ineffective treatment. The inability of microscopic analysis to detect spirochetes compared with PCR demonstrates the need for tests with greater sensitivity. PMID:17370524

  13. Phylogenetic analysis of the spirochetes.

    PubMed Central

    Paster, B J; Dewhirst, F E; Weisburg, W G; Tordoff, L A; Fraser, G J; Hespell, R B; Stanton, T B; Zablen, L; Mandelco, L; Woese, C R

    1991-01-01

    The 16S rRNA sequences were determined for species of Spirochaeta, Treponema, Borrelia, Leptospira, Leptonema, and Serpula, using a modified Sanger method of direct RNA sequencing. Analysis of aligned 16S rRNA sequences indicated that the spirochetes form a coherent taxon composed of six major clusters or groups. The first group, termed the treponemes, was divided into two subgroups. The first treponeme subgroup consisted of Treponema pallidum, Treponema phagedenis, Treponema denticola, a thermophilic spirochete strain, and two species of Spirochaeta, Spirochaeta zuelzerae and Spirochaeta stenostrepta, with an average interspecies similarity of 89.9%. The second treponeme subgroup contained Treponema bryantii, Treponema pectinovorum, Treponema saccharophilum, Treponema succinifaciens, and rumen strain CA, with an average interspecies similarity of 86.2%. The average interspecies similarity between the two treponeme subgroups was 84.2%. The division of the treponemes into two subgroups was verified by single-base signature analysis. The second spirochete group contained Spirochaeta aurantia, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirochaeta litoralis, and Spirochaeta isovalerica, with an average similarity of 87.4%. The Spirochaeta group was related to the treponeme group, with an average similarity of 81.9%. The third spirochete group contained borrelias, including Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia anserina, Borrelia hermsii, and a rabbit tick strain. The borrelias formed a tight phylogenetic cluster, with average similarity of 97%. THe borrelia group shared a common branch with the Spirochaeta group and was closer to this group than to the treponemes. A single spirochete strain isolated fromt the shew constituted the fourth group. The fifth group was composed of strains of Serpula (Treponema) hyodysenteriae and Serpula (Treponema) innocens. The two species of this group were closely related, with a similarity of greater than 99%. Leptonema illini

  14. Real-Time Monitoring of Disease Progression in Rhesus Macaques Infected With Borrelia turicatae by Tick Bite

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Job E.; Vinet-Oliphant, Heather; Wilder, Hannah K.; Brooks, Christopher P.; Grasperge, Britton J.; Morgan, Timothy W.; Stuckey, Kerstan J.; Embers, Monica E.

    2014-01-01

    The hallmark of disease caused by tick- and louse-borne relapsing fever due to Borrelia infection is cyclic febrile episodes, which in humans results in severe malaise and may lead to death. To evaluate the pathogenesis of relapsing fever due to spirochetes in an animal model closely related to humans, disease caused by Borrelia turicatae after tick bite was compared in 2 rhesus macaques in which radiotelemetry devices that recorded body temperatures in 24-hour increments were implanted. The radiotelemetry devices enabled real-time acquisition of core body temperatures and changes in heart rates and electrocardiogram intervals for 28 consecutive days without the need to constantly manipulate the animals. Blood specimens were also collected from all animals for 14 days after tick bite, and spirochete densities were assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The complexity of disease caused by relapsing-fever spirochetes was demonstrated in the nonhuman primates monitored in real time. The animals experienced prolonged episodes of hyperthermia and hypothermia; disruptions in their diurnal patterns and repolarization of the heart were also observed. This is the first report of the characterizing disease progression with continuous monitoring in an animal model of relapsing fever due to Borrelia infection. PMID:24879799

  15. Molecular Identification of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes ricinus from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Mónica; Parreira, Ricardo; Lopes, Nádia; Maia, Carla; Carreira, Teresa; Sousa, Carmelita; Faria, Sofia; Campino, Lenea; Vieira, M Luísa

    2015-08-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi, a relapsing fever spirochete, has been found recently in Ixodes ricinus ticks; however, little is known about its spatial distribution and potential local impact on human health. A total of 640 ticks (447 nymphs and 193 adults) collected throughout Portugal were analyzed using two nested PCR protocols, one targeting the flagellin gene and the other the internal transcribed space region between the 5S and the 23S rRNA. As a result, B. miyamotoi was detected, for the first time, in one guesting I. ricinus nymph collected in the Lisboa district. In addition, a prevalence of 11% (71/640) for B. burgdorferi sensu lato was obtained. Even though no human relapsing fever cases due to infection by B. miyamotoi have been reported yet in Portugal, surveillance must be improved to provide better insight into the prevalence and distribution of this spirochete in ticks. PMID:26273814

  16. Association of spirochetal infection with Morgellons disease.

    PubMed

    Middelveen, Marianne J; Burugu, Divya; Poruri, Akhila; Burke, Jennie; Mayne, Peter J; Sapi, Eva; Kahn, Douglas G; Stricker, Raphael B

    2013-01-01

    Morgellons disease (MD) is an emerging multisystem illness characterized by skin lesions with unusual filaments embedded in or projecting from epithelial tissue. Filament formation results from abnormal keratin and collagen expression by epithelial-based keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Recent research comparing MD to bovine digital dermatitis, an animal infectious disease with similar skin features, provided clues that spirochetal infection could play an important role in the human disease as it does in the animal illness. Based on histological staining, immunofluorescent staining, electron microscopic imaging and polymerase chain reaction, we report the detection of Borrelia spirochetes in dermatological tissue of  four randomly-selected MD patients. The association of MD with spirochetal infection provides evidence that this infection may be a significant factor in the illness and refutes claims that MD lesions are self-inflicted and that people suffering from this disorder are delusional. Molecular characterization of the Borrelia spirochetes found in MD patients is warranted. PMID:24715950

  17. Association of spirochetal infection with Morgellons disease

    PubMed Central

    Stricker, Raphael B

    2013-01-01

    Morgellons disease (MD) is an emerging multisystem illness characterized by skin lesions with unusual filaments embedded in or projecting from epithelial tissue. Filament formation results from abnormal keratin and collagen expression by epithelial-based keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Recent research comparing MD to bovine digital dermatitis, an animal infectious disease with similar skin features, provided clues that spirochetal infection could play an important role in the human disease as it does in the animal illness. Based on histological staining, immunofluorescent staining, electron microscopic imaging and polymerase chain reaction, we report the detection of Borrelia spirochetes in dermatological tissue of  four randomly-selected MD patients. The association of MD with spirochetal infection provides evidence that this infection may be a significant factor in the illness and refutes claims that MD lesions are self-inflicted and that people suffering from this disorder are delusional. Molecular characterization of the Borrelia spirochetes found in MD patients is warranted. PMID:24715950

  18. Chromosome and Plasmids of the Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Agent Borrelia hermsii.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Alan G

    2016-01-01

    The zoonotic pathogen Borrelia hermsii bears its multiple paralogous genes for variable antigens on several linear plasmids. Application of combined long-read and short-read next-generation sequencing provided complete sequences for antigen-encoding plasmids as well as other linear and circular plasmids and the linear chromosome of the genome. PMID:27284141

  19. Chromosome and Plasmids of the Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Agent Borrelia hermsii

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The zoonotic pathogen Borrelia hermsii bears its multiple paralogous genes for variable antigens on several linear plasmids. Application of combined long-read and short-read next-generation sequencing provided complete sequences for antigen-encoding plasmids as well as other linear and circular plasmids and the linear chromosome of the genome. PMID:27284141

  20. Associations of passerine birds, rabbits, and ticks with Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia andersonii in Michigan, U.S.A.

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Wild birds contribute to maintenance and dissemination of vectors and microbes, including those that impact human, domestic animal, and wildlife health. Here we elucidate roles of wild passerine birds, eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), and Ixodes dentatus ticks in enzootic cycles of two spirochetes, Borrelia miyamotoi and B. andersonii in a region of Michigan where the zoonotic pathogen B. burgdorferi co-circulates. Methods Over a four-year period, wild birds (n = 19,631) and rabbits (n = 20) were inspected for tick presence and ear tissue was obtained from rabbits. Samples were tested for Borrelia spirochetes using nested PCR of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (IGS) and bidirectional DNA sequencing. Natural xenodiagnosis was used to implicate wildlife reservoirs. Results Ixodes dentatus, a tick that specializes on birds and rabbits and rarely bites humans, was the most common tick found, comprising 86.5% of the 12,432 ticks collected in the study. The relapsing fever group spirochete B. miyamotoi was documented for the first time in ticks removed from wild birds (0.7% minimum infection prevalence; MIP, in I. dentatus), and included two IGS strains. The majority of B. miyamotoi-positive ticks were removed from Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis). Borrelia andersonii infected ticks removed from birds (1.6% MIP), ticks removed from rabbits (5.3% MIP), and rabbit ear biopsies (5%) comprised twelve novel IGS strains. Six species of wild birds were implicated as reservoirs for B. andersonii. Frequency of I. dentatus larval and nymphal co-feeding on birds was ten times greater than expected by chance. The relatively well-studied ecology of I. scapularis and the Lyme disease pathogen provides a context for understanding how the phenology of bird ticks may impact B. miyamotoi and B. andersonii prevalence and host associations. Conclusions Given the current invasion of I. scapularis, a human biting species that serves as a

  1. Mutations in the Borrelia burgdorferi Flagellar Type III Secretion System Genes fliH and fliI Profoundly Affect Spirochete Flagellar Assembly, Morphology, Motility, Structure, and Cell Division

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Lihui; Zhao, Xiaowei; Liu, Jun; Norris, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi migrates to distant sites in the tick vectors and mammalian hosts through robust motility and chemotaxis activities. FliH and FliI are two cytoplasmic proteins that play important roles in the type III secretion system (T3SS)-mediated export and assembly of flagellar structural proteins. However, detailed analyses of the roles of FliH and FliI in B. burgdorferi have not been reported. In this study, fliH and fliI transposon mutants were utilized to dissect the mechanism of the Borrelia type III secretion system. The fliH and fliI mutants exhibited rod-shaped or string-like morphology, greatly reduced motility, division defects (resulting in elongated organisms with incomplete division points), and noninfectivity in mice by needle inoculation. Mutants in fliH and fliI were incapable of translational motion in 1% methylcellulose or soft agar. Inactivation of either fliH or fliI resulted in the loss of the FliH-FliI complex from otherwise intact flagellar motors, as determined by cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). Flagellar assemblies were still present in the mutant cells, albeit in lower numbers than in wild-type cells and with truncated flagella. Genetic complementation of fliH and fliI mutants in trans restored their wild-type morphology, motility, and flagellar motor structure; however, full-length flagella and infectivity were not recovered in these complemented mutants. Based on these results, disruption of either fliH or fliI in B. burgdorferi results in a severe defect in flagellar structure and function and cell division but does not completely block the export and assembly of flagellar hook and filament proteins. PMID:25968649

  2. GlpQ: an antigen for serological discrimination between relapsing fever and Lyme borreliosis.

    PubMed Central

    Schwan, T G; Schrumpf, M E; Hinnebusch, B J; Anderson, D E; Konkel, M E

    1996-01-01

    Tick-borne relapsing fever is caused by numerous Borrelia species maintained in nature by Ornithodoros tick-mammal cycles. Serological confirmation is based on either an immunofluorescence assay or an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using whole cells or sonicated Borrelia hermsii as the antigen. However, antigenic variability of this bacterium's outer surface proteins and antigens shared with the Lyme disease spirochete (B. burgdorferi), may cause both false-negative and false-positive results when testing sera of patients suspected to have either relapsing fever or Lyme disease. To develop a specific serological test for relapsing fever, we created a genomic DNA library of B. hermsii, screened transformed Escherichia coli cells for immunoreactivity with high-titered (> or = 1:2,048) human anti-B. hermsii antiserum, and selected an immunoreactive clone (pSPR75) expressing a 39-kDa protein. DNA sequencing, subcloning, and serum adsorption experiments identified the immunoreactive protein as a homolog of GlpQ, a glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase identified previously in E. coli, Haemophilus influenzae, and Bacillus subtilis. Serum samples from humans and mice infected with B. hermsii or other species of relapsing fever spirochetes contained antibodies recognizing GlpQ, whereas serum samples from Lyme disease and syphilis patients were nonreactive. Serologic tests based on this antigen will identify people exposed previously to relapsing fever spirochetes and help clarify the distribution of relapsing fever and Lyme disease in situations in which the occurrence of their causative agents is uncertain. PMID:8880505

  3. Real-Time High Resolution 3D Imaging of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Adhering to and Escaping from the Vasculature of a Living Host

    PubMed Central

    Colarusso, Pina; Bankhead, Troy; Kubes, Paul; Chaconas, George

    2008-01-01

    Pathogenic spirochetes are bacteria that cause a number of emerging and re-emerging diseases worldwide, including syphilis, leptospirosis, relapsing fever, and Lyme borreliosis. They navigate efficiently through dense extracellular matrix and cross the blood–brain barrier by unknown mechanisms. Due to their slender morphology, spirochetes are difficult to visualize by standard light microscopy, impeding studies of their behavior in situ. We engineered a fluorescent infectious strain of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease pathogen, which expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP). Real-time 3D and 4D quantitative analysis of fluorescent spirochete dissemination from the microvasculature of living mice at high resolution revealed that dissemination was a multi-stage process that included transient tethering-type associations, short-term dragging interactions, and stationary adhesion. Stationary adhesions and extravasating spirochetes were most commonly observed at endothelial junctions, and translational motility of spirochetes appeared to play an integral role in transendothelial migration. To our knowledge, this is the first report of high resolution 3D and 4D visualization of dissemination of a bacterial pathogen in a living mammalian host, and provides the first direct insight into spirochete dissemination in vivo. PMID:18566656

  4. Mobilifilum chasei: morphology and ecology of a spirochete from an intertidal stratified microbial mat community

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Hinkle, G.; Stolz, J.; Craft, F.; Esteve, I.; Guerrero, R.

    1990-01-01

    Spirochetes were found in the lower anoxiphototrophic layer of a stratified microbial mat (North Pond, Laguna Figueroa, Baja California, Mexico). Ultra-structural analysis of thin sections of field samples revealed spirochetes approximately 0.25 micrometer in diameter with 10 or more periplasmic flagella, leading to the interpretation that these spirochetes bear 10 flagellar insertions on each end. Morphometric study showed these free-living spirochetes greatly resemble certain symbiotic ones, i.e., Borrelia and certain termite spirochetes, the transverse sections of which are presented here. The ultrastructure of this spirochete also resembles Hollandina and Diplocalyx (spirochetes symbiotic in arthropods) more than it does Spirochaeta, the well known genus of mud-dwelling spirochetes. The new spirochete was detected in mat material collected both in 1985 and in 1987. Unique morphology (i.e., conspicuous outer coat of inner membrane, large number of periplasmic flagella) and ecology prompt us to name a new free-living spirochete.

  5. Interaction of spirochetes with the host fibrinolytic system and potential roles in pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Mônica Larucci; Nascimento, Ana Lucia T O

    2016-08-01

    The pathogenic spirochetes Borrelia burgdorferi, B. hermsii, B. recurrentis, Treponema denticola and Leptospira spp. are the etiologic agents of Lyme disease, relapsing fever, periodontitis and leptospirosis, respectively. Lyme borreliosis is a multi-systemic disorder and the most prevalent tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Tick-borne relapsing fever is persistent in endemic areas worldwide, representing a significant burden in some African regions. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder that often leads to tooth loss, is caused by several potential pathogens found in the oral cavity including T. denticola. Leptospirosis is considered the most widespread zoonosis, and the predominant human disease in tropical, undeveloped regions. What these diseases have in common is that they are a significant burden to healthcare costs in the absence of prophylactic measures. This review addresses the interaction of these spirochetes with the fibrinolytic system, plasminogen (Plg) binding to the surface of bacteria and the generation of plasmin (Pla) on their surface. The consequences on host-pathogen interactions when the spirochetes are endowed with this proteolytic activity are discussed on the basis of the results reported in the literature. Spirochetes equipped with Pla activity have been shown to degrade extracellular matrix (ECM) components, in addition to digesting fibrin, facilitating bacterial invasion and dissemination. Pla generation triggers the induction of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) in a cascade of events that enhances the proteolytic capacity of the spirochetes. These activities in concert with the interference exerted by the Plg/Pla on the complement system - helping the bacteria to evade the immune system - should illuminate our understanding of the mechanisms involved in host infection. PMID:25914944

  6. Borrelia miyamotoi Infection in Nature and in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Krause, Peter J.; Fish, Durland; Narasimhan, Sukanya; Barbour, Alan G.

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a relapsing fever Borrelia group spirochete that is transmitted by the same hard-bodied (ixodid) tick species that transmit the agents of Lyme disease. It was discovered in 1994 in Ixodes persulcatus ticks in Japan. B. miyamotoi species phylogenetically cluster with the relapsing fever group spirochetes, which usually are transmitted by soft-bodied (argasid) ticks or lice. B. miyamotoi infects at least six Ixodes tick species in North America and Eurasia that transmit Lyme disease group spirochetes and may use small rodents and birds as reservoirs. Human cases of B. miyamotoi infection were first reported in 2011 in Russia and subsequently in the United States, Europe, and Japan. These reports document the public health importance of B. miyamotoi, as human B. miyamotoi infection appears to be comparable in frequency to babesiosis or human granulocytic anaplasmosis in some areas and may cause severe disease, including meningoencephalitis. The most common clinical manifestations of B. miyamotoi infection are fever, fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia, arthralgia, and nausea. Symptoms of B. miyamotoi infection generally resolve within a week of the start of antibiotic therapy. B. miyamotoi infection should be considered in patients with acute febrile illness who have been exposed to Ixodes ticks in a region where Lyme disease occurs. Because clinical manifestations are non-specific, etiologic diagnosis requires confirmation by blood smear examination, PCR, antibody assay, in vitro cultivation, and/or isolation by animal inoculation. Antibiotics that have been used effectively include doxycycline for uncomplicated B. miyamotoi infection in adults and ceftriaxone or penicillin G for meningoencephalitis. PMID:25700888

  7. Identification of conserved antigens for early serodiagnosis of relapsing fever Borrelia

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Job E.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Schrumpf, Merry E.; Raffel, Sandra J.; Hammer, Carl H.; Zhao, Ming; Robinson, Mary Ann; Schwan, Tom G.

    2009-01-01

    Borrelia hermsii is a blood-borne pathogen transmitted by the argasid tick Ornithodoros hermsi. Since spirochaete clearance in mice is associated with an IgM-mediated response, an immunoproteomic analysis was used to identify proteins reactive with IgM. We report that IgM from both mice and human patients infected with B. hermsii not only reacted with the previously identified variable membrane proteins but also identified candidate antigens including heat-shock proteins, an adhesin protein, ABC transporter proteins, flagellar proteins, housekeeping proteins, an immune evasion protein, and proteins with unknown function. Furthermore, IgM reactivity to recombinant glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase was detected during early spirochaete infection and prior to a detectable IgG response. Lastly, a conserved hypothetical protein was produced in Escherichia coli and tested with immune serum against B. hermsii and Borrelia recurrentis. These results identify a much larger set of immunoreactive proteins, and could help in the early serodiagnosis of this tick-borne infection. PMID:19443544

  8. The Cross-Talk between Spirochetal Lipoproteins and Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Kelesidis, Theodoros

    2014-01-01

    Spirochetal diseases such as syphilis, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis are major threats to public health. However, the immunopathogenesis of these diseases has not been fully elucidated. Spirochetes interact with the host through various structural components such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS), surface lipoproteins, and glycolipids. Although spirochetal antigens such as LPS and glycolipids may contribute to the inflammatory response during spirochetal infections, spirochetes such as Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi lack LPS. Lipoproteins are most abundant proteins that are expressed in all spirochetes and often determine how spirochetes interact with their environment. Lipoproteins are pro-inflammatory, may regulate responses from both innate and adaptive immunity and enable the spirochetes to adhere to the host or the tick midgut or to evade the immune system. However, most of the spirochetal lipoproteins have unknown function. Herein, the immunomodulatory effects of spirochetal lipoproteins are reviewed and are grouped into two main categories: effects related to immune evasion and effects related to immune activation. Understanding lipoprotein-induced immunomodulation will aid in elucidating innate immunopathogenesis processes and subsequent adaptive mechanisms potentially relevant to spirochetal disease vaccine development and to inflammatory events associated with spirochetal diseases. PMID:25071771

  9. The Cross-Talk between Spirochetal Lipoproteins and Immunity.

    PubMed

    Kelesidis, Theodoros

    2014-01-01

    Spirochetal diseases such as syphilis, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis are major threats to public health. However, the immunopathogenesis of these diseases has not been fully elucidated. Spirochetes interact with the host through various structural components such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS), surface lipoproteins, and glycolipids. Although spirochetal antigens such as LPS and glycolipids may contribute to the inflammatory response during spirochetal infections, spirochetes such as Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi lack LPS. Lipoproteins are most abundant proteins that are expressed in all spirochetes and often determine how spirochetes interact with their environment. Lipoproteins are pro-inflammatory, may regulate responses from both innate and adaptive immunity and enable the spirochetes to adhere to the host or the tick midgut or to evade the immune system. However, most of the spirochetal lipoproteins have unknown function. Herein, the immunomodulatory effects of spirochetal lipoproteins are reviewed and are grouped into two main categories: effects related to immune evasion and effects related to immune activation. Understanding lipoprotein-induced immunomodulation will aid in elucidating innate immunopathogenesis processes and subsequent adaptive mechanisms potentially relevant to spirochetal disease vaccine development and to inflammatory events associated with spirochetal diseases. PMID:25071771

  10. Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) as hosts for Borrelia spp. in northern California.

    PubMed

    Lane, Robert S; Mun, Jeomhee; Parker, John M; White, Marshall

    2005-01-01

    The prevalence of infection of Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) with Borrelia spp. was evaluated in an area of northwestern California (USA) where Lyme disease is endemic and the relapsing-fever group spirochete Borrelia coriaceae is enzootic, and in a far-removed comparison area having a disparate climate and lower density of vector ticks. Blood samples collected from both deer herds in 1987, 1988, and from 2000-02 were assayed for borrelial infection with microscopic and molecular methods. Serum specimens from two (5%) of 39 deer from the Dye Creek Preserve in Tehama County versus 13 (20%) of 64 animals from the Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) in Mendocino County, California were polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test positive for B. burgdorferi sensu lato. DNA sequencing analyses revealed that eight animals were infected with B. bissettii, six with three unclassified genotypes, and one with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. One serum sample (2%) from HREC was positive for a relapsing-fever group spirochete that had a 16S rRNA sequence homology of 99% with the C053 type strain of B. coriaceae. Spirochetes undetermined to geno-species were detected in thick-blood drops prepared from three (8%) of 36 deer from the HREC by direct immunofluorescence. Adults of the hippoboscid flies Lipoptena depressa (n=73) and Neolipoptena ferrisi (n=24), the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis) (n=22), and the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) (n=1) that had been removed from deer from both study areas in 2002 were PCR test negative for borreliae. The occurrence of diverse borreliae in deer from northern California confounds and, consequently, reduces the utility of borrelial serosurveys for detecting specific genospecies, unless they are complemented by more specific assays (e.g., immunoblotting, PCR/sequencing analysis). PMID:15827217

  11. BB0347, from the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, Is Surface Exposed and Interacts with the CS1 Heparin-Binding Domain of Human Fibronectin

    PubMed Central

    Gaultney, Robert A.; Gonzalez, Tammy; Floden, Angela M.; Brissette, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    The causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, codes for several known fibronectin-binding proteins. Fibronectin a common the target of diverse bacterial pathogens, and has been shown to be essential in allowing for the development of certain disease states. Another borrelial protein, BB0347, has sequence similarity with these other known fibronectin-binding proteins, and may be important in Lyme disease pathogenesis. Herein, we perform an initial characterization of BB0347 via the use of molecular and biochemical techniques. We found that BB0347 is expressed, produced, and presented on the outer surface of intact B. burgdorferi. We also demonstrate that BB0347 has the potential to be important in Lyme disease progression, and have begun to characterize the nature of the interaction between human fibronectin and this bacterial protein. Further work is needed to define the role of this protein in the borrelial infection process. PMID:24086600

  12. The Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi Utilizes Multiple Ligands, Including RNA, for Interferon Regulatory Factor 3-Dependent Induction of Type I Interferon-Responsive Genes ▿

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Jennifer C.; Maylor-Hagen, Heather; Ma, Ying; Weis, John H.; Weis, Janis J.

