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Sample records for alter borrelia burgdorferi

  1. Microbiology of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Rosa, P A

    1997-03-01

    This article reviews the natural history, taxonomy, physical structure, growth requirements, and molecular structure of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme disease. These spirochetal bacteria are maintained in nature through an infectious cycle between wild mammals and ticks. Borreliae are fastidious, slow-growing bacteria, found only in association with their arthropod or mammalian hosts in nature, and propagatable in the laboratory in a rich growth medium. The characteristic shape of borreliae is imposed by periplasmic flagella, located beneath the outer membrane and attached to the protoplasmic cylinder. The outer membrane of borreliae contains a number of abundant lipoproteins that are of serodiagnostic utility and currently under consideration as vaccine targets. The borrelial genome is unique in structure, organization, and copy number. Recent experiments demonstrate the feasibility of specific gene inactivation as a means with which to study the biology of borreliae and the pathogenesis of Lyme disease.

  2. Spermine and Spermidine Alter Gene Expression and Antigenic Profile of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ying-Han; Romo, Jesus A.; Smith, Trever C.; Reyes, Ann N.; Karna, S. L. Rajasekhar; Miller, Christine L.; Van Laar, Tricia A.; Yendapally, Raghunandan; Chambers, James P.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, responds to numerous host-derived signals to alter adaptive capabilities during its enzootic cycle in an arthropod vector and mammalian host. Molecular mechanisms that enable B. burgdorferi to detect, channel, and respond to these signals have become an intense area of study for developing strategies to limit transmission/infection. Bioinformatic analysis of the borrelial genome revealed the presence of polyamine transport components (PotA, PotB, PotC, and PotD), while homologs for polyamine biosynthesis were conspicuously absent. Although potABCD is cotranscribed, the level of PotA was elevated under in vitro growth conditions mimicking unfed ticks compared to the level in fed ticks, while the levels of PotD were similar under the aforementioned conditions in B. burgdorferi. Among several polyamines and polyamine precursors, supplementation of spermine or spermidine in the borrelial growth medium induced synthesis of major regulators of gene expression in B. burgdorferi, such as RpoS and BosR, with a concomitant increase in proteins that contribute to colonization and survival of B. burgdorferi in the mammalian host. Short transcripts of rpoS were elevated in response to spermidine, which was correlated with increased protein levels of RpoS. Transcriptional analysis of rpoZ and B. burgdorferi rel (relBbu; bb0198) in the presence of spermidine revealed the interplay of multiple regulatory factors in B. burgdorferi gene expression. The effect of spermidine on the levels of select borrelial proteins was also influenced by serum factors. These studies suggest that multiple host-derived signals/nutrients and their transport systems contribute to B. burgdorferi adaptation during the vector and vertebrate host phases of infection. PMID:28052993

  3. Spermine and Spermidine Alter Gene Expression and Antigenic Profile of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ying-Han; Romo, Jesus A; Smith, Trever C; Reyes, Ann N; Karna, S L Rajasekhar; Miller, Christine L; Van Laar, Tricia A; Yendapally, Raghunandan; Chambers, James P; Seshu, J

    2017-03-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, responds to numerous host-derived signals to alter adaptive capabilities during its enzootic cycle in an arthropod vector and mammalian host. Molecular mechanisms that enable B. burgdorferi to detect, channel, and respond to these signals have become an intense area of study for developing strategies to limit transmission/infection. Bioinformatic analysis of the borrelial genome revealed the presence of polyamine transport components (PotA, PotB, PotC, and PotD), while homologs for polyamine biosynthesis were conspicuously absent. Although potABCD is cotranscribed, the level of PotA was elevated under in vitro growth conditions mimicking unfed ticks compared to the level in fed ticks, while the levels of PotD were similar under the aforementioned conditions in B. burgdorferi Among several polyamines and polyamine precursors, supplementation of spermine or spermidine in the borrelial growth medium induced synthesis of major regulators of gene expression in B. burgdorferi, such as RpoS and BosR, with a concomitant increase in proteins that contribute to colonization and survival of B. burgdorferi in the mammalian host. Short transcripts of rpoS were elevated in response to spermidine, which was correlated with increased protein levels of RpoS. Transcriptional analysis of rpoZ and B. burgdorferirel (relBbu ; bb0198) in the presence of spermidine revealed the interplay of multiple regulatory factors in B. burgdorferi gene expression. The effect of spermidine on the levels of select borrelial proteins was also influenced by serum factors. These studies suggest that multiple host-derived signals/nutrients and their transport systems contribute to B. burgdorferi adaptation during the vector and vertebrate host phases of infection. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  4. Overexpression of CsrA (BB0184) alters the morphology and antigen profiles of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Sanjuan, Eva; Esteve-Gassent, Maria D; Maruskova, Mahulena; Seshu, J

    2009-11-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, alters its gene expression in response to highly disparate environmental signals encountered in its hosts. Among the relatively few regulators of adaptive gene expression present in the borrelial genome is an open reading frame (ORF), BB0184, annotated as CsrA (carbon storage regulator A). CsrA, in several bacterial species, has been characterized as a small RNA binding protein that functions as a global regulator affecting mRNA stability or levels of translation of multiple ORFs. Consistent with known functions of CsrA, overexpression of CsrA from B. burgdorferi (CsrABb) in Escherichia coli resulted in reduced accumulation of glycogen. We determined that csrABb is part of the flgK motility operon and that the synthesis of CsrABb was increased when B. burgdorferi was propagated under fed-tick conditions. Overexpression of CsrABb in B. burgdorferi strain B31 (ML23, lp25-negative clonal isolate) resulted in a clone, designated ES25, which exhibited alterations in colony morphology and a significant reduction in the levels of FlaB. Several lipoproteins previously characterized as playing a role in infectivity were also altered in ES25. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis of RNA revealed significant differences in the transcriptional levels of ospC in ES25, while there were no such differences in the levels of other transcripts, suggesting posttranscriptional regulation of expression of these latter genes. These observations indicate that CsrABb plays a role in the regulation of expression of pathophysiological determinants of B. burgdorferi, and further characterization of CsrABb will help in better understanding of the regulators of gene expression in B. burgdorferi.

  5. Altered Stationary-Phase Response in a Borrelia burgdorferi rpoS Mutant

    PubMed Central

    Elias, Abdallah F.; Bono, James L.; Carroll, James A.; Stewart, Philip; Tilly, Kit; Rosa, Patricia

    2000-01-01

    The homolog of the chromosomally encoded stationary-phase sigma factor RpoS in Borrelia burgdorferi was inactivated using gyrBr as a selectable marker. Two-dimensional nonequilibrium pH gradient electrophoresis of stationary-phase cell lysates identified at least 11 differences between the protein profiles of the rpoS mutant and wild-type organisms. Wild-type B. burgdorferi had a growth phase-dependent resistance to 1 N NaCl, similar to the stationary-phase response reported for other bacteria. The B. burgdorferi rpoS mutant strain was less resistant to osmotic stress in stationary phase than the isogenic rpoS wild-type organism. The results indicate that the B. burgdorferi rpoS homolog influences protein composition and participates in stationary-phase-dependent osmotic resistance. This rpoS mutant will be useful for studying regulation of gene expression in response to changing environmental conditions. PMID:10781562

  6. Molecular Typing of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  7. Erythromycin Resistance in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Terekhova, Darya; Sartakova, Marina L.; Wormser, Gary P.; Schwartz, Ira; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2002-01-01

    Susceptibility testing of laboratory strains and clinical isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi indicates that resistance to erythromycin is present in them. Evaluation of the MICs, minimal bactericidal concentrations, and kinetics of bacterial killing of erythromycin suggests that this resistance is increased by preexposure to the antibiotic, is dependent on inoculum size, and may be the result of selection of subpopulations of bacterial cells with increased resistance. PMID:12384380

  8. Interleukin-10 alters effector functions of multiple genes induced by Borrelia burgdorferi in macrophages to regulate Lyme disease inflammation.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Aarti; Dixit, Saurabh; Philipp, Mario T; Singh, Shree R; Morici, Lisa A; Kaushal, Deepak; Dennis, Vida A

    2011-12-01

    Interleukin-10 (IL-10) modulates inflammatory responses elicited in vitro and in vivo by Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete. How IL-10 modulates these inflammatory responses still remains elusive. We hypothesize that IL-10 inhibits effector functions of multiple genes induced by B. burgdorferi in macrophages to control concomitantly elicited inflammation. Because macrophages are essential in the initiation of inflammation, we used mouse J774 macrophages and live B. burgdorferi spirochetes as the model target cell and stimulant, respectively. First, we employed transcriptome profiling to identify genes that were induced by stimulation of cells with live spirochetes and that were perturbed by addition of IL-10 to spirochete cultures. Spirochetes significantly induced upregulation of 347 genes at both the 4-h and 24-h time points. IL-10 inhibited the expression levels, respectively, of 53 and 65 of the 4-h and 24-h genes, and potentiated, respectively, at 4 h and 24 h, 65 and 50 genes. Prominent among the novel identified IL-10-inhibited genes also validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) were Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1), TLR2, IRAK3, TRAF1, IRG1, PTGS2, MMP9, IFI44, IFIT1, and CD40. Proteome analysis using a multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) revealed the IL-10 modulation/and or potentiation of RANTES/CCL5, macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2)/CXCL2, IP-10/CXCL10, MIP-1α/CCL3, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)/CSF3, CXCL1, CXCL5, CCL2, CCL4, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-1α, IL-1β, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), and IL-9. Similar results were obtained using sonicated spirochetes or lipoprotein as stimulants. Our data show that IL-10 alters effectors induced by B. burgdorferi in macrophages to control concomitantly elicited inflammatory responses. Moreover, for the first time, this study provides global insight into potential mechanisms used by IL-10 to control Lyme disease inflammation.

  9. Biology of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Tilly, Kit; Rosa, Patricia A; Stewart, Philip E

    2008-06-01

    The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is a tick-borne obligate parasite whose normal reservoir is a variety of small mammals. Although infection of these natural hosts does not lead to disease, infection of humans can result in Lyme disease as a consequence of the human immunopathologic response to B burgdorferi. Consistent with the pathogenesis of Lyme disease, bacterial products that allow B burgdorferi to replicate and survive seem to be primarily what is required for the bacterium to cause disease in a susceptible host. This article describes the basic biology of B burgdorferi and reviews some of the bacterial components required for infection of and survival in the mammalian and tick hosts.

  10. Biofilm formation by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Timmaraju, Venkata Arun; Theophilus, Priyanka A S; Balasubramanian, Kunthavai; Shakih, Shafiq; Luecke, David F; Sapi, Eva

    2015-08-01

    Bacterial biofilms are microbial communities held together by an extracellular polymeric substance matrix predominantly composed of polysaccharides, proteins and nucleic acids. We had previously shown that Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the causative organism of Lyme disease in the United States is capable of forming biofilms in vitro. Here, we investigated biofilm formation by B. afzelii and B. garinii, which cause Lyme disease in Europe. Using various histochemistry and microscopy techniques, we show that B. afzelii and B. garinii form biofilms, which resemble biofilms formed by B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. High-resolution atomic force microscopy revealed similarities in the ultrastructural organization of the biofilms form by three Borrelia species. Histochemical experiments revealed a heterogeneous organization of exopolysaccharides among the three Borrelia species. These results suggest that biofilm formation might be a common trait of Borrelia genera physiology.

  11. 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.

  12. Is Localized Scleroderma Caused by Borrelia burgdorferi?

    PubMed

    Zinchuk, Alexander N; Kalyuzhna, Lidiya D; Pasichna, Iryna A

    2016-09-01

    Despite considerable achievements in the study of localized scleroderma, the etiology of the disease has not been investigated completely. Borrelia burgdorferi-the agent of Lyme disease-is suggested to be one of the possible etiological factors of localized scleroderma. However, among scientists, this hypothesis is quite controversial. We have conducted investigations of the level of IgM and IgG class antibodies to B. burgdorferi in the serum of patients with localized scleroderma. To rationally substantiate the role of B. burgdorferi in the occurrence of localized scleroderma, thirty-two patients with localized scleroderma treated at an in-patient department were examined. The level of anti-Borrelia antibodies was determined in ELISA. Diagnostic levels of IgM and/or IgG were detected in 18.8% of patients with localized scleroderma, which is more than in the population (p < 0.01). Positive levels of anti-Borrelia antibodies in patients with localized scleroderma confirm the borreliosis nature of the disease, requiring conduction of complex antimicrobial treatment.

  13. Recombinant constructs of Borrelia burgdorferi

    DOEpatents

    Dattwyler, Raymond J.; Gomes-Solecki, Maria J. C.; Luft, Benjamin J.; Dunn, John J.

    2007-02-20

    Novel chimeric nucleic acids, encoding chimeric Borrelia proteins comprising OspC or an antigenic fragment thereof and OspA or an antigenic fragment thereof, are disclosed. Chimeric proteins encoded by the nucleic acid sequences are also disclosed. The chimeric proteins are useful as vaccine immunogens against Lyme borreliosis, as well as for immunodiagnostic reagents.

  14. Efficient Targeted Mutagenesis in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Bono, James L.; Elias, Abdallah F.; Kupko, John J.; Stevenson, Brian; Tilly, Kit; Rosa, Patricia

    2000-01-01

    Genetic studies in Borrelia burgdorferi have been hindered by the lack of a nonborrelial selectable marker. Currently, the only selectable marker is gyrBr, a mutated form of the chromosomal gyrB gene that encodes the B subunit of DNA gyrase and confers resistance to the antibiotic coumermycin A1. The utility of the coumermycin-resistant gyrBr gene for targeted gene disruption is limited by a high frequency of recombination with the endogenous gyrB gene. A kanamycin resistance gene (kan) was introduced into B. burgdorferi, and its use as a selectable marker was explored in an effort to improve the genetic manipulation of this pathogen. B. burgdorferi transformants with the kan gene expressed from its native promoter were susceptible to kanamycin. In striking contrast, transformants with the kan gene expressed from either the B. burgdorferi flaB or flgB promoter were resistant to high levels of kanamycin. The kanamycin resistance marker allows efficient direct selection of mutants in B. burgdorferi and hence is a significant improvement in the ability to construct isogenic mutant strains in this pathogen. PMID:10762244

  15. Requirements for Borrelia burgdorferi plasmid maintenance.

    PubMed

    Tilly, Kit; Checroun, Claire; Rosa, Patricia A

    2012-07-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi has multiple linear and circular plasmids that are faithfully replicated and partitioned as the bacterium grows and divides. The low copy number of these replicons implies that active partitioning contributes to plasmid stability. Analyzing the requirements for plasmid replication and partition in B. burgdorferi is complicated by the complexity of the genome and the possibility that products may act in trans. Consequently, we have studied the replication-partition region (bbb10-13) of the B. burgdorferi 26kb circular plasmid (cp26) in Escherichia coli, by fusion with a partition-defective miniF plasmid. Our analysis demonstrated that bbb10, bbb11, and bbb13 are required for stable miniF maintenance, whereas bbb12 is dispensable. To validate these results, we attempted to inactivate two of these genes in B. burgdorferi. bbb12 mutants were obtained at a typical frequency, suggesting that the bbb12 product is dispensable for cp26 maintenance as well. We could not directly measure cp26 stability in the bbb12 mutant, because cp26 carries essential genes, and bacteria that have lost cp26 are inviable. Conversely, we were unable to inactivate bbb10 on cp26 of B. burgdorferi. Our results suggest that bbb12 is dispensable for cp26 maintenance, whereas bbb10, bbb11, and bbb13 play crucial roles in that process. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Proteome Analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi Response to Environmental Change

    SciTech Connect

    Angel, Thomas E.; Luft, Benjamin J.; Yang, Xiaohua; Nicora, Carrie D.; Camp, David G.; Jacobs, Jon M.; Smith, Richard D.

    2010-11-02

    We examined global changes in protein expression in the B31 strain of Borrelia burgdorferi, in response to two environmental cues (pH and temperature) chosen for their reported similarity to those encountered at different stages of the organism’s life cycle. Multidimensional nano-liquid chromatographic separations coupled with tandem mass spectrometry were used to examine the array of proteins (i.e., the proteome) of B. burgdorferi for different pH and temperature culture conditions. Changes in pH and temperature elicited in vitro adaptations of this spirochete known to cause Lyme disease and led to alterations in protein expression that are associated with increased microbial pathogenesis. We identified 1031 proteins that represent 59% of the annotated genome of B. burgdorferi and elucidated a core proteome of 414 proteins that were present in all environmental conditions investigated. Observed changes in protein abundances indicated varied replicon usage, as well as proteome functional distributions between the in vitro cell culture conditions. Surprisingly, the pH and temperature conditions that mimicked B. burgdorferi residing in the gut of a fed tick showed a marked reduction in protein diversity. Additionally, the results provide us with leading candidates for exploring how B. burgdorferi adapts to and is able to survive in a wide variety of environmental conditions and lay a foundation for planned in situ studies of B. burgdorferi isolated from the tick midgut and infected animals.

  17. Borrelia burgdorferi induces chemokines in human monocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Sprenger, H; Krause, A; Kaufmann, A; Priem, S; Fabian, D; Burmester, G R; Gemsa, D; Rittig, M G

    1997-01-01

    Lyme disease is clinically and histologically characterized by strong inflammatory reactions that contrast the paucity of spirochetes at lesional sites, indicating that borreliae induce mechanisms that amplify the inflammatory response. To reveal the underlying mechanisms of chemoattraction and activation of responding leukocytes, we investigated the induction of chemokines in human monocytes exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi by a dose-response and kinetic analysis. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) derived from Escherichia coli was used as a positive control stimulus. The release of the CXC chemokines interleukin-8 (IL-8) and GRO-alpha and the CC chemokines MIP-1alpha, MCP-1, and RANTES was determined by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and the corresponding gene expression patterns were determined by Northern blot analysis. The results showed a rapid and strong borrelia-inducible gene expression which was followed by the release of chemokines with peak levels after 12 to 16 h. Spirochetes and LPS were comparably effective in stimulating IL-8, GRO-alpha, MCP-1, and RANTES expression, whereas MIP-1alpha production preceded and exceeded chemokine levels induced by LPS. Unlike other bacteria, the spirochetes themselves did not bear or release factors with intrinsic chemotactic activity for monocytes or neutrophils. Thus, B. burgdorferi appears to be a strong inducer of chemokines which may, by the attraction and activation of phagocytic leukocytes, significantly contribute to inflammation and tissue damage observed in Lyme disease. PMID:9353009

  18. Genomic Characteristics of Chinese Borrelia burgdorferi Isolates.

    PubMed

    Hao, Qin; Du, Pengcheng; Zhang, Wen; Hou, Xuexia; Zhang, Lin; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Liu, Huixin; Liu, Wei; Chen, Chen; Wan, Kanglin

    2016-01-01

    In China, B. burgdorferi, B.garinii, B. afzelii and B. yangtze sp. nov have been reported; B.garinii and B. afzelii are the main pathogenic genotypes. But until now only one Chinese strain was reported with whole genome sequence. In order to further understand the genomic characteristics and diversity of Chinese Borrelia strains, 5 isolates from China were sequenced and compared with the whole genome sequences of strains in other areas. The results showed a high degree of conservation within the linear chromosome of Chinese strains, whereas plasmid showed a much larger diversity according to the majority genomic information of plasmids. The genome sequences of the five Chinese strains were compared with the corresponding reference strains, respectively, according to the genospecies. Pairwise analysis demonstrates that there are only 70 SNPs between the genomes of CS4 and B31. However, there are many more SNPs between the genomes of QX-S13 and VS116, PD91 and PBi, FP1 and PKo, R9 and Pko, respectively. Gene comparison showed some important different genes. OspA was one of the important different genes. Comparative genomic studies have found that OspA gene sequences of PD91 and R9 had great differences compared with the sequence of B31. OspA gene sequence of R9 had a 96bp deletion; OspA gene of PD91 had two deletions: 9bp and 10 bp. To conclude, we showed the genomic characteristics of four genotype Chinese B. burgdorferi strains. The genomic sequence of B. yangtze sp. nov and differences from B. valaisiana were first reported. Comparative analysis of Chinese strains with the different Borrelia species from other areas will help us to understand evolution and pathogenesis of Chinese Borrelia burgdorferi strains.

  19. 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.

  20. Characterization of Biofilm Formation by Borrelia burgdorferi In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Sapi, Eva; Bastian, Scott L.; Mpoy, Cedric M.; Scott, Shernea; Rattelle, Amy; Pabbati, Namrata; Poruri, Akhila; Burugu, Divya; Theophilus, Priyanka A. S.; Pham, Truc V.; Datar, Akshita; Dhaliwal, Navroop K.; MacDonald, Alan; Rossi, Michael J.; Sinha, Saion K.; Luecke, David F.

    2012-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, has long been known to be capable of forming aggregates and colonies. It was recently demonstrated that Borrelia burgdorferi aggregate formation dramatically changes the in vitro response to hostile environments by this pathogen. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that these aggregates are indeed biofilms, structures whose resistance to unfavorable conditions are well documented. We studied Borrelia burgdorferi for several known hallmark features of biofilm, including structural rearrangements in the aggregates, variations in development on various substrate matrices and secretion of a protective extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix using several modes of microscopic, cell and molecular biology techniques. The atomic force microscopic results provided evidence that multilevel rearrangements take place at different stages of aggregate development, producing a complex, continuously rearranging structure. Our results also demonstrated that Borrelia burgdorferi is capable of developing aggregates on different abiotic and biotic substrates, and is also capable of forming floating aggregates. Analyzing the extracellular substance of the aggregates for potential exopolysaccharides revealed the existence of both sulfated and non-sulfated/carboxylated substrates, predominately composed of an alginate with calcium and extracellular DNA present. In summary, we have found substantial evidence that Borrelia burgdorferi is capable of forming biofilm in vitro. Biofilm formation by Borrelia species might play an important role in their survival in diverse environmental conditions by providing refuge to individual cells. PMID:23110225

  1. Whole-Genome Sequences of Thirteen Isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is a causative agent of Lyme disease in North America and Eurasia. The first complete genome sequence of B. burgdorferi strain 31, available for more than a decade, has assisted research on the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Because a single genome sequence is not sufficient to understand the relationship between genotypic and geographic variation and disease phenotype, we determined the whole-genome sequences of 13 additional B. burgdorferi isolates that span the range of natural variation. These sequences should allow improved understanding of pathogenesis and provide a foundation for novel detection, diagnosis, and prevention strategies.

  2. Similarities in murine infection and immune response to Borrelia bissettii and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto.

    PubMed

    Leydet, Brian F; Liang, Fang Ting

    2015-12-01

    In 1982, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (ss) was identified as the aetiological agent of Lyme disease. Since then an increasing number of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) species have been isolated in the United States. To date, many of these species remain understudied despite mounting evidence associating them with human illness. Borrelia bissettii is a spirochaete closely related to B. burgdorferi that has been loosely associated with human illness. Using an experimental murine infection model, we compared the infectivity and humoral immune response with a North American isolate of B. bissettii and B. burgdorferi using culture, molecular and serological methods. The original B. bissettii cultures were unable to infect immunocompetent mice, but were confirmed to be infectious after adaptation in immunodeficient animals. B. bissettii infection resulted in spirochaete burdens similar to B. burgdorferi in skin, heart and bladder whereas significantly lower burdens were observed in the joint tissues. B. bissettii induced an antibody response similar to B. burgdorferi as measured by both immunoblotting and the C6 ELISA. Additionally, this isolate of B. bissettii was sequenced on the Ion Torrent PGM, which successfully identified many genes orthologous to mammalian virulence factors described in B. burgdorferi. Similarities seen between both infections in this well-characterized murine model contribute to our understanding of the potential pathogenic nature of B. bissettii. Infection dynamics of B. bissettii, and especially the induced humoral response, are similar to B. burgdorferi, suggesting this species may contribute to the epidemiology of human borreliosis.

  3. Modulation of the tick gut milieu by a secreted tick protein favors Borrelia burgdorferi colonization.

    PubMed

    Narasimhan, Sukanya; Schuijt, Tim J; Abraham, Nabil M; Rajeevan, Nallakkandi; Coumou, Jeroen; Graham, Morven; Robson, Andrew; Wu, Ming-Jie; Daffre, Sirlei; Hovius, Joppe W; Fikrig, Erol

    2017-08-04

    The Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, colonizes the gut of the tick Ixodes scapularis, which transmits the pathogen to vertebrate hosts including humans. Here we show that B. burgdorferi colonization increases the expression of several tick gut genes including pixr, encoding a secreted gut protein with a Reeler domain. RNA interference-mediated silencing of pixr, or immunity against PIXR in mice, impairs the ability of B. burgdorferi to colonize the tick gut. PIXR inhibits bacterial biofilm formation in vitro and in vivo. Abrogation of PIXR function in vivo results in alterations in the gut microbiome, metabolome and immune responses. These alterations influence the spirochete entering the tick gut in multiple ways. PIXR abrogation also impairs larval molting, indicative of its role in tick biology. This study highlights the role of the tick gut in actively managing its microbiome, and how this impacts B. burgdorferi colonization of its arthropod vector. Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is transmitted by the tick Ixodes scapularis. Here, the authors show that a tick secreted protein (PIXR) modulates the tick gut microbiota and facilitates B. burgdorferi colonization.

  4. A glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase homolog in Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia hermsii.

    PubMed Central

    Anda, P; Gebbia, J A; Backenson, P B; Coleman, J L; Benach, J L

    1996-01-01

    A polyreactive monoclonal antibody recognized a 38.5-kDa polypeptide with amino-terminal sequence identity to conserved regions of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) in Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent, and Borrelia hermsii, an agent of American relapsing fever. This monoclonal antibody also recognized GAPDH from other pathogenic spirochetes and other prokaryotes and eukaryotes as well. GAPDH activity was detected in sonicates of both B. burgdorferi and B. hermsii but not in live, intact organisms, indicating the possibility of a subsurface localization for the Borrelia GAPDH activity. Degenerate primers constructed from highly conserved regions of gapdh of other prokaryotes successfully amplified this gene homolog in both B. burgdorferi and B. hermsii. Nuclei acid and deduced amino acid sequence analysis of the 838-bp probes for each borrelia indicated 93.9% identity between B. burgdorferi and B. hermsii at the amino acid level. Amino acid identities of B. burgdorferi and B. hermsii with Bacillus stearothermophilus were 59.2% and 58.8% respectively. Southern hybridization studies indicated that the gene encoding GAPDH is located on the chromosome of each borrella. In other bacterial species, GAPDH has other functions in addition to its traditional enzymatic role in the glycolytic pathway. GAPDH may play a similar role in borrelias. PMID:8557349

  5. Delineation of a new species of the Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Complex, Borrelia americana sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Rudenko, Nataliia; Golovchenko, Maryna; Lin, Tao; Gao, Lihui; Grubhoffer, Libor; Oliver, James H

    2009-12-01

    Analysis of borrelia isolates collected from ticks, birds, and rodents from the southeastern United States revealed the presence of well-established populations of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia bissettii, Borrelia carolinensis, and Borrelia sp. nov. Multilocus sequence analysis of five genomic loci from seven samples representing Borrelia sp. nov. isolated from nymphal Ixodes minor collected in South Carolina showed their close relatedness to California strains known as genomospecies 1 and separation from any other known species of the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex. One nucleotide difference in the size of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region, one substitution in 16S rRNA gene signature nucleotides, and silent nucleotide substitutions in sequences of the gene encoding flagellin and the gene p66 clearly separate Borrelia sp. nov. isolates from South Carolina into two subgroups. The sequences of isolates of each subgroup share the same restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and contain unique signature nucleotides in the 16S rRNA gene. We propose that seven Borrelia sp. nov. isolates from South Carolina and two California isolates designated as genomospecies 1 comprise a single species, which we name Borrelia americana sp. nov. The currently recognized geographic distribution of B. americana is South Carolina and California. All strains are associated with Ixodes pacificus or Ixodes minor and their rodent and bird hosts.

  6. Lack of serum antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi in children with autism.

    PubMed

    Burbelo, Peter D; Swedo, Susan E; Thurm, Audrey; Bayat, Ahmad; Levin, Andrew E; Marques, Adriana; Iadarola, Michael J

    2013-07-01

    It has been proposed that Borrelia burgdorferi infection is present in ∼25% of children with autism spectrum disorders. In this study, antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi were assessed in autistic (n = 104), developmentally delayed (n = 24), and healthy control (n = 55) children. No seropositivity against Borrelia burgdorferi was detected in the children with and without autism. There was no evidence of an association between Lyme disease and autism.

  7. [Monoinfections caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia burgdorferi / Anaplasma phagocytophilum co-infections in forestry workers and farmers].

    PubMed

    Tokarska-Rodak, Małgorzata; Pańczuk, Anna; Kozioł-Montewka, Maria; Plewik, Dorota; Szepeluk, Adam

    2015-01-01

    The presence of co-infections induced by tick-borne pathogens in humans is an important epidemiological phenomenon. This issue has attracted growing attention of doctors and people working under conditions of an increased risk of being exposed to tick bites. The research group consisted of 93 individuals with current anti-immunoglobulin M/G (IgM/ IgG) Borrelia burgdorferi or IgG anti-Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The respondents were identified during the screening survey in a group of farmers and foresters occupationally exposed to tick bites. The aim of the work was to analyse the frequency of antibodies to specific antigens of B. burgdorferi and the levels of cytokines in forestry workers and farmers with B. burgdorferi monoinfections and B. burgdorferi / A. phagocytophilum co-infections. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi2, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests. There is a stronger generation of IgG antibodies to B. burgdorferi antigens in patients with B. burgdorferi / A. phagocytophilum co-infections, such as variable major protein-like sequence expressed (VlsE) (p < 0.05), p19 (p < 0.02), p17 (p < 0.05) and complement regulator-acquiring surface protein 3 (CRASP3) (p < 0.02) compared to persons with B. burgdorferi monoinfections. The discrepancies in the synthesis of cytokines interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) have not been found in persons with B. burgdorferi monoinfections and B. burgdorferi / A. phagocytophilum co-infection. The immune response directed against B. burgdorferi is stronger in patients co-infected with B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum than in those with monoinfection. This work is available in Open Access model and licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 PL license.

  8. 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.

  9. Mechanisms of Borrelia burgdorferi internalization and intracellular innate immune signaling.

    PubMed

    Petnicki-Ocwieja, Tanja; Kern, Aurelie

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease is a long-term infection whose most severe pathology is characterized by inflammatory arthritis of the lower bearing joints, carditis, and neuropathy. The inflammatory cascades are initiated through the early recognition of invading Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes by cells of the innate immune response, such as neutrophils and macrophage. B. burgdorferi does not have an intracellular niche and thus much research has focused on immune pathways activated by pathogen recognition molecules at the cell surface, such as the Toll-like receptors (TLRs). However, in recent years, studies have shown that internalization of the bacterium by host cells is an important component of the defense machinery in response to B. burgdorferi. Upon internalization, B. burgdorferi is trafficked through an endo/lysosomal pathway resulting in the activation of a number of intracellular pathogen recognition receptors including TLRs and Nod-like receptors (NLRs). Here we will review the innate immune molecules that participate in both cell surface and intracellular immune activation by B. burgdorferi.

  10. Evidence supporting the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Missouri.

    PubMed

    Feir, D; Santanello, C R; Li, B W; Xie, C S; Masters, E; Marconi, R; Weil, G

    1994-10-01

    Although Lyme disease is commonly seen in the southcentral United States, the epidemiology of the disease is poorly defined there. The purpose of this study was to document the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi in ticks collected in southeastern Missouri and around the city of St. Louis. Spirochetes were detected and identified as B. burgdorferi by immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) tests using the monoclonal antibody H5332 in 1.9% of Amblyomma americanum and 2.0% of Dermacentor variabilis ticks collected. The identity of IFA-positive organisms was verified by polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) with two different sets of B. burgdorferi-specific primers followed by Southern blotting. The DNA sequences of amplified 371-basepair PCR products from two positive Missouri ticks showed 97-98% identity with that obtained by the same method for the B31 strain of B. burgdorferi. These results confirm that B. burgdorferi is present in questing D. variabilis and A. americanum ticks in areas of Missouri where Lyme disease occurs. Additional studies are needed to determine the role of these ticks in the epidemiology of Lyme disease in Missouri and neighboring states.

  11. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia afzelii: Population structure and differential pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Jungnick, Sabrina; Margos, Gabriele; Rieger, Melissa; Dzaferovic, Eldina; Bent, Stephen J; Overzier, Evelyn; Silaghi, Cornelia; Walder, Gernot; Wex, Franziska; Koloczek, Johannes; Sing, Andreas; Fingerle, Volker

    2015-10-01

    MultiLocus sequence typing (MLST) is considered a powerful method to unveil relationships within bacterial populations and it constitutes an economical and fast alternative to whole genome sequencing. We used this method to understand whether there are differences in human pathogenicity within and between different Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species. Therefore, 136 strains from human patients or ticks from Europe were included in MLST analyses. The scheme employed used eight chromosomally located housekeeping genes (i.e. clpA, clpX, nifS, pepX, pyrG, recG, rplB and uvrA). We investigated Borrelia afzelii, one of the predominant species in Europe, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), because it allowed comparative analysis to strains from the USA. We typed 113 patient isolates as well as 23 tick isolates. For further comparative purposes an additional 746 strains from Europe and the USA were included from the MLST website http://borrelia.mlst.net. We observed an overlap of the B. burgdorferi s.s. populations from Europe and the USA isolated from human patients while there was no overlap of the populations found in tick vectors. Further results indicate that B. afzelii was significantly less associated with disseminated infection than B. burgdorferi s.s. and that B. burgdorferi s.s. from Europe caused neuroborreliosis to a significantly greater extent than B. afzelii or B. burgdorferi s.s. in the USA. Our data suggest that there may be an evolutionary basis of differential interspecies pathogenicity in Borrelia. This was not evident within Borrelia species: we found the same sequence types in patients with disseminated or localized symptoms when the number of strains was sufficiently high. We hypothesize that the finding that B. burgdorferi s.s. in Europe is much more associated with neuroborreliosis than in the USA maybe linked to factor(s) related to the human host, the tick vector or the bacterium itself (e.g. plasmid content and structure).

  12. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes longiscutatus ticks from Brazilian Pampa.

    PubMed

    Dall'Agnol, Bruno; Michel, Thaís; Weck, Bárbara; Souza, Ugo Araújo; Webster, Anelise; Leal, Bruna Ferreira; Klafke, Guilherme Marcondes; Martins, João Ricardo; Ott, Ricardo; Venzal, José Manuel; Ferreira, Carlos Alexandre Sanchez; Reck, José

    2017-10-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex includes the agents of Lyme disease/borreliosis in North America, Europe, and Asia, such Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia bavariensis, Borrelia spielmanii, Borrelia bissettiae, and Borrelia mayonii. In 2013 B. burgdorferi s.l. was reported for the first time in the Neotropical region, from Ixodes aragaoi ticks in Uruguayan Pampa. In addition, from 2011 to 2016, 17 suspected human cases of borreliosis-like syndrome were reported in Rio Grande do Sul (RS) state, Brazil, which contains only part of country in the Pampa biome. The goal of this work is to report the results of a state surveillance program conducted in order to investigate the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in its classic vector, Ixodes spp. ticks, from the Brazilian Pampa. For this, we searched for Ixodes spp. ticks in 307 rodents from 11 municipalities of RS state. We then tested the ticks for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA using PCR analysis. Of 35 Ixodes spp. ticks tested, one larva and one nymph of Ixodes longiscutatus ticks tested positive for Borrelia sp. DNA. The phylogenetic analysis of the flaB fragment grouped our samples (referred as Borrelia sp. haplotype Pampa) into B. burgdorferi s.l. group in a particular branch with other South American haplotypes, and this group was close to Borrelia carolinensis, B. bissettiae, and Borrelia californiensis. This is the first evidence of B. burgdorferi s.l. circulation in ticks of the genus Ixodes in Brazil. These results highlight the need for the implementation of public health policies for the diagnosis and prevention of potential cases of human borreliosis in Brazil. Further studies are needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the distribution, pathogenicity, reservoirs, and vectors of these emerging South American B. burgdorferi s.l. haplotypes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Whole genome sequence of an unusual Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolate

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-03-01

    Human Lyme disease is caused by a number of related Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species. We report here the complete genome sequence of Borrelia sp. isolate SV1 from Finland. This isolate is to date the closest known relative of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, but it is sufficiently genetically distinct from that species that it and its close relatives warrant its candidacy for new-species status. We suggest that this isolate should be named 'Borrelia finlandensis.'

  14. Molecular Typing of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato: Taxonomic, Epidemiological, and Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guiqing; van Dam, Alje P.; Schwartz, Ira; Dankert, Jacob

    1999-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the spirochete that causes human Lyme borreliosis (LB), is a genetically and phenotypically divergent species. In the past several years, various molecular approaches have been developed and used to determine the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity within the LB-related spirochetes and their potential association with distinct clinical syndromes. These methods include serotyping, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, DNA-DNA reassociation analysis, rRNA gene restriction analysis (ribotyping), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, plasmid fingerprinting, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting analysis, species-specific PCR and PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, and sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and other conserved genes. On the basis of DNA-DNA reassociation analysis, 10 different Borrelia species have been described within the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia japonica, Borrelia andersonii, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia lusitaniae, Borrelia tanukii, Borrelia turdi, and Borrelia bissettii sp. nov. To date, only B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, and B. afzelii are well known to be responsible for causing human disease. Different Borrelia species have been associated with distinct clinical manifestations of LB. In addition, Borrelia species are differentially distributed worldwide and may be maintained through different transmission cycles in nature. In this paper, the molecular methods used for typing of B. burgdorferi sensu lato are reviewed. The current taxonomic status of B. burgdorferi sensu lato and its epidemiological and clinical implications, especiallly correlation between the variable clinical presentations and the infecting Borrelia species, are discussed in detail. PMID:10515907

  15. 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.

  16. Characterization of Circular Plasmid Dimers in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Tilly, Kit; Lubke, Lori; Rosa, Patricia

    1998-01-01

    We have inactivated the ospC, oppAIV, and guaB genes on the 26-kb circular plasmid of Borrelia burgdorferi (cp26) by allelic exchange. On several occasions following such transformations, the cp26 of transformants had an aberrant mobility through agarose gels. Characterization of these cp26 molecules showed that the plasmid had dimerized. These dimers were quite stable during either selective or nonselective passage. Subsequent transformations with dimer DNA supported the hypothesis that in B. burgdorferi, transforming cp26 DNA most likely does not displace the resident homologous plasmid but rather must recombine in order to donate sequences that it carries. These serendipitous findings provide a mechanism for obtaining heterozygous complemented control strains when mutant phenotypes are characterized. PMID:9791118

  17. Morphological and biochemical features of Borrelia burgdorferi pleomorphic forms.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    The spirochaete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne infection in the northern hemisphere. There is a long-standing debate regarding the role of pleomorphic forms in Lyme disease pathogenesis, while very little is known about the characteristics of these morphological variants. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of B. burgdorferi pleomorphic formation in different culturing conditions at physiological temperature. Interestingly, human serum induced the bacterium to change its morphology to round bodies (RBs). In addition, biofilm-like colonies in suspension were found to be part of B. burgdorferi's normal in vitro growth. Further studies provided evidence that spherical RBs had an intact and flexible cell envelope, demonstrating that they are not cell wall deficient, or degenerative as previously implied. However, the RBs displayed lower metabolic activity compared with spirochaetes. Furthermore, our results indicated that the different pleomorphic variants were distinguishable by having unique biochemical signatures. Consequently, pleomorphic B. burgdorferi should be taken into consideration as being clinically relevant and influence the development of novel diagnostics and treatment protocols.

  18. Serological Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi among Horses in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung-Hun; Yun, Sun-Hee; Choi, Eunsang; Park, Yong-Soo; Lee, Sang-Eun; Cho, Gil-Jae; Kwon, Oh-Deog; Kwak, Dongmi

    2016-02-01

    Lyme disease is a tick-borne zoonotic infectious disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The present study assessed the infection status of B. burgdorferi among horses reared in Korea using ELISA and PCR. Between 2009 and 2013, blood samples were collected from 727 horses throughout Korea. Data for each animal including age, gender, breed, and region of sample collection were used for epidemiological analysis. Overall, 38 (5.2%; true prevalence: 5.5%) of 727 horses were seropositive by ELISA. There were statistically significant differences according to breed and region (P<0.001) whose differences might be attributed to the ecology of vector ticks and climate conditions. Using 2 nested PCR, none of the samples tested positive for B. burgdorferi. Thus, a positive ELISA result can indicate only that the tested horse was previously exposed to B. burgdorferi, with no certainty over the time of exposure. Since global warming is likely to increase the abundance of ticks in Korea, continuous monitoring of tick-borne diseases in Korean horses is needed.

  19. Serological Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi among Horses in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Hun; Yun, Sun-Hee; Choi, Eunsang; Park, Yong-Soo; Lee, Sang-Eun; Cho, Gil-Jae; Kwon, Oh-Deog; Kwak, Dongmi

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease is a tick-borne zoonotic infectious disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The present study assessed the infection status of B. burgdorferi among horses reared in Korea using ELISA and PCR. Between 2009 and 2013, blood samples were collected from 727 horses throughout Korea. Data for each animal including age, gender, breed, and region of sample collection were used for epidemiological analysis. Overall, 38 (5.2%; true prevalence: 5.5%) of 727 horses were seropositive by ELISA. There were statistically significant differences according to breed and region (P<0.001) whose differences might be attributed to the ecology of vector ticks and climate conditions. Using 2 nested PCR, none of the samples tested positive for B. burgdorferi. Thus, a positive ELISA result can indicate only that the tested horse was previously exposed to B. burgdorferi, with no certainty over the time of exposure. Since global warming is likely to increase the abundance of ticks in Korea, continuous monitoring of tick-borne diseases in Korean horses is needed. PMID:26951987

  20. The Elastic Basis for the Shape of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Dombrowski, Christopher; Kan, Wanxi; Motaleb, Md. Abdul; Charon, Nyles W.; Goldstein, Raymond E.; Wolgemuth, Charles W.

    2009-01-01

    The mechanisms that determine bacterial shape are in many ways poorly understood. A prime example is the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi), which mechanically couples its motility organelles, helical flagella, to its rod-shaped cell body, producing a striking flat-wave morphology. A mathematical model is developed here that accounts for the elastic coupling of the flagella to the cell cylinder and shows that the flat-wave morphology is in fact a natural consequence of the geometrical and material properties of the components. Observations of purified periplasmic flagella show two flagellar conformations. The mathematical model suggests that the larger waveform flagellum is the more relevant for determining the shape of B. burgdorferi. Optical trapping experiments were used to measure directly the mechanical properties of these spirochetes. These results imply relative stiffnesses of the two components, which confirm the predictions of the model and show that the morphology of B. burgdorferi is completely determined by the elastic properties of the flagella and cell body. This approach is applicable to a variety of other structures in which the shape of the composite system is markedly different from that of the individual components, such as coiled-coil domains in proteins and the eukaryotic axoneme. PMID:19486665

  1. The Borrelia burgdorferi Integrin Ligand P66 Affects Gene Expression by Human Cells in Culture ▿

    PubMed Central

    LaFrance, Michelle E.; Pierce, Jessica V.; Antonara, Syliani; Coburn, Jenifer

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, an agent of Lyme disease, establishes persistent infection in immunocompetent animals and humans. Although the infection in humans can be cleared by antibiotic therapy, persistence in reservoir animals is necessary for the maintenance of the bacterium in the natural reservoir host⇔tick vector infectious cycle. B. burgdorferi binds to β1- and β3-chain integrins, and the P66 outer membrane protein is responsible for at least some of the integrin binding activity of the spirochete. Because integrins are transmembrane, bidirectional signaling molecules, integrin binding may alter the nature of the host response to the bacteria. We used isogenic B. burgdorferi p66+ and Δp66 strains to analyze the responses of cultured human cells to P66-integrin interaction during infection. Microarray results suggest that the response differs according to the cell type, infection time, and experimental conditions. Clusters of genes in functionally related categories that showed significant changes included proteins involved in cell-extracellular matrix interactions, actin dynamics, stress response, and immune responses. Integrin binding by P66 may therefore help B. burgdorferi establish infection by facilitating tissue invasion and modulating the activation of the immune system to other components of the bacteria, e.g., lipoproteins. These results provide insight into how B. burgdorferi is able to establish infection in immunocompetent hosts. PMID:21576330

  2. Two boundaries separate Borrelia burgdorferi populations in North America.

    PubMed

    Margos, Gabriele; Tsao, Jean I; Castillo-Ramírez, Santiago; Girard, Yvette A; Hamer, Sarah A; Hoen, Anne Gatewood; Lane, Robert S; Raper, Steve L; Ogden, Nicholas H

    2012-09-01

    Understanding the spread of infectious diseases is crucial for implementing effective control measures. For this, it is important to obtain information on the contemporary population structure of a disease agent and to infer the evolutionary processes that may have shaped it. Here, we investigate on a continental scale the population structure of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis (LB), a tick-borne disease, in North America. We test the hypothesis that the observed population structure is congruent with recent population expansions and that these were preceded by bottlenecks mostly likely caused by the near extirpation in the 1900s of hosts required for sustaining tick populations. Multilocus sequence typing and complementary population analytical tools were used to evaluate B. burgdorferi samples collected in the Northeastern, Upper Midwestern, and Far-Western United States and Canada. The spatial distribution of sequence types (STs) and inferred population boundaries suggest that the current populations are geographically separated. One major population boundary separated western B. burgdorferi populations transmitted by Ixodes pacificus in California from Eastern populations transmitted by I. scapularis; the other divided Midwestern and Northeastern populations. However, populations from all three regions were genetically closely related. Together, our findings suggest that although the contemporary populations of North American B. burgdorferi now comprise three geographically separated subpopulations with no or limited gene flow among them, they arose from a common ancestral population. A comparative analysis of the B. burgdorferi outer surface protein C (ospC) gene revealed novel linkages and provides additional insights into the genetic characteristics of strains.

  3. Population Dynamics of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lyme Disease

    PubMed Central

    Binder, Sebastian C.; Telschow, Arndt; Meyer-Hermann, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Many chronic inflammatory diseases are known to be caused by persistent bacterial or viral infections. A well-studied example is the tick-borne infection by the gram-negative spirochaetes of the genus Borrelia in humans and other mammals, causing severe symptoms of chronic inflammation and subsequent tissue damage (Lyme Disease), particularly in large joints and the central nervous system, but also in the heart and other tissues of untreated patients. Although killed efficiently by human phagocytic cells in vitro, Borrelia exhibits a remarkably high infectivity in mice and men. In experimentally infected mice, the first immune response almost clears the infection. However, approximately 1 week post infection, the bacterial population recovers and reaches an even larger size before entering the chronic phase. We developed a mathematical model describing the bacterial growth and the immune response against Borrelia burgdorferi in the C3H mouse strain that has been established as an experimental model for Lyme disease. The peculiar dynamics of the infection exclude two possible mechanistic explanations for the regrowth of the almost cleared bacteria. Neither the hypothesis of bacterial dissemination to different tissues nor a limitation of phagocytic capacity were compatible with experiment. The mathematical model predicts that Borrelia recovers from the strong initial immune response by the regrowth of an immune-resistant sub-population of the bacteria. The chronic phase appears as an equilibration of bacterial growth and adaptive immunity. This result has major implications for the development of the chronic phase of Borrelia infections as well as on potential protective clinical interventions. PMID:22470370

  4. Borrelia burgdorferi-specific IgA in Lyme Disease.

    PubMed

    D'Arco, Christina; Dattwyler, Raymond J; Arnaboldi, Paul M

    2017-05-01

    The laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease is currently dependent on the detection of IgM and IgG antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of the disease. The significance of serum IgA against B. burgdorferi remains unclear. The production of intrathecal IgA has been noted in patients with the late Lyme disease manifestation, neuroborreliosis, but production of antigen-specific IgA during early disease has not been evaluated. In the current study, we assessed serum IgA binding to the B. burgdorferi peptide antigens, C6, the target of the FDA-cleared C6 EIA, and FlaB(211-223)-modVlsE(275-291), a peptide containing a Borrelia flagellin epitope linked to a modified VlsE sequence, in patients with early and late Lyme disease. Specific IgA was detected in 59 of 152 serum samples (38.8%) from early Lyme disease patients. Approximately 50% of early Lyme disease patients who were seropositive for peptide-specific IgM and/or IgG were also seropositive for peptide-specific IgA. In a subpopulation of patients, high peptide-specific IgA could be correlated with disseminated disease, defined as multiple erythema migrans lesions, and neurological disease complications. These results suggest that there may be an association between elevated levels of antigen-specific IgA and particular disease manifestations in some patients with early Lyme disease. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Morphological and biochemical features of Borrelia burgdorferi pleomorphic forms

    PubMed Central

    Herranen, Anni; Schwarzbach, Armin; Gilbert, Leona

    2015-01-01

    The spirochaete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne infection in the northern hemisphere. There is a long-standing debate regarding the role of pleomorphic forms in Lyme disease pathogenesis, while very little is known about the characteristics of these morphological variants. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of B. burgdorferi pleomorphic formation in different culturing conditions at physiological temperature. Interestingly, human serum induced the bacterium to change its morphology to round bodies (RBs). In addition, biofilm-like colonies in suspension were found to be part of B. burgdorferi’s normal in vitro growth. Further studies provided evidence that spherical RBs had an intact and flexible cell envelope, demonstrating that they are not cell wall deficient, or degenerative as previously implied. However, the RBs displayed lower metabolic activity compared with spirochaetes. Furthermore, our results indicated that the different pleomorphic variants were distinguishable by having unique biochemical signatures. Consequently, pleomorphic B. burgdorferi should be taken into consideration as being clinically relevant and influence the development of novel diagnostics and treatment protocols. PMID:25564498

  6. Antibiotic treatment of experimentally Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ponies.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yung-Fu; Ku, Yu-We; Chang, Chao-Fu; Chang, Ching-Dong; McDonough, Sean P; Divers, Thomas; Pough, Margaret; Torres, Alfonso

    2005-05-20

    The objective of this study is to determine whether doxycycline, ceftiofur or tetracycline could be effectively used to treat equine Lyme disease. Ponies experimentally infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by tick exposure were treated with doxycycline, ceftiofur or tetracycline for 4 weeks (28 days). Doxycyline and ceftiofur treatment were inconsistent in eliminating persistent infection in this experimental model. However, tetracycline treatment seems to eliminate persistent infection. Although serum antibody levels to B. burgdorferi in all ponies declined gradually after antibiotic treatment, three out of four ponies treated with doxycline and two out of four ponies treated with ceftiofur, serum KELA titers were raised again 3 month after treatment was discontinued. Five months after antibiotic treatment, tissues aseptically collected at necropsy from ponies with increased antibody levels after antibiotic treatment also showed culture positive to B. burgdorferi in various post-mortem tissues. However, all four-tetracycline treatment ponies showed a negative antibody level and culture negative from post-mortem tissues. Untreated infected ponies maintained high KELA titers throughout the study and were tissue culture positive.

  7. Interaction of Borrelia burgdorferi Hbb with the p66 promoter

    PubMed Central

    Medrano, Melisa S.; Policastro, Paul F.; Schwan, Tom G.; Coburn, Jenifer

    2010-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, an agent of Lyme disease, encodes the β3-chain integrin ligand P66. P66 is expressed by B. burgdorferi in the mammal, in laboratory media, and as the bacteria are acquired or transmitted by the tick, but is not expressed by the bacterium in unfed ticks. Attempts to reveal factors influencing expression revealed that P66 was expressed in all in vitro conditions investigated. Candidate regulators identified in a search of the B. burgdorferi genome for homologs to other bacterial transcription factors were cloned and introduced into E. coli carrying a p66 promoter-signal sequence-phoA (alkaline phosphatase, or AP) fusion. Three candidate transcription factors—two that decreased AP activity (Hbb and BB0527), and one that increased AP activity (BBA23)—were identified. BBA23 and BB0527 did not bind to the p66 promoter at physiologically relevant concentrations. In contrast, several promoter fragments, including p66, were bound by Hbb (BB0232), with slightly different affinities. Consistent with results from other laboratories, Hbb appears to recognize multiple DNA sequences. Changes in the expression of p66 and bb0232 in the tick at various points with respect to feeding on mice, along with the results of the reporter experiment in the surrogate host E. coli, are consistent with Hbb/BB0232 being involved in regulating p66 expression. PMID:19910373

  8. Statistical analysis of the distribution of amino acids in Borrelia burgdorferi genome under different genetic codes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, José A.; Alvarez, Samantha; Flores, Alejandro; Govezensky, Tzipe; Bobadilla, Juan R.; José, Marco V.

    2004-10-01

    The genetic code is considered to be universal. In order to test if some statistical properties of the coding bacterial genome were due to inherent properties of the genetic code, we compared the autocorrelation function, the scaling properties and the maximum entropy of the distribution of distances of amino acids in sequences obtained by translating protein-coding regions from the genome of Borrelia burgdorferi, under different genetic codes. Overall our results indicate that these properties are very stable to perturbations made by altering the genetic code. We also discuss the evolutionary likely implications of the present results.

  9. Rrp2, a Prokaryotic Enhancer-Like Binding Protein, Is Essential for Viability of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Groshong, Ashley M.; Gibbons, Nora E.; Yang, X. Frank

    2012-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, exists in two diverse niches (i.e., an arthropod tick vector and mammalian host) during its enzootic life cycle. To effectively adapt to these unique environments, the bacterium alters the expression of numerous genes, including several major outer surface (lipo)proteins that are required for infection and transmission. An enhancer-binding protein (EBP), known as Rrp2, is one identified activator of the RpoN/RpoS alternative sigma factor cascade. Because initial efforts to generate an rrp2 deletion strain were unsuccessful, the role of Rrp2 in the activation of the RpoN/RpoS pathway was first defined using a strain of B. burgdorferi carrying an rrp2 point mutant that was defective in its ability to activate RpoN-dependent transcription. The fact that subsequent attempts to disrupt rrp2 have also been unsuccessful has led investigators to hypothesize that Rrp2 has other undefined functions which are essential for B. burgdorferi survival and independent of its EBP function. We used a lac-based inducible expression system to generate a conditional rrp2 mutant in virulent B. burgdorferi. In this strain, an isopropyl-β-d-thiogalactopyranoside-inducible copy of the rrp2 gene is expressed in trans from a borrelial shuttle vector. We found that the chromosomal copy of rrp2 could be inactivated only when rrp2 was induced, and the maintenance of rrp2 expression was required for the growth of the mutants. In addition, the overexpression of rrp2 is detrimental to B. burgdorferi growth in a manner that is independent of the RpoN/RpoS pathway. These studies provide the first direct evidence that rrp2 is an essential gene in B. burgdorferi. PMID:22544267

  10. Antibodies to Rickettsia spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi in Spanish Wild Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Lledó, Lourdes; Serrano, José Luis; Isabel Gegúndez, María; Giménez-Pardo, Consuelo; Saz, José Vicente

    2016-01-01

    We examined 314 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from the province of Soria, Spain, for Rickettsia typhi, Rickettsia slovaca, and Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Immunofluorescence assays showed 1.9% had antibodies to R. typhi, 6.7% had antibodies to R. slovaca, and 8.3% had antibodies to B. burgdorferi. Serostatus was not correlated with sex or age. Because red foxes can be infected by Rickettsiae and B. burgdorferi, presence of red foxes may be and indicator for the presence of these pathogens.

  11. Infection of Ixodes ricinus by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in peri-urban forests of France.

    PubMed

    Marchant, Axelle; Le Coupanec, Alain; Joly, Claire; Perthame, Emeline; Sertour, Natacha; Garnier, Martine; Godard, Vincent; Ferquel, Elisabeth; Choumet, Valerie

    2017-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. In Europe, it is transmitted by Ixodes ticks that carry bacteria belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. The objective of this work was to explore eco-epidemiological factors of Lyme borreliosis in peri-urban forests of France (Sénart, Notre-Dame and Rambouillet). We investigated whether the introduction of Tamias sibiricus in Sénart could alter the density of infected ticks. Moreover, the density and tick infection were investigated according to the tree species found in various patches of Sénart forest. For this purpose, ticks were sampled during 3 years. In the Sénart forest, the density of nymph and adult ticks showed no significant difference between 2008, 2009 and 2011. The nymph density varied significantly as a function of the month of collection. Regarding the nymphs, a higher rate of infection and infected density were found in 2009. Plots with chipmunks (C) presented a lower density of both nymphs and adult ticks than plots without chipmunks (NC) did. A higher rate of infection of nymphs with Borrelia was seen in C plots. The prevalence of the various species of Borrelia was also found to vary between C and NC plots with the year of the collect. The presence of chestnut trees positively influenced the density of both nymphs and adults. The infected nymph density showed a significant difference depending on the peri-urban forest studied, Sénart being higher than Rambouillet. The prevalence of Borrelia species also differed between the various forests studied. Concerning the putative role that Tamias sibiricus may play in the transmission of Borrelia, our results suggest that its presence is correlated with a higher rate of infection of questing ticks by Borrelia genospecies and if its population increases, it could play a significant role in the risk of transmission of Lyme borreliosis.

  12. Borrelia burgdorferi has minimal impact on the Lyme disease reservoir host Peromyscus leucopus.

    PubMed

    Schwanz, Lisa E; Voordouw, Maarten J; Brisson, Dustin; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2011-02-01

    The epidemiology of vector-borne zoonotic diseases is determined by encounter rates between vectors and hosts. Alterations to the behavior of reservoir hosts caused by the infectious agent have the potential to dramatically alter disease transmission and human risk. We examined the effect of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease, on one of its most important reservoir hosts, the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. We mimic natural infections in mice using the vector (Black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis) and examine the immunological and behavioral responses of mouse hosts. Despite producing antibodies against B. burgdorferi, infected mice did not have elevated white blood cells compared with uninfected mice. In addition, infected and uninfected mice did not differ in their wheel-running activity. Our results suggest that infection with the spirochete B. burgdorferi has little impact on the field activity of white-footed mice. Lyme disease transmission appears to be uncomplicated by pathogen-altered behavior of this reservoir host.

  13. PCR in laboratory diagnosis of human Borrelia burgdorferi infections.

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, B L

    1997-01-01

    The laboratory diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the United States and endemic in parts of Europe and Asia, is currently based on serology with known limitations. Direct demonstration of Borrelia burgdorferi by culture may require weeks, while enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for antigen detection often lack sensitivity. The development of the PCR has offered a new dimension in the diagnosis. Capable of amplifying minute amounts of DNA into billions of copies in just a few hours, PCR facilitates the sensitive and specific detection of DNA or RNA of pathogenic organisms. This review is restricted to applications of PCR methods in the diagnosis of human B. burgdorferi infections. In the first section, methodological aspects, e.g., sample preparation, target selection, primers and PCR methods, and detection and control of inhibition and contamination, are highlighted. In the second part, emphasis is placed on diagnostic aspects, where PCR results in patients with dermatological, neurological, joint, and ocular manifestations of the disease are discussed. Here, special attention is given to monitoring treatment efficacy by PCR tests. Last, specific guidelines on how to interpret PCR results, together with the advantages and limitations of these new techniques, are presented. PMID:8993863

  14. Borrelia burgdorferi shows specificity of binding to glycosphingolipids.

    PubMed Central

    Backenson, P B; Coleman, J L; Benach, J L

    1995-01-01

    Live but not fixed or heat-killed Borrelia burgdorferi bound to galactocerebroside, lactosylceramide, and ceramide trihexoside. In addition, this organism bound to the disialoganglioside GD1a and the trisialoganglioside GT1b but not to gangliosides GM1, GD1b, GM2, and GM3 and not to asialo GM1. This adhesion pattern confirmed earlier findings of binding to galactocerebroside and places this organism within a prokaryotic group which binds to lactosylceramide. The binding to GD1a and GT1b, both of which carry terminal as well as multiple sialic acids, indicates that B. burgdorferi can show specificity of binding within a group of acidic gangliosides. Adhesion could not be inhibited by several concentrations of sugars and sialic acid, indicating more complex binding requirements than for terminal carbohydrates alone. Low-passage strains adhered to the four substrates in greater numbers than strains in culture for long periods of time. OspB mutants in general bound better or at least equally well to several of the glycosphingolipids, and preincubation of substrates with soluble recombinant and affinity-purified Osp did not inhibitor or weakly inhibited the binding of the organisms. These findings suggest that outer surface lipoproteins A and B are not directly involved in adhesion to glycosphingolipids. PMID:7622201

  15. Genetics and Regulation of Chitobiose Utilization in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Tilly, Kit; Elias, Abdallah F.; Errett, Jennifer; Fischer, Elizabeth; Iyer, Radha; Schwartz, Ira; Bono, James L.; Rosa, Patricia

    2001-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi spends a significant proportion of its life cycle within an ixodid tick, which has a cuticle containing chitin, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). The B. burgdorferi celA, celB, and celC genes encode products homologous to transporters for cellobiose and chitobiose (the dimer subunit of chitin) in other bacteria, which could be useful for bacterial nutrient acquisition during growth within ticks. We found that chitobiose efficiently substituted for GlcNAc during bacterial growth in culture medium. We inactivated the celB gene, which encodes the putative membrane-spanning component of the transporter, and compared growth of the mutant in various media to that of its isogenic parent. The mutant was no longer able to utilize chitobiose, while neither the mutant nor the wild type can utilize cellobiose. We propose renaming the three genes chbA, chbB, and chbC, since they probably encode a chitobiose transporter. We also found that the chbC gene was regulated in response to growth temperature and during growth in medium lacking GlcNAc. PMID:11544216

  16. Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi does not require thiamin

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kai; Bian, Jiang; Deng, Yijie; Smith, Alexis; Nunez, Roy E.; Li, Michael B.; Pal, Utpal; Yu, Ai-Ming; Qiu, Weigang; Ealick, Steven E.; Li, Chunhao

    2016-01-01

    Thiamin pyrophosphate (ThDP), the active form of thiamin (vitamin B1), is believed to be an essential cofactor for all living organisms1,2. Here, we report the unprecedented result that thiamin is dispensable for the growth of the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb)3. Bb lacks genes for thiamin biosynthesis and transport as well as known ThDP-dependent enzymes4, and we were unable to detect thiamin or its derivatives in Bb cells. We showed that eliminating thiamin in vitro and in vivo using BcmE, an enzyme that degrades thiamin, has no impact on Bb growth and survival during its enzootic infectious cycle. Finally, high-performance liquid chromatography analysis reveals that the level of thiamin and its derivatives in Ixodes scapularis ticks, the enzootic vector of Bb, is extremely low. These results suggest that by dispensing with use of thiamin, Borrelia, and perhaps other tick-transmitted bacterial pathogens, are uniquely adapted to survive in tick vectors before transmitting to mammalian hosts. To our knowledge, such a mechanism has not been reported previously in any living organisms. PMID:27869793

  17. Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi does not require thiamin.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Kai; Bian, Jiang; Deng, Yijie; Smith, Alexis; Nunez, Roy E; Li, Michael B; Pal, Utpal; Yu, Ai-Ming; Qiu, Weigang; Ealick, Steven E; Li, Chunhao

    2016-11-21

    Thiamin pyrophosphate (ThDP), the active form of thiamin (vitamin B1), is believed to be an essential cofactor for all living organisms(1,2). Here, we report the unprecedented result that thiamin is dispensable for the growth of the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb)(3). Bb lacks genes for thiamin biosynthesis and transport as well as known ThDP-dependent enzymes(4), and we were unable to detect thiamin or its derivatives in Bb cells. We showed that eliminating thiamin in vitro and in vivo using BcmE, an enzyme that degrades thiamin, has no impact on Bb growth and survival during its enzootic infectious cycle. Finally, high-performance liquid chromatography analysis reveals that the level of thiamin and its derivatives in Ixodes scapularis ticks, the enzootic vector of Bb, is extremely low. These results suggest that by dispensing with use of thiamin, Borrelia, and perhaps other tick-transmitted bacterial pathogens, are uniquely adapted to survive in tick vectors before transmitting to mammalian hosts. To our knowledge, such a mechanism has not been reported previously in any living organisms.

  18. 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.

