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Sample records for borrelia burgdorferi revealed

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Comparative population genomics of the Borrelia burgdorferi species complex reveals high degree of genetic isolation among species and underscores benefits and constraints to studying intra-specific epidemiological processes.

    PubMed

    Jacquot, Maude; Gonnet, Mathieu; Ferquel, Elisabeth; Abrial, David; Claude, Alexandre; Gasqui, Patrick; Choumet, Valérie; Charras-Garrido, Myriam; Garnier, Martine; Faure, Benjamin; Sertour, Natacha; Dorr, Nelly; De Goër, Jocelyn; Vourc'h, Gwenaël; Bailly, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis, one of the most frequently contracted zoonotic diseases in the Northern Hemisphere, is caused by bacteria belonging to different genetic groups within the Borrelia burgdorferi species complex, which are transmitted by ticks among various wildlife reservoirs, such as small mammals and birds. These features make the Borrelia burgdorferi species complex an attractive biological model that can be used to study the diversification and the epidemiology of endemic bacterial pathogens. We investigated the potential of population genomic approaches to study these processes. Sixty-three strains belonging to three species within the Borrelia burgdorferi complex were isolated from questing ticks in Alsace (France), a region where Lyme disease is highly endemic. We first aimed to characterize the degree of genetic isolation among the species sampled. Phylogenetic and coalescent-based analyses revealed clear delineations: there was a ∼50 fold difference between intra-specific and inter-specific recombination rates. We then investigated whether the population genomic data contained information of epidemiological relevance. In phylogenies inferred using most of the genome, conspecific strains did not cluster in clades. These results raise questions about the relevance of different strategies when investigating pathogen epidemiology. For instance, here, both classical analytic approaches and phylodynamic simulations suggested that population sizes and migration rates were higher in B. garinii populations, which are normally associated with birds, than in B. burgdorferi s.s. populations. The phylogenetic analyses of the infection-related ospC gene and its flanking region provided additional support for this finding. Traces of recombination among the B. burgdorferi s.s. lineages and lineages associated with small mammals were found, suggesting that they shared the same hosts. Altogether, these results provide baseline evidence that can be used to formulate

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Evidence that BosR (BB0647) Is a Positive Autoregulator in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Ouyang, Zhiming; Zhou, Jianli

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi survives in nature through a complex tick-mammalian life cycle. During its transit between ticks and mammalian hosts, B. burgdorferi must dramatically alter its outer surface profile in order to interact with and adapt to these two diverse niches. It has been established that the regulator BosR (BB0647) in B. burgdorferi plays important roles in modulating borrelial host adaptation. However, to date, how bosR expression itself is controlled in B. burgdorferi remains largely unknown. Previously, it has been shown that DNA sequences upstream of BosR harbor multiple sites for the binding of recombinant BosR, suggesting that BosR may influence its own expression in B. burgdorferi. However, direct experimental evidence supporting this putative autoregulation of BosR has been lacking. Here, we investigated the expression of bosR throughout the tick-mammal life cycle of B. burgdorferi via quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR analyses. Our data indicated that bosR is expressed not only during mouse infection, but also during the tick acquisition, intermolt, and transmission phases. Further investigation revealed that bosR expression in B. burgdorferi is influenced by environmental stimuli, such as temperature shift and pH change. By employing luciferase reporter assays, we also identified two promoters potentially driving bosR transcription. Our study offers strong support for the long-postulated function of BosR as an autoregulator in B. burgdorferi. PMID:27324485

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.'

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Established Population of Blacklegged Ticks with High Infection Prevalence for the Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    We document an established population of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario, Canada. Primers of the outer surface protein A (OspA) gene, the flagellin (fla) gene, and the flagellin B (flaB) gene were used in the PCR assays to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the Lyme disease bacterium. In all, 60 (73%) of 82 adult I. scapularis, were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. As well, 6 (43%) of 14 unfed I. scapularis nymphs were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. An I. scapularis larva was also collected from a deer mouse, and several unfed larvae were gathered by flagging leaf litter. Based on DNA sequencing of randomly selected Borrelia amplicons from six nymphal and adult I. scapularis ticks, primers for the flagellin (fla) and flagellin B (flaB) genes reveal the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. We collected all 3 host-feeding life stages of I. scapularis in a single year, and report the northernmost established population of I. scapularis in Ontario. Corkscrew Island is hyperendemic for Lyme disease and has the highest prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. for any established population in Canada. Because of this very high infection prevalence, this population of I. scapularis has likely been established for decades. Of epidemiological significance, cottage owners, island visitors, outdoors enthusiasts, and medical professionals must be vigilant that B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis on Corkscrew Island pose a serious public health risk. PMID:27877080