    2010-01-01

    We recently discovered a critical role for type I interferon (IFN) in the development of murine Lyme arthritis. Borrelia burgdorferi-mediated induction of IFN-responsive genes by bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) was dependent upon a functional type I IFN receptor but independent of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, TLR9, and the adapter molecule MyD88. We now demonstrate that induction of the IFN transcriptional profile in B. burgdorferi-stimulated BMDMs occurs independently of the adapter TRIF and of the cytoplasmic sensor NOD2. In contrast, B. burgdorferi-induced transcription of these genes was dependent upon a rapid STAT1 feedback amplification pathway. IFN profile gene transcription was IRF3 dependent but did not utilize B. burgdorferi-derived DNA or DNase-sensitive ligands. Instead, IFN-responsive gene expression could be induced by B. burgdorferi-derived RNA. Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3)-dependent IFN profile gene transcription was also induced by sonicated bacteria, by the lipoprotein OspA, and by factors released into the BSKII medium during culture of B. burgdorferi. The IFN-stimulatory activity of B. burgdorferi culture supernatants was not destroyed by nuclease treatment. Nuclease digestion also had no effect on IFN profile induction mediated by sonicated B. burgdorferi. Thus, B. burgdorferi-derived RNA, OspA, and non-nucleic acid ligands present in both sonicated bacteria and B. burgdorferi culture medium contribute to type I IFN-responsive gene induction. These findings suggest that B. burgdorferi invasion of joint tissue and the resultant type I IFN induction associated with Lyme arthritis development may involve multiple triggering ligands. PMID:20404081

  13. Outer membrane proteins of pathogenic spirochetes

    PubMed Central

    Cullen, Paul A.; Haake, David A.; Adler, Ben

    2009-01-01

    Pathogenic spirochetes are the causative agents of several important diseases including syphilis, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, swine dysentery, periodontal disease and some forms of relapsing fever. Spirochetal bacteria possess two membranes and the proteins present in the outer membrane are at the site of interaction with host tissue and the immune system. This review describes the current knowledge in the field of spirochetal outer membrane protein (OMP) biology. What is known concerning biogenesis and structure of OMPs, with particular regard to the atypical signal peptide cleavage sites observed amongst the spirochetes, is discussed. We examine the functions that have been determined for several spirochetal OMPs including those that have been demonstrated to function as adhesins, porins or to have roles in complement resistance. A detailed description of the role of spirochetal OMPs in immunity, including those that stimulate protective immunity or that are involved in antigenic variation, is given. A final section is included which covers experimental considerations in spirochetal outer membrane biology. This section covers contentious issues concerning cellular localization of putative OMPs, including determination of surface exposure. A more detailed knowledge of spirochetal OMP biology will hopefully lead to the design of new vaccines and a better understanding of spirochetal pathogenesis. PMID:15449605

  14. "Candidatus Borrelia kalaharica" Detected from a Febrile Traveller Returning to Germany from Vacation in Southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Fingerle, Volker; Pritsch, Michael; Wächtler, Martin; Margos, Gabriele; Ruske, Sabine; Jung, Jette; Löscher, Thomas; Wendtner, Clemens; Wieser, Andreas

    2016-03-01

    A 26 year-old female patient presented to the Tropical Medicine outpatient unit of the Ludwig Maximilians-University in Munich with febrile illness after returning from Southern Africa, where she contracted a bite by a large mite-like arthropod, most likely a soft-tick. Spirochetes were detected in Giemsa stained blood smears and treatment was started with doxycycline for suspected tick-borne relapsing fever. The patient eventually recovered after developing a slight Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction during therapy. PCR reactions performed from EDTA-blood revealed a 16S rRNA sequence with 99.4% similarity to both, Borrelia duttonii, and B. parkeri. Further sequences obtained from the flagellin gene (flaB) demonstrated genetic distances of 0.066 and 0.097 to B. parkeri and B. duttonii, respectively. Fragments of the uvrA gene revealed genetic distance of 0.086 to B. hermsii in genetic analysis and only distant relations with classic Old World relapsing fever species. This revealed the presence of a novel species of tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes that we propose to name "Candidatus Borrelia kalaharica", as it was contracted from an arthropod bite in the Kalahari Desert belonging to both, Botswana and Namibia, a region where to our knowledge no relapsing fever has been described so far. Interestingly, the novel species shows more homology to New World relapsing fever Borrelia such as B. parkeri or B. hermsii than to known Old World species such as B. duttonii or B. crocidurae. PMID:27031729

  15. "Candidatus Borrelia kalaharica" Detected from a Febrile Traveller Returning to Germany from Vacation in Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Wächtler, Martin; Margos, Gabriele; Ruske, Sabine; Jung, Jette; Löscher, Thomas; Wendtner, Clemens; Wieser, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    A 26 year-old female patient presented to the Tropical Medicine outpatient unit of the Ludwig Maximilians-University in Munich with febrile illness after returning from Southern Africa, where she contracted a bite by a large mite-like arthropod, most likely a soft-tick. Spirochetes were detected in Giemsa stained blood smears and treatment was started with doxycycline for suspected tick-borne relapsing fever. The patient eventually recovered after developing a slight Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction during therapy. PCR reactions performed from EDTA-blood revealed a 16S rRNA sequence with 99.4% similarity to both, Borrelia duttonii, and B. parkeri. Further sequences obtained from the flagellin gene (flaB) demonstrated genetic distances of 0.066 and 0.097 to B. parkeri and B. duttonii, respectively. Fragments of the uvrA gene revealed genetic distance of 0.086 to B. hermsii in genetic analysis and only distant relations with classic Old World relapsing fever species. This revealed the presence of a novel species of tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes that we propose to name “Candidatus Borrelia kalaharica”, as it was contracted from an arthropod bite in the Kalahari Desert belonging to both, Botswana and Namibia, a region where to our knowledge no relapsing fever has been described so far. Interestingly, the novel species shows more homology to New World relapsing fever Borrelia such as B. parkeri or B. hermsii than to known Old World species such as B. duttonii or B. crocidurae. PMID:27031729

  16. Borrelia persica Infection in Immunocompetent Mice - A New Tool to Study the Infection Kinetics In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Schwarzer, Sandra; Overzier, Evelyn; Hermanns, Walter; Baneth, Gad; Straubinger, Reinhard K.

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia persica, a bacterium transmitted by the soft tick Ornithodoros tholozani, causes tick-borne relapsing fever in humans in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian peninsula. Immunocompetent C3H/HeOuJ mice were infected intradermally with B. persica at varying doses: 1 x 106, 1 x 104, 1 x 102 and 4 x 100 spirochetes/mouse. Subsequently, blood samples were collected and screened for the presence of B. persica DNA. Spirochetes were detected in all mice infected with 1 x 106, 1 x 104 and 1 x 102 borrelia by real-time PCR targeting the flaB gene of the bacterium. Spirochetemia developed with a one- to two-day delay when 1 x 104 and 1 x 102 borrelia were inoculated. Mice injected with only four organisms were negative in all tests. No clinical signs were observed when infected mice were compared to negative control animals. Organs (heart, spleen, urinary bladder, tarsal joint, skin and brain) were tested for B. persica-specific DNA and cultured for the detection of viable spirochetes. Compiled data show that the target organs of B. persica infections are the brain and the skin. A newly developed serological two-tiered test system (ELISA and western blot) for the detection of murine IgM, IgG and IgA antibody titers against B. persica showed a vigorous antibody response of the mice during infection. In conclusion, the infection model described here for B. persica is a platform for in vivo studies to decipher the so far unexplored survival strategies of this Borrelia species. PMID:26890814

  17. New infectious spirochete isolated from short-tailed shrews and white-footed mice.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J F; Johnson, R C; Magnarelli, L A; Hyde, F W; Andreadis, T G

    1987-08-01

    A spirochete with two periplasmic flagella was isolated from the blood or tissues of spleens and kidneys from short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in Connecticut and Minnesota. After inoculation, the shrew-mouse spirochete infected Swiss mice and Syrian hamsters. This spirochete is morphologically and serologically distinct from the species of Treponema, Borrelia, Leptospira, and Spirochaeta examined. PMID:3305565

  18. Interaction between Borrelia burgdorferi and endothelium in vitro.

    PubMed

    Szczepanski, A; Furie, M B; Benach, J L; Lane, B P; Fleit, H B

    1990-05-01

    During the pathogenesis of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi spreads hematogenously from the site of a tick bite to several tissues throughout the body. The specific mechanism of spirochete emigration is presently unknown. Using cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells, we found that Borrelia burgdorferi bound to the endothelial cells and to the subendothelial matrix. Low passage isolates adhered 22-30-fold greater than a strain maintained in culture continuously. Spirochete binding to subendothelial matrix was inhibited 48-63% by pretreatment of the matrix with anti-fibronectin antiserum. Spirochete migration across endothelial monolayers cultured on amniotic membrane was increased when the monolayers were damaged by chemical or physical means. Electron microscopic examination of spirochete-endothelial interactions demonstrated the presence of spirochetes in the intercellular junctions between endothelial cells as well as beneath the monolayers. Scanning electron microscopy identified a mechanism of transendothelial migration whereby spirochetes pass between cells into the amniotic membrane at areas where subendothelium is exposed. PMID:2332509

  19. Transcriptional Profiling the 150 kb Linear Megaplasmid of Borrelia turicatae Suggests a Role in Vector Colonization and Initiating Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Wilder, Hannah K.; Raffel, Sandra J.; Barbour, Alan G.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Vaisvil, Benjamin; Kapatral, Vinayak; Schmitt, Daniel P.; Schwan, Tom G.; Lopez, Job E.

    2016-01-01

    Adaptation is key for survival as vector-borne pathogens transmit between the arthropod and vertebrate, and temperature change is an environmental signal inducing alterations in gene expression of tick-borne spirochetes. While plasmids are often associated with adaptation, complex genomes of relapsing fever spirochetes have hindered progress in understanding the mechanisms of vector colonization and transmission. We utilized recent advances in genome sequencing to generate the most complete version of the Borrelia turicatae 150 kb linear megaplasmid (lp150). Additionally, a transcriptional analysis of open reading frames (ORFs) in lp150 was conducted and identified regions that were up-regulated during in vitro cultivation at tick-like growth temperatures (22°C), relative to bacteria grown at 35°C and infected murine blood. Evaluation of the 3’ end of lp150 identified a cluster of ORFs that code for putative surface lipoproteins. With a microbe’s surface proteome serving important roles in pathogenesis, we confirmed the ORFs expression in vitro and in the tick compared to spirochetes infecting murine blood. Transcriptional evaluation of lp150 indicates the plasmid likely has essential roles in vector colonization and/or initiating mammalian infection. These results also provide a much needed transcriptional framework to delineate the molecular mechanisms utilized by relapsing fever spirochetes during their enzootic cycle. PMID:26845332

  20. Transcriptional Profiling the 150 kb Linear Megaplasmid of Borrelia turicatae Suggests a Role in Vector Colonization and Initiating Mammalian Infection.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Hannah K; Raffel, Sandra J; Barbour, Alan G; Porcella, Stephen F; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Vaisvil, Benjamin; Kapatral, Vinayak; Schmitt, Daniel P; Schwan, Tom G; Lopez, Job E

    2016-01-01

    Adaptation is key for survival as vector-borne pathogens transmit between the arthropod and vertebrate, and temperature change is an environmental signal inducing alterations in gene expression of tick-borne spirochetes. While plasmids are often associated with adaptation, complex genomes of relapsing fever spirochetes have hindered progress in understanding the mechanisms of vector colonization and transmission. We utilized recent advances in genome sequencing to generate the most complete version of the Borrelia turicatae 150 kb linear megaplasmid (lp150). Additionally, a transcriptional analysis of open reading frames (ORFs) in lp150 was conducted and identified regions that were up-regulated during in vitro cultivation at tick-like growth temperatures (22°C), relative to bacteria grown at 35°C and infected murine blood. Evaluation of the 3' end of lp150 identified a cluster of ORFs that code for putative surface lipoproteins. With a microbe's surface proteome serving important roles in pathogenesis, we confirmed the ORFs expression in vitro and in the tick compared to spirochetes infecting murine blood. Transcriptional evaluation of lp150 indicates the plasmid likely has essential roles in vector colonization and/or initiating mammalian infection. These results also provide a much needed transcriptional framework to delineate the molecular mechanisms utilized by relapsing fever spirochetes during their enzootic cycle. PMID:26845332

  1. Spirochete motility and morpholgy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charon, Nyles

    2004-03-01

    Spirochetes have a unique structure, and as a result their motility is different from that of other bacteria. These organisms can swim in a highly viscous, gel-like medium, such as that found in connective tissue, that inhibits the motility of most other bacteria. In spirochetes, the organelles for motility, the periplasmic flagella, reside inside the cell within the periplasmic space. A given periplasmic flagellum is attached only at one end of the cell, and depending on the species, may or may not overlap in the center of the cell. The number of periplasmic flagella varies from species to species. These structures have been shown to be directly involved in motility and function by rotating within the periplasmic space (1). The present talk focuses on the spirochete that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi. In many bacterial species, cell shape is usually dictated by the peptidoyglycan layer of the cell wall. In the first part of the talk, results will be presented that the morphology of B. burgdorferi is the result of a complex interaction between the cell cylinder and the internal periplasmic flagella resulting in a cell with a flat-wave morphology. Backward moving, propagating waves enable these bacteria to swim and translate in a given direction. Using targeted mutagenesis, we inactivated the gene encoding the major periplasmic flagellar filament protein FlaB. The resulting flaB mutants not only were non-motile, but were rod-shaped (2). Western blot analysis indicated that flaB was no longer synthesized, and electron microscopy revealed that the mutants were completely deficient in periplasmic flagella. Our results indicate that the periplasmic flagella of B. burgdorferi have a skeletal function. These organelles dynamically interact with the rod-shaped cell cylinder to enable the cell to swim, and to confer in part its flat-wave morphology The latter part of the talk concerns the basis for asymmetrical rotation of the periplasmic flagella of B

  2. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and spotted fever group rickettsiae in hard ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) parasitizing bats in Poland.

    PubMed

    Piksa, Krzysztof; Stańczak, Joanna; Biernat, Beata; Górz, Andrzej; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Siuda, Krzysztof

    2016-04-01

    A total of 491 Ixodes vespertilionis and 8 Ixodes ricinus collected from bats and cave walls in southern Poland between 2010 and 2012 were examined by the polymerase chain reaction for tick-transmitted pathogens. PCR analysis for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum yielded negative results for all I. vespertilionis. DNA of Rickettsia helvetica was detected in three specimens of I. ricinus attached to Rhinolophus hipposideros or Myotis myotis, while Borrelia garinii was found in one tick parasitizing Myotis daubentonii. These pathogens were recorded for the first time in hard ticks that parasitized bats. PMID:26833325

  3. Borrelia persica Infection in Immunocompetent Mice--A New Tool to Study the Infection Kinetics In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Schwarzer, Sandra; Overzier, Evelyn; Hermanns, Walter; Baneth, Gad; Straubinger, Reinhard K

    2016-02-01

    Borrelia persica, a bacterium transmitted by the soft tick Ornithodoros tholozani, causes tick-borne relapsing fever in humans in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian peninsula. Immunocompetent C3H/HeOuJ mice were infected intradermally with B. persica at varying doses: 1 x 10(6), 1 x 10(4), 1 x 10(2) and 4 x 10(0) spirochetes/mouse. Subsequently, blood samples were collected and screened for the presence of B. persica DNA. Spirochetes were detected in all mice infected with 1 x 10(6), 1 x 10(4) and 1 x 10(2) borrelia by real-time PCR targeting the flaB gene of the bacterium. Spirochetemia developed with a one- to two-day delay when 1 x 10(4) and 1 x 10(2) borrelia were inoculated. Mice injected with only four organisms were negative in all tests. No clinical signs were observed when infected mice were compared to negative control animals. Organs (heart, spleen, urinary bladder, tarsal joint, skin and brain) were tested for B. persica-specific DNA and cultured for the detection of viable spirochetes. Compiled data show that the target organs of B. persica infections are the brain and the skin. A newly developed serological two-tiered test system (ELISA and western blot) for the detection of murine IgM, IgG and IgA antibody titers against B. persica showed a vigorous antibody response of the mice during infection. In conclusion, the infection model described here for B. persica is a platform for in vivo studies to decipher the so far unexplored survival strategies of this Borrelia species. PMID:26890814

  4. Mapping the Ligand-Binding Region of Borrelia hermsii Fibronectin-Binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Christiane; Bomans, Katharina; Habicht, Jüri; Simon, Markus M.; Wallich, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    Many pathogenic microorganisms express fibronectin-binding molecules that facilitate their adherence to the extracellular matrix and/or entry into mammalian cells. We have previously described a Borrelia recurrentis gene, cihC that encodes a 40-kDa surface receptor for both, fibronectin and the complement inhibitors C4bp and C1-Inh. We now provide evidence for the expression of a group of highly homologues surface proteins, termed FbpA, in three B. hermsii isolates and two tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes, B. parkeri and B. turicatae. When expressed in Escherichia coli or B. burgdorferi, four out of five proteins were shown to selectively bind fibronectin, whereas none of five proteins were able to bind the human complement regulators, C4bp and C1-Inh. By applying deletion mutants of the B. hermsii fibronectin-binding proteins a putative high-affinity binding site for fibronectin was mapped to its central region. In addition, the fibronectin-binding proteins of B. hermsii were found to share sequence homology with BBK32 of the Lyme disease spirochete B. burgdorferi with similar function suggesting its involvement in persistence and/or virulence of relapsing fever spirochetes. PMID:23658828

  5. Comparison of Growth of Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto at Five Different Temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Veinović, Gorana; Ružić-Sabljić, Eva; Strle, Franc; Cerar, Tjaša

    2016-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, a fastidious bacterium that replicates slowly and requires special conditions to grow in the laboratory. Borrelia isolation from clinical material is a golden standard for microbiological diagnosis of borrelial infection. Important factors that affect in vitro borrelia growth are temperature of incubation and number of borrelia cells in the sample. The aim of the study was to assess the influence of temperature on borrelia growth and survival by evaluation and comparison of growth of 31 different borrelia strains at five different temperatures and to determine the influence of different inoculums on borrelia growth at different temperatures. Borreliae were cultured in the MKP medium; the initial and final number of spirochetes was determined by dark field microscopy using Neubauer counting chamber. The growth of borrelia was defined as final number of cells/mL after three days of incubation. For all three Borrelia species, the best growth was found at 33°C, followed by 37, 28, and 23°C, while no growth was detected at 4°C (P<0.05). The growth of B. afzelii species was weaker in comparison to the other two species at 23, 28, 33 and 37°C (P<0.05), respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the growth of B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto at 28, 33, and 37°C (P>0.05), respectively. Inoculum had statistically significant influence on growth of all three Borrelia species at all tested temperatures except at 4°C. PMID:27310556

  6. Comparison of Growth of Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto at Five Different Temperatures.

    PubMed

    Veinović, Gorana; Ružić-Sabljić, Eva; Strle, Franc; Cerar, Tjaša

    2016-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, a fastidious bacterium that replicates slowly and requires special conditions to grow in the laboratory. Borrelia isolation from clinical material is a golden standard for microbiological diagnosis of borrelial infection. Important factors that affect in vitro borrelia growth are temperature of incubation and number of borrelia cells in the sample. The aim of the study was to assess the influence of temperature on borrelia growth and survival by evaluation and comparison of growth of 31 different borrelia strains at five different temperatures and to determine the influence of different inoculums on borrelia growth at different temperatures. Borreliae were cultured in the MKP medium; the initial and final number of spirochetes was determined by dark field microscopy using Neubauer counting chamber. The growth of borrelia was defined as final number of cells/mL after three days of incubation. For all three Borrelia species, the best growth was found at 33°C, followed by 37, 28, and 23°C, while no growth was detected at 4°C (P<0.05). The growth of B. afzelii species was weaker in comparison to the other two species at 23, 28, 33 and 37°C (P<0.05), respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the growth of B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto at 28, 33, and 37°C (P>0.05), respectively. Inoculum had statistically significant influence on growth of all three Borrelia species at all tested temperatures except at 4°C. PMID:27310556

  7. Chemoreceptors and Flagellar Motors Are Subterminally Located in Close Proximity at the Two Cell Poles in Spirochetes ▿ ‡

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hongbin; Raddi, Gianmarco; Liu, Jun; Charon, Nyles W.; Li, Chunhao

    2011-01-01

    Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions, immunofluorescence microscopy, and cryo-electron tomography revealed that the chemoreceptors of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi form long, thin arrays near both cell poles. These arrays are in close proximity to the flagellar motors. This information provides a basis for further understanding motility, chemotaxis, and protein localization in spirochetes. PMID:21441520

  8. The unique paradigm of spirochete motility and chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Charon, Nyles W.; Cockburn, Andrew; Li, Chunhao; Liu, Jun; Miller, Kelly A.; Miller, Michael R.; Motaleb, Md.; Wolgemuth, Charles W.

    2013-01-01

    Spirochete motility is enigmatic: It differs from the motility of most other bacteria in that the entire bacterium is involved in translocation in the absence of external appendages. Using the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) as a model system, we explore the current research on spirochete motility and chemotaxis. Bb has periplasmic flagella (PFs) subterminally attached to each end of the protoplasmic cell cylinder, and surrounding the cell is an outer membrane. These internal helically shaped PFs allow the spirochete to swim by generating backward-moving waves by rotation. Exciting advances using cryoelectron microscopy tomography are presented with respect to in situ analysis of cell, PF, and motor structure. In addition, advances in the dynamics of motility, chemotaxis, gene regulation, and the role of motility and chemotaxis in the life cycle of Bb are summarized. The results indicate that the motility paradigms of flagellated bacteria do not apply to these unique bacteria. PMID:22994496

  9. The dynamic proteome of Lyme disease Borrelia.

    PubMed

    Norris, Steven J

    2006-01-01

    The proteome of the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the tick-borne agent of Lyme disease, has been characterized by two different approaches using mass spectrometry, providing a launching point for future studies on the dramatic changes in protein expression that occur during transmission of the bacterium between ticks and mammals. PMID:16563176

  10. Complete genome sequence of Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete.

    PubMed

    Fraser, C M; Norris, S J; Weinstock, G M; White, O; Sutton, G G; Dodson, R; Gwinn, M; Hickey, E K; Clayton, R; Ketchum, K A; Sodergren, E; Hardham, J M; McLeod, M P; Salzberg, S; Peterson, J; Khalak, H; Richardson, D; Howell, J K; Chidambaram, M; Utterback, T; McDonald, L; Artiach, P; Bowman, C; Cotton, M D; Fujii, C; Garland, S; Hatch, B; Horst, K; Roberts, K; Sandusky, M; Weidman, J; Smith, H O; Venter, J C

    1998-07-17

    The complete genome sequence of Treponema pallidum was determined and shown to be 1,138,006 base pairs containing 1041 predicted coding sequences (open reading frames). Systems for DNA replication, transcription, translation, and repair are intact, but catabolic and biosynthetic activities are minimized. The number of identifiable transporters is small, and no phosphoenolpyruvate:phosphotransferase carbohydrate transporters were found. Potential virulence factors include a family of 12 potential membrane proteins and several putative hemolysins. Comparison of the T. pallidum genome sequence with that of another pathogenic spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, identified unique and common genes and substantiates the considerable diversity observed among pathogenic spirochetes. PMID:9665876

  11. A New Borrelia Species Defined by Multilocus Sequence Analysis of Housekeeping Genes▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Margos, Gabriele; Vollmer, Stephanie A.; Cornet, Muriel; Garnier, Martine; Fingerle, Volker; Wilske, Bettina; Bormane, Antra; Vitorino, Liliana; Collares-Pereira, Margarida; Drancourt, Michel; Kurtenbach, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of Lyme borreliosis (LB) spirochetes, using a novel multilocus sequence analysis scheme, revealed that OspA serotype 4 strains (a rodent-associated ecotype) of Borrelia garinii were sufficiently genetically distinct from bird-associated B. garinii strains to deserve species status. We suggest that OspA serotype 4 strains be raised to species status and named Borrelia bavariensis sp. nov. The rooted phylogenetic trees provide novel insights into the evolutionary history of LB spirochetes. PMID:19542332

  12. Whole-Genome Sequences of Two Borrelia afzelii and Two Borrelia garinii Lyme Disease Agent Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Casjens, Sherwood R.; Mongodin, Emmanuel F.; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Dunn, John J.; Luft, Benjamin J.; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.; Schutzer, Steve E.