  19. An Invasive Mammal (the Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis) Commonly Hosts Diverse and Atypical Genotypes of the Zoonotic Pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato

    PubMed Central

    Magierecka, Agnieszka; Gilbert, Lucy; Edoff, Alissa; Brereton, Amelia; Kilbride, Elizabeth; Denwood, Matt; Birtles, Richard; Biek, Roman

    2015-01-01

    Invasive vertebrate species can act as hosts for endemic pathogens and may alter pathogen community composition and dynamics. For the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, recent work shows invasive rodent species can be of high epidemiological importance and may support host-specific strains. This study examined the role of gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) (n = 679), an invasive species in the United Kingdom, as B. burgdorferi sensu lato hosts. We found that gray squirrels were frequently infested with Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the United Kingdom, and 11.9% were infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato. All four genospecies that occur in the United Kingdom were detected in gray squirrels, and unexpectedly, the bird-associated genospecies Borrelia garinii was most common. The second most frequent infection was with Borrelia afzelii. Genotyping of B. garinii and B. afzelii produced no evidence for strains associated with gray squirrels. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) identified tick infestation and date of capture as significant factors associated with B. burgdorferi sensu lato infection in gray squirrels, with infection elevated in early summer in squirrels infested with ticks. Invasive gray squirrels appear to become infected with locally circulating strains of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, and further studies are required to determine their role in community disease dynamics. Our findings highlight the fact that the role of introduced host species in B. burgdorferi sensu lato epidemiology can be highly variable and thus difficult to predict. PMID:25888168

  20. Epitopes shared by unrelated antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Anda, P; Backenson, P B; Coleman, J L; Benach, J L

    1994-01-01

    An immunoglobulin M kappa-chain murine monoclonal antibody (CAB) reacted in a Western blot (immunoblot) with approximately 30 polypeptides from a whole-cell lysate of several American and European Borrelia burgdorferi strains. The reactive antigen with the highest M(r) was measured at 93 kDa (p93) and had an NH2-terminal sequence identical to the one previously reported for this antigen. The lowest reactive antigen had an M(r) of 16,000. All antigens recognized by CAB had isoelectric points within a narrow acidic range, between 5.4 and 6.2. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine whether the broad reactivity of CAB could be due to degradation of the antigen with the highest M(r), since such spontaneous degradation of p93 has already been reported, and to determine whether CAB could recognize shared epitopes in different antigens. Treatment of B. burgdorferi with protease inhibitors did not result in changes in CAB reactivity, indicating that if such degradation existed, it was most likely not due to the action of endogenous proteases. Likewise, protease treatment of intact organisms and recovery of the antigens in the insoluble fraction of a Triton X-114 partition indicated that they were internal and thus less likely to be degraded by experimental procedures. Amino-terminal sequences of other reactive polypeptides showed one approximately 72-kDa polypeptide to be identical to the DnaK homolog of B. burgdorferi. Two other antigens at approximately 49 and 47 kDa were blocked to Edman degradation. Finally, one sequenced polypeptide with a molecular mass of approximately 38.5 kDa had a strong identity with glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase of other bacteria and vertebrates. Thus, while it cannot be ruled out that some of the CAB reactivity may be due to fragmentation of p93, there is strong evidence to indicate the presence of a shared epitope in at least three, possibly five, unrelated antigens of B. burgdorferi. A linear epitope within amino acid

  1. Intracellular Concentrations of Borrelia burgdorferi Cyclic Di-AMP Are Not Changed by Altered Expression of the CdaA Synthase

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Christina R.; Arnold, William K.; Gjevre-Nail, Alexandra; Koestler, Benjamin J.; Bruger, Eric L.; Barker, Jeffrey R.; Waters, Christopher M.; Stevenson, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The second messenger nucleotide cyclic diadenylate monophosphate (c-di-AMP) has been identified in several species of Gram positive bacteria and Chlamydia trachomatis. This molecule has been associated with bacterial cell division, cell wall biosynthesis and phosphate metabolism, and with induction of type I interferon responses by host cells. We demonstrate that B. burgdorferi produces a c-di-AMP synthase, which we designated CdaA. Both CdaA and c-di-AMP levels are very low in cultured B. burgdorferi, and no conditions were identified under which cdaA mRNA was differentially expressed. A mutant B. burgdorferi was produced that expresses high levels of CdaA, yet steady state borrelial c-di-AMP levels did not change, apparently due to degradation by the native DhhP phosphodiesterase. The function(s) of c-di-AMP in the Lyme disease spirochete remains enigmatic. PMID:25906393

  2. Surveillance for Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes Ticks and Small Rodents in British Columbia.

    PubMed

    Morshed, Muhammad G; Lee, Min-Kuang; Man, Stephanie; Fernando, Keerthi; Wong, Quantine; Hojgaard, Andrias; Tang, Patrick; Mak, Sunny; Henry, Bonnie; Patrick, David M

    2015-11-01

    To determine the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in British Columbian ticks, fieldwork was conducted over a 2-year period. In all, 893 ticks (Ixodes pacificus, I. angustus, I. soricis, Ixodes spp., and Dermacentor andersoni) of different life stages were retrieved from 483 small rodents (Peromyscus maniculatus, Perognathus parvus, and Reithrodontomys megalotis). B. burgdorferi DNA was detected in 5 out of 359 tick pools, and 41 out of 483 mice were serologically confirmed to have antibodies against B. burgdorferi. These results were consistent with previous studies, data from passive surveillance in British Columbia, and data from neighboring states in the Pacific Northwest, suggesting a continually low prevalence of B. burgdorferi in British Columbia ticks.

  3. Transformation of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi with heterologous DNA.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, B; Bono, J L; Elias, A; Tilly, K; Rosa, P

    1998-09-01

    Studies of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi have been hindered by the scarcity of genetic tools that can be used in these bacteria. For the first time, a method has been developed by which heterologous DNA (DNA without a naturally occurring B. burgdorferi homolog) can be introduced into and persistently maintained by B. burgdorferi. This technique uses integration of circular DNA into the bacterial genome via a single-crossover event. The ability to transform B. burgdorferi with heterologous DNA will now permit a wide range of experiments on the biology of these bacteria and their involvement in the many facets of Lyme disease.

  4. Transformation of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi with Heterologous DNA

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Brian; Bono, James L.; Elias, Abdallah; Tilly, Kit; Rosa, Patricia

    1998-01-01

    Studies of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi have been hindered by the scarcity of genetic tools that can be used in these bacteria. For the first time, a method has been developed by which heterologous DNA (DNA without a naturally occurring B. burgdorferi homolog) can be introduced into and persistently maintained by B. burgdorferi. This technique uses integration of circular DNA into the bacterial genome via a single-crossover event. The ability to transform B. burgdorferi with heterologous DNA will now permit a wide range of experiments on the biology of these bacteria and their involvement in the many facets of Lyme disease. PMID:9733687

  5. Classification of Italian isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi into three genomic groups.

    PubMed

    Cinco, M; De Giovannini, R; Fattorini, P; Florian, F; Graziosi, G

    1993-10-01

    In this study we investigated the genotypic characteristics of some locally isolated strains of B. burgdorferi by three different methodologies: restriction endonuclease analysis (REA), Southern blot hybridization with whole DNAs from Borrelia strains and Southern blot hybridization with rRNA 16 + 23S genes derived from E. coli. REA fingerprintings were evaluated by cluster analysis, according to the principles of numerical taxonomy. The genomas of the locally isolated strains were compared with borreliae originating from different countries of Europe, including Sweden and with the American reference strain B31. Among the European strains, some already described by Baranton (Baranton et al., 1992) as representatives of different genomic groups Borrelia sensu stricto and Borrelia garinii were used. By the different techniques the isolates were included in three genomic groups which could correspond to the three genospecies identified by Baranton, namely B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii and B. group VS461: in fact two strains were included in a homogeneous group, probably corresponding to the VS461 genomic group, together with other European borreliae; one isolate was included in a group consisting of B31 and some other European strains already described as belonging to Borrelia burgdorferi in sensu stricto. Finally two isolates were ascribed to a third genomic group probably corresponding to the genospecies indicated as Borrelia garinii. These findings indicate that a small number of Borrelia strains isolated from a very restricted area can be genetically heterogeneous.

  6. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ticks Collected from Migratory Birds in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Poupon, Marie-Angèle; Lommano, Elena; Humair, Pierre-François; Douet, Véronique; Rais, Olivier; Schaad, Michael; Jenni, Lukas; Gern, Lise

    2006-01-01

    The prevalence of ticks infected by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato on birds during their migrations was studied in Switzerland. A total of 1,270 birds captured at two sites were examined for tick infestation. Ixodes ricinus was the dominant tick species. Prevalences of tick infestation were 6% and 18.2% for birds migrating northward and southward, respectively. Borrelia valaisiana was the species detected most frequently in ticks, followed by Borrelia garinii and Borrelia lusitaniae. Among birds infested by infected ticks, 23% (6/26) were infested by B. lusitaniae-infected larvae. Migratory birds appear to be reservoir hosts for B. lusitaniae. PMID:16391149

  7. Molecular Identification and Analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Lizards in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Kerry; Hendricks, Amanda; Burge, David

    2005-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) group spirochetes, collectively known as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, are distributed worldwide. Wild rodents are acknowledged as the most important reservoir hosts. Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the eastern United States, and in the southeastern United States, the larvae and nymphs mostly parasitize certain species of lizards. The primary aim of the present study was to determine whether wild lizards in the southeastern United States are naturally infected with Lyme borreliae. Blood samples obtained from lizards in Florida and South Carolina were tested for the presence of LB spirochetes primarily by using B. burgdorferi sensu lato-specific PCR assays that amplify portions of the flagellin (flaB), outer surface protein A (ospA), and 66-kDa protein (p66) genes. Attempts to isolate spirochetes from a small number of PCR-positive lizards failed. However, PCR amplification and sequence analysis of partial flaB, ospA, and p66 gene fragments confirmed numerous strains of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, including Borrelia andersonii, Borrelia bissettii, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, in blood from lizards from both states. B. burgdorferi sensu lato DNA was identified in 86 of 160 (54%) lizards representing nine species and six genera. The high infection prevalence and broad distribution of infection among different lizard species at different sites and at different times of the year suggest that LB spirochetes are established in lizards in the southeastern United States. PMID:15870353

  8. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato diversity and its influence on pathogenicity in humans.

    PubMed

    Baranton, Guy; De Martino, Sylvie J

    2009-01-01

    Among the Spirochaetes, the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex is responsible for Lyme borreliosis. This complex comprises more than 13 Borrelia species. Four of them are clearly pathogenic for humans: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. spielmanii. They can generate erythema migrans, an initial skin lesion, and can then spread deeply into the host to invade distant tissues, especially the nervous system, the joints or the skin. In humans, Borrelia pathogenicityseems to be linked with taxonomic position, but in vitro studies show the role of plasmids in B. burgdorferi s.l. pathogenesis. The inter- and intraspecies genetic diversity of B. burgdorferi s.l. evidences a clonal evolution of the chromosome, while plasmid genes are quite variable, suggesting their major role in Borrelia adaptability. The plasmid-encoded adhesins and vlse, crasps and osp genes determine invasiveness and host immune evasion of B. burgdorferi s.l., and select the bacterial host spectrum. The geographic distribution of B. burgdorferi s.l. is closely related to its vectors and competent hosts, and its development within these influences its diversity, taxonomy and pathogenesis, primarily via genetic lateral transfer. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Geographical and genospecies distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA detected in humans in the USA.

    PubMed

    Clark, Kerry L; Leydet, Brian F; Threlkeld, Clifford

    2014-05-01

    The present study investigated the cause of illness in human patients primarily in the southern USA with suspected Lyme disease based on erythema migrans-like skin lesions and/or symptoms consistent with early localized or late disseminated Lyme borreliosis. The study also included some patients from other states throughout the USA. Several PCR assays specific for either members of the genus Borrelia or only for Lyme group Borrelia spp. (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato), and DNA sequence analysis, were used to identify Borrelia spp. DNA in blood and skin biopsy samples from human patients. B. burgdorferi sensu lato DNA was found in both blood and skin biopsy samples from patients residing in the southern states and elsewhere in the USA, but no evidence of DNA from other Borrelia spp. was detected. Based on phylogenetic analysis of partial flagellin (flaB) gene sequences, strains that clustered separately with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia americana or Borrelia andersonii were associated with Lyme disease-like signs and symptoms in patients from the southern states, as well as from some other areas of the country. Strains most similar to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. americana were found most commonly and appeared to be widely distributed among patients residing throughout the USA. The study findings suggest that human cases of Lyme disease in the southern USA may be more common than previously recognized and may also be caused by more than one species of B. burgdorferi sensu lato. This study provides further evidence that B. burgdorferi sensu stricto is not the only species associated with signs and/or symptoms consistent with Lyme borreliosis in the USA.

  10. Homologies between proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi and thyroid autoantigens.

    PubMed

    Benvenga, Salvatore; Guarneri, Fabrizio; Vaccaro, Mario; Santarpia, Libero; Trimarchi, Francesco

    2004-11-01

    Subclinical exposure to microbic antigens that share amino acid sequence homology with self antigens might trigger autoimmune diseases in genetically predisposed individuals via molecular mimicry. Genetic predisposition to Graves' disease (GD) or Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) is conferred by HLA loci DR3 or DR5, respectively. Yersinia enterocolitica (YE) outer proteins (YOPs) are candidate triggers based on the high prevalence of serum antibodies (Ab) against YOPs in autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) and reactivity of these Ab with hTSH-R, suggesting homology between YOPs and hTSH-R. We have reported previously that the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) could be another trigger. We have explored further the homology of hTSH-R with YE and Bb. Using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST), we found four matches with YE and five matches with Bb . Residues 22-272, 186-330, 319-363 and 684-749 of hTSH-R matched YopM, Ysp, exopolygalacturonase and SpyA of YE (identity 23-31%, similarity 40-48%). Residues 112-205, 127-150, 141-260, 299-383 and 620-697 of hTSH-R matched outer surface protein A, flagellar motor rotation protein A, two hypothetical proteins (BBG02 and BBJ08) and DNA recombinase/ATP dependent helicase of Borrelia (identity 27-50%, similarity 40-75%). Interestingly, the above hTSH-R regions coincide with (or include) known human T-cell epitopes: aa 52-71, 140-176, 240-270, 340-380 and 441-661. Our data strengthen the hypothesis of Bb and YE as environmental triggers of AITD in genetically predisposed persons through molecular mimicry mechanisms.

  11. Characterization of the β-barrel assembly machine accessory lipoproteins from Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Joshua P; Kenedy, Melisha R; Iqbal, Henna; Akins, Darrin R

    2015-03-24

    Like all diderm bacteria studied to date, Borrelia burgdorferi possesses a β-barrel assembly machine (BAM) complex. The bacterial BAM complexes characterized thus far consist of an essential integral outer membrane protein designated BamA and one or more accessory proteins. The accessory proteins are typically lipid-modified proteins anchored to the inner leaflet of the outer membrane through their lipid moieties. We previously identified and characterized the B. burgdorferi BamA protein in detail and more recently identified two lipoproteins encoded by open reading frames bb0324 and bb0028 that associate with the borrelial BamA protein. The role(s) of the BAM accessory lipoproteins in B. burgdorferi is currently unknown. Structural modeling of B. burgdorferi BB0028 revealed a distinct β-propeller fold similar to the known structure for the E. coli BAM accessory lipoprotein BamB. Additionally, the structural model for BB0324 was highly similar to the known structure of BamD, which is consistent with the prior finding that BB0324 contains tetratricopeptide repeat regions similar to other BamD orthologs. Consistent with BB0028 and BB0324 being BAM accessory lipoproteins, mutants lacking expression of each protein were found to exhibit altered membrane permeability and enhanced sensitivity to various antimicrobials. Additionally, BB0028 mutants also exhibited significantly impaired in vitro growth. Finally, immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that BB0028 and BB0324 each interact specifically and independently with BamA to form the BAM complex in B. burgdorferi. Combined structural studies, functional assays, and co-immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed that BB0028 and BB0324 are the respective BamB and BamD orthologs in B. burgdorferi, and are important in membrane integrity and/or outer membrane protein localization. The borrelial BamB and BamD proteins both interact specifically and independently with BamA to form a tripartite BAM complex in B

  12. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia garinii DNAs in patient with Hyperkeratosis lenticularis perstans (Flegel disease).

    PubMed

    Schwarzova, Katarina; Kozub, Peter; Szep, Zoltan; Golovchenko, Marina; Rudenko, Natasha

    2016-09-01

    Determination of the causative agent of erythema-like skin lesions in case of nonspecific superficial perivascular dermatitis was supported by histological examination and led to the latter diagnosis of Hyperkeratosis lenticularis perstans (Flegel disease) in patient. The presence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi in patient serum was confirmed by a routine ELISA method and verified by Western blot technique. Skin biopsy and blood specimens were analyzed by PCR and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA). Western blot method revealed IgG antibody response against two specific antigens, 17 and 83 kDa proteins. The recombinant test detected IgG antibody response against p100 and p41 antigens. The sequence analysis of amplicons from the selected genomic loci obtained from skin biopsy and serum samples revealed the presence of two species from B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex as a co-infection in this patient-B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) and Borrelia garinii.

  13. Transmission dynamics of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in a bird tick community.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; Tijsse, Ellen; Fonville, Manoj; Matthysen, Erik; Sprong, Hein

    2013-02-01

    We examined the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato circulation in a tick community consisting of three species (Ixodes ricinus, I. frontalis, I. arboricola) with contrasting ecologies, but sharing two European songbird hosts (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus). Parus major had the highest infestation rates, primarily due to larger numbers of I. ricinus, and probably because of their greater low-level foraging. The prevalence of Borrelia in feeding ticks did not significantly differ between the two bird species; however, P. major in particular hosted large numbers of Borrelia-infected I. frontalis and I. ricinus larvae, suggesting that the species facilitates Borrelia transmission. The low but significant numbers of Borrelia in questing I. arboricola ticks also provides the first field data to suggest that it is competent in maintaining Borrelia. Aside from Borrelia garinii, a high number of less dominant genospecies was observed, including several mammalian genospecies and the first record of Borrelia turdi for North-Western Europe. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato IGS genotypes were shared between I. arboricola and I. ricinus and between I. frontalis and I. ricinus, but not between I. arboricola and I. frontalis. This suggests that the Borrelia spp. transmission cycles can be maintained by bird-specific ticks, and bridged by I. ricinus to other hosts outside bird-tick cycles.

  14. Virulent strain associated outer membrane proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Skare, J T; Shang, E S; Foley, D M; Blanco, D R; Champion, C I; Mirzabekov, T; Sokolov, Y; Kagan, B L; Miller, J N; Lovett, M A

    1995-01-01

    We have isolated and purified outer membrane vesicles (OMV) from Borrelia burgdorferi strain B31 based on methods developed for isolation of Treponema pallidum OMV. Purified OMV exhibited distinct porin activities with conductances of 0.6 and 12.6 nano-Siemen and had no detectable beta-NADH oxidase activity indicating their outer membrane origin and their lack of inner membrane contamination, respectively. Hydrophobic proteins were identified by phase partitioning with Triton X-114. Most of these hydrophobic membrane proteins were not acylated, suggesting that they are outer membrane-spanning proteins. Identification of palmitate-labeled lipoproteins revealed that several were enriched in the OMV, several were enriched in the protoplasmic cylinder inner membrane fraction, and others were found exclusively associated with the inner membrane. The protein composition of OMV changed significantly with successive in vitro cultivation of strain B31. Using antiserum with specificity for virulent strain B31, we identified OMV antigens on the surface of the spirochete and identified proteins whose presence in OMV could be correlated with virulence and protective immunity in the rabbit Lyme disease model. These virulent strain associated outer membrane-spanning proteins may provide new insight into the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Images PMID:7593626

  15. Borrelia burgdorferi aggrecanase activity: more evidence for persistent infection in Lyme disease

    PubMed Central

    Stricker, Raphael B.; Johnson, Lorraine

    2013-01-01

    Lyme disease is the most common tickborne illness in the world today. A recent study describes for the first time an enzyme produced by the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, that cleaves aggrecan, a proteoglycan found in joints and connective tissue. Discovery of the spirochetal aggrecanase raises many questions about the pathogenesis of Lyme arthritis and lends support to the concept of persistent B. burgdorferi infection in patients with chronic Lyme disease symptoms. PMID:23967405

  16. Ixodes scapularis dystroglycan-like protein promotes Borrelia burgdorferi migration from the gut.

    PubMed

    Coumou, Jeroen; Narasimhan, Sukanya; Trentelman, Jos J; Wagemakers, Alex; Koetsveld, Joris; Ersoz, Jasmin I; Oei, Anneke; Fikrig, Erol; Hovius, Joppe W

    2016-03-01

    The causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted by Ixodes ticks. During tick feeding, B. burgdorferi migrates from the tick gut to the salivary glands from where transmission to the host occurs. B. burgdorferi-interacting tick proteins might serve as vaccine targets to thwart B. burgdorferi transmission. A previous screening for B. burgdorferi-interacting Ixodes scapularis gut proteins identified an I. scapularis putative dystroglycan protein (ISCW015049). Here, we describe the ISCW015049's protein structure and its cellular location in the tick gut in relation to B. burgdorferi migration. Secondly, in vivo B. burgdorferi-tick attachment murine models were performed to study the role of ISCW015049 during B. burgdorferi migration and transmission. In silico analysis confirmed that ISCW015049 is similar to dystroglycan and was named I. scapularis dystroglycan-like protein (ISDLP). Confocal microscopy of gut tissue showed that ISDLP is expressed on the surface of gut cells, is upregulated during tick feeding, and is expressed significantly higher in infected ticks compared to uninfected ticks. Inhibition of ISDLP by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in lower B. burgdorferi transmission to mice. In conclusion, we have identified a dystroglycan-like protein in I. scapularis gut that can bind to B. burgdorferi and promotes B. burgdorferi migration from the tick gut. Key messages: B. burgdorferi exploits tick proteins to orchestrate its transmission to the host. B. burgdorferi is able bind to an I. scapularis dystroglycan-like protein (ISDLP). Inhibition of ISDLP in ticks results in lower B. burgdorferi transmission to mice. ISDLP is a potential target to prevent Lyme borreliosis.

  17. Potentially conflicting selective forces that shape the vls antigenic variation system in Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Wei; Brisson, Dustin

    2014-10-01

    Changing environmental conditions present an evolutionary challenge for all organisms. The environment of microbial pathogens, including the adaptive immune responses of the infected host, changes rapidly and is lethal to the pathogen lineages that cannot quickly adapt. The dynamic immune environment creates strong selective pressures favoring microbial pathogen lineages with antigenic variation systems that maximize the antigenic divergence among expressed antigenic variants. However, divergence among expressed antigens may be constrained by other molecular features such as the efficient expression of functional proteins. We computationally examined potential conflicting selection pressures on antigenic variation systems using the vls antigenic variation system in Borrelia burgdorferi as a model system. The vls system alters the sequence of the expressed antigen by recombining gene fragments from unexpressed but divergent 'cassettes' into the expression site, vlsE. The in silico analysis of natural and altered cassettes from seven lineages in the B. burgdorferi sensu lato species complex revealed that sites that are polymorphic among unexpressed cassettes, as well as the insertion/deletion mutations, are organized to maximize divergence among the expressed antigens within the constraints of translational ability and high translational efficiency. This study provides empirical evidence that conflicting selection pressures on antigenic variation systems can limit the potential antigenic divergence in order to maintain proper molecular function.

  18. An intravascular immune response to Borrelia burgdorferi involves Kupffer cells and iNKT cells

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Woo-Yong; Moriarty, Tara J; Wong, Connie H Y; Zhou, Hong; Strieter, Robert M; van Rooijen, Nico; Chaconas, George; Kubes, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Here we investigate the dynamics of the hepatic intravascular immune response to a pathogen relevant to invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells). Immobilized Kupffer cells with highly ramified extended processes into multiple sinusoids could effectively capture blood-borne, disseminating Borrelia burgdorferi, creating a highly efficient surveillance and filtering system. After ingesting B. burgdorferi, Kupffer cells induced chemokine receptor CXCR3–dependent clustering of iNKT cells. Kupffer cells and iNKT cells formed stable contacts via the antigen-presenting molecule CD1d, which led to iNKT cell activation. An absence of iNKT cells caused B. burgdorferi to leave the blood and enter the joints more effectively. B. burgdorferi that escaped Kupffer cells entered the liver parenchyma and survived despite Ito cell responses. Kupffer cell–iNKT cell interactions induced a key intravascular immune response that diminished the dissemination of B. burgdorferi. PMID:20228796

  19. 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.

  20. Suppression of Long-Lived Humoral Immunity Following Borrelia burgdorferi Infection.

    PubMed

    Elsner, Rebecca A; Hastey, Christine J; Olsen, Kimberly J; Baumgarth, Nicole

    2015-07-01

    Lyme Disease caused by infection with Borrelia burgdorferi is an emerging infectious disease and already by far the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. Similar to many other infections, infection with B. burgdorferi results in strong antibody response induction, which can be used clinically as a diagnostic measure of prior exposure. However, clinical studies have shown a sometimes-precipitous decline of such antibodies shortly following antibiotic treatment, revealing a potential deficit in the host's ability to induce and/or maintain long-term protective antibodies. This is further supported by reports of frequent repeat infections with B. burgdorferi in endemic areas. The mechanisms underlying such a lack of long-term humoral immunity, however, remain unknown. We show here that B. burgdorferi infected mice show a similar rapid disappearance of Borrelia-specific antibodies after infection and subsequent antibiotic treatment. This failure was associated with development of only short-lived germinal centers, micro-anatomical locations from which long-lived immunity originates. These showed structural abnormalities and failed to induce memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells for months after the infection, rendering the mice susceptible to reinfection with the same strain of B. burgdorferi. The inability to induce long-lived immune responses was not due to the particular nature of the immunogenic antigens of B. burgdorferi, as antibodies to both T-dependent and T-independent Borrelia antigens lacked longevity and B cell memory induction. Furthermore, influenza immunization administered at the time of Borrelia infection also failed to induce robust antibody responses, dramatically reducing the protective antiviral capacity of the humoral response. Collectively, these studies show that B. burgdorferi-infection results in targeted and temporary immunosuppression of the host and bring new insight into the mechanisms underlying the failure to develop long

  1. Bactericidal Activity of Octenidine to Various Genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi, Sensu Lato Spirochetes in Vitro and in Vivo.

    PubMed

    Tylewska-Wierzbanowska, Stanisława; Rogulska, Urszula; Lewandowska, Grażyna; Chmielewski, Tomasz

    2017-07-06

    The aim of our studies was to invent a reliable method for detection of the bactericidal activity of disinfectants against Borrelia burgdorferi in suspension (in vitro) and in cell line cultures (in vivo). In the suspension method, 0.01% octenidine at 20°C and 35°C was bactericidal to Borrelia afzeli; Borrelia garini, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto after 5 minutes treatment. Increase of the temperature to 35°C speed up the bactericidal effect to 1 minute. The bactericidal action of octenidine towards B. burgdorferi spirochetes growing in fibroblasts was less effective and needed a longer time to kill them than in the suspension.

  2. Borrelia burgdorferi in eastern Virginia: comparison between a coastal and inland locality.

    PubMed

    Sonenshine, D E; Ratzlaff, R E; Troyer, J; Demmerle, S; Demmerle, E R; Austin, W E; Tan, S; Annis, B A; Jenkins, S

    1995-08-01

    In Virginia, Borrelia burgdorferi was more prevalent in a site along the Atlantic Ocean, near Maryland, than in an inland site near Williamsburg and Yorktown. At the coastal site on Assateague Island, B. burgdorferi was isolated from 4.2% of 475 animals sampled, including four species of small mammals. Serologic tests indicated that 25-37% of the small rodents assayed had been exposed to B. burgdorferi. Immunofluorescence antibody assays specific for B. burgdorferi showed spirochete infection in Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor variabilis but not in other species of ticks also examined from this site. At another coastal site (Parramore Island), no evidence of Peromyscus leucopus was found, no immature specimens of I. scapularis were collected, and no isolations were made from numerous raccoons or small mammals sampled. Borrelia burgdorferi infection was found in one I. cookei nymph, but not in numerous specimens of I. scapularis or other tick species from this locality. At the inland site between Williamsburg and Yorktown, B. burgdorferi was isolated from two small mammal species and antibodies to B. burgdorferi were found in only 7-10% of the small mammals sampled. Ixodes scapularis were less abundant at this locality than at the Assateague Island site. Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes were found in I. scapularis and a single nymph of Amblyomma americanum, but not in any of numerous specimens of four other species. Infection with B. burgdorferi was found in 20% of unfed adult I. scapularis from vegetation, but in only 0.2% of numerous adults from hunter-killed deer. Infection in immature ticks was much lower than at Assateague Island. Borrelia burgdorferi may be more prevalent along the Atlantic coast than in inland areas. Isolations, seroprevalence, immature I. scapularis densities, and spirochete infection rates in ticks were higher at the Assateague Island site than the Williamsburg/Yorktown site. Consequently, the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease may be

  3. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato-infected Ixodes ricinus collected from vegetation near the Arctic Circle.

    PubMed

    Hvidsten, Dag; Stordal, Frode; Lager, Malin; Rognerud, Bjørg; Kristiansen, Bjørn-Erik; Matussek, Andreas; Gray, Jeremy; Stuen, Snorre

    2015-09-01

    This is the first study to determine the density of questing Ixodes ricinus in northern Norway. It was performed at two sites in Brønnøy, which has been known for its tick permissive habitats for decades and is one of the northernmost habitats with an abundant I. ricinus population in the world. From April to November 2011, all stages of host-seeking I. ricinus were collected from the two sites. The overall prevalence of nymphs infected with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was 21% and that of adult ticks 46%. The rates of the genospecies Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia valaisiana were similar to findings in most other studies in Scandinavia, with B. afzelii by far the most prevalent at 76%. The high Borrelia-infection prevalence in ticks from Brønnøy may explain the high incidence rate of reported Lyme borreliosis in the municipality.

  4. Habitat-Specific Diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Europe, Exemplified by Data from Latvia

    PubMed Central

    Etti, Susanne; Hails, Rosie; Schäfer, Stefanie M.; De Michelis, Simona; Sewell, Henna-Sisko; Bormane, Antra; Donaghy, Michael; Kurtenbach, Klaus

    2003-01-01

    The distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks from ecologically distinct habitats in Latvia was analyzed. A significant variation in the frequency of the genospecies across sites was observed, pointing to the importance of the host community in the ecology of Lyme borreliosis. PMID:12732580

  5. Borrelia burgdorferi rel Is Responsible for Generation of Guanosine-3′-Diphosphate-5′-Triphosphate and Growth Control

    PubMed Central

    Bugrysheva, Julia V.; Bryksin, Anton V.; Godfrey, Henry P.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2005-01-01

    The global transcriptional regulator (p)ppGpp (guanosine-3′-diphosphate-5′-triphosphate and guanosine-3′,5′-bisphosphate, collectively) produced by the relA and spoT genes in Escherichia coli allows bacteria to adapt to different environmental stresses. The genome of Borrelia burgdorferi encodes a single chromosomal rel gene (BB0198) (B. burgdorferi rel [relBbu]) homologous to relA and spoT of E. coli. Its role in (p)ppGpp synthesis, bacterial growth, and modulation of gene expression has not been studied in detail. We constructed a relBbu deletion mutant in an infectious B. burgdorferi 297 strain and isolated an extrachromosomally complemented derivative of this mutant. The mutant did not synthesize relBbu mRNA, RelBbu protein, or (p)ppGpp. This synthesis was restored in the complemented derivative, confirming that relBbu is necessary and sufficient for (p)ppGpp synthesis and degradation in B. burgdorferi. The relBbu mutant grew well during log phase in complete BSK-H but reached lower cell concentrations in the stationary phase than the wild-type parent, suggesting that (p)ppGpp may be an important factor in the ability of B. burgdorferi to adapt to stationary phase. Deletion of relBbu did not eliminate the temperature-elicited OspC shift, nor did it alter bmp gene expression or B. burgdorferi antibiotic susceptibility. Although deletion of relBbu eliminated B. burgdorferi virulence for mice, which was not restored by complementation, we suggest that relBbu-dependent accumulation of (p)ppGpp may be important for in vivo survival of this pathogen. PMID:16041012

  6. First isolation and cultivation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from Missouri.

    PubMed

    Oliver, J H; Kollars, T M; Chandler, F W; James, A M; Masters, E J; Lane, R S; Huey, L O

    1998-01-01

    Five Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolates from Missouri are described. This represents the first report and characterization of such isolates from that state. The isolates were obtained from either Ixodes dentatus or Amblyomma americanum ticks that had been feeding on cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) from a farm in Bollinger County, Mo., where a human case of Lyme disease had been reported. All isolates were screened immunologically by indirect immunofluorescence by using monoclonal antibodies to B. burgdorferi-specific outer surface protein A (OspA) (antibodies H3TS and H5332), B. burgdorferi-specific OspB (antibody H6831), Borrelia (genus)-specific antiflagellin (antibody H9724), and Borrelia hermsii-specific antibody (antibody H9826). Analysis of the isolates also involved a comparison of their protein profiles by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Finally, the isolates were analyzed by PCR with six pairs of primers known to amplify selected DNA target sequences specifically found in the reference strain B. burgdorferi B-31. Although some genetic variability was detected among the five isolates as well as between them and the B-31 strain, enough similarities were found to classify them as B. burgdorferi sensu lato.

  7. Influence of MKP medium stored for prolonged periods on growth and morphology of Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    Modified Kelly-Pettenkofer (MKP) medium is one of the several media used for isolation and cultivation of Borrelia. The aim of the study was to assess whether particular Borrelia species (B. afzelii, B. garinii, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto) have the ability to grow in MKP medium stored at +4 °C for periods for 1 month up to 1 year, and how prolonged storage may influences Borrelia growth and morphology. The growth of Borrelia was evaluated after 5 days of incubation at 33 °C: cell count per mL, morphology, and motility were assessed. The results of this study showed that the duration of storage of MKP medium had statistically significant influence on growth of B. afzelii (p = 0.021) and B. garinii (p = 0.004), but not on growth of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (p = 0.204), whereas duration of storage of the medium had no impact on Borrelia morphology and motility. The results of the study indicate that medium stored for more than 1 and up to 12 months supports Borrelia growth.

  8. Role of Osteopontin in Murine Lyme Arthritis and Host Defense against Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Potter, Melissa R.; Rittling, Susan R.; Denhardt, David T.; Roper, Randall J.; Weis, John H.; Teuscher, Cory; Weis, Janis J.

    2002-01-01

    Several genetic loci in the mouse have been identified that regulate the severity of Lyme arthritis. The region of chromosome 5 including the osteopontin (OPN) gene (Opn) has been identified in intercross populations of C3H/HeN × C57BL/6 and C3H/HeJ × BALB/cAnN mice. OPN is of particular interest as it is involved in the maintenance and remodeling of tissue during inflammation, it regulates production of interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-12 (cytokines implicated in Lyme arthritis), it is necessary for host control of certain bacterial infections, and mice displaying different severities of Lyme arthritis possess different alleles of the OPN gene. Macrophages and splenocytes from OPN-deficient mice on mixed C57BL/6J-129S or inbred 129S backgrounds were stimulated with the Pam3Cys modified lipoprotein from Borrelia burgdorferi, OspA. OPN was not required for OspA-induced cytokine production; however, macrophages from 129S-Opn−/− mice displayed a reduced level of IL-10 production. OPN was also not required for resistance to severe arthritis, as B. burgdorferi-infected 129S-Opn−/− mice developed mild arthritis, as did their wild-type littermates. Arthritis was more severe in OPN-deficient mice on the mixed C57BL/6J-129S backgrounds than in inbred mice of either strain. This increase was most likely due to a gene(s) closely linked to Opn on chromosome 5 in conjunction with other randomly assorting genes. Deficiency in OPN did not influence the numbers of spirochetes in tissues from B. burgdorferi-infected mice, indicating OPN is not part of the host defense to this pathogen. Interestingly, there was no alteration in the B. burgdorferi-specific antibody isotypes in OPN-deficient mice, indicating that its effect on helper T-cell responses is not relevant to the host response to B. burgdorferi. PMID:11854223

  9. Western gray squirrel (Rodentia: Sciuridae): a primary reservoir host of Borrelia burgdorferi in Californian oak woodlands?

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

    In California, dense woodlands have been recognized as important biotopes where humans are exposed to the nymphal stage of the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, the primary vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), in the far-western United States. To identify the principal reservoir host(s) of this spirochete, and of closely related spirochetes in the B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex, in dense woodlands in Mendocino County, California, approximately 50 species of birds and mammals, including wood rats and kangaroo rats, were evaluated as potential hosts for vector ticks and borreliae in 2002 and 2003. Although polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing analyses revealed that many vertebrate species had been exposed to one or more members of the B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetal complex, only the western gray squirrel, Sciurus griseus, fulfilled the major criteria for a reservoir host of B. burgdorferi s.s. Ear-punch biopsies from eight of 10 squirrels collected from five separate woodlands were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi s.s., 47% of I. pacificus larvae (n = 64) and 31% of nymphs (n = 49) removed from squirrels contained B. burgdorferi s.l., and the engorgement status of I. pacificus larvae was associated positively with acquisition of spirochetes. Overall, 83 and 100% of the amplicons sequenced from PCR-positive I. pacificus larvae and nymphs, respectively, were identified as B. burgdorferi s.s, Among the five remaining positive I. pacificus larvae, three contained B. bissettii and two had uncharacterized B. burgdorferi s.l. Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. was detected in one of five larvae and zero of two nymphs of the Pacific Coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, that likewise had been removed from squirrels. The rickettsial agent of human anaplasmosis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, was detected in the blood or ear biopsies of two squirrels and in one (1.6%) of 64 I. pacificus larvae and

  10. Lyme borreliosis caused by diverse genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in northeastern China.

    PubMed

    Ni, X-B; Jia, N; Jiang, B-G; Sun, T; Zheng, Y-C; Huo, Q-B; Liu, K; Ma, L; Zhao, Q-M; Yang, H; Wang, X; Jiang, J-F; Cao, W-C

    2014-08-01

    The variety of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi) genospecies leads to distinction in clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis (LB). There are reports of LB clinical characteristics in China, where the B. burgdorferi genospecies in ticks and animal hosts are different from those in Europe and North America. During May to September in 2010 and 2011, all patients who had erythema migrans (EM, more than 5 cm in diameter) after a recent tick-bite, and sought medical care at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital, Heilongjiang Province of northeastern China, were enrolled in the study. Specific PCR was used to determine the B. burgdorferi genospecies in the disseminated patients. Of 265 EM patients, B. burgdorferi DNA was detected in blood specimens from 15 of 55 disseminated patients. Sequence analyses of 5S-23S rRNA, flagellin, ospC, 16S rRNA and ospA genes revealed that 11 patients were infected with Borrelia garinii, three with Borrelia afzelii and one with Borrelia valaisiana-related genospecies. Among 15 patients, 40%, 13.3% and 13.3% manifested pruritus, pain and ulceration, respectively. Systemic symptoms, arthralgia or a swollen joint and lymphadenopathy were observed in 26.7%, 13.3% and 6.7% patients, respectively. In northeastern China, three genospecies of LB patients were detected. The B. burgdorferi genospecies identified in this study was predominantly B. garinii. A case infected with B. valaisiana-related genospecies was reported for the first time.

  11. 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

  12. Borrelia burgdorferi elongation factor EF-Tu is an immunogenic protein during Lyme borreliosis.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, Sebastian E; Yang, Youyun; Troxell, Bryan; Yang, Xiuli; Pal, Utpal; Yang, X Frank

    2015-09-02

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease, does not produce lipopolysaccharide but expresses a large number of lipoproteins on its cell surface. These outer membrane lipoproteins are highly immunogenic and have been used for serodiagnosis of Lyme disease. Recent studies have shown that highly conserved cytosolic proteins such as enolase and elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) unexpectedly localized on the surface of bacteria including B. burgdorferi, and surface-localized enolase has shown to contribute to the enzootic cycle of B. burgdorferi. In this study, we studied the immunogenicity, surface localization, and function of B. burgdorferi EF-Tu. We found that EF-Tu is highly immunogenic in mice, and EF-Tu antibodies were readily detected in Lyme disease patients. On the other hand, active immunization studies showed that EF-Tu antibodies did not protect mice from infection when challenged with B. burgdorferi via either needle inoculation or tick bites. Borrelial mouse-tick cycle studies showed that EF-Tu antibodies also did not block B. burgdorferi migration and survival in ticks. Consistent with these findings, we found that EF-Tu primarily localizes in the protoplasmic cylinder of spirochetes and is not on the surface of B. burgdorferi. Taken together, our studies suggest that B. burgdorferi EF-Tu is not surfaced exposed, but it is highly immunogenic and is a potential serodiagnostic marker for Lyme borreliosis.

  13. Investigation of Genotypes of Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis Ticks Collected during Surveillance in Canada ▿

    PubMed Central

    Ogden, N. H.; Margos, G.; Aanensen, D. M.; Drebot, M. A.; Feil, E. J.; Hanincová, K.; Schwartz, I.; Tyler, S.; Lindsay, L. R.

    2011-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the agent of Lyme disease in North America, has consequences for the performance of serological diagnostic tests and disease severity. To investigate B. burgdorferi diversity in Canada, where Lyme disease is emerging, bacterial DNA in 309 infected adult Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in surveillance was characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and analysis of outer surface protein C gene (ospC) alleles. Six ticks carried Borrelia miyamotoi, and one tick carried the novel species Borrelia kurtenbachii. 142 ticks carried B. burgdorferi sequence types (STs) previously described from the United States. Fifty-eight ticks carried B. burgdorferi of 1 of 19 novel or undescribed STs, which were single-, double-, or triple-locus variants of STs first described in the United States. Clonal complexes with founder STs from the United States were identified. Seventeen ospC alleles were identified in 309 B. burgdorferi-infected ticks. Positive and negative associations in the occurrence of different alleles in the same tick supported a hypothesis of multiple-niche polymorphism for B. burgdorferi in North America. Geographic analysis of STs and ospC alleles were consistent with south-to-north dispersion of infected ticks from U.S. sources on migratory birds. These observations suggest that the genetic diversity of B. burgdorferi in eastern and central Canada corresponds to that in the United States, but there was evidence for founder events skewing the diversity in emerging tick populations. Further studies are needed to investigate the significance of these observations for the performance of diagnostic tests and clinical presentation of Lyme disease in Canada. PMID:21421790

  14. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and co-infections with Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. in Ixodes ricinus in Hamburg, Germany.

    PubMed

    May, K; Jordan, D; Fingerle, V; Strube, C

    2015-12-01

    To obtain initial data on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) in Ixodes ricinus (Ixodida: Ixodidae) ticks in Hamburg, Germany, 1400 questing ticks were collected by flagging at 10 different public recreation areas in 2011 and analysed using probe-based quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The overall rate of infection with B. burgdorferi s.l. was 34.1%; 30.0% of adults were infected (36.7% of females and 26.0% of males), as were 34.5% of nymphs. Significant differences in tick infection rates were observed between the spring and summer/autumn months, as well as among sampling locations. Borrelia genospecies identification by reverse line blotting was successful in 43.6% of positive tick samples. The most frequent genospecies was Borrelia garinii/Borrelia bavariensis, followed by Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia valaisiana, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia spielmanii, Borrelia bissettii and Borrelia lusitaniae. Based on previously published data, co-infection of Borrelia and Rickettsiales spp. was determined in 25.8% of ticks. Overall, 22.9% of ticks were co-infected with Rickettsia spp. (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae), 1.7% with Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae), and 1.2% with both pathogens. Study results show a high prevalence of Borrelia-positive ticks in recreation areas in the northern German city of Hamburg and the potential health risk to humans in these areas should not be underestimated.

  15. Molecular Typing of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato by Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA Fingerprinting Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guiqing; van Dam, Alje P.; Spanjaard, Lodewijk; Dankert, Jacob

    1998-01-01

    To study whether pathogenic clusters of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strains occur, we typed 136 isolates, cultured from specimens from patients (n = 49) with various clinical entities and from ticks (n = 83) or dogs (n = 4) from different geographic regions, by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting with four arbitrary primers. The RAPD patterns were reproducible up to the 95% similarity level as shown in duplicate experiments. In these experiments the purified DNAs prepared on different days, from different colonies, and after various passages were used as templates. With an intergroup difference of 55%, the 136 strains could be divided into seven genetic clusters. Six clusters comprised and corresponded to the established species B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (n = 23), Borrelia garinii (n = 39), Borrelia afzelii (n = 59), Borrelia japonica (n = 1), Borrelia valaisiana (n = 12), and genomic group DN127 (n = 1). One strain from a patient with erythema migrans (EM) did not belong to any of the species or genomic groups known up to now. The RAPD types of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, and B. afzelii isolates, which may give rise to human Lyme borreliosis (LB), were associated with their geographic origins. A high degree of genetic diversity was observed among the 39 B. garinii strains, and six subgroups could be recognized. One of these comprised eight isolates from patients with disseminated LB only and no tick isolates. B. afzelii strains from patients with EM or acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans were not clustered in particular branches. Our study showed that RAPD analysis is a powerful tool for discriminating different Borrelia species as well as Borrelia isolates within species. PMID:9508310

  16. Critical Analysis of Treatment Trials of Rhesus Macaques Infected with Borrelia burgdorferi Reveals Important Flaws in Experimental Design

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Phillip J.; O'Connell, Susan; Pachner, Andrew R.; Schwartz, Ira; Shapiro, Eugene D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A critical analysis of two treatment trials of Chinese rhesus macaques infected with Borrelia burgdorferi indicates that insufficient attention was placed on documenting the blood levels, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic parameters of the antibiotics used in this host. Consequently, it is impossible to conclude that the findings have validity in judging the efficacy of doxycycline or ceftriaxone for the treatment of Borrelia burgdorferi in this animal model. PMID:22620495

  17. Association of urine protein excretion and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Bernese Mountain dogs.

    PubMed

    Gerber, Bernhard; Eichenberger, Simone; Haug, Katharinan; Wittenbrink, Max M; Reusch, Claudia E

    2009-12-01

    Bernese Mountain dogs (BMDs) are prone to develop a familial glomerulonephropathy and a pathogenic role of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in this disease has been suspected. Glomerular disease in many affected dogs is clinically inapparent and proteinuria is found incidentally. In this study, urine protein excretion was evaluated in 122 clinically healthy BMDs and 55 controls. The seroprevalence of B. burgdorferi in BMDs was 57%, compared to 16% in controls. There were no significant differences in the occurrence of positive dipstick results, microalbuminuria, urine protein-to-urine creatinine ratio or abnormal urine protein pattern (determined by sodium dodecyl sulphate agarose gel electrophoresis) between BMDs and controls and BMDs with and without antibodies against B. burgdorferi. It was concluded that antibodies against B. burgdorferi are not associated with proteinuria as an early sign of renal disease in BMDs.

  18. An Invasive Mammal (the Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis) Commonly Hosts Diverse and Atypical Genotypes of the Zoonotic Pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato.

    PubMed

    Millins, Caroline; Magierecka, Agnieszka; Gilbert, Lucy; Edoff, Alissa; Brereton, Amelia; Kilbride, Elizabeth; Denwood, Matt; Birtles, Richard; Biek, Roman

    2015-07-01

    Invasive vertebrate species can act as hosts for endemic pathogens and may alter pathogen community composition and dynamics. For the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, recent work shows invasive rodent species can be of high epidemiological importance and may support host-specific strains. This study examined the role of gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) (n = 679), an invasive species in the United Kingdom, as B. burgdorferi sensu lato hosts. We found that gray squirrels were frequently infested with Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the United Kingdom, and 11.9% were infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato. All four genospecies that occur in the United Kingdom were detected in gray squirrels, and unexpectedly, the bird-associated genospecies Borrelia garinii was most common. The second most frequent infection was with Borrelia afzelii. Genotyping of B. garinii and B. afzelii produced no evidence for strains associated with gray squirrels. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) identified tick infestation and date of capture as significant factors associated with B. burgdorferi sensu lato infection in gray squirrels, with infection elevated in early summer in squirrels infested with ticks. Invasive gray squirrels appear to become infected with locally circulating strains of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, and further studies are required to determine their role in community disease dynamics. Our findings highlight the fact that the role of introduced host species in B. burgdorferi sensu lato epidemiology can be highly variable and thus difficult to predict. Copyright © 2015, Millins et al.

  19. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection in a series of 98 primary cutaneous lymphomas.

    PubMed

    Ponzoni, Maurilio; Ferreri, Andrés J M; Mappa, Silvia; Pasini, Elisa; Govi, Silvia; Facchetti, Fabio; Fanoni, Daniele; Tucci, Alessandra; Vino, Arianna; Doglioni, Claudio; Berti, Emilio; Dolcetti, Riccardo

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi has been variably associated with different forms of primary cutaneous lymphoma. Differences in prevalence rates among reported studies could be a result of geographic variability or heterogeneity in the molecular approaches that have been employed. In the present study, we investigated the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in diagnostic tissue samples from fresh cutaneous biopsies of 98 primary cutaneous lymphomas and 19 normal skin controls. Three different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocols targeting the hbb, flagellin, and Osp-A genes were used. Direct sequencing of both sense and antisense strands of purified PCR products confirmed the specificity of the amplified fragments. Sequence specificity was assessed using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, and MultAlin software was used to investigate the heterogeneity of target gene sequences across the different samples. Borrelia DNA was not detected in 19 controls, 23 cases of follicular lymphoma, 31 cases of extranodal marginal zone lymphoma, or 30 cases of mycosis fungoides. A single case of 14 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cases was positive for B. burgdorferi. This study does not support a pathogenic role of B. burgdorferi in primary cutaneous B- and T-cell lymphomas from areas nonendemic for this microorganism and the consequent rationale for the adoption of antibiotic therapy in these patients.

  20. Prevalence of Borrelia Burgdorferi Infection in a Series of 98 Primary Cutaneous Lymphomas

    PubMed Central

    Ferreri, Andrés J. M.; Mappa, Silvia; Pasini, Elisa; Govi, Silvia; Facchetti, Fabio; Fanoni, Daniele; Tucci, Alessandra; Vino, Arianna; Doglioni, Claudio; Berti, Emilio; Dolcetti, Riccardo

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi has been variably associated with different forms of primary cutaneous lymphoma. Differences in prevalence rates among reported studies could be a result of geographic variability or heterogeneity in the molecular approaches that have been employed. In the present study, we investigated the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in diagnostic tissue samples from fresh cutaneous biopsies of 98 primary cutaneous lymphomas and 19 normal skin controls. Three different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocols targeting the hbb, flagellin, and Osp-A genes were used. Direct sequencing of both sense and antisense strands of purified PCR products confirmed the specificity of the amplified fragments. Sequence specificity was assessed using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, and MultAlin software was used to investigate the heterogeneity of target gene sequences across the different samples. Borrelia DNA was not detected in 19 controls, 23 cases of follicular lymphoma, 31 cases of extranodal marginal zone lymphoma, or 30 cases of mycosis fungoides. A single case of 14 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cases was positive for B. burgdorferi. This study does not support a pathogenic role of B. burgdorferi in primary cutaneous B- and T-cell lymphomas from areas nonendemic for this microorganism and the consequent rationale for the adoption of antibiotic therapy in these patients. PMID:22071292

  1. Detection of tick blood parasites in Egypt using PCR assay II- Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Adham, Fatma K; El-Samie-Abd, Emtithal M; Gabre, Refaat M; El Hussein, Hala

    2010-12-01

    The prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the etiologic agent of Lyme borrelosis (LB), was determined for the first time in Egypt by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Questing 5243 hard and soft ticks were collected from animal farms throughout Giza Governorate. DNA from 500 individual tick species was extracted and PCR was performed. Primers verified from the sequence of German strain Pko of Borrelia afzelii were used. Fragments of 642 bp were generated and sequenced. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) was 28% of examined soft and hard ticks. High infection rate (66%) of B. burgdorferi s.l. was observed in both nymph and adult soft ticks Ornithodoros savignyi. Beside, the role of hard ticks as potential vectors of Lyme disease in Egypt, where the infection rate was between 0.0-50.0%. Sequence analysis of PCR product of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato shares high degree of similarity in sequence compared to similar species in GenBank.

  2. Tick Infestation Risk and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Infection-Induced Increase in Host-Finding Efficacy of Female Ixodes ricinus Under Natural Conditions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-14

    Exp Appl Acarol (2008) 44:137-145 DOI 10.1007/s 10493-008-9131-4 Tick infestation risk and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection-induced increase in...together with the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection, was conducted in a sylvatic habitat in western Germany to provide data needed...seeking activity Borrelia burgdorferi s.1. Human exposure risk M. K. Faulde ([) Department of Medical Entomology/Zoology, Central Institute of the

  3. Few vertebrate species dominate the Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. life cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmeester, T. R.; Coipan, E. C.; van Wieren, S. E.; Prins, H. H. T.; Takken, W.; Sprong, H.

    2016-04-01

    Background. In the northern hemisphere, ticks of the Ixodidae family are vectors of diseases such as Lyme borreliosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-borne encephalitis. Most of these ticks are generalists and have a three-host life cycle for which they are dependent on three different hosts for their blood meal. Finding out which host species contribute most in maintaining ticks and the pathogens they transmit, is imperative in understanding the drivers behind the dynamics of a disease. Methods. We performed a systematic review to identify the most important vertebrate host species for Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. as a well-studied model system for tick-borne diseases. We analyzed data from 66 publications and quantified the relative contribution for 15 host species. Review results. We found a positive correlation between host body mass and tick burdens for the different stages of I. ricinus. We show that nymphal burdens of host species are positively correlated with infection prevalence with B. burgdorferi s.l., which is again positively correlated with the realized reservoir competence of a host species for B. burgdorferi s.l. Our quantification method suggests that only a few host species, which are amongst the most widespread species in the environment (rodents, thrushes and deer), feed the majority of I. ricinus individuals and that rodents infect the majority of I. ricinus larvae with B. burgdorferi s.l. Discussion. We argue that small mammal-transmitted Borrelia spp. are maintained due to the high density of their reservoir hosts, while bird-transmitted Borrelia spp. are maintained due to the high infection prevalence of their reservoir hosts. Our findings suggest that Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. populations are maintained by a few widespread host species. The increase in distribution and abundance of these species, could be the cause for the increase in Lyme borreliosis incidence in Europe in recent decades.

  4. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato detected in skin of Norwegian mountain hares (Lepus timidus) without signs of dissemination.

    PubMed

    Kjelland, Vivian; Ytrehus, Bjørnar; Vikørren, Turid; Stuen, Snorre; Skarpaas, Tone; Slettan, Audun

    2011-04-01

    The mountain hare (Lepus timidus) population in southern Norway appears to be in decline. Necropsy and laboratory examinations of 36 hares found dead or diseased during 2007-2009 in Vest- and Aust-Agder counties showed that disease and deaths were attributed to multiple causes, with no specific etiology emerging as a cause for population decline. To investigate whether Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) infection is associated with mortality in mountain hares, tissues and ticks collected from hares were investigated for infection with the spirochete. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. DNA was not detected in samples from internal organs, whereas Borrelia afzelii, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), and the not-yet-defined Borrelia sp. SV1 were found in skin samples from hares and in adult and nymphal Ixodes ricinus feeding on hares. Only B. burgdorferi s.s. and Borrelia sp. SV1 were detected in larvae feeding on hares. Our results indicate that disseminated Borrelia infection in hares rarely occurs and, presumably, does not play a central role in the suspected population decline. The results also suggest that the mountain hare to some degree functions as a transmission host for B. burgdorferi s.s. and Borrelia sp. SV1.

  5. Large scale spatial risk and comparative prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes pacificus.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Borrelia burgdorferi-pulsed dendritic cells induce a protective immune response against tick-transmitted spirochetes.

    PubMed Central

    Mbow, M L; Zeidner, N; Panella, N; Titus, R G; Piesman, J

    1997-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi-pulsed dendritic cells and epidermal cells were able to initiate the production of anti-outer surface protein A (OspA) antibody in vitro with normal T and B cells from either BALB/c or C3H/HeJ mice. Inhibition of anti-B. burgdorferi antibody production was observed after 3 days, but not after 2 days, of exposure of the antigen-presenting cells to tumor necrosis factor alpha +/- granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Furthermore, splenic dendritic cells pulsed in vitro with live B. burgdorferi spirochetes and then adoptively transferred into naive syngeneic mice mediated a protective immune response against tick-transmitted spirochetes. This protection appeared not to be due to killing of spirochetes in the feeding ticks, since ticks fed to repletion on B. burgdorferi-pulsed dendritic cell-sensitized mice still harbored live spirochetes. Western blot analysis of the sera collected from dendritic cell-sensitized mice demonstrated that the mice responded to a limited set of B. burgdorferi antigens, including OspA, -B, and -C compared to control groups that either had received unpulsed dendritic cells or were not treated. Finally, mice in the early stage of B. burgdorferi infection were able to develop anti-OspA antibody following injection with B. burgdorferi-pulsed dendritic cells. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adoptive transfer of B. burgdorferi-pulsed dendritic cells induces a protective immune response against tick-transmitted B. burgdorferi and stimulates the production of antibodies specific for a limited set of B. burgdorferi antigens in vivo. PMID:9234802

  8. Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from northwestern Spain.

    PubMed

    Pato, Francisco J; Panadero, Rosario; Vázquez, Luis; López, Ceferino M; Díaz, Pablo; Vázquez, Esther; Díez-Baños, Pablo; Morrondo, Patrocinio; Fernández, Gonzalo

    2013-09-01

    In the present study, the seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in roe deer in relation to different parameters in northwestern Spain was investigated. A total of 154 roe deer hunted between April 2007 and October 2008 from different localities of Galicia (northwest Spain) were examined. From each animal, a blood sample and all attached ticks found were collected. All the specimens for tick stages (larva, nymph, and adult) were speciated based on reference keys. Antibodies against B. burgdorferi were detected by indirect immunofluorescence (titer > or = 1:64). The percentage of roe deer seropositive for B. burgdorferi was 68.8% (106/ 154), of which 88.7% (94/106) were parasitized by ticks. Ixodes ricinus was the only species identified and was detected in 83.1% of roe deer with a mean (standard deviation [SD]) intensity of 46 +/- 47 ticks. Individual host characteristics such as age or sex did not have any effect on the prevalence of B. burgdorferi, but significant seasonal variation was observed, with higher prevalences in April-July than in August-October. Antibodies against B. burgdorferi were related to the presence of ticks. When analyzing all the factors together, the total number of ticks parasitizing roe deer was found as the most influential factor on B. burgdorferi prevalence. The results of this study have shown that roe deer in the northwest of Spain are highly exposed to B. burgdorferi and that exposure is related to the presence of I. ricinus.

  9. MLST of housekeeping genes captures geographic population structure and suggests a European origin of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Margos, Gabriele; Gatewood, Anne G.; Aanensen, David M.; Hanincová, Klára; Terekhova, Darya; Vollmer, Stephanie A.; Cornet, Muriel; Piesman, Joseph; Donaghy, Michael; Bormane, Antra; Hurn, Merrilee A.; Feil, Edward J.; Fish, Durland; Casjens, Sherwood; Wormser, Gary P.; Schwartz, Ira; Kurtenbach, Klaus

    2008-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis, caused by the tick-borne bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, has become the most common vector-borne disease in North America over the last three decades. To understand the dynamics of the epizootic spread and to predict the evolutionary trajectories of B. burgdorferi, accurate information on the population structure and the evolutionary relationships of the pathogen is crucial. We, therefore, developed a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for B. burgdorferi based on eight chromosomal housekeeping genes. We validated the MLST scheme on B. burgdorferi specimens from North America and Europe, comprising both cultured isolates and infected ticks. These data were compared with sequences for the commonly used genetic markers rrs-rrlA intergenic spacer (IGS) and the gene encoding the outer surface protein C (ospC). The study demonstrates that the concatenated sequences of the housekeeping genes of B. burgdorferi provide highly resolved phylogenetic signals and that the housekeeping genes evolve differently compared with the IGS locus and ospC. Using sequence data, the study reveals that North American and European populations of B. burgdorferi correspond to genetically distinct populations. Importantly, the MLST data suggest that B. burgdorferi originated in Europe rather than in North America as proposed previously. PMID:18574151

  10. Molecular and Pathogenic Characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Isolates from Spain

    PubMed Central

    Escudero, Raquel; Barral, Marta; Pérez, Azucena; Vitutia, M. Mar; García-Pérez, Ana L.; Jiménez, Santos; Sellek, Ricela E.; Anda, Pedro

    2000-01-01

    Fifteen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolates from questing ticks and skin biopsy specimens from erythema migrans patients in three different areas of Spain were characterized. Four different genospecies were found (nine Borrelia garinii, including the two human isolates, three B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, two B. valaisiana, and one B. lusitaniae), showing a diverse spectrum of B. burgdorferi sensu lato species. B. garinii isolates were highly variable in terms of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern and OspA serotype, with four of the seven serotypes described. One of the human isolates was OspA serotype 5, the same found in four of seven tick isolates. The second human isolate was OspA serotype 3, which was not present in ticks from the same area. Seven B. garinii isolates were able to disseminate through the skin of C3H/HeN mice and to cause severe inflammation of joints. One of the two B. valaisiana isolates also caused disease in mice. Only one B. burgdorferi sensu stricto isolate was recovered from the urinary bladder. One isolate each of B. valaisiana and B. lusitaniae were not able to disseminate through the skin of mice or to infect internal organs. In summary, there is substantial diversity in the species and in the pathogenicity of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in areas in northern Spain where Lyme disease is endemic. PMID:11060064

  11. First detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus halli).

    PubMed

    Schramm, Frédéric; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Fournier, Jean-Charles; McCoy, Karen D; Barthel, Cathy; Postic, Danièle; Handrich, Yves; Le Maho, Yvon; Jaulhac, Benoît

    2014-10-01

    The hard tick Ixodes uriae parasitises a wide range of seabird species in the circumpolar areas of both Northern and Southern hemispheres and has been shown to be infected with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the bacterial agents of Lyme borreliosis. Although it is assumed that seabirds represent viable reservoir hosts, direct demonstrations of infection are limited to a single study from the Northern hemisphere. Here, the blood of 50 tick-infested adult king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus halli) breeding in the Crozet Archipelago (Southern Indian Ocean) was examined for B. burgdorferi sl exposure by serology and for spirochetemia by in vitro DNA amplification. Four birds were found positive by serology, whereas B. burgdorferi sl DNA was detected in two other birds. Our data therefore provide the first direct proof of Borrelia burgdorferi sl spirochetes in seabirds of the Southern hemisphere and indicate a possible reservoir role for king penguins in the natural maintenance of this bacterium. Although the bacterial genetic diversity present in these hosts and the infectious period for tick vectors remain to be elucidated, our results add to a growing body of knowledge on the contribution of seabirds to the complex epizootiology of Lyme disease and the global dissemination of B. burgdorferi sl spirochetes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. Molecular Evidence of Coinfection of Ticks with Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato and the Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Agent in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Leutenegger, Christian M.; Pusterla, Nicola; Mislin, Caroline N.; Weber, Rainer; Lutz, Hans

    1999-01-01

    Adult Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in Switzerland and tested for the presence of coinfection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent by real-time PCR. Of 100 ticks, 49% were positive for B. burgdorferi and 2% were positive for the HGE agent. The two HGE agent-positive ticks were also found to be positive for B. burgdorferi. PMID:10488215

  13. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks from wildlife hosts, a response to Norris et al.

    PubMed

    Esteve-Gassent, Maria D; Grover, Abha; Feria-Arroyo, Teresa P; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Medina, Raul F; Gordillo-Pérez, Guadalupe; de León, Adalberto A Pérez

    2015-02-27

    In a recent Letter to the Editor, Norris et al. questioned the validity of some of our data reported by Feria-Arroyo et al. The main issue investigated by us was the potential impact of climate change on the probable distribution of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region. As an ancillary issue, an analysis of sequence data for the intergenic spacer of Borrelia burgdorferi was conducted. In the present letter, we provide further evidence supporting our original results, and advocate that extensive study of the population genetics of B. burgdorferi is needed in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region.

  14. Conformational Nature of the Borrelia burgdorferi Decorin Binding Protein A Epitopes That Elicit Protective Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Ulbrandt, Nancy D.; Cassatt, David R.; Patel, Nita K.; Roberts, William C.; Bachy, Christine M.; Fazenbaker, Christine A.; Hanson, Mark S.

    2001-01-01

    Decorin binding protein A (DbpA) has been shown by several laboratories to be a protective antigen for the prevention of experimental Borrelia burgdorferi infection in the mouse model of Lyme borreliosis. However, different recombinant forms of the antigen having either lipidated amino termini, approximating the natural secretion and posttranslational processing, or nonprocessed cytosolic forms have elicited disparate levels of protection in the mouse model. We have now used the unique functional properties of this molecule to investigate the structural requirements needed to elicit a protective immune response. Genetic and physicochemical alterations to DbpA showed that the ability to bind to the ligand decorin is indicative of a potent immunogen but is not conclusive. By mutating the two carboxy-terminal nonconserved cysteines of DbpA from B. burgdorferi strain N40, we have determined that the stability afforded by the putative disulfide bond is essential for the generation of protective antibodies. This mutated protein was more sensitive to thermal denaturation and proteolysis, suggesting that it is in a less ordered state. Immunization with DbpA that was thermally denatured and functionally inactivated stimulated an immune response that was not protective and lacked bactericidal antibodies. Antibodies against conformationally altered forms of DbpA also failed to kill heterologous B. garinii and B. afzelii strains. Additionally, nonsecreted recombinant forms of DbpAN40 were found to be inferior to secreted lipoprotein DbpAN40 in terms of functional activity and antigenic potency. These data suggest that elicitation of a bactericidal and protective immune response to DbpA requires a properly folded conformation for the production of functional antibodies. PMID:11447153

  15. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato-infected ticks on migrating birds.

    PubMed Central

    Olsén, B; Jaenson, T G; Bergström, S

    1995-01-01

    The prevalence of Lyme disease Borrelia-infected ticks on migrating birds was studied in Scandinavia. A total of 22,998 birds were caught at eight different bird observatories and examined for ticks. Five different species of ticks were found infesting the birds. The dominant species, Ixodesricinus, constituted 98.3% of the ticks collected. The presence of spirochetes was determined by an immunofluorescence assay of tick larvae and DNA amplification by PCR on all ticks. To determine which Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species were present, a species classification was performed by DNA amplification with species-specific 16S rDNA primers and by DNA sequencing (rDNA is DNA coding for rRNA). Flagellin gene sequences of all species of B. burgdorferi sensu lato previously recorded in Europe were observed. Borrelia garinii was the most prevalent Lyme disease Borrelia species in ticks collected from birds arriving from the South or Southeast in the spring, whereas the distribution was more heterogeneous in ticks from birds migrating from the Southwest. These data support the notion that birds are partly responsible for the heterogeneous distribution of Lyme disease Borrelia spirochetes in Europe. PMID:7487041

  16. A Manganese-rich Environment Supports Superoxide Dismutase Activity in a Lyme Disease Pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi*

    PubMed Central

    Aguirre, J. Dafhne; Clark, Hillary M.; McIlvin, Matthew; Vazquez, Christine; Palmere, Shaina L.; Grab, Dennis J.; Seshu, J.; Hart, P. John; Saito, Mak; Culotta, Valeria C.

    2013-01-01

    The Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi represents a novel organism in which to study metalloprotein biology in that this spirochete has uniquely evolved with no requirement for iron. Not only is iron low, but we show here that B. burgdorferi has the capacity to accumulate remarkably high levels of manganese. This high manganese is necessary to activate the SodA superoxide dismutase (SOD) essential for virulence. Using a metalloproteomic approach, we demonstrate that a bulk of B. burgdorferi SodA directly associates with manganese, and a smaller pool of inactive enzyme accumulates as apoprotein. Other metalloproteins may have similarly adapted to using manganese as co-factor, including the BB0366 aminopeptidase. Whereas B. burgdorferi SodA has evolved in a manganese-rich, iron-poor environment, the opposite is true for Mn-SODs of organisms such as Escherichia coli and bakers' yeast. These Mn-SODs still capture manganese in an iron-rich cell, and we tested whether the same is true for Borrelia SodA. When expressed in the iron-rich mitochondria of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, B. burgdorferi SodA was inactive. Activity was only possible when cells accumulated extremely high levels of manganese that exceeded cellular iron. Moreover, there was no evidence for iron inactivation of the SOD. B. burgdorferi SodA shows strong overall homology with other members of the Mn-SOD family, but computer-assisted modeling revealed some unusual features of the hydrogen bonding network near the enzyme's active site. The unique properties of B. burgdorferi SodA may represent adaptation to expression in the manganese-rich and iron-poor environment of the spirochete. PMID:23376276

  17. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, within southwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Brown, Scott M; Lehman, Preston M; Kern, Ryan A; Henning, Jill D

    2015-06-01

    Prevalence studies of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum have been rare for ticks from southwestern Pennsylvania. We collected 325 Ixodes scapularis ticks between 2011 and 2012 from four counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. We tested for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum using PCR. Of the ticks collected from Pennsylvania, B. burgdorferi (causative agent of Lyme disease) was present in 114/325 (35%) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (causative agent of Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis) was present in 48/325 (15%) as determined by PCR analysis.