  16. Established Population of Blacklegged Ticks with High Infection Prevalence for the Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    We document an established population of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, on Corkscrew Island, Kenora District, Ontario, Canada. Primers of the outer surface protein A (OspA) gene, the flagellin (fla) gene, and the flagellin B (flaB) gene were used in the PCR assays to detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the Lyme disease bacterium. In all, 60 (73%) of 82 adult I. scapularis, were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. As well, 6 (43%) of 14 unfed I. scapularis nymphs were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. An I. scapularis larva was also collected from a deer mouse, and several unfed larvae were gathered by flagging leaf litter. Based on DNA sequencing of randomly selected Borrelia amplicons from six nymphal and adult I. scapularis ticks, primers for the flagellin (fla) and flagellin B (flaB) genes reveal the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a genospecies pathogenic to humans and certain domestic animals. We collected all 3 host-feeding life stages of I. scapularis in a single year, and report the northernmost established population of I. scapularis in Ontario. Corkscrew Island is hyperendemic for Lyme disease and has the highest prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. for any established population in Canada. Because of this very high infection prevalence, this population of I. scapularis has likely been established for decades. Of epidemiological significance, cottage owners, island visitors, outdoors enthusiasts, and medical professionals must be vigilant that B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected I. scapularis on Corkscrew Island pose a serious public health risk.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  8. Identification and molecular survey of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in sika deer (Cervus nippon) from Jilin Province, north-eastern China.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Bintao; Niu, Qingli; Yang, Jifei; Liu, Zhijie; Liu, Junlong; Yin, Hong; Zeng, Qiaoying

    2017-02-01

    Lyme disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) is a common disease of domestic animals and wildlife worldwide. Sika deer is first-grade state-protected wildlife animals in China and have economic consequences for humans. It is reported that sika deer may serve as an important reservoir host for several species of B. burgdorferi s.l. and may transmit these species to humans and animals. However, little is known about the presence of Borrelia pathogens in sika deer in China. In this study, the existence and prevalence of Borrelia sp. in sika deer from four regions of Jilin Province in China was assessed. Seventy-one blood samples of sika deer were collected and tested by nested-PCRs based on 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA), outer surface protein A (OspA), flagenllin (fla), and 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (5S-23S rRNA) genes of B. burgdorferi s.l. Six (8.45%) samples were positive for Borrelia sp. based on sequences of 4 genes. The positive samples were detected 18 for 16S rRNA, 10 for OspA, 16 for fla and 6 for 5S-23S, with the positive rates 25.35% (95% CI=3.8-35.6), 14.08% (95% CI=3.0-21.6), 22.54% (95% CI=4.3-36.9) and 8.45% (95% CI=1.7-22.9), respectively. Sequence analysis of the positive PCR products revealed that the partial 4 genes sequences in this study were all most similar to the sequences of B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), no other Borrelia genospecies were found. This is the first report of Borrelia pathogens in sika deer in China. The findings in this study indicated that sika deer as potential natural host and may spread Lyme disease pathogen to animals, ticks, and even humans.

  9. Northern white-breasted hedgehogs Erinaceus roumanicus as hosts for ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Romania.

    PubMed

    Dumitrache, Mirabela Oana; Paştiu, Anamaria Ioana; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Mircean, Viorica; Sándor, Attila David; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Peştean, Cosmin; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Cozma, Vasile

    2013-04-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophilum are two tick-borne pathogens of medical and/or veterinary importance which are distributed worldwide. Erinaceus roumanicus, the Northern white-breasted hedgehog, is a common synanthropic species that is known to carry not only the hedgehog tick, Ixodes hexagonus, but also I. ricinus, the most common European tick species. I. ricinus is the main vector of both mentioned pathogens. Within this framework and because only limited information is available on the role of E. roumanicus in the ecology of B. burgdorferi s.l. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Europe, we carried out an epidemiological surveillance on this species in Romania. From the 57 examined hedgehogs collected in 12 different counties, 24 presented tick infestation. Most ticks (n=959) were morphologically identified as larvae, nymphs, or adults of I. ricinus. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. was 0.4%, and that of A. phagocytophilum 12%. In all positive cases for B. burgdorferi s.l., restriction fragment length polymorphism revealed the genospecies B. afzelii. In Romania, only limited information is available on the epidemiology of B. burgdorferi s.l. and A. phagocytophilum. As hedgehogs commonly share the same environment with humans and other potential reservoir hosts for tick-borne pathogens, our study provides new epidemiological data of public health importance.

  10. In vivo expression technology and 5′ end mapping of the Borrelia burgdorferi transcriptome identify novel RNAs expressed during mammalian infection

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Philip P.; Flores Avile, Carlos; Popitsch, Niko; Bilusic, Ivana; Schroeder, Renée; Lybecker, Meghan; Jewett, Mollie W.