    2011-01-01

    Human Lyme disease is commonly caused by several species of spirochetes in the Borrelia genus. In Eurasia these species are largely Borrelia afzelii, B. garinii, B. burgdorferi, and B. bavariensis sp. nov. Whole-genome sequencing is an excellent tool for investigating and understanding the influence of bacterial diversity on the pathogenesis and etiology of Lyme disease. We report here the whole-genome sequences of four isolates from two of the Borrelia species that cause human Lyme disease, B. afzelii isolates ACA-1 and PKo and B. garinii isolates PBr and Far04. PMID:22123755

  13. Whole-Genome Sequences of Two Borrelia afzelii and Two Borrelia garinii Lyme Disease Agent Isolates

    SciTech Connect

    Casjens, S.R.; Dunn, J.; Mongodin, E. F.; Qiu, W.-G.; Luft, B. J.; Fraser-Liggett, C. M.; Schutzer, S. E.

    2011-12-01

    Human Lyme disease is commonly caused by several species of spirochetes in the Borrelia genus. In Eurasia these species are largely Borrelia afzelii, B. garinii, B. burgdorferi, and B. bavariensis sp. nov. Whole-genome sequencing is an excellent tool for investigating and understanding the influence of bacterial diversity on the pathogenesis and etiology of Lyme disease. We report here the whole-genome sequences of four isolates from two of the Borrelia species that cause human Lyme disease, B. afzelii isolates ACA-1 and PKo and B. garinii isolates PBr and Far04.

  14. Notes from the Field: Tickborne Relapsing Fever Outbreak at an Outdoor Education Camp - Arizona, 2014.

    PubMed

    Jones, Jefferson M; Schumacher, Mare; Peoples, Marie; Souders, Nina; Horn, Kimberly; Fox, Lisa; Scott, Michele; Brady, Shane; Weiss, Joli; Komatsu, Ken; Nieto, Nathan

    2015-06-19

    Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is a bacterial infection characterized by recurring episodes of fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea. In North America, TBRF primarily is caused by Borrelia hermsii spirochetes transmitted by Ornithodoros hermsii ticks. Once infected, these soft ticks are infectious for life and transmit the spirochete to sleeping humans quickly (possibly within 30 seconds) during short feeds (15-90 minutes). On August 10, 2014, the Coconino County Public Health Services District in Arizona was notified by a local hospital that five high school students who attended the same outdoor education camp had been hospitalized with fever, headache, and myalgias. Hantavirus infection initially was suspected because of reported exposure to rodent droppings, but after detecting spirochetes on peripheral blood smears from all five hospitalized students, TBRF was diagnosed. The camp was instructed to close immediately, and the health department, in collaboration with local university experts, investigated to identify additional cases, determine the cause, and prevent further infections. A total of 11 cases (six confirmed and five probable) were identified. PMID:26086637

  15. The Epidemiology and Geographic Distribution of Relapsing Fever Borreliosis in West and North Africa, with a Review of the Ornithodoros erraticus Complex (Acari: Ixodida)

    PubMed Central

    Trape, Jean-François; Diatta, Georges; Arnathau, Céline; Bitam, Idir; Sarih, M’hammed; Belghyti, Driss; Bouattour, Ali; Elguero, Eric; Vial, Laurence; Mané, Youssouph; Baldé, Cellou; Pugnolle, Franck; Chauvancy, Gilles; Mahé, Gil; Granjon, Laurent; Duplantier, Jean-Marc

    2013-01-01

    Background Relapsing fever is the most frequent bacterial disease in Africa. Four main vector / pathogen complexes are classically recognized, with the louse Pediculus humanus acting as vector for B. recurrentis and the soft ticks Ornithodoros sonrai, O. erraticus and O. moubata acting as vectors for Borrelia crocidurae, B. hispanica and B. duttonii, respectively. Our aim was to investigate the epidemiology of the disease in West, North and Central Africa. Methods And Findings From 2002 to 2012, we conducted field surveys in 17 African countries and in Spain. We investigated the occurrence of Ornithodoros ticks in rodent burrows in 282 study sites. We collected 1,629 small mammals that may act as reservoir for Borrelia infections. Using molecular methods we studied genetic diversity among Ornithodoros ticks and Borrelia infections in ticks and small mammals. Of 9,870 burrows investigated, 1,196 (12.1%) were inhabited by Ornithodoros ticks. In West Africa, the southern and eastern limits of the vectors and Borrelia infections in ticks and small mammals were 13°N and 01°E, respectively. Molecular studies revealed the occurrence of nine different Ornithodoros species, including five species new for science, with six of them harboring Borrelia infections. Only B. crocidurae was found in West Africa and three Borrelia species were identified in North Africa: B. crocidurae, B. hispanica, and B. merionesi. Conclusions Borrelia Spirochetes responsible for relapsing fever in humans are highly prevalent both in Ornithodoros ticks and small mammals in North and West Africa but Ornithodoros ticks seem absent south of 13°N and small mammals are not infected in these regions. The number of Ornithodoros species acting as vector of relapsing fever is much higher than previously known. PMID:24223812

  16. Complications of pregnancy and transplacental transmission of relapsing-fever borreliosis.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Christer; Andersson, Marie; Guo, Betty P; Nordstrand, Annika; Hagerstrand, Inga; Carlsson, Sara; Bergstrom, Sven

    2006-11-15

    Relapsing-fever borreliosis caused by Borrelia duttonii is a common cause of complications of pregnancy, miscarriage, and neonatal death in sub-Saharan Africa. We established a murine model of gestational relapsing fever infection for the study of the pathological development of these complications. We demonstrate that B. duttonii infection during pregnancy results in intrauterine growth retardation, as well as placental damage and inflammation, impaired fetal circulation, and decreased maternal hemoglobin levels. We show that spirochetes frequently cross the maternal-fetal barrier, resulting in congenital infection. Furthermore, we compared the severity of infection in pregnant and nonpregnant mice and show that pregnancy has a protective effect. This model closely parallels the consequences of human gestational infection, and our results provide insight into the mechanisms behind the complications of pregnancy that have been reported in human relapsing-fever infection. PMID:17054065

  17. A boy with a tight skin: Borrelia-associated early-onset morphea.

    PubMed

    Verberkt, Roos M; Janssen, Matthijs; Wesseling, Judit

    2014-01-01

    We present a case of a 16-year-old boy with morphea caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. We re-emphasise an immunohistochemical method, focus floating microscopy (FFM), to detect Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes in tissue sections. Focus floating microscopy (FFM) proved to be more sensitive than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nearly equally specific. PMID:24093617

  18. Variable Major Proteins as Targets for Specific Antibodies against Borrelia miyamotoi.

    PubMed

    Wagemakers, Alex; Koetsveld, Joris; Narasimhan, Sukanya; Wickel, Melvin; Deponte, Kathleen; Bleijlevens, Boris; Jahfari, Seta; Sprong, Hein; Karan, Lyudmila S; Sarksyan, Denis S; van der Poll, Tom; Bockenstedt, Linda K; Bins, Adriaan D; Platonov, Alexander E; Fikrig, Erol; Hovius, Joppe W

    2016-05-15

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a relapsing fever spirochete in Ixodes ticks that has been recently identified as a human pathogen causing hard tick-borne relapsing fever (HTBRF) across the Northern Hemisphere. No validated serologic test exists, and current serologic assays have low sensitivity in early HTBRF. To examine the humoral immune response against B. miyamotoi, we infected C3H/HeN mice with B. miyamotoi strain LB-2001 expressing variable small protein 1 (Vsp1) and demonstrated that spirochetemia was cleared after 3 d, coinciding with anti-Vsp1 IgM production. Clearance was also observed after passive transfer of immune sera to infected SCID mice. Next, we showed that anti-Vsp1 IgG eliminates Vsp1-expressing B. miyamotoi, selecting for spirochetes expressing a variable large protein (VlpC2) resistant to anti-Vsp1. The viability of Asian isolate B. miyamotoi HT31, expressing Vlp15/16 and Vlp18, was also unaffected by anti-Vsp1. Finally, in nine HTBRF patients, we demonstrated IgM reactivity to Vsp1 in two and against Vlp15/16 in four ∼1 wk after these patients tested positive for B. miyamotoi by PCR. Our data show that B. miyamotoi is able to express various variable major proteins (VMPs) to evade humoral immunity and that VMPs are antigenic in humans. We propose that serologic tests based on VMPs are of additional value in diagnosing HTBRF. PMID:27076681

  19. Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes Ticks in Europe and the United States

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, Chris D.; Carolan, Heather E.; Rounds, Megan A.; Honig, Vaclav; Mothes, Benedikt; Haag, Heike; Nolte, Oliver; Luft, Ben J.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Ecker, David J.; Schutzer, Steven E.

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi, a relapsing fever-related spirochete transmitted by Ixodes ticks, has been recently shown to be a human pathogen. To characterize the prevalence of this organism in questing Ixodes ticks, we tested 2,754 ticks for a variety of tickborne pathogens by PCR and electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry. Ticks were collected from California, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana in the United States and from Germany and the Czech Republic in Europe from 2008 through 2012. In addition, an isolate from Japan was characterized. We found 3 distinct genotypes, 1 for North America, 1 for Europe, and 1 for Japan. We found B. miyamotoi infection in ticks in 16 of the 26 sites surveyed, with infection prevalence as high as 15.4%. These results show the widespread distribution of the pathogen, indicating an exposure risk to humans in areas where Ixodes ticks reside. PMID:25280366

  20. Crystal Structure of Neurotropism-Associated Variable Surface Protein 1 (VSP1) of Borrelia Turicatae

    SciTech Connect

    Lawson,C.; Yung, B.; Barbour, A.; Zuckert, W.

    2006-01-01

    Vsp surface lipoproteins are serotype-defining antigens of relapsing fever spirochetes that undergo multiphasic antigenic variation to allow bacterial persistence in spite of an immune response. Two isogenic serotypes of Borrelia turicatae strain Oz1 differ in their Vsp sequences and in disease manifestations in infected mice: Vsp1 is associated with the selection of a neurological niche, while Vsp2 is associated with blood and skin infection. We report here crystal structures of the Vsp1 dimer at 2.7 and 2.2 Angstroms. The structures confirm that relapsing fever Vsp proteins share a common helical fold with OspCs of Lyme disease-causing Borrelia. The fold features an inner stem formed by highly conserved N and C termini and an outer 'dome' formed by the variable central residues. Both Vsp1 and OspC structures possess small water-filled cavities, or pockets, that are lined largely by variable residues and are thus highly variable in shape. These features appear to signify tolerance of the Vsp-OspC fold for imperfect packing of residues at its antigenic surface. Structural comparison of Vsp1 with a homology model for Vsp2 suggests that observed differences in disease manifestation may arise in part from distinct differences in electrostatic surface properties; additional predicted positively charged surface patches on Vsp2 compared to Vsp1 may be sufficient to explain the relative propensity of Vsp2 to bind to acidic glycosaminoglycans.

  1. Fever

    MedlinePlus

    A fever is a body temperature that is higher than normal. It is not an illness. It is part of your body's defense against infection. Most bacteria ... cause infections do well at the body's normal temperature (98.6 F). A slight fever can make ...

  2. Fever

    PubMed Central

    Conti, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    Measurement of body temperature remains one of the most common ways to assess health. An increase in temperature above what is considered to be a normal value is inevitably regarded as a sure sign of disease and referred to with one simple word: fever. In this review, we summarize how research on fever allowed the identification of the exogenous and endogenous molecules and pathways mediating the fever response. We also show how temperature elevation is common to different pathologies and how the molecular components of the fever-generation pathway represent drug targets for antipyretics, such as acetylsalicylic acid, the first “blockbuster drug”. We also show how fever research provided new insights into temperature and energy homeostasis, and into treatment of infection and inflammation. PMID:20305990

  3. Monoclonal Antibodies for the Diagnosis of Borrelia crocidurae.

    PubMed

    Fotso Fotso, Aurélien; Mediannikov, Oleg; Nappez, Claude; Azza, Saïd; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Relapsing fever borreliae, produced by ectoparasite-borne Borrelia species, cause mild to deadly bacteremia and miscarriage. In the perspective of developing inexpensive assays for the rapid detection of relapsing fever borreliae, we produced 12 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against Borrelia crocidurae and characterized the two exhibiting the highest titers. P3A10 MAb reacts with the 35.6-kDa flagellin B (flaB) of B. crocidurae while P6D9 MAb recognizes a 35.1-kDa variable-like protein (Vlp) in B. crocidurae and a 35.2-kDa Vlp in Borrelia duttonii. Indirect immunofluorescence assay incorporating relapsing fever and Lyme group borreliae and 11 blood-borne organisms responsible for fever in West Africa confirmed the reactivity of these two MAbs. Combining these two MAbs in indirect immunofluorescence assays detected relapsing fever borreliae including B. crocidurae in ticks and the blood of febrile Senegalese patients. Both antibodies could be incorporated into inexpensive and stable formats suited for the rapid point-of-care diagnosis of relapsing fever. These first-ever MAbs directed against African relapsing fever borreliae are available for the scientific community to promote research in this neglected field. PMID:26598566

  4. Differential associations of Borrelia species with European badgers (Meles meles) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in western Poland.

    PubMed

    Wodecka, Beata; Michalik, Jerzy; Lane, Robert S; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Wierzbicka, Anna

    2016-07-01

    European badgers and raccoon dogs and their associated ticks and lice were assayed for the presence of Lyme borreliosis and relapsing fever-group spirochete DNA in western Poland. Analyses of blood, ear-biopsy and liver samples revealed that 25% of 28 raccoon dogs and 12% of 34 badgers were PCR positive for borreliae. Borrelia garinii was the dominant species in raccoon dogs (62.5%), followed by B. afzelii (25%) and B. valaisiana (12.5%). PCR-positive badgers were infected only with B. afzelii. A total of 351 attached ticks was recovered from 23 (82%) of the raccoon dogs and 13 (38%) of the badgers. Using a nested PCR targeting the ITS2 fragments of Ixodes DNA, four Ixodes species were identified: I. ricinus, I. canisuga, I. hexagonus, and one provisionally named I. cf. kaiseri. Ixodes canisuga and I. ricinus prevailed on both host species. The highest infection prevalence was detected in I. ricinus, followed by I. canisuga and I. cf. kaiseri. Borrelia garinii and B. afzelii accounted for 61.6% and 30.1% of the infections detected in all PCR-positive ticks, respectively. Four other Borrelia species (B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. valaisiana, B. lusitaniae and B. miyamotoi) were detected only in I. ricinus from raccoon dogs. Moreover, Borrelia DNA, mostly B. garinii, was detected in 57 (81.4%) of 70 Trichodectes melis lice derived from 12 badgers. The detection of B. afzelii in one-half of PCR-positive biopsies reconfirms previous associations of this species with mammalian hosts, whereas the high prevalence of B. garinii in feeding lice and I. ricinus ticks (including larvae) demonstrates that both carnivores serve as hosts for B. garinii. The lack of B. garinii DNA in the tissues of badgers versus its prevalence in raccoon-dog biopsies, however, incriminates only the latter carnivore as a potential reservoir host. PMID:27263838

  5. Tick-borne Relapsing Fever in the Pacific Northwest: An Underdiagnosed Illness?

    PubMed Central

    Fihn, Stephan; Larson, Eric B.

    1980-01-01

    Some 30 cases of tick-borne relapsing fever due to Borrelia are known to have occurred between 1965 and 1978 in the Pacific Northwest. This disease was found more frequently in young men with a history of wilderness exposure during the summer months. Recurrent fever was the most common symptom with temperatures reaching higher than 39.5° C (103.1° F) in all cases, and many patients had three or more febrile episodes. Splenomegaly was the second most common finding reported. Diagnosis of relapsing fever was made in 20 cases by identifying spirochetes on peripheral blood smears. In ten remaining cases the diagnosis was made on clinical and epidemiologic grounds. Information regarding therapy was available in 21 cases. Ten patients received a tetracycline drug and all had a prompt response without relapse. Two of the patients died, a 68-year-old woman with possible myocardial involvement and a newborn infant with infection acquired in utero and meningeal involvement. The diagnosis was often delayed in spite of outpatient evaluation and admittance to hospital, probably because borreliosis was not considered in the differential diagnosis. Because tick-borne relapsing fever is eventually a self-limited disease in most patients, it is probably not recognized often enough. Awareness of this disease and examination of the peripheral blood smear for spirochetes will lead to earlier diagnosis. Prompt initiation of tetracycline therapy should reduce morbidity associated with borreliosis. ImagesFigure 3. PMID:7415171

  6. Fever

    MedlinePlus

    ... of charts. A fever is defined as a temperature 1° or more above the normal 98.6°. Minor infections may cause mild or short-term temperature elevations. Temperatures of 103° and above are considered ...

  7. Interaction of spirochetes with the host.

    PubMed

    Hindersson, P; Thomas, D; Stamm, L; Penn, C; Norris, S; Joens, L A

    1992-01-01

    The success of an invading organism must depend on several cytoplasmic, surface-associated and secreted factors. The technical difficulties in handling pathogenic spirochetes like Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi have made it difficult to define specific factors involved in entry and long-term survival. The problem of defining virulence factors has been attacked by several strategies: T. pallidum secretes a number of immunogenic low molecular mass proteins. The most predominant are of molecular weight 15.5 and 22 kDa. Preliminary data suggest that antibodies against these proteins induce protective immunity in rabbits experimentally infected with T. pallidum. Many potentially important surface-associated antigens of T. pallidum have now been cloned and characterized. Two of these, TpD and TpE, are lipoproteins which exhibit characteristic size heterogeneity. The apparent molecular weight of TpE from T. pallidum and T. pertenue are different. The clinical symptoms in syphilis and yaws are very different, but sequence analysis of TpE has shown that the TpE proteins are indeed very similar in the two strains. This observation makes it unlikely that heterogeneity of TpE can account for the different clinical symptoms of syphilis and yaws. Sequence data for another newly sequenced surface-associated antigen of T. pallidum (molecular weight 41 kDa) indicate that this protein is involved in glucose transport and chemotaxis/motility. Intracellular factors like the molecular chaperonin GroEL have been documented both in treponemes and borreliae. This stress protein is involved in cellular repair processes and folding/assembly of protein subunits. Indirect evidence suggests that GroEL affects the ability of spirochetes to survive in the stressful environment of the infected host. Several lines of evidence suggest that the Osp proteins of Borrelia are important for host/parasite interaction. Further support for this idea has come from studies of a series of

  8. Colony formation and morphology in Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Kurtti, T J; Munderloh, U G; Johnson, R C; Ahlstrand, G G

    1987-11-01

    Two strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, B31 and 297, formed colonies when plated onto Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly medium solidified with agarose (1.3%) and incubated in a candle jar at 34 degrees C. Colonies differing in morphology were observed in both strains after 2 to 3 weeks of incubation. Strain B31 colonies were either compact, round (mean diameter, 0.43 mm), and restricted to the surface of the agarose medium or diffuse (mean diameter, 1.80 mm) and penetrating into the solid medium. Strain 297 colonies (mean diameter, 1.43 mm) either showed a raised center surrounded by a diffuse ring of spirochetes or consisted of numerous small spirochetal aggregates. Both colony types expanded into the agarose medium. Scanning electron and light microscopy confirmed that the colonies were formed by spirochetes. Twisted tangles of intertwined spirochetes were visible on the surface, with numerous spherical bodies among them, especially in the central regions. At the periphery, the borreliae were more loosely packed, and individual coils were discernible. PMID:3693538

  9. Evidence of In Vivo Existence of Borrelia Biofilm in Borrelial Lymphocytomas

    PubMed Central

    Sapi, E.; Balasubramanian, K.; Poruri, A.; Maghsoudlou, J. S.; Socarras, K. M.; Timmaraju, A. V.; Filush, K. R.; Gupta, K.; Shaikh, S.; Theophilus, P. A. S.; Luecke, D. F.; MacDonald, A.; Zelger, B.

    2016-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, has grown into a major public health problem. We recently identified a novel morphological form of B. burgdorferi, called biofilm, a structure that is well known to be highly resistant to antibiotics. However, there is no evidence of the existence of Borrelia biofilm in vivo; therefore, the main goal of this study was to determine the presence of Borrelia biofilm in infected human skin tissues. Archived skin biopsy tissues from borrelial lymphocytomas (BL) were reexamined for the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato using Borrelia-specific immunohistochemical staining (IHC), fluorescent in situ hybridization, combined fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH)–IHC, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and fluorescent and atomic force microscopy methods. Our morphological and histological analyses showed that significant amounts of Borrelia-positive spirochetes and aggregates exist in the BL tissues. Analyzing structures positive for Borrelia showed that aggregates, but not spirochetes, expressed biofilm markers such as protective layers of different mucopolysaccharides, especially alginate. Atomic force microscopy revealed additional hallmark biofilm features of the Borrelia/alginate-positive aggregates such as inside channels and surface protrusions. In summary, this is the first study that demonstrates the presence of Borrelia biofilm in human infected skin tissues. PMID:27141311

  10. Evidence of In Vivo Existence of Borrelia Biofilm in Borrelial Lymphocytomas.

    PubMed

    Sapi, E; Balasubramanian, K; Poruri, A; Maghsoudlou, J S; Socarras, K M; Timmaraju, A V; Filush, K R; Gupta, K; Shaikh, S; Theophilus, P A S; Luecke, D F; MacDonald, A; Zelger, B

    2016-03-01

    Lyme borreliosis, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, has grown into a major public health problem. We recently identified a novel morphological form of B. burgdorferi, called biofilm, a structure that is well known to be highly resistant to antibiotics. However, there is no evidence of the existence of Borrelia biofilm in vivo; therefore, the main goal of this study was to determine the presence of Borrelia biofilm in infected human skin tissues. Archived skin biopsy tissues from borrelial lymphocytomas (BL) were reexamined for the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato using Borrelia-specific immunohistochemical staining (IHC), fluorescent in situ hybridization, combined fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH)-IHC, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and fluorescent and atomic force microscopy methods. Our morphological and histological analyses showed that significant amounts of Borrelia-positive spirochetes and aggregates exist in the BL tissues. Analyzing structures positive for Borrelia showed that aggregates, but not spirochetes, expressed biofilm markers such as protective layers of different mucopolysaccharides, especially alginate. Atomic force microscopy revealed additional hallmark biofilm features of the Borrelia/alginate-positive aggregates such as inside channels and surface protrusions. In summary, this is the first study that demonstrates the presence of Borrelia biofilm in human infected skin tissues. PMID:27141311

  11. Cooperation of Doxycycline with Phytochemicals and Micronutrients Against Active and Persistent Forms of Borrelia sp

    PubMed Central

    Goc, Anna; Niedzwiecki, Alexandra; Rath, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Phytochemicals and micronutrients represent a growing theme in antimicrobial defense; however, little is known about their anti-borreliae effects of reciprocal cooperation with antibiotics. A better understanding of this aspect could advance our knowledge and help improve the efficacy of current approaches towards Borrelia sp. In this study, phytochemicals and micronutrients such as baicalein, luteolin, 10-HAD, iodine, rosmarinic acid, and monolaurin, as well as, vitamins D3 and C were tested in a combinations with doxycycline for their in vitro effectiveness against vegetative (spirochetes) and latent (rounded bodies, biofilm) forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii. Anti-borreliae effects were evaluated according to checkerboard assays and supported by statistical analysis. The results showed that combination of doxycycline with flavones such as baicalein and luteolin exhibited additive effects against all morphological forms of studied Borrelia sp. Doxycycline combined with iodine demonstrated additive effects against spirochetes and biofilm, whereas with fatty acids such as monolaurin and 10-HAD it produced FICIs of indifference. Additive anti-spirochetal effects were also observed when doxycycline was used with rosmarinic acid and both vitamins D3 and C. Antagonism was not observed in any of the cases. This data revealed the intrinsic anti-borreliae activity of doxycycline with tested phytochemicals and micronutrients indicating that their addition may enhance efficacy of this antibiotic in combating Borrelia sp. Especially the addition of flavones balcalein and luteolin to a doxycycline regimen could be explored further in defining more effective treatments against these bacteria. PMID:27570483

  12. Cooperation of Doxycycline with Phytochemicals and Micronutrients Against Active and Persistent Forms of Borrelia sp.