  18. Songbirds as general transmitters but selective amplifiers of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genotypes in Ixodes rinicus ticks.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; Matthysen, Erik; Fonville, Manoj; Sprong, Hein

    2014-09-01

    We investigated to what extent a European songbird (Parus major) selectively transmits and amplifies Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. bacteria. Borrelia-naïve birds were recurrently exposed to Ixodes ricinus nymphs carrying a community of more than 34 5S-23S genotypes belonging to five genospecies (Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia afzelii, B. burgdorferi s.s. and Borrelia spielmanii). Fed ticks were screened for Borrelia after moulting. We found evidence for co-feeding transmission of avian and possibly also mammalian genotypes. Throughout the course of infestations, the infection rate of B. garinii and B. valaisiana increased, indicating successful amplification and transmission, while the infection rate for B. afzelii, B. burgdorferi s.s and B. spielmanii tended to decrease. Within the B. garinii and B. valaisiana genotype communities, certain genotypes were transmitted more than others. Moreover, birds were able to host mixed infections of B. garinii and B. valaisiana, as well as mixed infections of genotypes of the same genospecies. We experimentally show that resident songbirds transmit a broad range of Borrelia genotypes, but selectively amplify certain genotypes, and that one bird can transmit simultaneously several genotypes. Our results highlight the need to explicitly consider the association between genotypes and hosts, which may offer opportunities to point out which hosts are most responsible for the Borrelia presence in questing ticks.

  19. Distinct Combinations of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Genospecies Found in Individual Questing Ticks from Europe

    PubMed Central

    Kurtenbach, Klaus; De Michelis, Simona; Sewell, Henna-Sisko; Etti, Susanne; Schäfer, Stefanie M.; Hails, Rosie; Collares-Pereira, Margarida; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Haninçová, Klára; Labuda, Milan; Bormane, Antra; Donaghy, Michael

    2001-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was assessed in individual adult Ixodes ricinus ticks from Europe by direct PCR amplification of spirochetal DNA followed by genospecies-specific hybridization. Analysis of mixed infections in the ticks showed that B. garinii and B. valaisiana segregate from B. afzelii. This and previous findings suggest that host complement interacts with spirochetes in the tick, thereby playing an important role in the ecology of Lyme borreliosis. PMID:11571205

  20. Lyme disease: prevalence and clinical importance of Borrelia burgdorferi specific IgG in forestry workers.

    PubMed

    Guy, E C; Bateman, D E; Martyn, C N; Heckels, J E; Lawton, N F

    1989-03-04

    41 forestry workers, who had a high occupational risk of tick-bites, were screened for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi by ELISA and western blotting techniques, and questioned about possible symptoms of Lyme disease. Antibodies were detected in 10 of the 40 men who had been bitten by ticks. Definite symptoms of Lyme disease, in the form of erythema migrans, were reported by only 2 workers and none had a history of neurological illness.

  1. Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, and Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis, Southern Coastal Maine

    PubMed Central

    Caporale, Diane A.; Goldberg, John; Lacombe, Eleanor; Lubelczyk, Charles; Rand, Peter W.; Smith, Robert P.

    2004-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis (deer ticks) from Maine were tested for multiple infections by polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence. In 1995, 29.5%, 9.5%, and 1.9% of deer ticks were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti, respectively. In 1996 and 1997, the number of A. phagocytophilum-infected ticks markedly declined. In 1995 through 1996, 4 (1.3%) of 301 were co-infected. PMID:15200875

  2. A Novel Isothermal Assay of Borrelia burgdorferi by Recombinase Polymerase Amplification with Lateral Flow Detection.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Liu, Hui-Xin; Zhang, Lin; Hou, Xue-Xia; Wan, Kang-Lin; Hao, Qin

    2016-08-03

    A novel isothermal detection for recombinase polymerase amplification with lateral flow (LF-RPA) was established for Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) detection in this study. This assay with high sensitivity and specificity can get a visible result without any additional equipment in 30 min. We designed a pair of primers according to recA gene of B. burgdorferi strains and a methodology evaluation was performed. The results showed that the RPA assay based on the recA gene was successfully applied in B. burgdorferi detection, and its specific amplification was only achieved from the genomic DNA of B. burgdorferi. The detection limit of the new assay was about 25 copies of the B. burgdorferi genomic DNA. Twenty Lyme borreliosis patients' serum samples were detected by LF-RPA assay, real-time qPCR and nested-PCR. Results showed the LF-RPA assay is more effective than nested-PCR for its shorter reaction time and considerably higher detection rate. This method is of great value in clinical rapid detection for Lyme borreliosis. Using the RPA assay might be a megatrend for DNA detection in clinics and endemic regions.

  3. The Nucleotide Excision Repair Pathway Protects Borrelia burgdorferi from Nitrosative Stress in Ixodes scapularis Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Bourret, Travis J.; Lawrence, Kevin A.; Shaw, Jeff A.; Lin, Tao; Norris, Steven J.; Gherardini, Frank C.

    2016-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi encounters a wide range of environmental conditions as it cycles between ticks of the genus Ixodes and its various mammalian hosts. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are potent antimicrobial molecules generated during the innate immune response to infection, however, it is unclear whether ROS and RNS pose a significant challenge to B. burgdorferi in vivo. In this study, we screened a library of B. burgdorferi strains with mutations in DNA repair genes for increased susceptibility to ROS or RNS in vitro. Strains with mutations in the methyl-directed mismatch repair gene mutS1 are hypersensitive to killing by ROS, while strains lacking the nucleotide excision repair (NER) gene uvrB show increased susceptibility to both ROS and RNS. Therefore, mutS1-deficient and uvrB-deficient strains were compared for their ability to complete their infectious cycle in Swiss Webster mice and I. scapularis ticks to help identify sites of oxidative and nitrosative stresses encountered by B. burgdorferi in vivo. Both mutS1 and uvrB were dispensable for infection of mice, while uvrB promoted the survival of spirochetes in I. scapularis ticks. The decreased survival of uvrB-deficient B. burgdorferi was associated with the generation of RNS in I. scapularis midguts and salivary glands during feeding. Collectively, these data suggest that B. burgdorferi must withstand cytotoxic levels of RNS produced during infection of I. scapularis ticks. PMID:27656169

  4. Detection of Borreliacidal Antibodies in Dogs after Challenge with Borrelia burgdorferi-Infected Ixodes scapularis Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Callister, Steven M.; Jobe, Dean A.; Schell, Ronald F.; Lovrich, Steven D.; Onheiber, Keysha L.; Korshus, Jon B.

    2000-01-01

    Detection of borreliacidal antibodies is an accurate serodiagnostic test for confirmation of Lyme disease in humans. In this study, 13 pathogen-free beagles, 12 to 26 weeks old, were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by tick challenge. Dogs were monitored for clinical signs and symptoms of Lyme disease along with borreliacidal antibody production against B. burgdorferi sensu stricto isolates 297 and 50772. Ten (77%) dogs developed lameness in one or more legs within 210 days after attachment of Ixodes scapularis ticks. Eight (80%) of the lame animals had concurrent fever of ≥38°C. Spirochetes were also recovered from the skin and joints of 12 (92%) dogs, but rarely from other organs. Borreliacidal antibodies against B. burgdorferi isolate 297 were detected in only four (31%) dogs, and the levels of killing antibodies remained low for the duration of the infection. In contrast, borreliacidal antibodies against B. burgdorferi isolate 50772 were detected in 13 (100%) dogs within 21 days of infection. Furthermore, the borreliacidal antibody levels correlated with the severity of B. burgdorferi infection. Detection of borreliacidal antibodies, especially against B. burgdorferi isolate 50772, is also a reliable serodiagnostic test for detection of Lyme disease in dogs. PMID:11015381

  5. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in lizards and their ticks from Hungary.

    PubMed

    Földvári, Gábor; Rigó, Krisztina; Majláthová, Viktória; Majláth, Igor; Farkas, Róbert; Pet'ko, Branislav

    2009-06-01

    To investigate the involvement of lizard species in the natural cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in Hungary, a total of 186 reptiles belonging to three species--126 green lizards (Lacerta viridis), 40 Balkan wall lizards (Podarcis taurica), and 20 sand lizards (Lacerta agilis)--were captured in 2007 and 2008. All ticks removed from the lizards were Ixodes ricinus, either larvae (324/472; 68.6%) or nymphs (148/472; 31.4%). More than half (66/126; 52.4%) of L. viridis individuals were infested, and the prevalence of tick infestation on both the other two species was 35% each. All 472 I. ricinus ticks and tissue samples collected from 134 collar scales and 62 toe clips of lizards were further analyzed for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. with polymerase chain reaction. The amplification of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA was successful in 8% (n = 92) of L. viridis, 9% (n = 32) of P. taurica, and 10% (n = 10) of L. agilis tissue samples. Restriction fragment length polymorphism genotyping identified the species Borrelia lusitaniae in all tested lizard samples. Prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in ticks collected from L. viridis, P. taurica, and L. agilis was 8%, 2%, and 0%, respectively. Most of the infected ticks carried B. lusitaniae (74% of genotyped positives); however, Borrelia afzelii (5%) and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (21%) were detected in ticks removed from green lizards and Balkan wall lizards, respectively. We conclude that lizards, particularly L. viridis, can be important hosts for I. ricinus larvae and nymphs; thus, they can be regarded as reservoirs of these important pathogen vectors. The role of green lizards has been confirmed, and the implication of Balkan wall lizards is suggested in the natural cycle of B. lusitaniae at our study site.

  6. Metamorphosis of Borrelia burgdorferi organisms--RNA, lipid and protein composition in context with the spirochetes' shape.

    PubMed

    Al-Robaiy, Samiya; Dihazi, Hassan; Kacza, Johannes; Seeger, Johannes; Schiller, Jürgen; Huster, Daniel; Knauer, Jens; Straubinger, Reinhard K

    2010-12-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, has the ability to undergo morphological transformation from a motile spirochetal to non-motile spherical shape when it encounters unfavorable conditions. However, little information is available on the mechanism that enables the bacterium to change its shape and whether major components of the cells--nucleic acids, proteins, lipids--are possibly modified during the process. Deducing from investigations utilizing electron microscopy, it seems that shape alteration begins with membrane budding followed by folding of the protoplasmatic cylinder inside the outer surface membrane. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that a deficiency in producing functioning periplasmic flagella did not hinder sphere formation. Further, it was shown that the spirochetes' and spheres' lipid compositions were indistinguishable. Neither phosphatidylcholine nor phosphatidylglycerol were altered by the structural transformation. In addition, no changes in differential protein expression were detected during this process. However, minimal degradation of RNA and a reduced antigen-antibody binding activity were observed with advanced age of the spheres. The results of our comparisons and the failure to generate mutants lacking the ability to convert to spheres suggest that the metamorphosis of B. burgdorferi results in a conditional reconstruction of the outer membrane. The spheres, which appear to be more resistant to unfavorable conditions and exhibit reduced immune reactivity when compared to spirochetes, might allow the B. burgdorferi to escape complete clearance and possibly ensure long-term survival in the host.

  7. Why are there several species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato detected in dogs and humans?

    PubMed

    Skotarczak, Bogumiła

    2014-04-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is a group of spirochete bacteria species some of which cause borreliosis in humans and dogs. Humans and dogs are susceptible to illness from many of the same tick-borne pathogens, including B. burgdorferi s.l. (Bbsl). Little is known about the pathogenic role of the species of Bbsl in canines. The molecular methods which detect and amplify the DNA of borreliae and allow differentiating borreliae species or strains have not been used in canine diagnostics yet. Until now, it has been believed that in European dogs, like in humans, at least three pathogenic species occur but the most frequently described symptoms may be associated with the infection caused by B. burgdorferi sensu stricto species. A dog as well as a human is a host for many species of Bbsl, because borreliacidal ability of serum of dogs and humans is evident only in certain genospecies of Bbsl. Therefore both a dog and a human harbor more species than in case of some wild animal species which create older phylogenetic Bbsl species-host systems and these animals may act even as a non-competent reservoir host. Apart from many genospecies of Bbsl, a dog harbors other tick-borne agents and dual or triple infections may occur.

  8. Serological and molecular evidence for spotted fever group Rickettsia and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato co-infections in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Koetsveld, Joris; Tijsse-Klasen, Ellen; Herremans, Tineke; Hovius, Joppe W R; Sprong, Hein

    2016-03-01

    Only a few reported cases indicate that Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis can cause disease in humans. Exposure to these two spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae occurs through bites of Ixodes ricinus, also the primary vector of Lyme borreliosis in Europe. To date, it is unclear how often exposure to these two microorganisms results in infection or disease. We show that of all the Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.-positive ticks, 25% were co-infected with rickettsiae. Predominantly R. helvetica was detected while R. monacensis was only found in approximately 2% of the ticks. In addition, exposure to tick-borne pathogens was compared by serology in healthy blood donors, erythema migrans (EM)-patients, and patients suspected of Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB). As could be expected, seroreactivity against B. burgdorferi sensu lato was lower in blood donors (6%) compared to EM patients (34%) and suspected LNB cases (64%). Interestingly, seroreactivity against SFG Rickettsia antigens was not detected in serum samples from blood donors (0%), but 6% of the EM patients and 21% of the LNB suspects showed anti-rickettsial antibodies. Finally, the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. and Rickettsia spp. in cerebrospinal fluid samples of a large cohort of patients suspected of LNB (n=208) was investigated by PCR. DNA of B. burgdorferi s.l., R. helvetica and R. monacensis was detected in seventeen, four and one patient, respectively. In conclusion, our data show that B. burgdorferi s.l. and SFG rickettsiae co-infection occurs in Dutch I. ricinus and that Lyme borreliosis patients, or patients suspected of Lyme borreliosis, are indeed exposed to both tick-borne pathogens. Whether SFG rickettsiae actually cause disease, and whether co-infections alter the clinical course of Lyme borreliosis, is not clear from our data, and warrants further investigation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. [Study of the anti Borrelia burgdorferi antibody of hunters in Hokkaido].

    PubMed

    Kubo, N; Arashima, Y; Kawabata, M; Kawano, K; Nakao, M; Miyamoto, K

    1992-01-01

    We examined the sera of 587 hunters in Hokkaido (Japan's northernmost island) for the antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) by enzyme immunoassay, clarified the conditions related to antibody positivity in these subjects according to region, and studied the effects of factors such as age and lifestyle on the antibody titer. In contrast with an anti-B. burgdorferi antibody positive rate of 7.1% in control sera, that in the hunters' sera was 16.0%. Among those positive for the anti-B. burgdorferi antibody, the antibody positive rate in sera excluding those testing positive in the serological test for syphilis was 5.5% in the controls, and 15.4% in the hunters, the latter rate being significantly higher (p less than 0.05). In both hunters and control groups, the antibody-positive rate tended to be higher in older subjects, but the antibody titer showed no correlation with their age, or the duration of their hunting experience. Examination of the hunters' occupations revealed a tendency toward high titers in those engaged in dairy farming. The antibody positivity of those who went gathering edible wild plants was significantly higher than those did not (p less than 0.05). These observations suggested that the high antibody-positive rate in hunters may have been due largely to the effect of activities other than hunting as sources of infection by Borrelia.

  10. Differences in Genotype, Clinical Features, and Inflammatory Potential of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto Strains from Europe and the United States.

    PubMed

    Cerar, Tjasa; Strle, Franc; Stupica, Dasa; Ruzic-Sabljic, Eva; McHugh, Gail; Steere, Allen C; Strle, Klemen

    2016-05-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto isolates from patients with erythema migrans in Europe and the United States were compared by genotype, clinical features of infection, and inflammatory potential. Analysis of outer surface protein C and multilocus sequence typing showed that strains from these 2 regions represent distinct genotypes. Clinical features of infection with B. burgdorferi in Slovenia were similar to infection with B. afzelii or B. garinii, the other 2 Borrelia spp. that cause disease in Europe, whereas B. burgdorferi strains from the United States were associated with more severe disease. Moreover, B. burgdorferi strains from the United States induced peripheral blood mononuclear cells to secrete higher levels of cytokines and chemokines associated with innate and Th1-adaptive immune responses, whereas strains from Europe induced greater Th17-associated responses. Thus, strains of the same B. burgdorferi species from Europe and the United States represent distinct clonal lineages that vary in virulence and inflammatory potential.

  11. Identification of novel activity against Borrelia burgdorferi persisters using an FDA approved drug library.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jie; Wang, Ting; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Sullivan, David; Auwaerter, Paul G; Zhang, Ying

    2014-07-01

    Although antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease is effective in the majority of cases, especially during the early phase of the disease, a minority of patients suffer from post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). It is unclear what mechanisms drive this problem, and although slow or ineffective killing of Borrelia burgdorferi has been suggested as an explanation, there is a lack of evidence that viable organisms are present in PTLDS. Although not a clinical surrogate, insight may be gained by examining stationary-phase in vitro Borrelia burgdorferi persisters that survive treatment with the antibiotics doxycycline and amoxicillin. To identify drug candidates that can eliminate B. burgdorferi persisters more effectively, we screened an Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug library consisting of 1524 compounds against stationary-phase B. burgdorferi by using a newly developed high throughput SYBR Green I/propidium iodide (PI) assay. We identified 165 agents approved for use in other disease conditions that had more activity than doxycycline and amoxicillin against B. burgdorferi persisters. The top 27 drug candidates from the 165 hits were confirmed to have higher anti-persister activity than the current frontline antibiotics. Among the top 27 confirmed drug candidates from the 165 hits, daptomycin, clofazimine, carbomycin, sulfa drugs (e.g., sulfamethoxazole), and certain cephalosporins (e.g. cefoperazone) had the highest anti-persister activity. In addition, some drug candidates, such as daptomycin and clofazimine (which had the highest activity against non-growing persisters), had relatively poor activity or a high minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) against growing B. burgdorferi. Our findings may have implications for the development of a more effective treatment for Lyme disease and for the relief of long-term symptoms that afflict some Lyme disease patients.

  12. Identification of novel activity against Borrelia burgdorferi persisters using an FDA approved drug library

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jie; Wang, Ting; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Sullivan, David; Auwaerter, Paul G; Zhang, Ying

    2014-01-01

    Although antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease is effective in the majority of cases, especially during the early phase of the disease, a minority of patients suffer from post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). It is unclear what mechanisms drive this problem, and although slow or ineffective killing of Borrelia burgdorferi has been suggested as an explanation, there is a lack of evidence that viable organisms are present in PTLDS. Although not a clinical surrogate, insight may be gained by examining stationary-phase in vitro Borrelia burgdorferi persisters that survive treatment with the antibiotics doxycycline and amoxicillin. To identify drug candidates that can eliminate B. burgdorferi persisters more effectively, we screened an Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug library consisting of 1524 compounds against stationary-phase B. burgdorferi by using a newly developed high throughput SYBR Green I/propidium iodide (PI) assay. We identified 165 agents approved for use in other disease conditions that had more activity than doxycycline and amoxicillin against B. burgdorferi persisters. The top 27 drug candidates from the 165 hits were confirmed to have higher anti-persister activity than the current frontline antibiotics. Among the top 27 confirmed drug candidates from the 165 hits, daptomycin, clofazimine, carbomycin, sulfa drugs (e.g., sulfamethoxazole), and certain cephalosporins (e.g. cefoperazone) had the highest anti-persister activity. In addition, some drug candidates, such as daptomycin and clofazimine (which had the highest activity against non-growing persisters), had relatively poor activity or a high minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) against growing B. burgdorferi. Our findings may have implications for the development of a more effective treatment for Lyme disease and for the relief of long-term symptoms that afflict some Lyme disease patients. PMID:26038747

  13. Proteomic Analysis of Lyme Disease: Global Protein Comparison of Three Strains of Borrelia burgdorferi

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobs, Jon M.; Yang, Xiaohua; Luft, Benjamin J.; Dunn, John J.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.

    2005-04-01

    The Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. It has been studied extensively to help understand its pathogenicity of infection and how it can persist in different mammalian hosts. We report the proteomic analysis of the archetype B. burgdorferi B31 strain and two other strains (ND40, and JD-1) having different Borrelia pathotypes using strong cation exchange fractionation of proteolytic peptides followed by high-resolution, reversed phase capillary liquid chromatography coupled with ion trap tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS/MS) analysis. Protein identification was facilitated by the availability of the complete B31 genome sequence. A total of 665 Borrelia proteins were identified representing ~38 % coverage of the theoretical B31 proteome. A significant overlap was observed between the identified proteins in direct comparisons between any two strains (>72%), but distinct differences were observed among identified hypothetical and outer membrane proteins of the three strains. Such a concurrent proteomic overview of three Borrelia strains based upon only the B31 genome sequence is shown to provide significant insights into the presence or absence of specific proteins and a broad overall comparison among strains.

  14. Prevalence of serological response to Borrelia burgdorferi in farmers from eastern and central Poland.

    PubMed

    Zając, V; Pinkas, J; Wójcik-Fatla, A; Dutkiewicz, J; Owoc, A; Bojar, I

    2017-03-01

    Lyme borreliosis (Lyme disease) caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochete is the most common tick-borne infection manifested by a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms. In Poland, the preventive health care does not comprise individual farmers as it is practiced in foresters. The objective of this study was to evaluate the exposure of Polish farmers to infection with B. burgdorferi, based on serological screening test and epidemiological investigation. A total of 3,597 farmers were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi antibodies, as well as interviewed regarding exposure to ticks and prophylaxis of tick-borne diseases. The prevalence varied between 18.2 and 50.7 % suggesting a focal occurrence of borreliosis. A significant increase in the frequency of positive reactions in the oldest age ranges was observed, equaling 30.9 % in the range of 60-69 years and 53.6 % in the range of 80-91 years. The prevalence of the anti-B. burgdorferi antibodies of IgG class (14.7 %) was similar to that of IgM class (16.0 %). Seroreactivity to B. burgdorferi antigen was significantly higher in the group of farmers exposed to repeated tick bites. Significant relationships were also found between some other risk factors and occurrence of seropositive reactions to B. burgdorferi. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study concerning seroprevalence to B. burgdorferi carried out on such a large group of farmers. Results indicate a high risk of B. burgdorferi infection among Polish farmers and associations between some risk factors and the presence of seropositive reactions.

  15. Transmission cycles of Borrelia burgdorferi and B. bissettii in relation to habitat type in northwestern California.

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

    This study was undertaken to determine which rodent species serve as primary reservoirs for the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in commonly occurring woodland types in inland areas of northwestern California, and to examine whether chaparral or grassland serve as source habitats for dispersal of B. burgdorferi- or B. bissettii-infected rodents into adjacent woodlands. The western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) was commonly infected with B. burgdorferi in oak woodlands, whereas examination of 30 dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) and 280 Peromyscus spp. mice from 13 widely spaced Mendocino County woodlands during 2002 and 2003 yielded only one infected woodrat and one infected deer mouse (P. maniculatus). These data suggest that western gray squirrels account for the majority of production by rodents of fed Ixodes pacificus larvae infected with B. burgdorferi in the woodlands sampled. Infections with B. burgdorferi also were rare in woodrats (0/47, 0/3) and mice (3/66, 1/6) captured in chaparral and grassland, respectively, and therefore these habitats are unlikely sources for dispersal of this spirochete into adjacent woodlands. On the other hand, B. bissettii was commonly detected in both woodrats (22/47) and mice (15/66) in chaparral. We conclude that the data from this and previous studies in northwestern California are suggestive of a pattern where inland oak-woodland habitats harbor a B. burgdorferi transmission cycle driven primarily by I. pacificus and western gray squirrels, whereas chaparral habitats contain a B. bissettii transmission cycle perpetuated largely by I. spinipalpis, woodrats and Peromyscus mice. The dominant role of western gray squirrels as reservoirs of B. burgdorferi in certain woodlands offers intriguing opportunities for preventing Lyme disease by targeting these animals by means of either host-targeted acaricides or oral vaccination against B. burgdorferi.

  16. Transmission cycles of Borrelia burgdorferi and B. bissettii in relation to habitat type in northwestern California

    PubMed Central

    Eisen, Lars; Eisen, Rebecca J.; Mun, Jeomhee; Salkeld, Daniel J.; Lane, Robert S.

    2008-01-01

    This study was undertaken to determine which rodent species serve as primary reservoirs for the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in commonly occurring woodland types in inland areas of northwestern California, and to examine whether chaparral or grassland serve as source habitats for dispersal of B. burgdorferi- or B. bissettii-infected rodents into adjacent woodlands. The western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) was commonly infected with B. burgdorferi in oak woodlands, whereas examination of 30 dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) and 280 Peromyscus spp. mice from 13 widely spaced Mendocino County woodlands during 2002 and 2003 yielded only one infected woodrat and one infected deer mouse (P. maniculatus). These data suggest that western gray squirrels account for the majority of production by rodents of fed Ixodes pacificus larvae infected with B. burgdorferi in the woodlands sampled. Infections with B. burgdorferi also were rare in woodrats (0/47, 0/3) and mice (3/66, 1/6) captured in chaparral and grassland, respectively, and therefore these habitats are unlikely sources for dispersal of this spirochete into adjacent woodlands. On the other hand, B. bissettii was commonly detected in both woodrats (22/47) and mice (15/66) in chaparral. We conclude that the data from this and previous studies in northwestern California are suggestive of a pattern where inland oak-woodland habitats harbor a B. burgdorferi transmission cycle driven primarily by I. pacificus and western gray squirrels, whereas chaparral habitats contain a B. bissettii transmission cycle perpetuated largely by I. spinipalpis, woodrats and Peromyscus mice. The dominant role of western gray squirrels as reservoirs of B. burgdorferi in certain woodlands offers intriguing opportunities for preventing Lyme disease by targeting these animals by means of either host-targeted acaricides or oral vaccination against B. burgdorferi. PMID:20514140

  17. Demonstration of a B-lymphocyte mitogen produced by the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Schoenfeld, R; Araneo, B; Ma, Y; Yang, L M; Weis, J J

    1992-01-01

    Lyme disease refers to the multisymptomatic illness in humans which results from infection with the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The white-footed mouse is the major reservoir for B. burgdorferi and, upon infection, certain inbred mice develop symptoms similar to those reported in human disease. Sonicated preparations of washed spirochetes were found to have potent mitogenic activity when cultured with lymphocytes from naive C57BL/6, C3H/HeJ, or BALB/c mice. The activity of the B. burgdorferi sonicate was approximately fourfold greater than that of a similarly prepared Escherichia coli sonicate. Polymyxin B efficiently inhibited the mitogenic activity of the E. coli sonicate but only slightly inhibited that of the B. burgdorferi sonicate, suggesting that a lipid A-containing lipopolysaccharide was not responsible for the B. burgdorferi activity. Kinetic analysis indicated peak proliferation at 2 to 3 days of culturing, suggesting polyclonal activation. B- and T-lymphocyte depletion experiments indicated that the major cell type responding to the B. burgdorferi mitogen was the B lymphocyte. This mitogen stimulated murine B cells not only to proliferate but also to differentiate into antibody-secreting cells, as demonstrated by the production of immunoglobulin by stimulated splenocytes. Furthermore, the sonicated preparation stimulated the B-cell tumor line CH12.LX to secrete immunoglobulin in the absence of accessory cells. B. burgdorferi also stimulated interleukin-6 production in splenocyte cultures. The observation that B. burgdorferi can stimulate activation of and immunoglobulin production by normal B lymphocytes may directly reflect on the development of arthritis associated with persistent infection by this organism. Images PMID:1730476

  18. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from migratory birds in Southern Norway

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) are the causative agent for Lyme borreliosis (LB), the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Birds are considered important in the global dispersal of ticks and tick-borne pathogens through their migration. The present study is the first description of B. burgdorferi prevalence and genotypes in Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on birds during spring and autumn migration in Norway. Methods 6538 migratory birds were captured and examined for ticks at Lista Bird Observatory during the spring and the autumn migration in 2008. 822 immature I. ricinus ticks were collected from 215 infested birds. Ticks were investigated for infection with B. burgdorferi s.l. by real-time PCR amplification of the 16S rRNA gene, and B. burgdorferi s.l. were thereafter genotyped by melting curve analysis after real-time PCR amplification of the hbb gene, or by direct sequencing of the PCR amplicon generated from the rrs (16S)-rrl (23S) intergenetic spacer. Results B. burgdorferi s.l. were detected in 4.4% of the ticks. The most prevalent B. burgdorferi genospecies identified were B. garinii (77.8%), followed by B.valaisiana (11.1%), B. afzelii (8.3%) and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (2.8%). Conclusion Infection rate in ticks and genospecies composition were similar in spring and autumn migration, however, the prevalence of ticks on birds was higher during spring migration. The study supports the notion that birds are important in the dispersal of ticks, and that they may be partly responsible for the heterogeneous distribution of B. burgdorferi s.l. in Europe. PMID:21054890

  19. The Lyme Disease Pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi Infects Murine Bone and Induces Trabecular Bone Loss

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Tian Tian; Zhang, Lucia; Bansal, Anil; Grynpas, Marc

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Lyme disease is caused by members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex. Arthritis is a well-known late-stage pathology of Lyme disease, but the effects of B. burgdorferi infection on bone at sites other than articular surfaces are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated whether B. burgdorferi infection affects bone health in mice. In mice inoculated with B. burgdorferi or vehicle (mock infection), we measured the presence of B. burgdorferi DNA in bones, bone mineral density (BMD), bone formation rates, biomechanical properties, cellular composition, and two- and three-dimensional features of bone microarchitecture. B. burgdorferi DNA was detected in bone. In the long bones, increasing B. burgdorferi DNA copy number correlated with reductions in areal and trabecular volumetric BMDs. Trabecular regions of femora exhibited significant, copy number-correlated microarchitectural disruption, but BMD, microarchitectural, and biomechanical properties of cortical bone were not affected. Bone loss in tibiae was not due to increased osteoclast numbers or bone-resorbing surface area, but it was associated with reduced osteoblast numbers, implying that bone loss in long bones was due to impaired bone building. Osteoid-producing and mineralization activities of existing osteoblasts were unaffected by infection. Therefore, deterioration of trabecular bone was not dependent on inhibition of osteoblast function but was more likely caused by blockade of osteoblastogenesis, reduced osteoblast survival, and/or induction of osteoblast death. Together, these data represent the first evidence that B. burgdorferi infection induces bone loss in mice and suggest that this phenotype results from inhibition of bone building rather than increased bone resorption. PMID:27956598

  20. The propensity of voles and mice to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection to feeding ticks.

    PubMed

    Radzijevskaja, Jana; Paulauskas, Algimantas; Rosef, Olav; Petkevičius, Saulius; Mažeika, Vytautas; Rekašius, Tomas

    2013-10-18

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is the most common tick-borne zoonosis in the Northern Hemisphere. B. burgdorferi s.l. can infect humans and wild and domestic animals. Ixodes ricinus is the main vector, and small rodents are the most important mammalian reservoirs hosts of B. burgdorferi s.l. in Europe. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in I. ricinus ticks from captured rodents, calculated specific infectivities, and transmission coefficients were estimated in order to investigate the role of voles and mice in transmission of the LB causative agent. A total of 12.3% (53 out of 431) of immature I. ricinus ticks from rodents in Lithuania and 3.25% (21 out of 646) in Norway were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. In Lithuania a total of 40% infested Microtus arvalis, 29% of Myodes glareolus and 4.8% of Apodemus flavicollis carried infected larvae and 67% of M. glareolus, 36% of M. arvalis but none of A. flavicollis carried infected nymphs. In Norway, 2.4% of larvae and 12.1% of nymphs feeding on A. flavicollis were infected. A total of 9% of infested A. flavicollis carried infected larvae and 13% - infected nymphs. Borrelia afzelii was the single genospecies identified in ticks feeding on rodents in Lithuania, and was predominant in ticks collected from rodents in Norway. According to calculated indices of specific infectivity and tick-to host transmission coefficient, M. arvalis and M. glareolus voles were found to be more efficient in transmitting B. burgdorferi s.l. to ticks than A. flavicollis mice. GLMM analysis showed that rodent species significantly influenced the probability of a larva being infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. The larvae feeding on M. arvalis and M. glareolus were more likely to be infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. than those feeding on A. flavicollis. This is the first study to report the quantitative roles of voles and mice in the transmission of B. burgdorferi s.l. to larval ticks in

  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. Borrelia burgdorferi EbfC defines a newly-identified, widespread family of bacterial DNA-binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Riley, Sean P; Bykowski, Tomasz; Cooley, Anne E; Burns, Logan H; Babb, Kelly; Brissette, Catherine A; Bowman, Amy; Rotondi, Matthew; Miller, M Clarke; DeMoll, Edward; Lim, Kap; Fried, Michael G; Stevenson, Brian

    2009-04-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, encodes a novel type of DNA-binding protein named EbfC. Orthologs of EbfC are encoded by a wide range of bacterial species, so characterization of the borrelial protein has implications that span the eubacterial kingdom. The present work defines the DNA sequence required for high-affinity binding by EbfC to be the 4 bp broken palindrome GTnAC, where 'n' can be any nucleotide. Two high-affinity EbfC-binding sites are located immediately 5' of B. burgdorferi erp transcriptional promoters, and binding of EbfC was found to alter the conformation of erp promoter DNA. Consensus EbfC-binding sites are abundantly distributed throughout the B. burgdorferi genome, occurring approximately once every 1 kb. These and other features of EbfC suggest that this small protein and its orthologs may represent a distinctive type of bacterial nucleoid-associated protein. EbfC was shown to bind DNA as a homodimer, and site-directed mutagenesis studies indicated that EbfC and its orthologs appear to bind DNA via a novel alpha-helical 'tweezer'-like structure.

  3. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA by PCR in serum of patients with clinical symptoms of Lyme borreliosis.

    PubMed

    Santino, Iolanda; Berlutti, Francesca; Pantanella, Fabrizio; Sessa, Rosa; del Piano, Massimo

    2008-06-01

    Lyme borreliosis is a disease caused by spirochaetes belonging to the genospecies complex Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) transmitted by Ixodes ticks. At present, serology remains the main diagnostic tool for laboratory diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis. Recently, the PCR technique has been applied for diagnosis of B. burgdorferi s.l., but, until now, a reliable, easy-to-perform and sensitive method has not been described. Here we present a new PCR-based method for the detection of both B. burgdorferi s.l. and Borrelia genospecies DNAs in serum samples collected from patients showing Lyme disease symptoms. Of 265 serum samples of patients included in this study, 7.5% were positive, 1.9% was borderline and 90.6% were negative for antibodies against B. burgdorferi by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting. The B. burgdorferi s.l. 16S rRNA gene was detected by PCR in all serum-positive and in two borderline samples. None of the serum-negative samples nor serum samples collected from healthy subjects gave positive PCR reactions. Of PCR-positive serum samples, 50% gave a positive reaction for Borrelia afzelii, 18% for Borrelia garinii and 23% for two Borrelia species. Two samples (9%) were not identified to species level. The new protocol could be considered to be reliable as neither false-positive nor false-negative reactions were recorded, and to be sensitive as it detects DNA from one bacterial cell.

  4. The occurrence of Dirofilaria immitis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma phagocytophium in dogs in China.

    PubMed

    Xia, Z; Yu, D; Mao, J; Zhang, Z; Yu, J

    2012-06-01

    A survey of the occurrence of Dirofilaria immitis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma phagocytophium in dogs was undertaken in the People's Republic of China between October 2008 and October 2009. A total of 600 blood samples were taken from dogs in four cities in China: 300 in Beijing, 150 in Shenzhen, 30 in Shanghai and 120 in Zhengzhou. All samples were tested for the heartworm antigen and antibodies of canine B. burgdorferi, E. canis and A. phagocytophium by using the canine SNAP® 4Dx® test kit. The occurrence of D. immitis, B. burgdorferi, E. canis and A. phagocytophium was 1.17% (7/600), 0.17% (1/600), 2.17% (13/600) and 0.5% (3/600), respectively. In Shenzhen city 2% (3/150), 8.67% (13/150) and 2% (3/150) of samples were positive for D. immitis, E. canis and A. phagocytophium, respectively. The occurrence of heartworm antigen was 0.33% (1/300) in Beijing, 2.00% (3/150) in Shenzhen, 3.33% (1/30) in Shanghai and 1.67% (2/120) in Zhengzhou. We found E. canis and A. phagocytophium only at one site, Shenzhen, while the only occurrence of B. burgdorferi was at Beijing. In conclusion, the dog population in China is at potential risk for D. immitis, B. burgdorferi, E. canis and A. phagocytophium infection, the risk being especially high in southern China.

  5. Outer Surface Protein C Is a Dissemination-Facilitating Factor of Borrelia burgdorferi during Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Seemanapalli, Sunita V.; Xu, Qilong; McShan, Kristy; Liang, Fang Ting

    2010-01-01

    Background The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi dramatically upregulates outer surface protein C (OspC) in response to fresh bloodmeal during transmission from the tick vector to a mammal, and abundantly produces the antigen during early infection. As OspC is an effective immune target, to evade the immune system B. burgdorferi downregulates the antigen once the anti-OspC humoral response has developed, suggesting an important role for OspC during early infection. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, a borrelial mutant producing an OspC antigen with a 5-amino-acid deletion was generated. The deletion didn't significantly increase the 50% infectious dose or reduce the tissue bacterial burden during infection of the murine host, indicating that the truncated OspC can effectively protect B. burgdorferi against innate elimination. However, the deletion greatly impaired the ability of B. burgdorferi to disseminate to remote tissues after inoculation into mice. Conclusions/Significance The study indicates that OspC plays an important role in dissemination of B. burgdorferi during mammalian infection. PMID:21209822

  6. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from southern Poland.

    PubMed

    Strzelczyk, Joanna K; Gaździcka, Jadwiga; Cuber, Piotr; Asman, Marek; Trapp, Gizela; Gołąbek, Karolina; Zalewska-Ziob, Marzena; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Siuda, Krzysztof; Wiczkowski, Andrzej; Solarz, Krzysztof

    2015-12-01

    In 2008-2011 ticks were collected from southern Poland. Out of 6336 individuals collected and identified as Ixodes ricinus, 768 (2 larvae, 84 nymphs, 417 females, 265 males) were included in molecular study. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and types of genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to detect the presence of pathogens in ticks. Subsequently the amplified DNA was digested with TasI enzyme. The infection rate was 15% (116) of examined ticks. PCR-RFLP analysis allowed distinguishing three genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l.: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, and B. garinii. RFLP analyses of 116 positive samples revealed 96 (83%) monoinfections and 13 (11%) coinfections, whereas unidentified genospecies were present in 7 (6%) of positive samples. In the case of monoinfections, B. burgdorferi s.s. was the predominant species of pathogen in infected ticks - 61.4%. Other genospecies: B. garinii and B. afzelii were detected in 22.9% and 15.6% of the samples, respectively. To sum up, 15 % of ticks were infected by B. burgdorferi s.l which increases the risk of human infections in the recreational areas of southern Poland. Furthermore, there is a need to increase public awareness and implement more preventive measures concerning Lyme disease.

  7. Evidence for Host-Genotype Associations of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto.

    PubMed

    Mechai, Samir; Margos, Gabriele; Feil, Edward J; Barairo, Nicole; Lindsay, L Robbin; Michel, Pascal; Ogden, Nicholas H

    2016-01-01

    Different genotypes of the agent of Lyme disease in North America, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, show varying degrees of pathogenicity in humans. This variation in pathogenicity correlates with phylogeny and we have hypothesized that the different phylogenetic lineages in North America reflect adaptation to different host species. In this study, evidence for host species associations of B. burgdorferi genotypes was investigated using 41 B. burgdorferi-positive samples from five mammal species and 50 samples from host-seeking ticks collected during the course of field studies in four regions of Canada: Manitoba, northwestern Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. The B. burgdorferi genotypes in the samples were characterized using three established molecular markers (multi-locus sequence typing [MLST], 16S-23S rrs-rrlA intergenic spacer, and outer surface protein C sequence [ospC] major groups). Correspondence analysis and generalized linear mixed effect models revealed significant associations between B. burgdorferi genotypes and host species (in particular chipmunks, and white-footed mice and deer mice), supporting the hypotheses that host adaptation contributes to the phylogenetic structure and possibly the observed variation in pathogenicity in humans.

  8. Borrelia burgdorferi: Carbon Metabolism and the Tick-Mammal Enzootic Cycle.

    PubMed

    Corona, Arianna; Schwartz, Ira

    2015-06-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, is a zoonotic pathogen that is maintained in a natural cycle that typically involves mammalian reservoir hosts and a tick vector of the Ixodes species. During each stage of the enzootic cycle, B. burgdorferi is exposed to environments that differ in temperature, pH, small molecules, and most important, nutrient sources. B. burgdorferi has a highly restricted metabolic capacity because it does not contain a tricarboxylic acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, or any pathways for de novo biosynthesis of carbohydrates, amino acids, or lipids. Thus, B. burgdorferi relies solely on glycolysis for ATP production and is completely dependent on the transport of nutrients and cofactors from extracellular sources. Herein, pathways for carbohydrate uptake and utilization in B. burgdorferi are described. Regulation of these pathways during the different phases of the enzootic cycle is discussed. In addition, a model for differential control of nutrient flux through the glycolytic pathway as the spirochete transits through the enzootic cycle is presented.

  9. Phylogeography of Borrelia burgdorferi in the eastern United States reflects multiple independent Lyme disease emergence events

    PubMed Central

    Hoen, Anne Gatewood; Margos, Gabriele; Bent, Stephen J.; Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.; Barbour, Alan; Kurtenbach, Klaus; Fish, Durland

    2009-01-01

    Since its first description in coastal Connecticut in 1976, both the incidence of Lyme disease and the geographic extent of endemic areas in the US have increased dramatically. The rapid expansion of Lyme disease into its current distribution in the eastern half of the US has been due to the range expansion of the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis, upon which the causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi is dependent for transmission to humans. In this study, we examined the phylogeographic population structure of B. burgdorferi throughout the range of I. scapularis-borne Lyme disease using multilocus sequence typing based on bacterial housekeeping genes. We show that B. burgdorferi populations from the Northeast and Midwest are genetically distinct, but phylogenetically related. Our findings provide strong evidence of prehistoric population size expansion and east-to-west radiation of descendent clones from founding sequence types in the Northeast. Estimates of the time scale of divergence of northeastern and midwestern populations suggest that B. burgdorferi was present in these regions of North America many thousands of years before European settlements. We conclude that B. burgdorferi populations have recently reemerged independently out of separate relict foci, where they have persisted since precolonial times. PMID:19706476

  10. Analysis of the bmp Gene Family in Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato

    PubMed Central

    Gorbacheva, Victoria Y.; Godfrey, Henry P.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2000-01-01

    BmpA, BmpB, BmpC, and BmpD are homologous Borrelia burgdorferi lipoproteins of unknown functions, encoded by the bmp genes of paralogous chromosomal gene family 36. At least some of the Bmp proteins are immunogens in infected vertebrate hosts. The genetic organization of the bmp region has been characterized for a variety of B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains by Southern hybridization, PCR amplification, and DNA sequencing. All four bmp genes were present in the same relative order in all B. burgdorferi sensu lato low- and high-passage-number isolates. While there were no differences in the relative orders of the bmp genes in these species, variations in DNA sequence in the bmpD-bmpC and bmpC-bmpA intergenic regions were significantly more common than in the corresponding 3′ bmpD and bmpC coding regions. The genetic structure of the chromosomal region containing the bmp genes thus appears to be well conserved across different species of B. burgdorferi, but variations in DNA fine structure that prevent PCR primer annealing may occur in this region and make Southern hybridization much more reliable than PCR for detection of the presence of these genes. Our results also suggest that bmp gene products may be used as reagents in the preparation of vaccines and diagnostic assays to protect against and diagnose Lyme disease produced by B. burgdorferi sensu lato. PMID:10715014

  11. Polymorphism of 41 kD Flagellin Gene and Its Human B-Cell Epitope in Borrelia burgdorferi Strains of China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huixin; Liu, Wei; Hou, Xuexia; Zhang, Lin; Hao, Qin; Wan, Kanglin

    2016-01-01

    The 41 kD flagellin of Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) is a major component of periplasmic flagellar filament core and a good candidate for serodiagnosis in early stage of Lyme disease. Here, we chose 89 B. burgdorferi strains in China, amplified the gene encoding the 41 kD flagellin, and compared the sequences. The results showed that genetic diversity presented in the 41 kD flagellin genes of all 89 strains among the four genotypes of B. burgdorferi, especially in the genotype of B. garinii. Some specific mutation sites for each genotype of the 41 kD flagellin genes were found, which could be used for genotyping B. burgdorferi strains in China. Human B-cell epitope analysis showed that thirteen of 15 nonsynonymous mutations occurred in the epitope region of 41 kD flagellin and thirty of 42 B-cell epitopes were altered due to all 13 nonsynonymous mutations in the epitope region, which may affect the function of the antigen. Nonsynonymous mutations and changed human B-cell epitopes exist in 41 kD flagellin of B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains; these changes should be considered in serodiagnosis of Lyme disease.

  12. Imbalanced presence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. multilocus sequence types in clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis.

    PubMed

    Coipan, E Claudia; Jahfari, Setareh; Fonville, Manoj; Oei, G Anneke; Spanjaard, Lodewijk; Takumi, Katsuhisa; Hovius, Joppe W R; Sprong, Hein

    2016-08-01

    In this study we used typing based on the eight multilocus sequence typing scheme housekeeping genes (MLST) and 5S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer (IGS) to explore the population structure of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolates from patients with Lyme borreliosis (LB) and to test the association between the B. burgdorferi s.l. sequence types (ST) and the clinical manifestations they cause in humans. Isolates of B. burgdorferi from 183 LB cases across Europe, with distinct clinical manifestations, and 257 Ixodes ricinus lysates from The Netherlands, were analyzed for this study alone. For completeness, we incorporated in our analysis also 335 European B. burgdorferi s.l. MLST profiles retrieved from literature. Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia bavariensis were associated with human cases of LB while Borrelia garinii, Borrelia lusitaniae and Borrelia valaisiana were associated with questing I. ricinus ticks. B. afzelii was associated with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, while B. garinii and B. bavariensis were associated with neuroborreliosis. The samples in our study belonged to 251 different STs, of which 94 are newly described, adding to the overall picture of the genetic diversity of Borrelia genospecies. The fraction of STs that were isolated from human samples was significantly higher for the genospecies that are known to be maintained in enzootic cycles by mammals (B. afzelii, B. bavariensis, and Borrelia spielmanii) than for genospecies that are maintained by birds (B. garinii and B. valaisiana) or lizards (B. lusitaniae). We found six multilocus sequence types that were significantly associated to clinical manifestations in humans and five IGS haplotypes that were associated with the human LB cases. While IGS could perform just as well as the housekeeping genes in the MLST scheme for predicting the infectivity of B. burgdorferi s.l., the advantage of MLST is that it can also capture the differential invasiveness of the various STs.

  13. Acquisition of Borrelia burgdorferi infection by larval Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) associated with engorgement measures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Couret, Janelle; Dyer, M.C.; Mather, T.N.; Han, S.; Tsao, J.I.; LeBrun, R.A.; Ginsberg, Howard

    2017-01-01

    Measuring rates of acquisition of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, by the larval stage of Ixodes scapularis Say is a useful tool for xenodiagnoses of B. burgdorferi in vertebrate hosts. In the nymphal and adult stages of I. scapularis, the duration of attachment to hosts has been shown to predict both body engorgement during blood feeding and the timing of infection with B. burgdorferi. However, these relationships have not been established for the larval stage of I. scapularis. We sought to establish the relationship between body size during engorgement of larval I. scapularis placed on B. burgdorferi-infected, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque) and the presence or absence of infection in larvae sampled from hosts over time. Body size, time, and their interaction were the best predictors of larval infection with B. burgdorferi. We found that infected larvae showed significantly greater engorgement than uninfected larvae as early as 24 h after placement on a host. These findings may suggest that infection with B. burgdorferi affects the larval feeding process. Alternatively, larvae that engorge more rapidly on hosts may acquire infections faster. Knowledge of these relationships can be applied to improve effective xenodiagnosis of B. burgdorferi in white-footed mice. Further, these findings shed light on vector–pathogen–host interactions during an understudied part of the Lyme disease transmission cycle.

  14. Analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi membrane architecture by freeze-fracture electron microscopy.

    PubMed Central

    Radolf, J D; Bourell, K W; Akins, D R; Brusca, J S; Norgard, M V

    1994-01-01

    Freeze-fracture electron microscopy was used to investigate the membrane architectures of high-passage Borrelia burgdorferi B31 and low- and high-passage isolates of B. burgdorferi N40. In all three organisms, fractures occurred almost exclusively through the outer membrane (OM), and the large majority of intramembranous particles were distributed randomly throughout the concave OM leaflet. The density of intramembranous particles in the concave OM leaflet of the high-passage N40 isolate was significantly greater than that in the corresponding leaflet of the low-passage N40 isolate. Also noted in the OMs of all three organisms were unusual structures, designated linear bodies, which typically were more or less perpendicular to the axis of the bacterium. A comparison of freeze-fractured B. burgdorferi and Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete, revealed that the OM architectures of these two pathogens differed markedly. All large membrane blebs appeared to be bounded by a membrane identical to the OM of B. burgdorferi whole cells; in some blebs, the fracture plane also revealed a second bilayer closely resembling the B. burgdorferi cytoplasmic membrane. Aggregation of the lipoprotein immunogens outer surface protein A (OspA) and OspB on the bacterial surface by incubation of B. burgdorferi B31 with specific polyclonal antisera did not affect the distribution of OM particles, supporting the contention that lipoproteins do not form particles in freeze-fractured OMs. The expression of poorly immunogenic, surface-exposed proteins as virulence determinants may be part of the parasitic strategy used by B. burgdorferi to establish and maintain chronic infection in Lyme disease. Images PMID:8282698

  15. [Tick infestation and the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia divergens in cattle in Bavaria].

    PubMed

    Lengauer, Heidi; Just, Frank Thomas; Edelhofer, Renate; Pfister, Kurt

    2006-01-01

    During the grazing period 2002 319 cattle from 31 farms located in 6 districts of southern Bavaria were examined for the presence of ticks in 4- to 5-week intervals, and 287 serum samples were tested for the presence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia divergens. Ticks were detected in all 31 farms with a mean prevalence of 69%. 3218 out of 3453 collected ticks were Ixodes ricinus; 139 nymphs, 19 larvae and 77 damaged adult specimens could only be determined to the Genus level (Ixodes). The seasonal pattern revealed the highest frequencies of ticks in May/June and September. The intensity of tick infestation of positive animals was generally low. 76.5% of parasitized cattle had 1-6 ticks per day of investigation. Individual cattle showed up to 250 ticks per day. The percentage of infested animals in each herd varied within the period between 0-100%. The examination of serum samples by immunofluorescence technique (IFAT) revealed positive anti-Borrelia antibody titers (> or = 1:64) for 45.6% of the animals. The within-farm seroprevalence of borreliosis ranged from 20 to 100% in 27 of the 31 farms. A significant correlation could be detected between the number of ticks/cattle and the anti-Borrelia burgdorferi IgG-titer. By contrast, there was no significant correlation between the age of the animals and anti-Borrelia serum titers. For comparative reasons, 64 IFAT-positive serum samples were tested by Western blot techniques for the presence of antibodies cross-reacting with Borrelia garinii antigen. These analyses revealed that 69% of the samples reacted positively, 28% were unclear and 3% were negative. Examinations of the 287 serum samples for the presence of anti-Babesia divergens antibodies revealed one positive animal with a titer of 1:16.

  16. The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi induces inflammation and apoptosis in cells from dorsal root ganglia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB), caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, affects both the peripheral and the central nervous systems. Radiculitis or nerve root inflammation, which can cause pain, sensory loss, and weakness, is the most common manifestation of peripheral LNB in humans. We previously reported that rhesus monkeys infected with B. burgdorferi develop radiculitis as well as inflammation in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), with elevated levels of neuronal and satellite glial cell apoptosis in the DRG. We hypothesized that B. burgdorferi induces inflammatory mediators in glial and neuronal cells and that this inflammatory milieu precipitates glial and neuronal apoptosis. Methods To model peripheral neuropathy in LNB we incubated normal rhesus DRG tissue explants with live B. burgdorferi ex vivo and identified immune mediators, producer cells, and verified the presence of B. burgdorferi in tissue sections by immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy. We also set up primary cultures of DRG cells from normal adult rhesus macaques and incubated the cultures with live B. burgdorferi. Culture supernatants were subjected to multiplex ELISA to detect immune mediators, while the cells were evaluated for apoptosis by the in situ TUNEL assay. A role for inflammation in mediating apoptosis was assessed by evaluating the above phenomena in the presence and absence of various concentrations of the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone. As Schwann cells ensheath the dorsal roots of the DRG, we evaluated the potential of live B. burgdorferi to induce inflammatory mediators in human Schwann cell (HSC) cultures. Results Rhesus DRG tissue explants exposed to live B. burgdorferi showed localization of CCL2 and IL-6 in sensory neurons, satellite glial cells and Schwann cells while IL-8 was seen in satellite glial cells and Schwann cells. Live B. burgdorferi induced elevated levels of IL-6, IL-8 and CCL2 in HSC and DRG cultures and apoptosis of sensory

  17. Geographic distribution of white-tailed deer with ticks and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in Connecticut.

    PubMed Central

    Magnarelli, L. A.; Anderson, J. F.; Cartter, M. L.

    1993-01-01

    Ticks and blood specimens were collected from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Connecticut and analyzed to identify foci for Lyme borreliosis. Males and females of Ixodes scapularis, the chief vector of Borrelia burgdorferi, were collected from deer in five of eight counties during 1989-1991. Analysis by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) staining of midgut tissues showed that prevalence of infection was highest (9.5% of 367 ticks) in south central and southeastern Connecticut. Infected I. scapularis also were collected from southwestern regions of the state (12.1% of 99 ticks), but prevalence of infection in northern counties was considerably lower (0.8% of 124 ticks). Deer sera, obtained in 1980 and 1989-1991, were analyzed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or by IFA staining methods. Antibodies to B. burgdorferi were detected in sera collected from all eight counties in Connecticut. Deer had been infected by this spirochete in at least 50 towns, 17 (34%) of which are in south central and southeastern parts of the state. Borrelia burgdorferi is widely distributed in I. scapularis populations in Connecticut. PMID:8256460

  18. Sleeper cells: the stringent response and persistence in the Borreliella (Borrelia) burgdorferi enzootic cycle.

    PubMed

    Cabello, Felipe C; Godfrey, Henry P; Bugrysheva, Julia V; Newman, Stuart A

    2017-08-24

    Infections with tick-transmitted Borreliella (Borrelia) burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease, represent an increasingly large public health problem in North America and Europe. The ability of these spirochetes to maintain themselves for extended periods of time in their tick vectors and vertebrate reservoirs is crucial for continuance of the enzootic cycle as well as for the increasing exposure of humans to them. The stringent response mediated by the alarmone (p)ppGpp has been determined to be a master regulator in B. burgdorferi. It modulates the expression of identified and unidentified open reading frames needed to deal with and overcome the many nutritional stresses and other challenges faced by the spirochete in ticks and animal reservoirs. The metabolic and morphologic changes resulting from activation of the stringent response in B. burgdorferi may also be involved in the recently described non-genetic phenotypic phenomenon of tolerance to otherwise lethal doses of antimicrobials and to other antimicrobial activities. It may thus constitute a linchpin in multiple aspects of infections with Lyme disease borrelia, providing a link between the micro-ecological challenges of its enzootic life-cycle and long-term residence in the tissues of its animal reservoirs, with the evolutionary side effect of potential persistence in incidental human hosts. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Role of Acetyl-Phosphate in Activation of the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS Pathway in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haijun; Caimano, Melissa J.; Lin, Tao; He, Ming; Radolf, Justin D.; Norris, Steven J.; Gheradini, Frank; Wolfe, Alan J.; Yang, X. Frank

    2010-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete, dramatically alters its transcriptome and proteome as it cycles between the arthropod vector and mammalian host. During this enzootic cycle, a novel regulatory network, the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS pathway (also known as the σ54–σS sigma factor cascade), plays a central role in modulating the differential expression of more than 10% of all B. burgdorferi genes, including the major virulence genes ospA and ospC. However, the mechanism(s) by which the upstream activator and response regulator Rrp2 is activated remains unclear. Here, we show that none of the histidine kinases present in the B. burgdorferi genome are required for the activation of Rrp2. Instead, we present biochemical and genetic evidence that supports the hypothesis that activation of the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS pathway occurs via the small, high-energy, phosphoryl-donor acetyl phosphate (acetyl∼P), the intermediate of the Ack-Pta (acetate kinase-phosphate acetyltransferase) pathway that converts acetate to acetyl-CoA. Supplementation of the growth medium with acetate induced activation of the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS pathway in a dose-dependent manner. Conversely, the overexpression of Pta virtually abolished acetate-induced activation of this pathway, suggesting that acetate works through acetyl∼P. Overexpression of Pta also greatly inhibited temperature and cell density-induced activation of RpoS and OspC, suggesting that these environmental cues affect the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS pathway by influencing acetyl∼P. Finally, overexpression of Pta partially reduced infectivity of B. burgdorferi in mice. Taken together, these findings suggest that acetyl∼P is one of the key activating molecule for the activation of the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS pathway and support the emerging concept that acetyl∼P can serve as a global signal in bacterial pathogenesis. PMID:20862323

  20. In Vivo Imaging Demonstrates That Borrelia burgdorferi ospC Is Uniquely Expressed Temporally and Spatially throughout Experimental Infection

    PubMed Central

    Skare, Jonathan T.; Shaw, Dana K.; Trzeciakowski, Jerome P.

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochetal bacterium transmitted by the Ixodes tick that causes Lyme disease in humans due to its ability to evade the host immune response and disseminate to multiple immunoprotective tissues. The pathogen undergoes dynamic genetic alterations important for adaptation from the tick vector to the mammalian host, but little is known regarding the changes at the transcriptional level within the distal tissues they colonize. In this study, B. burgdorferi infection and gene expression of the essential virulence determinant ospC was quantitatively monitored in a spatial and temporal manner utilizing reporter bioluminescent borrelial strains with in vivo and ex vivo imaging. Although expressed from a shuttle vector, the PospC-luc construct exhibited a similar expression pattern relative to native ospC. Bacterial burden in skin, inguinal lymph node, heart, bladder and tibiotarsal joint varied between tissues and fluctuated over the course of infection possibly in response to unique cues of each microenvironment. Expression of ospC, when normalized for changes in bacterial load, presented unique profiles in murine tissues at different time points. The inguinal lymph node was infected with a significant B. burgdorferi burden, but showed minimal ospC expression. B. burgdorferi infected skin and heart induced expression of ospC early during infection while the bladder and tibiotarsal joint continued to display PospC driven luminescence throughout the 21 day time course. Localized skin borrelial burden increased dramatically in the first 96 hours following inoculation, which was not paralleled with an increase in ospC expression, despite the requirement of ospC for dermal colonization. Quantitation of bioluminescence representing ospC expression in individual tissues was validated by qRT-PCR of the native ospC transcript. Taken together, the temporal regulation of ospC expression in distal tissues suggests a role for this virulence determinant beyond

  1. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) in Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) adults in New Jersey, 2000-2001.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Terry L; Jordan, Robert A; Hung, Robert W; Puelle, Rose S; Markowski, Daniel; Chomsky, Martin S

    2003-07-01

    Using polymerase chain reaction, we analyzed 529 Ixodes scapularis Say adults collected from 16 of New Jersey's 21 counties for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease. Overall, 261 (49.3%) were positive. B. burgdorferi was detected in ticks obtained from each county and from 53 of the 58 (93.1%) municipalities surveyed. The observed statewide prevalence in New Jersey is similar to those reported from other northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.

  2. Protein-losing nephropathy associated with Borrelia burgdorferi seropositivity in a soft-coated wheaten terrier: response to therapy.

    PubMed

    Horney, Barbara S; Stojanovic, Vladimir

    2013-04-01

    A soft-coated wheaten terrier was examined for lameness with subsequent identification of protein-losing nephropathy, hypoalbuminemia, hyperglobulinemia, and seroconversion to Borrelia burgdorferi. Following doxycycline therapy, the urine protein loss decreased significantly and serum albumin concentration remained close to or within the reference interval for over 3 years, contrary to the reported poor prognosis for renal disease associated with B. burgdorferi or protein-losing nephropathy of soft-coated wheaten terriers.

  3. Protein-losing nephropathy associated with Borrelia burgdorferi seropositivity in a soft-coated wheaten terrier: Response to therapy

    PubMed Central

    Horney, Barbara S.; Stojanovic, Vladimir

    2013-01-01

    A soft-coated wheaten terrier was examined for lameness with subsequent identification of protein-losing nephropathy, hypoalbuminemia, hyperglobulinemia, and seroconversion to Borrelia burgdorferi. Following doxycycline therapy, the urine protein loss decreased significantly and serum albumin concentration remained close to or within the reference interval for over 3 years, contrary to the reported poor prognosis for renal disease associated with B. burgdorferi or protein-losing nephropathy of soft-coated wheaten terriers. PMID:24082169

  4. CsrA (BB0184) Is Not Involved in Activation of the RpoN-RpoS Regulatory Pathway in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Ouyang, Zhiming; Zhou, Jianli

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi encodes a homologue of the bacterial carbon storage regulator A (CsrA). Recently, it was reported that CsrA contributes to B. burgdorferi infectivity and is required for the activation of the central RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway. However, many questions concerning the function of CsrA in B. burgdorferi gene regulation remain unanswered. In particular, there are conflicting reports concerning the molecular details of how CsrA may modulate rpoS expression and, thus, how CsrA may influence the RpoN-RpoS pathway in B. burgdorferi. To address these key discrepancies, we examined the role of CsrA in differential gene expression in the Lyme disease spirochete. Upon engineering an inducible csrA expression system in B. burgdorferi, controlled hyperexpression of CsrA in a merodiploid strain did not significantly alter the protein and transcript levels of bosR, rpoS, and RpoS-dependent genes (such as ospC and dbpA). In addition, we constructed isogenic csrA mutants in two widely used infectious B. burgdorferi strains. When expression of bosR, rpoS, ospC, and dbpA was compared between the csrA mutants and their wild-type counterparts, no detectable differences were observed. Finally, animal studies indicated that the csrA mutants remained infectious for and virulent in mice. Analyses of B. burgdorferi gene expression in mouse tissues showed comparable levels of rpoS transcripts by the csrA mutants and the parental strains. Taken together, these results constitute compelling evidence that CsrA is not involved in activation of the RpoN-RpoS pathway and is dispensable for mammalian infectious processes carried out by B. burgdorferi. PMID:24452681

  5. CsrA (BB0184) is not involved in activation of the RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway in Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Zhiming; Zhou, Jianli; Norgard, Michael V

    2014-04-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi encodes a homologue of the bacterial carbon storage regulator A (CsrA). Recently, it was reported that CsrA contributes to B. burgdorferi infectivity and is required for the activation of the central RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway. However, many questions concerning the function of CsrA in B. burgdorferi gene regulation remain unanswered. In particular, there are conflicting reports concerning the molecular details of how CsrA may modulate rpoS expression and, thus, how CsrA may influence the RpoN-RpoS pathway in B. burgdorferi. To address these key discrepancies, we examined the role of CsrA in differential gene expression in the Lyme disease spirochete. Upon engineering an inducible csrA expression system in B. burgdorferi, controlled hyperexpression of CsrA in a merodiploid strain did not significantly alter the protein and transcript levels of bosR, rpoS, and RpoS-dependent genes (such as ospC and dbpA). In addition, we constructed isogenic csrA mutants in two widely used infectious B. burgdorferi strains. When expression of bosR, rpoS, ospC, and dbpA was compared between the csrA mutants and their wild-type counterparts, no detectable differences were observed. Finally, animal studies indicated that the csrA mutants remained infectious for and virulent in mice. Analyses of B. burgdorferi gene expression in mouse tissues showed comparable levels of rpoS transcripts by the csrA mutants and the parental strains. Taken together, these results constitute compelling evidence that CsrA is not involved in activation of the RpoN-RpoS pathway and is dispensable for mammalian infectious processes carried out by B. burgdorferi.