    2017-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial pathogen responsible for Lyme disease, modulates its gene expression profile in response to the environments encountered throughout its tick-mammal infectious cycle. To begin to characterize the B. burgdorferi transcriptome during murine infection, we previously employed an in vivo expression technology-based approach (BbIVET). This identified 233 putative promoters, many of which mapped to un-annotated regions of the complex, segmented genome. Herein, we globally identify the 5′ end transcriptome of B. burgdorferi grown in culture as a means to validate non-ORF associated promoters discovered through BbIVET. We demonstrate that 119 BbIVET promoters are associated with transcription start sites (TSSs) and validate novel RNA transcripts using Northern blots and luciferase promoter fusions. Strikingly, 49% of BbIVET promoters were not found to associate with TSSs. This finding suggests that these sequences may be primarily active in the mammalian host. Furthermore, characterization of the 6042 B. burgdorferi TSSs reveals a variety of RNAs including numerous antisense and intragenic transcripts, leaderless RNAs, long untranslated regions and a unique nucleotide frequency for initiating intragenic transcription. Collectively, this is the first comprehensive map of TSSs in B. burgdorferi and characterization of previously un-annotated RNA transcripts expressed by the spirochete during murine infection. PMID:27913725

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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 (

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Occurrence of different Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies including B. afzelii, B. bavariensis, and B. spielmanii in hedgehogs (Erinaceus spp.) in Europe.

    PubMed

    Skuballa, Jasmin; Petney, Trevor; Pfäffle, Miriam; Oehme, Rainer; Hartelt, Kathrin; Fingerle, Volker; Kimmig, Peter; Taraschewski, Horst

    2012-02-01

    In order to determine whether European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus and E. roumanicus) play a role in the epidemiological cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Central Europe and Great Britain, tissue samples of hedgehogs from Germany (n=211), Austria (n=4), the Czech Republic (n=22), and the U.K. (n=32) were tested for the presence of these tick-borne pathogens. PCR for amplification of the B. burgdorferi s.l.-specific 5S-23S intergenic spacer region as well as the outer surface protein A (ospA) gene were used. B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA was detected in 35 of the 259 E. europaeus and in 2 of 10 E. roumanicus. B. burgdorferi prevalences in E. europaeus ranged from 0% (U.K.) to 37.5% (Czech Republic), for E. roumanicus from 0% (Czech Republic) to 50.0% (Austria). Sequencing revealed the occurrence of 3 different B. burgdorferi genospecies in E. europaeus: B. afzelii was the dominant genospecies, followed by B. bavariensis (previously B. garinii OspA serotype 4) and B. spielmanii, the latter was detected for the first time in Hamburg (Germany). B. afzelii and B. bavariensis were also found in E. roumanicus. Our results suggest that hedgehogs modulate the epidemiology of certain species of the B. burgdorferi s.l. complex, potentially affecting the distribution and abundance of individual B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies in various habitats. We hypothesise that juvenile or individuals with low immune competence in particular, have a high reservoir potential for the 3 genospecies identified here.

  3. Study of the Protein Complex, Pore Diameter, and Pore-forming Activity of the Borrelia burgdorferi P13 Porin*

    PubMed Central

    Bárcena-Uribarri, Iván; Thein, Marcus; Barbot, Mariam; Sans-Serramitjana, Eulalia; Bonde, Mari; Mentele, Reinhard; Lottspeich, Friedrich; Bergström, Sven; Benz, Roland

    2014-01-01

    P13 is one of the major outer membrane proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi. Previous studies described P13 as a porin. In the present study some structure and function aspects of P13 were studied. P13 showed according to lipid bilayer studies a channel-forming activity of 0.6 nanosiemens in 1 m KCl. Single channel and selectivity measurements demonstrated that P13 had no preference for either cations or anions and showed no voltage-gating up to ±100 mV. Blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to isolate and characterize the P13 protein complex in its native state. The complex had a high molecular mass of about 300 kDa and was only composed of P13 monomers. The channel size was investigated using non-electrolytes revealing an apparent diameter of about 1.4 nm with a 400-Da molecular mass cut-off. Multichannel titrations with different substrates reinforced the idea that P13 forms a general diffusion channel. The identity of P13 within the complex was confirmed by second dimension SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, mass spectrometry, and the use of a p13 deletion mutant strain. The results suggested that P13 is the protein responsible for the 0.6-nanosiemens pore-forming activity in the outer membrane of B. burgdorferi. PMID:24825899

  4. P13, an Integral Membrane Protein of Borrelia burgdorferi, Is C-Terminally Processed and Contains Surface-Exposed Domains

    PubMed Central

    Noppa, Laila; Östberg, Yngve; Lavrinovicha, Marija; Bergström, Sven

    2001-01-01

    To elucidate antigens present on the bacterial surface of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato that may be involved in pathogenesis, we characterized a protein, P13, with an apparent molecular mass of 13 kDa. The protein was immunogenic and was expressed in large amounts during in vitro cultivation compared to other known antigens. An immunofluorescence assay, immunoelectron microscopy, and protease sensitivity assays indicated that P13 is surface exposed. The deduced sequence of the P13 peptide revealed a possible signal peptidase type I cleavage site, and computer analysis predicted that P13 is an integral membrane protein with three transmembrane-spanning domains. Mass spectrometry, in vitro translation, and N- and C-terminal amino acid sequencing analyses indicated that P13 was posttranslationally processed at both ends and modified by an unknown mechanism. Furthermore, p13 belongs to a gene family with five additional members in B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. The p13 gene is located on the linear chromosome of the bacterium, in contrast to five paralogous genes, which are located on extrachromosomal plasmids. The size of the p13 transcript was consistent with a monocistronic transcript. This new gene family may be involved in functions that are specific for this spirochete and its pathogenesis. PMID:11292755