    PubMed

    Goc, Anna; Niedzwiecki, Alexandra; Rath, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Phytochemicals and micronutrients represent a growing theme in antimicrobial defense; however, little is known about their anti-borreliae effects of reciprocal cooperation with antibiotics. A better understanding of this aspect could advance our knowledge and help improve the efficacy of current approaches towards Borrelia sp. In this study, phytochemicals and micronutrients such as baicalein, luteolin, 10-HAD, iodine, rosmarinic acid, and monolaurin, as well as, vitamins D3 and C were tested in a combinations with doxycycline for their in vitro effectiveness against vegetative (spirochetes) and latent (rounded bodies, biofilm) forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii. Anti-borreliae effects were evaluated according to checkerboard assays and supported by statistical analysis. The results showed that combination of doxycycline with flavones such as baicalein and luteolin exhibited additive effects against all morphological forms of studied Borrelia sp. Doxycycline combined with iodine demonstrated additive effects against spirochetes and biofilm, whereas with fatty acids such as monolaurin and 10-HAD it produced FICIs of indifference. Additive anti-spirochetal effects were also observed when doxycycline was used with rosmarinic acid and both vitamins D3 and C. Antagonism was not observed in any of the cases. This data revealed the intrinsic anti-borreliae activity of doxycycline with tested phytochemicals and micronutrients indicating that their addition may enhance efficacy of this antibiotic in combating Borrelia sp. Especially the addition of flavones balcalein and luteolin to a doxycycline regimen could be explored further in defining more effective treatments against these bacteria. PMID:27570483

  13. Tickborne relapsing fever in a mother and newborn child--Colorado, 2011.

    PubMed

    2012-03-16

    Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is a bacterial infection caused by certain species of Borrelia spirochetes and transmitted through the bite of Ornithodoros ticks. Clinical illness is characterized by relapsing fever, myalgias, and malaise. On May 10, 2011, CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment were notified of two patients with TBRF: a young woman and her newborn child. This report summarizes the clinical course of these patients and emphasizes the importance of considering a diagnosis of TBRF among patients with compatible clinical symptoms and residence or travel in a TBRF-endemic area. Pregnant women and neonates are at increased risk for TBRF-associated complications and require prompt diagnosis and treatment for optimal clinical outcomes. Public health follow-up of reported TBRF cases should include a search for persons sharing an exposure with the patient and environmental investigation with remediation measures to prevent additional infections. PMID:22419050

  14. Swimming dynamics of the Lyme disease spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Vig, Dhruv K.; Wolgemuth, Charles W.

    2013-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, swims by undulating its cell body in the form of a traveling flat-wave, a process driven by rotating internal flagella. We study B. burgdorferi ’s swimming by treating the cell body and flagella as linearly elastic filaments. The dynamics of the cell are then determined from the balance between elastic and resistive forces and moments. We find that planar, traveling waves only exist when the flagella are effectively anchored at both ends of the bacterium and that these traveling flat-waves rotate as they undulate. The model predicts how the undulation frequency is related to the torque from the flagellar motors and how the stiffness of the cell body and flagella affect the undulations and morphology. PMID:23215618

  15. Forces and Torques on Rotating Spirochete Flagella

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jing; Huber, Greg; Wolgemuth, Charles W.

    2012-01-01

    Spirochetes are a unique group of motile bacteria that are distinguished by their helical or flat-wave shapes and the location of their flagella, which reside within the tiny space between the bacterial cell wall and the outer membrane (the periplasm). In Borrelia burgdorferi, rotation of the flagella produces cellular undulations that drive swimming. How these shape changes arise due to the forces and torques that act between the flagella and the cell body is unknown. It is possible that resistive forces come from friction or from fluid drag, depending on whether or not the flagella are in contact with the cell wall. Here, we consider both of these cases. By analyzing the motion of an elastic flagellum rotating in the periplasmic space, we show that the flagella are most likely separated from the bacterial cell wall by a lubricating layer of fluid. This analysis then provides drag coefficients for rotation and sliding of a flagellum within the periplasm. PMID:22243185

  16. Forces and torques on rotating spirochete flagella.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jing; Huber, Greg; Wolgemuth, Charles W

    2011-12-23

    Spirochetes are a unique group of motile bacteria that are distinguished by their helical or flat-wave shapes and the location of their flagella, which reside within the tiny space between the bacterial cell wall and the outer membrane (the periplasm). In Borrelia burgdorferi, rotation of the flagella produces cellular undulations that drive swimming. How these shape changes arise due to the forces and torques that act between the flagella and the cell body is unknown. It is possible that resistive forces come from friction or from fluid drag, depending on whether or not the flagella are in contact with the cell wall. Here, we consider both of these cases. By analyzing the motion of an elastic flagellum rotating in the periplasmic space, we show that the flagella are most likely separated from the bacterial cell wall by a lubricating layer of fluid. This analysis then provides drag coefficients for rotation and sliding of a flagellum within the periplasm. PMID:22243185

  17. Swimming Dynamics of the Lyme Disease Spirochete

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vig, Dhruv K.; Wolgemuth, Charles W.

    2012-11-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, swims by undulating its cell body in the form of a traveling flat wave, a process driven by rotating internal flagella. We study B. burgdorferi’s swimming by treating the cell body and flagella as linearly elastic filaments. The dynamics of the cell are then determined from the balance between elastic and resistive forces and moments. We find that planar, traveling waves only exist when the flagella are effectively anchored at both ends of the bacterium and that these traveling flat waves rotate as they undulate. The model predicts how the undulation frequency is related to the torque from the flagellar motors and how the stiffness of the cell body and flagella affect the undulations and morphology.

  18. Forces and Torques on Rotating Spirochete Flagella

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jing; Huber, Greg; Wolgemuth, Charles W.

    2011-12-01

    Spirochetes are a unique group of motile bacteria that are distinguished by their helical or flat-wave shapes and the location of their flagella, which reside within the tiny space between the bacterial cell wall and the outer membrane (the periplasm). In Borrelia burgdorferi, rotation of the flagella produces cellular undulations that drive swimming. How these shape changes arise due to the forces and torques that act between the flagella and the cell body is unknown. It is possible that resistive forces come from friction or from fluid drag, depending on whether or not the flagella are in contact with the cell wall. Here, we consider both of these cases. By analyzing the motion of an elastic flagellum rotating in the periplasmic space, we show that the flagella are most likely separated from the bacterial cell wall by a lubricating layer of fluid. This analysis then provides drag coefficients for rotation and sliding of a flagellum within the periplasm.

  19. Development of Genetic System to Inactivate a Borrelia turicatae Surface Protein Selectively Produced within the Salivary Glands of the Arthropod Vector

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Job E.; Wilder, Hannah K.; Hargrove, Reid; Brooks, Christopher P.; Peterson, Karin E.; Beare, Paul A.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Nagarajan, Vijayaraj; Raffel, Sandra J.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Borrelia turicatae, an agent of tick-borne relapsing fever, is an example of a pathogen that can adapt to disparate conditions found when colonizing the mammalian host and arthropod vector. However, little is known about the genetic factors necessary during the tick-mammalian infectious cycle, therefore we developed a genetic system to transform this species of spirochete. We also identified a plasmid gene that was up-regulated in vitro when B. turicatae was grown in conditions mimicking the tick environment. This 40 kilodalton protein was predicted to be surface localized and designated the Borrelia repeat protein A (brpA) due to the redundancy of the amino acid motif Gln-Gly-Asn-Val-Glu. Methodology/Principal Findings Quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction using RNA from B. turicatae infected ticks and mice indicated differential regulation of brpA during the tick-mammalian infectious cycle. The surface localization was determined, and production of the protein within the salivary glands of the tick was demonstrated. We then applied a novel genetic system for B. turicatae to inactivate brpA and examined the role of the gene product for vector colonization and the ability to establish murine infection. Conclusions/Significance These results demonstrate the complexity of protein production in a population of spirochetes within the tick. Additionally, the development of a genetic system is important for future studies to evaluate the requirement of specific B. turicatae genes for vector colonization and transmission. PMID:24205425

  20. Lyme disease spirochetes in ticks from northeastern China.

    PubMed

    Takada, N; Ishiguro, F; Fujita, H; Wang, H P; Wang, J C; Masuzawa, T

    1998-06-01

    During May 1996, field surveys on Lyme disease spirochetes were conducted in Beijing, Shenyang, Fushun, and Inner Mongolia in northeastern China. The ticks collected consisted of 3 genera and 12 species. Of these, Ixodes persulcatus was dominant in sun-exposed vegetation in forests in Inner Mongolia; 57 Borrelia strains (55/123 unfed adults and 2/5 immature stages fed on a rodent) were obtained from this tick by BSK culture. Additionally, 2/2 Apodemus peninsulae were positive. Ixodes nipponensis, Ixodes pavlovskyi, Haemaphysalis douglasi, and Haemaphysalis megaspinosa, newly recorded in China, and other Haemaphysalis spp. were all negative for Borrelia. Based on a polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the 45 strains successfully subcultured, these were classified as 29 Borrelia garinii and 16 Borrelia afelii. These strains seemed to be more closely related to Japanese strains in genetic features than to those from Europe. The result of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis suggested more diversity in both genospecies, but Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was not found. PMID:9645846

  1. Serologic Evidence for Borrelia hermsii Infection in Rodents on Federally Owned Recreational Areas in California

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Jessica R.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) is endemic in mountainous regions of the western United States. In California, the principal agent is the spirochete Borrelia hermsii, which is transmitted by the argasid tick Ornithodoros hermsi. Humans are at risk of TBRF when infected ticks leave an abandoned rodent nest in quest of a blood meal. Rodents are the primary vertebrate hosts for B. hermsii. Sciurid rodents were collected from 23 sites in California between August, 2006, and September, 2008, and tested for serum antibodies to B. hermsii by immunoblot using a whole-cell sonicate and a specific antigen, glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (GlpQ). Antibodies were detected in 20% of rodents; seroprevalence was highest (36%) in chipmunks (Tamias spp). Seroprevalence in chipmunks was highest in the Sierra Nevada (41%) and Mono (43%) ecoregions and between 1900 and 2300 meters elevation (43%). The serological studies described here are effective in implicating the primary vertebrate hosts involved in the maintenance of the ticks and spirochetes in regions endemic for TBRF. PMID:23488454

  2. Delayed Invasion of the Kidney and Brain by Borrelia crocidurae in Plasminogen-Deficient Mice

    PubMed Central

    Nordstrand, Annika; Shamaei-Tousi, Alireza; Ny, Annelii; Bergström, Sven

    2001-01-01

    Borrelia crocidurae is an etiologic agent of relapsing fever in Africa and is transmitted to humans by the bite of soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros. The role of the plasminogen (Plg) activation system for the pathogenicity of B. crocidurae was investigated by infection of Plg-deficient (plg−/−) and Plg wild-type (plg+/+) mice. No differences in spirochetemia were observed between the plg−/− and plg+/+ mice. However, signs indicative of brain invasion, such as neurological symptoms and/or histopathological changes, were more common in plg+/+ mice. Quantitative immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated infection of spirochetes in kidney interstitium and brain as soon as 2 days postinoculation. Lower numbers of extravascular spirochetes in plg−/− mice during the first days of infection suggested a less efficient invasion mechanism in these mice than in the plg+/+ mice. The invasion of the kidneys in plg−/− mice produced no significant inflammation, as seen by quantitative immunohistochemistry of the CD45 common leukocyte marker. However, significant kidney inflammation was observed with infection in the plg+/+ mice. In brain, inflammation was more severe in plg+/+ mice than in plg−/− mice, and the numbers of CD45+ cells increased significantly with duration of infection in the plg+/+ mice. The results show that invasion of brain and kidney occurs as early as 2 days after inoculation. Also, Plg is not required for establishment of spirochetemia by the organism, whereas it is involved in the invasion of organs. PMID:11500461

  3. Serologic evidence for Borrelia hermsii infection in rodents on federally owned recreational areas in California.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Curtis L; Payne, Jessica R; Schwan, Tom G

    2013-06-01

    Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) is endemic in mountainous regions of the western United States. In California, the principal agent is the spirochete Borrelia hermsii, which is transmitted by the argasid tick Ornithodoros hermsi. Humans are at risk of TBRF when infected ticks leave an abandoned rodent nest in quest of a blood meal. Rodents are the primary vertebrate hosts for B. hermsii. Sciurid rodents were collected from 23 sites in California between August, 2006, and September, 2008, and tested for serum antibodies to B. hermsii by immunoblot using a whole-cell sonicate and a specific antigen, glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (GlpQ). Antibodies were detected in 20% of rodents; seroprevalence was highest (36%) in chipmunks (Tamias spp). Seroprevalence in chipmunks was highest in the Sierra Nevada (41%) and Mono (43%) ecoregions and between 1900 and 2300 meters elevation (43%). The serological studies described here are effective in implicating the primary vertebrate hosts involved in the maintenance of the ticks and spirochetes in regions endemic for TBRF. PMID:23488454

  4. Sensitivity of Lyme Borreliosis Spirochetes to Serum Complement of Regular Zoo Animals: Potential Reservoir Competence of Some Exotic Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ticha, Lucie; Golovchenko, Maryna; Oliver, James H; Grubhoffer, Libor; Rudenko, Nataliia

    2016-01-01

    Reaction of vertebrate serum complement with different Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species is used as a basis in determining reservoir hosts among domesticated and wild animals. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia afzelii were tested for their sensitivity to sera of exotic vertebrate species housed in five zoos located in the Czech Republic. We confirmed that different Borrelia species have different sensitivity to host serum. We found that tolerance to Borrelia infection possessed by hosts might differ among individuals of the same genera or species and is not affected by host age or sex. Of all zoo animals included in our study, carnivores demonstrated the highest apparent reservoir competency for Lyme borreliosis spirochetes. We showed that selected exotic ungulate species are tolerant to Borrelia infection. For the first time we showed the high tolerance of Siamese crocodile to Borrelia as compared to the other studied reptile species. While exotic vertebrates present a limited risk to the European human population as reservoirs for the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, cases of incidental spillover infection could lead to successful replication of the pathogens in a new host, changing the status of selected exotic species and their role in pathogen emergence or maintenance. The question if being tolerant to pathogen means to be a competent reservoir host still needs an answer, simply because the majority of exotic animals might never be exposed to spirochetes in their natural environment. PMID:26783940

  5. Large Scale Spatial Risk and Comparative Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ixodes pacificus

    PubMed Central

    Padgett, Kerry; Bonilla, Denise; Kjemtrup, Anne; Vilcins, Inger-Marie; Yoshimizu, Melissa Hardstone; Hui, Lucia; Sola, Milagros; Quintana, Miguel; Kramer, Vicki

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a newly described emerging pathogen transmitted to people by Ixodes species ticks and found in temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. There is limited understanding of large scale entomological risk patterns of B. miyamotoi and of Borreila burgdorferi sensu stricto (ss), the agent of Lyme disease, in western North America. In this study, B. miyamotoi, a relapsing fever spirochete, was detected in adult (n = 70) and nymphal (n = 36) Ixodes pacificus ticks collected from 24 of 48 California counties that were surveyed over a 13 year period. Statewide prevalence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato (sl), which includes B. burgdorferi ss, and B. miyamotoi were similar in adult I. pacificus (0.6% and 0.8%, respectively). In contrast, the prevalence of B. burgdorferi sl was almost 2.5 times higher than B. miyamotoi in nymphal I. pacificus (3.2% versus 1.4%). These results suggest similar risk of exposure to B. burgdorferi sl and B. miyamotoi from adult I. pacificus tick bites in California, but a higher risk of contracting B. burgdorferi sl than B. miyamotoi from nymphal tick bites. While regional risk of exposure to these two spirochetes varies, the highest risk for both species is found in north and central coastal California and the Sierra Nevada foothill region, and the lowest risk is in southern California; nevertheless, tick-bite avoidance measures should be implemented in all regions of California. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate entomologic risk for B. miyamotoi and B. burgdorferi for both adult and nymphal I. pacificus, an important human biting tick in western North America. PMID:25333277

  6. Spirochete antigens persist near cartilage after murine Lyme borreliosis therapy

    PubMed Central

    Bockenstedt, Linda K.; Gonzalez, David G.; Haberman, Ann M.; Belperron, Alexia A.

    2012-01-01

    An enigmatic feature of Lyme disease is the slow resolution of musculoskeletal symptoms that can continue after treatment, with some patients developing an inflammatory arthritis that becomes refractory to antibiotic therapy. Using intravital microscopy and the mouse model of Lyme borreliosis, we observed that Borrelia burgdorferi antigens, but not infectious spirochetes, can remain adjacent to cartilage for extended periods after antibiotic treatment. B. burgdorferi was not recovered by culture or xenodiagnosis with ticks after antibiotic treatment of WT mice and all but one of the immunodeficient mice with heightened pathogen burden due to impaired TLR responsiveness. Amorphous GFP+ deposits were visualized by intravital microscopy in the entheses of antibiotic-treated mice infected with GFP-expressing spirochetes and on the ear cartilage surface in sites where immunofluorescence staining detected spirochete antigens. Naive mice were not infected by tissue transplants from antibiotic-treated mice even though transplants contained spirochete DNA. Tissue homogenates from antibiotic-treated mice induced IgG reactive with B. burgdorferi antigens after immunization of naive mice and stimulated TNF-α production from macrophages in vitro. This is the first direct demonstration that inflammatory B. burgdorferi components can persist near cartilaginous tissue after treatment for Lyme disease. We propose that these deposits could contribute to the development of antibiotic-refractory Lyme arthritis. PMID:22728937

  7. [Relapsing fever: an almost forgotten disease in focus again].

    PubMed

    Wieser, Andreas; Löscher, Thomas; Schunk, Mirjam; Seilmaier, Michael; Balzer, Lukas; Margos, Gabriele; von Both, Ulrich; Schulzki, Thomas; Kopf, Sabine; Hoch, Martin; Sing, Andreas; Fingerle, Volker

    2016-07-01

    Introduction | Relapsing fevers, transmitted by arthropods, are rarely encountered in Germany, thus they are often not considered as differential diagnosis in febrile patients. In the last months, more than fourty cases of louse-borne relapsing fever were diagnosed in asylum seekers in Germany. Some of the patients had to be admitted to intensive care units, one patient died despite therapy. Pathogen, disease and diagnosis | The causative agents are spirochetes of the genus borrelia, which can reach high densities in patient blood. Depending on the vector and the region, different species are prevalent worldwide. For diagnosis, appropriate techniques include direct detection by microscopy or PCR from EDTA-blood. Ordering such tests should not be delayed when there is suspicion for relapsing fever. Besides, malaria can also be excluded with microscopy of blood smears. Therapy | First-line antibiotics include tetracyclines and penicillin, acquired resistance has not yet been observed. Frequently patients develop a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction shortly after initiation of therapy, requiring hospitalization or intensive care treatment. Managing the treatment exclusively in an outpatient setting is not recommended. Especially in migrants with febrile illness, relapsing fever is an important differential diagnosis. PMID:27404930

  8. Borrelia burgdorferi tissue morphologies and imaging methodologies.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, A B

    2013-08-01

    This manuscript offers an image presentation of diverse forms of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes which are not spiral or corkscrew shaped. Explanations are offered to justify the legitimacy of tissue forms of Borrelia which may confuse the inexperienced microscopic examiner and which may lead to the misdiagnosis of non-spiral forms as artifacts. Images from the author's personal collection of Borrelia burgdorferi images and a few select images of Borrelia burgdorferi from the peer-reviewed published literature are presented. A commentary justifying each of the image profiles and a survey of the imaging modalities utilized provides the reader with a frame of reference. Regularly spiraled Borrelia are rarely seen in solid tissues. A variety of straightened, undulating, and clipped-off profiles are demonstrated, and the structural basis for each image is explained. Tissue examination is a diagnostic tool and a quality control for judging the eradication or the persistence of borreliosis following attempts to eradicate the infection with antibiotic therapy. The presence or absence of chronic Lyme borreliosis may be objectively adjudicated by tissue examinations which demonstrate or which fail to show pathogenic microbes in patients who have received a full course of antibiotics. PMID:23479042

  9. Complement Receptor 3 Binds the Borrelia burgdorferi Outer Surface Proteins OspA and OspB in an iC3b-Independent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Rodolfo C.; Murgia, Rossella; Cinco, Marina

    2005-01-01

    Persistence of borreliae within the vertebrate host depends on the fate of interactions between the spirochetes and target cells. The present work demonstrates the direct binding of the Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface proteins OspA and OspB to CR3 and that this binding is independent of iC3b. PMID:16113335

  10. Genetics of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Brisson, Dustin; Drecktrah, Dan; Eggers, Christian H.; Samuels, D. Scott

    2013-01-01

    The spirochetes in the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies group cycle in nature between tick vectors and vertebrate hosts. The current assemblage of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, of which three species cause Lyme disease in humans, originated from a rapid species radiation that occurred near the origin of the clade. All of these species share a unique genome structure that is highly segmented and predominantly composed of linear replicons. One of the circular plasmids is a prophage that exists as several isoforms in each cell and can be transduced to other cells, likely contributing to an otherwise relatively anemic level of horizontal gene transfer, which nevertheless appears to be adequate to permit strong natural selection and adaptation in populations of B. burgdorferi. Although the molecular genetic toolbox is meager, several antibiotic-resistant mutants have been isolated, and the resistance alleles, as well as some exogenous genes, have been fashioned into markers to dissect gene function. Genetic studies have probed the role of the outer membrane lipoprotein OspC, which is maintained in nature by multiple niche polymorphisms and negative frequency-dependent selection. One of the most intriguing genetic systems in B. burgdorferi is vls recombination, which generates antigenic variation during infection of mammalian hosts. PMID:22974303

  11. Short-term stability of Borrelia garinii in cerebrospinal fluid.

    PubMed

    Berenová, Dagmar; Krsek, Daniel; Šípková, Lenka; Lukavská, Alena; Malý, Marek; Kurzová, Zuzana; Hořejší, Jan; Kodym, Petr

    2016-01-01

    The aim of our study was to find out the optimal conditions for short-term storage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples for direct diagnosis of Lyme disease. A mixture of Borrelia-negative CSFs spiked with a defined amount of cultured Borrelia garinii was used. Borrelia stability was investigated over 7 days at four different temperatures [room temperature (RT), +4, -20 and -70 °C]. Quantitative changes in CSF Borrelia were measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR), and morphological changes in the spirochetes were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These qPCR results were statistically evaluated. We found +4 °C to be an optimal temperature for short-term storage of CSF samples intended for TEM observation. There was no significant difference between the temperatures tested in the average quantity of Borrelia measured by qPCR. On the contrary, electron optical diagnosis of frozen samples and samples stored at RT showed destructive morphological changes and decreased spirochete counts. Our results show that optimal conditions for the pre-analytical phase of investigation of one type of material can differ depending on the diagnostic method employed. PMID:26104540

  12. Transstadial transmission of Borrelia turcica in Hyalomma aegyptium ticks.

    PubMed

    Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Cozma, Vasile; Sprong, Hein; Jahfari, Setareh; D'Amico, Gianluca; Mărcuțan, Daniel I; Ionică, Angela M; Magdaş, Cristian; Modrý, David; Mihalca, Andrei D

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia turcica comprises the third major group of arthropod-transmitted borreliae and is phylogenetically divergent from other Borrelia groups. The novel group of Borrelia was initially isolated from Hyalomma aegyptium ticks in Turkey and it was recently found in blood and multiple organs of tortoises exported from Jordan to Japan. However, the ecology of these spirochetes and their development in ticks or the vertebrate hosts were not investigated in detail; our aims were to isolate the pathogen and to evaluate the possibility of transstadial transmission of Borrelia turcica by H. aegyptium ticks. Ticks were collected from Testudo graeca tortoises during the summer of 2013 from southeastern Romania. Engorged nymphs were successfully molted to the adult stage. Alive B. turcica was isolated from molted ticks by using Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly (BSK) II medium. Four pure cultures of spirochetes were obtained and analyzed by PCR and sequencing. Sequence analysis of glpQ, gyrB and flaB revealed 98%-100% similarities with B. turcica. H. aegyptium ticks collected from T. graeca tortoises were able to pass the infection with B. turcica via transstadial route, suggesting its vectorial capacity. PMID:25695663

  13. Transstadial Transmission of Borrelia turcica in Hyalomma aegyptium Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Cozma, Vasile; Sprong, Hein; Jahfari, Setareh; D’Amico, Gianluca; Mărcuțan, Daniel I.; Ionică, Angela M.; Magdaş, Cristian; Modrý, David; Mihalca, Andrei D.