  6. Borrelia burgdorferi Requires Glycerol for Maximum Fitness During The Tick Phase of the Enzootic Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Pappas, Christopher J.; Iyer, Radha; Petzke, Mary M.; Caimano, Melissa J.; Radolf, Justin D.; Schwartz, Ira

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, is a vector-borne pathogen that cycles between a mammalian host and tick vector. This complex life cycle requires that the spirochete modulate its gene expression program to facilitate growth and maintenance in these diverse milieus. B. burgdorferi contains an operon that is predicted to encode proteins that would mediate the uptake and conversion of glycerol to dihydroxyacetone phosphate. Previous studies indicated that expression of the operon is elevated at 23°C and is repressed in the presence of the alternative sigma factor RpoS, suggesting that glycerol utilization may play an important role during the tick phase. This possibility was further explored in the current study by expression analysis and mutagenesis of glpD, a gene predicted to encode glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Transcript levels for glpD were significantly lower in mouse joints relative to their levels in ticks. Expression of GlpD protein was repressed in an RpoS-dependent manner during growth of spirochetes within dialysis membrane chambers implanted in rat peritoneal cavities. In medium supplemented with glycerol as the principal carbohydrate, wild-type B. burgdorferi grew to a significantly higher cell density than glpD mutant spirochetes during growth in vitro at 25°C. glpD mutant spirochetes were fully infectious in mice by either needle or tick inoculation. In contrast, glpD mutants grew to significantly lower densities than wild-type B. burgdorferi in nymphal ticks and displayed a replication defect in feeding nymphs. The findings suggest that B. burgdorferi undergoes a switch in carbohydrate utilization during the mammal to tick transition. Further, the results demonstrate that the ability to utilize glycerol as a carbohydrate source for glycolysis during the tick phase of the infectious cycle is critical for maximal B. burgdorferi fitness. PMID:21750672

  7. Borrelia burgdorferi ftsZ Plays a Role in Cell Division

    PubMed Central

    Dubytska, Lydia; Godfrey, Henry P.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2006-01-01

    ftsZ is essential for cell division in many microorganisms. In Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, FtsZ plays a role in ring formation at the leading edge of the cell division septum. An ftsZ homologue is present in the Borrelia burgdorferi genome (ftsZBbu). Its gene product (FtsZBbu) is strongly homologous to other bacterial FtsZ proteins, but its function has not been established. Because loss-of-function mutants of ftsZBbu might be lethal, the tetR/tetO system was adapted for regulated control of this gene in B. burgdorferi. Sixty-two nucleotides of an ftsZBbu antisense DNA sequence under the control of a tetracycline-responsive modified hybrid borrelial promoter were cloned into pKFSS1. This construct was electroporated into a B. burgdorferi host strain carrying a chromosomally located tetR under the control of the B. burgdorferi flaB promoter. After induction by anhydrotetracycline, expression of antisense ftsZ RNA resulted in generation of filamentous B. burgdorferi that were unable to divide and grew more slowly than uninduced cells. To determine whether FtsZBbu could interfere with the function of E. coli FtsZ, ftsZBbu was amplified from chromosomal DNA and placed under the control of the tetracycline-regulated hybrid promoter. After introduction of the construct into E. coli and induction with anhydrotetracycline, overexpression of ftsZBbu generated a filamentous phenotype. This suggested interference of ftsZBbu with E. coli FtsZ function and confirmed the role of ftsZBbu in cell division. This is the first report of the generation of a B. burgdorferi conditional lethal mutant equivalent by tetracycline-controlled expression of antisense RNA. PMID:16484209

  8. Regulation of expression of the paralogous Mlp family in Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaofeng F; Hübner, Anette; Popova, Taissia G; Hagman, Kayla E; Norgard, Michael V

    2003-09-01

    The Mlp (multicopy lipoproteins) family is one of many paralogous protein families in Borrelia burgdorferi. To examine the extent to which the 10 members of the Mlp family in B. burgdorferi strain 297 might be differentially regulated, antibodies specific for each of the Mlps were developed and used to analyze the protein expression profiles of individual Mlps when B. burgdorferi replicated under various cultivation conditions. All of the Mlps were upregulated coordinately when B. burgdorferi was cultivated at either elevated temperature, reduced culture pH, or increased spirochete cell density. Inasmuch as the expression of OspC is influenced by a novel RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway, similar induction patterns for OspC and the Mlp paralogs prompted an assessment of whether the RpoN-RpoS pathway also was involved in Mlp expression. In contrast to wild-type B. burgdorferi, both RpoN- and RpoS-deficient mutants were unable to upregulate OspC or the Mlp paralogs when grown at lower pH (6.8), indicating that pH-mediated regulation of OspC and Mlp paralogs is dependent on the RpoN-RpoS pathway. However, when RpoN- or RpoS-deficient mutants were shifted from 23 degrees C to 37 degrees C or were cultivated to higher spirochete densities, some induction of the Mlps still occurred, whereas OspC expression was abolished. The combined findings suggest that the Mlp paralogs are coordinately regulated as a family and have an expression profile similar, but not identical, to that of OspC. Although Mlp expression as a family is influenced by the RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway, there exists at least one additional layer of gene regulation, yet to be elucidated, contributing to Mlp expression in B. burgdorferi.

  9. Widespread dispersal of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks collected from songbirds across Canada.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Anderson, John F; Durden, Lance A

    2012-02-01

    Millions of Lyme disease vector ticks are dispersed annually by songbirds across Canada, but often overlooked as the source of infection. For clarity on vector distribution, we sampled 481 ticks (12 species and 3 undetermined ticks) from 211 songbirds (42 species/subspecies) nationwide. Using PCR, 52 (29.5%) of 176 Ixodes ticks tested were positive for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Immature blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis , collected from infested songbirds had a B. burgdorferi infection prevalence of 36% (larvae, 48%; nymphs, 31%). Notably, Ixodes affinis is reported in Canada for the first time and, similarly, Ixodes auritulus for the initial time in the Yukon. Firsts for bird-parasitizing ticks include I. scapularis in Quebec and Saskatchewan. We provide the first records of 3 tick species cofeeding on passerines (song sparrow, Swainson's thrush). New host records reveal I. scapularis on the blackpoll warbler and Nashville warbler. We furnish the following first Canadian reports of B. burgdorferi-positive ticks: I. scapularis on chipping sparrow, house wren, indigo bunting; I. auritulus on Bewick's wren; and I. spinipalpis on a Bewick's wren and song sparrow. First records of B. burgdorferi-infected ticks on songbirds include the following: the rabbit-associated tick, Ixodes dentatus, in western Canada; I. scapularis in Quebec, Saskatchewan, northern New Brunswick, northern Ontario; and Ixodes spinipalpis (collected in British Columbia). The presence of B. burgdorferi in Ixodes larvae suggests reservoir competency in 9 passerines (Bewick's wren, common yellowthroat, dark-eyed junco, Oregon junco, red-winged blackbird, song sparrow, Swainson's thrush, swamp sparrow, and white-throated sparrow). We report transstadial transmission (larva to nymph) of B. burgdorferi in I. auritulus. Data suggest a possible 4-tick, i.e., I. angustus, I. auritulus, I. pacificus, and I. spinipalpis, enzootic cycle of B. burgdorferi on Vancouver Island

  10. Phosphoenolpyruvate Phosphotransferase System Components Modulate Gene Transcription and Virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Khajanchi, Bijay K; Odeh, Evelyn; Gao, Lihui; Jacobs, Mary B; Philipp, Mario T; Lin, Tao; Norris, Steven J

    2015-12-28

    The phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system (PEP-PTS) and adenylate cyclase (AC) IV (encoded by BB0723 [cyaB]) are well conserved in different species of Borrelia. However, the functional roles of PEP-PTS and AC in the infectious cycle of Borrelia have not been characterized previously. We examined 12 PEP-PTS transporter component mutants by needle inoculation of mice to assess their ability to cause mouse infection. Transposon mutants with mutations in the EIIBC components (ptsG) (BB0645, thought to be involved in glucose-specific transport) were unable to cause infection in mice, while all other tested PEP-PTS mutants retained infectivity. Infectivity was partially restored in an in trans-complemented strain of the ptsG mutant. While the ptsG mutant survived normally in unfed as well as fed ticks, it was unable to cause infection in mice by tick transmission, suggesting that the function of ptsG is essential to establish infection by either needle inoculation or tick transmission. In Gram-negative organisms, the regulatory effects of the PEP-PTS are mediated by adenylate cyclase and cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels. A recombinant protein encoded by B. burgdorferi BB0723 (a putative cyaB homolog) was shown to have adenylate cyclase activity in vitro; however, mutants with mutations in this gene were fully infectious in the tick-mouse infection cycle, indicating that its function is not required in this process. By transcriptome analysis, we demonstrated that the ptsG gene may directly or indirectly modulate gene expression of Borrelia burgdorferi. Overall, the PEP-PTS glucose transporter PtsG appears to play important roles in the pathogenesis of B. burgdorferi that extend beyond its transport functions.

  11. Anaphylactoid reaction caused by sodium ceftriaxone in two horses experimentally infected by Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Basile, Roberta Carvalho; Rivera, Gabriela Gomes; Del Rio, Lara Antoniassi; de Bonis, Talissa Camargo Mantovani; do Amaral, Gabriel Paiva Domingues; Giangrecco, Edson; Ferraz, Guilherme; Yoshinari, Natalino Hajime; Canola, Paulo Aléscio; Queiroz Neto, Antonio

    2015-08-12

    Lyme borreliosis is a disease transmitted by ticks to mammals, especially in horses and humans. Caused by a spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, it can result in lameness, arthritis, carditis, dermatitis and neurological signs. Anaphylactoid reactions are severe responses caused by direct action of substances (drugs, toxins), which can pose risks to life. Still poorly documented in horses, these reactions are caused by the effects of inflammatory mediators such as histamine, kinins and arachidonic acid metabolites. The last two are the most clinically relevant for the species. The simultaneous occurrence of anaphylactoid reaction in two horses experimentally infected by Borrelia burgdorferi undergoing intravenous treatment with ceftriaxone sodium is reported. It was administered 4.7 × 10(8) spirochetes intradermal and subcutaneous applications in both horses to evaluate clinical aspects of the Lyme disease, 95 days before the application of sodium ceftriaxone. During the administration, one horse (a gelding) showed immediate and severe anaphylactoid symptoms such as urticaria, dyspnea, tachycardia, and eyelid edema, which were controlled by injecting dexamethasone. After 1 day, it expressed signs of abdominal discomfort, caused by severe bloat, which was treated surgically via celiotomy. Subsequently, this gelding had piroplasmosis and severe anemia, requiring treatment with an antimicrobial and blood transfusion. Second horse (a mare) showed signs of hypotension during the application of the antibiotic, which disappeared only when the application was interrupted. Days after the event, the mare developed moderate large colon bloat, which was treated with medication only. Subsequently the mare was evolved into the prodromal phase of laminitis in one of the forelimbs, which was treated for 10 days with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and rheology modifying drugs and cryotherapy. From the two cases presented here, it does appear that sodium ceftriaxone can induce

  12. Phosphoenolpyruvate Phosphotransferase System Components Modulate Gene Transcription and Virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Odeh, Evelyn; Gao, Lihui; Jacobs, Mary B.; Philipp, Mario T.; Lin, Tao

    2015-01-01

    The phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system (PEP-PTS) and adenylate cyclase (AC) IV (encoded by BB0723 [cyaB]) are well conserved in different species of Borrelia. However, the functional roles of PEP-PTS and AC in the infectious cycle of Borrelia have not been characterized previously. We examined 12 PEP-PTS transporter component mutants by needle inoculation of mice to assess their ability to cause mouse infection. Transposon mutants with mutations in the EIIBC components (ptsG) (BB0645, thought to be involved in glucose-specific transport) were unable to cause infection in mice, while all other tested PEP-PTS mutants retained infectivity. Infectivity was partially restored in an in trans-complemented strain of the ptsG mutant. While the ptsG mutant survived normally in unfed as well as fed ticks, it was unable to cause infection in mice by tick transmission, suggesting that the function of ptsG is essential to establish infection by either needle inoculation or tick transmission. In Gram-negative organisms, the regulatory effects of the PEP-PTS are mediated by adenylate cyclase and cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels. A recombinant protein encoded by B. burgdorferi BB0723 (a putative cyaB homolog) was shown to have adenylate cyclase activity in vitro; however, mutants with mutations in this gene were fully infectious in the tick-mouse infection cycle, indicating that its function is not required in this process. By transcriptome analysis, we demonstrated that the ptsG gene may directly or indirectly modulate gene expression of Borrelia burgdorferi. Overall, the PEP-PTS glucose transporter PtsG appears to play important roles in the pathogenesis of B. burgdorferi that extend beyond its transport functions. PMID:26712207

  13. Efficacy of Short-Course Ceftriaxone Therapy for Borrelia burgdorferi Infection in C3H Mice

    PubMed Central

    Pavia, Charles; Inchiosa, Mario A.; Wormser, Gary P.

    2002-01-01

    Ceftriaxone is highly effective clinically in patients with Lyme disease. We studied a representative invasive human isolate of Borrelia burgdorferi for which the MBC of ceftriaxone was 0.050 μg/ml. A once-per-day dosage regimen of ceftriaxone (50 mg/kg/dose) administered intramuscularly for 5 days was 100% effective in sterilizing tissue samples of C3H mice infected with this strain of B. burgdorferi, regardless of whether the mice were being treated concomitantly with a corticosteroid. Administration of the same five doses of ceftriaxone at 6-h intervals over just 24 h was also 100% effective. These experiments suggest that shorter courses of antibiotics than those currently recommended should be considered for study in patients with early uncomplicated Lyme disease. PMID:11751123

  14. BBA52 facilitates Borrelia burgdorferi transmission from feeding ticks to murine hosts

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Manish; Yang, Xiuli; Coleman, Adam S.; Pal, Utpal

    2010-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen of Lyme borreliosis, persists in nature through a tick-rodent transmission cycle. A selective assessment of the microbial transcriptome, limited to gene encoding putative membrane proteins, reveals that bba52 transcription in vivo is strictly confined to the vector-specific portion of microbial life cycle with highest expression levels in feeding ticks and swift downregulation in mice. bba52 deletion did not affect murine disease as assessed by the genesis of arthritis and carditis or long-term pathogen persistence in mice or ticks. However, bba52 deficiency did impair microbial transitions between hosts and vector, defects that could be fully rescued when bba52 expression was genetically restored to the original genomic locus. These studies establish that BBA52 facilitates vector-host transitions by the pathogen and as such, is a potential antigenic target for interference with B. burgdorferi transmission from ticks to mammalian hosts. PMID:20170377

  15. Reservoir Targeted Vaccine Against Borrelia burgdorferi: A New Strategy to Prevent Lyme Disease Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Richer, Luciana Meirelles; Brisson, Dustin; Melo, Rita; Ostfeld, Richard S.; Zeidner, Nordin; Gomes-Solecki, Maria

    2014-01-01

    A high prevalence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in ixodid ticks is correlated with a high incidence of Lyme disease. The transmission of B. burgdorferi to humans can be disrupted by targeting 2 key elements in its enzootic cycle: the reservoir host and the tick vector. In a prospective 5-year field trial, we show that oral vaccination of wild white-footed mice resulted in outer surface protein A–specific seropositivity that led to reductions of 23% and 76% in the nymphal infection prevalence in a cumulative, time-dependent manner (2 and 5 years, respectively), whereas the proportion of infected ticks recovered from control plots varied randomly over time. Significant decreases in tick infection prevalence were observed within 3 years of vaccine deployment. Implementation of such a long-term public health measure could substantially reduce the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease. PMID:24523510

  16. Non-viable Borrelia burgdorferi induce inflammatory mediators and apoptosis in human oligodendrocytes.

    PubMed

    Parthasarathy, Geetha; Fevrier, Helene B; Philipp, Mario T

    2013-11-27

    In previous studies, exposure to live Borrelia burgdorferi was shown to induce inflammation and apoptosis of human oligodendrocytes. In this study we assessed the ability of non-viable bacteria (heat killed or sonicated) to induce inflammatory mediators and cell death. Both heat-killed and sonicated bacteria induced release of CCL2, IL-6, and CXCL8 from oligodendrocytes in a dose dependent manner. In addition, non-viable B. burgdorferi also induced cell death as evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) and another cell viability assay. These results suggest that spirochetal residues left after bacterial demise, due to treatment or otherwise, may continue to be pathogenic to the central nervous system.

  17. Small RNAs of Borrelia burgdorferi: Characterizing Functional Regulators in a Sea of sRNAs


    PubMed Central

    Lybecker, Meghan C.; Samuels, D. Scott

    2017-01-01

    Borrelia (Borreliella) burgdorferi and closely related genospecies are the causative agents of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease north of the equator. The bacterium, a member of the spirochete phylum, is acquired by a tick vector that feeds on an infected vertebrate host and is transmitted to another vertebrate during subsequent feeding by the next tick stage. The precise navigation of this enzootic cycle entails the regulation of genes required for these two host-specific phases as well as the transitions between them. Recently, an expansive swath of small RNAs has been identified in B. burgdorferi and likely many, if not most, are involved in regulating gene expression. Regardless, with only a few exceptions, the functions of these RNAs are completely unknown. However, several state-of-the-art approaches are available to identify the targets of these RNAs and provide insight into their role in the enzootic cycle and infection. PMID:28656017

  18. Human Risk of Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme Disease Agent, in Eastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.; Hoen, Anne Gatewood; Cislo, Paul; Brinkerhoff, Robert; Hamer, Sarah A.; Rowland, Michelle; Cortinas, Roberto; Vourc'h, Gwenaël; Melton, Forrest; Hickling, Graham J.; Tsao, Jean I.; Bunikis, Jonas; Barbour, Alan G.; Kitron, Uriel; Piesman, Joseph; Fish, Durland

    2012-01-01

    The geographic pattern of human risk for infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the tick-borne pathogen that causes Lyme disease, was mapped for the eastern United States. The map is based on standardized field sampling in 304 sites of the density of Ixodes scapularis host-seeking nymphs infected with B. burgdorferi, which is closely associated with human infection risk. Risk factors for the presence and density of infected nymphs were used to model a continuous 8 km×8 km resolution predictive surface of human risk, including confidence intervals for each pixel. Discontinuous Lyme disease risk foci were identified in the Northeast and upper Midwest, with a transitional zone including sites with uninfected I. scapularis populations. Given frequent under- and over-diagnoses of Lyme disease, this map could act as a tool to guide surveillance, control, and prevention efforts and act as a baseline for studies tracking the spread of infection. PMID:22302869

  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.

  20. The critical role of the linear plasmid lp36 in the infectious cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Jewett, Mollie W; Lawrence, Kevin; Bestor, Aaron C; Tilly, Kit; Grimm, Dorothee; Shaw, Pamela; VanRaden, Mark; Gherardini, Frank; Rosa, Patricia A

    2007-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the aetiological agent of Lyme disease, follows a life cycle that involves passage between the tick vector and the mammalian host. To investigate the role of the 36 kb linear plasmid, lp36 (also designated the B. burgdorferi K plasmid), in the infectious cycle of B. burgdorferi, we examined a clone lacking this plasmid, but containing all other plasmids known to be required for infectivity. Our results indicated that lp36 was not required for spirochete survival in the tick, but the clone lacking lp36 demonstrated low infectivity in the mammal. Restoration of lp36 to the mutant strain confirmed that the infectivity defect was due to loss of lp36. Moreover, spirochetes lacking lp36 exhibited a nearly 4-log increase in ID50 relative to the isogenic lp36+ clone. The infectivity defect of lp36-minus spirochetes was localized, in part, to loss of the bbk17 (adeC) gene, which encodes an adenine deaminase. This work establishes a vital role for lp36 in the infectious cycle of B. burgdorferi and identifies the bbk17 gene as a component of this plasmid that contributes to mammalian infectivity. PMID:17542926

  1. Demonstration of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto infection in ticks from the northeast of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Gordillo-Pérez, G; Vargas, M; Solórzano-Santos, F; Rivera, A; Polaco, O J; Alvarado, L; Muñóz, O; Torres, J

    2009-05-01

    Borrelia burgdorferisensu lato infection has been confirmed in clinical cases in the northeast of Mexico; however, the bacterium has not been identified as infecting the tick vector Ixodes, Amblyomma and Dermacentor ticks were collected from mammals and plants in northeastern Mexico and examined for Borrelia. Eighteen of 214 ticks were PCR-positive for the fla and 16S rRNA genes and 15 for the ospA gene. Southern blotting with a fla probe and sequencing of ospA genes confirmed infection with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. These findings, together with reports of indigenous cases, fulfil the criteria that allow northeastern Mexico to be considered as a zone endemic for Lyme disease.

  2. Uptake and Killing of Leptospira interrogans and Borrelia burgdorferi, Spirochetes Pathogenic to Humans, by Reticuloendothelial Cells in Perfused Rat Liver

    PubMed Central

    Marangoni, Antonella; Aldini, Rita; Sambri, Vittorio; Montagnani, Marco; Ballardini, Giorgio; Storni, Elisa; Cevenini, Roberto

    2000-01-01

    In situ-perfused rat livers were infused with a single dose of 1.5 × 107 radiolabeled cells of Leptospira interrogans serovar icterohaemorrhagiae, the agent of leptospirosis, or with Borrelia burgdorferi IRS, the agent of Lyme disease. Significant (P < 0.0001) differences in the liver uptake of L. interrogans and of B. burgdorferi were observed, the uptakes being 37.4% ± 2.3% for L. interrogans and 60.5% ± 3.1% for B. burgdorferi. Leptospires, in contrast to borreliae, were recovered from the livers when liver samples were cultured in growth medium. Leptospires but not borreliae were recovered in bile within 30 min of infusion. The association of leptospires and borreliae with reticuloendothelial cells of the liver was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. Leptospires and borreliae were found to be associated with vimentin-positive cells and not with desmin-positive cells. Few leptospires but no borreliae were also seen associated with vimentin- and desmin-negative cells, suggesting the presence of leptospires outside the sinusoidal spaces, in the liver parenchyma. PMID:10948172

  3. Genetic Diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ticks from Mainland Portugal

    PubMed Central

    De Michelis, Simona; Sewell, Henna-Sisko; Collares-Pereira, Margarida; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Schouls, Leo M.; Benes, Vladimir; Holmes, Edward C.; Kurtenbach, Klaus

    2000-01-01

    To date Borrelia lusitaniae is the only genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolated from Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in Portugal and Tunisia. This suggests that the genospecies diversity of B. burgdorferi sensu lato decreases toward the southwestern margin of its Old World subtropical range. In order to further explore the genetic diversity of B. burgdorferi sensu lato from this region, 55 I. ricinus and 27 Hyalomma marginatum questing adults, collected during the spring of 1998 from a sylvatic habitat south of Lisbon, Portugal, were analyzed. Infection prevalences of 75% in I. ricinus ticks and 7% in H. marginatum ticks were detected by a nested PCR that targets the rrf (5S)-rrl (23S) spacer of B. burgdorferi sensu lato. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the I. ricinus-derived amplicons showed that the sequences in the majority of samples were similar to those of B. lusitaniae type strains (76% for strain PotiB1, 5% for strain PotiB3). Two novel RFLP patterns were obtained from 12% of the samples. The remaining 7% of samples gave mixed RFLP patterns. Phylogenetic analysis of rrf-rrl spacer sequences revealed a diverse population of B. lusitaniae in questing adult I. ricinus ticks (the sequences did not cluster with those of any other genospecies). This population consisted of 10 distinct sequence types, suggesting that multiple strains of B. lusitaniae were present in the local I. ricinus population. We hypothesize that B. lusitaniae has a narrow ecological niche that involves host species restricted to the Mediterranean Basin. PMID:10834965

  4. [Detection of antibodies of Borrelia burgdorferi among inhabitants of north-eastern Poland].

    PubMed

    Pancewicz, S A; Januszkiewicz, A; Hermanowska-Szpakowicz, T

    1996-01-01

    The aim of this work was to estimate the detection of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi among inhabitants in North Eastern Poland 1765 persons from Białystok, Lomza and Suwałki voivodships were examined. Among them 1101 persons were from high-risk of exposition to ticks group (forest workers, people living close to forests). 418 (23.68%) persons from group of 1765 had antibodies against B.b. There was no difference of incidence of antibodies against B.b. in high-risk group and the others. The results show that North Eastern Poland is the endemic region of occurrence of B.b.

  5. Do ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. constitute a burden to birds?

    PubMed

    Norte, A C; Lobato, D N C; Braga, E M; Antonini, Y; Lacorte, G; Gonçalves, M; Lopes de Carvalho, I; Gern, L; Núncio, M S; Ramos, J A

    2013-05-01

    Ticks consume resources from their hosts shaping their life-history traits and are vectors of many zoonotic pathogens. Several studies have focused on the health effects of blood-sucking ectoparasites on avian hosts, but there is limited information on the effects of ticks on adult and sub-adult birds, which may actively avoid ticks and are likely to present low infestation intensities. We evaluated the effects of the presence of feeding ticks and intensity of infestation on health variables of avian hosts. We also evaluated whether these variables were affected by tick infection by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) and by the presence of Borrelia infection on the birds' skin. Presence of parasite association among ticks, haemosporidea and Borrelia within the bird-host was also tested. We found that infestation by ticks significantly increased heterophyl/lymphocyte ratio in Turdus merula suggesting increased stress. This was especially evident at high infestation intensities when a significant decrease in body mass and body condition (body mass corrected for size) was also observed. Erithacus rubecula infested with more than 10 larvae tended to have lower haematocrit and blood haemoglobin. Plasma globulin concentration in T. merula tended to be affected by the presence of attached ticks and their infection with Borrelia, but this depended on the age of the bird. No association was detected among ticks, haemosporidea and Borrelia infection. We showed that ticks have detrimental effects on their avian hosts even under natural infestation conditions and that confirmed Borrelia reservoir hosts may also present symptoms of infection, though these may be subtle.

  6. Borrelia burgdorferi lipoproteins are secreted to the outer surface by default.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Ryan J; Zückert, Wolfram R

    2006-03-01

    Borrelia spirochaetes are unique among diderm bacteria in their abundance of surface-displayed lipoproteins, some of which play important roles in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease and relapsing fever. To identify the lipoprotein-sorting signals in Borrelia burgdorferi, we generated chimeras between the outer surface lipoprotein OspA, the periplasmic oligopeptide-binding lipoprotein OppAIV and mRFP1, a monomeric red fluorescent reporter protein. Localization of OspA and OppAIV point mutants showed that Borrelia lipoproteins do not follow the '+2' sorting rule which targets lipoproteins to the cytoplasmic or outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria via the Lol pathway. Fusions of mRFP1 to short N-terminal lipopeptides of OspA, and surprisingly OppAIV, were targeted to the spirochaetal surface. Mutagenesis of the OspA N-terminus defined less than five N-terminal amino acids as the minimal secretion-facilitating signal. With the exception of negative charges, which can act as partial subsurface retention signals in certain peptide contexts, lipoprotein secretion occurs independent of N-terminal sequence. Together, these data indicate that Borrelia lipoproteins are targeted to the bacterial surface by default, but can be retained in the periplasm by sequence-specific signals.

  7. [Risk of occupational infections caused by Borrelia burgdorferi among forestry workers and farmers].

    PubMed

    Tokarska-Rodak, Małgorzata; Plewik, Dorota; Kozioł-Montewka, Maria; Szepeluk, Adam; Paszkiewicz, Justyna

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the work was to analyze the incidence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in forestry workers and farmers, major groups occupationally exposed to tick bites. The study group included 275 workers (171 foresters and 104 farmers). The control group consisted of 45 people, who have not been occupationally exposed to tick bites. The screening Elisa and Wb tests for the presence of anti-Borrelia IgM/IgG antibodies were performed in all subjects of the study and control groups. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi2 test. The positive results denoting the presence of anti-Borrelia IgM/IgG antibodies were found in 55% of farmers and 28% of foresters occupationally exposed to Lyme borreliosis and coming from the area of South Podlasie Lowland and Lublin Polesie. The differences between the forestry workers and the control group (p < or = 0.00001) and between farmers and the control group (p < or = 0.001) were statistically significant. The species, such as B. spielmanii and B. bavariensis, which have not yet been reported in Poland, are significant etiologic agents of Lyme disease. The risk of occupational exposure to the B. burgdorferi infection is high for foresters and farmers, and the infection with spirochetes is frequently confirmed on the basis of positive results of the Wb test. The presence of specific antibodies against protein antigens of B. spielmanii and B. bavariensis suggest that these bacteria can cause Lyme disease both independently and in participation with other Borrelia species, which influences the development of the clinical manifestations of infection.

  8. Geographical distribution and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi genospecies in questing Ixodes ricinus from Romania: a countrywide study.

    PubMed

    Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Mihalca, Andrei D; Dumitrache, Mirabela O; Gherman, Călin M; Magdaş, Cristian; Mircean, Viorica; Oltean, Miruna; Domşa, Cristian; Matei, Ioana A; Mărcuţan, Daniel I; Sándor, Attila D; D'Amico, Gianluca; Paştiu, Anamaria; Györke, Adriana; Gavrea, Raluca; Marosi, Béla; Ionică, Angela; Burkhardt, Etelka; Toriay, Hortenzia; Cozma, Vasile

    2013-09-01

    The paper reports the prevalence and geographical distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) and its genospecies in 12,221 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks collected at 183 locations from all the 41 counties of Romania. The unfed ticks were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. by PCR targeting the intergenic spacer 5S-23S. Reverse line blot hybridization (RLB) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis were performed for identification of B. burgdorferi genospecies. The overall prevalence of infection was 1.4%, with an average local prevalence between 0.75% and 18.8%. B. burgdorferi s.l. was found in ticks of 55 of the 183 localities. The overall prevalence B. burgdorferi s.l. in ticks in the infected localities was 3.8%. The total infection prevalence was higher in female ticks than in other developmental stages. Three Borrelia genospecies were detected. The most widely distributed genospecies was B. afzelii, followed by B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). The study is the first countrywide study and the first report of B. burgdorferi s.s. in Romania. The distribution maps show that higher prevalences were recorded in hilly areas, but Lyme borreliosis spirochetes were also present in forested lowlands, albeit with a lower prevalence.

  9. Comprehensive Spatial Analysis of the Borrelia burgdorferi Lipoproteome Reveals a Compartmentalization Bias toward the Bacterial Surface

    PubMed Central

    Dowdell, Alexander S.; Murphy, Maxwell D.; Azodi, Christina; Swanson, Selene K.; Florens, Laurence

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is unique among bacteria in its large number of lipoproteins that are encoded by a small, exceptionally fragmented, and predominantly linear genome. Peripherally anchored in either the inner or outer membrane and facing either the periplasm or the external environment, these lipoproteins assume varied roles. A prominent subset of lipoproteins functioning as the apparent linchpins of the enzootic tick-vertebrate infection cycle have been explored as vaccine targets. Yet, most of the B. burgdorferi lipoproteome has remained uncharacterized. Here, we comprehensively and conclusively localize the B. burgdorferi lipoproteome by applying established protein localization assays to a newly generated epitope-tagged lipoprotein expression library and by validating the obtained individual protein localization results using a sensitive global mass spectrometry approach. The derived consensus localization data indicate that 86 of the 125 analyzed lipoproteins encoded by B. burgdorferi are secreted to the bacterial surface. Thirty-one of the remaining 39 periplasmic lipoproteins are retained in the inner membrane, with only 8 lipoproteins being anchored in the periplasmic leaflet of the outer membrane. The localization of 10 lipoproteins was further defined or revised, and 52 surface and 23 periplasmic lipoproteins were newly localized. Cross-referencing prior studies revealed that the borrelial surface lipoproteome contributing to the host-pathogen interface is encoded predominantly by plasmids. Conversely, periplasmic lipoproteins are encoded mainly by chromosomal loci. These studies close a gap in our understanding of the functional lipoproteome of an important human pathogen and set the stage for more in-depth studies of thus-far-neglected spirochetal lipoproteins. IMPORTANCE The small and exceptionally fragmented genome of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi encodes over 120 lipoproteins. Studies in the

  10. 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

  11. Borrelia burgdorferi Keeps Moving and Carries on: A Review of Borrelial Dissemination and Invasion.

    PubMed

    Hyde, Jenny A

    2017-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the etiological agent of Lyme disease, a multisystemic, multistage, inflammatory infection resulting in patients experiencing cardiac, neurological, and arthritic complications when not treated with antibiotics shortly after exposure. The spirochetal bacterium transmits through the Ixodes vector colonizing the dermis of a mammalian host prior to hematogenous dissemination and invasion of distal tissues all the while combating the immune response as it traverses through its pathogenic lifecycle. The innate immune response controls the borrelial burden in the dermis, but is unable to clear the infection and thereby prevent progression of disease. Dissemination in the mammalian host requires temporal regulation of virulence determinants to allow for vascular interactions, invasion, and colonization of distal tissues. Virulence determinants and/or adhesins are highly heterogenetic among environmental B. burgdorferi strains with particular genotypes being associated with the ability to disseminate to specific tissues and the severity of disease, but fail to generate cross-protective immunity between borrelial strains. The unique motility of B. burgdorferi rendered by the endoflagella serves a vital function for dissemination and protection from immune recognition. Progress has been made toward understanding the chemotactic regulation coordinating the activity of the two polar localized flagellar motors and their role in borrelial virulence, but this regulation is not yet fully understood. Distinct states of motility allow for dynamic interactions between several B. burgdorferi adhesins and host targets that play roles in transendothelial migration. Transmigration across endothelial and blood-brain barriers allows for the invasion of tissues and elicits localized immune responses. The invasive nature of B. burgdorferi is lacking in proactive mechanisms to modulate disease, such as secretion systems and toxins, but recent work has shown degradation

  12. Borrelia burgdorferi Keeps Moving and Carries on: A Review of Borrelial Dissemination and Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Hyde, Jenny A.

    2017-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the etiological agent of Lyme disease, a multisystemic, multistage, inflammatory infection resulting in patients experiencing cardiac, neurological, and arthritic complications when not treated with antibiotics shortly after exposure. The spirochetal bacterium transmits through the Ixodes vector colonizing the dermis of a mammalian host prior to hematogenous dissemination and invasion of distal tissues all the while combating the immune response as it traverses through its pathogenic lifecycle. The innate immune response controls the borrelial burden in the dermis, but is unable to clear the infection and thereby prevent progression of disease. Dissemination in the mammalian host requires temporal regulation of virulence determinants to allow for vascular interactions, invasion, and colonization of distal tissues. Virulence determinants and/or adhesins are highly heterogenetic among environmental B. burgdorferi strains with particular genotypes being associated with the ability to disseminate to specific tissues and the severity of disease, but fail to generate cross-protective immunity between borrelial strains. The unique motility of B. burgdorferi rendered by the endoflagella serves a vital function for dissemination and protection from immune recognition. Progress has been made toward understanding the chemotactic regulation coordinating the activity of the two polar localized flagellar motors and their role in borrelial virulence, but this regulation is not yet fully understood. Distinct states of motility allow for dynamic interactions between several B. burgdorferi adhesins and host targets that play roles in transendothelial migration. Transmigration across endothelial and blood–brain barriers allows for the invasion of tissues and elicits localized immune responses. The invasive nature of B. burgdorferi is lacking in proactive mechanisms to modulate disease, such as secretion systems and toxins, but recent work has shown

  13. Expression Profiles of Toll-Like Receptors in the Differentiation of an Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Spirochetes.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Slawomir; Ziółko, Ewa; Kimsa-Dudek, Magdalena; Solarz, Krzysztof; Mazurek, Urszula; Wierzgoń, Aleksander; Kokot, Teresa; Muc-Wierzgoń, Małgorzata

    2017-04-01

    The similarity of Lyme borreliosis to other diseases and its complex pathogenesis present diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties. The changes that occur at the cellular and molecular levels after a Borrelia sp. infection still remain poorly understood. Therefore, the present study focused on the expression of TLR and TLR-signaling genes in human dermal fibroblasts in the differentiation of an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes. Normal human dermal fibroblasts were cultured with the spirochetes of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii. Total RNA was extracted from the cells using TRIzol reagent. The analysis of the expression profiles of TLRs and TLR-related genes was performed using commercially available oligonucleotide microarrays of HG-U133A. The GeneSpring 12.0 platform and significance analysis of microarrays were used for the statistical analysis of microarray data. The analyses using the oligonucleotide microarray and QRT-PCR techniques permitted to identify the genes encoding TLR4 and TLR6 as specific for infection with B. afzelii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. In turn, TLR3 was only characteristic for an infection with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. There were no changes in the TLR gene expression after infection with B. garinii. Our findings confirm that Borrelia has a major effect on fibroblast gene expression. Further characterization of changes in gene expression may lead to valuable insights into the role of the toll-like receptor in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease and may provide guidelines for the development of diagnostic markers for an infection with a particular Borrelia genospecies. Moreover, this will help to identify better treatment strategies for Lyme disease.

  14. 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

  15. NKT cells prevent chronic joint inflammation after infection with Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Tupin, Emmanuel; Benhnia, Mohammed Rafii-El-Idrissi; Kinjo, Yuki; Patsey, Rebeca; Lena, Christopher J; Haller, Matthew C; Caimano, Melissa J; Imamura, Masakazu; Wong, Chi-Huey; Crotty, Shane; Radolf, Justin D; Sellati, Timothy J; Kronenberg, Mitchell

    2008-12-16

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, a multisystem inflammatory disorder that principally targets the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system. The role of T lymphocytes in the development of chronic inflammation resulting from B. burgdorferi infection has been controversial. We previously showed that natural killer T (NKT) cells with an invariant (i) TCR alpha chain (iNKT cells) recognize glycolipids from B. burgdorferi, but did not establish an in vivo role for iNKT cells in Lyme disease pathogenesis. Here, we evaluate the importance of iNKT cells for host defense against these pathogenic spirochetes by using Valpha14i NKT cell-deficient (Jalpha18(-/-)) BALB/c mice. On tick inoculation with B. burgdorferi, Jalpha18(-/-) mice exhibited more severe and prolonged arthritis as well as a reduced ability to clear spirochetes from infected tissues. Valpha14i NKT cell deficiency also resulted in increased production of antibodies directed against both B. burgdorferi protein antigens and borrelial diacylglycerols; the latter finding demonstrates that anti-glycolipid antibody production does not require cognate help from Valpha14i NKT cells. Valpha14i NKT cells in infected wild-type mice expressed surface activation markers and produced IFNgamma in vivo after infection, suggesting a participatory role for this unique population in cellular immunity. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that the antigen-specific activation of Valpha14i NKT cells is important for the prevention of persistent joint inflammation and spirochete clearance, and they counter the long-standing notion that humoral rather than cellular immunity is sufficient to facilitate Lyme disease resolution.

  16. Borrelia burgdorferi, the Causative Agent of Lyme Disease, Forms Drug-Tolerant Persister Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Bijaya; Brown, Autumn V.; Matluck, Nicole E.; Hu, Linden T.

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of Lyme disease, which affects an estimated 300,000 people annually in the United States. When treated early, the disease usually resolves, but when left untreated, it can result in symptoms such as arthritis and encephalopathy. Treatment of the late-stage disease may require multiple courses of antibiotic therapy. Given that antibiotic resistance has not been observed for B. burgdorferi, the reason for the recalcitrance of late-stage disease to antibiotics is unclear. In other chronic infections, the presence of drug-tolerant persisters has been linked to recalcitrance of the disease. In this study, we examined the ability of B. burgdorferi to form persisters. Killing growing cultures of B. burgdorferi with antibiotics used to treat the disease was distinctly biphasic, with a small subpopulation of surviving cells. Upon regrowth, these cells formed a new subpopulation of antibiotic-tolerant cells, indicating that these are persisters rather than resistant mutants. The level of persisters increased sharply as the culture transitioned from the exponential to stationary phase. Combinations of antibiotics did not improve killing. Daptomycin, a membrane-active bactericidal antibiotic, killed stationary-phase cells but not persisters. Mitomycin C, an anticancer agent that forms adducts with DNA, killed persisters and eradicated growing and stationary cultures of B. burgdorferi. Finally, we examined the ability of pulse dosing an antibiotic to eliminate persisters. After addition of ceftriaxone, the antibiotic was washed away, surviving persisters were allowed to resuscitate, and the antibiotic was added again. Four pulse doses of ceftriaxone killed persisters, eradicating all live bacteria in the culture. PMID:26014929

  17. Borrelia burgdorferi Promotes the Establishment of Babesia microti in the Northeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Jessica M.; Krause, Peter J.; Davis, Stephen; Vannier, Edouard G.; Fitzpatrick, Meagan C.; Rollend, Lindsay; Belperron, Alexia A.; States, Sarah L.; Stacey, Andrew; Bockenstedt, Linda K.; Fish, Durland; Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.

    2014-01-01

    Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi, the respective causative agents of human babesiosis and Lyme disease, are maintained in their enzootic cycles by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and use the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) as primary reservoir host. The geographic range of both pathogens has expanded in the United States, but the spread of babesiosis has lagged behind that of Lyme disease. Several studies have estimated the basic reproduction number (R0) for B. microti to be below the threshold for persistence (<1), a finding that is inconsistent with the persistence and geographic expansion of this pathogen. We tested the hypothesis that host coinfection with B. burgdorferi increases the likelihood of B. microti transmission and establishment in new areas. We fed I. scapularis larva on P. leucopus mice that had been infected in the laboratory with B. microti and/or B. burgdorferi. We observed that coinfection in mice increases the frequency of B. microti infected ticks. To identify the ecological variables that would increase the probability of B. microti establishment in the field, we integrated our laboratory data with field data on tick burden and feeding activity in an R0 model. Our model predicts that high prevalence of B. burgdorferi infected mice lowers the ecological threshold for B. microti establishment, especially at sites where larval burden on P. leucopus is lower and where larvae feed simultaneously or soon after nymphs infect mice, when most of the transmission enhancement due to coinfection occurs. Our studies suggest that B. burgdorferi contributes to the emergence and expansion of B. microti and provides a model to predict the ecological factors that are sufficient for emergence of B. microti in the wild. PMID:25545393

  18. Borrelia burgdorferi transcriptome in the central nervous system of non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Narasimhan, Sukanya; Caimano, Melissa J; Liang, Fang Ting; Santiago, Felix; Laskowski, Michelle; Philipp, Mario T; Pachner, Andrew R; Radolf, Justin D; Fikrig, Erol; Camaino, Melissa J

    2003-12-23

    Neurological symptoms are common manifestations of Lyme disease; however, the paucibacillary nature of the spirochete in this environment has precluded a molecular analysis of the spirochete in the CNS. We have now adapted differential expression analysis by using a custom-amplified library (DECAL) in conjunction with Borrelia burgdorferi whole-genome and subgenome arrays to examine in vivo gene expression by B. burgdorferi in a non-human primate (NHP) model of neuroborreliosis. The expression profile of B. burgdorferi was examined in the CNS and heart of steroid-treated and immunocompetent NHPs. Eighty-six chromosomal genes and 80 plasmid-encoded genes were expressed at similar levels in the CNS and heart tissue of both immunocompetent and steroid-treated NHPs. The expression of 66 chromosomal genes and 32 plasmid-encoded genes was increased in the CNS of both immunocompetent and steroid-treated NHPs. It is likely that the expression of these genes is governed by physiological factors specific to the CNS milieu. However, 83 chromosomal and 114 plasmid-encoded genes showed contrasting expression profiles in steroid-treated and immunocompetent NHPs. The effect of dexamethasone on the immune status of the host as well as on the host metabolic pathways could contribute to these differences in the B. burgdorferi transcriptome. Results obtained herein underscore the complex interplay of host factors on B. burgdorferi gene expression in vivo. The results provide a global snapshot of the spirochetal transcriptome in the CNS and should spur the design of experiments aimed at understanding the molecular basis of neuroborreliosis.

  19. In Vivo Expression Technology Identifies a Novel Virulence Factor Critical for Borrelia burgdorferi Persistence in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Tisha Choudhury; Jain, Sunny; Linowski, Angelika K.; Rike, Kelli; Bestor, Aaron; Rosa, Patricia A.; Halpern, Micah; Kurhanewicz, Stephanie; Jewett, Mollie W.

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of the transcriptome of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, during infection has proven difficult due to the low spirochete loads in the mammalian tissues. To overcome this challenge, we have developed an In Vivo Expression Technology (IVET) system for identification of B. burgdorferi genes expressed during an active murine infection. Spirochetes lacking linear plasmid (lp) 25 are non-infectious yet highly transformable. Mouse infection can be restored to these spirochetes by expression of the essential lp25-encoded pncA gene alone. Therefore, this IVET-based approach selects for in vivo-expressed promoters that drive expression of pncA resulting in the recovery of infectious spirochetes lacking lp25 following a three week infection in mice. Screening of approximately 15,000 clones in mice identified 289 unique in vivo-expressed DNA fragments from across all 22 replicons of the B. burgdorferi B31 genome. The in vivo-expressed candidate genes putatively encode proteins in various functional categories including antigenicity, metabolism, motility, nutrient transport and unknown functions. Candidate gene bbk46 on essential virulence plasmid lp36 was found to be highly induced in vivo and to be RpoS-independent. Immunocompetent mice inoculated with spirochetes lacking bbk46 seroconverted but no spirochetes were recovered from mouse tissues three weeks post inoculation. However, the bbk46 gene was not required for B. burgdorferi infection of immunodeficient mice. Therefore, through an initial IVET screen in B. burgdorferi we have identified a novel in vivo-induced virulence factor critical for the ability of the spirochete to evade the humoral immune response and persistently infect mice. PMID:24009501

  20. Diverse Borrelia burgdorferi Strains in a Bird-Tick Cryptic Cycle ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Hamer, Sarah A.; Hickling, Graham J.; Sidge, Jennifer L.; Rosen, Michelle E.; Walker, Edward D.; Tsao, Jean I.

    2011-01-01

    The blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector of the most prevalent vector-borne zoonosis in North America, Lyme disease (LD). Enzootic maintenance of the pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi by I. scapularis and small mammals is well documented, whereas its “cryptic” maintenance by other specialist ticks and wildlife hosts remains largely unexplored because these ticks rarely bite humans. We quantified B. burgdorferi infection in a cryptic bird-rabbit-tick cycle. Furthermore, we explored the role of birds in maintaining and moving B. burgdorferi strains by comparing their genetic diversity in this cryptic cycle to that found in cycles vectored by I. scapularis. We examined birds, rabbits, and small mammals for ticks and infection over a 4-year period at a focal site in Michigan, 90 km east of a zone of I. scapularis invasion. We mist netted 19,631 birds that yielded 12,301 ticks, of which 86% were I. dentatus, a bird-rabbit specialist. No resident wildlife harbored I. scapularis, and yet 3.5% of bird-derived ticks, 3.6% of rabbit-derived ticks, and 20% of rabbit ear biopsy specimens were infected with B. burgdorferi. We identified 25 closely related B. burgdorferi strains using an rRNA gene intergenic spacer marker, the majority (68%) of which had not been reported previously. The presence of strains common to both cryptic and endemic cycles strongly implies bird-mediated dispersal. Given continued large-scale expansion of I. scapularis populations, we predict that its invasion into zones of cryptic transmission will allow for bridging of novel pathogen strains to humans and animals. PMID:21257811

  1. Evaluation of the importance of VlsE antigenic variation for the enzootic cycle of borrelia burgdorferi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Efficient acquisition and transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi by the tick vector, and the ability to persistently infect both vector and host, are important elements for the life cycle of the Lyme disease pathogen. Previous work has provided strong evidence implicating the significance of the vls l...

  2. Localization of outer surface proteins A and B in both the outer membrane and intracellular compartments of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Brusca, J S; McDowall, A W; Norgard, M V; Radolf, J D

    1991-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi B31 with and without outer membranes contained nearly identical amounts of outer surface proteins A and B. The majority of each immunogen also was localized intracellularly by immunocryoultramicrotomy. These results are inconsistent with the widely held belief that outer surface proteins A and B are exclusively outer membrane proteins. Images FIG. 1 FIG. 2 FIG. 3 PMID:1744059

  3. Plasmodium spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi co-infection associated with antiphospholipid syndrome in a returned traveler: a case report.

    PubMed

    Neves, Nélia; Silva-Pinto, André; Rocha, Helena; Silva, Susana; Pereira, Edite; Sarmento, Antonio; Santos, Lurdes

    2017-04-01

    The differential diagnosis of fever in a returned traveler is wide and challenging. We present a case of a patient working in Africa, who returned with fever, constitutional symptoms, headache, and blurred vision. An initial diagnosis of malaria was made, and additional workup revealed Borrelia burgdorferi co-infection and antiphospholipid syndrome.

  4. Impact of white-tailed deer on the spread of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Roome, A; Hill, L; Al-Feghali, V; Murnock, C G; Goodsell, J A; Spathis, R; Garruto, R M

    2017-03-01

    There is a public perception that the white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) is the main reservoir supporting the maintenance and spread of the causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi. This study examines the pathogen prevalence rate of Borrelia in adult Ixodes scapularis (Ixodida: Ixodidae), the black-legged tick, collected from white-tailed deer and compares it with pathogen prevalence rates in adult ticks gathered by dragging vegetation in two contiguous counties west of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. In both Broome and Chenango Counties, attached and unattached ticks harvested from white-tailed deer had significantly lower prevalences of B. burgdorferi than those collected from vegetation. No attached ticks on deer (n = 148) in either county, and only 2.4 and 7.3% of unattached ticks (n = 389) in Broome and Chenango Counties, respectively, were harbouring the pathogen. This contrasts with the finding that 40.8% of ticks in Broome County and 46.8% of ticks in Chenango County collected from vegetation harboured the pathogen. These data suggest that a mechanism in white-tailed deer may aid in clearing the pathogen from attached deer ticks, although white-tailed deer do contribute to the spatial distribution of deer tick populations and also serve as deadend host breeding sites for ticks. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

  5. Detection of Invasive Borrelia burgdorferi Strains in North-Eastern Piedmont, Italy.

    PubMed

    Pintore, M D; Ceballos, L; Iulini, B; Tomassone, L; Pautasso, A; Corbellini, D; Rizzo, F; Mandola, M L; Bardelli, M; Peletto, S; Acutis, P L; Mannelli, A; Casalone, C

    2015-08-01

    Following reports of human cases of Lyme borreliosis from the Ossola Valley, a mountainous area of Piemonte, north-western Italy, the abundance and altitudinal distribution of ticks, and infection of these vectors with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato were evaluated. A total of 1662 host-seeking Ixodes ricinus were collected by dragging from April to September 2011 at locations between 400 and 1450 m above sea level. Additional 104 I. ricinus were collected from 35 hunted wild animals (4 chamois, 8 roe deer, 23 red deer). Tick density, expressed as the number of ticks per 100 m(2), resulted highly variable among different areas, ranging from 0 to 105 larvae and from 0 to 22 nymphs. A sample of 352 ticks (327 from dragging and 25 from wild animals) was screened by a PCR assay targeting a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene of B. burgdorferi s.l. Positive samples were confirmed with a PCR assay specific for the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region and sequenced. Four genospecies were found: B. afzelii (prevalence 4.0%), B. lusitaniae (4.0%), B. garinii (1.5%) and B. valaisiana (0.3%). Phylogenetic analysis based on the ospC gene showed that most of the Borrelia strains from pathogenic genospecies had the potential for human infection and for invasion of secondary body sites.

  6. CspA from Borrelia burgdorferi Inhibits the Terminal Complement Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Hallström, Teresia; Siegel, Corinna; Mörgelin, Matthias; Kraiczy, Peter; Skerka, Christine; Zipfel, Peter F.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT In order to survive and persist in an immunocompetent human host, Borrelia burgdorferi controls the human immune attack and blocks the damaging effects of the activated complement system. These Gram-negative spirochetes use CspA (CRASP-1) and four additional immune evasion proteins to bind combinations of human plasma regulators, including factor H, factor H-like protein 1 (FHL-1), complement factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR1), CFHR2, CFHR5, and plasminogen. As many microbial immune evasion proteins have multiple functions, we hypothesized that CspA has additional roles in complement or immune control. Here, we identify CspA as a terminal complement inhibitor. Borrelial CspA binds the human terminal complement components C7 and C9 and blocks assembly and membrane insertion of the terminal complement complex (TCC). CspA inhibits TCC assembly at the level of C7, as revealed by hemolytic assays, and inhibits polymerization of C9. CspA, when ectopically expressed on the surface of serum-sensitive Borrelia garinii, blocks TCC assembly on the level of C7 and induces serum resistance in the transformed bacteria. This CspA-mediated serum resistance and terminal complement pathway inhibition allow B. burgdorferi to survive in the hostile environment of human plasma. PMID:23943762

  7. Antigenic characteristics of Borrelia burgdorferi isolates from ixodid ticks in California.

    PubMed Central

    Lane, R S; Pascocello, J A

    1989-01-01

    Twenty (1.4%) of 1,421 adult Ixodes pacificus ticks and 2 (20%) of 10 adult Ixodes neotomae ticks collected in five counties of northern California were found to contain spirochetes by direct immunofluorescence examination of their tissues with a polyvalent conjugate. Borreliae isolated from the tissues of nine of these ticks (I. pacificus, 8; I. neotomae, 1) were identified as Borrelia burgdorferi with specific monoclonal antibodies and characterized further by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blot (immunoblot) analyses. The isolate from I. neotomae was the first to be characterized from a tick other than I. pacificus in western North America. All strains were relatively homogeneous with respect to the kind of OspA proteins they produced, whereas they were heterogeneous with regard to their OspB proteins and to several low-molecular-weight proteins in the 21,500-to-24,000 region. Significant phenotypic variation was observed among isolates obtained within and between populations of I. pacificus. This investigation nearly doubles the number of isolates of B. burgdorferi that have been characterized from ixodid ticks in the far western United States. Images PMID:2685030

  8. 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

  9. A short-term Borrelia burgdorferi infection model identifies tissue tropisms and bloodstream survival conferred by adhesion proteins.

    PubMed

    Caine, Jennifer A; Coburn, Jenifer

    2015-08-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease in the United States, is able to persist in the joint, heart, skin, and central nervous system for the lifetime of its mammalian host. Borrelia species achieve dissemination to distal sites in part by entry into and travel within the bloodstream. Much work has been performed in vitro describing the roles of many B. burgdorferi outer surface proteins in adhesion to host cell surface proteins and extracellular matrix components, although the biological relevance of these interactions is only beginning to be explored in vivo. A need exists in the field for an in vivo model to define the biological roles of B. burgdorferi adhesins in tissue-specific vascular interactions. We have developed an in vivo model of vascular interaction of B. burgdorferi in which the bacteria are injected intravenously and allowed to circulate for 1 h. This model has shown that the fibronectin binding protein BB0347 has a tropism for joint tissue. We also have shown an importance of the integrin binding protein, P66, in binding to vasculature of the ear and heart. This model also revealed unexpected roles for Borrelia adhesins BBK32 and OspC in bacterial burdens in the bloodstream. The intravenous inoculation model of short-term infection provides new insights into critical B. burgdorferi interactions with the host required for initial survival and tissue colonization.

  10. Inter- and intra-specific pan-genomes of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato: genome stability and adaptive radiation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lyme disease is caused by spirochete bacteria from the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi s.l.) species complex. To reconstruct the evolution of B. burgdorferi s.l. and identify the genomic basis of its human virulence, we compared the genomes of 23 B. burgdorferi s.l. isolates from Europe and the United States, including B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (B. burgdorferi s.s., 14 isolates), B. afzelii (2), B. garinii (2), B. “bavariensis” (1), B. spielmanii (1), B. valaisiana (1), B. bissettii (1), and B. “finlandensis” (1). Results Robust B. burgdorferi s.s. and B. burgdorferi s.l. phylogenies were obtained using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms, despite recombination. Phylogeny-based pan-genome analysis showed that the rate of gene acquisition was higher between species than within species, suggesting adaptive speciation. Strong positive natural selection drives the sequence evolution of lipoproteins, including chromosomally-encoded genes 0102 and 0404, cp26-encoded ospC and b08, and lp54-encoded dbpA, a07, a22, a33, a53, a65. Computer simulations predicted rapid adaptive radiation of genomic groups as population size increases. Conclusions Intra- and inter-specific pan-genome sizes of B. burgdorferi s.l. expand linearly with phylogenetic diversity. Yet gene-acquisition rates in B. burgdorferi s.l. are among the lowest in bacterial pathogens, resulting in high genome stability and few lineage-specific genes. Genome adaptation of B. burgdorferi s.l. is driven predominantly by copy-number and sequence variations of lipoprotein genes. New genomic groups are likely to emerge if the current trend of B. burgdorferi s.l. population expansion continues. PMID:24112474

  11. CspA from Borrelia burgdorferi inhibits the terminal complement pathway.

    PubMed

    Hallström, Teresia; Siegel, Corinna; Mörgelin, Matthias; Kraiczy, Peter; Skerka, Christine; Zipfel, Peter F

    2013-08-13

    In order to survive and persist in an immunocompetent human host, Borrelia burgdorferi controls the human immune attack and blocks the damaging effects of the activated complement system. These Gram-negative spirochetes use CspA (CRASP-1) and four additional immune evasion proteins to bind combinations of human plasma regulators, including factor H, factor H-like protein 1 (FHL-1), complement factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR1), CFHR2, CFHR5, and plasminogen. As many microbial immune evasion proteins have multiple functions, we hypothesized that CspA has additional roles in complement or immune control. Here, we identify CspA as a terminal complement inhibitor. Borrelial CspA binds the human terminal complement components C7 and C9 and blocks assembly and membrane insertion of the terminal complement complex (TCC). CspA inhibits TCC assembly at the level of C7, as revealed by hemolytic assays, and inhibits polymerization of C9. CspA, when ectopically expressed on the surface of serum-sensitive Borrelia garinii, blocks TCC assembly on the level of C7 and induces serum resistance in the transformed bacteria. This CspA-mediated serum resistance and terminal complement pathway inhibition allow B. burgdorferi to survive in the hostile environment of human plasma. The present study defines a new mechanism by which the pathogenic bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi controls the terminal complement pathway of the human host to survive in human serum. The borrelial CspA binds to terminal pathway proteins C7 and C9 and inhibits the terminal complement pathway at the step of C7 and thereby inhibits terminal complement complex (TCC) assembly and membrane insertion. CspA blocks TCC assembly and insertion when expressed at the bacterial surface. CspA is the first TCC inhibitor cloned and functionally characterized from a Gram-negative bacterium. This identification of a bacterial TCC inhibitor of pathogen origin expands our knowledge of complement evasion of pathogenic bacteria and

  12. Patterns of tick infestation and their Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection in wild birds in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Norte, A C; da Silva, L P; Tenreiro, P J Q; Felgueiras, M S; Araújo, P M; Lopes, P B; Matos, C; Rosa, A; Ferreira, P J S G; Encarnação, P; Rocha, A; Escudero, R; Anda, P; Núncio, M S; Lopes de Carvalho, I

    2015-09-01

    Wild birds may act as reservoirs for zoonotic pathogens and may be mechanical carriers of pathogen infected vector ticks through long distances during migration. The aim of this study was to assess tick infestation patterns in birds in Portugal and the prevalence of tick infection by Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. using PCR techniques. Seven tick species were collected from birds including Haemaphysalis punctata, Hyalomma spp., Ixodes acuminatus, Ixodes arboricola, Ixodes frontalis, Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes ventalloi. We found that I. frontalis and Hyalomma spp. were the most common ticks infesting birds of several species and that they were widespread in Portugal. Turdus merula was the bird species that presented the highest diversity of infesting ticks and had one of the highest infestation intensities. B. burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 7.3% (37/505) of Ixodidae ticks derived from birds. The most common genospecies was Borrelia turdi (6.9%), detected in ticks collected from Parus major, T. merula and Turdus philomelos, but Borrelia valaisiana (0.2%) and one Borrelia sp. (0.2%) similar to Borrelia bissettii (96% of similarity of the flaB gene in Blastn) were also detected. This study contributed to a better knowledge of the Ixodidae tick fauna parasitizing birds in Western Europe and to the assessment of the prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. associated with birds and their ticks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. The Borrelia burgdorferi CheY3 response regulator is essential for chemotaxis and completion of its natural infection cycle.

    PubMed

    Novak, Elizabeth A; Sekar, Padmapriya; Xu, Hui; Moon, Ki Hwan; Manne, Akarsh; Wooten, R Mark; Motaleb, Md A

    2016-12-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi possesses a sophisticated and complex chemotaxis system, but how the organism utilizes this system in its natural enzootic life cycle is poorly understood. Of the three CheY chemotaxis response regulators in B. burgdorferi, we found that only deletion of cheY3 resulted in an altered motility and significantly reduced chemotaxis phenotype. Although ΔcheY3 maintained normal densities in unfed ticks, their numbers were significantly reduced in fed ticks compared with the parental or cheY3-complemented spirochetes. Importantly, mice fed upon by the ΔcheY3-infected ticks did not develop a persistent infection. Intravital confocal microscopy analyses discovered that the ΔcheY3 spirochetes were motile within skin, but appeared unable to reverse direction and perform the characteristic backward-forward motility displayed by the parental strain. Subsequently, the ΔcheY3 became 'trapped' in the skin matrix within days of inoculation, were cleared from the skin needle-inoculation site within 96 h post-injection and did not disseminate to distant tissues. Interestingly, although ΔcheY3 cells were cleared within 96 h post-injection, this attenuated infection elicited significant levels of B. burgdorferi-specific IgM and IgG. Taken together, these data demonstrate that cheY3-mediated chemotaxis is crucial for motility, dissemination and viability of the spirochete both within and between mice and ticks. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Extracellular secretion of the Borrelia burgdorferi Oms28 porin and Bgp, a glycosaminoglycan binding protein.

    PubMed

    Cluss, Robert G; Silverman, Damon A; Stafford, Thomas R

    2004-11-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease pathogen, cycles between its Ixodes tick vector and vertebrate hosts, adapting to vastly different biochemical environments. Spirochete gene expression as a function of temperature, pH, growth phase, and host milieu is well studied, and recent work suggests that regulatory networks are involved. Here, we examine the release of Borrelia burgdorferi strain B31 proteins into conditioned medium. Spirochetes intrinsically radiolabeled at concentrations ranging from 10(7) to 10(9) cells per ml secreted Oms28, a previously characterized outer membrane porin, into RPMI medium. As determined by immunoblotting, this secretion was not associated with outer membrane blebs or cytoplasmic contamination. A similar profile of secreted proteins was obtained for spirochetes radiolabeled in mixtures of RPMI medium and serum-free Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly (BSK II) medium. Proteomic liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of tryptic fragments derived from strain B31 culture supernatants confirmed the identity of the 28-kDa species as Oms28 and revealed a 26-kDa protein as 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (Pfs-2), previously described as Bgp, a glycosaminoglycan-binding protein. The release of Oms28 into the culture medium is more selective when the spirochetes are in logarithmic phase of growth compared to organisms obtained from stationary phase. As determined by immunoblotting, stationary-phase spirochetes released OspA, OspB, and flagellin. Oms28 secreted by strains B31, HB19, and N40 was also recovered by radioimmunoprecipitation. This is the first report of B. burgdorferi protein secretion into the extracellular environment. The possible roles of Oms28 and Bgp in the host-pathogen interaction are considered.

  17. Extracellular Secretion of the Borrelia burgdorferi Oms28 Porin and Bgp, a Glycosaminoglycan Binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Cluss, Robert G.; Silverman, Damon A.; Stafford, Thomas R.

    2004-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease pathogen, cycles between its Ixodes tick vector and vertebrate hosts, adapting to vastly different biochemical environments. Spirochete gene expression as a function of temperature, pH, growth phase, and host milieu is well studied, and recent work suggests that regulatory networks are involved. Here, we examine the release of Borrelia burgdorferi strain B31 proteins into conditioned medium. Spirochetes intrinsically radiolabeled at concentrations ranging from 107 to 109 cells per ml secreted Oms28, a previously characterized outer membrane porin, into RPMI medium. As determined by immunoblotting, this secretion was not associated with outer membrane blebs or cytoplasmic contamination. A similar profile of secreted proteins was obtained for spirochetes radiolabeled in mixtures of RPMI medium and serum-free Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly (BSK II) medium. Proteomic liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of tryptic fragments derived from strain B31 culture supernatants confirmed the identity of the 28-kDa species as Oms28 and revealed a 26-kDa protein as 5′-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (Pfs-2), previously described as Bgp, a glycosaminoglycan-binding protein. The release of Oms28 into the culture medium is more selective when the spirochetes are in logarithmic phase of growth compared to organisms obtained from stationary phase. As determined by immunoblotting, stationary-phase spirochetes released OspA, OspB, and flagellin. Oms28 secreted by strains B31, HB19, and N40 was also recovered by radioimmunoprecipitation. This is the first report of B. burgdorferi protein secretion into the extracellular environment. The possible roles of Oms28 and Bgp in the host-pathogen interaction are considered. PMID:15501754

  18. 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

  19. Analysis of promoters in Borrelia burgdorferi by use of a transiently expressed reporter gene.

    PubMed Central

    Sohaskey, C D; Arnold, C; Barbour, A G

    1997-01-01

    A transient chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) expression system was developed for Borrelia burgdorferi. An Escherichia coli vector containing a promoterless Streptococcus agalactiae cat gene was constructed. Promoters for ospA, ospC, and flaB were placed upstream of this cat gene, and CAT assays were performed in E. coli from these stably maintained plasmids. The plasmids with putative promoters ospA and flaB were found to be approximately 20-fold more active than were the plasmids with ospC or no promoter. The level of activity correlated well with the resistance to chloramphenicol that each plasmid provided. Next, the nonreplicative plasmid constructs were transformed by electroporation into B. burgdorferi. CAT assays were performed by both thin-layer chromatography and the fluor diffusion method. Measurement of CAT activity demonstrated that the ospA promoter was again about 20-fold more active than the promoterless cat gene. The flaB and ospC promoters increased the activity seven- and threefold, respectively, over that with the promoterless construct. This simple transient-expression assay was shown to be an effective method to study promoter function in B. burgdorferi in the absence of a well-developed genetic system. PMID:9352937

  20. Essential protective role attributed to the surface lipoproteins of Borrelia burgdorferi against innate defenses

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Qilong; McShan, Kristy; Liang, Fang Ting

    2008-01-01

    Summary To initiate infection, a microbial pathogen must be able to evade innate immunity. Here we show that the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi depends on its surface lipoproteins for protection against innate defenses. The deficiency for OspC, an abundantly expressed surface lipoprotein during early infection, led to quick clearance of B. burgdorferi after inoculation into the skin of SCID mice. Increasing expression of any of the four randomly chosen surface lipoproteins, OspA, OspE, VlsE or DbpA, fully protected the ospC mutant from elimination from the skin tissue of SCID mice; moreover, increased OspA, OspE, or VlsE expression allowed the mutant to cause disseminated infection and restored the ability to effectively colonize both joint and skin tissues, albeit the dissemination process was much slower than that of the mutant restored with OspC expression. When the ospC mutant was modified to express OspA under control of the ospC regulatory elements, it registered only a slight increase in the 50% infectious dose than the control in SCID mice but a dramatic increase in immunocompetent mice. Taken together, the study demonstrated that the surface lipoproteins provide B. burgdorferi with an essential protective function against host innate elimination. PMID:18452586

  1. 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

  2. Mechanisms generating long range correlation in nucleotide composition of the Borrelia Burgdorferi genome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackiewicz, P.; Gierlik, A.; Kowalczuk, M.; Szczepanik, D.; Dudek, M. R.; Cebrat, S.

    1999-12-01

    We have analysed protein coding and intergenic sequences in the Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme disease bacterium) genome using different kinds of DNA walks. Genes occupying the leading strand of DNA have significantly different nucleotide composition from genes occupying the lagging strand. Nucleotide compositional bias of the two DNA strands reflects the aminoacid composition of proteins. 96% of genes coding for ribosomal proteins lie on the leading DNA strand, which suggests that the positions of these as well as other genes are non-random. In the B. burgdorferi genome, the asymmetry in intergenic DNA sequences is lower than the asymmetry in the third positions in codons. All these characters of the B. burgdorferi genome suggest that both replication-associated mutational pressure and recombination mechanisms have established the specific structure of the genome and now any recombination leading to inversion of a gene in respect to the direction of replication is forbidden. This property of the genome allows us to assume that it is in a steady state, which enables us to fix some parameters for simulations of DNA evolution.