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Differences in prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma spp. infection among host-seeking Dermacentor occidentalis, Ixodes pacificus, and Ornithodoros coriaceus ticks in northwestern California

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Robert S.; Mun, Jeomhee; Peribáñez, Miguel A.; Fedorova, Natalia

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies revealed that the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis) is infected occasionally with the agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) or human granulocytic anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum) and that it is an inefficient experimental vector of B. burgdorferi. The relationship of the pajahuello tick (Ornithodoros coriaceus) to each of these bacterial zoonotic agents has not been reported. The primary bridging vector of both bacterial zoonotic agents to humans is the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus). Because of the spatial and temporal overlap of D. occidentalis and O. coriaceus populations with those of I. pacificus in natural foci of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum in northwestern California, we conducted field and laboratory studies to determine if the Pacific Coast tick or the pajahuello tick potentially may serve as secondary vectors of either bacterium. Our findings reconfirmed that wild-caught D. occidentalis ticks are infected infrequently with B. burgdorferi or A. phagocytophilum, but some adult ticks from dense woodlands or chaparral were found to contain 2 important veterinary pathogens for the first time (Anaplasma bovis, A. ovis). The high prevalence of A. bovis infection (4.3%, n=185 ticks) within chaparral-derived ticks suggests that D. occidentalis could be an efficient vector of this rickettsia. Experimental attempts to transmit borreliae or Anaplasma spp. that may have been present in >100 wild-caught D. occidentalis adults to naïve rabbits were unsuccessful. Anaplasma spp. were not detected in O. coriaceus, but one (4.3%) of 23 nymphs was infected with B. bissettii. This finding and an antecedent report of a B. burgdorferi-like spirochete from the same tick species demonstrate that O. coriaceus sometimes acquires and transstadially passes Lyme disease group spirochetes. I. pacificus nymphs inhabiting a woodland nidus of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum had a 5-fold higher prevalence of

  13. Differences in prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma spp. infection among host-seeking Dermacentor occidentalis, Ixodes pacificus, and Ornithodoros coriaceus ticks in northwestern California.

    PubMed

    Lane, Robert S; Mun, Jeomhee; Peribáñez, Miguel A; Fedorova, Natalia

    2010-12-01

    Previous studies revealed that the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis) is infected occasionally with the agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) or human granulocytic anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum) and that it is an inefficient experimental vector of B. burgdorferi. The relationship of the pajahuello tick (Ornithodoros coriaceus) to each of these bacterial zoonotic agents has not been reported. The primary bridging vector of both bacterial zoonotic agents to humans is the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus). Because of the spatial and temporal overlap of D. occidentalis and O. coriaceus populations with those of I. pacificus in natural foci of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum in northwestern California, we conducted field and laboratory studies to determine if the Pacific Coast tick or the pajahuello tick potentially may serve as secondary vectors of either bacterium. Our findings reconfirmed that wild-caught D. occidentalis ticks are infected infrequently with B. burgdorferi or A. phagocytophilum, but some adult ticks from dense woodlands or chaparral were found to contain 2 important veterinary pathogens for the first time (Anaplasma bovis, A. ovis). The high prevalence of A. bovis infection (4.3%, n=185 ticks) within chaparral-derived ticks suggests that D. occidentalis could be an efficient vector of this rickettsia. Experimental attempts to transmit borreliae or Anaplasma spp. that may have been present in >100 wild-caught D. occidentalis adults to naïve rabbits were unsuccessful. Anaplasma spp. were not detected in O. coriaceus, but one (4.3%) of 23 nymphs was infected with B. bissettii. This finding and an antecedent report of a B. burgdorferi-like spirochete from the same tick species demonstrate that O. coriaceus sometimes acquires and transstadially passes Lyme disease group spirochetes. I. pacificus nymphs inhabiting a woodland nidus of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum had a 5-fold higher prevalence of

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Host, habitat and climate preferences of Ixodes angustus (Acari: Ixodidae) and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in California, USA.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Nicole; Wong, Johnny; Foley, Janet

    2016-10-01

    The Holarctic tick Ixodes angustus is a competent vector for Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, and possibly Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the etiologic agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis, as well. From 2005 to 2013, we collected host-feeding I. angustus individuals from live-trapped small mammals and by flagging vegetation from 12 study sites in northern and central California, and tested for B. burgdorferi sensu lato, A. phagocytophilum, and Rickettsia spp. DNA by real-time PCR. Among 261 I. angustus collected (259 from hosts and two by flagging), the most common hosts were tree squirrels (20 % of ticks) and chipmunks (37 %). The PCR-prevalence for A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi in ticks was 2 % and zero, respectively. The minimum infection prevalence on pooled DNA samples was 10 % for Rickettsia spp. DNA sequencing of the ompA gene identified this rickettsia as Candidatus Rickettsia angustus, a putative endosymbiont. A zero-inflated negative binomial mixed effects model was used to evaluate geographical and climatological predictors of I. angustus burden. When host species within study site and season within year were included in the model as nested random effects, all significant variables revealed that I. angustus burden increased as temperature decreased. Together with published data, these findings suggest that I. angustus is a host generalist, has a broad geographic distribution, is more abundant in areas with lower temperature within it's range, and is rarely infected with the pathogens A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Multifunctional and Redundant Roles of Borrelia burgdorferi Outer Surface Proteins in Tissue Adhesion, Colonization, and Complement Evasion