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia turcica comprises the third major group of arthropod-transmitted borreliae and is phylogenetically divergent from other Borrelia groups. The novel group of Borrelia was initially isolated from Hyalomma aegyptium ticks in Turkey and it was recently found in blood and multiple organs of tortoises exported from Jordan to Japan. However, the ecology of these spirochetes and their development in ticks or the vertebrate hosts were not investigated in detail; our aims were to isolate the pathogen and to evaluate the possibility of transstadial transmission of Borrelia turcica by H. aegyptium ticks. Ticks were collected from Testudo graeca tortoises during the summer of 2013 from southeastern Romania. Engorged nymphs were successfully molted to the adult stage. Alive B. turcica was isolated from molted ticks by using Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly (BSK) II medium. Four pure cultures of spirochetes were obtained and analyzed by PCR and sequencing. Sequence analysis of glpQ, gyrB and flaB revealed 98%–100% similarities with B. turcica. H. aegyptium ticks collected from T. graeca tortoises were able to pass the infection with B. turcica via transstadial route, suggesting its vectorial capacity. PMID:25695663

  14. Recognition of Borrelia burgdorferi by NOD2 is central for the induction of an inflammatory reaction.

    PubMed

    Oosting, Marije; Berende, Anneleen; Sturm, Patrick; Ter Hofstede, Hadewych J M; de Jong, Dirk J; Kanneganti, Thirumala-Devi; van der Meer, Jos W M; Kullberg, Bart-Jan; Netea, Mihai G; Joosten, Leo A B

    2010-06-15

    Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) plays an important role in the recognition of Borrelia bacteria, the causative agent of Lyme disease, but the existence and importance of additional receptors in this process has been hypothesized. In the present study, we confirmed the role played by TLR2 in the recognition of Borrelia bacteria but also demonstrated a crucial role for the intracellular peptidoglycan receptor NOD2 for sensing the spirochete. Cells from individuals who were homozygous for the loss-of-function mutation 3020insC in the NOD2 gene were defective with respect to cytokine release after stimulation with Borrelia species, and this was confirmed in peritoneal macrophages from mice lacking RICK, the adaptor molecule used by NOD2. In contrast, NOD1 played no major role in the recognition of Borrelia spirochetes. This raises the intriguing possibility that recognition of Borrelia spirochetes is exerted by TLR2 in combination with NOD2 and that both receptors are necessary for an effective induction of cytokines by Borrelia species. The interplay between TLR2 and NOD2 might not only be necessary for the induction of a proper immune response but may also contribute to inflammatory-induced pathology. PMID:20441518

  15. Gut Microbiota of the Tick Vector Ixodes scapularis Modulate Colonization of the Lyme Disease Spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Narasimhan, Sukanya; Rajeevan, Nallakkandi; Liu, Lei; Zhao, Yang O.; Heisig, Julia; Pan, Jingyi; Eppler-Epstein, Rebecca; DePonte, Kathleen; Fish, Durland; Fikrig, Erol

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Arthopods, such as Ixodes ticks, serve as vectors for many human pathogens. The arthropod gut presents a pivotal microbial entry point and determines pathogen colonization and survival. We show that the gut microbiota of Ixodes scapularis, a major vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, influence spirochete colonization of ticks. Perturbing the gut microbiota of larval ticks reduced Borrelia colonization, with dysbiosed larvae displaying decreased expression of the transcription factor STAT. Diminished STAT expression corresponded to lower expression of peritrophin, a key glycoprotein scaffold of the glycan-rich mucus-like peritrophic matrix (PM) that separates the gut lumen from the epithelium. The integrity of the I. scapularis PM was essential for B. burgdorferi to efficiently colonize the gut epithelium. These data elucidate a functional link between the gut microbiota, STAT-signaling, and pathogen colonization in the context of the gut epithelial barrier of an arthropod vector. PMID:24439898

  16. Acylated proteins in Borrelia hermsii, Borrelia parkeri, Borrelia anserina, and Borrelia coriaceae.

    PubMed Central

    Sambri, V; Stefanelli, C; Rossoni, C; La Placa, M; Cevenini, R

    1993-01-01

    Borrelia hermsii, Borrelia parkeri, Borrelia anserina, and Borrelia coriaceae produced several lipoproteins identified by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography of bacteria grown in [3H]palmitate. Five major acylated proteins were demonstrated by sequential alkaline and acid hydrolysis. High-pressure liquid chromatography of isolated proteins confirmed that covalently bound radioactivity was represented by fatty acids. Images PMID:8285697

  17. Interaction of the Lyme disease spirochete with its tick vector.

    PubMed

    Caimano, Melissa J; Drecktrah, Dan; Kung, Faith; Samuels, D Scott

    2016-07-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease (along with closely related genospecies), is in the deeply branching spirochete phylum. The bacterium is maintained in nature in an enzootic cycle that involves transmission from a tick vector to a vertebrate host and acquisition from a vertebrate host to a tick vector. During its arthropod sojourn, B. burgdorferi faces a variety of stresses, including nutrient deprivation. Here, we review some of the spirochetal factors that promote persistence, maintenance and dissemination of B. burgdorferi in the tick, and then focus on the utilization of available carbohydrates as well as the exquisite regulatory systems invoked to adapt to the austere environment between blood meals and to signal species transitions as the bacteria traverse their enzootic cycle. The spirochetes shift their source of carbon and energy from glucose in the vertebrate to glycerol in the tick. Regulation of survival under limiting nutrients requires the classic stringent response in which RelBbu controls the levels of the alarmones guanosine tetraphosphate and guanosine pentaphosphate (collectively termed (p)ppGpp), while regulation at the tick-vertebrate interface as well as regulation of protective responses to the blood meal require the two-component system Hk1/Rrp1 to activate production of the second messenger cyclic-dimeric-GMP (c-di-GMP). PMID:27147446

  18. Viscous Dynamics of Lyme Disease and Syphilis Spirochetes Reveal Flagellar Torque and Drag

    PubMed Central

    Harman, Michael; Vig, Dhruv K.; Radolf, Justin D.; Wolgemuth, Charles W.

    2013-01-01

    The spirochetes that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and syphilis (Treponema pallidum) swim through viscous fluids, such as blood and interstitial fluid, by undulating their bodies as traveling, planar waves. These undulations are driven by rotation of the flagella within the periplasmic space, the narrow (∼20–40 nm in width) compartment between the inner and outer membranes. We show here that the swimming speeds of B. burgdorferi and T. pallidum decrease with increases in viscosity of the external aqueous milieu, even though the flagella are entirely intracellular. We then use mathematical modeling to show that the measured changes in speed are consistent with the exertion of constant torque by the spirochetal flagellar motors. Comparison of simulations, experiments, and a simple model for power dissipation allows us to estimate the torque and resistive drag that act on the flagella of these major spirochetal pathogens. PMID:24268139

  19. Borrelia recurrentis in Head Lice, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Boutellis, Amina; Mediannikov, Oleg; Bilcha, Kassahun Desalegn; Ali, Jemal; Campelo, Dayana; Barker, Stephen C.

    2013-01-01

    Since the 1800s, the only known vector of Borrelia recurrentis has been the body louse. In 2011, we found B. recurrentis DNA in 23% of head lice from patients with louse-borne relapsing fever in Ethiopia. Whether head lice can transmit these bacteria from one person to another remains to be determined. PMID:23648147

  20. Infection of Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in North Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Bouattour, A.; Hu, C.M.; Gharbi, M.; Aeschliman, A.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Gern, L.

    1999-01-01

    Free-living adult Ixodes ricinus L. were collected in Amdoun, situated in the Kroumiry mountains in northwestern Tunisia (North Africa). Using direct fluorescence antibody assay, the infection rate of field-collected I. ricinus by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was 30.5% (n = 72). No difference in infection rate was observed between male and female ticks. Spirochetes that had been isolated from I. ricinus from Ain Drahim (Kroumiry Mountains) in 1988 were identified as Borrelia lusitaniae (formerly genospecies PotiB2). This is the first identification of a genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from the continent of Africa.

  1. Composite, large spirochetes from microbial mats: spirochete structure review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Ashen, J. B.; Sole, M.; Guerrero, R.

    1993-01-01

    Phenomena previously unknown in free-living spirochetes are reported: large-sized cells with variable diameter (length to 100 microns, width between 0.4 and 3.0 microns), composite structure (smaller spirochetes inside larger ones), and positive phototropic behavior. These bacteria, Spirosymplokos, are compared with all other spirochete genera. The large spirochete, grown in mixed culture, was studied live and by transmission EM. The protoplasmic cylinder was replete with spherical granules 20-32 nm in diameter, and three to six periplasmic 26-nm flagella were inserted subterminally. Comparably granulated and flagellated small spirochetes were located inside the protoplasmic cylinder and in the periplasm of the large ones. When exposed to air, movement became erratic, protoplasmic cylinders retracted to lie folded inside the outer membrane, and refractile membranous structures formed. From one to four structures per still-moving spirochete were seen. Spirosymplokos was enriched from laboratory samples exposed to oxygen-rich and desiccating, but not dry, conditions for at least 4 mo after removal of microbial mat from the field.

  2. Persister Development by Borrelia burgdorferi Populations In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Caskey, John R; Embers, Monica E

    2015-10-01

    Doxycycline is an antibiotic commonly used to treat Lyme disease and other bacterial infections. The MIC and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) for Borrelia burgdorferi have been investigated by different groups but were experimentally established in this study as a function of input cell density. We demonstrated that B. burgdorferi treated in the stationary phase has a higher probability of regrowth following removal of antibiotic. In addition, we determined experimentally and mathematically that the spirochetes which persist posttreatment do not have a longer lag phase but exhibit a lower growth rate than untreated spirochetes. Finally, we found that treating the spirochetes by pulse-dosing did not eliminate growth or reduce the persister population in vitro. From these data, we propose that B. burgdorferi persister development is stochastic and driven by slowed growth. PMID:26248368

  3. Susceptibility of selected rodent species from Colorado to Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Ubico, S R; McLean, R G; Cooksey, L M

    1996-04-01

    To determine the susceptibility of some common Colorado (USA) rodent species to Borrelia burgdorferi, pregnant Peromyscus maniculatus, Tamias minimus, and Spermophilus lateralis were trapped in May 1990 and kept in quarantine until their young were old enough to be used in the experiment. Six to eight 8-wk-old individuals of each of the Colorado species and, for comparison, eight laboratory raised P. leucopus were subcutaneously inoculated with > or = 10(5) spirochetes in 0.1 ml in July 1990. Tissue specimens were collected for isolation from these animals through April 1991. Spirochetes were isolated from blood, ear, bladder, kidney, spleen, liver, and eye in Barbour-Stoener-Kelly (BSK) medium from P. maniculatus, P. leucopus and T. minimus. Spirochetes were isolated from at least one tissue from all of these animals and no isolations were obtained from any of the S. lateralis. Thus, three of the four rodent species tested are susceptible to, and could harbor, B. burgdorferi. PMID:8722268

  4. Role of outer membrane architecture in immune evasion by Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Radolf, J D

    1994-09-01

    Combined ultrastructural and molecular studies have revealed that the syphilis and Lyme-disease spirochetes, Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi, have distinctive molecular architectures. Both organisms persist in their hosts and have strategies for immune evasion that include the use of rare, poorly immunogenic surface-exposed proteins as potential virulence determinants. PMID:7812663

  5. Pyruvate Protects Pathogenic Spirochetes from H2O2 Killing

    PubMed Central

    Troxell, Bryan; Zhang, Jun-Jie; Bourret, Travis J.; Zeng, Melody Yue; Blum, Janice; Gherardini, Frank; Hassan, Hosni M.; Yang, X. Frank

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic spirochetes cause clinically relevant diseases in humans and animals, such as Lyme disease and leptospirosis. The causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, and the causative agent of leptospirosis, Leptospria interrogans, encounter reactive oxygen species (ROS) during their enzootic cycles. This report demonstrated that physiologically relevant concentrations of pyruvate, a potent H2O2 scavenger, and provided passive protection to B. burgdorferi and L. interrogans against H2O2. When extracellular pyruvate was absent, both spirochetes were sensitive to a low dose of H2O2 (≈0.6 µM per h) generated by glucose oxidase (GOX). Despite encoding a functional catalase, L. interrogans was more sensitive than B. burgdorferi to H2O2 generated by GOX, which may be due to the inherent resistance of B. burgdorferi because of the virtual absence of intracellular iron. In B. burgdorferi, the nucleotide excision repair (NER) and the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) pathways were important for survival during H2O2 challenge since deletion of the uvrB or the mutS genes enhanced its sensitivity to H2O2 killing; however, the presence of pyruvate fully protected ΔuvrB and ΔmutS from H2O2 killing further demonstrating the importance of pyruvate in protection. These findings demonstrated that pyruvate, in addition to its classical role in central carbon metabolism, serves as an important H2O2 scavenger for pathogenic spirochetes. Furthermore, pyruvate reduced ROS generated by human neutrophils in response to the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) agonist zymosan. In addition, pyruvate reduced neutrophil-derived ROS in response to B. burgdorferi, which also activates host expression through TLR2 signaling. Thus, pathogenic spirochetes may exploit the metabolite pyruvate, present in blood and tissues, to survive H2O2 generated by the host antibacterial response generated during infection. PMID:24392147

  6. Antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in rodents in the eastern and southern United States.

    PubMed Central

    Magnarelli, L A; Oliver, J H; Hutcheson, H J; Boone, J L; Anderson, J F

    1992-01-01

    Serologic studies were conducted to determine whether white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) and cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus) contained serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays detected antibodies to this spirochete in 35.7 and 27.3% of 56 P. leucopus and 535 P. gossypinus serum samples, respectively, collected in Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Antibody titers ranged from 1:160 to greater than or equal to 1:40,960. On the basis of adsorption tests, the antibodies detected appeared to be specific to Borrelia spirochetes. Seropositive rodents in the eastern and southern United States, areas where human cases of Lyme borreliosis have been reported, indicate a widespread geographic distribution of B. burgdorferi or a closely related spirochete. PMID:1624561

  7. A Tick Gut Protein with Fibronectin III Domains Aids Borrelia burgdorferi Congregation to the Gut during Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Schuijt, Tim J.; Boder, Eric; Hovius, Joppe W.; Fikrig, Erol

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi transmission to the vertebrate host commences with growth of the spirochete in the tick gut and migration from the gut to the salivary glands. This complex process, involving intimate interactions of the spirochete with the gut epithelium, is pivotal to transmission. We utilized a yeast surface display library of tick gut proteins to perform a global screen for tick gut proteins that might interact with Borrelia membrane proteins. A putative fibronectin type III domain-containing tick gut protein (Ixofin3D) was most frequently identified from this screen and prioritized for further analysis. Immunization against Ixofin3D and RNA interference-mediated reduction in expression of Ixofin3D resulted in decreased spirochete burden in tick salivary glands and in the murine host. Microscopic examination showed decreased aggregation of spirochetes on the gut epithelium concomitant with reduced expression of Ixofin3D. Our observations suggest that the interaction between Borrelia and Ixofin3D facilitates spirochete congregation to the gut during transmission, and provides a “molecular exit” direction for spirochete egress from the gut. PMID:25102051

  8. Borrelia burgdorferi visualized in Ixodes scapularis tick excrement by immunofluorescence.

    PubMed

    Patton, Toni G; Brandt, Kevin S; Gilmore, Robert D

    2012-11-01

    The enzootic cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, involves Ixodes spp. ticks and vertebrates. Resident tick Borrelia, harbored inside the midgut, are eventually expelled with the tick's saliva into the vertebrate host when a tick consumes a blood meal. During this 4- to 5-day feeding period I. scapularis will defecate onto the host's skin. Previously we detected borrelial DNA in tick feces throughout engorgement. In this study we report the microscopic examination for B. burgdorferi in nymphal excrement. Using immunofluorescence assays, we observed Borrelia in all mouse skin and capsule fecal swabs tested, although we could not culture the spirochetes. These results update our previous analysis by revealing that spirochetes can also be visualized in tick excrement. Furthermore, the results emphasize that borrelial contamination by defecation is a possibility, and that caution should be exercised by researchers investigating pathogen/host/vector interactions. The biological significance of the presence of non-culturable Borrelia in tick feces during engorgement is unclear. PMID:22651382

  9. Autophagy suppresses host adaptive immune responses toward Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Buffen, Kathrin; Oosting, Marije; Li, Yang; Kanneganti, Thirumala-Devi; Netea, Mihai G; Joosten, Leo A B

    2016-09-01

    We have previously demonstrated that inhibition of autophagy increased the Borrelia burgdorferi induced innate cytokine production in vitro, but little is known regarding the effect of autophagy on in vivo models of Borrelia infection. Here, we showed that ATG7-deficient mice that were intra-articular injected with Borrelia spirochetes displayed increased joint swelling, cell influx, and enhanced interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 production by inflamed synovial tissue. Because both interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 are linked to the development of adaptive immune responses, we examine the function of autophagy on Borrelia induced adaptive immunity. Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells treated with autophagy inhibitors showed an increase in interleukin-17, interleukin-22, and interferon-γ production in response to exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi. Increased IL-17 production was dependent on IL-1β release but, interestingly, not on interleukin-23 production. In addition, cytokine quantitative trait loci in ATG9B modulate the Borrelia induced interleukin-17 production. Because high levels of IL-17 have been found in patients with confirmed, severe, chronic borreliosis, we propose that the modulation of autophagy may be a potential target for anti-inflammatory therapy in patients with persistent Lyme disease. PMID:27101991

  10. Dynamics of connective-tissue localization during chronic Borrelia burgdorferi infection.

    PubMed

    Imai, Denise M; Feng, Sunlian; Hodzic, Emir; Barthold, Stephen W

    2013-08-01

    The etiologic agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, localizes preferentially in the extracellular matrix during persistence. In chronically infected laboratory mice, there is a direct association between B. burgdorferi and the proteoglycan decorin, which suggests that decorin has a role in defining protective niches for persistent spirochetes. In this study, the tissue colocalization of B. burgdorferi with decorin and the dynamics of borrelial decorin tropism were evaluated during chronic infection. Spirochetes were found to colocalize absolutely with decorin, but not collagen I in chronically infected immunocompetent C3H mice. Passive immunization of infected C3H-scid mice with B. burgdorferi-specific immune serum resulted in the localization of spirochetes in decorin-rich microenvironments, with clearance of spirochetes from decorin-poor microenvironments. In passively immunized C3H-scid mice, tissue spirochete burdens were initially reduced, but increased over time as the B. burgdorferi-specific antibody levels waned. Concurrent repopulation of the previously cleared decorin-poor microenvironments was observed with the rising tissue spirochete burden and declining antibody titer. These findings indicate that the specificity of B. burgdorferi tissue localization during chronic infection is determined by decorin, driven by the borrelia-specific antibody response, and fluctuates with the antibody response. PMID:23797360

  11. Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever Outbreak Among a High School Football Team at an Outdoor Education Camping Trip, Arizona, 2014.

    PubMed

    Jones, Jefferson M; Hranac, Carter R; Schumacher, Mare; Horn, Kim; Lee, Darlene M; Terriquez, Joel; Engelthaler, David M; Peoples, Marie; Corrigan, Jennifer; Replogle, Adam; Souders, Nina; Komatsu, Kenneth K; Nieto, Nathan C

    2016-09-01

    During August 2014, five high school students who had attended an outdoor education camp were hospitalized with a febrile illness, prompting further investigation. Ten total cases of tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) were identified-six cases confirmed by culture or visualization of spirochetes on blood smear and four probable cases with compatible symptoms (attack rate: 23%). All patients had slept in the campsite's only cabin. Before the camp, a professional pest control company had rodent proofed the cabin, but no acaricides had been applied. Cabin inspection after the camp found rodents and Ornithodoros ticks, the vector of TBRF. Blood samples from a chipmunk trapped near the cabin and from patients contained Borrelia hermsii with identical gene sequences (100% over 630 base pairs). Health departments in TBRF endemic areas should consider educating cabin owners and pest control companies to apply acaricides during or following rodent proofing, because ticks that lack rodents for a blood meal might feed on humans. PMID:27430539

  12. [Louse-borne-relapsing-fever in refugees from the Horn of Africa; a case series of 25 patients].