  3. In vitro susceptibilities of Leptospira spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi isolates to amoxicillin, tilmicosin, and enrofloxacin

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Doo; Kordick, Dorsey; Divers, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was conducted with 6 different spirochetal strains (4 strains of Leptospira spp. and 2 strains of Borrelia burgdorferi) against 3 antimicrobial agents, commonly used in equine and bovine practice. The ranges of MIC and MBC of amoxicillin against Leptospira spp. were 0.05-6.25 µg/ml and 6.25-25.0 µg/ml, respectively. And the ranges of minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of amoxicillin against B. burgdorferi were 0.05-0.39 µg/ml and 0.20-0.78 µg/ml, respectively. The ranges of MIC and MBC of enrofloxacin against Leptospira spp. were 0.05-0.39 µg/ml and 0.05-0.39 µg/ml, respectively. Two strains of B. burgdorferi were resistant to enrofloxacin at the highest concentration tested for MBC (≥100 µg/ml). Therefore, the potential role of tilmicosin in the treatment of leptospirosis and borreliosis should be further evaluated in animal models to understand whether the in vivo studies will confirm in vitro results. All spirochetal isolates were inhibited (MIC) and were killed (MBC) by tilmicosin at concentrations below the limit of testing (≤0.01 µg/ml). PMID:17106227

  4. In vitro susceptibilities of Leptospira spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi isolates to amoxicillin, tilmicosin, and enrofloxacin.

    PubMed

    Kim, Doo; Kordick, Dorsey; Divers, Thomas; Chang, Yung Fu

    2006-12-01

    Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was conducted with 6 different spirochetal strains (4 strains of Leptospira spp. and 2 strains of Borrelia burgdorferi) against 3 antimicrobial agents, commonly used in equine and bovine practice. The ranges of MIC and MBC of amoxicillin against Leptospira spp. were 0.05 - 6.25 microgram/ml and 6.25 - 25.0 microgram/ml, respectively. And the ranges of minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of amoxicillin against B. burgdorferi were 0.05 - 0.39 microgram/ml and 0.20 - 0.78 microgram/ml, respectively. The ranges of MIC and MBC of enrofloxacin against Leptospira spp. were 0.05 - 0.39 microgram/ml and 0.05 - 0.39 microgram/ml, respectively. Two strains of B. burgdorferi were resistant to enrofloxacin at the highest concentration tested for MBC (>or=100 microgram/ml). Therefore, the potential role of tilmicosin in the treatment of leptospirosis and borreliosis should be further evaluated in animal models to understand whether the in vivo studies will confirm in vitro results. All spirochetal isolates were inhibited (MIC) and were killed (MBC) by tilmicosin at concentrations below the limit of testing (

  5. Antibody responses to Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface proteins C and F in experimentally infected Beagle dogs.

    PubMed

    Callister, Steven M; LaFleur, Rhonda L; Jobe, Dean A; Lovrich, Steven D; Wasmoen, Terri L

    2015-07-01

    Antibody levels to outer surface proteins C and F (OspC and OspF, respectively) in sera collected from laboratory Beagle dogs at 1, 2, and 4 months after challenge with infected black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) were determined. Each dog was confirmed by culture to harbor Borrelia burgdorferi in the skin (n = 10) or the skin and joints (n = 14). Significant levels of immunoglobulin M (Ig)M or IgG anti-OspC antibodies were detected in single serum samples from only 3 (13%) dogs. Similarly, IgM anti-OspF antibodies were detected in only 1 (4%) serum sample collected from a dog with B. burgdorferi in the skin and joints. In contrast, 4 (29%) dogs with skin and joint infections produced IgG anti-OspF antibodies after 2 months, and the response expanded to include 2 (20%) dogs with skin infection and 4 additional dogs with skin and joint infections (overall sensitivity = 62%) after 4 months. The findings failed to support the utility of OspC-based antibody tests for diagnosing canine Lyme disease, but demonstrated that dogs with B. burgdorferi colonizing joint tissue most often produced significant levels of IgG anti-OspF antibodies. Therefore, additional studies to more thoroughly evaluate the clinical utility of OspF-based antibody tests are warranted. © 2015 The Author(s).

  6. Ticks and biting insects infected with the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Magnarelli, L A; Anderson, J F

    1988-01-01

    Members of 18 species of ticks, mosquitoes, horse flies, and deer flies were collected in southeastern Connecticut and tested by indirect fluorescent-antibody staining methods for Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. An infection rate of 36.2% (116 tested), recorded for immature Ixodes dammini, exceeded positivity values for all other arthropod species. Prevalence of infection for hematophagous insects ranged from 2.9% of 105 Hybomitra lasiophthalma to 14.3% of seven Hybomitra epistates. Infected I. dammini larvae and nymphs coexisted with infected Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) immatures on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), but unlike I. dammini, none of the 55 adult American dog ticks collected from vegetation harbored B. burgdorferi. Groups of 113 field-collected mosquitoes of Aedes canadensis and 43 Aedes stimulans were placed in cages with uninfected Syrian hamsters. Of these, 11 females of both species contained B. burgdorferi and had fed fully or partially from the hamsters. No spirochetes were isolated from the hamsters, but antibodies were produced in one test animal. PMID:3170711

  7. Increased sensitivity and specificity of Borrelia burgdorferi 16S ribosomal DNA detection.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sin Hang; Vigliotti, Veronica S; Vigliotti, Jessica S; Jones, William; Pappu, Suri

    2010-04-01

    The DNA of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes extracted by ammonium hydroxide was used as the template for nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the species-specific 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The primers were those well known to be specific for signature sequence amplification of the B burgdorferi sensu lato 16S ribosomal RNA gene. The positive 293-base-pair nested PCR amplicon was subjected to routine direct automated Sanger sequencing. A 50-base sequence excised randomly from the sequencing electrophoretogram between the 2 nested PCR primer binding sites was sufficient for the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) analysis to validate the B burgdorferi sensu lato 16S rDNA without a reasonable doubt. Nested PCR increased the sensitivity of DNA detection by 100- to 1,000-fold. DNA sequence validation based on BLAST algorithms using the GenBank database practically eliminates any possibility of false-positive results due to molecular misidentification. This technology may be a valuable supplement to the current serologic tests for Lyme disease.

  8. Borrelia burgdorferi Manipulates Innate and Adaptive Immunity to Establish Persistence in Rodent Reservoir Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Tracy, Karen E.; Baumgarth, Nicole

    2017-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex is capable of establishing persistent infections in a wide variety of species, particularly rodents. Infection is asymptomatic or mild in most reservoir host species, indicating successful co-evolution of the pathogen with its natural hosts. However, infected humans and other incidental hosts can develop Lyme disease, a serious inflammatory syndrome characterized by tissue inflammation of joints, heart, muscles, skin, and CNS. Although B. burgdorferi infection induces both innate and adaptive immune responses, they are ultimately ineffective in clearing the infection from reservoir hosts, leading to bacterial persistence. Here, we review some mechanisms by which B. burgdorferi evades the immune system of the rodent host, focusing in particular on the effects of innate immune mechanisms and recent findings suggesting that T-dependent B cell responses are subverted during infection. A better understanding of the mechanisms causing persistence in rodents may help to increase our understanding of the pathogenesis of Lyme disease and ultimately aid in the development of therapies that support effective clearance of the bacterial infection by the host’s immune system. PMID:28265270

  9. Molecular Characterization of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis Ticks from Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    Courtney, Joshua W.; Dryden, Richard L.; Montgomery, Jill; Schneider, Bradley S.; Smith, Gary; Massung, Robert F.

    2003-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis ticks were collected in 2000 and 2001 from two areas in Pennsylvania and tested for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi by PCR and DNA sequencing. Of the ticks collected from northwestern and southeastern Pennsylvania, 162 of 263 (61.6%) and 25 of 191 (13.1%), respectively, were found to be positive for B. burgdorferi. DNA sequencing showed >99% identity with B. burgdorferi strains B31 and JD1. PCR testing for A. phagocytophilum revealed that 5 of 263 (1.9%) from northwestern Pennsylvania and 76 of 191 (39.8%) from southeastern Pennsylvania were positive. DNA sequencing revealed two genotypes of A. phagocytophilum, the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent and a variant (AP-Variant 1) that has not been associated with human infection. Although only the HGE agent was present in northwestern Pennsylvania, both genotypes were found in southeastern Pennsylvania. These data add to a growing body of evidence showing that AP-Variant 1 is the predominant agent in areas where both genotypes coexist. PMID:12682147

  10. Use of recombinant OspC from Borrelia burgdorferi for serodiagnosis of early Lyme disease.

    PubMed Central

    Padula, S J; Dias, F; Sampieri, A; Craven, R B; Ryan, R W

    1994-01-01

    Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, is associated with an early and dominant humoral response to the spirochete's 23-kDa outer surface protein C (OspC). We have cloned and expressed OspC as a fusion protein in Escherichia coli and have shown that patient serum samples react with it in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (S. J. Padula, A. Sampieri, F. Dias, A. Szczepanski, and R. W. Ryan, Infect. Immun. 61:5097-5105, 1993). Now we have compared the detection of B. burgdorferi-specific immunoglobulin M antibodies in 74 individuals with culture-positive erythema migrans by a whole-cell ELISA, immunoblot, and the recombinant OspC (rOspC) ELISA. Seventy-six negative controls were also studied. With all of the tests, there was a statistically significant association between the duration of disease and the frequency of a positive result. With the rOspC ELISA, the predictive value of a positive test was 100% and the predictive value of a negative test was 74%. Similar results were obtained with the whole-cell ELISA and with the immunoblot using as the source of test antigen a strain of B. burgdorferi which expresses abundant levels of OspC. We conclude that the use of rOspC in an ELISA is a convenient, readily automated, and easily standardized test for the serodiagnosis of early Lyme disease. PMID:7929767

  11. Genetic basis for retention of a critical virulence plasmid of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Jewett, Mollie W; Byram, Rebecca; Bestor, Aaron; Tilly, Kit; Lawrence, Kevin; Burtnick, Mary N; Gherardini, Frank; Rosa, Patricia A

    2007-01-01

    The genome of Borrelia burgdorferi is composed of one linear chromosome and approximately 20 linear and circular plasmids. Although some plasmids are required by B. burgdorferi in vivo, most plasmids are dispensable for growth in vitro. However, circular plasmid (cp) 26 is present in all natural isolates and has never been lost during in vitro growth. This plasmid carries ospC, which is critical for mammalian infection. We previously showed that cp26 encodes essential functions, including the telomere resolvase, ResT, and hence cannot be displaced. Here we identify two additional essential genes on cp26, bbb26 and bbb27, through a systematic attempt to inactivate each open reading frame (ORF). Furthermore, an incompatible plasmid carrying resT, bbb26 and bbb27 could displace cp26. Computational and experimental analyses suggested that both BBB26 and BBB27 are membrane-associated, periplasmic proteins. These data indicate that bbb26 and bbb27 encode essential but possibly redundant functions and that one or the other of these cp26 genes, in addition to resT, is required for bacterial viability. We conclude that the genetic linkage of critical physiological and virulence functions on cp26 is pertinent to its stable maintenance throughout the evolution of B. burgdorferi. PMID:17919281

  12. Functional analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi uvrA in DNA damage protection

    PubMed Central

    Sambir, Mariya; Ivanova, Larisa B.; Bryksin, Anton V.; Godfrey, Henry P.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens face constant challenges from DNA-damaging agents generated by host phagocytes. Although Borrelia burgdorferi appears to have many fewer DNA repair enzymes than pathogens with larger genomes, it does contain homologues of uvrA and uvrB (subunits A and B of excinuclease ABC). As a first step to exploring the physiologic function of uvrABbu and its possible role in survival in the host in the face of DNA damaging agents, a partially deleted uvrA mutant was isolated by targeted inactivation. While growth of this mutant was markedly inhibited by UV irradiation, mitomycin C (MMC) and hydrogen peroxide at doses which lacked effect on wild-type B. burgdorferi, its response to pH 6.0 – 6.8 and reactive nitrogen intermediates was similar to that of the wild-type parental strain. The sensitivity of the inactivation mutant to UV irradiation, MMC and peroxide was complemented by an extrachromosomal copy of uvrABbu. We conclude that uvrABbu is functional in B. burgdorferi. PMID:21272060

  13. Novel methods for surveying reservoir hosts and vectors of Borrelia burgdorferi in Northern Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seifert, Veronica Aili

    Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in North America and presents challenges to clinicians, researchers and the public in diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is a zoonotic pathogen obligate upon hematophagous arthropod vectors and propagates in small mammal reservoir hosts. Identifying factors governing zoonotic diseases within regions of high-risk provides local health and agricultural agencies with necessary information to formulate public policy and implement treatment protocols to abate the rise and expansion of infectious disease outbreaks. In the United States, the documented primary reservoir host of Lyme disease is the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, and the arthropod vector is the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Reducing the impact of Lyme disease will need novel methods for identifying both the reservoir host and the tick vector. The reservoir host, Peromyscus leucopus is difficult to distinguish from the virtually identical Peromyscus maniculatus that also is present in Northern Minnesota, a region where Lyme disease is endemic. Collection of the Ixodes tick, the Lyme disease vector, is difficult as this is season dependent and differs from year to year. This study develops new strategies to assess the extent of Borrelia burgdorferi in the local environment of Northern Minnesota. A selective and precise method to identify Peromyscus species was developed. This assay provides a reliable and definitive method to identify the reservoir host, Peromyscus leucopus from a physically identical and sympatric Peromyscus species, Peromyscus maniculatus. A new strategy to collect ticks for measuring the disbursement of Borrelia was employed. Students from local high schools were recruited to collect ticks. This strategy increased the available manpower to cover greater terrain, provided students with valuable experience in research methodology, and highlighted the

  14. Nitrosative damage to free and zinc-bound cysteine thiols underlies nitric oxide toxicity in wild-type Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Bourret, Travis J; Boylan, Julie A; Lawrence, Kevin A; Gherardini, Frank C

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi encounters potentially harmful reactive nitrogen species (RNS) throughout its infective cycle. In this study, diethylamine NONOate (DEA/NO) was used to characterize the lethal effects of RNS on B. burgdorferi. RNS produce a variety of DNA lesions in a broad spectrum of microbial pathogens; however, levels of the DNA deamination product, deoxyinosine, and the numbers of apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites were identical in DNA isolated from untreated and DEA/NO-treated B. burgdorferi cells. Strains with mutations in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway genes uvrC or uvrB treated with DEA/NO had significantly higher spontaneous mutation frequencies, increased numbers of AP sites in DNA and reduced survival compared with wild-type controls. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in B. burgdorferi cell membranes, which are susceptible to peroxidation by reactive oxygen species (ROS), were not sensitive to RNS-mediated lipid peroxidation. However, treatment of B. burgdorferi cells with DEA/NO resulted in nitrosative damage to several proteins, including the zinc-dependent glycolytic enzyme fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (BB0445), the Borrelia oxidative stress regulator (BosR) and neutrophil-activating protein (NapA). Collectively, these data suggested that nitrosative damage to proteins harbouring free or zinc-bound cysteine thiols, rather than DNA or membrane lipids underlies RNS toxicity in wild-type B. burgdorferi. PMID:21564333

  15. Changes in Borrelia burgdorferi ELISA antibody over time in both antibiotic treated and untreated horses.

    PubMed

    Divers, Thomas J; Grice, Amy L; Mohammed, Hussni O; Glaser, Amy L; Wagner, Bettina

    2012-12-01

    Changes in ELISA serology are frequently used to determine antibiotic treatment success for Lyme disease in horses. This concept was based upon a previous report showing a marked decline in ELISA values in experimentally infected and antibiotic-treated ponies. Changes in Lyme serology following antibiotic treatment in naturally infected horses have not been reported. The objective of this study was to compare Borrelia ELISA antibody concentrations in naturally exposed horses both before and following antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease. A retrospective study was performed comparing oxytetracycline- or doxycyclinetreated (n = 68) and untreated (n = 183) horses from a single equine practice and their change in Borrelia ELISA values over a similar time period. Antibiotictreated horses had a decline in ELISA values in comparison to control horses (P ≤ 0.05) and untreated horses were twice as likely to have their ELISA values increase (OR = 0.5; 95% C.I. = 0.3-0.9) compared to treated horses. The magnitude of the decline in ELISA units following treatments was small compared to that previously reported in experimentally infected and treated ponies. Field-exposed horses with high Borrelia burgdorferi ELISA values who are treated with either oxytetracycline or doxycycline can be expected to have only a small decline in ELISA values following treatment. Persistently high ELISA titres following appropriate treatments for Lyme disease may not, without appropriate clinical signs, be a reason for more prolonged treatment.

  16. Genotypic diversity of an emergent population of Borrelia burgdorferi at a coastal Maine island recently colonized by Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    MacQueen, Douglas D; Lubelczyk, Charles; Elias, Susan P; Cahill, Bruce K; Mathers, Amy J; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Rand, Peter W; Smith, Robert P

    2012-06-01

    The recent range expansion of Ixodes scapularis has been accompanied by the emergence of Borrelia burgdorferi. The development of genetic diversity in B. burgdorferi at these sites of emergence and its relationship to range expansion is poorly understood. We followed colonization of I. scapularis on a coastal Maine island over a 17-year period. B. burgdorferi's emergence was documented, as was expansion of ospC strain diversity. Ticks collected from rodents and vegetation were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi. Sequencing and reverse line blot were used to detect B. burgdorferi ospC major groups (oMG). No I. scapularis were found until year four of the study, after which time they increased in abundance. No B. burgdorferi was detected by darkfield microscopy in I. scapularis until 10 years into the study, when 4% of adult ticks were infected. Seven years later, 43% of adult ticks were infected. In 2003, one oMG accounted for 91% of B. burgdorferi strains. This "founder" strain persisted in 2005, but by 2007 was a minority of the 7 oMGs present. Given the island's isolation, gene flow by avian introduction of multiple strains is suggested in the development of B. burgdorferi oMG diversity.

  17. Distribution of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in naturally and experimentally infected western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus).

    PubMed

    Leonhard, Sarah; Jensen, Kelly; Salkeld, Daniel J; Lane, Robert S

    2010-06-01

    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 postinfection, we

  18. Identification of Lysine Residues in the Borrelia burgdorferi DbpA Adhesin Required for Murine Infection

    PubMed Central

    Fortune, Danielle E.; Lin, Yi-Pin; Deka, Ranjit K.; Groshong, Ashley M.; Moore, Brendan P.; Hagman, Kayla E.; Leong, John M.; Tomchick, Diana R.

    2014-01-01

    Decorin-binding protein A (DbpA) of Borrelia burgdorferi mediates bacterial adhesion to heparin and dermatan sulfate associated with decorin. Lysines K82, K163, and K170 of DbpA are known to be important for in vitro interaction with decorin, and the DbpA structure, initially solved by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, suggests these lysine residues colocalize in a pocket near the C terminus of the protein. In the current study, we solved the structure of DbpA from B. burgdorferi strain 297 using X-ray crystallography and confirmed the existing NMR structural data. In vitro binding experiments confirmed that recombinant DbpA proteins with mutations in K82, K163, or K170 did not bind decorin, which was due to an inability to interact with dermatan sulfate. Most importantly, we determined that the in vitro binding defect observed upon mutation of K82, K163, or K170 in DbpA also led to a defect during infection. The infectivity of B. burgdorferi expressing individual dbpA lysine point mutants was assessed in mice challenged via needle inoculation. Murine infection studies showed that strains expressing dbpA with mutations in K82, K163, and K170 were significantly attenuated and could not be cultured from any tissue. Proper expression and cellular localization of the mutated DbpA proteins were examined, and NMR spectroscopy determined that the mutant DbpA proteins were structurally similar to wild-type DbpA. Taken together, these data showed that lysines K82, K163, and K170 potentiate the binding of DbpA to dermatan sulfate and that an interaction(s) mediated by these lysines is essential for B. burgdorferi murine infection. PMID:24842928

  19. Identification of new drug candidates against Borrelia burgdorferi using high-throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Pothineni, Venkata Raveendra; Wagh, Dhananjay; Babar, Mustafeez Mujtaba; Inayathullah, Mohammed; Solow-Cordero, David; Kim, Kwang-Min; Samineni, Aneesh V; Parekh, Mansi B; Tayebi, Lobat; Rajadas, Jayakumar

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease is the most common zoonotic bacterial disease in North America. It is estimated that >300,000 cases per annum are reported in USA alone. A total of 10%-20% of patients who have been treated with antibiotic therapy report the recrudescence of symptoms, such as muscle and joint pain, psychosocial and cognitive difficulties, and generalized fatigue. This condition is referred to as posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome. While there is no evidence for the presence of viable infectious organisms in individuals with posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome, some researchers found surviving Borrelia burgdorferi population in rodents and primates even after antibiotic treatment. Although such observations need more ratification, there is unmet need for developing the therapeutic agents that focus on removing the persisting bacterial form of B. burgdorferi in rodent and nonhuman primates. For this purpose, high-throughput screening was done using BacTiter-Glo assay for four compound libraries to identify candidates that stop the growth of B. burgdorferi in vitro. The four chemical libraries containing 4,366 compounds (80% Food and Drug Administration [FDA] approved) that were screened are Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC1280), the National Institutes of Health Clinical Collection, the Microsource Spectrum, and the Biomol FDA. We subsequently identified 150 unique compounds, which inhibited >90% of B. burgdorferi growth at a concentration of <25 µM. These 150 unique compounds comprise many safe antibiotics, chemical compounds, and also small molecules from plant sources. Of the 150 unique compounds, 101 compounds are FDA approved. We selected the top 20 FDA-approved molecules based on safety and potency and studied their minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration. The promising safe FDA-approved candidates that show low minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration values can be chosen as lead

  20. Enhanced Protective Immunogenicity of Homodimeric Borrelia burgdorferi Outer Surface Protein C

    PubMed Central

    Edmondson, Diane G.; Prabhakaran, Sabitha; Ullmann, Amy J.; Piesman, Joe; Dolan, Marc; Probst, Christian; Radzimski, Christiane; Stöcker, Winfried

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Lyme borreliosis is caused by tick-transmitted spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato group and is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States and Europe. Outer surface protein C (OspC) is a 23-kDa outer surface lipoprotein expressed during spirochete transmission from the tick to the vertebrate host. In a previous study, we found that immunization with a recombinant disulfide-bridged dimeric form of OspC (D-OspC) stimulates increased antibody responses relative to immunization with commonly employed monomeric OspC. Here, we report that mice immunized with dimeric OspC proteins also exhibited enhanced protection against infection with the cognate B. burgdorferi strain. Mice were protected by four immunizations containing as little as 100 ng of dimeric OspC, suggesting that this form of the protein can induce protective immunity within a dose range reasonable for a human or veterinary vaccine. In contrast, monomeric OspC was only partially protective at much higher doses. IgG subclass analysis revealed that D-OspC-immunized animals mainly possessed anti-OspC-IgG1. In contrast, infected animals develop anti-OspC restricted to the IgG3 isotype. A subset of antibodies generated by dimeric OspC immunization did not recognize the monomeric variant, indicating that unique epitopes exist on the dimeric form. Moreover, monoclonal antibodies that recognized only dimeric OspC protected mice from B. burgdorferi challenge, whereas another monoclonal that recognized both immunogens was not protective. These studies suggest that this dimeric OspC presents distinctive epitopes that generate antibodies protective against B. burgdorferi infection and could be a useful vaccine component. PMID:27733423

  1. Identification of new drug candidates against Borrelia burgdorferi using high-throughput screening

    PubMed Central

    Pothineni, Venkata Raveendra; Wagh, Dhananjay; Babar, Mustafeez Mujtaba; Inayathullah, Mohammed; Solow-Cordero, David; Kim, Kwang-Min; Samineni, Aneesh V; Parekh, Mansi B; Tayebi, Lobat; Rajadas, Jayakumar

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease is the most common zoonotic bacterial disease in North America. It is estimated that >300,000 cases per annum are reported in USA alone. A total of 10%–20% of patients who have been treated with antibiotic therapy report the recrudescence of symptoms, such as muscle and joint pain, psychosocial and cognitive difficulties, and generalized fatigue. This condition is referred to as posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome. While there is no evidence for the presence of viable infectious organisms in individuals with posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome, some researchers found surviving Borrelia burgdorferi population in rodents and primates even after antibiotic treatment. Although such observations need more ratification, there is unmet need for developing the therapeutic agents that focus on removing the persisting bacterial form of B. burgdorferi in rodent and nonhuman primates. For this purpose, high-throughput screening was done using BacTiter-Glo assay for four compound libraries to identify candidates that stop the growth of B. burgdorferi in vitro. The four chemical libraries containing 4,366 compounds (80% Food and Drug Administration [FDA] approved) that were screened are Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC1280), the National Institutes of Health Clinical Collection, the Microsource Spectrum, and the Biomol FDA. We subsequently identified 150 unique compounds, which inhibited >90% of B. burgdorferi growth at a concentration of <25 µM. These 150 unique compounds comprise many safe antibiotics, chemical compounds, and also small molecules from plant sources. Of the 150 unique compounds, 101 compounds are FDA approved. We selected the top 20 FDA-approved molecules based on safety and potency and studied their minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration. The promising safe FDA-approved candidates that show low minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration values can be chosen as

  2. Diversity of Antibody Responses to Borrelia burgdorferi in Experimentally Infected Beagle Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Grosenbaugh, Deborah A.

    2014-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a common infection of domestic dogs in areas where there is enzootic transmission of the agent Borrelia burgdorferi. While immunoassays based on individual subunits have mostly supplanted the use of whole-cell preparations for canine serology, only a limited number of informative antigens have been identified. To more broadly characterize the antibody responses to B. burgdorferi infection and to assess the diversity of those responses in individual dogs, we examined sera from 32 adult colony-bred beagle dogs that had been experimentally infected with B. burgdorferi through tick bites and compared those sera in a protein microarray with sera from uninfected dogs in their antibody reactivities to various recombinant chromosome- and plasmid-encoded B. burgdorferi proteins, including 24 serotype-defining OspC proteins of North America. The profiles of immunogenic proteins for the dogs were largely similar to those for humans and natural-reservoir rodents; these proteins included the decorin-binding protein DbpB, BBA36, BBA57, BBA64, the fibronectin-binding protein BBK32, VlsE, FlaB and other flagellar structural proteins, Erp proteins, Bdr proteins, and all of the OspC proteins. In addition, the canine sera bound to the presumptive lipoproteins BBB14 and BB0844, which infrequently elicited antibodies in humans or rodents. Although the beagle, like most other domestic dog breeds, has a small effective population size and features extensive linkage disequilibrium, the group of animals studied here demonstrated diversity in antibody responses in measures of antibody levels and specificities for conserved proteins, such as DbpB, and polymorphic proteins, such as OspC. PMID:24695775

  3. Xenodiagnosis to Detect Borrelia burgdorferi Infection: A First-in-Human Study

    PubMed Central

    Marques, Adriana; Telford, Sam R.; Turk, Siu-Ping; Chung, Erin; Williams, Carla; Dardick, Kenneth; Krause, Peter J.; Brandeburg, Christina; Crowder, Christopher D.; Carolan, Heather E.; Eshoo, Mark W.; Shaw, Pamela A.; Hu, Linden T.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Animal studies suggest that Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, may persist after antibiotic therapy and can be detected by various means including xenodiagnosis using the natural tick vector (Ixodes scapularis). No convincing evidence exists for the persistence of viable spirochetes after recommended courses of antibiotic therapy in humans. We determined the safety of using I. scapularis larvae for the xenodiagnosis of B. burgdorferi infection in humans. Methods. Laboratory-reared larval I. scapularis ticks were placed on 36 subjects and allowed to feed to repletion. Ticks were tested for B. burgdorferi by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), culture, and/or isothermal amplification followed by PCR and electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy. In addition, attempts were made to infect immunodeficient mice by tick bite or inoculation of tick contents. Xenodiagnosis was repeated in 7 individuals. Results. Xenodiagnosis was well tolerated with no severe adverse events. The most common adverse event was mild itching at the tick attachment site. Xenodiagnosis was negative in 16 patients with posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) and/or high C6 antibody levels and in 5 patients after completing antibiotic therapy for erythema migrans. Xenodiagnosis was positive for B. burgdorferi DNA in a patient with erythema migrans early during therapy and in a patient with PTLDS. There is insufficient evidence, however, to conclude that viable spirochetes were present in either patient. Conclusions. Xenodiagnosis using Ixodes scapularis larvae was safe and well tolerated. Further studies are needed to determine the sensitivity of xenodiagnosis in patients with Lyme disease and the significance of a positive result. Clinical Trials Registration NCT01143558. PMID:24523212

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-12-01

    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.

  5. Emergence of Ixodes scapularis and Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease vector and agent, in Ohio.

    PubMed

    Wang, Peng; Glowacki, Meaghan N; Hoet, Armando E; Needham, Glen R; Smith, Kathleen A; Gary, Richard E; Li, Xin

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, is caused by a tick-borne infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Currently, Ohio is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be non-endemic for Lyme disease. The low incidence of Lyme disease in this state was largely attributed to the absence of the transmitting vector, Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the blacklegged tick. However, a tick surveillance program established by Ohio Department of Health indicated that the number of I. scapularis in Ohio had increased sharply in recent years, from 0 - 5 ticks per year during 1983-2008 to 15 in 2009, 40 in 2010, and 184 in 2011. During the fall deer hunting season, examination of deer heads submitted to Ohio Department of Agriculture found 29 I. scapularis from 7 counties in 2010 and 1,830 from 25 counties in 2011. As of 2012, the tick had been found in 57 of the 88 counties of Ohio. In addition, all three active stages (larva, nymph, and adult) of I. scapularis were found in Tiverton Township of Coshocton County, demonstrating the presence of established tick populations at this central Ohio location. Of 530 nymphal or adult I. scapularis analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), 32 (6.1%) tested positive for the B. burgdorferi flaB gene, ranging from 36 to 390,000 copies per tick. Antibodies to B. burgdorferi antigens were detected in 2 of 10 (20%) field-captured Peromyscus leucopus from Tiverton Township, and in 41 of 355 (11.5%) dogs residing in Ohio. Collectively, these data suggest that the enzootic life cycle of B. burgdorferi has become established in Ohio, which poses risk of Lyme disease to people and animals in the area.

  6. The Heterogeneity, Distribution, and Environmental Associations of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, the Agent of Lyme Borreliosis, in Scotland

    PubMed Central

    James, Marianne C.; Gilbert, Lucy; Bowman, Alan S.; Forbes, Ken J.

    2014-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis is an emerging infectious human disease caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex of bacteria with reported cases increasing in many areas of Europe and North America. To understand the drivers of disease risk and the distribution of symptoms, which may improve mitigation and diagnostics, here we characterize the genetics, distribution, and environmental associations of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies across Scotland. In Scotland, reported Lyme borreliosis cases have increased almost 10-fold since 2000 but the distribution of B. burgdorferi s.l. is so far unstudied. Using a large survey of over 2200 Ixodes ricinus tick samples collected from birds, mammals, and vegetation across 25 sites we identified four genospecies: Borrelia afzelii (48%), Borrelia garinii (36%), Borrelia valaisiana (8%), and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (7%), and one mixed genospecies infection. Surprisingly, 90% of the sequence types were novel and, importantly, up to 14% of samples were mixed intra-genospecies co-infections, suggesting tick co-feeding, feeding on multiple hosts, or multiple infections in hosts. B. garinii (hosted by birds) was considerably more genetically diverse than B. afzelii (hosted by small mammals), as predicted since there are more species of birds than small mammals and birds can import strains from mainland Europe. Higher proportions of samples contained B. garinii and B. valaisiana in the west, while B. afzelii and B. garinii were significantly more associated with mixed/deciduous than with coniferous woodlands. This may relate to the abundance of transmission hosts in different regions and habitats. These data on the genetic heterogeneity within and between Borrelia genospecies are a first step to understand pathogen spread and could help explain the distribution of patient symptoms, which may aid local diagnosis. Understanding the environmental associations of the pathogens is critical for rational policy making for disease risk

  7. Bgp, a Secreted Glycosaminoglycan-Binding Protein of Borrelia burgdorferi Strain N40, Displays Nucleosidase Activity and Is Not Essential for Infection of Immunodeficient Mice†

    PubMed Central

    Parveen, Nikhat; Cornell, Kenneth A.; Bono, James L.; Chamberland, Christen; Rosa, Patricia; Leong, John M.

    2006-01-01

    Bgp, one of the surface-localized glycosaminoglycan-binding proteins of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, exhibited nucleosidase activity. Infection of SCID mice with B. burgdorferi strain N40 mutants harboring a targeted insertion in bgp and apparently retaining all endogenous plasmids revealed that Bgp is not essential for colonization of immunocompromised mice. PMID:16622242

  8. Bgp, a secreted glycosaminoglycan-binding protein of Borrelia burgdorferi strain N40, displays nucleosidase activity and is not essential for infection of immunodeficient mice.

    PubMed

    Parveen, Nikhat; Cornell, Kenneth A; Bono, James L; Chamberland, Christen; Rosa, Patricia; Leong, John M

    2006-05-01

    Bgp, one of the surface-localized glycosaminoglycan-binding proteins of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, exhibited nucleosidase activity. Infection of SCID mice with B. burgdorferi strain N40 mutants harboring a targeted insertion in bgp and apparently retaining all endogenous plasmids revealed that Bgp is not essential for colonization of immunocompromised mice.

  9. Absence of sodA Increases the Levels of Oxidation of Key Metabolic Determinants of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Esteve-Gassent, Maria D; Smith, Trever C; Small, Christina M; Thomas, Derek P; Seshu, J

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, alters its gene expression in response to environmental signals unique to its tick vector or vertebrate hosts. B. burgdorferi carries one superoxide dismutase gene (sodA) capable of controlling intracellular superoxide levels. Previously, sodA was shown to be essential for infection of B. burgdorferi in the C3H/HeN model of Lyme disease. We employed two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and immunoblot analysis with antibodies specific to carbonylated proteins to identify targets that were differentially oxidized in the soluble fractions of the sodA mutant compared to its isogenic parental control strain following treatment with an endogenous superoxide generator, methyl viologen (MV, paraquat). HPLC-ESI-MS/MS analysis of oxidized proteins revealed that several proteins of the glycolytic pathway (BB0057, BB0020, BB0348) exhibited increased carbonylation in the sodA mutant treated with MV. Levels of ATP and NAD/NADH were reduced in the sodA mutant compared with the parental strain following treatment with MV and could be attributed to increased levels of oxidation of proteins of the glycolytic pathway. In addition, a chaperone, HtpG (BB0560), and outer surface protein A (OspA, BBA15) were also observed to be oxidized in the sodA mutant. Immunoblot analysis revealed reduced levels of Outer surface protein C (OspC), Decorin binding protein A (DbpA), fibronectin binding protein (BBK32), RpoS and BosR in the sodA mutant compared to the control strains. Viable sodA mutant spirochetes could not be recovered from both gp91/phox-⁄- and iNOS deficient mice while borrelial DNA was detected in multiple tissues samples from infected mice at significantly lower levels compared to the parental strain. Taken together, these observations indicate that the increased oxidation of select borrelial determinants and reduced levels of critical pathogenesis-associated lipoproteins contribute to the in vivo deficit of the sod

  10. Absence of sodA Increases the Levels of Oxidation of Key Metabolic Determinants of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Esteve-Gassent, Maria D.; Smith, Trever C.; Small, Christina M.; Thomas, Derek P.; Seshu, J.

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, alters its gene expression in response to environmental signals unique to its tick vector or vertebrate hosts. B. burgdorferi carries one superoxide dismutase gene (sodA) capable of controlling intracellular superoxide levels. Previously, sodA was shown to be essential for infection of B. burgdorferi in the C3H/HeN model of Lyme disease. We employed two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and immunoblot analysis with antibodies specific to carbonylated proteins to identify targets that were differentially oxidized in the soluble fractions of the sodA mutant compared to its isogenic parental control strain following treatment with an endogenous superoxide generator, methyl viologen (MV, paraquat). HPLC-ESI-MS/MS analysis of oxidized proteins revealed that several proteins of the glycolytic pathway (BB0057, BB0020, BB0348) exhibited increased carbonylation in the sodA mutant treated with MV. Levels of ATP and NAD/NADH were reduced in the sodA mutant compared with the parental strain following treatment with MV and could be attributed to increased levels of oxidation of proteins of the glycolytic pathway. In addition, a chaperone, HtpG (BB0560), and outer surface protein A (OspA, BBA15) were also observed to be oxidized in the sodA mutant. Immunoblot analysis revealed reduced levels of Outer surface protein C (OspC), Decorin binding protein A (DbpA), fibronectin binding protein (BBK32), RpoS and BosR in the sodA mutant compared to the control strains. Viable sodA mutant spirochetes could not be recovered from both gp91/phox−⁄− and iNOS deficient mice while borrelial DNA was detected in multiple tissues samples from infected mice at significantly lower levels compared to the parental strain. Taken together, these observations indicate that the increased oxidation of select borrelial determinants and reduced levels of critical pathogenesis-associated lipoproteins contribute to the in vivo deficit of the sod

  11. 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

  12. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes in wild birds in northwestern California: associations with ecological factors, bird behavior and tick infestation.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Effectiveness of Stevia Rebaudiana Whole Leaf Extract Against the Various Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Theophilus, P. A. S.; Victoria, M. J.; Socarras, K. M.; Filush, K. R.; Gupta, K.; Luecke, D. F.; Sapi, E.

    2015-01-01

    Lyme disease is a tick-borne multisystemic disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Administering antibiotics is the primary treatment for this disease; however, relapse often occurs when antibiotic treatment is discontinued. The reason for relapse remains unknown, but recent studies suggested the possibilities of the presence of antibiotic resistant Borrelia persister cells and biofilms. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of whole leaf Stevia extract against B. burgdorferi spirochetes, persisters, and biofilm forms in vitro. The susceptibility of the different forms was evaluated by various quantitative techniques in addition to different microscopy methods. The effectiveness of Stevia was compared to doxycycline, cefoperazone, daptomycin, and their combinations. Our results demonstrated that Stevia had significant effect in eliminating B. burgdorferi spirochetes and persisters. Subculture experiments with Stevia and antibiotics treated cells were established for 7 and 14 days yielding, no and 10% viable cells, respectively compared to the above-mentioned antibiotics and antibiotic combination. When Stevia and the three antibiotics were tested against attached biofilms, Stevia significantly reduced B. burgdorferi forms. Results from this study suggest that a natural product such as Stevia leaf extract could be considered as an effective agent against B. burgdorferi. PMID:26716015

  14. [Epidemiology of Borrelia burgdorferi infections in south-eastern Poland in 1992-1995].

    PubMed

    Bajcar, S; Ferenc-Dłuska, M

    1996-01-01

    The examination involved 130 persons aged 2 to 67, including 82 women and 48 men. 60 persons were sent to be serologically examined after their antibiotic therapy had begun. ECM was clinically diagnosed in all the persons. 78 patients (60% of the whole group) recolected anamnesis being bitten by a tick. All the persons were subjected to an immunoenzymatic examination by the ELISA method using fluorofast produced by 3M American company. In a group of 70 who had shown Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies before treatment there were 23 patients with negative and 47 with positive or very positive readings. The antibiotic therapy was followed by remission of clinical symptoms and gradual seronegativisation. The routine medical procedure in ECM cases should include serological test and an antibiotic treatment should be applied. Neurological check-up seems to be advised.

  15. Distribution of antibodies reactive to Borrelia lonestari and Borrelia burgdorferi in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Murdock, Jessica H; Yabsley, Michael J; Little, Susan E; Chandrashekar, Ramaswamy; O'Connor, Thomas P; Caudell, Joe N; Huffman, Jane E; Langenberg, Julia A; Hollamby, Simon

    2009-12-01

    Southern tick-associated rash illness is a Lyme-like syndrome that occurs in the southern states. Borrelia lonestari, which has been suggested as a possible causative agent of southern tick-associated rash illness, naturally infects white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) and is transmitted by the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). To better understand the prevalence and distribution of Borrelia exposure among WTD, we tested WTD from 21 eastern states for antibodies reactive to B. lonestari using an indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay and Borrelia burgdorferi using the IDEXX SNAP 4Dx test. A total of 107/714 (15%) had antibodies reactive to B. lonestari, and prevalence of antibodies was higher in deer from southern states (17.5%) than in deer from northern states (9.2%). Using the SNAP 4DX test, we found that 73/723 (10%) were positive for B. burgdorferi, and significantly more northern deer (23.9%) were positive compared with southern deer (3.8%). Our data demonstrate that WTD are exposed to both Borrelia species, but antibody prevalence for exposure to the two species differs regionally and distributions correlate with the presence of Ixodes scapularis and A. americanum ticks.

  16. Distribution of Antibodies Reactive to Borrelia lonestari and Borrelia burgdorferi in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Populations in the Eastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Murdock, Jessica H.; Little, Susan E.; Chandrashekar, Ramaswamy; O'Connor, Thomas P.; Caudell, Joe N.; Huffman, Jane E.; Langenberg, Julia A.; Hollamby, Simon

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Southern tick-associated rash illness is a Lyme-like syndrome that occurs in the southern states. Borrelia lonestari, which has been suggested as a possible causative agent of southern tick-associated rash illness, naturally infects white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) and is transmitted by the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). To better understand the prevalence and distribution of Borrelia exposure among WTD, we tested WTD from 21 eastern states for antibodies reactive to B. lonestari using an indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay and Borrelia burgdorferi using the IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® test. A total of 107/714 (15%) had antibodies reactive to B. lonestari, and prevalence of antibodies was higher in deer from southern states (17.5%) than in deer from northern states (9.2%). Using the SNAP 4DX test, we found that 73/723 (10%) were positive for B. burgdorferi, and significantly more northern deer (23.9%) were positive compared with southern deer (3.8%). Our data demonstrate that WTD are exposed to both Borrelia species, but antibody prevalence for exposure to the two species differs regionally and distributions correlate with the presence of Ixodes scapularis and A. americanum ticks. PMID:19874183

  17. Influences of Host Community Characteristics on Borrelia burgdorferi Infection Prevalence in Blacklegged Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Grace S.; Smouse, Peter E.; Fonseca, Dina M.; Brisson, Dustin; Morin, Peter J.; Ostfeld, Richard S.

    2017-01-01

    Lyme disease is a major vector-borne bacterial disease in the USA. The disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, and transmitted among hosts and humans, primarily by blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis). The ~25 B. burgdorferi genotypes, based on genotypic variation of their outer surface protein C (ospC), can be phenotypically separated as strains that primarily cause human diseases—human invasive strains (HIS)—or those that rarely do. Additionally, the genotypes are non-randomly associated with host species. The goal of this study was to examine the extent to which phenotypic outcomes of B. burgdorferi could be explained by the host communities fed upon by blacklegged ticks. In 2006 and 2009, we determined the host community composition based on abundance estimates of the vertebrate hosts, and collected host-seeking nymphal ticks in 2007 and 2010 to determine the ospC genotypes within infected ticks. We regressed instances of B. burgdorferi phenotypes on site-specific characteristics of host communities by constructing Bayesian hierarchical models that properly handled missing data. The models provided quantitative support for the relevance of host composition on Lyme disease risk pertaining to B. burgdorferi prevalence (i.e. overall nymphal infection prevalence, or NIPAll) and HIS prevalence among the infected ticks (NIPHIS). In each year, NIPAll and NIPHIS was found to be associated with host relative abundances and diversity. For mice and chipmunks, the association with NIPAll was positive, but tended to be negative with NIPHIS in both years. However, the direction of association between shrew relative abundance with NIPAll or NIPHIS differed across the two years. And, diversity (H') had a negative association with NIPAll, but positive association with NIPHIS in both years. Our analyses highlight that the relationships between the relative abundances of three primary hosts and the community diversity with NIPAll, and NIPHIS, are variable in time and

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

    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

  19. Dermal inflammation elicited by synthetic analogs of Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi lipoproteins.

    PubMed

    Norgard, M V; Riley, B S; Richardson, J A; Radolf, J D

    1995-04-01

    The membrane lipoproteins of Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi have potent immunostimulatory properties in vitro, implicating them as major inflammatory mediators in syphilis and Lyme disease. Recently, we reported that synthetic lipohexapeptide analogs (lipopeptides) of the lipoproteins could be used as surrogates for native spirochetal lipoproteins in immune cell activation studies in vitro. The present study was designed to evaluate the inflammatory properties of the lipopeptides in vivo and to correlate the cellular responses to these synthetic analogs with the histopathology of syphilis and Lyme disease. Lipopeptides corresponding to the 47-kDa major membrane lipoprotein of T. pallidum and the outer surface protein A of B. burgdorferi injected intradermally induced dose-dependent dermal inflammation in mice; the initial predominantly neutrophilic (mice) or heterophilic (rabbits) cellular infiltrates were followed by infiltrates consisting predominantly of mononuclear cells. The intradermal response of rabbits to the 47-kDa lipopeptide was strikingly similar to that observed for animals infected intradermally with T. pallidum. In all cases, lipopolysaccharide was substantially more potent as an inflammatory mediator than the spirochetal lipopeptides. In contrast to the lipopeptides, nonacylated hexapeptides elicited minimal or no dermal lesions in mice or rabbits, underscoring the importance of acyl modification to the inflammatory properties of the lipopeptides. This study provides the first in vivo evidence that the spirochetal lipoproteins/lipopeptides contribute to the immunopathogenesis of syphilis and Lyme disease.

  20. Reservoir targeted vaccine against Borrelia burgdorferi: a new strategy to prevent Lyme disease transmission.

    PubMed

    Richer, Luciana Meirelles; Brisson, Dustin; Melo, Rita; Ostfeld, Richard S; Zeidner, Nordin; Gomes-Solecki, Maria

    2014-06-15

    A high prevalence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in ixodid ticks is correlated with a high incidence of Lyme disease. The transmission of B. burgdorferi to humans can be disrupted by targeting 2 key elements in its enzootic cycle: the reservoir host and the tick vector. In a prospective 5-year field trial, we show that oral vaccination of wild white-footed mice resulted in outer surface protein A-specific seropositivity that led to reductions of 23% and 76% in the nymphal infection prevalence in a cumulative, time-dependent manner (2 and 5 years, respectively), whereas the proportion of infected ticks recovered from control plots varied randomly over time. Significant decreases in tick infection prevalence were observed within 3 years of vaccine deployment. Implementation of such a long-term public health measure could substantially reduce the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Four Clones of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto Cause Invasive Infection in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Seinost, Gerald; Dykhuizen, Daniel E.; Dattwyler, Raymond J.; Golde, William T.; Dunn, John J.; Wang, Ing-Nang; Wormser, Gary P.; Schriefer, Martin E.; Luft, Benjamin J.

    1999-01-01

    Lyme disease begins at the site of a tick bite, producing a primary infection with spread of the organism to secondary sites occurring early in the course of infection. A major outer surface protein expressed by the spirochete early in infection is outer surface protein C (OspC). In Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, OspC is highly variable. Based on sequence divergence, alleles of ospC can be divided into 21 major groups. To assess whether strain differences defined by ospC group are linked to invasiveness and pathogenicity, we compared the frequency distributions of major ospC groups from ticks, from the primary erythema migrans skin lesion, and from secondary sites, principally from blood and spinal fluid. The frequency distribution of ospC groups from ticks is significantly different from that from primary sites, which in turn is significantly different from that from secondary sites. The major groups A, B, I, and K had higher frequencies in the primary sites than in ticks and were the only groups found in secondary sites. We define three categories of major ospC groups: one that is common in ticks but very rarely if ever causes human disease, a second that causes only local infection at the tick bite site, and a third that causes systemic disease. The finding that all systemic B. burgdorferi sensu stricto infections are associated with four ospC groups has importance in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Lyme disease. PMID:10377134

  2. BmpA is a surface-exposed outer membrane protein of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Bryksin, Anton V.; Tomova, Alexandra; Godfrey, Henry P.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2010-01-01

    BmpA is an immunodominant protein of Borrelia burgdorferi as well as an arthritogenic factor. Rabbit anti-recombinant BmpA (rBmpA) antibodies were raised, characterized by assaying their cross reactivity with rBmpB, rBmpC and rBmpD, then rendered monospecific by absorption with rBmpB. This monospecific reagent reacted only with rBmpA in dot immunobinding and detected a single 39-kDa, pI 5.0, spot on two-dimensional immunoblots. It was used to assess BmpA cellular location. BmpA was present in both detergent-soluble and -insoluble fractions of Triton X-114 phase-partitioned borrelial cells, suggesting it was a membrane lipoprotein. Immunoblots of proteinase K-treated intact and Triton X-100 permeabilized cells showed digestion of BmpA in intact cells, consistent with surface exposure. This exposure was confirmed by dual-label immunofluorescence microscopy of intact and permeabilized borrelial cells. Conservation and surface localization of BmpA in all B. burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies could point to its playing a key role in this organism’s biology and pathobiology. PMID:20546313

  3. Outer surface proteins E and F of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease.

    PubMed Central

    Lam, T T; Nguyen, T P; Montgomery, R R; Kantor, F S; Fikrig, E; Flavell, R A

    1994-01-01

    We report the cloning and characterization of two outer surface proteins (Osps), designated OspE and OspF, from strain N40 of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease. The ospE and ospF genes are structurally arranged in tandem as one transcriptional unit under the control of a common promoter. The ospE gene, located at the 5' end of the operon, is 513 nucleotides in length and encodes a 171-amino-acid protein with a calculated molecular mass of 19.2 kDa. The ospF gene, located 27 bp downstream of the stop codon of the ospE gene, consists of 690 nucleotides and encodes a protein of 230 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 26.1 kDa. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed that the ospE and ospF genes are located on a 45-kb plasmid. Comparison of the leader sequences of OspE and OspF with those of the four known B. burgdorferi Osps (OspA, OspB, OspC, and OspD) reveals a hydrophobic domain and a consensus cleavage sequence (L-X-Y-C) recognized by signal peptidase II, and [3H]palmitate labeling shows that OspE and OspF are lipoproteins. Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that both the OspE and OspF proteins are surface exposed. These features are consistent with the finding that OspE and OspF are B. burgdorferi surface lipoproteins. Images PMID:8262642

  4. Identification of Additional Anti-Persister Activity against Borrelia burgdorferi from an FDA Drug Library.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jie; Weitner, Megan; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Sullivan, David; Zhang, Ying

    2015-09-16

    Lyme disease is a leading vector-borne disease in the United States. Although the majority of Lyme patients can be cured with standard 2-4 week antibiotic treatment, 10%-20% of patients continue to suffer from prolonged post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). While the cause for this is unclear, persisting organisms not killed by current Lyme antibiotics may be involved. In our previous study, we screened an FDA drug library and reported 27 top hits that showed high activity against Borrelia persisters. In this study, we present the results of an additional 113 active hits that have higher activity against the stationary phase B. burgdorferi than the currently used Lyme antibiotics. Many antimicrobial agents (antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, anthelmintics or antiparasitics) used for treating other infections were found to have better activity than the current Lyme antibiotics. These include antibacterials such as rifamycins (3-formal-rifamycin, rifaximin, rifamycin SV), thiostrepton, quinolone drugs (sarafloxacin, clinafloxacin, tosufloxacin), and cell wall inhibitors carbenicillin, tazobactam, aztreonam; antifungal agents such as fluconazole, mepartricin, bifonazole, climbazole, oxiconazole, nystatin; antiviral agents zanamivir, nevirapine, tilorone; antimalarial agents artemisinin, methylene blue, and quidaldine blue; antihelmintic and antiparasitic agents toltrazuril, tartar emetic, potassium antimonyl tartrate trihydrate, oxantel, closantel, hycanthone, pyrimethamine, and tetramisole. Interestingly, drugs used for treating other non-infectious conditions including verteporfin, oltipraz, pyroglutamic acid, pidolic acid, and dextrorphan tartrate, that act on the glutathione/γ-glutamyl pathway involved in protection against free radical damage, and also the antidepressant drug indatraline, were found to have high activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi. Among the active hits, agents that affect cell membranes, energy production, and reactive

  5. Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Siberian chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus) introduced in suburban forests in France.

    PubMed

    Vourc'h, Gwenaël; Marmet, Julie; Chassagne, Michelle; Bord, Séverine; Chapuis, Jean-Louis

    2007-01-01

    Numerous vertebrate reservoirs have been described for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl), which includes the etiological agents of Lyme Borreliosis (LB). The Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus) is a rodent originating from Asia, where it is suspected to be a B. burgdorferi reservoir. It has been intentionally released into the wild in Europe since the 1970s, but has not yet been subject to any study regarding its association with the LB agent. In this paper we studied Siberian chipmunk infestation with the LB vector (Ixodes ricinus) and infection prevalence by LB spirochetes in a suburban introduced population. We compared these findings with known competent reservoir hosts, the bank vole (Myodes [clethrionomys] glareolus) and wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). All Siberian chipmunks were infested with larvae and larval abundance was higher in this species (mean number of larvae [95% Confidence Interval]: 73.5 [46.0, 117.2]) than in the two other rodent species (bank voles: 4.4 [3.0, 6.3] and wood mice: 10.2 [4.9, 21.2]). Significant factors affecting abundance of larvae were host species and sampling season. Nymphs were most prevalent on chipmunks (86.2%, mean: 5.1 [3.3, 8.0]), one vole carried only two nymphs, and none of the mice had any nymphs. Nymph abundance in chipmunks was affected by sampling season and sex. Furthermore, the infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi sl in the Siberian chipmunk was the highest (33.3%) and predominantly of B. afzelii. The infection prevalence was 14.1% in bank voles, but no wood mouse was found to be infected. Our results suggest that the Siberian chipmunk may be an important reservoir host for LB.

  6. Identification of Additional Anti-Persister Activity against Borrelia burgdorferi from an FDA Drug Library

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jie; Weitner, Megan; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Sullivan, David; Zhang, Ying

    2015-01-01

    Lyme disease is a leading vector-borne disease in the United States. Although the majority of Lyme patients can be cured with standard 2–4 week antibiotic treatment, 10%–20% of patients continue to suffer from prolonged post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). While the cause for this is unclear, persisting organisms not killed by current Lyme antibiotics may be involved. In our previous study, we screened an FDA drug library and reported 27 top hits that showed high activity against Borrelia persisters. In this study, we present the results of an additional 113 active hits that have higher activity against the stationary phase B. burgdorferi than the currently used Lyme antibiotics. Many antimicrobial agents (antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, anthelmintics or antiparasitics) used for treating other infections were found to have better activity than the current Lyme antibiotics. These include antibacterials such as rifamycins (3-formal-rifamycin, rifaximin, rifamycin SV), thiostrepton, quinolone drugs (sarafloxacin, clinafloxacin, tosufloxacin), and cell wall inhibitors carbenicillin, tazobactam, aztreonam; antifungal agents such as fluconazole, mepartricin, bifonazole, climbazole, oxiconazole, nystatin; antiviral agents zanamivir, nevirapine, tilorone; antimalarial agents artemisinin, methylene blue, and quidaldine blue; antihelmintic and antiparasitic agents toltrazuril, tartar emetic, potassium antimonyl tartrate trihydrate, oxantel, closantel, hycanthone, pyrimethamine, and tetramisole. Interestingly, drugs used for treating other non-infectious conditions including verteporfin, oltipraz, pyroglutamic acid, pidolic acid, and dextrorphan tartrate, that act on the glutathione/γ-glutamyl pathway involved in protection against free radical damage, and also the antidepressant drug indatraline, were found to have high activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi. Among the active hits, agents that affect cell membranes, energy production, and

  7. Glycosaminoglycan binding by Borrelia burgdorferi adhesin BBK32 specifically and uniquely promotes joint colonization

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yi-Pin; Chen, Qiang; Ritchie, Jennifer A.; Dufour, Nicholas P.; Fischer, Joshua R.; Coburn, Jenifer; Leong, John M.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Microbial pathogens that colonize multiple tissues commonly produce adhesive surface proteins that mediate attachment to cells and/or extracellular matrix in target organs. Many of these ‘adhesins’ bind to multiple ligands, complicating efforts to understand the role of each ligand-binding activity. Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, produces BBK32, first identified as a fibronectin-binding adhesin that promotes skin and joint colonization. BBK32 also binds to glycosaminoglycan (GAG), which, like fibronectin is ubiquitously present on cell surfaces. To determine which binding activity is relevant for BBK32-promoted infectivity, we generated a panel of BBK32 truncation and internal deletion mutants, and identified variants specifically defective for binding to either fibronectin or GAG. These variants promoted bacterial attachment to different mammalian cell types in vitro, suggesting that fibronectin and GAG binding may play distinct roles during infection. Intravenous inoculation of mice with a high-passage non-infectious B. burgdorferi strain that produced wild type BBK32 or BBK32 mutants defective for GAG or fibronectin binding, revealed that only GAG-binding activity was required for significant localization to joints at 60 minutes post-infection. An otherwise infectious B. burgdorferi strain producing BBK32 specifically deficient in fibronectin binding was fully capable of both skin and joint colonization in the murine model, whereas a strain producing BBK32 selectively attenuated for GAG binding colonized the inoculation site but not knee or tibiotarsus joints. Thus, the BBK32 fibronectin- and GAG-binding activities are separable in vivo, and BBK32-mediated GAG binding, but not fibronectin binding, contributes to joint colonization. PMID:25486989

  8. Development of a Multiantigen Panel for Improved Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Infection in Early Lyme Disease.

    PubMed

    Lahey, Lauren J; Panas, Michael W; Mao, Rong; Delanoy, Michelle; Flanagan, John J; Binder, Steven R; Rebman, Alison W; Montoya, Jose G; Soloski, Mark J; Steere, Allen C; Dattwyler, Raymond J; Arnaboldi, Paul M; Aucott, John N; Robinson, William H

    2015-12-01

    The current standard for laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease in the United States is serologic detection of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a two-tiered testing algorithm; however, this scheme has limited sensitivity for detecting early Lyme disease. Thus, there is a need to improve diagnostics for Lyme disease at the early stage, when antibiotic treatment is highly efficacious. We examined novel and established antigen markers to develop a multiplex panel that identifies early infection using the combined sensitivity of multiple markers while simultaneously maintaining high specificity by requiring positive results for two markers to designate a positive test. Ten markers were selected from our initial analysis of 62 B. burgdorferi surface proteins and synthetic peptides by assessing binding of IgG and IgM to each in a training set of Lyme disease patient samples and controls. In a validation set, this 10-antigen panel identified a higher proportion of early-Lyme-disease patients as positive at the baseline or posttreatment visit than two-tiered testing (87.5% and 67.5%, respectively; P < 0.05). Equivalent specificities of 100% were observed in 26 healthy controls. Upon further analysis, positivity on the novel 10-antigen panel was associated with longer illness duration and multiple erythema migrans. The improved sensitivity and comparable specificity of our 10-antigen panel compared to two-tiered testing in detecting early B. burgdorferi infection indicates that multiplex analysis, featuring the next generation of markers, could advance diagnostic technology to better aid clinicians in diagnosing and treating early Lyme disease. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Prednisolone reduces experimental arthritis, and inflammatory tissue destruction in SCID mice infected with Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Hurtenbach, U; Böggemeyer, E; Stehle, T; Museteanu, C; Del Pozo, E; Simon, M M

    1996-05-01

    Glucocorticosteroids (GC) are widely used as anti-inflammatory agents. The effects of Prednisolone on the development of Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi-induced clinical arthritis and organ inflammation was studied in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. The drug was administered orally at a dose of 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg, starting shortly before experimental infection of the mice. A dose dependent inhibition of arthritic joint swelling was observed. Full protection was obtained with 30 mg/kg until 21 days after infection, subsequently, mild joint swelling developed but progression and severity of the disease was considerably less than in the other treated as well as in the untreated mice. Inhibition of clinical arthritis coincided with reduction of inflammatory cell infiltration in the joints, liver and muscle. Prednisolone was ineffective when application was initiated after arthritis was fully developed, i.e., 22 days after infection. Since the activated endothelium plays a critical role in development of inflammatory lesions, the expression of the cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) E-selectin, P-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 was determined in vitro using the bEnd3 endothelial cell line. Stimulation with a sonicated B. burgdorferi preparation in the presence of the water-soluble compound Prednisolone-21-hemisuccinate considerably reduced expression of ICAM-1, and marginally also of E-selectin, whereas the level of P-selectin and VCAM-1 remained unaltered. Thus, downregulation of ICAM-1 might be a critical factor in Prednisolone-mediated inhibition of B. burgdorferi-induced inflammation; the flare up of the disease after the initial protection indicates that additional therapy, e.g. with antibiotics, is necessary.

  10. 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

  11. Development of a Multiantigen Panel for Improved Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Infection in Early Lyme Disease

    PubMed Central

    Panas, Michael W.; Mao, Rong; Delanoy, Michelle; Flanagan, John J.; Binder, Steven R.; Rebman, Alison W.; Montoya, Jose G.; Soloski, Mark J.; Steere, Allen C.; Dattwyler, Raymond J.; Arnaboldi, Paul M.; Aucott, John N.

    2015-01-01

    The current standard for laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease in the United States is serologic detection of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a two-tiered testing algorithm; however, this scheme has limited sensitivity for detecting early Lyme disease. Thus, there is a need to improve diagnostics for Lyme disease at the early stage, when antibiotic treatment is highly efficacious. We examined novel and established antigen markers to develop a multiplex panel that identifies early infection using the combined sensitivity of multiple markers while simultaneously maintaining high specificity by requiring positive results for two markers to designate a positive test. Ten markers were selected from our initial analysis of 62 B. burgdorferi surface proteins and synthetic peptides by assessing binding of IgG and IgM to each in a training set of Lyme disease patient samples and controls. In a validation set, this 10-antigen panel identified a higher proportion of early-Lyme-disease patients as positive at the baseline or posttreatment visit than two-tiered testing (87.5% and 67.5%, respectively; P < 0.05). Equivalent specificities of 100% were observed in 26 healthy controls. Upon further analysis, positivity on the novel 10-antigen panel was associated with longer illness duration and multiple erythema migrans. The improved sensitivity and comparable specificity of our 10-antigen panel compared to two-tiered testing in detecting early B. burgdorferi infection indicates that multiplex analysis, featuring the next generation of markers, could advance diagnostic technology to better aid clinicians in diagnosing and treating early Lyme disease. PMID:26447113

  12. Selective Association of Outer Surface Lipoproteins with the Lipid Rafts of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Borrelia burgdorferi contains unique cholesterol-glycolipid-rich lipid rafts that are associated with lipoproteins. These complexes suggest the existence of macromolecular structures that have not been reported for prokaryotes. Outer surface lipoproteins OspA, OspB, and OspC were studied for their participation in the formation of lipid rafts. Single-gene deletion mutants with deletions of ∆ospA, ∆ospB, and ∆ospC and a spontaneous gene mutant, strain B313, which does not express OspA and OspB, were used to establish their structural roles in the lipid rafts. All mutant strains used in this study produced detergent-resistant membranes, a common characteristic of lipid rafts, and had similar lipid and protein slot blot profiles. Lipoproteins OspA and OspB but not OspC were shown to be associated with lipid rafts by transmission electron microscopy. When the ability to form lipid rafts in live B. burgdorferi spirochetes was measured by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), strain B313 showed a statistically significant lower level of segregation into ordered and disordered membrane domains than did the wild-type and the other single-deletion mutants. The transformation of a B313 strain with a shuttle plasmid containing ospA restored the phenotype shared by the wild type and the single-deletion mutants, demonstrating that OspA and OspB have redundant functions. In contrast, a transformed B313 overexpressing OspC neither rescued the FRET nor colocalized with the lipid rafts. Because these lipoproteins are expressed at different stages of the life cycle of B. burgdorferi, their selective association is likely to have an important role in the structure of prokaryotic lipid rafts and in the organism’s adaptation to changing environments. PMID:24618252

  13. Borrelia burgdorferi clinical isolates induce human innate immune responses that are not dependent on genotype.

    PubMed

    Mason, Lauren M K; Herkes, Eduard A; Krupna-Gaylord, Michelle A; Oei, Anneke; van der Poll, Tom; Wormser, Gary P; Schwartz, Ira; Petzke, Mary M; Hovius, Joppe W R

    2015-10-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi can be categorized based on restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis into ribosomal spacer type (RST) 1, 2 and 3. A correlation between RST type and invasiveness of Borrelia isolates has been demonstrated in clinical studies and experimental models, and RST 1 isolates are more likely to cause disseminated disease than RST 3 isolates. We hypothesized that this could partially be due to increased susceptibility of RST 3 isolates to killing by the innate immune system early in infection. Thus, we investigated the interaction of five RST 1 and five RST 3 isolates with various components of the human innate immune system in vitro. RST 3 isolates induced significantly greater upregulation of activation markers in monocyte-derived dendritic cells compared to RST 1 isolates at a low multiplicity of infection. However, RST 1 isolates stimulated greater interleukin-6 production. At a high multiplicity of infection no differences in dendritic cell activation or cytokine production were observed. In addition, we observed no differences in the ability of RST 1 and RST 3 isolates to activate monocytes or neutrophils and all strains were phagocytosed at a comparable rate. Finally, all isolates tested were equally resistant to complement-mediated killing, as determined by dark-field microscopy and a growth inhibition assay. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the RST 1 and 3 isolates showed no distinction in their susceptibility to the various components of the human immune system studied here, suggesting that other factors are responsible for their differential invasiveness.

  14. The Borrelia burgdorferi telomere resolvase, ResT, possesses ATP-dependent DNA unwinding activity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shu Hui; Cozart, McKayla R; Hart, Madison A; Kobryn, Kerri

    2016-12-09

    Spirochetes of the genus Borrelia possess unusual genomes harboring multiple linear and circular replicons. The linear replicons are terminated by covalently closed hairpin (hp) telomeres. Hairpin telomeres are formed from replicated intermediates by the telomere resolvase, ResT, in a phosphoryl transfer reaction with mechanistic similarities to those promoted by type 1B topoisomerases and tyrosine recombinases. There is growing evidence that ResT is multifunctional. Upon ResT depletion DNA replication unexpectedly ceases. Additionally, ResT possesses RecO-like biochemical activities being able to promote single-strand annealing on both free ssDNA and ssDNA complexed with cognate single-stranded DNA binding protein. We report here that ResT possesses DNA-dependent ATPase activity that promotes DNA unwinding with a 3'-5' polarity. ResT can unwind a variety of substrates including synthetic replication forks and D-loops. We demonstrate that ResT's twin activities of DNA unwinding and annealing can drive regression of a model replication fork. These properties are similar to those of the RecQ helicase of the RecF pathway involved in DNA gap repair. We propose that ResT's combination of activities implicates it in replication and recombination processes operating on the linear chromosome and plasmids of Borrelia burgdorferi.

  15. 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

  16. Clinical characteristics associated with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato skin culture results in patients with erythema migrans.