    PubMed Central

    Caine, Jennifer A.; Coburn, Jenifer

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of Lyme disease in the U.S., with at least 25,000 cases reported to the CDC each year. B. burgdorferi is thought to enter and exit the bloodstream to achieve rapid dissemination to distal tissue sites during infection. Travel through the bloodstream requires evasion of immune surveillance and pathogen clearance in the host, a process at which B. burgdorferi is adept. B. burgdorferi encodes greater than 19 adhesive outer surface proteins many of which have been found to bind to host cells or components of the extracellular matrix. Several others bind to host complement regulatory factors, in vitro. Production of many of these adhesive proteins is tightly regulated by environmental cues, and some have been shown to aid in vascular interactions and tissue colonization, as well as survival in the blood, in vivo. Recent work has described multifaceted and redundant roles of B. burgdorferi outer surface proteins in complement component interactions and tissue targeted adhesion and colonization, distinct from their previously identified in vitro binding capabilities. Recent insights into the multifunctional roles of previously well-characterized outer surface proteins such as BBK32, DbpA, CspA, and OspC have changed the way we think about the surface proteome of these organisms during the tick–mammal life cycle. With the combination of new and old in vivo models and in vitro techniques, the field has identified distinct ligand binding domains on BBK32 and DbpA that afford tissue colonization or blood survival to B. burgdorferi. In this review, we describe the multifunctional and redundant roles of many adhesive outer surface proteins of B. burgdorferi in tissue adhesion, colonization, and bloodstream survival that, together, promote the survival of Borrelia spp. throughout maintenance in their multi-host lifestyle. PMID:27818662

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular characterization and expression of p23 (OspC) from a North American strain of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

    We have found that sera from patients with early stages of Lyme disease contain predominant immunoglobulin M reactivity to a major 23-kDa protein (p23) from Borrelia burgdorferi 2591 isolated in Connecticut. To characterize this immunodominant antigen, we cloned and sequenced p23 and found it to be 83% identical by nucleotide sequence and 75% identical by amino acid sequenced to pC (recently renamed OspC), an abundantly expressed protein on the outer surface of PKo, a European strain of B. burgdorferi (B. Wilske, V. Preac-Mursic, S. Jauris, A. Hofmann, I. Pradel, E. Soutschek, E.Schwab, G. Will, and G. Wanner, Infect. Immun. 61:2182-2191, 1993). In addition, immunoelectron microscopy localized p23 to the outer membrane, confirming that p23 is the strain 2591 homolog of OspC. The North American strain B31, commonly used in serologic assays for Lyme disease, does not express OspC. Northern (RNA) blot analysis detected low levels of ospC mRNA in B31, and DNA sequencing of the ospC gene from B31 revealed a 54-bp deletion in the upstream regulatory region, possibly accounting for the low transcriptional activity of ospC. The ospC coding region from B31 was cloned and antibody-reactive OspC was expressed in Escherichia coli. An immunoglobulin M enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using recombinant OspC as the target antigen shows promise for the serodiagnosis of early stages of Lyme disease. Images PMID:8225587

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The multifaceted responses of primary human astrocytes and brain microvascular endothelial cells to the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Brissette, Catherine A; Kees, Eric D; Burke, Margaret M; Gaultney, Robert A; Floden, Angela M; Watt, John A

    2013-08-16

    The vector-borne pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, causes a multi-system disorder including neurological complications. These neurological disorders, collectively termed neuroborreliosis, can occur in up to 15% of untreated patients. The neurological symptoms are probably a result of a glial-driven, host inflammatory response to the bacterium. However, the specific contributions of individual glial and other support cell types to the pathogenesis of neuroborreliosis are relatively unexplored. The goal of this project was to characterize specific astrocyte and endothelial cell responses to B. burgdorferi. Primary human astrocytes and primary HBMEC (human brain microvascular endothelial cells) were incubated with B. burgdorferi over a 72-h period and the transcriptional responses to the bacterium were analyzed by real-time PCR arrays. There was a robust increase in several surveyed chemokine and related genes, including IL (interleukin)-8, for both primary astrocytes and HBMEC. Array results were confirmed with individual sets of PCR primers. The production of specific chemokines by both astrocytes and HBMEC in response to B. burgdorferi, including IL-8, CXCL-1, and CXCL-10, were confirmed by ELISA. These results demonstrate that primary astrocytes and HBMEC respond to virulent B. burgdorferi by producing a number of chemokines. These data suggest that infiltrating phagocytic cells, particularly neutrophils, attracted by chemokines expressed at the BBB (blood-brain barrier) may be important contributors to the early inflammatory events associated with neuroborreliosis.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. [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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Failure of Topical Antibiotics to Prevent Disseminated Borrelia burgdorferi Infection Following a Tick Bite in C3H/HeJ Mice

    PubMed Central

    Daniels, Thomas J.; Bittker, Susan; Cooper, Denise; Wang, Guiqing; Pavia, Charles S.