    PubMed

    Seilmaier, M; Guggemos, W; Wieser, A; Fingerle, V; Balzer, L; Fenzl, T; Hoch, M; von Both, U; Schmidt, H U; Wendtner, C M; Strobel, E

    2016-07-01

    Background | Relapsing fever is divided into tick borne relapsing fever (TBRF) and louse borne relapsing fever (LBRF). This report describes 25 refugees from East Africa who were diagnosed to suffer from LBRF within a period of 6 month only at a single hospital in Munich / Germany. Material & Methods | The aim was to point out common clinical features as well as laboratory findings and clinical symptoms before and after initiation of treatment in 25 patients with louse borne relapsing fever (LBRF) who were diagnosed and treated at Klinikum München Schwabing from August 2015 to January 2016. To the best of our knowledge this is the largest case series of LBRF in the western world for decades. Main focus of the investigation was put on clinical aspects. Results | All 25 patients suffered from acute onset of high fever with chills, headache and severe prostration. Laboratory analysis showed high CRP and a marked thrombocytopenia. A Giemsa blood stain was procured immediately in order to look for malaria. In the blood smear spirochetes with typical shape and aspect of borrelia species could be detected.The further PCR analysis confirmed infection with Borrelia recurrentis. Treatment with Doxycycline was started forthwith. The condition improved already on the second day after treatment was started and all were restored to health in less than a week. Apart from a mild to moderate Jarisch-Herxheimer-reaction we didn`t see any side effects of the therapy. Conclusion | LBRF has to be taken into account in feverish patients who come as refugees from East-Africa. It seems that our patients belong to a cluster which probably has its origin in Libya and more patients are to be expected in the near future. As LBRF might cause outbreaks in refugee camps it is pivotal to be aware of this emerging infectious disease in refugees from East-Africa. PMID:27404939

  13. Intrauterine transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi in dogs.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, J M; Burgess, E C; Wachal, M D; Steinberg, H

    1993-06-01

    To determine whether intrauterine transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi could exist in dogs, 10 female Beagles were inoculated intradermally with approximately 1,000 B burgdorferi on day 1 of proestrus; inoculation was repeated every 2 weeks during the gestation period. Ten female control Beagles were similarly inoculated with phosphate-buffered saline solution. Prior to the start of the study, all females and 3 males used for breeding were seronegative for B burgdorferi on the basis of results of the indirect fluorescent antibody test and immunoblot (western analysis. Similarly, results of culture of blood for B burgdorferi were negative. All 20 of the females were bred naturally. Blood samples were collected weekly for serologic testing and culture. Blood samples were obtained from live pups on day 1 of life, then weekly until pups were 6 weeks old when they were euthanatized. Tissues were obtained for culture and testing by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of 10 spirochete-inoculated (SI) females, 8 became infected with B burgdorferi as evidenced by spirochete culture results and/or PCR-detected B burgdorferi DNA in the tissues of females or their pups. Of the 10 SI females, 8 delivered litters (3 to 7 pups) that had at least 1 neonatal or 6-week-old pup with B burgdorferi DNA-positive tissues (by PCR), and spirochetes were cultured from tissues from pups of 2 litters.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8323057

  14. Regulatory protein BBD18 of the lyme disease spirochete: essential role during tick acquisition?

    PubMed

    Hayes, Beth M; Dulebohn, Daniel P; Sarkar, Amit; Tilly, Kit; Bestor, Aaron; Ambroggio, Xavier; Rosa, Patricia A

    2014-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi senses and responds to environmental cues as it transits between the tick vector and vertebrate host. Failure to properly adapt can block transmission of the spirochete and persistence in either vector or host. We previously identified BBD18, a novel plasmid-encoded protein of B. burgdorferi, as a putative repressor of the host-essential factor OspC. In this study, we investigate the in vivo role of BBD18 as a regulatory protein, using an experimental mouse-tick model system that closely resembles the natural infectious cycle of B. burgdorferi. We show that spirochetes that have been engineered to constitutively produce BBD18 can colonize and persist in ticks but do not infect mice when introduced by either tick bite or needle inoculation. Conversely, spirochetes lacking BBD18 can persistently infect mice but are not acquired by feeding ticks. Through site-directed mutagenesis, we have demonstrated that abrogation of spirochete infection in mice by overexpression of BBD18 occurs only with bbd18 alleles that can suppress OspC synthesis. Finally, we demonstrate that BBD18-mediated regulation does not utilize a previously described ospC operator sequence required by B. burgdorferi for persistence in immunocompetent mice. These data lead us to conclude that BBD18 does not represent the putative repressor utilized by B. burgdorferi for the specific downregulation of OspC in the mammalian host. Rather, we suggest that BBD18 exhibits features more consistent with those of a global regulatory protein whose critical role occurs during spirochete acquisition by feeding ticks. IMPORTANCE Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common arthropod-borne disease in North America. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans and other vertebrate hosts by ticks as they take a blood meal. Transmission between vectors and hosts requires the bacterium to sense changes in the environment and adapt. However, the mechanisms

  15. Immunologic and genetic analyses of VmpA of a neurotropic strain of Borrelia turicatae.

    PubMed Central

    Cadavid, D; Pennington, P M; Kerentseva, T A; Bergström, S; Barbour, A G

    1997-01-01

    In mice infected with serotype A but not serotype B of the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia turicatae, early invasion of the brain occurs. Serotypes A and B are further distinguished by the abundant surface protein they produce: VmpA and VmpB, respectively. Western blotting with monoclonal antibodies, one-dimensional peptide mapping, and partial amino acid sequencing demonstrated regions of the VmpA protein that differed from VmpB. Oligonucleotide primers based on the partial amino acid sequences of unique regions were used to amplify a portion of the VmpA gene (vmpA) by PCR, and the product was used as a probe in Southern blot and Northern blot analyses. These experiments showed that (i) expression of the vmpA sequence was determined at the level of transcription and (ii) the vmpA sequence was in two locations in serotype A and one location in serotype B. The vmpA gene at the expression-linked locus of serotype A was cloned and sequenced. An open reading frame would encode a polypeptide of 214 amino acids. The polypeptide expressed by Escherichia coli was bound by VmA-specific but not VmpB-specific antibody. Primer extension analysis identified a consensus sigma70-type promoter for vmpA at the expression locus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that VmpA is homologous to small Vmp (Vsp) proteins of B. hermsii and to OspC proteins of B. burgdorferi. These findings indicate that a function of the Vsp-OspC family of proteins of Borrelia spp. may be differential localization in organs, including the brain, during infection. PMID:9234797

  16. Louse-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia recurrentis) diagnosed in 15 refugees from northeast Africa: epidemiology and preventive control measures, Bavaria, Germany, July to October 2015.

    PubMed

    Hoch, Martin; Wieser, Andreas; Löscher, Thomas; Margos, Gabriele; Pürner, Friedrich; Zühl, Jürgen; Seilmaier, Michael; Balzer, Lukas; Guggemos, Wolfgang; Rack-Hoch, Anita; von Both, Ulrich; Hauptvogel, Katja; Schönberger, Katharina; Hautmann, Wolfgang; Sing, Andreas; Fingerle, Volker

    2015-01-01

    We report 15 imported louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) cases in refugees in Bavaria, Germany. One patient died. Epidemiological findings confirmed that all were young males from the Horn of Africa (12 from Somalia), who had similar migration routes converging in Sudan continuing through Libya and Italy. The majority likely acquired their infection during migration. Healthcare workers should be aware of LBRF in refugees passing through north Africa to ensure correct treatment and preventive measures. PMID:26538532

  17. Periplasmal Physics: The Rotational Dynamics of Spirochetal Flagella

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Greg

    2012-02-01

    Spirochetes are distinguished by the location of their flagella, which reside within the periplasm: the tiny space between the bacterial cell wall and the outer membrane. In Borrelia burgdorferi/ (the causative agent of Lyme Disease), rotation of the flagella leads to cellular undulations that drive swimming. Exactly how these shape changes arise due to the forces and torques acting between the flagella and the cell body is unknown. By applying low-Reynolds number hydrodynamic theory to the motion of an elastic flagellum rotating in the periplasm, we show that the flagella are most likely separated from the bacterial cell wall by a lubricating layer of fluid. We obtain analytical solutions for the force and torque on the rotating flagellum through lubrication analysis, as well as through scaling analysis, and find results are in close agreement numerical simulations. (Joint work with J. Yang and C.W. Wolgemuth.)

  18. Borrelia hermsii Acquisition Order in Superinfected Ticks Determines Transmission Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Raffel, Sandra J.; Schwan, Tom G.

    2013-01-01

    Multilocus sequence typing of Borrelia hermsii isolates reveals its divergence into two major genomic groups (GG), but no differences in transmission efficiency or host pathogenicity are associated with these genotypes. To compare GGI and GGII in the tick-host infection cycle, we first determined if spirochetes from the two groups could superinfect the tick vector Ornithodoros hermsi. We infected mice with isolates from each group and fed ticks sequentially on these mice. We then fed the infected ticks on naive mice and measured GGI and GGII spirochete densities in vector and host, using quantitative PCR of genotype-specific chromosomal DNA sequences. Sequential feedings resulted in dual tick infections, showing that GGI or GGII primary acquisition did not block superinfection by a secondary agent. On transmission to naive mice at short intervals after acquisition, ticks with primary GGI and secondary GGII spirochete infections caused mixed GGI and GGII infections in mice. However, ticks with primary GGII and secondary GGI spirochete infections caused only GGII infections with all isolate pairs examined. At longer intervals after acquisition, the exclusion of GGI by GGII spirochetes declined and cotransmission predominated. We then examined GGI and GGII spirochetemia in mice following single inoculation and coinoculation by needle and found that GGI spirochete densities were reduced on multiple days when coinoculated with GGII. These findings indicate that dual GGI-GGII spirochete infections can persist in ticks and that transmission to a vertebrate host is dependent on the order of tick acquisition and the interval between acquisition and transmission events. PMID:23716615

  19. Polysynovitis in a horse due to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection--Case study.

    PubMed

    Passamonti, Fabrizio; Veronesi, Fabrizia; Cappelli, Katia; Capomaccio, Stefano; Reginato, Alice; Miglio, Arianna; Vardi, Doron M; Stefanetti, Valentina; Coletti, Mauro; Bazzica, Chiara; Pepe, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a multi-systemic tick-borne disease affecting both humans and animals, including horses, and is caused by a group of interrelated spirochetes classified within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex. Despite the high reported seroprevalence in the European equine population for B. burgdorferi s.l., to-date no documented clinical cases have been described. A 6-year-old Paint gelding was referred with a history of three weeks of fever, intermittent lameness and digital flexor tendon sheath effusion of the right hind limb. Based on a strict diagnostic protocol, which included serological tests for infectious diseases and molecular investigations, a final diagnosis was made of polysynovitis due to B. burgdorferi s.l. infection. An unreported aspect observed in this case was the absence of the pathogen DNA in two of the affected joints. To the authors' knowledge, the case described represents the first documented clinical case of equine LB in Italy. Moreover, the absence of pathogen DNA in two of the affected joints observed in this case revealed a possible similarity with the same condition described in humans, where an immunomediated pathogenesis for arthropathy due to B. burgdorferi s.l. infection is suspected. Since humans and horses share the same habitat, this report supports the role of the horse as potential sentinel for human biological risk. PMID:26094517

  20. Community ecology and disease risk: lizards, squirrels, and the Lyme disease spirochete in California, USA.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Lane, Robert S

    2010-01-01

    Vector-borne zoonotic diseases are often maintained in complex transmission cycles involving multiple vertebrate hosts and their arthropod vectors. In the state of California, U.S.A., the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease, is transmitted between vertebrate hosts by the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus. Several mammalian species serve as reservoir hosts of the spirochete, but levels of tick infestation, reservoir competence, and Borrelia-infection prevalence vary widely among such hosts. Here, we model the host (lizards, Peromyscus mice, Californian meadow voles, dusky-footed wood rats, and western gray squirrels), vector, and pathogen community of oak woodlands in northwestern California to determine the relative importance of different tick hosts. Observed infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.8-5.3%, and our host-community model estimated an infection prevalence of 1.6-2.2%. The western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) was the only source of infected nymphs. Lizards, which are refractory to Borrelia infection, are important in feeding subadult ticks but reduce disease risk (nymphal infection prevalence). Species identity is therefore critical in understanding and determining the local disease ecology. PMID:20380218

  1. Bird-feeding ticks transstadially transmit Borrelia burgdorferi that infect Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J F; Magnarelli, L A; Stafford, K C

    1990-01-01

    Bird-feeding Ixodes dammini ticks were documented for the first time to successfully molt and transstadially pass Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes that were indistinguishable by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis from the type B31 strain. Forty-six of 73 blood-engorged larvae and 50 of 66 fully-fed nymphs, removed from wild-caught birds, successfully molted. Borreliae were isolated from 21 of 78 partially- and fully-fed larvae off birds, including six specimens that molted. Spirochete-positive cultures also were obtained from 35 of 60 partially- and fully-fed nymphs that had fed from birds, including 20 nymphs that molted into adult ticks. Transstadially passed borreliae by bird-feeding larval and nymphal I. dammini were infectious to hamsters, leading us to suggest that these ticks are capable of subsequently transmitting infectious spirochetes to mammals, including humans. An isolated of B. burgdorferi, recovered from a bird-feeding larval Ixodes dentatus, was indistinguishable by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis from the B31 strain. This isolate, unlike another from I. dentatus off a cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), had a protein band with a molecular weight of approximately 31,000 that reacted with murine monoclonal antibodies H3TS and H5332 in western blot analysis. Thus, closely related borreliae are present in both I. dentatus and I. dammini. PMID:2304189

  2. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of DNA from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Muntean, Cristina M; Stefan, Razvan; Bindea, Maria; Cozma, Vasile

    2013-06-01

    In this work we present a method for detection of motile and immotile Borrelia burgdorferi genomic DNA, in relation with infectious and noninfectious spirochetes. An FT-IR study of DNA isolated from B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains and from positive and negative Ixodes ricinus ticks, respectively, is reported. Motile bacterial cells from the species B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii were of interest. Also, FT-IR absorbance spectra of DNA from immotile spirochetes of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, in the absence and presence of different antibiotics (doxycycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, penicillin V or phenoxymethylpenicillin, tetracycline, respectively) were investigated. FT-IR spectra, providing a high molecular structural information, have been analyzed in the wavenumber range 400-1800 cm(-1). FT-IR signatures, spectroscopic band assignments and structural interpretations of these DNAs are reported. Spectral differences between FT-IR absorbances of DNAs from motile bacterial cells and immotile spirochetes, respectively, have been found. Particularly, alterations of the sugar-phosphate B-form chain in the case of DNA from Borrelia immotile cells, as compared with DNA from B. burgdorferi sensu lato motile cells have been observed. Based on this work, specific B. burgdorferi sensu lato and I. ricinus DNA-ligand interactions, respectively, might be further investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. PMID:23563637

  3. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of DNA from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ixodes ricinus ticks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muntean, Cristina M.; Stefan, Razvan; Bindea, Maria; Cozma, Vasile

    2013-06-01

    In this work we present a method for detection of motile and immotile Borrelia burgdorferi genomic DNA, in relation with infectious and noninfectious spirochetes. An FT-IR study of DNA isolated from B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains and from positive and negative Ixodes ricinus ticks, respectively, is reported. Motile bacterial cells from the species B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii were of interest. Also, FT-IR absorbance spectra of DNA from immotile spirochetes of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, in the absence and presence of different antibiotics (doxycycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, penicillin V or phenoxymethylpenicillin, tetracycline, respectively) were investigated. FT-IR spectra, providing a high molecular structural information, have been analyzed in the wavenumber range 400-1800 cm-1. FT-IR signatures, spectroscopic band assignments and structural interpretations of these DNAs are reported. Spectral differences between FT-IR absorbances of DNAs from motile bacterial cells and immotile spirochetes, respectively, have been found. Particularly, alterations of the sugar-phosphate B-form chain in the case of DNA from Borrelia immotile cells, as compared with DNA from B. burgdorferi sensu lato motile cells have been observed. Based on this work, specific B. burgdorferi sensu lato and I. ricinus DNA-ligand interactions, respectively, might be further investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

  4. Laboratory Cultivation and Maintenance of Borrelia miyamotoi.

    PubMed

    Stone, Brandee L; Brissette, Catherine A

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a relapsing fever tick-borne pathogen found in Ixodes spp. (hard) ticks. In vitro culturing has proven difficult despite initial reports of cultures maintained in Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly-II (BSK-II) medium. The ability to culture in vitro opens many avenues for investigating the genetics and physiology of bacterial species. This unit describes methods for the maintenance and cultivation of B. miyamotoi in liquid medium. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27517334

  5. Absence of transplacental transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes from reservoir mice (Peromyscus leucopus) to their offspring.

    PubMed

    Mather, T N; Telford, S R; Adler, G H

    1991-09-01

    Lyme disease spirochetes (Borrelia burgdorferi) are naturally maintained in an enzootic cycle mainly by vector ticks (Ixodes dammini) infesting white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). Suggestions that mice may become infected without exposure to ticks prompted a study to evaluate whether mice could transmit spirochetes transplacentally to their offspring. Mice were live-captured in two Massachusetts sites where Lyme disease spirochetes are intensely enzootic. Pregnant females were housed separately in the laboratory through delivery, and mothers and their offspring were caged together until weaning. Each female and two offspring were then examined for evidence of infection serologically and by tick xenodiagnosis. All 14 mother mice examined produced infected ticks and exhibited serum antibodies to B. burgdorferi. However, none of 28 offspring tested produced infected ticks and only a few had evidence of circulating antibody. In a separate experiment, no young CD-1 mice, born of infected mothers, had IgM antibody to B. burgdorferi. It would appear that immature mice are not transplacentally infected with spirochetes and must be exposed to infected ticks before becoming infected and infective themselves. PMID:1869842

  6. Pleomorphic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi induce distinct immune responses.

    PubMed

    Meriläinen, Leena; Brander, Heini; Herranen, Anni; Schwarzbach, Armin; Gilbert, Leona

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of tick-borne Lyme disease. As a response to environmental stress B. burgdorferi can change its morphology to a round body form. The role of B. burgdorferi pleomorphic forms in Lyme disease pathogenesis has long been debated and unclear. Here, we demonstrated that round bodies were processed differently in differentiated macrophages, consequently inducing distinct immune responses compared to spirochetes in vitro. Colocalization analysis indicated that the F-actin participates in internalization of both forms. However, round bodies end up less in macrophage lysosomes than spirochetes suggesting that there are differences in processing of these forms in phagocytic cells. Furthermore, round bodies stimulated distinct cytokine and chemokine production in these cells. We confirmed that spirochetes and round bodies present different protein profiles and antigenicity. In a Western blot analysis Lyme disease patients had more intense responses to round bodies when compared to spirochetes. These results suggest that round bodies have a role in Lyme disease pathogenesis. PMID:27139815

  7. Biomechanics of Borrelia burgdorferi Vascular Interactions.

    PubMed

    Ebady, Rhodaba; Niddam, Alexandra F; Boczula, Anna E; Kim, Yae Ram; Gupta, Nupur; Tang, Tian Tian; Odisho, Tanya; Zhi, Hui; Simmons, Craig A; Skare, Jon T; Moriarty, Tara J

    2016-09-01

    Systemic dissemination of microbes is critical for progression of many infectious diseases and is associated with most mortality due to bacterial infection. The physical mechanisms mediating a key dissemination step, bacterial association with vascular endothelia in blood vessels, remain unknown. Here, we show that endothelial interactions of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi under physiological shear stress mechanistically resemble selectin-dependent leukocyte rolling. Specifically, these interactions are mediated by transfer of mechanical load along a series of adhesion complexes and are stabilized by tethers and catch bond properties of the bacterial adhesin BBK32. Furthermore, we found that the forces imposed on adhesive bonds under flow may be small enough to permit active migration driven by bacterial flagellar motors. These findings provide insight into the biomechanics of bacterial-vascular interactions and demonstrate that disseminating bacteria and circulating host immune cells share widely conserved mechanisms for interacting with endothelia under physiological shear stress. PMID:27568563

  8. Lipid Exchange between Borrelia burgdorferi and Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Crowley, Jameson T.; Toledo, Alvaro M.; LaRocca, Timothy J.; Coleman, James L.; London, Erwin; Benach, Jorge L.

    2013-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, has cholesterol and cholesterol-glycolipids that are essential for bacterial fitness, are antigenic, and could be important in mediating interactions with cells of the eukaryotic host. We show that the spirochetes can acquire cholesterol from plasma membranes of epithelial cells. In addition, through fluorescent and confocal microscopy combined with biochemical approaches, we demonstrated that B. burgdorferi labeled with the fluorescent cholesterol analog BODIPY-cholesterol or 3H-labeled cholesterol transfer both cholesterol and cholesterol-glycolipids to HeLa cells. The transfer occurs through two different mechanisms, by direct contact between the bacteria and eukaryotic cell and/or through release of outer membrane vesicles. Thus, two-way lipid exchange between spirochetes and host cells can occur. This lipid exchange could be an important process that contributes to the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. PMID:23326230

  9. Nanoscopic Localization of Surface-Exposed Antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Lemgruber, Leandro; Sant'Anna, Celso; Griffths, Caron; Abud, Yuri; Mhlanga, Musa; Wallich, Reinhard; Frischknecht, Friedrich

    2015-06-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Ixodes spp. ticks. Successful infection of vertebrate hosts necessitates sophisticated means of the pathogen to escape the vertebrates' immune system. One strategy employed by Lyme disease spirochetes to evade adaptive immunity involves a highly coordinated regulation of the expression of outer surface proteins that is vital for infection, dissemination, and persistence. Here we characterized the expression pattern of bacterial surface antigens using different microscopy techniques, from fluorescent wide field to super-resolution and immunogold-scanning electron microscopy. A fluorescent strain of B. burgdorferi spirochetes was labeled with monoclonal antibodies directed against various bacterial surface antigens. Our results indicate that OspA is more evenly distributed over the surface than OspB and OspC that were present as punctate areas. PMID:25739645

  10. Multiplex Real-Time PCR Diagnostic of Relapsing Fevers in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Elbir, Haitham; Henry, Mireille; Diatta, Georges; Mediannikov, Oleg; Sokhna, Cheikh; Tall, Adama; Socolovschi, Cristina; Cutler, Sally J.; Bilcha, Kassahum D.; Ali, Jemal; Campelo, Dayana; Barker, Steven C.; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Background In Africa, relapsing fever borreliae are neglected arthropod-borne pathogens causing mild to deadly septicemia and miscarriage. The closely related Borrelia crocidurae, Borrelia duttonii, Borrelia recurrentis and Borrelia hispanica are rarely diagnosed at the species level, hampering refined epidemiological and clinical knowledge of the relapsing fevers. It would be hugely beneficial to have simultaneous detection and identification of Borrelia to species level directly from clinical samples. Methodology/Principal Findings We designed a multiplex real-time PCR protocol targeting the 16S rRNA gene detecting all four Borrelia, the glpQ gene specifically detecting B. crocidurae, the recN gene specifically detecting B. duttonii/B. recurrentis and the recC gene specifically detecting B. hispanica. Compared to combined 16S rRNA gene and flaB gene sequencing as the gold standard, multiplex real-time PCR analyses of 171 Borrelia-positive and 101 Borrelia-negative control blood specimens yielded 100% sensitivity and specificity for B. duttonii/B. recurrentis and B. hispanica and 99% sensitivity and specificity for B. crocidurae. Conclusions/Significance The multiplex real-time PCR developed in this study is a rapid technique for both molecular detection and speciation of relapsing fever borreliae from blood in Africa. It could be incorporated in point-of-care laboratory to confirm diagnosis and provide evidence of the burden of infection attributed to different species of known or potentially novel relapsing fever borreliae. PMID:23390560

  11. Statins reduce spirochetal burden and modulate immune responses in the C3H/HeN mouse model of Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Van Laar, Tricia A; Hole, Camaron; Rajasekhar Karna, S L; Miller, Christine L; Reddick, Robert; Wormley, Floyd L; Seshu, J

    2016-06-01

    Lyme disease (LD) is a systemic disorder caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme spirochetes encode for a functional 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGR EC 1.1.1.88) serving as a rate limiting enzyme of the mevalonate pathway that contribute to components critical for cell wall biogenesis. Statins have been shown to inhibit B. burgdorferi in vitro. Using a mouse model of Lyme disease, we found that statins contribute to reducing bacterial burden and altering the murine immune response to favor clearance of spirochetes. PMID:26993029

  12. Reviewing molecular adaptations of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in the context of reproductive fitness in natural transmission cycles.

    PubMed

    Tsao, Jean I

    2009-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is caused by a group of pathogenic spirochetes - most often Borrelia burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii - that are vectored by hard ticks in the Ixodes ricinus-persulcatus complex, which feed on a variety of mammals, birds, and lizards. Although LB is one of the best-studied vector-borne zoonoses, the annual incidence in North America and Europe leads other vector-borne diseases and continues to increase. What factors make the LB system so successful, and how can researchers hope to reduce disease risk - either through vaccinating humans or reducing the risk of contacting infected ticks in nature? Discoveries of molecular interactions involved in the transmission of LB spirochetes have accelerated recently, revealing complex interactions among the spirochete-tick-vertebrate triad. These interactions involve multiple, and often redundant, pathways that reflect the evolution of general and specific mechanisms by which the spirochetes survive and reproduce. Previous reviews have focused on the molecular interactions or population biology of the system. Here molecular interactions among the LB spirochete, its vector, and vertebrate hosts are reviewed in the context of natural maintenance cycles, which represent the ecological and evolutionary contexts that shape these interactions. This holistic system approach may help researchers develop additional testable hypotheses about transmission processes, interpret laboratory results, and guide development of future LB control measures and management. PMID:19368764

  13. Reviewing molecular adaptations of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in the context of reproductive fitness in natural transmission cycles

    PubMed Central

    Tsao, Jean I.

    2009-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is caused by a group of pathogenic spirochetes – most often Borrelia burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii – that are vectored by hard ticks in the Ixodes ricinus-persulcatus complex, which feed on a variety of mammals, birds, and lizards. Although LB is one of the best-studied vector-borne zoonoses, the annual incidence in North America and Europe leads other vector-borne diseases and continues to increase. What factors make the LB system so successful, and how can researchers hope to reduce disease risk – either through vaccinating humans or reducing the risk of contacting infected ticks in nature? Discoveries of molecular interactions involved in the transmission of LB spirochetes have accelerated recently, revealing complex interactions among the spirochete-tick-vertebrate triad. These interactions involve multiple, and often redundant, pathways that reflect the evolution of general and specific mechanisms by which the spirochetes survive and reproduce. Previous reviews have focused on the molecular interactions or population biology of the system. Here molecular interactions among the LB spirochete, its vector, and vertebrate hosts are reviewed in the context of natural maintenance cycles, which represent the ecological and evolutionary contexts that shape these interactions. This holistic system approach may help researchers develop additional testable hypotheses about transmission processes, interpret laboratory results, and guide development of future LB control measures and management. PMID:19368764

  14. Live imaging reveals a biphasic mode of dissemination of Borrelia burgdorferi within ticks

    PubMed Central

    Dunham-Ems, Star M.; Caimano, Melissa J.; Pal, Utpal; Wolgemuth, Charles W.; Eggers, Christian H.; Balic, Anamaria; Radolf, Justin D.