    PubMed

    Strle, Franc; Lusa, Lara; Ružić-Sabljić, Eva; Maraspin, Vera; Lotrič Furlan, Stanka; Cimperman, Jože; Ogrinc, Katarina; Rojko, Tereza; Videčnik Zorman, Jerneja; Stupica, Daša

    2013-01-01

    Clinical characteristics associated with isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from skin have not been fully evaluated. To gain insight into predictors for a positive EM skin culture, we compared basic demographic, epidemiologic, and clinical data in 608 culture-proven and 501 culture-negative adult patients with solitary EM. A positive Borrelia spp. skin culture was associated with older age, a time interval of >2 days between tick bite and onset of the skin lesion, EM ≥ 5 cm in diameter, and location of the lesion on the extremities, whereas several other characteristics used as clinical case definition criteria for the diagnosis of EM (such as tick bite at the site of later EM, information on expansion of the skin lesion, central clearing) were not. A patient with a 15-cm EM lesion had almost 3-fold greater odds for a positive skin culture than patients with a 5-cm lesion. Patients with a free time interval between the tick bite and onset of EM had the same probability of a positive skin culture as those who did not recall a tick bite (OR=1.02); however, the two groups had >3-fold greater odds for EM positivity than patients who reported a tick bite with no interval between the bite and onset of the lesion. In conclusion, several yet not all clinical characteristics used in EM case definitions were associated with positive Borrelia spp. skin culture. The findings are limited to European patients with solitary EM caused predominantly by B. afzelii but may not be valid for other situations.

  17. Detection of Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, in Blacklegged Ticks Collected in the Grand River Valley, Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Scott, John D; Foley, Janet E; Anderson, John F; Clark, Kerry L; Durden, Lance A

    2017-01-01

    We document the presence of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, in the Grand River valley, Centre Wellington, Ontario. Overall, 15 (36%) of 42 I. scapularis adults collected from 41 mammalian hosts (dogs, cats, humans) were positive for the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.). Using real-time PCR testing and DNA sequencing of the flagellin (fla) gene, we determined that Borrelia amplicons extracted from I. scapularis adults belonged to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), which is pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Based on the distribution of I. scapularis adults within the river basin, it appears likely that migratory birds provide an annual influx of I. scapularis immatures during northward spring migration. Health-care providers need to be aware that local residents can present with Lyme disease symptoms anytime during the year.

  18. Detection of Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, in Blacklegged Ticks Collected in the Grand River Valley, Ontario, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Scott, John D.; Foley, Janet E.; Anderson, John F.; Clark, Kerry L.; Durden, Lance A.

    2017-01-01

    We document the presence of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, in the Grand River valley, Centre Wellington, Ontario. Overall, 15 (36%) of 42 I. scapularis adults collected from 41 mammalian hosts (dogs, cats, humans) were positive for the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.). Using real-time PCR testing and DNA sequencing of the flagellin (fla) gene, we determined that Borrelia amplicons extracted from I. scapularis adults belonged to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), which is pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. Based on the distribution of I. scapularis adults within the river basin, it appears likely that migratory birds provide an annual influx of I. scapularis immatures during northward spring migration. Health-care providers need to be aware that local residents can present with Lyme disease symptoms anytime during the year. PMID:28260991

  19. Occurrence of Bartonella henselae and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato co-infections in ticks collected from humans in Germany.

    PubMed

    Mietze, A; Strube, C; Beyerbach, M; Schnieder, T; Goethe, R

    2011-06-01

    Bartonella (B.) henselae is the zoonotic agent of cat scratch disease. B. henselae has been associated with therapy-resistant Lyme disease in humans suggesting that B. henselae and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato might be transmitted concurrently by ticks. In the present study we found that 16 (6.9%) of 230 Ixodes ricinus collected from humans harboured DNA of Bartonella spp. Fifteen positive ticks were infected with B. henselae and one tick with B. clarridgeiae. Twenty-five percent of the 16 Bartonella positive ticks were co-infected with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Our data show that B. henselae is present in Ixodes ricinus and that ticks may serve as source of infection for humans. 2010 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection; 2010 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

  20. Elastase Is the Only Human Neutrophil Granule Protein That Alone Is Responsible for In Vitro Killing of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Rodolfo; Gusmani, Laura; Murgia, Rossella; Guarnaccia, Corrado; Cinco, Marina; Rottini, Giandomenico

    1998-01-01

    Phagocytosis of Borrelia burgdorferi by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes triggers oxygen-dependent and -independent mechanisms of potentially cidal outcome. Nevertheless, no factor or process has yet been singled out as being borreliacidal. We have studied the B. burgdorferi-killing ability of the myeloperoxidase-H2O2-chloride system and that of primary and secondary granule components in an in vitro assay. We found that neither secondary granule acid extracts nor the chlorinating system could kill these microorganisms, while primary granule extracts were effective. The Borrelia-killing factor was purified to homogeneity and demonstrated to be elastase. Its cidal activity was found to be independent of its proteolytic activity. PMID:9529060

  1. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti in mice on islands inhabited by white-tailed deer.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, J F; Johnson, R C; Magnarelli, L A; Hyde, F W; Myers, J E

    1987-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti were isolated from 35 of 51 white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) captured on two Narragansett Bay, R.I., islands inhabited by deer, the principal host for the adult stages of the vector tick, Ixodes dammini. Immature ticks parasitized mice from both islands. From 105 mice captured on four other islands not inhabited by deer neither pathogen was isolated, nor were I. dammini found. PMID:3555339

  2. In vitro susceptibility of Borrelia burgdorferi isolates to three antibiotics commonly used for treating equine Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Caol, Sanjie; Divers, Thomas; Crisman, Mark; Chang, Yung-Fu

    2017-09-29

    Lyme disease in humans is predominantly treated with tetracycline, macrolides or beta lactam antibiotics that have low minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) against Borrelia burgdorferi. Horses with Lyme disease may require long-term treatment making frequent intravenous or intramuscular treatment difficult and when administered orally those drugs may have either a high incidence of side effects or have poor bioavailability. The aim of the present study was to determine the in vitro susceptibility of three B. burgdorferi isolates to three antibiotics of different classes that are commonly used in practice for treating Borrelia infections in horses. Broth microdilution assays were used to determine minimum inhibitory concentration of three antibiotics (ceftiofur sodium, minocycline and metronidazole), for three Borrelia burgdorferi isolates. Barbour-Stoner-Kelly (BSK K + R) medium with a final inoculum of 10(6) Borrelia cells/mL and incubation periods of 72 h were used in the determination of MICs. Observed MICs indicated that all isolates had similar susceptibility to each drug but susceptibility to the tested antimicrobial agents varied; ceftiofur sodium (MIC = 0.08 μg/ml), minocycline hydrochloride (MIC = 0.8 μg/ml) and metronidazole (MIC = 50 μg/ml). The MIC against B. burgorferi varied among the three antibiotics with ceftiofur having the lowest MIC and metronidazole the highest MIC. The MIC values observed for ceftiofur in the study fall within the range of reported serum and tissue concentrations for the drug metabolite following ceftiofur sodium administration as crystalline-free acid. Minocycline and metronidazole treatments, as currently used in equine practice, could fall short of attaining MIC concentrations for B. burgdorferi.

  3. Selective association of outer surface lipoproteins with the lipid rafts of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-11

    Borrelia burgdorferi contains unique cholesterol-glycolipid-rich lipid rafts that are associated with lipoproteins. These complexes suggest the existence of macromolecular structures that have not been reported for prokaryotes. Outer surface lipoproteins OspA, OspB, and OspC were studied for their participation in the formation of lipid rafts. Single-gene deletion mutants with deletions of ospA, ospB, and ospC and a spontaneous gene mutant, strain B313, which does not express OspA and OspB, were used to establish their structural roles in the lipid rafts. All mutant strains used in this study produced detergent-resistant membranes, a common characteristic of lipid rafts, and had similar lipid and protein slot blot profiles. Lipoproteins OspA and OspB but not OspC were shown to be associated with lipid rafts by transmission electron microscopy. When the ability to form lipid rafts in live B. burgdorferi spirochetes was measured by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), strain B313 showed a statistically significant lower level of segregation into ordered and disordered membrane domains than did the wild-type and the other single-deletion mutants. The transformation of a B313 strain with a shuttle plasmid containing ospA restored the phenotype shared by the wild type and the single-deletion mutants, demonstrating that OspA and OspB have redundant functions. In contrast, a transformed B313 overexpressing OspC neither rescued the FRET nor colocalized with the lipid rafts. Because these lipoproteins are expressed at different stages of the life cycle of B. burgdorferi, their selective association is likely to have an important role in the structure of prokaryotic lipid rafts and in the organism's adaptation to changing environments. IMPORTANCE Lipid rafts are cholesterol-rich clusters within the membranes of cells. Lipid rafts contain proteins that have functions in sensing the cell environment and transmitting signals. Although selective proteins are present in

  4. Carbon storage regulator A (CsrA(Bb)) is a repressor of Borrelia burgdorferi flagellin protein FlaB.

    PubMed

    Sze, Ching Wooen; Morado, Dustin R; Liu, Jun; Charon, Nyles W; Xu, Hongbin; Li, Chunhao

    2011-11-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi lacks the transcriptional cascade control of flagellar protein synthesis common to other bacteria. Instead, it relies on a post-transcriptional mechanism to control its flagellar synthesis. The underlying mechanism of this control remains elusive. A recent study reported that the increased level of BB0184 (CsrA(Bb); a homologue of carbon storage regulator A) substantially inhibited the accumulation of FlaB, the major flagellin protein of B. burgdorferi. In this report, we deciphered the regulatory role of CsrA(Bb) on FlaB synthesis and the mechanism involved by analysing two mutants, csrA(Bb)(-) (a deletion mutant of csrA(Bb)) and csrA(Bb)(+) (a mutant conditionally overexpressing csrA(Bb)). We found that FlaB accumulation was significantly inhibited in csrA(Bb)(+) but was substantially increased in csrA(Bb)(-) . In contrast, the levels of other flagellar proteins remained unchanged. Cryo-electron tomography and immuno-fluorescence microscopic analyses revealed that the altered synthesis of CsrA(Bb) in these two mutants specifically affected flagellar filament length. The leader sequence of flaB transcript contains two conserved CsrA-binding sites, with one of these sites overlapping the Shine-Dalgarno sequence. We found that CsrA(Bb) bound to the flaB transcripts via these two binding sites, and this binding inhibited the synthesis of FlaB at the translational level. Taken together, our results indicate that CsrA(Bb) specifically regulates the periplasmic flagellar synthesis by inhibiting translation initiation of the flaB transcript. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Real-time PCR-based identification of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species in ticks collected from humans in Romania.

    PubMed

    Briciu, Violeta T; Meyer, Fabian; Sebah, Daniela; Tăţulescu, Doina F; Coroiu, Georgiana; Lupşe, Mihaela; Carstina, Dumitru; Mihalca, Andrei D; Hizo-Teufel, Cecilia; Klier, Christiane; Huber, Ingrid; Fingerle, Volker

    2014-09-01

    The aims of our study were to determine (i) which tick species bite humans in Romania and (ii) the prevalence of Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi genospecies in these ticks. All ticks collected from patients who presented to the Clinic of Infectious Diseases Cluj Napoca in spring/summer 2010 were morphologically identified by an entomologist and tested for B. burgdorferi genospecies prevalence by a real-time PCR assay targeting the hbb gene and melting curve analysis. Out of 532 ticks, 518 were Ixodes ricinus, 10 Dermacentor marginatus, and 3 Haemaphysalis spp. ticks, and one unidentified tick due to destruction. Since evaluation of the hbb PCR revealed that it was not possible to differentiate between B. spielmanii/B. valaisiana and B. garinii/B. bavariensis, sequencing of an 800-bp fragment of the ospA gene was performed in these cases. Out of 389 investigated ticks, 43 were positive by hbb PCR for B. burgdorferi sensu lato. The positive samples were 42 Ixodes ricinus (11.1% B. burgdorferi sensu lato prevalence) and the one unidentified tick. Species identification revealed the presence of mainly B. afzelii, but also of B. garinii, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. valaisiana, and B. lusitaniae. In 4 samples, differentiation between B. spielmanii/B. valaisiana was impossible. Our study shows that the most relevant human pathogenic B. burgdorferi genospecies - predominantly B. afzelii - are present in ticks collected from Romanian patients.

  6. Long-term survival of Borrelia burgdorferi lacking the hibernation promotion factor homolog in the unfed tick vector.

    PubMed

    Fazzino, Lisa; Tilly, Kit; Dulebohn, Daniel P; Rosa, Patricia A

    2015-12-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, a causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, is a zoonotic pathogen that survives in nutrient-limited environments within a tick, prior to transmission to its mammalian host. Survival under these prolonged nutrient-limited conditions is thought to be similar to survival during stationary phase, which is characterized by growth cessation and decreased protein production. Multiple ribosome-associated proteins are implicated in stationary-phase survival of Escherichia coli. These proteins include hibernation-promoting factor (HPF), which dimerizes ribosomes and prevents translation of mRNA. Bioinformatic analyses indicate that B. burgdorferi harbors an hpf homolog, the bb0449 gene. BB0449 protein secondary structure modeling also predicted HPF-like structure and function. However, BB0449 protein was not localized in the ribosome-associated protein fraction of in vitro-grown B. burgdorferi. In wild-type B. burgdorferi, bb0449 transcript and BB0449 protein levels are low during various growth phases. These results are inconsistent with patterns of synthesis of HPF-like proteins in other bacterial species. In addition, two independently derived bb0449 mutants successfully completed the mouse-tick infectious cycle, indicating that bb0449 is not required for prolonged survival in the nutrient-limited environment in the unfed tick or any other stage of infection by B. burgdorferi. We suggest either that BB0449 is associated with ribosomes under specific conditions not yet identified or that BB0449 of B. burgdorferi has a function other than ribosome conformation modulation.

  7. Presence of Multiple Variants of Borrelia burgdorferi in the Natural Reservoir Peromyscus leucopus Throughout a Transmission Season

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, Katherine I.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) serve as the principal reservoir for Borrelia burgdorferi and have been shown to remain infected for life. Complex infections with multiple genetic variants of B. burgdorferi occur in mice through multiple exposures to infected ticks or through exposure to ticks infected with multiple variants of B. burgdorferi. Using a combination of cloning and single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP), B. burgdorferi ospC variation was assessed in serial samples collected from individual P. leucopus during a single transmission season. In individuals with ospC variation, at least seven ospC variants were recognized at each time point. One to four of these variants predominated at each time point; however, the predominant variants seldom remained consistent in an individual mouse throughout the entire sampling period. These results confirmed that mice in southern Maryland were persistently infected with multiple variants of B. burgdorferi throughout the transmission season. However, the presence of multiple ospC variants and the fluctuations in the frequency of these variants indicates that either new ospC variants are regularly introduced to this mouse population and predominate while the existing infections are cleared, or that the variation detected in the genetic profile at different time points reflects a complex mixture of B. burgdorferi populations whose relative frequencies may continually change. Key Words: Borrelia—Ixodes—Lyme disease. PMID:18399776

  8. Presence of multiple variants of Borrelia burgdorferi in the natural reservoir Peromyscus leucopus throughout a transmission season.

    PubMed

    Swanson, Katherine I; Norris, Douglas E

    2008-06-01

    White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) serve as the principal reservoir for Borrelia burgdorferi and have been shown to remain infected for life. Complex infections with multiple genetic variants of B. burgdorferi occur in mice through multiple exposures to infected ticks or through exposure to ticks infected with multiple variants of B. burgdorferi. Using a combination of cloning and single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP), B. burgdorferi ospC variation was assessed in serial samples collected from individual P. leucopus during a single transmission season. In individuals with ospC variation, at least seven ospC variants were recognized at each time point. One to four of these variants predominated at each time point; however, the predominant variants seldom remained consistent in an individual mouse throughout the entire sampling period. These results confirmed that mice in southern Maryland were persistently infected with multiple variants of B. burgdorferi throughout the transmission season. However, the presence of multiple ospC variants and the fluctuations in the frequency of these variants indicates that either new ospC variants are regularly introduced to this mouse population and predominate while the existing infections are cleared, or that the variation detected in the genetic profile at different time points reflects a complex mixture of B. burgdorferi populations whose relative frequencies may continually change.

  9. Long-Term Survival of Borrelia burgdorferi Lacking the Hibernation Promotion Factor Homolog in the Unfed Tick Vector

    PubMed Central

    Fazzino, Lisa; Dulebohn, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, a causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, is a zoonotic pathogen that survives in nutrient-limited environments within a tick, prior to transmission to its mammalian host. Survival under these prolonged nutrient-limited conditions is thought to be similar to survival during stationary phase, which is characterized by growth cessation and decreased protein production. Multiple ribosome-associated proteins are implicated in stationary-phase survival of Escherichia coli. These proteins include hibernation-promoting factor (HPF), which dimerizes ribosomes and prevents translation of mRNA. Bioinformatic analyses indicate that B. burgdorferi harbors an hpf homolog, the bb0449 gene. BB0449 protein secondary structure modeling also predicted HPF-like structure and function. However, BB0449 protein was not localized in the ribosome-associated protein fraction of in vitro-grown B. burgdorferi. In wild-type B. burgdorferi, bb0449 transcript and BB0449 protein levels are low during various growth phases. These results are inconsistent with patterns of synthesis of HPF-like proteins in other bacterial species. In addition, two independently derived bb0449 mutants successfully completed the mouse-tick infectious cycle, indicating that bb0449 is not required for prolonged survival in the nutrient-limited environment in the unfed tick or any other stage of infection by B. burgdorferi. We suggest either that BB0449 is associated with ribosomes under specific conditions not yet identified or that BB0449 of B. burgdorferi has a function other than ribosome conformation modulation. PMID:26438790

  10. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes cf. neuquenensis and Ixodes sigelos ticks from the Patagonian region of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Patrick S; Bottero, Maria Noelia Saracho; Carvalho, Luis; Mackenstedt, Ute; Lareschi, Marcela; Venzal, José M; Nava, Santiago

    2016-10-01

    This study was conducted to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection in ixodid ticks from the Patagonia region in the south of Argentina. Therefore, ticks were collected on rodents in the provinces of Chubut, Río Negro and Santa Cruz. These ticks were identified as nymphs of Ixodes cf. neuquenensis and Ixodes sigelos. The B. burgdorferi s.l. infection was tested by a battery of PCR methods targeting the gene flagellin (fla) and the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer region (IGS). Three pools of I. sigelos nymphs from Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces as well as one pool of I. cf. neuquenensis nymphs from Río Negro province were tested positive in the fla-PCR. The samples of I. sigelos were also positive for the IGS-PCR. Phylogenetically, the haplotypes found in the positive ticks belong to the B. burgdorferi s.l. complex, and they were closely related to Borrelia chilensis, a genospecies isolated from Ixodes stilesi in Chile. The pathogenic relevance of the Borrelia genospecies detected in both I. neuquenensis and I. sigelos is unknown.

  11. Interferon-α curbs production of interleukin-22 by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells exposed to live Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Berner, Anika; Bachmann, Malte; Pfeilschifter, Josef; Kraiczy, Peter; Mühl, Heiko

    2015-10-01

    Cytokine networks initiated by means of innate immunity are regarded as a major determinant of host defence in response to acute infection by bacteria including Borrelia burgdorferi. Herein, we demonstrate that interferon (IFN)-α, either endogenously produced after exposure of cells to toll-like receptor-9-activating CpG oligonucleotides or provided as recombinant cytokine, weakens activation of the anti-bacterial interleukin (IL)-1/IL-22 axis in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells exposed to viable B. burgdorferi. As IFN-α has been related to pathological dissemination of the spirochaete, data suggest an immunoregulatory role of type I IFN in this context that is able to significantly modify cytokine profiles thereby possibly determining early course of B. burgdorferi infection.

  12. Plasmid diversity and phylogenetic consistency in the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Casjens, Sherwood R; Gilcrease, Eddie B; Vujadinovic, Marija; Mongodin, Emmanuel F; Luft, Benjamin J; Schutzer, Steven E; Fraser, Claire M; Qiu, Wei-Gang

    2017-02-15

    Bacteria from the genus Borrelia are known to harbor numerous linear and circular plasmids. We report here a comparative analysis of the nucleotide sequences of 236 plasmids present in fourteen independent isolates of the Lyme disease agent B. burgdorferi. We have sequenced the genomes of 14 B. burgdorferi sensu stricto isolates that carry a total of 236 plasmids. These individual isolates carry between seven and 23 plasmids. Their chromosomes, the cp26 and cp32 circular plasmids, as well as the lp54 linear plasmid, are quite evolutionarily stable; however, the remaining plasmids have undergone numerous non-homologous and often duplicative recombination events. We identify 32 different putative plasmid compatibility types among the 236 plasmids, of which 15 are (usually) circular and 17 are linear. Because of past rearrangements, any given gene, even though it might be universally present in these isolates, is often found on different linear plasmid compatibility types in different isolates. For example, the arp gene and the vls cassette region are present on plasmids of four and five different compatibility types, respectively, in different isolates. A majority of the plasmid types have more than one organizationally different subtype, and the number of such variants ranges from one to eight among the 18 linear plasmid types. In spite of this substantial organizational diversity, the plasmids are not so variable that every isolate has a novel version of every plasmid (i.e., there appears to be a limited number of extant plasmid subtypes). Although there have been many past recombination events, both homologous and nonhomologous, among the plasmids, particular organizational variants of these plasmids correlate with particular chromosomal genotypes, suggesting that there has not been rapid horizontal transfer of whole linear plasmids among B. burgdorferi lineages. We argue that plasmid rearrangements are essentially non-revertable and are present at a frequency of

  13. Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi isolated from ticks and small animals in Illinois.

    PubMed Central

    Picken, R N; Cheng, Y; Han, D; Nelson, J A; Reddy, A G; Hayden, M K; Picken, M M; Strle, F; Bouseman, J K; Trenholme, G M

    1995-01-01

    We have characterized 33 isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi from northern Illinois (32 isolates) and Wisconsin (1 isolate) representing the largest series of midwestern isolates investigated to date. The techniques used for molecular analysis of strains included (i) genospecies typing with species-specific PCR primers, (ii) plasmid profiling by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of total genomic DNA, (iii) large-restriction-fragment pattern (LRFP) analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of MluI-digested genomic DNA (J. Belfaiza, D. Postic, E. Bellenger, G. Baranton, and I. Saint Girons, J. Clin. Microbiol. 31:2873-2877, 1993), (iv) sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of total proteins, (v) microsequencing of high-performance liquid chromatography-purified peptides derived from proteins showing high levels of expression, (vi) amino acid composition analysis of proteins, and (vii) immunological analysis of proteins with a polyclonal antiserum of human origin. Five reference strains as well as two atypical tick isolates from California (DN127) and New York (25015) were included for comparison. All of the Illinois and Wisconsin isolates were typed as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto with genospecies-specific PCR primers. The isolates were found to be heterogeneous with regard to their plasmid and protein profiles. One isolate from Illinois possessed two large-molecular-size plasmids instead of the usual 49-kb plasmid. Fragment patterns resulting from MluI digestion of genomic DNA from the 33 isolates and strains DN127 and 25015 were separable into six distinct LRFPs, five of which have not previously been described. Strain 25015 and an isolate from Illinois (CT39) shared an unusual LRFP that is not typical of other B. burgdorferi sensu stricto strains, suggesting that they may represent a fifth species of B. burgdorferi sensu lato. Five of the 33 isolates and strains DN127 and 25015 showed high-level expression of proteins with molecular masses of

  14. Isolation of live Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochaetes from patients with undefined disorders and symptoms not typical for Lyme borreliosis.

    PubMed

    Rudenko, N; Golovchenko, M; Vancova, M; Clark, K; Grubhoffer, L; Oliver, J H

    2016-03-01

    Lyme borreliosis is a multisystem disorder with a diverse spectrum of clinical manifestations, caused by spirochaetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. It is an infectious disease that can be successfully cured by antibiotic therapy in the early stages; however, the possibility of the appearance of persistent signs and symptoms of disease following antibiotic treatment is recognized. It is known that Lyme borreliosis mimics multiple diseases that were never proven to have a spirochaete aetiology. Using complete modified Kelly-Pettenkofer medium we succeeded in cultivating live B. burgdorferi sensu lato spirochaetes from samples taken from people who suffered from undefined disorders, had symptoms not typical for Lyme borreliosis, but who had undergone antibiotic treatment due to a suspicion of having Lyme disease even though they were seronegative. We report the first recovery of live B. burgdorferi sensu stricto from residents of southeastern USA and the first successful cultivation of live Borrelia bissettii-like strain from residents of North America. Our results support the fact that B. bissettii is responsible for human Lyme borreliosis worldwide along with B. burgdorferi s.s. The involvement of new spirochaete species in Lyme borreliosis changes the understanding and recognition of clinical manifestations of this disease.

  15. First detection of Borrelia burgdorferi-antibodies in free-living birds of prey from Eastern Westphalia, Germany.

    PubMed

    Büker, M; Picozzi, K; Kolb, S; Hatt, J-M

    2013-07-01

    Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is the most important arthropod-borne zoonosis-pathogen in the Northern hemisphere. Besides small mammals, birds, primarily Passeriformes and sea birds, play an important role in the transmission, distribution and maintenance of this disease. Previous studies on birds have focused mainly on the detection of Borrelia-infected ticks. However, the presence or absence of an infected tick cannot be taken as an indicator of the infective status of the avian host; to date this area of research has not been explored. In this study, serological analyses of blood collected from free-living birds of prey (n = 29) at the rehabilitation centre in Eastern Westphalia, Germany, highlights that birds of prey are also susceptible to B. burgdorferi and react immunologically to an infection. Increased antibody-levels could be found by using a modified Indirect Immunofluorescent-testing in two common buzzards, Buteo buteo, and two eagle owls, Bubo bubo. Further research regarding the serological diagnostics of B. burgdorferi within the avian host is required. In the future, it should be taken into account that birds of prey can be reservoirs for B. burgdorferi, as well as carriers of infected ticks; although at present their epidemiological importance is still to be confirmed.

  16. Bioluminescent imaging of Borrelia burgdorferi in vivo demonstrates that the fibronectin binding protein BBK32 is required for optimal infectivity

    PubMed Central

    Hyde, Jenny A.; Weening, Eric H.; Chang, MiHee; Trzeciakowski, Jerome P.; Höök, Magnus; Cirillo, Jeffrey D.; Skare, Jon T.

    2011-01-01

    Summary The etiologic agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted via infected Ixodes spp. ticks. Infection, if untreated, results in dissemination to multiple tissues and significant morbidity. Recent developments in bioluminescence technology allow in vivo imaging and quantification of pathogenic organisms during infection. Herein, luciferase-expressing B. burgdorferi and strains lacking the decorin adhesins DbpA and DbpB, as well as the fibronectin adhesin BBK32, were quantified by bioluminescent imaging to further evaluate their pathogenic potential in infected mice. Quantification of bacterial load was verified by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and cultivation. B. burgdorferi lacking DbpA and DbpB were only seen at the 1 h time point post-infection, consistent with its low infectivity phenotype. The bbk32 mutant exhibited a significant decrease in its infectious load at day 7 relative to its parent. This effect was most pronounced at lower inocula and imaging correlated well with qPCR data. These data suggest that BBK32-mediated binding plays an important role in B. burgdorferi colonization. As such, in vivo imaging of bioluminescent Borrelia provides a sensitive means to detect, quantify, and temporally characterize borrelial dissemination in a non-invasive, physiologically relevant environment and, more importantly, demonstrated a quantifiable infectivity defect for the bbk32 mutant. PMID:21854463

  17. An optimized SYBR Green I/PI assay for rapid viability assessment and antibiotic susceptibility testing for Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jie; Wang, Ting; Zhang, Shuo; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Ying

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi is the most common tick-borne disease in the US and Europe. Unlike most bacteria, measurements of growth and viability of B. burgdorferi are challenging. The current B. burgdorferi viability assays based on microscopic counting and PCR are cumbersome and tedious and cannot be used in a high throughput format. Here, we evaluated several commonly used viability assays including MTT and XTT assays, fluorescein diacetate assay, Sytox Green/Hoechst 33342 assay, the commercially available LIVE/DEAD BacLight assay, and SYBR Green I/PI assay by microscopic counting and by automated 96-well plate reader for rapid viability assessment of B. burgdorferi. We found that the optimized SYBR Green I/PI assay based on green to red fluorescence ratio is superior to all the other assays for measuring the viability of B. burgdorferi in terms of sensitivity, accuracy, reliability, and speed in automated 96-well plate format and in comparison with microscopic counting. The BSK-H medium which produced a high background for the LIVE/DEAD BacLight assay did not affect the SYBR Green I/PI assay, and the viability of B. burgdorferi culture could be directly measured using a microtiter plate reader. The SYBR Green I/PI assay was found to reliably assess the viability of planktonic as well as biofilm B. burgdorferi and could be used as a rapid antibiotic susceptibility test. Thus, the SYBR Green I/PI assay provides a more sensitive, rapid and convenient method for evaluating viability and antibiotic susceptibility of B. burgdorferi and can be used for high-throughput drug screens.

  18. An Optimized SYBR Green I/PI Assay for Rapid Viability Assessment and Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing for Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jie; Wang, Ting; Zhang, Shuo; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Ying

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi is the most common tick-borne disease in the US and Europe. Unlike most bacteria, measurements of growth and viability of B. burgdorferi are challenging. The current B. burgdorferi viability assays based on microscopic counting and PCR are cumbersome and tedious and cannot be used in a high throughput format. Here, we evaluated several commonly used viability assays including MTT and XTT assays, fluorescein diacetate assay, Sytox Green/Hoechst 33342 assay, the commercially available LIVE/DEAD BacLight assay, and SYBR Green I/PI assay by microscopic counting and by automated 96-well plate reader for rapid viability assessment of B. burgdorferi. We found that the optimized SYBR Green I/PI assay based on green to red fluorescence ratio is superior to all the other assays for measuring the viability of B. burgdorferi in terms of sensitivity, accuracy, reliability, and speed in automated 96-well plate format and in comparison with microscopic counting. The BSK-H medium which produced a high background for the LIVE/DEAD BacLight assay did not affect the SYBR Green I/PI assay, and the viability of B. burgdorferi culture could be directly measured using a microtiter plate reader. The SYBR Green I/PI assay was found to reliably assess the viability of planktonic as well as biofilm B. burgdorferi and could be used as a rapid antibiotic susceptibility test. Thus, the SYBR Green I/PI assay provides a more sensitive, rapid and convenient method for evaluating viability and antibiotic susceptibility of B. burgdorferi and can be used for high-throughput drug screens. PMID:25365247

  19. 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

  20. Disulfide-Mediated Oligomer Formation in Borrelia burgdorferi Outer Surface Protein C, a Critical Virulence Factor and Potential Lyme Disease Vaccine Candidate▿

    PubMed Central

    Earnhart, Christopher G.; Rhodes, DeLacy V. L.; Marconi, Richard T.

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi OspC is an outer membrane lipoprotein required for the establishment of infection in mammals. Due to its universal distribution among B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains and high antigenicity, it is being explored for the development of a next-generation Lyme disease vaccine. An understanding of the surface presentation of OspC will facilitate efforts to maximize its potential as a vaccine candidate. OspC forms homodimers at the cell surface, and it has been hypothesized that it may also form oligomeric arrays. Here, we employ site-directed mutagenesis to test the hypothesis that interdimeric disulfide bonds at cysteine 130 (C130) mediate oligomerization. B. burgdorferi B31 ospC was replaced with a C130A substitution mutant to yield strain B31::ospC(C130A). Recombinant protein was also generated. Disulfide-bond-dependent oligomer formation was demonstrated and determined to be dependent on C130. Oligomerization was not required for in vivo function, as B31::ospC(C130A) retained infectivity and disseminated normally. The total IgG response and the induced isotype pattern were similar between mice infected with untransformed B31 and those infected with the B31::ospC(C130A) strain. These data indicate that the immune response to OspC is not significantly altered by formation of OspC oligomers, a finding that has significant implications in Lyme disease vaccine design. PMID:21525304

  1. Antibody responses to Borrelia burgdorferi detected by western blot vary geographically in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Ogden, Nicholas H.; Arsenault, Julie; Hatchette, Todd F.; Mechai, Samir; Lindsay, L. Robbin

    2017-01-01

    Lyme disease is emerging in eastern and central Canada, and most cases are diagnosed using the two-tier serological test (Enzyme Immuno Assay [EIA] followed by Western blot [WB]). Simplification of this algorithm would be advantageous unless it impacts test performance. In this study, accuracy of individual proteins of the IgG WB algorithm in predicting the overall test result in samples from Canadians was assessed. Because Borrelia burgdorferi strains vary geographically in Canada, geographic variations in serological responses were also explored. Metrics of relative sensitivity, specificity and the kappa statistic measure of concordance were used to assess the capacity of responses to individual proteins to predict the overall IgG WB result of 2524 EIA (C6)-positive samples from across Canada. Geographic and interannual variations in proportions of samples testing positive were explored by logistic regression. No one protein was highly concordant with the IgG WB result. Significant variations were found amongst years and geographic regions in the prevalence of samples testing positive using the overall IgG WB algorithm, and for individual proteins of the algorithm. In most cases the prevalence of samples testing positive were highest in Nova Scotia, and lower in samples from Manitoba westwards. These findings suggest that the current two tier test may not be simplified and continued use of the current two-tier test method and interpretation is recommended. Geographic and interannual variations in the prevalence of samples testing positive may be consistent with B. burgdorferi strain variation in Canada, and further studies are needed to explore this. PMID:28182723

  2. Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in occupationally exposed persons in the Belgrade area, Serbia

    PubMed Central

    Jovanovic, Dragutin; Atanasievska, Sonja; Protic-Djokic, Vesna; Rakic, Uros; Lukac-Radoncic, Elvira; Ristanovic, Elizabeta

    2015-01-01

    Lyme disease (LD) is a natural focal zoonotic disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, which is mainly transmitted through infected Ixodes ricinus tick bites. The presence and abundance of ticks in various habitats, the infectivity rate, as well as prolonged human exposure to ticks are factors that may affect the infection risk as well as the incidence of LD. In recent years, 20% to 25% of ticks infected with different borrelial species, as well as about 5,300 citizens with LD, have been registered in the Belgrade area. Many of the patients reported tick bites in city’s grassy areas. The aim of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of B. burgdorferi in high-risk groups (forestry workers and soldiers) in the Belgrade area, and to compare the results with healthy blood donors. A two-step algorithm consisting of ELISA and Western blot tests was used in the study. Immunoreactivity profiles were also compared between the groups. The results obtained showed the seroprevalence to be 11.76% in the group of forestry workers, 17.14% in the group of soldiers infected by tick bites and 8.57% in the population of healthy blood donors. The highest IgM reactivity was detected against the OspC protein, while IgG antibodies showed high reactivity against VlsE, p19, p41, OspC, OspA and p17. Further investigations in this field are necessary in humans and animals in order to improve protective and preventive measures against LD. PMID:26413064

  3. Individual and environmental factors associated with the seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Belgian farmers and veterinarians

    PubMed Central

    De Keukeleire, Mathilde; Robert, Annie; Kabamba, Benoît; Dion, Elise; Luyasu, Victor; Vanwambeke, Sophie O.

    2016-01-01

    Background Lyme disease (LD) is a common tick-borne disease in Europe. Diverse factors at various scales determine the spatial distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi infection risk and a better understanding of those factors in a spatially explicit framework is needed for disease management and prevention. While the ecology of ticks and the landscape favoring their abundance have been extensively studied, the environmental conditions favoring an intense contact with susceptible humans, including groups at risk, are sparse. The aim of this study is to assess which individual and environmental factors can favor B. burgdorferi infection in a Belgian group professionally at risk. Methods Serological results of 127 veterinarians and farmers enrolled in this study were analyzed, taking into account their municipality of residence. Using binary logistic regression and considering interaction terms, the joint effects of landscape composition and configuration, and forest and wildlife management were examined. Results Seven of the 127 workers were seropositive for LD, leading to a seroprevalence of 5.51%. Seropositivity was higher in older persons. The proportion of forest and semi-natural habitats and wetland had a positive impact on LD seroprevalence while arable land–grassland ecotones had a negative one. Our results confirmed the need to consider complex interactions between landscape variables in order to model risk. Conclusions Our data show that LD has to be considered as a risk for farmers and veterinarians. Rather than focusing either on ecological aspects of tick and pathogen distribution or on purely epidemiological aspects such as individual risk factors, our model highlights the role of human–environment interactions in LD risk assessment. PMID:27852421

  4. Comparison of infectivities of six tick-derived isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi for rodents and ticks.

    PubMed Central

    Peavey, C A; Lane, R S

    1996-01-01

    The infectivity and dissemination to the skin of six isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi were evaluated by inoculating them into groups of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), hamsters, and Swiss Webster mice. Rodent infection was assayed by culture of ear punch biopsy specimens taken at 4, 8, and 12 weeks postinoculation (p.i.). Spirochetes were detected in biopsy specimens from individuals of all three host species that had been inoculated with four isolates (CA3, CA4, CA7, and CA8). Ear punch biopsy specimens taken from Swiss Webster mice at 12 weeks p.i. yielded an additional reisolate (CA2), even though these animals did not seroconvert. The remaining isolate (CA9) was not recovered from any host. However, two deer mice and all hamsters and Swiss Webster mice inoculated with CA9 seroconverted. All six isolates were of low infectivity to ticks when inoculated intramuscularly into hosts. Only 4 (1.6%) of 250 Ixodes pacificus larvae acquired and transstadially maintained infection from hosts inoculated intramuscularly. Infectivity of three isolates for ticks also was tested in Swiss Webster mice injected intradermally. The mean prevalences of infection in xenodiagnostic ticks fed on these mice at 4 weeks p.i. were 47.9, 1.2, and 2.2% for isolates CA4, CA7, and CA8, respectively. The mean prevalences of infection for ticks fed on the same mice at 12 weeks p.i. were 36.4, 11.8, and 20.4%, respectively. Such differences in the infectivity and rate of dissemination of individual isolates of B. burgdorferi should be considered during studies of reservoir and vector competence. PMID:8748276

  5. Co-feeding transmission facilitates strain coexistence in Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent.

    PubMed

    States, S L; Huang, C I; Davis, S; Tufts, D M; Diuk-Wasser, M A

    2016-12-26

    Coexistence of multiple tick-borne pathogens or strains is common in natural hosts and can be facilitated by resource partitioning of the host species, within-host localization, or by different transmission pathways. Most vector-borne pathogens are transmitted horizontally via systemic host infection, but transmission may occur in the absence of systemic infection between two vectors feeding in close proximity, enabling pathogens to minimize competition and escape the host immune response. In a laboratory study, we demonstrated that co-feeding transmission can occur for a rapidly-cleared strain of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent, between two stages of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis while feeding on their dominant host, Peromyscus leucopus. In contrast, infections rapidly became systemic for the persistently infecting strain. In a field study, we assessed opportunities for co-feeding transmission by measuring co-occurrence of two tick stages on ears of small mammals over two years at multiple sites. Finally, in a modeling study, we assessed the importance of co-feeding on R0, the basic reproductive number. The model indicated that co-feeding increases the fitness of rapidly-cleared strains in regions with synchronous immature tick feeding. Our results are consistent with increased diversity of B. burgdorferi in areas of higher synchrony in immature feeding - such as the midwestern United States. A higher relative proportion of rapidly-cleared strains, which are less human pathogenic, would also explain lower Lyme disease incidence in this region. Finally, if co-feeding transmission also occurs on refractory hosts, it may facilitate the emergence and persistence of new pathogens with a more limited host range.

  6. Antibody responses to Borrelia burgdorferi detected by western blot vary geographically in Canada.

    PubMed

    Ogden, Nicholas H; Arsenault, Julie; Hatchette, Todd F; Mechai, Samir; Lindsay, L Robbin

    2017-01-01

    Lyme disease is emerging in eastern and central Canada, and most cases are diagnosed using the two-tier serological test (Enzyme Immuno Assay [EIA] followed by Western blot [WB]). Simplification of this algorithm would be advantageous unless it impacts test performance. In this study, accuracy of individual proteins of the IgG WB algorithm in predicting the overall test result in samples from Canadians was assessed. Because Borrelia burgdorferi strains vary geographically in Canada, geographic variations in serological responses were also explored. Metrics of relative sensitivity, specificity and the kappa statistic measure of concordance were used to assess the capacity of responses to individual proteins to predict the overall IgG WB result of 2524 EIA (C6)-positive samples from across Canada. Geographic and interannual variations in proportions of samples testing positive were explored by logistic regression. No one protein was highly concordant with the IgG WB result. Significant variations were found amongst years and geographic regions in the prevalence of samples testing positive using the overall IgG WB algorithm, and for individual proteins of the algorithm. In most cases the prevalence of samples testing positive were highest in Nova Scotia, and lower in samples from Manitoba westwards. These findings suggest that the current two tier test may not be simplified and continued use of the current two-tier test method and interpretation is recommended. Geographic and interannual variations in the prevalence of samples testing positive may be consistent with B. burgdorferi strain variation in Canada, and further studies are needed to explore this.

  7. Synthesis and antigenicity of BBGL-2 glycolipids of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease

    PubMed Central

    Pozsgay, Vince; Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Coxon, Bruce; Marques, Adriana; Robbins, John B.; Schneerson, Rachel

    2011-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the etiological agent for Lyme disease (LD), the most common vector borne disease in the United States. There is no human vaccine against LD currently available. Our approach to a vaccine is based on its surface-exposed glycolipids. One group of these glycolipids termed BBGL-2 consists of 1,2-di-O-acyl-3-O-(α-D-galactopyranosyl)-sn-glycerol congeners having palmitic, oleic, stearic, linoleic, and myristic acids. In order to delineate the immunodominant region(s) of the BBGL-2 components, we embarked on a synthetic project to provide available structurally defined, homogeneous analogs of BBGL-2 that might help identify the best vaccine candidate. The antigenicity of the synthetic glycolipids was examined by dot-blot analysis using mice sera obtained by immunization with killed B. burgdorferi cells, with native BBGL-2 in complete Freund's adjuvant, as well as sera obtained from patients with Lyme disease. We found that the presence of two acyl groups in the glycerol moiety was essential for antigenicity. At least one of these groups must be an oleoyl moiety. Neither the anomeric configuration of the galactose nor the configuration of the glycerol at C-2 was a decisive factor. Based on these findings we designed an `unnatural' BBGL-2 analog having the structure 3-O-(β-D-galactopyranosyl)-1,2-di-O-oleoyl-DL-glycerol which is easier and less expensive to synthesize than the other BBGL-2 congeners prepared in this study. This substance proved to be antigenic and is considered a candidate vaccine for Lyme disease. PMID:21601180

  8. OspC-independent infection and dissemination by host-adapted Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

    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.

  9. Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in occupationally exposed persons in the Belgrade area, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Jovanovic, Dragutin; Atanasievska, Sonja; Protic-Djokic, Vesna; Rakic, Uros; Lukac-Radoncic, Elvira; Ristanovic, Elizabeta

    2015-01-01

    Lyme disease (LD) is a natural focal zoonotic disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, which is mainly transmitted through infected Ixodes ricinus tick bites. The presence and abundance of ticks in various habitats, the infectivity rate, as well as prolonged human exposure to ticks are factors that may affect the infection risk as well as the incidence of LD. In recent years, 20% to 25% of ticks infected with different borrelial species, as well as about 5,300 citizens with LD, have been registered in the Belgrade area. Many of the patients reported tick bites in city's grassy areas. The aim of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of B. burgdorferi in high-risk groups (forestry workers and soldiers) in the Belgrade area, and to compare the results with healthy blood donors. A two-step algorithm consisting of ELISA and Western blot tests was used in the study. Immunoreactivity profiles were also compared between the groups. The results obtained showed the seroprevalence to be 11.76% in the group of forestry workers, 17.14% in the group of soldiers infected by tick bites and 8.57% in the population of healthy blood donors. The highest IgM reactivity was detected against the OspC protein, while IgG antibodies showed high reactivity against VlsE, p19, p41, OspC, OspA and p17. Further investigations in this field are necessary in humans and animals in order to improve protective and preventive measures against LD.

  10. First record of Borrelia burgdorferi B31 strain in Dermacentor nitens ticks in the northern region of Parana (Brazil).

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Daniela Dib; Carreira, Teresa; Nunes, Mónica; Benitez, Aline; Lopes-Mori, Fabiana Maria Ruiz; Vidotto, Odilon; de Freitas, Julio Cesar; Vieira, Maria Luísa

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of DNA of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in ticks that feed on horses used for animal traction in rural Jataizinho, Parana, Brazil. Between February and June 2008, a total of 224 ticks was collected of which 75% were identified as Dermacentor nitens and 25% as Amblyomma cajenense. To amplify B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA, the intergenic space region (ISR) between the 5S (rrf) 23S (rrl) rRNA genes was used as targets for nested-PCR. Two ticks of the D. nitens species were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. Both species showed a fragment of 184 bp, but the sequencing revealed 99.9% homology with the B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) strain B31. These results showed, for the first time, the presence of spirochete DNA infecting ticks that parasitize horses used for animal traction, in the rural municipality mentioned. In conclusion, this study opens up promising prospects for determining the infection rate of B. burgdorferi s.s. genospecies or other species in the equine population, as well as the impact of the infection rate on Lyme disease in the state of Parana.

  11. Borrelia burgdorferi Induces TLR2-Mediated Migration of Activated Dendritic Cells in an Ex Vivo Human Skin Model.

    PubMed

    Mason, Lauren M K; Wagemakers, Alex; van 't Veer, Cornelis; Oei, Anneke; van der Pot, Wouter J; Ahmed, Kalam; van der Poll, Tom; Geijtenbeek, Teunis B H; Hovius, Joppe W R

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted into the skin of the host where it encounters and interacts with two dendritic cell (DC) subsets; Langerhans cells (LCs) and dermal DCs (DDCs). These cells recognize pathogens via pattern recognition receptors, mature and migrate out of the skin into draining lymph nodes, where they orchestrate adaptive immune responses. In order to investigate the response of skin DCs during the early immunopathogenesis of Lyme borreliosis, we injected B. burgdorferi intradermally into full-thickness human skin and studied the migration of DCs out of the skin, the activation profile and phenotype of migrated cells. We found a significant increase in the migration of LCs and DDCs in response to B. burgdorferi. Notably, migration was prevented by blocking TLR2. DCs migrated from skin inoculated with higher numbers of spirochetes expressed significantly higher levels of CD83 and produced pro-inflammatory cytokines. No difference was observed in the expression of HLA-DR, CD86, CD38, or CCR7. To conclude, we have established an ex vivo human skin model to study DC-B. burgdorferi interactions. Using this model, we have demonstrated that B. burgdorferi-induced DC migration is mediated by TLR2. Our findings underscore the utility of this model as a valuable tool to study immunity to spirochetal infections.

  12. Leptospira spp. vaccinal antibodies do not react with Borrelia burgdorferi peptides used in the AccuPlex 4.

    PubMed

    Caress, Amber L; Moroff, Scott; Lappin, Michael R

    2017-08-01

    We attempted to determine if Leptospira spp. antibodies induced by vaccination would cross-react with Borrelia burgdorferi antigens used in a commercial automated immunofluorescent assay (AccuPlex 4 BioCD; Antech). Staff- and student-owned dogs ( n = 31) were recruited at a veterinary teaching hospital in a B. burgdorferi nonendemic area. The dogs were randomized and administered 1 of 4 commercial Leptospira spp. vaccines that contained serovars Canicola, Grippotyphosa, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona, then booster vaccinated 3 wk later. Blood was collected on weeks 0, 3, 4, 8, and 12. After confirming that maximal Leptospira spp. titers occurred on week 4, aliquots of sera from week 4 were shipped frozen for analysis of B. burgdorferi antibodies against OspA, OspC, OspF, P39, and SLP with the AccuPlex system. Week 4 sera from all 31 dogs had a titer of 1:100 for at least 1 Leptospira spp. serovar. Titers of 1:800 or greater were detected against multiple serovars in 27 dogs. None of the samples contained antibodies against the B. burgdorferi OspA, OspC, OspF, P39, and SLP peptides used in the commercial assay. The B. burgdorferi peptides used in the AccuPlex system do not recognize naturally occurring Leptospira spp. antibodies or those induced by the commercial Leptospira spp. vaccines administered in our study.

  13. Identification of new compounds with high activity against stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi from the NCI compound collection

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jie; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Zhang, Ying

    2015-01-01

    Lyme disease is the leading tick-borne disease in the USA. Whereas the majority of Lyme disease patients with early disease can be cured with standard treatment, some patients suffer from chronic fatigue and joint and muscular pain despite treatment, a syndrome called posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome. Although the cause is unclear, ineffective killing of Borrelia burgdorferi persisters by current Lyme disease antibiotics is one possible explanation. We took advantage of our recently developed high-throughput viability assay and screened the National Cancer Institute compound library collection consisting of 2526 compounds against stationary phase B. burgdorferi. We identified the top 30 new active hits, including the top six anthracycline antibiotics daunomycin 3-oxime, dimethyldaunomycin, daunomycin, NSC299187, NSC363998 and nogalamycin, along with other compounds, including prodigiosin, mitomycin, nanaomycin and dactinomycin, as having excellent activity against B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture. The anthracycline or anthraquinone compounds, which are known to have both anti-cancer and antibacterial activities, also had high activity against growing B. burgdorferi with low minimum inhibitory concentration. Future studies on the structure–activity relationship and mechanisms of action of anthracyclines/anthraquinones are warranted. In addition, drug combination studies with the anthracycline class of compounds and the current Lyme antibiotics to eradicate B. burgdorferi persisters in vitro and in animal models are needed to determine if they improve the treatment of Lyme disease. PMID:26954881

  14. First record of Borrelia burgdorferi B31 strain in Dermacentor nitens ticks in the northern region of Parana (Brazil)

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves, Daniela Dib; Carreira, Teresa; Nunes, Mónica; Benitez, Aline; Lopes-Mori, Fabiana Maria Ruiz; Vidotto, Odilon; de Freitas, Julio Cesar; Vieira, Maria Luísa

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of DNA of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in ticks that feed on horses used for animal traction in rural Jataizinho, Parana, Brazil. Between February and June 2008, a total of 224 ticks was collected of which 75% were identified as Dermacentor nitens and 25% as Amblyomma cajenense. To amplify B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA, the intergenic space region (ISR) between the 5S (rrf) 23S (rrl) rRNA genes was used as targets for nested-PCR. Two ticks of the D. nitens species were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. Both species showed a fragment of 184 bp, but the sequencing revealed 99.9% homology with the B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) strain B31. These results showed, for the first time, the presence of spirochete DNA infecting ticks that parasitize horses used for animal traction, in the rural municipality mentioned. In conclusion, this study opens up promising prospects for determining the infection rate of B. burgdorferi s.s. genospecies or other species in the equine population, as well as the impact of the infection rate on Lyme disease in the state of Parana. PMID:24516456

  15. Identification of new compounds with high activity against stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi from the NCI compound collection.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jie; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Zhang, Ying

    2015-06-03

    Lyme disease is the leading tick-borne disease in the USA. Whereas the majority of Lyme disease patients with early disease can be cured with standard treatment, some patients suffer from chronic fatigue and joint and muscular pain despite treatment, a syndrome called posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome. Although the cause is unclear, ineffective killing of Borrelia burgdorferi persisters by current Lyme disease antibiotics is one possible explanation. We took advantage of our recently developed high-throughput viability assay and screened the National Cancer Institute compound library collection consisting of 2526 compounds against stationary phase B. burgdorferi. We identified the top 30 new active hits, including the top six anthracycline antibiotics daunomycin 3-oxime, dimethyldaunomycin, daunomycin, NSC299187, NSC363998 and nogalamycin, along with other compounds, including prodigiosin, mitomycin, nanaomycin and dactinomycin, as having excellent activity against B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture. The anthracycline or anthraquinone compounds, which are known to have both anti-cancer and antibacterial activities, also had high activity against growing B. burgdorferi with low minimum inhibitory concentration. Future studies on the structure-activity relationship and mechanisms of action of anthracyclines/anthraquinones are warranted. In addition, drug combination studies with the anthracycline class of compounds and the current Lyme antibiotics to eradicate B. burgdorferi persisters in vitro and in animal models are needed to determine if they improve the treatment of Lyme disease.

  16. First molecular evidence of [i]Borrelia burgdorferi[/i] sensu lato in goats, sheep, cattle and camels in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Ben Said, Mourad; Belkahia, Hanène; Alberti, Alberto; Abdi, Khaoula; Zhioua, Manel; Daaloul-Jedidi, Monia; Messadi, Lilia

    2016-09-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) are tick-transmitted spirochaetes of veterinary and human importance. Molecular epidemiology data on ruminants are still lacking in most countries of the world. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the rate of B. burgdorferi s.l. infection in ruminants from Tunisia. A total of 1,021 ruminants (303 goats, 260 sheep, 232 cattle and 226 camels) from different bioclimatic areas in Tunisia were investigated for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA in blood by real time PCR. Prevalence rates were 30.4% (92/303) in goats, 6.2% (16/260) in sheep, 1.3% (3/232) in cattle, and 1.8% (4/226) in camels. Only tick species belonging to Rhipicephalus and Hyalomma genera were found on the investigated animals. In small ruminants, the prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. varied significantly according to localities and farms. Goats located in humid areas were statistically more infected than those located in sub-humid areas. Prevalence rates varied significantly according to age and breed in sheep, and age and tick infestation in goats. This study provides the first insight into the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA in ruminants in Tunisia, and demonstrates that host species such as goats and sheep may play an important role in natural Lyme disease cycles in this country.

  17. Borrelia burgdorferi Induces TLR2-Mediated Migration of Activated Dendritic Cells in an Ex Vivo Human Skin Model

    PubMed Central

    Wagemakers, Alex; van ‘t Veer, Cornelis; Oei, Anneke; van der Pot, Wouter J.; Ahmed, Kalam; van der Poll, Tom; Geijtenbeek, Teunis B. H.; Hovius, Joppe W. R.

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted into the skin of the host where it encounters and interacts with two dendritic cell (DC) subsets; Langerhans cells (LCs) and dermal DCs (DDCs). These cells recognize pathogens via pattern recognition receptors, mature and migrate out of the skin into draining lymph nodes, where they orchestrate adaptive immune responses. In order to investigate the response of skin DCs during the early immunopathogenesis of Lyme borreliosis, we injected B. burgdorferi intradermally into full-thickness human skin and studied the migration of DCs out of the skin, the activation profile and phenotype of migrated cells. We found a significant increase in the migration of LCs and DDCs in response to B. burgdorferi. Notably, migration was prevented by blocking TLR2. DCs migrated from skin inoculated with higher numbers of spirochetes expressed significantly higher levels of CD83 and produced pro-inflammatory cytokines. No difference was observed in the expression of HLA-DR, CD86, CD38, or CCR7. To conclude, we have established an ex vivo human skin model to study DC-B. burgdorferi interactions. Using this model, we have demonstrated that B. burgdorferi-induced DC migration is mediated by TLR2. Our findings underscore the utility of this model as a valuable tool to study immunity to spirochetal infections. PMID:27695100

  18. Occurrence of Severe Destructive Lyme Arthritis in Hamsters Vaccinated with Outer Surface Protein A and Challenged with Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Croke, Cindy L.; Munson, Erik L.; Lovrich, Steven D.; Christopherson, John A.; Remington, Monica C.; England, Douglas M.; Callister, Steven M.; Schell, Ronald F.

    2000-01-01

    Arthritis is a frequent and major complication of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. The antigens responsible for the induction of arthritis are unknown. Here we provide direct evidence that a major surface protein, outer surface protein A (OspA), can induce arthritis. Hamsters were vaccinated with 30, 60, or 120 μg of recombinant OspA (rOspA) in aluminum hydroxide and challenged with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto isolate 297 or C-1-11. Swelling of the hind paws was detected in 100, 100, and 50% of hamsters vaccinated with 30, 60, or 120 μg of rOspA, respectively. In addition, arthritis developed in 57% of hamsters vaccinated with a canine rOspA vaccine after infection with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. When the canine rOspA vaccine was combined with aluminum hydroxide, all vaccinated hamsters developed arthritis after challenge with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. Histopathologic examination confirmed the development of severe destructive arthritis in rOspA-vaccinated hamsters challenged with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. These findings suggest that rOspA vaccines should be modified to eliminate epitopes of OspA responsible for the induction of arthritis. Our results are important because an rOspA vaccine in aluminum hydroxide was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans. PMID:10639430

  19. Complete nucleotide sequence of a circular plasmid from the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, J J; Buchstein, S R; Butler, L L; Fisenne, S; Polin, D S; Lade, B N; Luft, B J

    1994-01-01

    We have determined the complete nucleotide sequence of a small circular plasmid from the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi Ip21, the agent of Lyme disease. The plasmid (cp8.3/Ip21) is 8,303 bp long, has a 76.6% A+T content, and is unstable upon passage of cells in vitro. An analysis of the sequence revealed the presence of two nearly perfect copies of a 184-bp inverted repeat sequence separated by 2,675 bp containing three closely spaced, but nonoverlapping, open reading frames (ORFs). Each inverted repeat ends in sequences that may function as signals for the initiation of transcription and translation of flanking plasmid sequences. A unique oligonucleotide probe based on the repeated sequence showed that the DNA between the repeats is present predominantly in a single orientation. Additional copies of the repeat were not detected elsewhere in the Ip21 genome. An analysis for potential ORFs indicates that the plasmid has nine highly probable protein-coding ORFs and one that is less probable; together, they occupy almost 71% of the nucleotide sequence. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences of the ORFs revealed one (ORF-9) with features in common with Borrelia lipoproteins and another (ORF-2) having limited homology with a replication protein, RepC, from a gram-positive plasmid that replicates by a rolling circle (RC) mechanism. Known collectively as RC plasmids, such plasmids require a double-stranded origin at which the Rep protein nicks the DNA to generate a single-stranded replication intermediate. cp8.3/Ip21 has three copies of the heptameric motif characteristically found at a nick site of most RC plasmids. These observations suggest that cp8.3/Ip21 may replicate by an RC mechanism. Images PMID:8169221

  20. Decorin binding proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi promote arthritis development and joint specific post-treatment DNA persistence in mice.

    PubMed

    Salo, Jemiina; Jaatinen, Annukka; Söderström, Mirva; Viljanen, Matti K; Hytönen, Jukka

    2015-01-01

    Decorin binding proteins A and B (DbpA and B) of Borrelia burgdorferi are of critical importance for the virulence of the spirochete. The objective of the present study was to further clarify the contribution of DbpA and B to development of arthritis and persistence of B. burgdorferi after antibiotic treatment in a murine model of Lyme borreliosis. With that goal, mice were infected with B. burgdorferi strains expressing either DbpA or DbpB, or both DbpA and B, or with a strain lacking the adhesins. Arthritis development was monitored up to 15 weeks after infection, and bacterial persistence was studied after ceftriaxone and immunosuppressive treatments. Mice infected with the B. burgdorferi strain expressing both DbpA and B developed an early and prominent joint swelling. In contrast, while strains that expressed DbpA or B alone, or the strain that was DbpA and B deficient, were able to colonize mouse joints, they caused only negligible joint manifestations. Ceftriaxone treatment at two or six weeks of infection totally abolished joint swelling, and all ceftriaxone treated mice were B. burgdorferi culture negative. Antibiotic treated mice, which were immunosuppressed by anti-TNF-alpha, remained culture negative. Importantly, among ceftriaxone treated mice, B. burgdorferi DNA was detected by PCR uniformly in joint samples of mice infected with DbpA and B expressing bacteria, while this was not observed in mice infected with the DbpA and B deficient strain. In conclusion, these results show that both DbpA and B adhesins are crucial for early and prominent arthritis development in mice. Also, post-treatment borrelial DNA persistence appears to be dependent on the expression of DbpA and B on B. burgdorferi surface. Results of the immunosuppression studies suggest that the persisting material in the joints of antibiotic treated mice is DNA or DNA containing remnants rather than live bacteria.

  1. The Western progression of lyme disease: infectious and Nonclonal Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato populations in Grand Forks County, North Dakota.

    PubMed

    Stone, Brandee L; Russart, Nathan M; Gaultney, Robert A; Floden, Angela M; Vaughan, Jefferson A; Brissette, Catherine A

    2015-01-01

    Scant attention has been paid to Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ixodes scapularis, or reservoirs in eastern North Dakota despite the fact that it borders high-risk counties in Minnesota. Recent reports of B. burgdorferi and I. scapularis in North Dakota, however, prompted a more detailed examination. Spirochetes cultured from the hearts of five rodents trapped in Grand Forks County, ND, were identified as B. burgdorferi sensu lato through sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA gene, the 16S rRNA gene-ileT intergenic spacer region, flaB, ospA, ospC, and p66. OspC typing revealed the presence of groups A, B, E, F, L, and I. Two rodents were concurrently carrying multiple OspC types. Multilocus sequence typing suggested the eastern North Dakota strains are most closely related to those found in neighboring regions of the upper Midwest and Canada. BALB/c mice were infected with B. burgdorferi isolate M3 (OspC group B) by needle inoculation or tick bite. Tibiotarsal joints and ear pinnae were culture positive, and B. burgdorferi M3 was detected by quantitative PCR (qPCR) in the tibiotarsal joints, hearts, and ear pinnae of infected mice. Uninfected larval I. scapularis ticks were able to acquire B. burgdorferi M3 from infected mice; M3 was maintained in I. scapularis during the molt from larva to nymph; and further, M3 was transmitted from infected I. scapularis nymphs to naive mice, as evidenced by cultures and qPCR analyses. These results demonstrate that isolate M3 is capable of disseminated infection by both artificial and natural routes of infection. This study confirms the presence of unique (nonclonal) and infectious B. burgdorferi populations in eastern North Dakota.

  2. The Western Progression of Lyme Disease: Infectious and Nonclonal Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Populations in Grand Forks County, North Dakota

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Brandee L.; Russart, Nathan M.; Gaultney, Robert A.; Floden, Angela M.; Vaughan, Jefferson A.

    2014-01-01

    Scant attention has been paid to Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ixodes scapularis, or reservoirs in eastern North Dakota despite the fact that it borders high-risk counties in Minnesota. Recent reports of B. burgdorferi and I. scapularis in North Dakota, however, prompted a more detailed examination. Spirochetes cultured from the hearts of five rodents trapped in Grand Forks County, ND, were identified as B. burgdorferi sensu lato through sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA gene, the 16S rRNA gene-ileT intergenic spacer region, flaB, ospA, ospC, and p66. OspC typing revealed the presence of groups A, B, E, F, L, and I. Two rodents were concurrently carrying multiple OspC types. Multilocus sequence typing suggested the eastern North Dakota strains are most closely related to those found in neighboring regions of the upper Midwest and Canada. BALB/c mice were infected with B. burgdorferi isolate M3 (OspC group B) by needle inoculation or tick bite. Tibiotarsal joints and ear pinnae were culture positive, and B. burgdorferi M3 was detected by quantitative PCR (qPCR) in the tibiotarsal joints, hearts, and ear pinnae of infected mice. Uninfected larval I. scapularis ticks were able to acquire B. burgdorferi M3 from infected mice; M3 was maintained in I. scapularis during the molt from larva to nymph; and further, M3 was transmitted from infected I. scapularis nymphs to naive mice, as evidenced by cultures and qPCR analyses. These results demonstrate that isolate M3 is capable of disseminated infection by both artificial and natural routes of infection. This study confirms the presence of unique (nonclonal) and infectious B. burgdorferi populations in eastern North Dakota. PMID:25304515

  3. Decorin Binding Proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi Promote Arthritis Development and Joint Specific Post-Treatment DNA Persistence in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Salo, Jemiina; Jaatinen, Annukka; Söderström, Mirva; Viljanen, Matti K.; Hytönen, Jukka

    2015-01-01

    Decorin binding proteins A and B (DbpA and B) of Borrelia burgdorferi are of critical importance for the virulence of the spirochete. The objective of the present study was to further clarify the contribution of DbpA and B to development of arthritis and persistence of B. burgdorferi after antibiotic treatment in a murine model of Lyme borreliosis. With that goal, mice were infected with B. burgdorferi strains expressing either DbpA or DbpB, or both DbpA and B, or with a strain lacking the adhesins. Arthritis development was monitored up to 15 weeks after infection, and bacterial persistence was studied after ceftriaxone and immunosuppressive treatments. Mice infected with the B. burgdorferi strain expressing both DbpA and B developed an early and prominent joint swelling. In contrast, while strains that expressed DbpA or B alone, or the strain that was DbpA and B deficient, were able to colonize mouse joints, they caused only negligible joint manifestations. Ceftriaxone treatment at two or six weeks of infection totally abolished joint swelling, and all ceftriaxone treated mice were B. burgdorferi culture negative. Antibiotic treated mice, which were immunosuppressed by anti-TNF-alpha, remained culture negative. Importantly, among ceftriaxone treated mice, B. burgdorferi DNA was detected by PCR uniformly in joint samples of mice infected with DbpA and B expressing bacteria, while this was not observed in mice infected with the DbpA and B deficient strain. In conclusion, these results show that both DbpA and B adhesins are crucial for early and prominent arthritis development in mice. Also, post-treatment borrelial DNA persistence appears to be dependent on the expression of DbpA and B on B. burgdorferi surface. Results of the immunosuppression studies suggest that the persisting material in the joints of antibiotic treated mice is DNA or DNA containing remnants rather than live bacteria. PMID:25816291

  4. Borrelia burgdorferi uniquely regulates its motility genes and has an intricate flagellar hook-basal body structure.

    PubMed

    Sal, Melanie S; Li, Chunhao; Motalab, M A; Shibata, Satoshi; Aizawa, Shin-ichi; Charon, Nyles W

    2008-03-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is a flat-wave, motile spirochete that causes Lyme disease. Motility is provided by periplasmic flagella (PFs) located between the cell cylinder and an outer membrane sheath. The structure of these PFs, which are composed of a basal body, a hook, and a filament, is similar to the structure of flagella of other bacteria. To determine if hook formation influences flagellin gene transcription in B. burgdorferi, we inactivated the hook structural gene flgE by targeted mutagenesis. In many bacteria, completion of the hook structure serves as a checkpoint for transcriptional control of flagellum synthesis and other chemotaxis and motility genes. Specifically, the hook allows secretion of the anti-sigma factor FlgM and concomitant late gene transcription promoted by sigma28. However, the control of B. burgdorferi PF synthesis differs from the control of flagellum synthesis in other bacteria; the gene encoding sigma28 is not present in the genome of B. burgdorferi, nor are any sigma28 promoter recognition sequences associated with the motility genes. We found that B. burgdorferi flgE mutants lacked PFs, were rod shaped, and were nonmotile, which substantiates previous evidence that PFs are involved in both cell morphology and motility. Although most motility and chemotaxis gene products accumulated at wild-type levels in the absence of FlgE, mutant cells had markedly decreased levels of the flagellar filament proteins FlaA and FlaB. Further analyses showed that the reduction in the levels of flagellin proteins in the spirochetes lacking FlgE was mediated at the posttranscriptional level. Taken together, our results indicate that in B. burgdorferi, the completion of the hook does not serve as a checkpoint for transcriptional regulation of flagellum synthesis. In addition, we also present evidence that the hook protein in B. burgdorferi forms a high-molecular-weight complex and that formation of this complex occurs in the periplasmic space.