    2012-01-01

    A prior study in mice has shown that the timely application of topical antibiotics to the skin at the tick bite site could eradicate Borrelia burgdorferi infection. That study, however, did not evaluate antibiotic preparations that are considered suitable for use in humans. In this murine study, topical application of 2% erythromycin and 3% tetracycline preparations that are acceptable for use in humans was found to be ineffective in eliminating B. burgdorferi from the tick bite site or in preventing dissemination to other tissues. Reasons for the discrepant findings are discussed. PMID:21930606

  6. 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

  7. Minimal role of eastern fence lizards in Borrelia burgdorferi transmission in central New Jersey oak/pine woodlands.

    PubMed

    Rulison, Eric L; Kerr, Kaetlyn T; Dyer, Megan C; Han, Seungeun; Burke, Russell L; Tsao, Jean I; Ginsberg, Howard S

    2014-10-01

    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 (prevalence = 0.087, n = 23) compared to that on white-footed mice and other small mammals (prevalence = 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Comparison of Five Diagnostic Modalities for Direct Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi in Patients with Early Lyme Disease

    PubMed Central

    Liveris, Dionysios; Schwartz, Ira; McKenna, Donna; Nowakowski, John; Nadelman, Robert; DeMarco, Joseph; Iyer, Radha; Bittker, Susan; Cooper, Denise; Holmgren, Diane; Wormser, Gary P.

    2012-01-01

    Lyme disease, the most commonly reported tick-borne infection in North America, is caused by infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Although an accurate clinical diagnosis can often be made based on the presence of erythema migrans, in research studies microbiologic or molecular microbiologic confirmation of the diagnosis may be required. In this study, we evaluated the sensitivity of five direct diagnostic methods (culture and nested PCR of a 2 mm skin biopsy specimen, nested PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR) performed on the same 1 mL aliquot of plasma and a novel qPCR-blood culture method) in 66 untreated adult patients with erythema migrans. One or more these tests were positive in 93.9% of the patients. Culture was more sensitive than PCR for both skin and blood, but the difference was only statistically significant for blood samples (p< 0.005). Blood culture was significantly more likely to be positive in patients with multiple erythema migrans skin lesions compared to those with a single lesion (p=0.001). Positive test results among the 48 patients for whom all five assays were performed invariably included either a positive blood or skin culture. The results of this study demonstrate that direct detection methods such as PCR and culture are highly sensitive in untreated adult patients with erythema migrans. This enabled microbiologic or molecular microbiologic confirmation of the diagnosis of B. burgdorferi infection in all but four (6.1%) of the 66 patients evaluated. PMID:22571973

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Efficacy of sarolaner in the prevention of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum transmission from infected Ixodes scapularis to dogs.

    PubMed

    Honsberger, Nicole A; Six, Robert H; Heinz, Thomas J; Weber, Angela; Mahabir, Sean P; Berg, Thomas C

    2016-05-30

    The efficacy of sarolaner (Simparica™, Zoetis) to prevent transmission primarily of Borrelia burgdorferi and secondarily of Anaplasma phagocytophilum from infected wild-caught Ixodes scapularis to dogs was evaluated in a placebo-controlled laboratory study. Twenty-four purpose-bred laboratory Beagles seronegative for B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum antibodies were allocated randomly to one of three treatment groups: placebo administered orally on Days 0 and 7, or sarolaner at 2mg/kg administered orally on Day 0 (28 days prior to tick infestation) or on Day 7 (21 days prior to tick infestation). On Day 28, each dog was infested with approximately 25 female and 25 male wild caught adult I. scapularis that were determined to have prevalence of 57% for B. burgdorferi and 6.7% for A. phagocytophilum by PCR. In situ tick counts were conducted on Days 29 and 30. On Day 33, all ticks were counted and removed. Acaricidal efficacy was calculated based on the reduction of geometric mean live tick counts in the sarolaner-treated groups compared to the placebo-treated group for each tick count. Blood samples collected from each dog on Days 27, 49, 63, 77, 91 and 104 were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum antibodies using the SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) Plus Test, and quantitatively assayed for B. burgdorferi antibodies using an ELISA test. Skin biopsies collected on Day 104 were tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi by bacterial culture and PCR. Geometric mean live tick counts for placebo-treated dogs were 14.8, 12.8, and 19.1 on Days 29, 30, and 33, respectively. The percent reductions in mean live tick counts at 1, 2, and 5 days after infestation were 86.3%, 100%, and 100% for the group treated with sarolaner 21 days prior to infestation, and 90.9%, 97.1%, and 100% for the group treated with sarolaner 28 days prior to infestation. Geometric mean live tick counts for both sarolaner-treated groups were significantly lower than those for the

  13. Borrelia burgdorferi migrates into joint capsules and causes an up-regulation of interleukin-8 in synovial membranes of dogs experimentally infected with ticks.