    2009-01-01

    Lyme disease is caused by transmission of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi from ticks to humans. Although much is known about B. burgdorferi replication, the routes and mechanisms by which it disseminates within the tick remain unclear. To better understand this process, we imaged live, infectious B. burgdorferi expressing a stably integrated, constitutively expressed GFP reporter. Using isolated tick midguts and salivary glands, we observed B. burgdorferi progress through the feeding tick via what we believe to be a novel, biphasic mode of dissemination. In the first phase, replicating spirochetes, positioned at varying depths throughout the midgut at the onset of feeding, formed networks of nonmotile organisms that advanced toward the basolateral surface of the epithelium while adhering to differentiating, hypertrophying, and detaching epithelial cells. In the second phase of dissemination, the nonmotile spirochetes transitioned into motile organisms that penetrated the basement membrane and entered the hemocoel, then migrated to and entered the salivary glands. We designated the first phase of dissemination “adherence-mediated migration” and provided evidence that it involves the inhibition of spirochete motility by one or more diffusible factors elaborated by the feeding tick midgut. Our studies, which we believe are the first to relate the transmission dynamics of spirochetes to the complex morphological and developmental changes that the midgut and salivary glands undergo during engorgement, challenge the conventional viewpoint that dissemination of Lyme disease–causing spirochetes within ticks is exclusively motility driven. PMID:19920352

  15. What ticks do under your skin: two-photon intravital imaging of Ixodes scapularis feeding in the presence of the lyme disease spirochete.

    PubMed

    Bockenstedt, Linda K; Gonzalez, David; Mao, Jialing; Li, Ming; Belperron, Alexia A; Haberman, Ann

    2014-03-01

    Lyme disease, due to infection with the Ixodes-tick transmitted spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere. Our understanding of the tick-pathogen-vertebrate host interactions that sustain an enzootic cycle for B. burgdorferi is incomplete. In this article, we describe a method for imaging the feeding of Ixodes scapularis nymphs in real-time using two-photon intravital microscopy and show how this technology can be applied to view the response of Lyme borrelia in the skin of an infected host to tick feeding. PMID:24600332

  16. What Ticks Do Under Your Skin: Two-Photon Intravital Imaging of Ixodes Scapularis Feeding in the Presence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete

    PubMed Central

    Bockenstedt, Linda K.; Gonzalez, David; Mao, Jialing; Li, Ming; Belperron, Alexia A.; Haberman, Ann

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease, due to infection with the Ixodes-tick transmitted spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere. Our understanding of the tick-pathogen-vertebrate host interactions that sustain an enzootic cycle for B. burgdorferi is incomplete. In this article, we describe a method for imaging the feeding of Ixodes scapularis nymphs in real-time using two-photon intravital microscopy and show how this technology can be applied to view the response of Lyme borrelia in the skin of an infected host to tick feeding. PMID:24600332

  17. First report of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in two threatened carnivores: the Marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna and the European mink, Mustela lutreola (Mammalia: Mustelidae)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Lyme disease is a widespread cosmopolitan zoonosis caused by species belonging to the genus Borrelia. It is transmitted from animal reservoir hosts to humans through hard - ticks of genus Ixodes which are vectors of the disease. Case presentation Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection was identified in a marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna, and two European minks, Mustela lutreola, from Romania, by PCR. RFLP revealed the presence of a single genospecies, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. Conclusions This is the first report of the Lyme disease spirochetes in the two mentioned hosts. PMID:22901862

  18. Borrelia-induced cytokine production is mediated by spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) but is Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 independent.

    PubMed

    Oosting, Marije; Buffen, Kathrin; Cheng, Shih-Chin; Verschueren, Ineke C; Koentgen, Frank; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Netea, Mihai G; Joosten, Leo A B

    2015-12-01

    Although it is known that Borrelia species express sugar-like structures on their outer surface, not much is known about the role of these structures in immune recognition by host cells. Fungi, like Candida albicans, are mainly recognized by C-type lectin receptors, in specific Dectin-1 and Dectin-2. In this study we assessed the role of Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 in the recognition process of Borrelia spirochetes. Using specific inhibitors against these receptors on human cells did not influenced cytokine production. Individuals carrying a SNP leading to an early stop codon in the DECTIN-1 gene also did not lead to differential induction of Borrelia-dependent cytokines. After injection of live Borrelia into knee joints of Dectin-2 deficient mice a trend towards lower inflammation was observed. Inhibition of Syk in human cells resulted in lower cytokine production after Borrelia stimulation. In conclusion, Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 seem not to play a major role in Borrelia recognition or Borrelia-induced inflammation. However, Syk seems to be involved in Borrelia-induced cytokine production. PMID:26297607

  19. Antigenically variable Borrelia burgdorferi isolated from cottontail rabbits and Ixodes dentatus in rural and urban areas.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, J F; Magnarelli, L A; LeFebvre, R B; Andreadis, T G; McAninch, J B; Perng, G C; Johnson, R C

    1989-01-01

    Spirochetes were isolated from 71 subadult Ixodes dentatus removed from cottontail rabbits captured in Millbrook, N.Y., and in New York, N.Y. Spirochetes were also cultured from kidney tissues of six rabbits. While all isolates reacted with monoclonal antibody H9724, which identifies the spirochetes as borreliae, more than half did not bind with antibody H5332 and even fewer reacted with H3TS, both of which were produced to outer surface protein A of Borrelia burgdorferi. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis protein profiles of three isolates differed from one another and from all previously characterized B. burgdorferi strains from humans, ticks, and wildlife in North America. The 12 periplasmic flagella that originated subterminally from each pointed end of a rabbit Borellia isolate contrasted with the 11 or fewer flagella for B. burgdorferi reported previously from North America. Although DNA homology and restriction endonuclease analysis also revealed differences among a rabbit kidney isolate, an I. dentatus isolate, and B. burgdorferi B31, similarities were sufficient to lead us to conclude that the borreliae in rabbits and I. dentatus are B. burgdorferi. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay titers of sera from humans with diagnosed Lyme disease to rabbit tick B. burgdorferi were often similar to one another and to those recorded for a reference B. burgdorferi strain. Images PMID:2913024

  20. OspC-Independent Infection and Dissemination by Host-Adapted Borrelia burgdorferi▿

    PubMed Central

    Tilly, Kit; Bestor, Aaron; Dulebohn, Daniel P.; Rosa, Patricia A.

    2009-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi OspC is required for the spirochete to establish infection in a mammal by tick transmission or needle inoculation. After a brief essential period, the protein no longer is required and the gene can be shut off. Using a system in which spirochetes contain only an unstable wild-type copy of the ospC gene, we can obtain mice persistently infected with bacteria lacking OspC. We implanted pieces of infected mouse skin subcutaneously in naïve mice, using donors carrying wild-type or ospC mutant spirochetes, and found that both could infect mice by this method, with similar numbers of wild-type or ospC mutant spirochetes disseminated throughout the tissues of recipient mice. Recipient mouse immune responses to tissue transfer-mediated infection with wild-type or ospC mutant spirochetes were similar. These experiments demonstrate that mammalian host-adapted spirochetes can infect and disseminate in mice in the absence of OspC, thereby circumventing this hallmark of tick-derived or in vitro-grown spirochetes. We propose a model in which OspC is one of a succession of functionally equivalent, essential proteins that are synthesized at different stages of mammalian infection. In this model, another protein uniquely present on host-adapted spirochetes performs the same essential function initially fulfilled by OspC. The strict temporal control of B. burgdorferi outer surface protein gene expression may reflect immunological constraints rather than distinct functions. PMID:19398538

  1. Molecular Dissection of a Borrelia burgdorferi In Vivo Essential Purine Transport System

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Sunny; Showman, Adrienne C.

    2015-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is dependent on purine salvage from the host environment for survival. The genes bbb22 and bbb23 encode purine permeases that are essential for B. burgdorferi mouse infectivity. We now demonstrate the unique contributions of each of these genes to purine transport and murine infection. The affinities of spirochetes carrying bbb22 alone for hypoxanthine and adenine were similar to those of spirochetes carrying both genes. Spirochetes carrying bbb22 alone were able to achieve wild-type levels of adenine saturation but not hypoxanthine saturation, suggesting that maximal hypoxanthine uptake requires the presence of bbb23. Moreover, the purine transport activity conferred by bbb22 was dependent on an additional distal transcriptional start site located within the bbb23 open reading frame. The initial rates of uptake of hypoxanthine and adenine by spirochetes carrying bbb23 alone were below the level of detection. However, these spirochetes demonstrated a measurable increase in hypoxanthine uptake over a 30-min time course. Our findings indicate that bbb22-dependent adenine transport is essential for B. burgdorferi survival in mice. The bbb23 gene was dispensable for B. burgdorferi mouse infectivity, yet its presence was required along with that of bbb22 for B. burgdorferi to achieve maximal spirochete loads in infected mouse tissues. These data demonstrate that both genes, bbb22 and bbb23, are critical for B. burgdorferi to achieve wild-type infection of mice and that the differences in the capabilities of the two transporters may reflect distinct purine salvage needs that the spirochete encounters throughout its natural infectious cycle. PMID:25776752

  2. Diversity of Ixodes-borne Borrelia species--clinical, pathogenetic, and diagnostic implications and impact on vaccine development.

    PubMed

    van Dam, Alje P

    2002-01-01

    Among Borrelia spirochetes carried by hard ticks belonging to the various Ixodes species, at least 10 species can be distinguished. Of these, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is involved in human Lyme borreliosis in North America and Europe, and Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii in human disease in Europe and Asia. The pathogenetic significance of the other species is uncertain. Although some of the Borrelia species are restricted to certain tick species, Ixodes ricinus, the vector of Lyme borreliosis in Europe, can be infested by at least five different species, including all three pathogenic species. There is evidence that different Borrelia species are preferentially found in different hosts: In Europe, B. afzelii is frequently found in small mammals, whereas B. garinii and Borrelia valaisiana are often found in birds. This could very well be related to differential sensitivity of these species to complement-mediated bactericidal activity of different hosts. Borrelial complement regulator acquiring proteins, among them OspE or Erp proteins, bind to host factor H and related proteins, and this binding protects against activation of complement by the spirochetal surface. The binding is different for proteins originating from different species and is also depending on the host origin of factor H. In Europe, B. garinii is mainly found in neuroborreliosis, whereas in skin disease B. afzelii is more frequently found. The reason is unclear. The majority of human sera cross-react between proteins of different Borrelia species, but some sera react only with proteins from one of the species. This holds especially for reactivity with OspC. A vaccine against B. burgdorferi sensu stricto has been licensed, but was recently redrawn from the market because of commercial reasons. A vaccine protecting against all three pathogenic species is not yet available. PMID:12804166

  3. Fibronectin Binding Protein BBK32 of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Promotes Bacterial Attachment to Glycosaminoglycans

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Joshua R.; LeBlanc, Kimberly T.; Leong, John M.

    2006-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, causes a multisystemic illness that can affect the skin, heart, joints, and nervous system and is capable of attachment to diverse cell types. Among the host components recognized by this spirochete are fibronectin and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Three surface-localized GAG-binding bacterial ligands, Bgp, DbpA, and DbpB, have been previously identified, but recent studies suggested that at least one additional GAG-binding ligand is expressed on the spirochetal surface when the spirochete is adapted to the mammalian host environment. BBK32 is a surface lipoprotein that is produced during infection and that has been shown to bind to fibronectin. In this study, we show that, when BBK32 was produced from a shuttle vector in an otherwise nonadherent high-passage B. burgdorferi strain, the protein localized on the bacterial surface and conferred attachment to fibronectin and to mammalian cell monolayers. In addition, the high-passage strain producing BBK32 bound to purified preparations of the GAGs dermatan sulfate and heparin, as well as to these GAGs on the surfaces of cultured mammalian cells. Recombinant BBK32 recognized purified heparin, indicating that the bacterial attachment to GAGs was due to direct binding by BBK32. This GAG-binding activity of BBK32 is apparently independent of fibronectin recognition, because exogenous heparin had no effect on BBK32-mediated bacterial binding to fibronectin. PMID:16368999

  4. In vitro activities of faropenem, ertapenem, imipenem and meropenem against Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.

    PubMed

    Rödel, Rebecca; Freyer, Alexandra; Bittner, Thomas; Schäfer, Volker; Hunfeld, Klaus-Peter

    2007-07-01

    Little is known about the in vitro activity of penems and carbapenems against the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Here, faropenem, ertapenem, imipenem and meropenem as well as the third-generation cephalosporin ceftriaxone and tobramycin were tested in vitro against 11 isolates of the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex. On a microg/mL basis, ertapenem was the most potent carbapenem (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) range: 0.015-0.125 microg/mL), with in vitro activity comparable with that of ceftriaxone against Borrelia. These findings are supported by the results of time-kill experiments in a Borrelia afzelii skin isolate, demonstrating a >3 log10 unit (99.9%) reduction of the inoculum after 96 h of exposure to either drug at a concentration of three log2 unit dilutions above the respective MIC. PMID:17512703

  5. The anti-borreliae efficacy of phytochemicals and micronutrients: an update.

    PubMed

    Goc, Anna; Rath, Matthias

    2016-06-01

    Naturally occurring substances have been used for centuries to fight against various pathogens. They serve as a source for new chemical entities or provide options to already existing therapeutics. While there is an increasing interest in studying antimicrobial properties of naturally derived agents, little is known about their effects against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative pathogens of Lyme disease. A better understanding of this aspect could advance knowledge about pathophysiology of these bacteria and help improve the efficacy of current approaches against Lyme disease. Here, we review all naturally occurring substances scientifically evaluated to date, including plant extracts, their metabolites, and micronutrients, against vegetative (spirochetes) and latent (rounded bodies, biofilm) forms of Borrelia sp. This summary reveals the potent anti-borreliae activity of several of these natural compounds indicating their potential in enhancing the efficacy of current treatments for Lyme disease, and offering new options to already existing therapeutic regiments. PMID:27536352

  6. The anti-borreliae efficacy of phytochemicals and micronutrients: an update

    PubMed Central

    Goc, Anna; Rath, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Naturally occurring substances have been used for centuries to fight against various pathogens. They serve as a source for new chemical entities or provide options to already existing therapeutics. While there is an increasing interest in studying antimicrobial properties of naturally derived agents, little is known about their effects against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative pathogens of Lyme disease. A better understanding of this aspect could advance knowledge about pathophysiology of these bacteria and help improve the efficacy of current approaches against Lyme disease. Here, we review all naturally occurring substances scientifically evaluated to date, including plant extracts, their metabolites, and micronutrients, against vegetative (spirochetes) and latent (rounded bodies, biofilm) forms of Borrelia sp. This summary reveals the potent anti-borreliae activity of several of these natural compounds indicating their potential in enhancing the efficacy of current treatments for Lyme disease, and offering new options to already existing therapeutic regiments. PMID:27536352

  7. Borrelia burgdorferi Induces the Production and Release of Proinflammatory Cytokines in Canine Synovial Explant Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Straubinger, Reinhard K.; Straubinger, Alix F.; Summers, Brian A.; Erb, Hollis N.; Härter, Luc; Appel, Max J. G.

    1998-01-01

    Canine synovial membrane explants were exposed to high- or low-passage Borrelia burgdorferi for 3, 6, 12, and 24 h. Spirochetes received no treatment, were UV light irradiated for 16 h, or were sonicated prior to addition to synovial explant cultures. In explant tissues, mRNA levels for the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1α (IL-1α), IL-1β, and IL-8 were surveyed semiquantitatively by reverse transcription-PCR. Culture supernatants were examined for numbers of total and motile (i.e., viable) spirochetes, TNF-like and IL-1-like activities, polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) chemotaxis-inducing activities, and IL-8. During exposure to synovial explant tissues, the total number of spirochetes in the supernatants decreased gradually by ∼30%, and the viability also declined. mRNAs for TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-8 were up-regulated in synovial explant tissues within 3 h after infection with untreated or UV light-irradiated B. burgdorferi, and mRNA levels corresponded to the results obtained with bioassays. During 24 h of coincubation, cultures challenged with untreated or UV light-irradiated spirochetes produced similar levels of TNF-like and IL-1-like activities. In contrast, explant tissues exposed to untreated B. burgdorferi generated significantly higher levels of chemotactic factors after 24 h of incubation than did explant tissues exposed to UV light-treated spirochetes. In identical samples, a specific signal for IL-8 was identified by Western blot analysis. High- and low-passage borreliae did not differ in their abilities to induce proinflammatory cytokines. No difference in cytokine induction between untreated and sonicated high-passage spirochetes was observed, suggesting that fractions of the organism can trigger the production and release of inflammatory mediators. The titration of spirochetes revealed a dose-independent cytokine response, where 103 to 107 B. burgdorferi organisms induced similar TNF

  8. [An experimental study of the capacity of the rat mite Ornithonyssus bacoti (Hirst, 1913) to ingest, maintain and transmit Borrelia].

    PubMed

    Lopatina, Iu V; Vasil'eva, I S; Gutova, V P; Ershova, A S; Burakova, O V; Naumov, R L; Petrova, A D

    1999-01-01

    For the first time a possibility of the gamasina mites' O. bacoti participation in Lyme disease spirochetes' circulation has been demonstrated. It has been experimentally shown that Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. are received by O. bacoti, survive in them for at least 21 days and are transmitted to white mice through mites' bites. Mice's infestation has occurred in 23% of cases. It is suggested that other bloodsucking gamasina mites inhabiting the Lyme borreliosis reservoir rodents nests may be capable of participating in borrelia circulation in the Lyme disease endemic areas. PMID:10703202

  9. Borrelia burgdorferi strain-specific Osp C-mediated immunity in mice.

    PubMed

    Bockenstedt, L K; Hodzic, E; Feng, S; Bourrel, K W; de Silva, A; Montgomery, R R; Fikrig, E; Radolf, J D; Barthold, S W

    1997-11-01

    Antibodies to the outer surface proteins (Osps) A, B, and C of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi can prevent infection in animal models of Lyme borreliosis. We have previously demonstrated that immune serum from mice infected with B. burgdorferi N40 can also prevent challenge infection and induce disease regression in infected mice. The antigens targeted by protective and disease-modulating antibodies are presently unknown, but they do not include Osp A or Osp B. Because Osp C antibodies are present in immune mouse serum, we investigated the ability of hyperimmune serum to recombinant Osp C (N40) to protect mice against challenge infection with N40 spirochetes. In both active and passive immunization studies, Osp C (N40) antiserum failed to protect mice from challenge infection with cultured organisms. Mice actively immunized with recombinant Osp C (N40) were susceptible to tick-borne challenge infection, and nymphal ticks remained infected after feeding on Osp C-hyperimmunized mice. In contrast, similar immunization studies performed with Osp C (PKo) antiserum prevented challenge infection of mice with a clone of PKo spirochetes pathogenic for mice. Both Osp C (N40) and Osp C (PKo) antisera showed minimal in vitro borreliacidal activity, and immunofluorescence studies localized Osp C beneath the outer membrane of both N40 and PKo spirochetes. We conclude that Osp C antibody-mediated immunity is strain specific and propose that differences in Osp C surface expression by spirochetes in vivo may account for strain-specific immunity. PMID:9353047

  10. Cardiac Tropism of Borrelia burgdorferi: An Autopsy Study of Sudden Cardiac Death Associated with Lyme Carditis.

    PubMed

    Muehlenbachs, Atis; Bollweg, Brigid C; Schulz, Thadeus J; Forrester, Joseph D; DeLeon Carnes, Marlene; Molins, Claudia; Ray, Gregory S; Cummings, Peter M; Ritter, Jana M; Blau, Dianna M; Andrew, Thomas A; Prial, Margaret; Ng, Dianna L; Prahlow, Joseph A; Sanders, Jeanine H; Shieh, Wun Ju; Paddock, Christopher D; Schriefer, Martin E; Mead, Paul; Zaki, Sherif R

    2016-05-01

    Fatal Lyme carditis caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi rarely is identified. Here, we describe the pathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular findings of five case patients. These sudden cardiac deaths associated with Lyme carditis occurred from late summer to fall, ages ranged from young adult to late 40s, and four patients were men. Autopsy tissue samples were evaluated by light microscopy, Warthin-Starry stain, immunohistochemistry, and PCR for B. burgdorferi, and immunohistochemistry for complement components C4d and C9, CD3, CD79a, and decorin. Post-mortem blood was tested by serology. Interstitial lymphocytic pancarditis in a relatively characteristic road map distribution was present in all cases. Cardiomyocyte necrosis was minimal, T cells outnumbered B cells, plasma cells were prominent, and mild fibrosis was present. Spirochetes in the cardiac interstitium associated with collagen fibers and co-localized with decorin. Rare spirochetes were seen in the leptomeninges of two cases by immunohistochemistry. Spirochetes were not seen in other organs examined, and joint tissue was not available for evaluation. Although rare, sudden cardiac death caused by Lyme disease might be an under-recognized entity and is characterized by pancarditis and marked tropism of spirochetes for cardiac tissues. PMID:26968341

  11. Borrelia chilensis, a new member of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex that extends the range of this genospecies in the Southern Hemisphere

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Larisa B.; Tomova, Alexandra; González-Acuña, Daniel; Murúa, Roberto; Moreno, Claudia X.; Hernández, Claudio; Cabello, Javier; Cabello, Carlos; Daniels, Thomas J.; Godfrey, Henry P.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), transmitted by Ixodes spp. ticks, is the causative agent of Lyme disease. Although Ixodes spp. ticks are distributed in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, evidence for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in South America apart from Uruguay is lacking. We now report the presence of culturable spirochetes with flat-wave morphology and borrelial DNA in endemic Ixodes stilesi ticks collected in Chile from environmental vegetation and long-tailed rice rats (Oligoryzomys longicaudatus). Cultured spirochetes and borrelial DNA in ticks were characterized by multilocus sequence typing and by sequencing five other loci (16S and 23S ribosomal genes, 5S-23S intergenic spacer, flaB, ospC). Phylogenetic analysis placed this spirochete as a new genospecies within the Lyme borreliosis group. Its plasmid profile determined by PCR and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis differed from that of B. burgdorferi B31A3. We propose naming this new South American member of the Lyme borreliosis group Borrelia chilensis VA1, in honor of its country of origin. PMID:24148079

  12. Borrelia garinii Induces CXCL13 Production in Human Monocytes through Toll-Like Receptor 2▿

    PubMed Central

    Rupprecht, Tobias A.; Kirschning, Carsten J.; Popp, Bernadette; Kastenbauer, Stefan; Fingerle, Volker; Pfister, Hans-Walter; Koedel, Uwe

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested an important role for the B-cell-attracting chemokine CXCL13 in the B-cell-dominated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) infiltrate in patients with neuroborreliosis (NB). High levels of CXCL13 were present in the CSF of NB patients. It has not been clear, however, whether high CSF CXCL13 titers are specific for NB or are a characteristic of other spirochetal diseases as well. Furthermore, the mechanisms leading to the observed CXCL13 expression have not been identified yet. Here we describe similarly elevated CSF CXCL13 levels in patients with neurosyphilis, while pneumococcal meningitis patient CSF do not have high CXCL13 levels. In parallel, challenge of human monocytes in vitro with two of the spirochetal causative organisms, Borrelia garinii (the Borrelia species most frequently found in NB patients) and Treponema pallidum, but not challenge with pneumococci, induced CXCL13 release. This finding implies that a common spirochetal motif is a CXCL13 inducer. Accordingly, we found that the lipid moiety N-palmitoyl-S-(bis[palmitoyloxy]propyl)cystein (Pam3C) (three palmitoyl residues bound to N-terminal cysteine) of the spirochetal lipoproteins is critical for the CXCL13 induction in monocytes. As the Pam3C motif is known to signal via Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and an anti-TLR2 monoclonal antibody blocked CXCL13 production of human monocytes incubated with B. garinii, this suggests that TLR2 is a major mediator of Borrelia-induced secretion of CXCL13 from human monocytes. PMID:17562761

  13. Cryo-electron tomography elucidates the molecular architecture of Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete.