  5. Molecular detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Romania.

    PubMed

    Dumitrache, Mirabela Oana; Matei, Ioana Adriana; Ionică, Angela Monica; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; D'Amico, Gianluca; Sikó-Barabási, Sándor; Ionescu, Dan Traian; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-10-08

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are one of the most widespread wild carnivores in the world, being recognized to harbor and transmit a wide range of vector-borne diseases. Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato are zoonotic tick-borne pathogens causing emerging diseases. Wild animals play an essential role in the transmission of diseases and pathogens maintenance in nature. Epidemiological studies regarding the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in red foxes are of public health importance, as they may successfully act as a pathogen transmission interface between wildlife, domestic animals and humans. This study included 14 counties from Romania. A total number of 353 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were examined. Heart tissue samples were collected during necropsy and stored at -20 °C. Genomic DNA extraction was performed and all samples were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Specific primers for A. phagocytophilum, A. platys, E. canis and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. were used. Sequence analysis was performed (Macrogen Europe, Amsterdam) and obtained sequences are available at GenBank™. Out of the 353 samples, 9 (2.55 %; 95 % CI: 1.25-4.96 %) were positive for A. phagocytophilum. Positive animals originated from 5 counties. In total, 5 out of 353 heart tissue samples (1.42 %; 95 % CI: 0.52-3.47 %) collected from red foxes were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. Red foxes originated from 4 counties. None of the samples were positive for A. platys or E. canis. No co-infection with A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. was found. This first report of A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. in red foxes from Romania suggests a limited role of foxes in the maintenance of the two related pathogens, but may represent a potential risk from a public health perspective.

  6. Dual role for Fcγ receptors in host defense and disease in Borrelia burgdorferi-infected mice.

    PubMed

    Belperron, Alexia A; Liu, Nengyin; Booth, Carmen J; Bockenstedt, Linda K

    2014-01-01

    Arthritis in mice infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, results from the influx of innate immune cells responding to the pathogen in the joint and is influenced in part by mouse genetics. Production of inflammatory cytokines by innate immune cells in vitro is largely mediated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) interaction with Borrelia lipoproteins, yet surprisingly mice deficient in TLR2 or the TLR signaling molecule MyD88 still develop arthritis comparable to that seen in wild type mice after B. burgdorferi infection. These findings suggest that other, MyD88-independent inflammatory pathways can contribute to arthritis expression. Clearance of B. burgdorferi is dependent on the production of specific antibody and phagocytosis of the organism. As Fc receptors (FcγR) are important for IgG-mediated clearance of immune complexes and opsonized particles by phagocytes, we examined the role that FcγR play in host defense and disease in B. burgdorferi-infected mice. B. burgdorferi-infected mice deficient in the Fc receptor common gamma chain (FcεRγ(-/-) mice) harbored ~10 fold more spirochetes than similarly infected wild type mice, and this was associated with a transient increase in arthritis severity. While the elevated pathogen burdens seen in B. burgdorferi-infected MyD88(-/-) mice were not affected by concomitant deficiency in FcγR, arthritis was reduced in FcεRγ(-/-) MyD88(-/-) mice in comparison to wild type or single knockout mice. Gene expression analysis from infected joints demonstrated that absence of both MyD88 and FcγR lowers mRNA levels of proteins involved in inflammation, including Cxcl1 (KC), Xcr1 (Gpr5), IL-1beta, and C reactive protein. Taken together, our results demonstrate a role for FcγR-mediated immunity in limiting pathogen burden and arthritis in mice during the acute phase of B. burgdorferi infection, and further suggest that this pathway contributes to the arthritis that develops in B. burgdorferi-infected MyD88

  7. Dual role for Fcγ receptors in host defense and disease in Borrelia burgdorferi-infected mice

    PubMed Central

    Belperron, Alexia A.; Liu, Nengyin; Booth, Carmen J.; Bockenstedt, Linda K.

    2014-01-01

    Arthritis in mice infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, results from the influx of innate immune cells responding to the pathogen in the joint and is influenced in part by mouse genetics. Production of inflammatory cytokines by innate immune cells in vitro is largely mediated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) interaction with Borrelia lipoproteins, yet surprisingly mice deficient in TLR2 or the TLR signaling molecule MyD88 still develop arthritis comparable to that seen in wild type mice after B. burgdorferi infection. These findings suggest that other, MyD88-independent inflammatory pathways can contribute to arthritis expression. Clearance of B. burgdorferi is dependent on the production of specific antibody and phagocytosis of the organism. As Fc receptors (FcγR) are important for IgG-mediated clearance of immune complexes and opsonized particles by phagocytes, we examined the role that FcγR play in host defense and disease in B. burgdorferi-infected mice. B. burgdorferi-infected mice deficient in the Fc receptor common gamma chain (FcεRγ−/− mice) harbored ~10 fold more spirochetes than similarly infected wild type mice, and this was associated with a transient increase in arthritis severity. While the elevated pathogen burdens seen in B. burgdorferi-infected MyD88−/− mice were not affected by concomitant deficiency in FcγR, arthritis was reduced in FcεRγ−/−MyD88−/− mice in comparison to wild type or single knockout mice. Gene expression analysis from infected joints demonstrated that absence of both MyD88 and FcγR lowers mRNA levels of proteins involved in inflammation, including Cxcl1 (KC), Xcr1 (Gpr5), IL-1beta, and C reactive protein. Taken together, our results demonstrate a role for FcγR-mediated immunity in limiting pathogen burden and arthritis in mice during the acute phase of B. burgdorferi infection, and further suggest that this pathway contributes to the arthritis that develops in B. burgdorferi

  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. 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

    Rudenko, Nataliia; Golovchenko, Maryna; Belfiore, Natalia M; Grubhoffer, Libor; Oliver, James H

    2014-01-02

    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. 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 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. 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 populations because of the re-assortment of

  10. Structure and immunomodulatory property relationship in NapA of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Codolo, Gaia; Papinutto, Elena; Polenghi, Alessandra; D'Elios, Mario Milco; Zanotti, Giuseppe; de Bernard, Marina

    2010-12-01

    NapA from Borrelia burgdorferi is a member of the Dps-like protein family with specific immunomodulatory properties; in particular, NapA is able to induce the expression of IL-23 in neutrophils and monocytes, as well as the expression of IL-6, IL-1β, and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) in monocytes, via Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2. Such an activity on innate immune cells triggers a synovial fluid Th17 response. Here we report the crystal structure of NapA, determined at 2.6Å resolution, which shows that the quaternary structure of the protein is that of a dodecamer with 23 symmetry, typical of the proteins of the family. We also demonstrate that the N- and C-terminal tails, which are flexible and not visible in the crystal, are not relevant for its pro-Th17 activity. Based on the crystal structure and on the comparison with the structure of the orthologous protein from Helicobacter pylori, HP-NAP, we hypothesize that the charge distributions on the two proteins' surfaces are responsible for the interaction with TLR2 and for the different behaviors in modulating the immune response.

  11. Molecular analysis of Ixodes granulatus, a possible vector tick for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chao, Li-Lian; Wu, Wen-Jer; Shih, Chien-Ming

    2009-08-01

    The genetic identity of Ixodes granulatus ticks was determined for the first time in Taiwan. The phylogenetic relationships were analyzed by comparing the sequences of mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA gene obtained from 19 strains of ticks representing seven species of Ixodes and two outgroup species (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Haemaphysalis inermis). Four major clades could be easily distinguished by neighbour-joining analysis and were congruent by maximum-parsimony method. All these I. granulatus ticks of Taiwan were genetically affiliated to a monophyletic group with highly homogeneous sequences (92.2-99.3% similarity), and can be discriminated from other Ixodes species and other genera of ticks with a sequence divergence ranging from 11.7 to 30.8%. Moreover, intraspecific analysis revealed that two distinct lineages are evident between the same species of I. granulatus ticks collected from Taiwan and Malaysia. Our results demonstrate that all these I. granulatus ticks of Taiwan represent a unique lineage distinct from the common vector ticks (I. ricinus complex) for Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes.

  12. Anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibody response over the course of Lyme neuroborreliosis.

    PubMed Central

    Baig, S; Olsson, T; Hansen, K; Link, H

    1991-01-01

    Characteristic findings on examination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in Lyme neuroborreliosis include mononuclear pleocytosis, oligoclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) bands, and evidence for local production of specific antibodies. We utilized an immunospot assay to detect cells secreting anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies of different isotypes over the course of disease. Such cells were detected in CSF from 13 consecutive patients with neuroborreliosis examined before treatment. IgG antibody-secreting cells were present in high numbers (mean, 32 cells per 10(4) CSF cells), whereas IgA and IgM antibody-secreting cells were found less frequently and at lower numbers (mean, 5 and 6 cells per 10(4) CSF cells, respectively). Clinical improvement after penicillin treatment was paralleled by a rapid decline of antibody-secreting cells in CSF, but they were still detected, although at lower numbers, in 5 of 10 patients examined more than 6 months after treatment. This specific B-cell response persisted despite clinical improvement. Whether it reflects persistence of antigen is unsettled. PMID:1997408

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

    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 fluorescent-antibody 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.

  14. Vectors as Epidemiological Sentinels: Patterns of Within-Tick Borrelia burgdorferi Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Katharine S.; Carpi, Giovanna; Evans, Benjamin R.; Caccone, Adalgisa; Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.

    2016-01-01

    Hosts including humans, other vertebrates, and arthropods, are frequently infected with heterogeneous populations of pathogens. Within-host pathogen diversity has major implications for human health, epidemiology, and pathogen evolution. However, pathogen diversity within-hosts is difficult to characterize and little is known about the levels and sources of within-host diversity maintained in natural populations of disease vectors. Here, we examine genomic variation of the Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), in 98 individual field-collected tick vectors as a model for study of within-host processes. Deep population sequencing reveals extensive and previously undocumented levels of Bb variation: the majority (~70%) of ticks harbor mixed strain infections, which we define as levels Bb diversity pre-existing in a diverse inoculum. Within-tick diversity is thus a sample of the variation present within vertebrate hosts. Within individual ticks, we detect signatures of positive selection. Genes most commonly under positive selection across ticks include those involved in dissemination in vertebrate hosts and evasion of the vertebrate immune complement. By focusing on tick-borne Bb, we show that vectors can serve as epidemiological and evolutionary sentinels: within-vector pathogen diversity can be a useful and unbiased way to survey circulating pathogen diversity and identify evolutionary processes occurring in natural transmission cycles. PMID:27414806

  15. Trans-Atlantic exchanges have shaped the population structure of the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto

    PubMed Central

    Castillo-Ramírez, S.; Fingerle, V.; Jungnick, S.; Straubinger, R. K.; Krebs, S.; Blum, H.; Meinel, D. M.; Hofmann, H.; Guertler, P.; Sing, A.; Margos, G.

    2016-01-01

    The origin and population structure of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), the agent of Lyme disease, remain obscure. This tick-transmitted bacterial species occurs in both North America and Europe. We sequenced 17 European isolates (representing the most frequently found sequence types in Europe) and compared these with 17 North American strains. We show that trans-Atlantic exchanges have occurred in the evolutionary history of this species and that a European origin of B. burgdorferi s.s. is marginally more likely than a USA origin. The data further suggest that some European human patients may have acquired their infection in North America. We found three distinct genetically differentiated groups: i) the outgroup species Borrelia bissettii, ii) two divergent strains from Europe, and iii) a group composed of strains from both the USA and Europe. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that different genotypes were likely to have been introduced several times into the same area. Our results demonstrate that irrespective of whether B. burgdorferi s.s. originated in Europe or the USA, later trans-Atlantic exchange(s) have occurred and have shaped the population structure of this genospecies. This study clearly shows the utility of next generation sequencing to obtain a better understanding of the phylogeography of this bacterial species. PMID:26955886

  16. Borrelia burgdorferi Oxidative Stress Regulator BosR Directly Represses Lipoproteins Primarily Expressed in the Tick during Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Peng; Dadhwal, Poonam; Cheng, Zhihui; Zianni, Michael R.; Rikihisa, Yasuko; Liang, Fang Ting; Li, Xin

    2013-01-01

    Summary Differential gene expression is a key strategy adopted by the Lyme disease spirochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi, for adaptation and survival in the mammalian host and the tick vector. Many B. burgdorferi surface lipoproteins fall into two distinct groups according to their expression patterns: one group primarily expressed in the tick and the other group primarily expressed in the mammal. Here, we show that the Fur homologue in this bacterium, also known as Borrelia oxidative stress regulator (BosR), is required for repression of outer surface protein A (OspA) and OspD in the mammal. Furthermore, BosR binds directly to sequences upstream of the ospAB operon and the ospD gene through recognition of palindromic motifs similar to those recognized by other Fur homologues but with a 1-bp variation in the spacer length. Putative BosR-binding sites have been identified upstream of 156 B. burgdorferi genes. Some of these genes share the same expression pattern as ospA and ospD. Most notably, 12 (67%) of the 18 genes previously identified in a genome-wide microarray study to be most significantly repressed in the mammal are among the putative BosR regulon. These data indicate that BosR may directly repress transcription of many genes that are down-regulated in the mammal. PMID:23869590

  17. Evaluation of Borrelia burgdorferi BbHtrA Protease as a Vaccine Candidate for Lyme Borreliosis in Mice.

    PubMed

    Ullmann, Amy J; Russell, Theresa M; Dolan, Marc C; Williams, Martin; Hojgaard, Andrias; Weiner, Zachary P; Johnson, Barbara J B

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi synthesizes an HtrA protease (BbHtrA) which is a surface-exposed, conserved protein within Lyme disease spirochetes with activity toward CheX and BmpD of Borrelia spp, as well as aggrecan, fibronectin and proteoglycans found in skin, joints and neural tissues of vertebrates. An antibody response against BbHtrA is observed in Lyme disease patients and in experimentally infected laboratory mice and rabbits. Given the surface location of BbHtrA on B. burgdorferi and its ability to elicit an antibody response in infected hosts, we explored recombinant BbHtrA as a potential vaccine candidate in a mouse model of tick-transmitted Lyme disease. We immunized mice with two forms of BbHtrA: the proteolytically active native form and BbHtrA ablated of activity by a serine to alanine mutation at amino acid 226 (BbHtrA(S226A)). Although inoculation with either BbHtrA or BbHtrA(S226A) produced high-titer antibody responses in C3H/HeJ mice, neither antigen was successful in protecting mice from B. burgdorferi challenge. These results indicate that the search for novel vaccine candidates against Lyme borreliosis remains a challenge.

  18. Seroprevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in healthy adults from western Norway: risk factors and methodological aspects.

    PubMed

    Hjetland, Reidar; Nilsen, Roy M; Grude, Nils; Ulvestad, Elling

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in a healthy adult population from Sogn and Fjordane county in western Norway by different assays. Sera from 1213 blood donors at four different blood banks were analysed in Enzygnost Lyme link VlsE/IgG (IgG), Enzygnost Borreliosis IgM (IgM), and Immunetics C6 Lyme ELISA kit (C6). Sera showing positive or grey-zone reactivities were further examined with Borrelia-EUROLine-RN-AT IgG blot and Borrelia-EUROLine-RN-AT IgM blot. The seroprevalences were 9.6%, 8.2%, 8.4%, 6.4% and 5.7%, respectively. The seroprevalence for IgG was lower in the eastern part of the county and in owners of pet animals. It was higher in men, and increased with age and number of tick bites. C6 and IgG gave comparable results. IgM only was found in 4.5%, more often in women, did not increase with age, and showed no relationship with geography, and 56.4% were positive in IgM blot. In conclusion, antibodies to B. burgdorferi s.l. are common in blood donors in western Norway. The results may be used for evaluation of predictive values of test results in patients, as well as a basis for test algorithms in the laboratory.

  19. Co-infection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Rickettsia species in ticks and in an erythema migrans patient.

    PubMed

    Tijsse-Klasen, Ellen; Sprong, Hein; Pandak, Nenad

    2013-12-10

    Lyme borreliosis is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in Europe. Ixodes ricinus also carries other pathogenic bacteria, but corresponding human diseases are rarely reported. Here, we compared the exposure to Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis with that to Lyme borreliosis spirochetes. We assumed that their exposure corresponds to their infection rate in questing I. ricinus. Three Rickettsia species were detected in ticks with a total prevalence of 7.9%, of which the majority was R. helvetica (78%) and R. monacensis (21%). From the same geographic area, skin biopsies of erythema migrans patients were investigated for possible co-infections with Rickettsia spp.. Forty-seven out of 67 skin biopsies were PCR positive for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and one sample was positive for R. monacensis. The Borrelia genospecies from the R. monacensis positive patient was identified as Borrelia afzelii. The patient did not show any symptoms associated with rickettsiosis. Co-infections of I. ricinus with Rickettsia spp. and B. burgdorferi s.l. were as high as expected from the individual prevalence of both pathogens. Co-infection rate in erythema migrans patients corresponded well with tick infection rates. To our knowledge, this is the first reported co-infection of B. afzelii and R. monacensis.

  20. PCR Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus, and the Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis Agent in Ixodes persulcatus Ticks from Western Siberia, Russia

    PubMed Central

    Morozova, Olga V.; Dobrotvorsky, Andrey K.; Livanova, Natalya N.; Tkachev, Sergey E.; Bakhvalova, Valentina N.; Beklemishev, Anatoly B.; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2002-01-01

    PCR assays were used to test adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks from Western Siberia, Russia, for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent. Of the 150 ticks that were studied, 38% were infected with B. burgdorferi, 46% were infected with TBEV, and 8% were infected with the HGE agent. These three pathogens were distributed in the ticks independently of one another. PMID:12354885

  1. Identification, Characterization, and Expression of Three New Members of the Borrelia burgdorferi Mlp (2.9) Lipoprotein Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaofeng; Popova, Taissia G.; Hagman, Kayla E.; Wikel, Stephen K.; Schoeler, George B.; Caimano, Melissa J.; Radolf, Justin D.; Norgard, Michael V.

    1999-01-01

    We previously reported on the existence of a family of lipoprotein genes, designated 2.9 lipoprotein genes, encoded in at least seven versions on the circular (supercoiled) cp32 and cp18 plasmids of Borrelia burgdorferi 297. A distinguishing feature of the 2.9 lipoproteins were highly similar signal sequences but variable mature polypeptides that segregated into two antigenic classes. Further screenings of B. burgdorferi 297 genomic libraries led to the identification of three additional 2.9 lipoprotein genes, renamed herein mlp, for multicopy lipoprotein genes. Computer analyses and immunoblotting revealed that Mlp-9 segregated with the antigenic class I lipoproteins, whereas Mlp-8 and Mlp-10 were members of class II. Northern blotting showed that all three of the mlp genes were expressed when B. burgdorferi was cultivated in vitro at 34°C, although mlp-9 and mlp-10 transcripts were expressed at very low levels. Additional combined immunoblotting and comparative reverse transcription-PCR analyses performed on borreliae cultivated in vitro at 23, 34, or 37°C indicated that although Mlp-8 was substantially more abundant than Mlp-9 or Mlp-10, all three of the mlp genes were upregulated during B. burgdorferi replication at 37°C. Expression of the same three lipoproteins was further enhanced upon growth of the spirochetes within dialysis membrane chambers (DMCs) implanted intraperitoneally in rats (i.e., spirochetes in a mammalian host-adapted state), suggesting that temperature alone did not account for maximal upregulation of the mlp genes. That certain mlp genes are likely expressed during the growth of B. burgdorferi in mammalian tissues was supported by findings of antibodies against all three Mlp lipoproteins in mice after challenge with Ixodes scapularis nymphs harboring B. burgdorferi 297. The combined data suggest that as opposed to being differentially expressed in any reciprocal fashion (e.g., OspA/OspC), at least three mlp genes are simultaneously

  2. Identification, characterization, and expression of three new members of the Borrelia burgdorferi Mlp (2.9) lipoprotein gene family.

    PubMed

    Yang, X; Popova, T G; Hagman, K E; Wikel, S K; Schoeler, G B; Caimano, M J; Radolf, J D; Norgard, M V

    1999-11-01

    We previously reported on the existence of a family of lipoprotein genes, designated 2.9 lipoprotein genes, encoded in at least seven versions on the circular (supercoiled) cp32 and cp18 plasmids of Borrelia burgdorferi 297. A distinguishing feature of the 2.9 lipoproteins were highly similar signal sequences but variable mature polypeptides that segregated into two antigenic classes. Further screenings of B. burgdorferi 297 genomic libraries led to the identification of three additional 2.9 lipoprotein genes, renamed herein mlp, for multicopy lipoprotein genes. Computer analyses and immunoblotting revealed that Mlp-9 segregated with the antigenic class I lipoproteins, whereas Mlp-8 and Mlp-10 were members of class II. Northern blotting showed that all three of the mlp genes were expressed when B. burgdorferi was cultivated in vitro at 34 degrees C, although mlp-9 and mlp-10 transcripts were expressed at very low levels. Additional combined immunoblotting and comparative reverse transcription-PCR analyses performed on borreliae cultivated in vitro at 23, 34, or 37 degrees C indicated that although Mlp-8 was substantially more abundant than Mlp-9 or Mlp-10, all three of the mlp genes were upregulated during B. burgdorferi replication at 37 degrees C. Expression of the same three lipoproteins was further enhanced upon growth of the spirochetes within dialysis membrane chambers (DMCs) implanted intraperitoneally in rats (i.e., spirochetes in a mammalian host-adapted state), suggesting that temperature alone did not account for maximal upregulation of the mlp genes. That certain mlp genes are likely expressed during the growth of B. burgdorferi in mammalian tissues was supported by findings of antibodies against all three Mlp lipoproteins in mice after challenge with Ixodes scapularis nymphs harboring B. burgdorferi 297. The combined data suggest that as opposed to being differentially expressed in any reciprocal fashion (e.g., OspA/OspC), at least three mlp genes are

  3. ELISA-based measurement of antibody responses and PCR-based detection profiles can distinguish between active infection and early clearance of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Lazarus, John J; McCarter, Akisha L; Neifer-Sadhwani, Kari; Wooten, R Mark

    2012-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochetal bacterium that causes Lyme disease. These studies address whether current research methods using either ELISA to detect seroconversion to B. burgdorferi antigens or PCR quantification of bacterial DNA within tissues can accurately distinguish between a productive infection versus a B. burgdorferi exposure that is rapidly cleared by the innate responses. Mice receiving even minimal doses of live B. burgdorferi produced significantly more B. burgdorferi-specific IgM and IgG than groups receiving large inocula of heat-killed bacteria. Additionally, sera from mice injected with varied doses of killed B. burgdorferi recognized unique borrelial antigens compared to mice infected with live B. burgdorferi. Intradermal injection of killed B. burgdorferi resulted in rapid DNA clearance from skin, whereas DNA was consistently detected in skin inoculated with viable B. burgdorferi. These data indicate that both ELISA-based serological analyses and PCR-based methods of assessing B. burgdorferi infection clearly distinguish between an established infection with live bacteria and exposure to large numbers of bacteria that are promptly cleared by the innate responses.

  4. A systematic review of Borrelia burgdorferi morphologic variants does not support a role in chronic Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    Lantos, Paul M; Auwaerter, Paul G; Wormser, Gary P

    2014-03-01

     Much of the controversy that surrounds Lyme disease pertains to whether it produces prolonged, treatment-refractory infection, usually referred to as chronic Lyme disease. Some have proposed that round morphologic variants of Borrelia burgdorferi, known variably as "cyst forms" and "L-forms," are responsible for the pathogenesis of chronic Lyme disease. We have undertaken a systematic review of the literature to determine if there is a documented role of these variants in Lyme disease pathogenesis or in syndromes compatible with chronic Lyme disease.  Two systematic literature searches were performed to identify studies in which round morphologic variants of B. burgdorferi have been described in situ in human specimens.  Our primary literature search identified 6 studies that reported round morphologic variants of B. burgdorferi in specimens obtained from 32 total patients. No study described these forms in patients who had purely subjective symptom complexes (eg, fatigue or pain). No study investigated a causal relationship between morphologic variants and clinical disease or evaluated treatment of morphologic variants in vivo. Of 29 additional studies that described the morphology of B. burgdorferi from patients with Lyme disease, the organism was invariably described as having spirochetal morphology.  In the context of the broader medical literature, it is not currently possible to ascribe a pathogenic role to morphologic variants of B. burgdorferi in either typical manifestations of Lyme disease or in other chronic disease states that are often labeled chronic Lyme disease. There is no clinical literature to justify specific treatment of B. burgdorferi morphologic variants.

  5. Evaluation of the Importance of VlsE Antigenic Variation for the Enzootic Cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Rogovskyy, Artem S.; Casselli, Timothy; Tourand, Yvonne; Jones, Cami R.; Owen, Jeb P.; Mason, Kathleen L.; Scoles, Glen A.; Bankhead, Troy

    2015-01-01

    Efficient acquisition and transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi by the tick vector, and the ability to persistently infect both vector and host, are important elements for the life cycle of the Lyme disease pathogen. Previous work has provided strong evidence implicating the significance of the vls locus for B. burgdorferi persistence. However, studies involving vls mutant clones have thus far only utilized in vitro-grown or host-adapted spirochetes and laboratory strains of mice. Additionally, the effects of vls mutation on tick acquisition and transmission has not yet been tested. Thus, the importance of VlsE antigenic variation for persistent infection of the natural reservoir host, and for the B. burgdorferi enzootic life cycle in general, has not been examined to date. In the current work, Ixodes scapularis and Peromyscus maniculatus were infected with different vls mutant clones to study the importance of the vls locus for the enzootic cycle of the Lyme disease pathogen. The findings highlight the significance of the vls system for long-term infection of the natural reservoir host, and show that VlsE antigenic variability is advantageous for efficient tick acquisition of B. burgdorferi from the mammalian reservoir. The data also indicate that the adaptation state of infecting spirochetes influences B. burgdorferi avoidance from host antibodies, which may be in part due to its respective VlsE expression levels. Overall, the current findings provide the most direct evidence on the importance of VlsE for the enzootic cycle of Lyme disease spirochetes, and underscore the significance of VlsE antigenic variation for maintaining B. burgdorferi in nature. PMID:25893989

  6. Assessment of Transcriptional Activity of Borrelia burgdorferi and Host Cytokine Genes During Early and Late Infection in a Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Sunlian; Barthold, Stephen W.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Differential gene expression by Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes during mammalian infection facilitates their dissemination as well as immune evasion. Modulation of gene transcription in response to host immunity has been documented with the outer surface protein C, but the influence of transcription of other genes is largely unknown. A low-density array (LDA) was developed to study transcriptional activity of 43 B. burgdorferi genes and 19 host genes that may be involved in various host–agent interactions. Gene transcription in heart, joint, and muscle tissue was compared in immunocompetent C3H and immunodeficient C3H-scid mice during early (3 weeks) and late (2 months) B. burgdorferi infection. Among all tissue types, levels of relative transcription of over 80% of B. burgdorferi genes tested were one- to nine-fold less in C3H mice compared to C3H-scid mice. At the later time point, all genes were transcribed in C3H-scid mice, whereas transcription of 16 genes out of 43 tested was not detected in analyzed tissues of C3H mice. Our data suggest that during infection of immunocompetent mice, a majority of B. burgdorferi genes tested are downregulated in response to acquired host immunity. LDA revealed variable patterns of host gene expression in different tissues and at different intervals in infected mice. Higher levels of relative expression for IL-10 during both early and late infection were detected in heart base, and it was unchanged in the tibiotarsal joint. Comparative analysis of B. burgdorferi and host genes transcriptional activity revealed that increased flaB mRNA during early infection was followed by increases of CCL7, CCL8, interleukin-10 (IL-10), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in all assessed tissue types. LDA represents a valuable approach for sensitive and quantitative gene transcription profiling and for understanding Lyme borreliosis. PMID:23930938

  7. Evaluation of the Importance of VlsE Antigenic Variation for the Enzootic Cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Rogovskyy, Artem S; Casselli, Timothy; Tourand, Yvonne; Jones, Cami R; Owen, Jeb P; Mason, Kathleen L; Scoles, Glen A; Bankhead, Troy

    2015-01-01

    Efficient acquisition and transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi by the tick vector, and the ability to persistently infect both vector and host, are important elements for the life cycle of the Lyme disease pathogen. Previous work has provided strong evidence implicating the significance of the vls locus for B. burgdorferi persistence. However, studies involving vls mutant clones have thus far only utilized in vitro-grown or host-adapted spirochetes and laboratory strains of mice. Additionally, the effects of vls mutation on tick acquisition and transmission has not yet been tested. Thus, the importance of VlsE antigenic variation for persistent infection of the natural reservoir host, and for the B. burgdorferi enzootic life cycle in general, has not been examined to date. In the current work, Ixodes scapularis and Peromyscus maniculatus were infected with different vls mutant clones to study the importance of the vls locus for the enzootic cycle of the Lyme disease pathogen. The findings highlight the significance of the vls system for long-term infection of the natural reservoir host, and show that VlsE antigenic variability is advantageous for efficient tick acquisition of B. burgdorferi from the mammalian reservoir. The data also indicate that the adaptation state of infecting spirochetes influences B. burgdorferi avoidance from host antibodies, which may be in part due to its respective VlsE expression levels. Overall, the current findings provide the most direct evidence on the importance of VlsE for the enzootic cycle of Lyme disease spirochetes, and underscore the significance of VlsE antigenic variation for maintaining B. burgdorferi in nature.

  8. Automated purification of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. PCR products with KingFisher™ magnetic particle processor prior to genome sequencing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mäkinen, Johanna; Marttila, Harri; Viljanen, Matti K.

    2001-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies were differentiated by PCR-based sequencing of the borrelial flagellin gene. To evaluate the usefulness of KingFisher™ magnetic particle processor in PCR product purification, borrelia PCR products were purified with KingFisher™ magnetic particle processor prior to cycle sequencing and the quality of the sequence data received was analyzed. KingFisher was found to offer a rapid and reliable alternative for borrelial PCR product purification.

  9. Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Species in Europe Induce Diverse Immune Responses against C6 Peptides in Infected Mice▿

    PubMed Central

    Krupka, Inke; Knauer, Jens; Lorentzen, Leif; O'Connor, Thomas P.; Saucier, Jill; Straubinger, Reinhard K.

    2009-01-01

    The diversity of Lyme-borreliosis-inducing Borrelia species in Europe set high standards for the use of serodiagnostic test systems in terms of specificity and sensitivity. In the United States, the one-step C6 antibody test system based on the invariable domain IR6 of the VlsE molecule has been established as a successful diagnostic tool for testing canine samples. However, only a limited set of data are available regarding the antigenicity of the C6 peptides in an experimental murine model and sensitivity of the test regarding European Borrelia species. In order to investigate antibody reactions induced by these spirochetes, a total of 142 C3H/HeN mice were inoculated with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto N40, B. garinii PBi, two isolates of B. afzelii, B. spielmanii A14S, B. valaisiana Rio6, B. valaisiana VS116, or B. lusitaniae. Infection of the mice was documented utilizing tissue culture and PCR. The IR6 sequences of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto B31, B. garinii IP90, and two B. afzelii ACAI strains have been used to synthesize and test additional C6 peptides. Compared to the well-established two-tiered test system, the results indicate that single C6 peptides derived from B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. garinii can be used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based technique to detect murine antibodies induced by either agent. Little is known about the prevalence or pathogenicity of the B. afzelii strains in mammalian hosts, but our experimental data indicate differences in the C6 peptide test sensitivity for the detection of antibodies induced by different strains or isolates of B. afzelii. PMID:19726618

  10. Proteomic analysis of three Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato native species and disseminating clones: relevance for Lyme vaccine design.

    PubMed

    Schnell, Gilles; Boeuf, Amandine; Jaulhac, Benoît; Boulanger, Nathalie; Collin, Elody; Barthel, Cathy; De Martino, Sylvie; Ehret-Sabatier, Laurence

    2015-04-01

    Lyme borreliosis is the most important vector-borne disease in the Northern hemisphere. It is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato bacteria transmitted to humans by the bite of hard ticks, Ixodes spp. Although antibiotic treatments are efficient in the early stage of the infection, a significant number of patients develop disseminated manifestations (articular, neurological, and cutaneous) due to unnoticed or absence of erythema migrans, or to inappropriate treatment. Vaccine could be an efficient approach to decrease Lyme disease incidence. We have developed a proteomic approach based on a one dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by LC-MS/MS strategy to identify new vaccine candidates. We analyzed a disseminating clone and the associated wild-type strain for each major pathogenic Borrelia species: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, and B. afzelii. We identified specific proteins and common proteins to the disseminating clones of the three main species. In parallel, we used a spectral counting strategy to identify upregulated proteins common to the clones. Finally, 40 proteins were found that could potentially be involved in bacterial virulence and of interest in the development of a new vaccine. We selected the three proteins specifically detected in the disseminating clones of the three Borrelia species and checked by RT-PCR whether they are expressed in mouse skin upon B. burgdorferi ss inoculation. Interestingly, BB0566 appears as a potential vaccine candidate. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000876 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD000876). © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Analysis of the Borrelia burgdorferi GeHo fla gene and antigenic characterization of its gene product.

    PubMed Central

    Gassmann, G S; Jacobs, E; Deutzmann, R; Göbel, U B

    1991-01-01

    The fla gene of Borrelia burgdorferi GeHo was analyzed and expressed in Escherichia coli. The structural gene encodes a flagellar protein of 336 amino acids. Comparative sequence analysis of the amino acid sequence revealed a high degree of sequence conservation with flagellins from both phylogenetically related and unrelated bacteria. The antigenic properties of the B. burgdorferi Fla protein were studied by synthesizing overlapping octapeptides, which were screened by using a battery of different monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies from various species directed against native and denatured flagellar proteins. No single species-independent immunodominant epitope could be located. However, immunoreactive oligopeptides clustered within the variable middle region (N-180 to I-260). This region could constitute a candidate antigen for more specific and sensitive serodiagnosis of Lyme borreliosis. Images PMID:1704884

  12. Coinfection by the tick-borne pathogens Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi: ecological, epidemiological and clinical consequences

    PubMed Central

    Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.; Vannier, Edouard

    2015-01-01

    Ixodes ticks maintain a large and diverse array of human pathogens in the enzootic cycle, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti. Despite the poor ecological fitness of B. microti, babesiosis has recently emerged in areas endemic for Lyme disease. Studies in ticks, reservoir hosts and humans indicate that coinfection with B. burgdorferi and B. microti is common, promotes transmission and emergence of B. microti in the enzootic cycle, and causes greater disease severity and duration in humans. These integrative studies may serve as a paradigm for the study of other vector-borne coinfections. Identifying ecological drivers of pathogen emergence and host factors that fuel disease severity will help guide the design of effective curative and prevention strategies. PMID:26613664

  13. Infestation of the southern alligator lizard (Squamata: Anguidae) by Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and its susceptibility to Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Lane, R S; Clover, J R

    1998-11-01

    To investigate the reservoir potential of the southern alligator lizard, Elgaria multicarinata (Blainville), for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, 14 lizards were collected from 1 county on each side of the northern Central Valley of California. Seven animals were collected from a Placer County site (Drivers Flat) and a Yolo County site (Cache Creek) where B. burgdorferi had been isolated previously from Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls. Overall, the mean abundance of I. pacificus on all 14 lizards was 34.1 (range, 3-63) for larvae and 11.0 (range, 1-28) for nymphs. In captivity, field-attached I. pacificus larvae and nymphs required, on average, 12.6 (range, 1-37) and 14.4 (range, 5-44) d to feed to repletion, respectively. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.4% in Cache Creek Canyon and 9.9% in Drivers Flat. Attempts to isolate spirochetes from lizard blood or ticks that had fed on lizards and subsequently molted were unsuccessful as were efforts to cultivate spirochetes in lizard sera. These data suggest that the southern alligator lizard is not a competent reservoir for B. burgdorferi, although it is an important host for I. pacificus subadults.

  14. Binding of human complement regulators FHL-1 and factor H to CRASP-1 orthologs of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Kraiczy, Peter; Rossmann, Evelyn; Brade, Volker; Simon, Markus M; Skerka, Christine; Zipfel, Peter F; Wallich, Reinhard

    2006-11-01

    The complement regulator-acquiring surface protein (CRASP)-1 is a member of the paralogous gene family gbb54 and the dominant FHL-1 and factor H binding protein of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). It was shown recently that expression of BbCRASP-1 directly correlates with serum resistance of B. burgdorferi s.s. isolates. In the present study we have elucidated the putative potential of other members of the gbb54 paralogous family, including orthologs ZSA66, ZSA69, ZSA70, ZSA71, ZSA72 and ZSA73 of the European B. burgdorferi s.s. strain ZS7, to bind human FHL-1 and factor H. In spite of their overall similarity in protein sequence, between 47% and 67%, and the fact that the C-terminal region of ZSA69 shows 70% similarity with BbCRASP-1, none of the orthologous proteins was able to bind human FHL-1 and/or factor H. BbCRASP-1 is the only member of the paralogous gene family gbb54 that binds to human complement regulators, supporting the notion that BbCRASP-1 plays a critical role in evasion of complement by B. burgdorferi s.s. and thus may be helpful in the development of novel therapeutic strategies against Lyme borreliosis.

  15. Avian hosts of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) and the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi in larvae feeding on the Oregon junco.

    PubMed

    Wright, S A; Tucker, J R; Donohue, A M; Castro, M B; Kelley, K L; Novak, M G; Macedo, P A

    2011-07-01

    Larval and nymphal western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls (Acari: Ixodidae), were collected from birds, rodents, and lizards at Quail Ridge Reserve located in Napa County in northwestern California. Species from three vertebrate classes were sampled simultaneously from two transects during two consecutive spring seasons. Feeding larval and nymphal ticks were removed and preserved for counting, examination and testing for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner. Mean infestations with I. pacificus subadults on lizards were 10.0, on birds 2.9, and on rodents 1.3. I. pacificus larvae (204) collected from 10 avian species and (215) collected from two rodent species were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.s. via real-time polymerase chain reaction. Three B. burgdorferi-infected larvae were taken from two Junco hyemalis and two infected larvae from one Neotoma fuscipes Baird. This is the detection of B. burgdorferi ss in an Ixodes pacificus larvae feeding on a Junco hyemalis L., [corrected] in western North America.

  16. Borrelia burgdorferi enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for discrimination of OspA vaccination from spirochete infection.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y Q; Mathiesen, D; Kolbert, C P; Anderson, J; Schoen, R T; Fikrig, E; Persing, D H

    1997-01-01

    Recombinant Lyme disease vaccines based on purified preparations of outer surface protein A (OspA) have been shown to be effective in preventing transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi in experimental animal models and are now being tested in humans. Since the most widely used screening tests for Lyme disease are based on a whole-cell sonicate of B. burgdorferi, serologic false positivity in vaccinated persons could result from reactivity to OspA within the antigen preparation. In order to avoid serologic false positivity in vaccinated subjects, we developed an immunoassay based on a low-passage-number, naturally occurring variant of B. burgdorferi which lacks the plasmid encoding OspA and OspB. The use of an antigen preparation derived from this organism provided sensitive and specific detection of B. burgdorferi seropositivity in experimental animals and in human Lyme disease cases. The OspA-B-negative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) also appeared to be capable of discriminating the vaccinated state from vaccine failure and natural infection in experimental animals. Sera from human subjects participating in a vaccine trial gave false-positive results with an ELISA based on an OspA-containing strain, but no such reactivity was observed when the OspA-negative ELISA was used. We conclude that low-passage-number OspA-B-negative isolates in immunoassays may become useful for the immunologic discrimination of the vaccinated state, natural infection, and vaccine failure. PMID:8968914

  17. A Seventeen-Year Epidemiological Surveillance Study of Borrelia burgdorferi Infections in Two Provinces of Northern Spain

    PubMed Central

    Lledó, Lourdes; Gegúndez, María Isabel; Giménez-Pardo, Consuelo; Álamo, Rufino; Fernández-Soto, Pedro; Nuncio, María Sofia; Saz, José Vicente

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports a 17-year seroepidemiological surveillance study of Borrelia burgdorferi infection, performed with the aim of improving our knowledge of the epidemiology of this pathogen. Serum samples (1,179) from patients (623, stratified with respect to age, sex, season, area of residence and occupation) bitten by ticks in two regions of northern Spain were IFA-tested for B. burgdorferi antibodies. Positive results were confirmed by western blotting. Antibodies specific for B. burgdorferi were found in 13.3% of the patients; 7.8% were IgM positive, 9.6% were IgG positive, and 4.33% were both IgM and IgG positive. Five species of ticks were identified in the seropositive patients: Dermacentor marginatus (41.17% of such patients) Dermacentor reticulatus (11.76%), Rhiphicephalus sanguineus (17.64%), Rhiphicephalus turanicus (5.88%) and Ixodes ricinus (23.52%). B. burgdorferi DNA was sought by PCR in ticks when available. One tick, a D. reticulatus male, was found carrying the pathogen. The seroprevalence found was similar to the previously demonstrated in similar studies in Spain and other European countries. PMID:24487455

  18. Complex population structure of Borrelia burgdorferi in southeastern and south central Canada as revealed by phylogeographic analysis.

    PubMed

    Mechai, S; Margos, G; Feil, E J; Lindsay, L R; Ogden, N H

    2015-02-01

    Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, is an emerging zoonotic disease in Canada and is vectored by the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Here we used Bayesian analyses of sequence types (STs), determined by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), to investigate the phylogeography of B. burgdorferi populations in southern Canada and the United States by analyzing MLST data from 564 B. burgdorferi-positive samples collected during surveillance. A total of 107 Canadian samples from field sites were characterized as part of this study, and these data were combined with existing MLST data for samples from the United States and Canada. Only 17% of STs were common between both countries, while 49% occurred only in the United States, and 34% occurred only in Canada. However, STs in southeastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec were typically identical to those in the northeastern United States, suggesting a recent introduction into this region from the United States. In contrast, STs in other locations in Canada (the Maritimes; Long Point, Ontario; and southeastern Manitoba) were frequently unique to those locations but were putative descendants of STs previously found in the United States. The picture in Canada is consistent with relatively recent introductions from multiple refugial populations in the United States. These data thus point to a geographic pattern of populations of B. burgdorferi in North America that may be more complex than simply comprising northeastern, midwestern, and Californian groups. We speculate that this reflects the complex ecology and spatial distribution of key reservoir hosts.

  19. Oral Vaccination With Vaccinia Virus Expressing the Tick Antigen Subolesin Inhibits Tick Feeding and Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi Vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Bensaci, Mekki; Bhattacharya, Debaditya; Clark, Roger; Hu, Linden T.

    2014-01-01

    Immunization with the Ixodes scapularis protein, subolesin, has previously been shown to protect hosts against tick infestation and to decrease acquisition of Anaplsma marginale and Babesia bigemina. Here we report the efficacy of subolesin expressed from Vaccinia virus for use as an orally delivered reservoir–targeted vaccine for prevention of tick infestation and acquisition/transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi to its tick and mouse hosts. We cloned subolesin into Vaccinia virus and showed that it is expressed from mammalian cells infected with the recombinant virus in vitro. We then vaccinated mice by oral gavage. A single dose of the vaccine was sufficient for mice to generate antibody response to subolesin. Vaccination with the subolesin expressing Vaccinia virus inhibited tick infestation by 52% compared to control vaccination with Vaccinia virus and reduced uptake of B. burgdorferi among the surviving ticks that fed to repletion by 34%. There was a reduction in transmission of B. burgdorferi to uninfected vaccinated mice of 40% compared to controls. These results suggest that subolesin has potential as a component of a reservoir targeted vaccine to decrease B. burgdorferi, Babesia and Anaplasma species infections in their natural hosts. PMID:22864146

  20. Elimination of Channel-Forming Activity by Insertional Inactivation of the p13 Gene in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Östberg, Yngve; Pinne, Marija; Benz, Roland; Rosa, Patricia; Bergström, Sven

    2002-01-01

    P13 is a chromosomally encoded 13-kDa integral outer membrane protein of the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi. The aim of this study was to investigate the function of the P13 protein. Here, we inactivated the p13 gene by targeted mutagenesis and investigated the porin activities of outer membrane proteins by using lipid bilayer experiments. Channel-forming activity was lost in the p13 mutant compared to wild-type B. burgdorferi, indicating that P13 may function as a porin. We purified native P13 to homogeneity by fast performance liquid chromatography and demonstrated that pure P13 has channel-forming activity with a single-channel conductance in 1 M KCl of 3.5 nS, the same as the porin activity that was lost in the p13 mutant. Further characterization of the channel formed by P13 suggested that it is cation selective and voltage independent. In addition, no major physiological effects of the inactivated p13 gene could be detected under normal growth conditions. The inactivation of p13 is the first reported inactivation of a gene encoding an integral outer membrane protein in B. burgdorferi. Here, we describe both genetic and biophysical experiments indicating that P13 in B. burgdorferi is an outer membrane protein with porin activity. PMID:12446631

  1. A seventeen-year epidemiological surveillance study of Borrelia burgdorferi infections in two provinces of northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Lledó, Lourdes; Gegúndez, María Isabel; Giménez-Pardo, Consuelo; Álamo, Rufino; Fernández-Soto, Pedro; Nuncio, María Sofia; Saz, José Vicente

    2014-01-30

    This paper reports a 17-year seroepidemiological surveillance study of Borrelia burgdorferi infection, performed with the aim of improving our knowledge of the epidemiology of this pathogen. Serum samples (1,179) from patients (623, stratified with respect to age, sex, season, area of residence and occupation) bitten by ticks in two regions of northern Spain were IFA-tested for B. burgdorferi antibodies. Positive results were confirmed by western blotting. Antibodies specific for B. burgdorferi were found in 13.3% of the patients; 7.8% were IgM positive, 9.6% were IgG positive, and 4.33% were both IgM and IgG positive. Five species of ticks were identified in the seropositive patients: Dermacentor marginatus (41.17% of such patients) Dermacentor reticulatus (11.76%), Rhiphicephalus sanguineus (17.64%), Rhiphicephalus turanicus (5.88%) and Ixodes ricinus (23.52%). B. burgdorferi DNA was sought by PCR in ticks when available. One tick, a D. reticulatus male, was found carrying the pathogen. The seroprevalence found was similar to the previously demonstrated in similar studies in Spain and other European countries.

  2. Complex Population Structure of Borrelia burgdorferi in Southeastern and South Central Canada as Revealed by Phylogeographic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Mechai, S.; Margos, G.; Feil, E. J.; Lindsay, L. R.

    2014-01-01

    Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, is an emerging zoonotic disease in Canada and is vectored by the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Here we used Bayesian analyses of sequence types (STs), determined by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), to investigate the phylogeography of B. burgdorferi populations in southern Canada and the United States by analyzing MLST data from 564 B. burgdorferi-positive samples collected during surveillance. A total of 107 Canadian samples from field sites were characterized as part of this study, and these data were combined with existing MLST data for samples from the United States and Canada. Only 17% of STs were common between both countries, while 49% occurred only in the United States, and 34% occurred only in Canada. However, STs in southeastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec were typically identical to those in the northeastern United States, suggesting a recent introduction into this region from the United States. In contrast, STs in other locations in Canada (the Maritimes; Long Point, Ontario; and southeastern Manitoba) were frequently unique to those locations but were putative descendants of STs previously found in the United States. The picture in Canada is consistent with relatively recent introductions from multiple refugial populations in the United States. These data thus point to a geographic pattern of populations of B. burgdorferi in North America that may be more complex than simply comprising northeastern, midwestern, and Californian groups. We speculate that this reflects the complex ecology and spatial distribution of key reservoir hosts. PMID:25501480

  3. Quantification of Borrelia burgdorferi Membrane Proteins in Human Serum: A New Concept for Detection of Bacterial Infection.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Crystal S F; Anderson, Kyle W; Benitez, Kenia Y Villatoro; Soloski, Mark J; Aucott, John N; Phinney, Karen W; Turko, Illarion V

    2015-11-17

    The Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. The low abundance of bacterial proteins in human serum during infection imposes a challenge for early proteomic detection of Lyme disease. To address this challenge, we propose to detect membrane proteins released from bacteria due to disruption of their plasma membrane triggered by the innate immune system. These membrane proteins can be separated from the bulk of serum proteins by high-speed centrifugation causing substantial sample enrichment prior to targeted protein quantification using multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry. This new approach was first applied to detection of B. burgdorferi membrane proteins supplemented in human serum. Our results indicated that detection of B. burgdorferi membrane proteins, which are ≈10(7) lower in abundance than major serum proteins, is feasible. Therefore, quantitative analysis was also carried out for serum samples from three patients with acute Lyme disease. We were able to demonstrate the detection of ospA, the major B. burgdorferi lipoprotein at the level of 4.0 fmol of ospA/mg of serum protein. The results confirm the concept and suggest that the proposed approach can be expanded to detect other bacterial infections in humans, particularly where existing diagnostics are unreliable.

  4. Borrelia burgdorferi not detected in widespread Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from white-tailed deer in Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Rosen, M E; Hamer, S A; Gerhardt, R R; Jones, C J; Muller, L I; Scott, M C; Hickling, G J

    2012-11-01

    Lyme disease (LD), caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted in the eastern United States by blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, is classified as nonendemic in Tennessee and surrounding states in the Southeast. Low incidence of LD in these states has been attributed, in part, to vector ticks being scarce or absent; however, tick survey data for many counties are incomplete or out of date. To improve our knowledge of the distribution, abundance, and Borrelia spp. prevalence of I. scapularis, we collected ticks from 1,018 hunter-harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman)) from 71 of 95 Tennessee counties in fall 2007 and 2008. In total, 160 deer (15.7%) from 35 counties were infested with adult I. scapularis; 30 of these counties were new distributional records for this tick. The mean number of I. scapularis collected per infested deer was 5.4 +/- 0.6 SE. Of the 883 I. scapularis we removed from deer, none were positive for B. burgdorferi and one tested positive for B. miyamotoi. Deer are not reservoir hosts for B. burgdorferi; nevertheless, past surveys in northern LD-endemic states have readily detected B. burgdoreferi in ticks collected from deer. We conclude that I. scapularis is far more widespread in Tennessee than previously reported. The absence of detectable B. burgdorferi infection among these ticks suggests that the LD risk posed by I. scapularis in the surveyed areas of Tennessee is much lower than in LD-endemic areas of the Northeast and upper Midwest.

  5. Isolation and purification of recombinant outer surface protein C (rOspC) of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Krupka, Michal; Bĕláková, Jana; Sebestová, Martina; Tuhácková, Jana; Raska, Milan; Vrzal, Vladimír; Weigl, Evzen

    2005-12-01

    The aim of this work was isolation and purification of the major immunodominant protein, Outer surface protein C (OspC) of three members of the species group Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Our aim was to obtain this protein in a quantity and purity sufficient for immunization of experimental animals. For optimalization of protein purification's yield we used immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC) under different conditions. The greatest efficiency was achieved by using of HiTrap Chelating Column under native conditions.

  6. Rodent species as natural reservoirs of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in different habitats of Ixodes ricinus in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Gassner, Fedor; Takken, Willem; Plas, Carin Lombaers-van der; Kastelein, Pieter; Hoetmer, Arno J; Holdinga, Maarten; van Overbeek, Leonard S

    2013-09-01

    Rodents are natural reservoirs for human pathogenic spirochaetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi complex [B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.)], and the pathogens are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks to humans in The Netherlands. B. burgdorferi s.l. infection prevalence in questing ticks, rodents, and ticks feeding on these rodents, all sampled within the same short time span of five days in three different areas in The Netherlands, were compared in order to establish the relationship between ticks, reservoir hosts, and B. burgdorferi s.l. Questing nymphs were found in all 3 areas and numbers differed per area and even per site within areas. Infection prevalence in questing nymphs ranged between 0 and 20%. Apodemus sylvaticus and Myodes glareolus were the dominant rodents captured, and their numbers differed per area. Infection prevalence, determined by ear biopsies, ranged between 0 and 33.3% for both rodent species. Larvae were most frequently found feeding on these rodents, and their Borrelia infection prevalence ranged between 0 and 6.3% (A. sylvaticus) and between 0 and 29.4% (M. glareolus). The burden of nymphs feeding on rodents was low and varied per area with only 2 of 42 nymphs infected. Comparisons made on the basis of infection prevalence indicated that there was no clear relationship between rodents and questing nymphs when sampled within the same short time span. However, a possible relationship was present when questing ticks were sampled over longer periods in time (months) within or near the same areas (range of infection prevalence between 3.7 and 39.4). Confounding factors thus play a role in the interaction between rodents, ticks, and B. burgdorferi s.l., and it is very likely that other reservoir host species are responsible for the observed fluctuations. It is concluded that the local variations in rodent-Borrelia-tick interactions only partially explain the Lyme borreliosis risk in the sites studied and that other ecological determinants, notably

  7. Rrp1, a cyclic-di-GMP-producing response regulator, is an important regulator of Borrelia burgdorferi core cellular functions

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Elizabeth A.; Terekhova, Darya; Zhang, Hong-Ming; Hovis, Kelley M.; Schwartz, Ira; Marconi, Richard T.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Two-component systems (TCS) are universal among bacteria and play critical roles in gene regulation. Our understanding of the contributions of TCS in the biology of the Borrelia is just now beginning to develop. Borrelia burgdorferi, a causative agent of Lyme disease, harbours a TCS comprised of open reading frames (ORFs) BB0419 and BB0420. BB0419 encodes a response regulator designated Rrp1, and BB0420 encodes a hybrid histidine kinase–response regulator designated Hpk1. Rrp1, which contains a conserved GGDEF domain, undergoes phosphorylation and produces the secondary messenger, cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP), a critical signaling molecule in numerous organisms. However, the regulatory role of the Rrp1–Hpk1 TCS and c-di-GMP signaling in Borrelia biology are unexplored. In this study, the distribution, conservation, expression and potential global regulatory capability of Rrp1 were assessed. rrp1 was found to be universal and highly conserved among isolates, co-transcribed with hpk1, constitutively expressed during in vitro cultivation, and significantly upregulated upon tick feeding. Allelic exchange replacement and microarray analyses revealed that the Rrp1 regulon consists of a large number of genes encoded by the core Borrelia genome (linear chromosome, linear plasmid 54 and circular plasmid 26) that encode for proteins involved in central metabolic processes and virulence mechanisms including immune evasion. PMID:19210621

  8. Antibody profile to Borrelia burgdorferi in veterinarians from Nuevo León, Mexico, a non-endemic area of this zoonosis

    PubMed Central

    Skinner-Taylor, Cassandra M.; Salinas, José A.; Arevalo-Niño, Katiushka; Galán-Wong, Luis J.; Maldonado, Guadalupe; Garza-Elizondo, Mario A.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease caused by infections with Borrelia. Persons infected with Borrelia can be asymptomatic or can develop disseminated disease. Diagnosis and recognition of groups at risk of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi is of great interest to contemporary rheumatology. There are a few reports about Borrelia infection in Mexico, including lymphocytoma cases positive to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto by PCR and a patient with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. Veterinarians have an occupational risk due to high rates of tick contact. The aim of this work was to investigate antibodies to Borrelia in students at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, at Nuevo León, Mexico, and determine the antibody profile to B. burgdorferi antigens. Material and methods Sera were screened using a C6 ELISA, IgG and IgM ELISA using recombinant proteins from B. burgdorferi, B. garinii and B. afzelii. Sera with positive or grey-zone values were tested by IgG Western blot to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. Results All volunteers reported tick exposures and 72.5% remembered tick bites. Only nine persons described mild Lyme disease related symptoms, including headaches, paresthesias, myalgias and arthralgias. None of the volunteers reported erythema migrans. Nine samples were confirmed by IgG Western blot. The profile showed 89% reactivity to OspA, 67% to p83, and 45% to BmpA. Conclusions Positive sera samples shared antibody reactivity to the markers of late immune response p83 and BmpA, even if individuals did not present symptoms of Lyme arthritis or post-Lyme disease. The best criterion to diagnose Lyme disease in our country remains to be established, because it is probable that different strains coexist in Mexico. This is the first report of antibodies to B. burgdorferi in Latin American veterinarians. Veterinarians and high-risk people should be alert to take precautionary measures to prevent tick-borne diseases. PMID:27504018

  9. Antibody profile to Borrelia burgdorferi in veterinarians from Nuevo León, Mexico, a non-endemic area of this zoonosis.

    PubMed

    Skinner-Taylor, Cassandra M; Flores, Maria S; Salinas, José A; Arevalo-Niño, Katiushka; Galán-Wong, Luis J; Maldonado, Guadalupe; Garza-Elizondo, Mario A

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease caused by infections with Borrelia. Persons infected with Borrelia can be asymptomatic or can develop disseminated disease. Diagnosis and recognition of groups at risk of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi is of great interest to contemporary rheumatology. There are a few reports about Borrelia infection in Mexico, including lymphocytoma cases positive to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto by PCR and a patient with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. Veterinarians have an occupational risk due to high rates of tick contact. The aim of this work was to investigate antibodies to Borrelia in students at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, at Nuevo León, Mexico, and determine the antibody profile to B. burgdorferi antigens. Sera were screened using a C6 ELISA, IgG and IgM ELISA using recombinant proteins from B. burgdorferi, B. garinii and B. afzelii. Sera with positive or grey-zone values were tested by IgG Western blot to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. All volunteers reported tick exposures and 72.5% remembered tick bites. Only nine persons described mild Lyme disease related symptoms, including headaches, paresthesias, myalgias and arthralgias. None of the volunteers reported erythema migrans. Nine samples were confirmed by IgG Western blot. The profile showed 89% reactivity to OspA, 67% to p83, and 45% to BmpA. Positive sera samples shared antibody reactivity to the markers of late immune response p83 and BmpA, even if individuals did not present symptoms of Lyme arthritis or post-Lyme disease. The best criterion to diagnose Lyme disease in our country remains to be established, because it is probable that different strains coexist in Mexico. This is the first report of antibodies to B. burgdorferi in Latin American veterinarians. Veterinarians and high-risk people should be alert to take precautionary measures to prevent tick-borne diseases.

  10. A broad-range survey of ticks from livestock in Northern Xinjiang: changes in tick distribution and the isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan-Zhi; Mu, Lu-Meng; Zhang, Ke; Yang, Mei-Hua; Zhang, Lin; Du, Jing-Yun; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Li, Yong-Xiang; Lu, Wei-Hua; Chen, Chuang-Fu; Wang, Yan; Chen, Rong-Gui; Xu, Jun; Yuan, Li; Zhang, Wan-Jiang; Zuo, Wei-Ze; Shao, Ren-Fu

    2015-09-04

    Borreliosis is highly prevalent in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. However, little is known about the presence of Borrelia pathogens in tick species in this region, in addition Borrelia pathogens have not been isolated from domestic animals. We collected adult ticks from domestic animals at 19 sampling sites in 14 counties in northern Xinjiang from 2012 to 2014. Ticks were identified to species by morphology and were molecularly analysed by sequences of mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene; 4-8 ticks of each species at every sampling site were sequenced. 112 live adult ticks were selected for each species in every county, and were used to culture Borrelia pathogens; the genotypes were then determined by sequences of the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer and the outer surface protein A (ospA) gene. A total of 5257 adult ticks, belonging to four genera and seven species, were collected. Compared with three decades ago, the abundance of the five common tick species during the peak ixodid tick season has changed. Certain tick species, such as Rhipicephalus turanicus (Rh. turanicus), was found at Jimusaer, Yining, Fukang, and Chabuchaer Counties for the first time. Additionally, the sequence analyses showed that the Hyalomma asiaticum (Hy. asiaticum), Haemaphysalis punctata (Ha. punctata), and Dermacentor marginatus (D. marginatus) that were collected from different sampling sites (≥3 sites) shared identical 16S rDNA sequences respectively. For the tick species that were collected from the same county, such as Hy. asiaticum from Shihezi County and Rh. turanicus from Yining County, their 16S rDNA sequences showed genetic diversity. In addition, sixteen Borrelia isolates were found in Hy. asiaticum, Ha. punctata, D. marginatus and Rh. turanicus, which infested cattle, sheep, horse and camel in Yining, Chabuchaer, Shihezi and Shawan Counties. All of the isolates were genetically identified as B. Burgdorferi sensu stricto. Warmer and wetter climate may have contributed to the

  11. Genetic diversity of ospC in a local population of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, I N; Dykhuizen, D E; Qiu, W; Dunn, J J; Bosler, E M; Luft, B J

    1999-01-01

    The outer surface protein, OspC, is highly variable in Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the agent of Lyme disease. We have shown that even within a single population OspC is highly variable. The variation of ospA and ospC in the 40 infected deer ticks collected from a single site on Shelter Island, New York, was determined using PCR-SSCP. There is very strong apparent linkage disequilibrium between ospA and ospC alleles, even though they are located on separate plasmids. Thirteen discernible SSCP mobility classes for ospC were identified and the DNA sequence for each was determined. These sequences, combined with 40 GenBank sequences, allow us to define 19 major ospC groups. Sequences within a major ospC group are, on average, <1% different from each other, while sequences between major ospC groups are, on average, approximately 20% different. The tick sample contains 11 major ospC groups, GenBank contains 16 groups, with 8 groups found in both samples. Thus, the ospC variation within a local population is almost as great as the variation of a similar-sized sample of the entire species. The Ewens-Watterson-Slatkin test of allele frequency showed significant deviation from the neutral expectation, indicating balancing selection for these major ospC groups. The variation represented by major ospC groups needs to be considered if the OspC protein is to be used as a serodiagnostic antigen or a vaccine. PMID:9872945

  12. Initial characterization of the FlgE hook high molecular weight complex of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Miller, Kelly A; Motaleb, Md A; Liu, Jun; Hu, Bo; Caimano, Melissa J; Miller, Michael R; Charon, Nyles W

    2014-01-01

    The spirochete periplasmic flagellum has many unique attributes. One unusual characteristic is the flagellar hook. This structure serves as a universal joint coupling rotation of the membrane-bound motor to the flagellar filament. The hook is comprised of about 120 FlgE monomers, and in most bacteria these structures readily dissociate to monomers (∼ 50 kDa) when treated with heat and detergent. However, in spirochetes the FlgE monomers form a large mass of over 250 kDa [referred to as a high molecular weight complex (HMWC)] that is stable to these and other denaturing conditions. In this communication, we examined specific aspects with respect to the formation and structure of this complex. We found that the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi synthesized the HMWC throughout the in vitro growth cycle, and also in vivo when implanted in dialysis membrane chambers in rats. The HMWC was stable to formic acid, which supports the concept that the stability of the HMWC is dependent on covalent cross-linking of individual FlgE subunits. Mass spectrometry analysis of the HMWC from both wild type periplasmic flagella and polyhooks from a newly constructed ΔfliK mutant indicated that other proteins besides FlgE were not covalently joined to the complex, and that FlgE was the sole component of the complex. In addition, mass spectrometry analysis also indicated that the HMWC was composed of a polymer of the FlgE protein with both the N- and C-terminal regions remaining intact. These initial studies set the stage for a detailed characterization of the HMWC. Covalent cross-linking of FlgE with the accompanying formation of the HMWC we propose strengthens the hook structure for optimal spirochete motility.

  13. MicroRNA-146a Provides Feedback Regulation of Lyme Arthritis but Not Carditis during Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Lochhead, Robert B.; Ma, Ying; Zachary, James F.; Baltimore, David; Zhao, Jimmy L.; Weis, John H.; O'Connell, Ryan M.; Weis, Janis J.

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs have been shown to be important regulators of inflammatory and immune responses and are implicated in several immune disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, but their role in Lyme borreliosis remains unknown. We performed a microarray screen for expression of miRNAs in joint tissue from three mouse strains infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. This screen identified upregulation of miR-146a, a key negative regulator of NF-κB signaling, in all three strains, suggesting it plays an important role in the in vivo response to B. burgdorferi. Infection of B6 miR-146a−/− mice with B. burgdorferi revealed a critical nonredundant role of miR-146a in modulating Lyme arthritis without compromising host immune response or heart inflammation. The impact of miR-146a was specifically localized to the joint, and did not impact lesion development or inflammation in the heart. Furthermore, B6 miR-146a−/− mice had elevated levels of NF-κB-regulated products in joint tissue and serum late in infection. Flow cytometry analysis of various lineages isolated from infected joint tissue of mice showed that myeloid cell infiltration was significantly greater in B6 miR-146a−/− mice, compared to B6, during B. burgdorferi infection. Using bone marrow-derived macrophages, we found that TRAF6, a known target of miR-146a involved in NF-κB activation, was dysregulated in resting and B. burgdorferi-stimulated B6 miR-146a−/− macrophages, and corresponded to elevated IL-1β, IL-6 and CXCL1 production. This dysregulated protein production was also observed in macrophages treated with IL-10 prior to B. burgdorferi stimulation. Peritoneal macrophages from B6 miR-146a−/− mice also showed enhanced phagocytosis of B. burgdorferi. Together, these data show that miR-146a-mediated regulation of TRAF6 and NF-κB, and downstream targets such as IL-1β, IL-6 and CXCL1, are critical for modulation of Lyme arthritis during chronic infection with B

  14. Comparison of isolation rate of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in two different culture media, MKP and BSK-H.

    PubMed

    Ružić-Sabljić, E; Maraspin, V; Cimperman, J; Strle, F; Lotrič-Furlan, S; Stupica, D; Cerar, T

    2014-07-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate two culture media for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolation from a 5 × 2 × 2 mm skin biopsy that was dissected into two pieces and inoculated into modified Kelly-Pettenkofer (MKP) and Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly-H (BSK-H) medium. Samples were incubated at 33°C for up to 9 weeks. Borrelia species was determined by MluI-restriction of whole genome or by MseI-restriction of PCR product. We determined the proportion of isolation rate, 'slow-growers', contaminated specimens and Borrelia species in the two media. In each of the two media 235 skin specimens were cultivated. We found 90/470 (19.1%) contaminated cultures (BSK-H 67/235, 28.5%; MKP 23/235, 9.8%; p <0.0001). Borrelia growth was ascertained in 59/235 (25.1%) BSK-H and 102/235 (43.4%) MKP cultures (p <0.0001); the corresponding values for non-contaminated cultures were 59/168 (35.1%) and 102/212 (48.1%); (p 0.003). Fourteen specimens were positive only in BSK-H, 57 solely in MKP, and 43 in both culture media. Slow growth was present in 8/59 (13.6%) BSK-H and in 4/98 (4.1%) MKP positive cultures (p 0.019). Borrelia afzelii was identified in 44/51 (86.3%) BSK-H and in 88/98 (89.8%) MKP culture-positive samples; the corresponding findings for Boreelia garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto were 6/51 (11.8%) and 9/98 (9.2%), and 1/51 (1.9%) and 1/98 (1.0%), for BSK-H and MKP, respectively. Comparison of MKP and BSK-H medium for Borrelia culturing from skin specimens of European patients with erythema migrans revealed the advantage of MKP over BSK-H.