    PubMed Central

    Straubinger, R K; Straubinger, A F; Härter, L; Jacobson, R H; Chang, Y F; Summers, B A; Erb, H N; Appel, M J

    1997-01-01

    Twenty 6-week-old specific-pathogen-free beagles were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by tick challenge, and five uninfected dogs served as controls. During the study, all dogs were monitored for infection, clinical signs, and antibody response against B. burgdorferi. During episodes of lameness or postmortem, synovial fluids from each dog were examined for volume, cell number, polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) content, cell viability, and chemotactic activity. Twenty-five tissues collected postmortem from each dog were tested for interleukin-8 (IL-8) mRNA, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA, presence of live spirochetes, and histopathological changes. Thirteen infected dogs (group A), which seroconverted rapidly (maximum titers within 50 to 90 days), developed acute and severe mono- or oligoarthritis almost exclusively in the limb closest to the tick bite (median incubation period, 66 days). Synovial fluids of the arthritic joints collected during episodes of lameness had significantly elevated volume, cell count, PMN proportion, cell viability, and chemotactic activity for PMNs. The remaining joints of the same animals contained synovial fluids with elevated chemotactic activity and cell viability. Twelve dogs tested positive for IL-8 mRNA in multiple tissues (synovia, pericardium, and peritoneum), and 10 dogs expressed TNF-alpha mRNA, but only in the tributary lymph nodes of the inflamed joints. Histological examinations revealed severe poly- or oligoarthritis and moderate to severe cortical hyperplasia in draining lymph nodes of the inflamed joints in all 13 dogs. Seven infected dogs with mild or no clinical signs (group B) seroconverted slowly (peak titers after 90 days), and only some joint fluids showed chemotactic activity, which on average was lower than that in inflamed and noninflamed joints from dogs in group A. Four dogs expressed IL-8 mRNA (in the synovia and pericardium), and three dogs had TNF-alpha mRNA in tributary lymph nodes

  14. Serologic surveillance for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Minnesota by using white-tailed deer as sentinel animals.

    PubMed Central

    Gill, J S; McLean, R G; Shriner, R B; Johnson, R C

    1994-01-01

    To determine the effectiveness of white-tailed deer as sentinel animals in serologic surveillance programs for Borrelia burgdorferi, we performed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western immunoblotting analyses on 467 deer serum samples. The seropositivity rate in the ELISA was 5% for the 150 samples collected at the three sites in which the tick Ixodes scapularis was absent. The three sites with established I. scapularis populations had a seropositivity rate of 80% for 317 samples. Results were similar for two closely situated sites, one with an established I. scapularis population and one without; these sites were only 15 km apart. Rates of seropositivity were significantly higher in yearling and adult deer than in fawns. The mean numbers of bands seen on Western immunoblots were 3.0 for samples negative in the ELISA and 13.8 for samples positive in the ELISA; all of these samples were collected from sites in which I. scapularis was established. At sites in which I. scapularis was absent, the mean numbers of bands seen were 1.6 for samples negative in the ELISA and 8.2 for samples positive in the ELISA. There were 14 different B. burgdorferi antigens that reacted with more than 50% of the ELISA-positive samples from areas with I. scapularis. A 19.5-kDa antigen reacted with 94% of the ELISA-positive samples. Reactivity against OspA and OspB was weak a infrequent (2%). Serologic analysis of white-tailed deer sera appears to be an accurate and sensitive surveillance method for determining whether B. burgdorferi is present in specific geographic locations. Images PMID:8150955

  15. Canine infection with Dirofilaria immitis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma spp., and Ehrlichia spp. in the United States, 2010–2012

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The geographic distribution of canine infection with vector-borne disease agents in the United States appears to be expanding. Methods To provide an updated assessment of geographic trends in canine infection with Dirofilaria immitis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia spp., and Anaplasma spp., we evaluated results from an average of 3,588,477 dogs tested annually by veterinarians throughout the United States from 2010 – 2012. Results As in an earlier summary report, the percent positive test results varied by agent and region, with antigen of D. immitis and antibody to Ehrlichia spp. most commonly identified in the Southeast (2.9% and 3.2%, respectively) and antibody to both B. burgdorferi and Anaplasma spp. most commonly identified in the Northeast (13.3% and 7.1%, respectively) and upper Midwest (4.4% and 3.9%, respectively). Percent positive test results for D. immitis antigen were lower in every region considered, including in the Southeast, than previously reported. Percent positive test results for antibodies to B. burgdorferi and Ehrlichia spp. were higher nationally than previously reported, and, for antibodies to Anaplasma spp., were higher in the Northeast but lower in the Midwest and West, than in the initial report. Annual reports of human cases of Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis were associated with percent positive canine test results by state for each respective tick-borne disease agent (R2 = 0.701, 0.457, and 0.314, respectively). Within endemic areas, percent positive test results for all three tick-borne agents demonstrated evidence of geographic expansion. Conclusions Continued national monitoring of canine test results for vector-borne zoonotic agents is an important tool for accurately mapping the geographic distribution of these agents, and greatly aids our understanding of the veterinary and public health threats they pose. PMID:24886589

  16. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection in larval Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) feeding on blackbirds in northwestern Italy.