    PubMed

    Izard, Jacques; Renken, Christian; Hsieh, Chyong-Ere; Desrosiers, Daniel C; Dunham-Ems, Star; La Vake, Carson; Gebhardt, Linda L; Limberger, Ronald J; Cox, David L; Marko, Michael; Radolf, Justin D

    2009-12-01

    Cryo-electron tomography (CET) was used to examine the native cellular organization of Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete. T. pallidum cells appeared to form flat waves, did not contain an outer coat and, except for bulges over the basal bodies and widening in the vicinity of flagellar filaments, displayed a uniform periplasmic space. Although the outer membrane (OM) generally was smooth in contour, OM extrusions and blebs frequently were observed, highlighting the structure's fluidity and lack of attachment to underlying periplasmic constituents. Cytoplasmic filaments converged from their attachment points opposite the basal bodies to form arrays that ran roughly parallel to the flagellar filaments along the inner surface of the cytoplasmic membrane (CM). Motile treponemes stably attached to rabbit epithelial cells predominantly via their tips. CET revealed that T. pallidum cell ends have a complex morphology and assume at least four distinct morphotypes. Images of dividing treponemes and organisms shedding cell envelope-derived blebs provided evidence for the spirochete's complex membrane biology. In the regions without flagellar filaments, peptidoglycan (PG) was visualized as a thin layer that divided the periplasmic space into zones of higher and lower electron densities adjacent to the CM and OM, respectively. Flagellar filaments were observed overlying the PG layer, while image modeling placed the PG-basal body contact site in the vicinity of the stator-P-collar junction. Bioinformatics and homology modeling indicated that the MotB proteins of T. pallidum, Treponema denticola, and Borrelia burgdorferi have membrane topologies and PG binding sites highly similar to those of their well-characterized Escherichia coli and Helicobacter pylori orthologs. Collectively, our results help to clarify fundamental differences in cell envelope ultrastructure between spirochetes and gram-negative bacteria. They also confirm that PG stabilizes the flagellar motor

  14. Sensitive multiplex PCR assay to differentiate Lyme spirochetes and emerging pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The infection with Borrelia burgdorferi can result in acute to chronic Lyme disease. In addition, coinfection with tick-borne pathogens, Babesia species and Anaplasma phagocytophilum has been increasing in endemic regions of the USA and Europe. The currently used serological diagnostic tests are often difficult to interpret and, moreover, antibodies against the pathogens persist for a long time making it difficult to confirm the cure of the disease. In addition, these tests cannot be used for diagnosis of early disease state before the adaptive immune response is established. Since nucleic acids of the pathogens do not persist after the cure, DNA-based diagnostic tests are becoming highly useful for detecting infectious diseases. Results In this study, we describe a real-time multiplex PCR assay to detect the presence of B. burgdorferi, B. microti and A. phagocytophilum simultaneously even when they are present in very low copy numbers. Interestingly, this quantitative PCR technique is also able to differentiate all three major Lyme spirochete species, B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii by utilizing a post-PCR denaturation profile analysis and a single molecular beacon probe. This could be very useful for diagnosis and discrimination of various Lyme spirochetes in European countries where all three Lyme spirochete species are prevalent. As proof of the principle for patient samples, we detected the presence of low number of Lyme spirochetes spiked in the human blood using our assay. Finally, our multiplex assay can detect all three tick-borne pathogens in a sensitive and specific manner irrespective of the level of each pathogen present in the sample. We anticipate that this novel diagnostic method will be able to simultaneously diagnose early to chronic stages of Lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis using the patients’ blood samples. Conclusion Real-time quantitative PCR using specific primers and molecular beacon probes for the selected

  15. Lyme Borreliosis: is there a preexisting (natural) variation in antimicrobial susceptibility among Borrelia burgdorferi strains?

    PubMed Central

    Hodzic, Emir

    2015-01-01

    The development of antibiotics changed the world of medicine and has saved countless human and animal lives. Bacterial resistance/tolerance to antibiotics have spread silently across the world and has emerged as a major public health concern. The recent emergence of pan-resistant bacteria can overcome virtually any antibiotic and poses a major problem for their successful control. Selection for antibiotic resistance may take place where an antibiotic is present in the skin, gut, and other tissues of humans and animals and in the environment. Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agents of Lyme borreliosis, evades host immunity and establishes persistent infections in its mammalian hosts. The persistent infection poses a challenge to the effective antibiotic treatment, as demonstrated in various animal models. An increasingly heterogeneous subpopulation of replicatively attenuated spirochetes arises following treatment, and these persistent antimicrobial tolerant/resistant spirochetes are non-cultivable. The non-cultivable spirochetes resurge in multiple tissues at 12 months after treatment, with B. burgdorferi-specific DNA copy levels nearly equivalent to those found in shame-treated experimental animals. These attenuated spirochetes remain viable, but divide slowly, thereby being tolerant to antibiotics. Despite the continued non-cultivable state, RNA transcription of multiple B. burgdorferi genes was detected in host tissues, spirochetes were acquired by xenodiagnostic ticks, and spirochetal forms could be visualized within ticks and mouse tissues. A number of host cytokines were up- or down-regulated in tissues of both shame- and antibiotic-treated mice in the absence of histopathology, indicating a lack of host response to the presence of antimicrobial tolerant/resistant spirochetes. PMID:26295288

  16. Influence of arthritis-related protein (BBF01) on infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi B31

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lyme borreliosis, caused by tick-borne Borrelia burgdorferi, is a multi-phasic, multi-system disease in humans. Similar to humans, C3H mice develop arthritis and carditis, with resolution and periodic bouts of recurrence over the course of persistent infection. Borrelia burgdorferi arthritis-related protein (Arp/BBF01), a highly conserved protein among B. burgdorferi s.s. isolates, has been shown to be antigenic in humans with Lyme borreliosis, and a target for antibody-mediated disease resolution in the mouse model. Results A mutant strain of B. burgdorferi s.s. deficient of the arp gene and a complemented version of that mutant were created and examined for phenotypic effects in mice compared to wild-type B. burgdorferi. Deletion of arp did not abolish infectivity, but did result in a higher infectious dose compared to wild-type B. burgdorferi, which was restored by complementation. Spirochete burdens in tissues of C3H-scid mice were lower when infected with the arp mutant, compared to wild-type, but arthritis was equally severe. Spirochete burdens were also lower in C3H mice infected with the arp mutant, but disease was markedly reduced. Ticks that fed upon infected C3H mice were able to acquire infection with both wild-type and arp mutant spirochetes. Arp mutant spirochetes were marginally able to be transmitted to naïve hosts by infected ticks. Conclusion These results indicated that deletion of BBF01/arp did not abrogate, but diminished infectivity and limited spirochete burdens in tissues of both immunocompetent and immunodeficient hosts, and attenuated, but did not abolish the ability of ticks to acquire or transmit infection. PMID:23651628

  17. BB0323 function is essential for Borrelia burgdorferi virulence and persistence through tick-rodent transmission cycle

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xinyue; Yang, Xiuli; Kumar, Manish; Pal, Utpal

    2010-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi bb0323 encodes an immunogenic protein in mammalian hosts including humans. An analysis of bb0323 expression in vivo showed variable transcription throughout the spirochete infection cycle, with elevated expression during tick-mouse transmission. Deletion of bb0323 in infectious B. burgdorferi did not affect microbial survival in vitro, despite significant alterations in growth kinetics and cell morphology. bb0323 mutants were unable to infect either mice or ticks, and were quickly eliminated from immunocompetent and immunodeficient hosts and the vector, within the first few days of inoculation. Chromosomal complementation of the mutant with native bb0323 and phenotypic analysis in vivo indicated the significant restoration of spirochete virulence and persistence throughout the mouse-tick infection cycle. BB0323 may serve an indispensable physiological function that is more pronounced during microbial persistence and transitions between the host and the vector in vivo. Strategies to interfere with BB0323 function may interrupt the infectious cycle of spirochetes. PMID:19754308

  18. Occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in different genera of mosquitoes (Culicidae) in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Melaun, Christian; Zotzmann, Sina; Santaella, Vanesa Garcia; Werblow, Antje; Zumkowski-Xylander, Helga; Kraiczy, Peter; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-03-01

    Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. Some stages of the borrelial transmission cycle in ticks (transstadial, feeding and co-feeding) can potentially occur also in insects, particularly in mosquitoes. In the present study, adult as well as larval mosquitoes were collected at 42 different geographical locations throughout Germany. This is the first study, in which German mosquitoes were analyzed for the presence of Borrelia spp. Targeting two specific borrelial genes, flaB and ospA encoding for the subunit B of flagellin and the outer surface protein A, the results show that DNA of Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia bavariensis and Borrelia garinii could be detected in ten Culicidae species comprising four distinct genera (Aedes, Culiseta, Culex, and Ochlerotatus). Positive samples also include adult specimens raised in the laboratory from wild-caught larvae indicating that transstadial and/or transovarial transmission might occur within a given mosquito population. PMID:26631488

  19. Fluorescent membrane markers elucidate the association of Borrelia burgdorferi with tick cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, R.C.; Baêta, B.A.; Ferreira, J.S.; Medeiros, R.C.; Maya-Monteiro, C.M.; Lara, F.A.; Bell-Sakyi, L.; Fonseca, A.H.

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to describe the association of Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. with ixodid tick cell lines by flow cytometry and fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Spirochetes were stained with a fluorescent membrane marker (PKH67 or PKH26), inoculated into 8 different tick cell lines and incubated at 30°C for 24 h. PKH efficiently stained B. burgdorferi without affecting bacterial viability or motility. Among the tick cell lines tested, the Rhipicephalus appendiculatus cell line RA243 achieved the highest percentage of association/internalization, with both high (90%) and low (10%) concentrations of BSK-H medium in tick cell culture medium. Treatment with cytochalasin D dramatically reduced the average percentage of cells with internalized spirochetes, which passed through a dramatic morphological change during their internalization by the host cell as observed in time-lapse photography. Almost all of the fluorescent bacteria were seen to be inside the tick cells. PKH labeling of borreliae proved to be a reliable and valuable tool to analyze the association of spirochetes with host cells by flow cytometry, confocal and fluorescence microscopy. PMID:27332772

  20. Fluorescent membrane markers elucidate the association of Borrelia burgdorferi with tick cell lines.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, R C; Baêta, B A; Ferreira, J S; Medeiros, R C; Maya-Monteiro, C M; Lara, F A; Bell-Sakyi, L; Fonseca, A H

    2016-06-20

    This study aimed to describe the association of Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. with ixodid tick cell lines by flow cytometry and fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Spirochetes were stained with a fluorescent membrane marker (PKH67 or PKH26), inoculated into 8 different tick cell lines and incubated at 30°C for 24 h. PKH efficiently stained B. burgdorferi without affecting bacterial viability or motility. Among the tick cell lines tested, the Rhipicephalus appendiculatus cell line RA243 achieved the highest percentage of association/internalization, with both high (90%) and low (10%) concentrations of BSK-H medium in tick cell culture medium. Treatment with cytochalasin D dramatically reduced the average percentage of cells with internalized spirochetes, which passed through a dramatic morphological change during their internalization by the host cell as observed in time-lapse photography. Almost all of the fluorescent bacteria were seen to be inside the tick cells. PKH labeling of borreliae proved to be a reliable and valuable tool to analyze the association of spirochetes with host cells by flow cytometry, confocal and fluorescence microscopy. PMID:27332772

  1. Persisting atypical and cystic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and local inflammation in Lyme neuroborreliosis

    PubMed Central

    Miklossy, Judith; Kasas, Sandor; Zurn, Anne D; McCall, Sherman; Yu, Sheng; McGeer, Patrick L

    2008-01-01

    Background The long latent stage seen in syphilis, followed by chronic central nervous system infection and inflammation, can be explained by the persistence of atypical cystic and granular forms of Treponema pallidum. We investigated whether a similar situation may occur in Lyme neuroborreliosis. Method Atypical forms of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes were induced exposing cultures of Borrelia burgdorferi (strains B31 and ADB1) to such unfavorable conditions as osmotic and heat shock, and exposure to the binding agents Thioflavin S and Congo red. We also analyzed whether these forms may be induced in vitro, following infection of primary chicken and rat neurons, as well as rat and human astrocytes. We further analyzed whether atypical forms similar to those induced in vitro may also occur in vivo, in brains of three patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis. We used immunohistochemical methods to detect evidence of neuroinflammation in the form of reactive microglia and astrocytes. Results Under these conditions we observed atypical cystic, rolled and granular forms of these spirochetes. We characterized these abnormal forms by histochemical, immunohistochemical, dark field and atomic force microscopy (AFM) methods. The atypical and cystic forms found in the brains of three patients with neuropathologically confirmed Lyme neuroborreliosis were identical to those induced in vitro. We also observed nuclear fragmentation of the infected astrocytes using the TUNEL method. Abundant HLA-DR positive microglia and GFAP positive reactive astrocytes were present in the cerebral cortex. Conclusion The results indicate that atypical extra- and intracellular pleomorphic and cystic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and local neuroinflammation occur in the brain in chronic Lyme neuroborreliosis. The persistence of these more resistant spirochete forms, and their intracellular location in neurons and glial cells, may explain the long latent stage and persistence of Borrelia infection

  2. Vaccination with the ospA- and ospB-Negative Borrelia burgdorferi Strain 50772 Provides Significant Protection against Canine Lyme Disease

    PubMed Central

    LaFleur, Rhonda L.; Dant, Jennifer C.; Wasmoen, Terri L.; Jobe, Dean A.; Lovrich, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Beagles received placebo or ospA- and ospB-negative Borrelia burgdorferi before a tick challenge. A total of 28 (41%) ticks and skin biopsy specimens from each control dog (n = 10) contained B. burgdorferi. In contrast, 12 (19%) ticks recovered from the vaccine recipients (n = 10) were infected (P = 0.0077), and 5 dogs yielded spirochetes from the skin biopsy specimens (P = 0.0325). In addition, 9 (90%) placebo recipients and 4 (40%) vaccine recipients developed joint abnormalities (P = 0.0573). Therefore, vaccination with the ospA- and ospB-negative spirochete provided significant protection against Lyme disease. PMID:25972405

  3. Pathological manifestations in murine Lyme disease: association with tissue invasion and spirochete persistence.

    PubMed

    Weis, J J; Yang, L; Seiler, K P; Silver, R M

    1997-07-01

    The clinical manifestations of human Lyme disease present with a spectrum of tissue or organ involvement and severity of symptoms. The murine model of Lyme disease has proved to be an accurate reflection of many of the human symptoms of disease and has been particularly useful for studying development of subacute arthritis and tendonitis. Direct tissue invasion by Borrelia burgdorferi and persistence of high levels of spirochetes in tissues are important components of arthritis development. The outer-surface lipoproteins contain a biologically active lipid-modified moiety with potent ability to stimulate inflammatory cytokine production and other inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide. Localized inflammation stimulated by these lipoproteins may be the trigger for neutrophil infiltration, synovial proliferation, and other events associated with this arthritis. Invasion of maternal uterine tissue, but not direct invasion of fetal tissue, is associated with low levels of pregnancy loss in mice infected during gestation, consistent with the detrimental effect of inflammatory cytokines on pregnancy. PMID:9233659

  4. Rickettsiae and Borrelia burgdorferi in ixodid ticks.

    PubMed Central

    Magnarelli, L A; Andreadis, T G; Stafford, K C; Holland, C J

    1991-01-01

    Nymphs and adults of hard-bodied ticks were collected in Connecticut and tested by direct and indirect immunofluorescence staining methods for rickettsiae and Borrelia burgdorferi. Of the 609 Ixodes dammini ticks examined, 59 (9.7%) harbored rickettsialike microorganisms in hemocytes (blood cells). These bacteria reacted with fluorescein-conjugated antiserum to Ehrlichia canis, the etiologic agent of with fluorescein-conjugated antiserum to Ehrlichia canis, the etiologic agent of canine ehrlichiosis. Prevalence of infection ranged from 6.8 to 12.7% for males and females, respectively. Although the specific identities of the hemocytic rickettsialike organisms are unknown, they share antigens with ehrlichiae. Electron microscopy revealed rickettsiae in ovarian tissues of I. dammini that also had infected hemocytes. Rickettsialike organisms were also observed in the hemocytes of 5 (6.9%) of 73 Dermacentor variabilis ticks. In analyses for B. burgdorferi, 146 (23.7%) of 617 I. dammini ticks harbored these spirochetes in midguts. Hemocytic rickettsialike microorganisms coexisted with B. burgdorferi in 36 (6.7%) of the 537 nymphs and adults of I. dammini examined. I. dammini, with its broad host range, has the potential to acquire multiple microorganisms. Images PMID:1757551

  5. New Borrelia species detected in ixodid ticks in Oromia, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Kumsa, Bersissa; Socolovschi, Cristina; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    Little is known about Borrelia species transmitted by hard ticks in Ethiopia. The present study was conducted from November 2011 through March 2014 to address the occurrence and molecular identity of these bacteria in ixodid ticks infesting domestic animals in Oromia, Ethiopia. A total of 767 ixodid ticks collected from domestic animals were screened for Borrelia DNA by quantitative (q) real-time PCR followed by standard PCR and sequencing to identify the species. Overall, 3.8% (29/767) of the tested ticks were positive for Borrelia DNA, including 8/119 (6.7%) Amblyomma cohaerens, 1/42 (2.4%) Am. gemma, 3/53 (5.7%) Am. variegatum, 5/22 (22.7%) Amblyomma larvae, 3/60 (5%) Amblyomma nymphs, 2/139 (1.4%) Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus, 2/31 (6.4%) Rh. decoloratus nymphs, and 5/118 (4.2%) Rh. pulchellus using 16S genus-specific qPCR. The prevalence of Borrelia DNA was significantly higher in genus Amblyomma (20/298, 6.7%) than in the genus Rhipicephalus (9/417, 2.1%) ticks (P=0.001). Sequencing of PCR products from the flaB and 16S rRNA genes of Borrelia spp. from Amblyomma ticks showed the presence of a new species between the relapsing fever and Lyme disease groups. However, Borrelia sp. detected in Rhipicephalus ticks clustered with B. theileri/B. lonestari. The human pathogenicity of the Borrelia sp. detected in Amblyomma ticks from Ethiopia has not yet been investigated, whereas the Borrelia sp. detected in Rhipicephalus ticks in our study is the causative agent of bovine borreliosis in cattle and may have veterinary importance in different parts of Ethiopia. Furthermore, the detection of previously unrecognized Borrelia species in Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus ticks in Ethiopia generates additional questions concerning the bacterial fauna in hard ticks and will prompt researchers to perform detailed studies for better understanding of ixodid ticks associated bacteria. PMID:25843811

  6. The Borrelia hermsii Factor H Binding Protein FhbA Is Not Required for Infectivity in Mice or for Resistance to Human Complement In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Fine, Lindy M.; Miller, Daniel P.; Mallory, Katherine L.; Tegels, Brittney K.; Earnhart, Christopher G.

    2014-01-01

    The primary causative agent of tick-borne relapsing fever in North America is Borrelia hermsii. It has been hypothesized that B. hermsii evades complement-mediated destruction by binding factor H (FH), a host-derived negative regulator of complement. In vitro, B. hermsii produces a single FH binding protein designated FhbA (FH binding protein A). The properties and ligand binding activity of FhbA suggest that it plays multiple roles in pathogenesis. It binds plasminogen and has been identified as a significant target of a B1b B cell-mediated IgM response in mice. FhbA has also been explored as a potential diagnostic antigen for B. hermsii infection in humans. The ability to test the hypothesis that FhbA is a critical virulence factor in vivo has been hampered by the lack of well-developed systems for the genetic manipulation of the relapsing fever spirochetes. In this report, we have successfully generated a B. hermsii fhbA deletion mutant (the B. hermsii YORΔfhbA strain) through allelic exchange mutagenesis. Deletion of fhbA abolished FH binding by the YORΔfhbA strain and eliminated cleavage of C3b on the cell surface. However, the YORΔfhbA strain remained infectious in mice and retained resistance to killing in vitro by human complement. Collectively, these results indicate that B. hermsii employs an FhbA/FH-independent mechanism of complement evasion that allows for resistance to killing by human complement and persistence in mice. PMID:24866803

  7. The prevalence and significance of Borrelia burgdorferi in the urine of feral reservoir hosts.

    PubMed

    Bosler, E M; Schulze, T L

    1986-12-01

    Live Borrelia burgdorferi were isolated from the blood and/or urine of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) collected on Shelter Island, New York, in 1984 and 1985. Prevalence of spirochetes in urine was consistently higher than in blood or both fluids simultaneously. Spirochetes remained viable for 18-24 hours in urine and were maintained in culture for one week. Mice removed from the field were spirocheturic for at least 13 months. One spirocheturic mouse developed spirochetemia one month after field removal indicating the pathogen can return to the peripheral circulation. Twenty-one kidneys from 22 mice had spirochetes in the interstitial areas and bridging the tubules. A positive correlation between Babesia microti infection and spirocheturia was seen. Although the mechanism of entry into the urine is unknown, B. microti infection may increase glomerular permeability. Babesia induced hematuria may provide possible nutrients to maintain spirochetes. Urine may provide a method for contact non-tick transmission of B. burgdorferi in natural rodent populations particularly during periods of nesting and/or breeding. PMID:3577491

  8. Borrelia burgdorferi infection and Lyme disease in children.

    PubMed

    Esposito, Susanna; Bosis, Samantha; Sabatini, Caterina; Tagliaferri, Laura; Principi, Nicola

    2013-03-01

    Lyme disease is a multisystem disease that frequently affects children. It is caused by a group of related spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, that are transmitted by ticks belonging to species of the genus Ixodes. The clinical characteristics of Lyme disease in pediatrics resemble those observed in adults, although the symptoms may last for a shorter time and the outcome may be better. However, identifying Lyme disease in children can be significantly more difficult because some of its signs and symptoms can be similar to those of other common pediatric clinical manifestations. Finally, the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to childhood Lyme disease is frequently not codified, and guidelines specifically prepared for adults are used for children without having been validated. This review of the currently available data will evaluate what may be the best approach to the diagnosis and treatment of B. burgdorferi infection and disease in the pediatric population. PMID:23141587

  9. Innate immune responses in Lyme borreliosis: enhanced tumour necrosis factor-α and interleukin-12 in asymptomatic individuals in response to live spirochetes

    PubMed Central

    Sjöwall, J; Carlsson, A; Vaarala, O; Bergström, S; Ernerudh, J; Forsberg, P; Ekerfelt, C

    2005-01-01

    Innate immunity is important for early defence against borrelia spirochetes and should play a role in the clinical outcome of the infection. In order to study early cytokine responses, in vitro differentiated dendritic cells (DCs) and whole blood cells from 21 patients with different clinical outcomes of Lyme neuroborreliosis were stimulated with live borrelia spirochetes. The borrelia-induced secretion of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, IL-12p70, interferon (IFN)-γ and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α in DCs and IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, TNF-α, regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α, MIP-1β and eotaxin in whole blood cells was measured by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) and multiplex arrays, respectively. We found increased numbers of TNF-α-secreting DCs (P = 0·018) in asymptomatic seropositive individuals compared to patients with subacute neuroborreliosis and seronegative controls. Asymptomatic individuals were also found to have elevated levels of IL-12p70 (P = 0·031) in whole blood cell supernatants compared to seronegative controls. These results are in line with previous experiments using cells of the adaptive immune response, indicating that strong T helper type 1 (Th1) proinflammatory responses might be associated with a successful resolution of Lyme disease. PMID:15958074

  10. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in museum specimens of Ixodes dammini ticks.

    PubMed

    Persing, D H; Telford, S R; Rys, P N; Dodge, D E; White, T J; Malawista, S E; Spielman, A

    1990-09-21

    In order to investigate the potential for Borrelia burgdorferi infection before the recognition of Lyme disease as a clinical entity, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to examine museum specimens of Ixodes dammini (deer ticks) for the presence of spirochete-specific DNA sequences. One hundred and thirty-six archival tick specimens were obtained representing various continental U.S. locations; DNA sequences characteristic of modern day isolates of B. burgdorferi were detected in 13 1940s specimens from Montauk Point and Hither Hills, Long Island, New York. Five archival specimens of Dermacentor variabilis (dog tick) from the same collection and 118 Ixodes specimens from other endemic and nonendemic sites were negative. These data suggest that the appearance of the Lyme disease spirochete in suitable arthropod vectors preceded, by at least a generation, the formal recognition of this disease as a clinical entity in the United States. PMID:2402635