  15. Structural characterization of CspZ, a complement regulator factor H and FHL-1 binding protein from Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Brangulis, Kalvis; Petrovskis, Ivars; Kazaks, Andris; Bogans, Janis; Otikovs, Martins; Jaudzems, Kristaps; Ranka, Renate; Tars, Kaspars

    2014-06-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of Lyme disease and is found in two different types of hosts in nature - Ixodes ticks and various mammalian organisms. To initiate disease and survive in mammalian host organisms, B. burgdorferi must be able to transfer to a new host, proliferate, attach to different tissue and resist the immune response. To resist the host's immune response, B. burgdorferi produces at least five different outer surface proteins that can bind complement regulator factor H (CFH) and/or factor H-like protein 1 (CFHL-1). The crystal structures of two uniquely folded complement binding proteins, which belong to two distinct gene families and are not found in other bacteria, have been previously described. The crystal structure of the CFH and CFHL-1 binding protein CspZ (also known as BbCRASP-2 or BBH06) from B. burgdorferi, which belongs to a third gene family, is reported in this study. The structure reveals that the overall fold is different from the known structures of the other complement binding proteins in B. burgdorferi or other bacteria; this structure does not resemble the fold of any known protein deposited in the Protein Data Bank. The N-terminal part of the CspZ protein forms a four-helix bundle and has features similar to the FAT domain (focal adhesion targeting domain) and a related domain found in the vinculin/α-catenin family. By combining our findings from the crystal structure of CspZ with previous mutagenesis studies, we have identified a likely binding surface on CspZ for CFH and CFHL-1. © 2014 FEBS.

  16. Ability of an oral formulation of afoxolaner to protect dogs from Borrelia burgdorferi infection transmitted by wild Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Baker, C F; McCall, J W; McCall, S D; Drag, M D; Mitchell, E B; Chester, S T; Larsen, D

    2016-12-01

    A randomized, blinded, negative controlled study was conducted to determine whether treatment with afoxolaner (NexGard(®), Merial, Inc.) would prevent the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi to dogs by wild caught Ixodes scapularis ticks. Twenty healthy dogs were randomly assigned to two groups of ten dogs each. Ten dogs were treated orally on Day 0 at a dose near the minimum recommended dose of afoxolaner of 2.5mg/kg (actual doses 2.5-3.1mg/kg) and ten control dogs were not treated. On Day 28, each dog was infested with approximately 50 adult unfed wild caught I. scapularis that had a 67% B. burgdorferi infection rate (determined by polymerase chain reaction). On Day 33, live ticks were counted and removed. No ticks were found on treated dogs while control dogs had an average of 21.4 ticks. To detect infection, the B. burgdorferi-specific C6 antibody SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) test (IDEXX) was performed on serum collected before infestation (all dogs seronegative on Days -6 and 27) and on Days 48, 63, 77 and 92. The ten treated dogs remained seronegative through the end of the study (Day 92), while nine out of the ten control dogs were infected, as demonstrated by their seroconversion to being positive for the presence of the B. burgdorferi-specific C6 antibody starting on Day 48. In this study, all dogs treated with NexGard(®) 28days prior to challenge with wild caught I. scapularis ticks were protected from B. burgdorferi infection, while nine out of the ten untreated control dogs were infected.

  17. 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

  18. Characterization of the RelBbu Regulon in Borrelia burgdorferi Reveals Modulation of Glycerol Metabolism by (p)ppGpp

    PubMed Central

    Bugrysheva, Julia V.; Pappas, Christopher J.; Terekhova, Darya A.; Iyer, Radha; Godfrey, Henry P.; Schwartz, Ira; Cabello, Felipe C.

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial stringent response is triggered by deficiencies of available nutrients and other environmental stresses. It is mediated by 5'-triphosphate-guanosine-3'-diphosphate and 5'-diphosphate-guanosine-3'-diphosphate (collectively (p)ppGpp) and generates global changes in gene expression and metabolism that enable bacteria to adapt to and survive these challenges. Borrelia burgdorferi encounters multiple stressors in its cycling between ticks and mammals that could trigger the stringent response. We have previously shown that the B. burgdorferi stringent response is mediated by a single enzyme, RelBbu, with both (p)ppGpp synthase and hydrolase activities, and that a B. burgdorferi 297 relBbu null deletion mutant was defective in adapting to stationary phase, incapable of down-regulating synthesis of rRNA and could not infect mice. We have now used this deletion mutant and microarray analysis to identify genes comprising the rel regulon in B. burgdorferi cultured at 34°C, and found that transcription of genes involved in glycerol metabolism is induced by relBbu. Culture of the wild type parental strain, the relBbu deletion mutant and its complemented derivative at 34°C and 25°C in media containing glucose or glycerol as principal carbon sources revealed a growth defect in the mutant, most evident at the lower temperature. Transcriptional analysis of the glp operon for glycerol uptake and metabolism in these three strains confirmed that relBbu was necessary and sufficient to increase transcription of this operon in the presence of glycerol at both temperatures. These results confirm and extend previous findings regarding the stringent response in B. burgdorferi. They also demonstrate that the stringent response regulates glycerol metabolism in this organism and is likely crucial for its optimal growth in ticks. PMID:25688856

  19. Characterization of the RelBbu Regulon in Borrelia burgdorferi Reveals Modulation of Glycerol Metabolism by (p)ppGpp.

    PubMed

    Bugrysheva, Julia V; Pappas, Christopher J; Terekhova, Darya A; Iyer, Radha; Godfrey, Henry P; Schwartz, Ira; Cabello, Felipe C

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial stringent response is triggered by deficiencies of available nutrients and other environmental stresses. It is mediated by 5'-triphosphate-guanosine-3'-diphosphate and 5'-diphosphate-guanosine-3'-diphosphate (collectively (p)ppGpp) and generates global changes in gene expression and metabolism that enable bacteria to adapt to and survive these challenges. Borrelia burgdorferi encounters multiple stressors in its cycling between ticks and mammals that could trigger the stringent response. We have previously shown that the B. burgdorferi stringent response is mediated by a single enzyme, RelBbu, with both (p)ppGpp synthase and hydrolase activities, and that a B. burgdorferi 297 relBbu null deletion mutant was defective in adapting to stationary phase, incapable of down-regulating synthesis of rRNA and could not infect mice. We have now used this deletion mutant and microarray analysis to identify genes comprising the rel regulon in B. burgdorferi cultured at 34°C, and found that transcription of genes involved in glycerol metabolism is induced by relBbu. Culture of the wild type parental strain, the relBbu deletion mutant and its complemented derivative at 34°C and 25°C in media containing glucose or glycerol as principal carbon sources revealed a growth defect in the mutant, most evident at the lower temperature. Transcriptional analysis of the glp operon for glycerol uptake and metabolism in these three strains confirmed that relBbu was necessary and sufficient to increase transcription of this operon in the presence of glycerol at both temperatures. These results confirm and extend previous findings regarding the stringent response in B. burgdorferi. They also demonstrate that the stringent response regulates glycerol metabolism in this organism and is likely crucial for its optimal growth in ticks.

  20. The TamB ortholog of Borrelia burgdorferi interacts with the β-barrel assembly machine (BAM) complex protein BamA

    PubMed Central

    Iqbal, Henna; Kenedy, Melisha R.; Lybecker, Meghan; Akins, Darrin R.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Two outer membrane protein (OMP) transport systems in diderm bacteria assist in assembly and export of OMPs. These two systems are the β-barrel assembly machine (BAM) complex and the translocation and assembly module (TAM). The BAM complex consists of the OMP component BamA along with several outer membrane associated proteins. The TAM also consists of an OMP, designated TamA, and a single inner membrane (IM) protein, TamB. Together TamA and TamB aid in the secretion of virulence-associated OMPs. In this study we characterized the hypothetical protein BB0794 in Borrelia burgdorferi. BB0794 contains a conserved DUF490 domain, which is a motif found in all TamB proteins. All spirochetes lack a TamA ortholog, but computational and physicochemical characterization of BB0794 revealed it is a TamB ortholog. Interestingly, BB0794 was observed to interact with BamA and a BB0794 regulatable mutant displayed altered cellular morphology and antibiotic sensitivity. The observation that B. burgdorferi contains a TamB ortholog that interacts with BamA and is required for proper outer membrane biogenesis not only identifies a novel role for TamB-like proteins, but also may explain why most diderms harbor a TamB-like protein while only a select group encodes TamA. PMID:27588694

  1. Isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from the skin of the European badger (Meles meles) in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Gern, Lise; Sell, Katy

    2009-04-01

    No data are available on the role of badgers in the ecology of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in Europe. In a recent study describing validation of a molecular method allowing host DNA identification and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato detection in Ixodes ricinus, the simultaneous presence of B. afzelii DNA and of European badger (Meles meles) DNA was detected in I. ricinus ticks in Switzerland. This suggested that badgers might be reservoir hosts for B. afzelii. Here, we present results obtained in a study on badgers conducted in 1996-1997. Thirty-one tissue samples (ear biopsy: n = 25, aspiration fluid: n = 6) from 8 badgers were placed in BSK medium to isolate B. burgdorferi sensu lato and were then examined by polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP). Globally, six Borrelia isolates (6/31, 19.4%) were obtained from 3/8 (37.5%) badgers. These isolates were identified as B. afzelii (n = 3) and B. valaisiana (n = 3).

  2. Homogeneous Inflammatory Gene Profiles Induced in Human Dermal Fibroblasts in Response to the Three Main Species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato

    PubMed Central

    Meddeb, Mariam; Carpentier, Wassila; Cagnard, Nicolas; Nadaud, Sophie; Grillon, Antoine; Barthel, Cathy; De Martino, Sylvie Josiane; Jaulhac, Benoît; Boulanger, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    In Lyme borreliosis, the skin is the key site for bacterial inoculation by the infected tick and for cutaneous manifestations. We previously showed that different strains of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto isolated from tick and from different clinical stages of the Lyme borreliosis (erythema migrans, and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans) elicited a very similar transcriptional response in normal human dermal fibroblasts. In this study, using whole transcriptome microarray chips, we aimed to compare the transcriptional response of normal human dermal fibroblasts stimulated by 3 Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strains belonging to 3 main pathogenic species (B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto) in order to determine whether “species-related” inflammatory pathways could be identified. The three Borrelia strains tested exhibited similar transcriptional profiles, and no species-specific fingerprint of transcriptional changes in fibroblasts was observed. Conversely, a common core of chemokines/cytokines (CCL2, CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL6, CXCL10, IL-6, IL-8) and interferon-related genes was stimulated by all the 3 strains. Dermal fibroblasts appear to play a key role in the cutaneous infection with Borrelia, inducing a homogeneous inflammatory response, whichever Borrelia species was involved. PMID:27706261

  3. Analysis of the Borrelia burgdorferi Cyclic-di-GMP-Binding Protein PlzA Reveals a Role in Motility and Virulence ▿

    PubMed Central

    Pitzer, Joshua E.; Sultan, Syed Z.; Hayakawa, Yoshihiro; Hobbs, Gerry; Miller, Michael R.; Motaleb, Md A.

    2011-01-01

    The cyclic-dimeric-GMP (c-di-GMP)-binding protein PilZ has been implicated in bacterial motility and pathogenesis. Although BB0733 (PlzA), the only PilZ domain-containing protein in Borrelia burgdorferi, was reported to bind c-di-GMP, neither its role in motility or virulence nor it's affinity for c-di-GMP has been reported. We determined that PlzA specifically binds c-di-GMP with high affinity (dissociation constant [Kd], 1.25 μM), consistent with Kd values reported for c-di-GMP-binding proteins from other bacteria. Inactivation of the monocistronically transcribed plzA resulted in an opaque/solid colony morphology, whereas the wild-type colonies were translucent. While the swimming pattern of mutant cells appeared normal, on swarm plates, mutant cells exhibited a significantly reduced swarm diameter, demonstrating a role of plzA in motility. Furthermore, the plzA mutant cells were significantly less infectious in experimental mice (as determined by 50% infectious dose [ID50]) relative to wild-type spirochetes. The mutant also had survival rates in fed ticks lower than those of the wild type. Consequently, plzA mutant cells failed to complete the mouse-tick-mouse infection cycle, indicating plzA is essential for the enzootic life cycle of B. burgdorferi. All of these defects were corrected when the mutant was complemented in cis. We propose that failure of plzA mutant cells to infect mice was due to altered motility; however, the possibility that an unidentified factor(s) contributed to interruption of the B. burgdorferi enzootic life cycle cannot yet be excluded. PMID:21357718

  4. Analysis of the HD-GYP domain cyclic dimeric GMP phosphodiesterase reveals a role in motility and the enzootic life cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Sultan, Syed Z; Pitzer, Joshua E; Boquoi, Tristan; Hobbs, Gerry; Miller, Michael R; Motaleb, M A

    2011-08-01

    HD-GYP domain cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) phosphodiesterases are implicated in motility and virulence in bacteria. Borrelia burgdorferi possesses a single set of c-di-GMP-metabolizing enzymes, including a putative HD-GYP domain protein, BB0374. Recently, we characterized the EAL domain phosphodiesterase PdeA. A mutation in pdeA resulted in cells that were defective in motility and virulence. Here we demonstrate that BB0374/PdeB specifically hydrolyzed c-di-GMP with a K(m) of 2.9 nM, confirming that it is a functional phosphodiesterase. Furthermore, by measuring phosphodiesterase enzyme activity in extracts from cells containing the pdeA pdeB double mutant, we demonstrate that no additional phosphodiesterases are present in B. burgdorferi. pdeB single mutant cells exhibit significantly increased flexing, indicating a role for c-di-GMP in motility. Constructing and analyzing a pilZ pdeB double mutant suggests that PilZ likely interacts with chemotaxis signaling. While virulence in needle-inoculated C3H/HeN mice did not appear to be altered significantly in pdeB mutant cells, these cells exhibited a reduced ability to survive in Ixodes scapularis ticks. Consequently, those ticks were unable to transmit the infection to naïve mice. All of these phenotypes were restored when the mutant was complemented. Identification of this role of pdeB increases our understanding of the c-di-GMP signaling network in motility regulation and the life cycle of B. burgdorferi.

  5. Analysis of the HD-GYP Domain Cyclic Dimeric GMP Phosphodiesterase Reveals a Role in Motility and the Enzootic Life Cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Syed Z.; Pitzer, Joshua E.; Boquoi, Tristan; Hobbs, Gerry; Miller, Michael R.; Motaleb, M. A.

    2011-01-01

    HD-GYP domain cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) phosphodiesterases are implicated in motility and virulence in bacteria. Borrelia burgdorferi possesses a single set of c-di-GMP-metabolizing enzymes, including a putative HD-GYP domain protein, BB0374. Recently, we characterized the EAL domain phosphodiesterase PdeA. A mutation in pdeA resulted in cells that were defective in motility and virulence. Here we demonstrate that BB0374/PdeB specifically hydrolyzed c-di-GMP with a Km of 2.9 nM, confirming that it is a functional phosphodiesterase. Furthermore, by measuring phosphodiesterase enzyme activity in extracts from cells containing the pdeA pdeB double mutant, we demonstrate that no additional phosphodiesterases are present in B. burgdorferi. pdeB single mutant cells exhibit significantly increased flexing, indicating a role for c-di-GMP in motility. Constructing and analyzing a pilZ pdeB double mutant suggests that PilZ likely interacts with chemotaxis signaling. While virulence in needle-inoculated C3H/HeN mice did not appear to be altered significantly in pdeB mutant cells, these cells exhibited a reduced ability to survive in Ixodes scapularis ticks. Consequently, those ticks were unable to transmit the infection to naïve mice. All of these phenotypes were restored when the mutant was complemented. Identification of this role of pdeB increases our understanding of the c-di-GMP signaling network in motility regulation and the life cycle of B. burgdorferi. PMID:21670168

  6. OspA immunization decreases transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes from infected Peromyscus leucopus mice to larval Ixodes scapularis ticks.

    PubMed

    Tsao, J; Barbour, A G; Luke, C J; Fikrig, E; Fish, D

    2001-01-01

    Recombinant outer surface protein A (OspA) vaccination of wild animal reservoirs has potential application for reducing Borrelia burgdorferi transmission in nature and subsequent risk of human infection. As a major reservoir host, the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is a candidate for a vaccination program designed to reduce infection prevalence in vector ticks. In this study we characterized the effect of various levels of immunization with recombinant OspA-glutathione transferase fusion protein on transmission dynamics from infected P. leucopus to larval ticks. Control mice were vaccinated with glutathione transferase alone. All mice were experimentally infected with B. burgdorferi before vaccination. The immune responses of the immunized mice were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies to OspA. Transmission of B. burgdorferi from infected mice was determined by xenodiagnosis with uninfected larval ticks. Spirochetes in ticks were counted by direct immunofluorescence assay. The concentration of antibody to OspA increased with each OspA vaccination but most markedly after the first and second vaccinations. In comparison with control mice, there was reduced transmission by OspA-vaccinated mice to uninfected ticks. One, two, or three doses of OspA reduced infection prevalence in xenodiagnostic ticks by 48%, 92%, or 99% and the numbers of spirochetes per tick by 84%, 98%, or 99%, respectively. This study suggests that vaccination of P. leucopus with OspA could reduce transmission to the tick vector in nature despite prior infection of the reservoir host.

  7. Competitive advantage of Borrelia burgdorferi with outer surface protein BBA03 during tick-mediated infection of the mammalian host.

    PubMed

    Bestor, Aaron; Rego, Ryan O M; Tilly, Kit; Rosa, Patricia A

    2012-10-01

    Linear plasmid lp54 is one of the most highly conserved and differentially expressed elements of the segmented genome of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. We previously reported that deletion of a 4.1-kb region of lp54 (bba01 to bba07 [bba01-bba07]) led to a slight attenuation of tick-transmitted infection in mice following challenge with a large number of infected ticks. In the current study, we reduced the number of ticks in the challenge to more closely mimic the natural dose and found a profound defect in tick-transmitted infection of the bba01-bba07 mutant relative to wild-type B. burgdorferi. We next focused on deletion of bba03 as the most likely cause of this mutant phenotype, as previous studies have shown that expression of bba03 is increased by culture conditions that simulate tick feeding. Consistent with this hypothesis, we demonstrated increased expression of bba03 by spirochetes in fed relative to unfed ticks. We also observed that a bba03 deletion mutant, although fully competent by itself, did not efficiently infect mice when transmitted by ticks that were simultaneously coinfected with wild-type B. burgdorferi. These results suggest that BBA03 provides a competitive advantage to spirochetes carrying this protein during tick transmission to a mammalian host in the natural infectious cycle.

  8. Structural mechanisms underlying sequence-dependent variations in GAG affinities of decorin binding protein A, a Borrelia burgdorferi adhesin.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Ashli M; Wang, Xu

    2015-05-01

    Decorin-binding protein A (DBPA) is an important surface adhesin of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. DBPA facilitates the bacteria's colonization of human tissue by adhering to glycosaminoglycan (GAG), a sulfated polysaccharide. Interestingly, DBPA sequence variation among different strains of Borrelia spirochetes is high, resulting in significant differences in their GAG affinities. However, the structural mechanisms contributing to these differences are unknown. We determined the solution structures of DBPAs from strain N40 of B. burgdorferi and strain PBr of Borrelia garinii, two DBPA variants whose GAG affinities deviate significantly from strain B31, the best characterized version of DBPA. Our structures revealed that significant differences exist between PBr DBPA and B31/N40 DBPAs. In particular, the C-terminus of PBr DBPA, unlike C-termini from B31 and N40 DBPAs, is positioned away from the GAG-binding pocket and the linker between helices one and two of PBr DBPA is highly structured and retracted from the GAG-binding pocket. The repositioning of the C-terminus allowed the formation of an extra GAG-binding epitope in PBr DBPA and the retracted linker gave GAG ligands more access to the GAG-binding epitopes than other DBPAs. Characterization of GAG ligands' interactions with wild-type (WT) PBr and mutants confirmed the importance of the second major GAG-binding epitope and established the fact that the two epitopes are independent of one another and the new epitope is as important to GAG binding as the traditional epitope.

  9. Borrelia burgdorferi DNA absent, multiple Rickettsia spp. DNA present in ticks collected from a teaching forest in North Central Florida.

    PubMed

    Sayler, Katherine; Rowland, Jessica; Boyce, Carisa; Weeks, Emma

    2017-01-01

    Tick-borne diseases are an emerging public health threat in the United States. In Florida, there has been public attention directed towards the possibility of locally acquired Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the causative agent of Lyme disease, in association with the lone star tick. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ticks and the pathogens they carry and potentially transmit, such as B. burgdorferi, in a highly utilized teaching and research forest in North Central Florida. Ticks were collected by dragging and flagging methods over a four month period in early 2014, identified, and tested by PCR for multiple pathogens including Anaplasma, Borrelia, Rickettsia, and Ehrlichia species. During the study period the following ticks were collected: 2506 (96.5%) Amblyomma americanum L., 64 (2.5%) Ixodes scapularis Say, 19 (0.7%) Dermacentor variabilis Say, and 5 (0.2%) Ixodes affinis Neuman. Neither Borrelia spp. (0/846) nor Anaplasma spp. (0/69; Ixodes spp. only) were detected by PCR in any of the ticks tested. However, Rickettsia DNA was present in 53.7% (86/160), 62.5% (40/64), 60.0% (3/5) and 31.6% (6/19) of A. americanum, I. scapularis, I. affinis and D. variabilis, respectively. Furthermore, E. chaffeensis and E. ewingii DNA were detected in 1.3% and 4.4% of adult A. americanum specimens tested, respectively. Although receiving an A. americanum bite is likely in wooded areas in North Central Florida due to the abundance of this tick, the risk of contracting a tick-borne pathogen in this specific area during the spring season appears to be low. The potential for pathogen prevalence to be highly variable exists, even within a single geographical site and longitudinal studies are needed to assess how tick-borne pathogen prevalence is changing over time in North Central Florida.

  10. Assessing the Contribution of Songbirds to the Movement of Ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi in the Midwestern United States During Fall Migration.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Sarah C; Parker, Christine M; Miller, James R; Page Fredericks, L; Allan, Brian F

    2015-03-01

    The geographic distributions of Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) and the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease) are expanding in the USA. To assess the role of migratory songbirds in the spread of this tick and pathogen, we captured passerines in central Illinois during the fall of 2012. We compared forested sites in regions where I. scapularis populations were either previously or not yet established. Ticks were removed from birds and blood samples were taken from select avian species. Ticks were identified by morphology and molecular techniques were used to detect B. burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens in ticks and avian blood samples. Ixodes spp. were detected on 10 of 196 migrants (5.1%), with I. scapularis larvae found on 2 individuals. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was detected in the blood of 9 of 29 birds sampled (31%), yet only 1 infected bird was infested by ticks. The ticks were mostly Haemaphysalis leporispalustris and I. dentatus larvae, and none tested positive for B. burgdorferi. Infestation of birds by Ixodes spp. differed significantly by region, while B. burgdorferi infection did not. These data suggest that migratory birds may play a larger role in the dispersal of B. burgdorferi than previously realized.

  11. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in synanthropic rodents in two rural communities of Yucatán, México.

    PubMed

    Solís-Hernández, Analilia; Rodríguez-Vivas, Roger Iván; Esteve-Gassent, María Dolores; Villegas-Pérez, Sandra Luz

    2016-03-22

    Lyme disease is a multisystemic zoonotic disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. This spirochete circulates in an enzootic cycle between the primary vertebrate reservoir and its tick vectors. Different species of rodents are known to be efficient natural reservoirs for B. burgdorferi s.l.  To estimate the prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. in synanthropic rodents from two rural communities of Yucatán, México.  A total of 123 rodents (94 Mus musculus and 29 Rattus rattus) were trapped, and ear and bladder samples were collected. Flagelin B (flaB) genes and outer membrane lipoproteins ospC y p66 were amplified in order to detect B. burgdorferi s.l. presence in the samples. The obtained amplicons were sequenced.  The overall infection rates in rodents were 36.5% for flaB (45/123), 10.5% (13/123) for p66, and 3.2% (4/123) for ospC. Rattus rattus had 17.2% of infection and M. musculus, 42.5%. From all examined tissue, 11.3% (14/123) of bladders, and 17.0% (21/123) of ears were infected with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. No statistical differences (p>0.05) were found between the two tissue samples used for diagnosis. The ospC gen was 98% homologous to Borrelia garinii, one species of the B. burgdorferi s.l. complex.  We concluded that rodents have a high prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. infection, and both species of rodents, M. musculus and R. rattus, might be playing an important role in the maintenance of this bacterium in rural communities of Yucatán, México.

  12. Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in questing ticks from a recreational coniferous forest of East Saxony, Germany.

    PubMed

    Szekeres, Sándor; Lügner, Jenny; Fingerle, Volker; Margos, Gabriele; Földvári, Gábor

    2017-10-01

    The hard tick Ixodes ricinus is the most important vector of tick-transmitted pathogens in Europe, frequently occurring in urban parks and greenbelts utilized for recreational activities. This species is the most common vector of the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis in Europe. Similarly, the species spreads Borrelia miyamotoi, causing a relapsing-fever like illness. A total of 1774 Ixodes ricinus (50 females, 68 males, 840 nymphs and 818 larvae) were collected with flagging between March and September 2014 in a coniferous forest patch in Niederkaina near the town of Bautzen in Saxony, Germany. To measure questing tick density a time-based density estimating method was utilized. From each month, a total of 100 adults and nymphal ticks and all larvae (pools of 10 individuals per tube/month) were selected for the molecular analyses. For simultaneous detection of B. burgdorferi s.l. and B. miyamotoi a duplex real-time PCR targeting the flaB locus was performed. Prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. was 9.4% (female: 6%, male: 2.9%, nymph: 12.2%, larva: 0%) and minimum prevalence of B. miyamotoi was 1.2% (female: 0%, male: 4.3%, nymph: 2.8%, larva: 0.1%) in the 714 samples with real-time polymerase chain reaction. A real-time PCR reaction was utilized first to target the histone-like protein gene (hbb) of B. burgdorferi s.l., a hemi-nested outer surface protein (ospA) gene conventional PCR was then performed followed by a restriction enzyme analysis to distinguish B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies. Seven B. afzelii, one B. burgdorferi s.s., one B. bavariensis and four B. miyamotoi infections were confirmed. Prevalence of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes was significantly higher in nymphs than in adults (p<0.01, Fisher exact test) probably due to the diluting effect of the local roe deer population. Our data highlight the potential risk of human infection with the emerging pathogen B. miyamotoi within the study area. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Human seroprevalence against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in two comparable regions of the eastern Alps is not correlated to vector infection rates.

    PubMed

    Sonnleitner, S T; Margos, G; Wex, F; Simeoni, J; Zelger, R; Schmutzhard, E; Lass-Flörl, C; Walder, G

    2015-04-01

    Seroprevalences were determined by testing sera of 1607 blood donors from North, East, and South Tyrol. In the Tyrols, the continental divide delimitates areas with high seroprevalences of IgG antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the North (7.2%) from areas with low seroprevalences in the South (1.5%). To determine Borrelia prevalences in unfed Ixodes ricinus ticks, 755 questing ticks were tested by PCR. Prevalences in nymphal and adult ticks were found to be 19.7% (n=132) and 21.5% (n=205) in North Tyrol and 23% (n=43) and 23.7% (n=376) in South Tyrol, respectively. Sequencing of 46 Borrelia-positive ticks yielded 74% Borrelia (B.) afzelii, 11% B. garinii, 7% B. lusitaniae, 7% B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, and 2% B. valaisiana infections. Distinct genetic clusters could not be delimitated on either side of the continental divide. This study describes occurrence and geographic dispersion of Borrelia spp. in the Tyrols, discusses possible reasons for significant differences in human seroprevalence, and indicates that prevalence of Borrelia in vector ticks is not a direct predictive factor for the local seroprevalence in humans.

  14. 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

  15. Probable late lyme disease: a variant manifestation of untreated Borrelia burgdorferi infection

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Lyme disease, a bacterial infection with the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, can cause early and late manifestations. The category of probable Lyme disease was recently added to the CDC surveillance case definition to describe patients with serologic evidence of exposure and physician-diagnosed disease in the absence of objective signs. We present a retrospective case series of 13 untreated patients with persistent symptoms of greater than 12 weeks duration who meet these criteria and suggest a label of ‘probable late Lyme disease’ for this presentation. Methods The sample for this analysis draws from a retrospective chart review of consecutive, adult patients presenting between August 2002 and August 2007 to the author (JA), an infectious disease specialist. Patients were included in the analysis if their current illness had lasted greater than or equal to 12 weeks duration at the time of evaluation. Results Probable late Lyme patients with positive IgG serology but no history of previous physician-documented Lyme disease or appropriate Lyme treatment were found to represent 6% of our heterogeneous sample presenting with ≥ 12 weeks of symptom duration. Patients experienced a range of symptoms including fatigue, widespread pain, and cognitive complaints. Approximately one-third of this subset reported a patient-observed rash at illness onset, with a similar proportion having been exposed to non-recommended antibiotics or glucocorticosteroid treatment for their initial disease. A clinically significant response to antibiotics treatment was noted in the majority of patients with probable late Lyme disease, although post-treatment symptom recurrence was common. Conclusions We suggest that patients with probable late Lyme disease share features with both confirmed late Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Physicians should consider the recent inclusion of probable Lyme disease in the CDC Lyme disease surveillance

  16. Prevalence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Leptospira interrogans serovars in Bernese Mountain Dogs.

    PubMed

    Preyß-Jägeler, C; Müller, E; Straubinger, R K; Hartmann, K

    2016-01-01

    Bernese Mountain Dogs (BMD) have a higher prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) antibodies than other breeds, but it is not known whether this is the case for other pathogens. Therefore, the aim of the study was to determine the frequency and level of specific antibodies against members of the Bbsl group, Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Ap), and Leptospira (L.) interrogans serovars in BMD and compare the results with those found in dogs of other breeds. A total of 171 healthy BMD and 57 healthy control dogs of other breeds were included in the study. Controls were large dogs (> 30 kg) with long, dark hair coats. A two-tiered testing method consisting of computerized kinetic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (KELA) and Western blotting was used for detection of antibodies against Bbsl, an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) was used for detection of antibodies against Ap, and microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for antibodies to 18 different serovars of L. interrogans. The prevalence of anti-Bbsl antibodies was significantly higher in BMD (43.3%) than in controls (17.5%) (p < 0.001). Antibodies to Bbsl attributable to vaccination were excluded from the calculation of prevalence. Antibodies to Ap were found in 50.3% of BMD, whereas only 24.6% of the controls dogs were tested positive for Ap (p < 0.001). Antibody titers of the 18 different serovars of L. interrogans antibodies did not differ significantly between BMD and control dogs except for L. copenhageni antibody titers which were higher in BMD. Significantly higher antibody titers to L. canicola (p = 0.003), L. copenhageni (p = 0.005), L. grippothyphosa (p = 0.029) and L. vanderhoedoni (p = 0.035) were seen in BMD compared to control dogs. BMD had a higher prevalence of anti-Bbsl, anti-L. copenhageni and anti-Ap antibodies than control dogs. Significantly higher antibody titers against L. canicola (p = 0.003), L. copenhageni (p = 0.005), L. grippothyphosa (p = 0.029) and L

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-04-01

    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 polymerase chain reaction 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 B. chilensis VA1 in honor of its country of origin. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Establishment of a minor groove binder-probe based quantitative real time PCR to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and differentiation of Borrelia spielmanii by ospA-specific conventional PCR

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, is transmitted by ticks of the genus Ixodes as vector. For identification of Borrelia infections in ticks a TaqMan™ minor groove binder (MGB) probe-based quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) was established targeting the 5S-23S intergenic spacer. Extension to a duplex qPCR included an Ixodes spp. positive control to verify successful DNA isolation. Besides qPCR, an ospA-specific conventional PCR for species-specific identification of B. spielmanii was established. Afterwards 1000 I. ricinus flagged in the city of Hanover, Germany, were investigated for B. burgdorferi sl infections followed by species identification. Furthermore, I. hexagonus ticks were investigated to proof applicability of the PCRs. Results Quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) identifying B. burgdorferi sl in ticks was able to detect 1-10 copies per reaction. B. spielmanii ospA-specific conventional PCR was also highly specific and showed no cross reactions with the other tested Borrelia species. From 1000 hanoveranian ticks 24.3% were positive compared to only 7.4% positives by dark-field microscopy. Related to tick stage 1.7% larvae, 18.1% nymphs, and 34.6% adults were positive. The most frequent species was B. garinii, followed by B. afzelii, B. spielmanii, B. valaisiana and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (ss). 70.6% of I. ricinus were mono-infected, whereas 28.0% and 1.4% were infected with two and three Borrelia species, respectively. From 232 I. hexagonus collected from hedgehogs in different sites of Germany, qPCR detected 5.7% to be infected with B. burgdorferi sl, which were identified as B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. spielmanii. Conclusions The evaluated qPCR to detect B. burgdorferi sl in Ixodes spp. is highly specific and sensitive. As a duplex qPCR including detection of Ixodes spp. DNA it is the first DNA based technique incorporating a control for successful DNA isolation from the vector tick

  19. Borrelia burgdorferi upregulates expression of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells and promotes transendothelial migration of neutrophils in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Sellati, T J; Burns, M J; Ficazzola, M A; Furie, M B

    1995-01-01

    The accumulation of leukocytic infiltrates in perivascular tissues is a key step in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. During an inflammatory response, endothelial cell adhesion molecules mediate the attachment of circulating leukocytes to the blood vessel wall and their subsequent extravasation into perivascular tissues. Using cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in a whole-cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we demonstrated that B. burgdorferi activated endothelium in a dose- and time-dependent fashion as measured by upregulation of the adhesion molecules E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). As few as one spirochete per endothelial cell stimulated increased expression of these molecules. Expression of E-selectin peaked after spirochetes and HUVEC were coincubated for 4 h and returned to near-basal levels by 24 h. In contrast, expression of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 peaked at 12 h and remained elevated at 24 h. HUVEC monolayers cultured on acellular amniotic tissue were used to investigate the consequences of endothelial cell activation by spirochetes. After incubation of HUVEC-amnion cultures with B. burgdorferi, subsequently added neutrophils migrated across the endothelial monolayers. This process was mediated by E-selectin and by CD11/CD18 leukocytic integrins. The extent of migration depended on both the number of spirochetes used to stimulate the HUVEC and the length of the coincubation period. These results raise the possibility that B. burgdorferi induces a host inflammatory response and accompanying perivascular damage through activation of vascular endothelium. PMID:7591083

  20. 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.

  1. Experimental Infections of the Reservoir Species Peromyscus leucopus with Diverse Strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, a Lyme Disease Agent

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Elisabeth; Hue, Fong; Barbour, Alan G.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT The rodent Peromyscus leucopus is a major natural reservoir for the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi and a host for its vector Ixodes scapularis. At various locations in northeastern United States 10 to 15 B. burgdorferi strains coexist at different prevalences in tick populations. We asked whether representative strains of high or low prevalence differed in their infections of P. leucopus. After 5 weeks of experimental infection of groups with each of 6 isolates, distributions and burdens of bacteria in tissues were measured by quantitative PCR, and antibodies to B. burgdorferi were evaluated by immunoblotting and protein microarray. All groups of animals were infected in their joints, ears, tails, and hearts, but overall spirochete burdens were lower in animals infected with low-prevalence strains. Animals were similar regardless of the infecting isolate in their levels of antibodies to whole cells, FlaB, BmpA, and DbpB proteins, and the conserved N-terminal region of the serotype-defining OspC proteins. But there were strain-specific antibody responses to full-length OspC and to plasmid-encoded VlsE, BBK07, and BBK12 proteins. Sequencing of additional VlsE genes revealed substantial diversity within some pairs of strains but near-identical sequences within other pairs, which otherwise differed in their ospC alleles. The presence or absence of full-length bbk07 and bbk12 genes accounted for the differences in antibody responses. We propose that for B. burgdorferi, there is selection in reservoir species for (i) sequence diversity, as for OspC and VlsE, and (ii) the presence or absence of polymorphisms, as for BBK07 and BBK12. PMID:23221801

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

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Ki Hwan; Hobbs, Gerry

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. CsrA modulates levels of lipoproteins and key regulators of gene expression critical for pathogenic mechanisms of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Karna, S L Rajasekhar; Sanjuan, Eva; Esteve-Gassent, Maria D; Miller, Christine L; Maruskova, Mahulena; Seshu, J

    2011-02-01

    Carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) is an RNA binding protein that has been characterized in many bacterial species to play a central regulatory role by modulating several metabolic processes. We recently showed that a homolog of CsrA in Borrelia burgdorferi (CsrA(Bb), BB0184) was upregulated in response to propagation of B. burgdorferi under mammalian host-specific conditions. In order to further delineate the role of CsrA(Bb), we generated a deletion mutant designated ES10 in a linear plasmid 25-negative isolate of B. burgdorferi strain B31 (ML23). The deletion mutant was screened by PCR and Southern blot hybridization, and a lack of synthesis of CsrA(Bb) in ES10 was confirmed by immunoblot analysis. Analysis of ES10 propagated at pH 6.8/37°C revealed a significant reduction in the levels of OspC, DbpA, BBK32, and BBA64 compared to those for the parental wild-type strain propagated under these conditions, while there were no significant changes in the levels of either OspA or P66. Moreover, the levels of two regulatory proteins, RpoS and BosR, were also found to be lower in ES10 than in the control strain. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis of total RNA extracted from the parental strain and csrA(Bb) mutant revealed significant differences in gene expression consistent with the changes at the protein level. Neither the csrA(Bb) mutant nor the trans-complemented strain was capable of infection following intradermal needle inoculation in C3H/HeN mice at either 10³ or 10⁵ spirochetes per mouse. The further characterization of molecular basis of regulation mediated by CsrA(Bb) will provide significant insights into the pathophysiology of B. burgdorferi.

  4. A chromosomal Borrelia burgdorferi gene encodes a 22-kilodalton lipoprotein, P22, that is serologically recognized in Lyme disease.

    PubMed Central

    Lam, T T; Nguyen, T P; Fikrig, E; Flavell, R A

    1994-01-01

    We describe the isolation of the gene encoding a 22-kDa antigen from Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. The p22 gene is 582 nucleotides in length and encodes a protein of 194 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 21.8 kDa. The leader signal sequence of P22 consists of a positively charged short amino terminus, a central hydrophobic domain, and at the carboxyl terminus, a cleavage site that is presumably recognized and cleaved by a B. burgdorferi signal peptidase. P22 has 98.5% homology with the recently described B. burgdorferi protein IpLA7. P22 is processed as a lipoprotein, as demonstrated by [3H]palmitate labeling. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed that p22, like LA7, is localized to the linear chromosome of B. burgdorferi. Examination of sera from patients with Lyme disease revealed that antibodies to P22 are rarely detected in patients with early-stage disease characterized by erythema migrans (2 of 20), and 35% of the patients with late-stage disease characterized by arthritis (9 of 26) developed antibodies to P22. Sera from patients with syphilis did not react with P22. When patients with late-stage disease were tested for their antibody reactivities to four other outer surface proteins (OspA), OspB, OspE, and OspF), 75% of these patients responded to P22 or to one or more outer surface proteins. Images PMID:8027338

  5. Culture of the entire mouse to determine whether cultivable Borrelia burgdorferi persists in infected mice treated with a five-day course of Ceftriaxone.

    PubMed

    Pavia, Charles S; Wormser, Gary P

    2014-11-01

    Although controversial, it has been suggested that antibiotic treatment of laboratory animals infected with Borrelia burgdorferi often leads to the persistence of residual spirochetes that are claimed to be viable but noncultivable. If viable cells of B. burgdorferi do persist following antibiotic therapy, one possible explanation for the lack of cultivability is that too few organisms persist in any given tissue site that might be sampled and cultured. In this study, we treated SKH (hairless) mice, with B. burgdorferi infection of 3 months' duration, with either ceftriaxone or saline for 5 days and then cultured a suspension extract of nearly the entire mouse using a combined in vivo/in vitro culture method. All of the saline-treated (control) mice were culture positive, compared with none of the antibiotic-treated mice. Our findings further document the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy in eradicating cultivable cells of B. burgdorferi, irrespective of tissue or organ site.

  6. Identifying the reservoir hosts of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in California: the role of the western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus).

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Leonhard, Sarah; Girard, Yvette A; Hahn, Nina; Mun, Jeomhee; Padgett, Kerry A; Lane, Robert S

    2008-10-01

    We investigated the role of the western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) as a reservoir host of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. A survey of 222 western gray squirrels in California showed an overall prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection of 30%, although at a county level, prevalence of infection ranged from 0% to 50% by polymerase chain reaction. Laboratory trials with wild-caught western gray squirrels indicated that squirrels were competent reservoir hosts of the Lyme disease bacterium and infected up to 86% of feeding Ixodes pacificus larvae. Infections were long-lasting (up to 14 months), which demonstrated that western gray squirrels can maintain B. burgdorferi trans-seasonally. Non-native eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) were infrequently infected with B. burgdorferi.

  7. Identifying the Reservoir Hosts of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in California: The Role of the Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus)

    PubMed Central

    Salkeld, Daniel J.; Leonhard, Sarah; Girard, Yvette A.; Hahn, Nina; Mun, Jeomhee; Padgett, Kerry A.; Lane, Robert S.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the role of the western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) as a reservoir host of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. A survey of 222 western gray squirrels in California showed an overall prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection of 30%, although at a county level, prevalence of infection ranged from 0% to 50% by polymerase chain reaction. Laboratory trials with wild-caught western gray squirrels indicated that squirrels were competent reservoir hosts of the Lyme disease bacterium and infected up to 86% of feeding Ixodes pacificus larvae. Infections were long-lasting (up to 14 months), which demonstrated that western gray squirrels can maintain B. burgdorferi trans-seasonally. Non-native eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) were infrequently infected with B. burgdorferi. PMID:18840740

  8. [Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and tick-borne encephalitis virus in a rural area of Samsun, Turkey].

    PubMed

    Aslan Başbulut, Eşe; Gözalan, Ayşegül; Sönmez, Cemile; Cöplü, Nilay; Körhasan, Berrin; Esen, Berrin; Akın, Levent; Ertek, Mustafa

    2012-04-01

    Lyme disease or lyme borreliosis is a zoonosis caused by Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by ticks, especially Ixodes species. Lyme borreliosis is a multi-systemic disease that invades the skin, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is an important arboviral infection caused by tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). The central nervous system is affected and the disease most often manifests as meningitis, encephalitis or meningoencephalitis. Previous studies have shown that B.burgdorferi and TBEV can be transmitted by the same tick species (Ixodes ricinus). Although the geographic location and climate is similar to some south-eastern European countries where lyme borreliosis and TBE have been reported, the incidence and prevalence of these diseases in Turkey still remain unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevelance of B.burgdorferi and TBEV in healthy population in Tekkeköy (41° 8-13' North; 36° 24-31' East), a district of Samsun province, Turkey with evidence of tick-borne disease and to explore the possible correlations of life styles of healthy individuals and prevelance. The cross-sectional study population included 419 people selected using a random proportional sampling method. All participants were asked at interview to complete a questionnaire and peripheral blood samples were collected. From the blood samples, B.burgdorferi IgG and IgM antibodies were evaluated using commercial ELISA (Euroimmun, Germany) and confirmed with Western blot (WB, Euroimmun, Germany). ELISA method was also used to asses IgM and IgG antibodies against TBEV, and neutralization test was used for confirmation. Of the 419 samples, 17 (4%) were positive for B.burgdorferi IgG by ELISA, however 14 (14/419; 3.3%) of them were confirmed by WB. B.burgdorferi seropositivity was higher among people living in rural areas, at an altitude of ≥ 400 meters and in locations ecologically suitable for wild boar and rabbits

  9. Comparison of MKP and BSK-H media for the cultivation and isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato

    PubMed Central

    Ružić-Sabljić, Eva; Maraspin, Vera; Stupica, Daša; Rojko, Tereza; Bogovič, Petra; Strle, Franc; Cerar, Tjaša

    2017-01-01

    The isolation of B. burgdorferi sensu lato requires the use of complex cultivation media. The aim of the study was to compare the usefulness of BSK-H (a commercial medium produced by HiMedia, India) and MKP medium. MKP and BSK-H media were prepared in accordance with the relevant protocols. Borrelia strains and skin culture biopsies were simultaneously inoculated into both media, incubated and checked for growth. Borrelial growth characteristics, isolation rates and characteristics of the isolated borreliae were analysed and compared. Initially, numbers of spirochaetes were higher in BSK-H than in MKP; however, in comparison with MKP, the strains subcultured in BSK-H medium were more frequently irregular, thin and non-motile, and rapidly died. In addition, the borrelial isolation rate from erythema migrans skin samples was higher in MKP than in BSK-H medium (108/171, 63.2% versus 70/171, 40.9%; p<0.0001). The far most frequently isolated species was Borrelia afzelii (92.9% and 97.2% strains isolated from BSK-H and MKP, respectively). Comparison of strains cultured from individual patients in both media showed differences in plasmid contents in 9/46 (19.6%) strain pairs, and protein profiles differed in 30/43 (69.8%) strain pairs, most often in the expression of OspC (in 27/28 patients OspC was expressed only in strains growing in MKP). BSK-H medium supports the growth of borrelial strains but MKP is superior with regard to the isolation rate, morphology and motility of strains. BSK-H medium supports fast initial growth of borreliae but this is followed by rapid deformation and death of the spirochaetes. PMID:28170447

  10. Exploring the association between Morgellons disease and Lyme disease: identification of Borrelia burgdorferi in Morgellons disease patients.

    PubMed

    Middelveen, Marianne J; Bandoski, Cheryl; Burke, Jennie; Sapi, Eva; Filush, Katherine R; Wang, Yean; Franco, Agustin; Mayne, Peter J; Stricker, Raphael B

    2015-02-12

    Morgellons disease (MD) is a complex skin disorder characterized by ulcerating lesions that have protruding or embedded filaments. Many clinicians refer to this condition as delusional parasitosis or delusional infestation and consider the filaments to be introduced textile fibers. In contrast, recent studies indicate that MD is a true somatic illness associated with tickborne infection, that the filaments are keratin and collagen in composition and that they result from proliferation and activation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the skin. Previously, spirochetes have been detected in the dermatological specimens from four MD patients, thus providing evidence of an infectious process. Based on culture, histology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and molecular testing, we present corroborating evidence of spirochetal infection in a larger group of 25 MD patients. Irrespective of Lyme serological reactivity, all patients in our study group demonstrated histological evidence of epithelial spirochetal infection. Strength of evidence based on other testing varied among patients. Spirochetes identified as Borrelia strains by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or in-situ DNA hybridization were detected in 24/25 of our study patients. Skin cultures containing Borrelia spirochetes were obtained from four patients, thus demonstrating that the organisms present in dermatological specimens were viable. Spirochetes identified by PCR as Borrelia burgdorferi were cultured from blood in seven patients and from vaginal secretions in three patients, demonstrating systemic infection. Based on these observations, a clinical classification system for MD is proposed. Our study using multiple detection methods confirms that MD is a true somatic illness associated with Borrelia spirochetes that cause Lyme disease. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal treatment for this spirochete-associated dermopathy.

  11. Comparison of MKP and BSK-H media for the cultivation and isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Ružić-Sabljić, Eva; Maraspin, Vera; Stupica, Daša; Rojko, Tereza; Bogovič, Petra; Strle, Franc; Cerar, Tjaša

    2017-01-01

    The isolation of B. burgdorferi sensu lato requires the use of complex cultivation media. The aim of the study was to compare the usefulness of BSK-H (a commercial medium produced by HiMedia, India) and MKP medium. MKP and BSK-H media were prepared in accordance with the relevant protocols. Borrelia strains and skin culture biopsies were simultaneously inoculated into both media, incubated and checked for growth. Borrelial growth characteristics, isolation rates and characteristics of the isolated borreliae were analysed and compared. Initially, numbers of spirochaetes were higher in BSK-H than in MKP; however, in comparison with MKP, the strains subcultured in BSK-H medium were more frequently irregular, thin and non-motile, and rapidly died. In addition, the borrelial isolation rate from erythema migrans skin samples was higher in MKP than in BSK-H medium (108/171, 63.2% versus 70/171, 40.9%; p<0.0001). The far most frequently isolated species was Borrelia afzelii (92.9% and 97.2% strains isolated from BSK-H and MKP, respectively). Comparison of strains cultured from individual patients in both media showed differences in plasmid contents in 9/46 (19.6%) strain pairs, and protein profiles differed in 30/43 (69.8%) strain pairs, most often in the expression of OspC (in 27/28 patients OspC was expressed only in strains growing in MKP). BSK-H medium supports the growth of borrelial strains but MKP is superior with regard to the isolation rate, morphology and motility of strains. BSK-H medium supports fast initial growth of borreliae but this is followed by rapid deformation and death of the spirochaetes.

  12. 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.

  13. RNA-Seq of Borrelia burgdorferi in Multiple Phases of Growth Reveals Insights into the Dynamics of Gene Expression, Transcriptome Architecture, and Noncoding RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, William K.; Savage, Christina R.; Brissette, Catherine A.; Seshu, Janakiram; Livny, Jonathan; Stevenson, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, differentially expresses numerous genes and proteins as it cycles between mammalian hosts and tick vectors. Insights on regulatory mechanisms have been provided by earlier studies that examined B. burgdorferi gene expression patterns during cultivation. However, prior studies examined bacteria at only a single time point of cultivation, providing only a snapshot of what is likely a dynamic transcriptional program driving B. burgdorferi adaptations to changes during culture growth phases. To address that concern, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis of B. burgdorferi cultures at early-exponential, mid-exponential, and early-stationary phases of growth. We found that expression of nearly 18% of annotated B. burgdorferi genes changed significantly during culture maturation. Moreover, genome-wide mapping of the B. burgdorferi transcriptome in different growth phases enabled insight on transcript boundaries, operon structures, and identified numerous putative non-coding RNAs. These RNA-Seq data are discussed and presented as a resource for the community of researchers seeking to better understand B. burgdorferi biology and pathogenesis. PMID:27706236

  14. Use of enzyme-labelled protein G assay for the detection of anti Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies in wild animal sera.

    PubMed

    Deruaz, D; Eid, P; Deruaz, J; Sempéré, A; Bourgouin, C; Rodhain, F; Pérez-Eid, C

    1996-10-01

    A modified ELISA was developed for the detection of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) IgG antibodies in wild animal sera based on an Enzyme-Labelled-protein G Assay (ELGA). Microplates were coated with an extract of Bb sensu stricto strain (SVI) as antigen. Specific antibodies of the serum samples were detected by a peroxidase-labelled-protein G. Using comparative immunodiagnosis by means of a passive hemagglutination test (HA), ELGA was tested on 82 roe-deer blood samples. A correlation was found between the two methods (r = 0.66). Good reproducibility of titers was observed by ELGA technique. A minimal cross-reactivity was discovered with Leptospira. ELGA could facilitate the recognition of specific antibodies in collections of wild animal sera.

  15. Analysis of Mechanisms Associated with Loss of Infectivity of Clonal Populations of Borrelia burgdorferi B31MI

    PubMed Central

    McDowell, John V.; Sung, Shian Ying; Labandeira-Rey, Maria; Skare, Jon T.; Marconi, Richard T.

    2001-01-01

    Numerous studies have provided suggestive evidence that the loss of plasmids correlates with the loss of infectivity of the Lyme disease spirochetes. In this study we have further investigated this correlation. Clonal populations were obtained from the skin of a mouse infected for 3 months with a clonal population of Borrelia burgdorferi B31MI. The complete plasmid compositions of these populations were determined using a combination of PCR and Southern hybridization. The infectivities of clones differing in plasmid composition were tested using the C3H-HeJ murine model for Lyme disease. While several clones were found to be noninfectious, a correlation between the loss of a specific plasmid and loss of infectivity in the clones analyzed in this report was not observed. While it is clear from recent studies that the loss of some specific plasmids results in attenuated virulence, this study demonstrates that additional mechanisms also contribute to the loss of infectivity. PMID:11349029

  16. Experimental infections of the reservoir species Peromyscus leucopus with diverse strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, a Lyme disease agent.

    PubMed

    Baum, Elisabeth; Hue, Fong; Barbour, Alan G

    2012-12-04

    The rodent Peromyscus leucopus is a major natural reservoir for the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi and a host for its vector Ixodes scapularis. At various locations in northeastern United States 10 to 15 B. burgdorferi strains coexist at different prevalences in tick populations. We asked whether representative strains of high or low prevalence differed in their infections of P. leucopus. After 5 weeks of experimental infection of groups with each of 6 isolates, distributions and burdens of bacteria in tissues were measured by quantitative PCR, and antibodies to B. burgdorferi were evaluated by immunoblotting and protein microarray. All groups of animals were infected in their joints, ears, tails, and hearts, but overall spirochete burdens were lower in animals infected with low-prevalence strains. Animals were similar regardless of the infecting isolate in their levels of antibodies to whole cells, FlaB, BmpA, and DbpB proteins, and the conserved N-terminal region of the serotype-defining OspC proteins. But there were strain-specific antibody responses to full-length OspC and to plasmid-encoded VlsE, BBK07, and BBK12 proteins. Sequencing of additional VlsE genes revealed substantial diversity within some pairs of strains but near-identical sequences within other pairs, which otherwise differed in their ospC alleles. The presence or absence of full-length bbk07 and bbk12 genes accounted for the differences in antibody responses. We propose that for B. burgdorferi, there is selection in reservoir species for (i) sequence diversity, as for OspC and VlsE, and (ii) the presence or absence of polymorphisms, as for BBK07 and BBK12. Humans are dead-end hosts for Borrelia agents of Lyme disease (LD), and, thus, irrelevant for the pathogens' maintenance. Many reports of human cases and laboratory mouse infections exist, but less is known about infection and immunity in natural reservoirs, such as the rodent Peromyscus leucopus. We observed that high- and low

  17. Immune evasion of Borrelia burgdorferi by acquisition of human complement regulators FHL-1/reconectin and Factor H.

    PubMed

    Kraiczy, P; Skerka, C; Kirschfink, M; Brade, V; Zipfel, P F

    2001-06-01

    To understand immune evasion mechanisms of Borrelia burgdorferi we compared serum-resistant B. afzelii and serum-sensitive B. garinii isolates for their capacity toacquire human complement regulators. Here we demonstrate that the two borrelial genospecies show different binding of the two important human complement regulators, FHL-1/reconectin and Factor H. All serum-resistant B. afzelii isolates bound FHL-1/reconectin and also Factor H, and all analyzed serum-sensitive B. garinii isolates showed no or a significantly lower binding activity. Using recombinant deletion mutants, the binding domains were localized to the C terminus of FHL-1/reconectin to short consensus repeats 5-7. The borrelial binding proteins were located in the surface of the bacteria as demonstrated by immunofluorescence staining of intact, serum-exposed bacteria and by enrichment of outer membrane proteins. The surface-attached complement regulators maintained complement regulatory activity as demonstrated in a cofactor assay. By ligand blotting two different borrelial binding proteins were identified that were responsible for the surface attachment of FHL-1/reconectin and Factor H. These borrelial complement regulators acquiring surface proteins (CRASP) were further characterized as either CRASP-1, a 27.5-kDa molecule which preferentially binds FHL-1/reconectin and which was present in all serum-resistant borreliae, or CRASP-2, a 20/21-kDa protein which interacts preferentially with Factor H and the expression of which was more restricted, being detected in four of the six isolates analyzed. In summary, we describe a new immune evasion mechanism of B. burgdorferi, as these bacteria acquire human complement regulators to control complement activation on their surface and to prevent formation of toxic activation products.

  18. Recurrent evolution of host and vector association in bacteria of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex.

    PubMed

    Becker, Noémie S; Margos, Gabriele; Blum, Helmut; Krebs, Stefan; Graf, Alexander; Lane, Robert S; Castillo-Ramírez, Santiago; Sing, Andreas; Fingerle, Volker

    2016-09-15

    The Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) species complex consists of tick-transmitted bacteria and currently comprises approximately 20 named and proposed genospecies some of which are known to cause Lyme Borreliosis. Species have been defined via genetic distances and ecological niches they occupy. Understanding the evolutionary relationship of species of the complex is fundamental to explaining patterns of speciation. This in turn forms a crucial basis to frame testable hypotheses concerning the underlying processes including host and vector adaptations. Illumina Technology was used to obtain genome-wide sequence data for 93 strains of 14 named genospecies of the B. burgdorferi species complex and genomic data already published for 18 additional strain (including one new species) was added. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on 114 orthologous single copy genes shows that the genospecies represent clearly distinguishable taxa with recent and still ongoing speciation events apparent in Europe and Asia. The position of Borrelia species in the phylogeny is consistent with host associations constituting a major driver for speciation. Interestingly, the data also demonstrate that vector associations are an additional driver for diversification in this tick-borne species complex. This is particularly obvious in B. bavariensis, a rodent adapted species that has diverged from the bird-associated B. garinii most likely in Asia. It now consists of two populations one of which most probably invaded Europe following adaptation to a new vector (Ixodes ricinus) and currently expands its distribution range. The results imply that genotypes/species with novel properties regarding host or vector associations have evolved recurrently during the history of the species complex and may emerge at any time. We suggest that the finding of vector associations as a driver for diversification may be a general pattern for tick-borne pathogens. The core genome analysis presented here

  19. 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

  20. Lack of IgG antibody seropositivity to Borrelia burgdorferi in patients with Parry-Romberg syndrome and linear morphea en coup de sabre in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Gómez, Claudia; Godínez-Hana, Ana L; García-Hernández, Marisela; Suárez-Roa, María de Lourdes; Toussaint-Caire, Sonia; Vega-Memije, Elisa; Gutiérrez-Mendoza, Daniela; Pérez-Dosal, Marcia; Medina-De la Garza, Carlos E

    2014-08-01

    Progressive hemifacial atrophy or Parry-Romberg Syndrome (PRS) is a rare, acquired, progressive dysplasia of subcutaneous tissue and bone characterized by unilateral facial involvement. Its etiology is unknown, but theories about its pathogenesis include infectious, degenerative, autoimmune, and traumatic causes among others. The causal relationship of PRS and linear morphea en coup de sabre (LMCS) with Borrelia burgdorferi infection remains controversial. Our goal was to serologically determine anti-B. burgdorferi antibodies in patients diagnosed with PRS and LMCS to establish a possible association as a causative agent. We conducted a serology study with patients belonging to a group of 21 individuals diagnosed with PRS, six with LMCS, and 21 matched controls. Anti-Borrelia IgG antibodies were determined by ELISA. A descriptive statistical analysis and Fischer's exact test were done. In serological tests, only two cases had borderline values and were further analyzed by Western blot with non-confirmatory results. For both the PRS and LMCS group, the association test was not significant, suggesting a lack of association between PRS or LMCS and the presence of anti-Borrelia antibodies. In Mexico there are no previous studies on Borrelia infection and its relationship between PRS or LMCS. Our result showed a lack of association of either clinical entities with anti-Borrelia-antibodies. Former reports of this association may suggest coincidental findings without causal relationship. © 2014 The International Society of Dermatology.

  1. Minimal role of eastern fence lizards in Borrelia burgdorferi transmission in central New Jersey oak/pine woodlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rulison, Eric L.; Kerr, Kaetlyn T; Dyer, Megan C; Han, Seungeun; Burke, Russell L.; Tsao, Jean I.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    The Eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, is widely distributed in eastern and central North America, ranging through areas with high levels of Lyme disease, as well as areas where Lyme disease is rare or absent. We studied the potential role of S. undulatus in transmission dynamics of Lyme spirochetes by sampling ticks from a variety of natural hosts at field sites in central New Jersey, and by testing the reservoir competence of S. undulatus for Borrelia burgdorferi in the laboratory. The infestation rate of ticks on fence lizards was extremely low (proportion infested = 0.087, n = 23) compared to that on white footed mice and other small mammals (proportion infested = 0.53, n = 140). Of 159 nymphs that had fed as larvae on lizards that had previously been exposed to infected nymphs, none was infected with B. burgdorferi, compared with 79.9% of 209 nymphs that had fed as larvae on infected control mice. Simulations suggest that changes in the numbers of fence lizards in a natural habitat would have little effect on the infection rate of nymphal ticks with Lyme spirochetes. We conclude that in central New Jersey S. undulatus plays a minimal role in the enzootic transmission cycle of Lyme spirochetes.

  2. Immunoserologic evidence of coinfection with Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia microti, and human granulocytic Ehrlichia species in residents of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, P D; Reed, K D; Hofkes, J M

    1996-01-01

    In Wisconsin and Minnesota, Ixodes scapularis (Ixodes dammini) ticks are the vector of three microorganisms that may cause significant disease in humans and lower mammals. These diseases include Lyme borreliosis, which is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, babesiosis, which is caused by Babesia microti, and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE), which is caused by an apparently new species in the genus Ehrlichia. Immunoserologic testing was performed on sera from patients with a diagnosis of one of these diseases to determine if there was evidence of coinfection with one or more of the other agents. Of 96 patients with Lyme borreliosis, 9 (9.4%) demonstrated immunoserologic evidence of coinfection: 5 (5.2%) with the agent of HGE, 2 (2.1%) with B. microti, and 2 (2.1%) with both microorganisms. Of 19 patients diagnosed with HGE, 3 (15.8%) showed immunoserologic evidence of coinfection: 1 (5.3%) with B. burgdorferi, 1 (5.3%) with B. microti, and 1 (5.3%) with both microorganisms. One patient diagnosed with babesiosis was also seropositive for ehrlichiosis. These results provide evidence for coinfection, perhaps explaining the variable manifestations and clinical responses noted in some patients with tick-transmitted diseases. In certain clinical settings, laboratory testing for coinfection is indicated to ensure that appropriate antimicrobial treatment is given. PMID:8904446

  3. Expression and Immunological Analysis of the Plasmid-Borne mlp Genes of Borrelia burgdorferi Strain B31

    PubMed Central

    Porcella, Stephen F.; Fitzpatrick, Cecily A.; Bono, James L.

    2000-01-01

    A lipoprotein gene family first identified in Borrelia burgdorferi strain 297, designated 2.9 LP and recently renamed mlp, was found on circular and linear plasmids in the genome sequence of B. burgdorferi strain B31-M1. Sequence analyses of the B31 mlp genes and physically linked variant gene families indicated that mlp gene heterogeneity is unique and unrelated to location or linkage to divergent sequences. Evidence of recombination between B31 mlp alleles was also detected. Northern blot analysis of cultured strain B31 indicated that the mlp genes were not expressed at a temperature (23°C) characteristic of that of ticks in the environment. In striking contrast, expression of many mlp genes increased substantially when strain B31 was shifted to 35°C, a temperature change mimicking that occurring in the natural transmission cycle of the spirochete from tick to mammal. Primer extension analysis of the mlp mRNA transcripts suggested that sigma 70-like promoters are involved in mlp expression during temperature shift conditions. Antibodies were made against strain B31 Mlp proteins within the first 4 weeks after experimental mouse infection. Importantly, Lyme disease patients also had serum antibodies reactive with purified recombinant Mlp proteins from strain B31, a result indicating that humans are exposed to Mlp proteins during infection. Taken together, the data indicate that strain B31 mlp genes encode a diverse array of lipoproteins which may participate in early infection processes in the mammalian host. PMID:10948116

  4. Expression and immunological analysis of the plasmid-borne mlp genes of Borrelia burgdorferi strain B31.

    PubMed

    Porcella, S F; Fitzpatrick, C A; Bono, J L

    2000-09-01

    A lipoprotein gene family first identified in Borrelia burgdorferi strain 297, designated 2.9 LP and recently renamed mlp, was found on circular and linear plasmids in the genome sequence of B. burgdorferi strain B31-M1. Sequence analyses of the B31 mlp genes and physically linked variant gene families indicated that mlp gene heterogeneity is unique and unrelated to location or linkage to divergent sequences. Evidence of recombination between B31 mlp alleles was also detected. Northern blot analysis of cultured strain B31 indicated that the mlp genes were not expressed at a temperature (23 degrees C) characteristic of that of ticks in the environment. In striking contrast, expression of many mlp genes increased substantially when strain B31 was shifted to 35 degrees C, a temperature change mimicking that occurring in the natural transmission cycle of the spirochete from tick to mammal. Primer extension analysis of the mlp mRNA transcripts suggested that sigma 70-like promoters are involved in mlp expression during temperature shift conditions. Antibodies were made against strain B31 Mlp proteins within the first 4 weeks after experimental mouse infection. Importantly, Lyme disease patients also had serum antibodies reactive with purified recombinant Mlp proteins from strain B31, a result indicating that humans are exposed to Mlp proteins during infection. Taken together, the data indicate that strain B31 mlp genes encode a diverse array of lipoproteins which may participate in early infection processes in the mammalian host.

  5. Evidence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi infection in cats after exposure to wild-caught adult Ixodes scapularis.

    PubMed

    Lappin, Michael R; Chandrashekar, Ramaswamy; Stillman, Brett; Liu, Jiayou; Mather, Thomas N

    2015-07-01

    Cats are infected by Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi when exposed to infected Ixodes scapularis (black-legged ticks). The purpose of our study was to allow wild-caught I. scapularis to feed on healthy research cats (n = 4) and temporally evaluate for A. phagocytophilum DNA in blood by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay as well as for antibody responses to the B. burgdorferi C6 peptide, to the A. phagocytophilum P44 peptide, and to a novel A. phagocytophilum peptide (P44-4). Prior to I. scapularis infestation, all cats were negative for antibodies against both organisms based on a kit optimized for dog serum, and negative for A. phagocytophilum DNA in blood using a conventional PCR assay. Using the pre-infestation samples, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting antibodies against the P44-4 peptide was optimized. Cats were infested with wild-caught I. scapularis for 7 days. Genomic DNA of A. phagocytophilum was amplified from the blood before antibodies were detected in all 4 cats. Antibodies against the C6 peptide, P44 peptide, and P44-4 peptide were detected in the sera of all 4 cats. Antibodies against P44-4 were detected prior to those against P44 in 3 out of 4 cats. The results suggest that a PCR assay should be considered in acutely ill cats with suspected anaplasmosis that are seronegative.