    PubMed

    Mannelli, Alessandro; Nebbia, Patrizia; Tramuta, Clara; Grego, Elena; Tomassone, Laura; Ainardi, Romina; Venturini, Lucia; De Meneghi, Daniele; Meneguz, Pier Giuseppe

    2005-03-01

    Birds belonging to 59 species (n = 1,206) were live captured in Piemonte, northwestern Italy, in 2001. Ixodes ricinus (L.) larvae were collected from 59 birds belonging to nine species, and nymphs were recovered on 79 birds belonging to 10 species. Eurasian blackbirds, Turdus merula L., had significantly higher levels of infestation by ticks than other passerine species. Larval I. ricinus of blackbirds peaked in summer, when prevalence was 39% (95% confidence interval 24.2-55.5) and mean number of ticks per host was 3.3 (1.6-7.2), whereas nymphs peaked in spring, when prevalence was 72.2% (54.8-85.8) and mean number of ticks per host was 6.9 (4.4-10.7). Immature I. ricinus were coincidentally aggregated on blackbirds, with 15 blackbirds feeding 67.4% of nymphs and 40.3% of larvae, and coinfestation by both stages was relatively high in summer: Kappa = 0.64 (0.40-0.88). Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 58.3% (35.9-78.5) of larvae with engorgement ratio > or = 3 that were collected from blackbirds. Larvae that were collected from other passerine species gave negative PCR results. Sixteen of 21 PCR-positive samples belonged to B. garinii (76.2%), and five (23.8%) were Borrelia valaisiana. Results of this study suggest that blackbirds play an important role as hosts for immature I. ricinus and as reservoir of Borrelia garinii in northwestern Italy.

  17. Prevalence Rates of Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae), and Babesia microti (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae) in Host-Seeking Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, M L; Strohecker, M D; Simmons, T W; Kyle, A D; Helwig, M W

    2015-07-01

    The etiological agents responsible for Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), human granulocytic anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), and babesiosis (Babesia microti) are primarily transmitted by the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say. Despite Pennsylvania having in recent years reported the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the United States, relatively little is known regarding the geographic distribution of the vector and its pathogens in the state. Previous attempts at climate-based predictive modeling of I. scapularis occurrence have not coincided with the high human incidence rates in parts of the state. To elucidate the distribution and pathogen infection rates of I. scapularis, we collected and tested 1,855 adult ticks statewide from 2012 to 2014. The presence of I. scapularis and B. burgdorferi was confirmed from all 67 Pennsylvania counties. Analyses were performed on 1,363 ticks collected in the fall of 2013 to avoid temporal bias across years. Infection rates were highest for B. burgdorferi (47.4%), followed by Ba. microti (3.5%) and A. phagocytophilum (3.3%). Coinfections included B. burgdorferi+Ba. microti (2.0%), B. burgdorferi+A. phagocytophilum (1.5%) and one tick positive for A. phagocytophilum+Ba. microti. Infection rates for B. burgdorferi were lower in the western region of the state. Our findings substantiate that Lyme disease risk is high throughout Pennsylvania.

  18. 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.

  19. Determination of Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi IgG in Adult Population Living in Trabzon

    PubMed Central

    Cora, Merve; Kaklıkkaya, Neşe; Topbaş, Murat; Çan, Gamze; Yavuzyılmaz, Asuman; Tosun, İlknur; Aydın, Faruk

    2017-01-01

    Background: Lyme borreliosis is a tick-borne, multi-systemic infectious disease that is thought to be wide spread in Turkey even though studies on its seroprevalence are limited. Aims: To determine the seroprevalence of Lyme borreliosis in part of north-eastern Tur-key (in the city of Trabzon), and to identify possible relationships between seropositivity and various factors such as location, gender, age group, occupation, income, and educational level. Study Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study. Methods: A total of 884 blood samples collected from provincial and district health centers serving a population of about 800,000 were included in this study. ELISA was used to determine the anti-Borrelia IgG antibody levels in the samples. Samples that yielded positive results by ELISA were further subjected to western blot (WB). Results: IgG antibodies were found in 128 samples (14.5%). Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between age groups and educational levels in terms of the incidence of seropositivity, whereas location, gender, occupational group and income level had no effect (p<0.001, p<0.001, p=0.948, p=0.645, p=0.131, p=0.080 respectively). Conclusions: The risk of contracting Lyme borreliosis in Trabzon is high, and necessary measures need to be taken to avoid the spread of disease. PMID:28251023

  20. Molecular characterization of a large Borrelia burgdorferi motility operon which is initiated by a consensus sigma70 promoter.

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Y; Old, I G; Saint Girons, I; Charon, N W

    1997-01-01

    A large motility operon, referred to as the flgB operon, was identified, characterized, and mapped at 310 to 320 kb on the linear chromosome of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. This is the first report that a sigma70-like promoter rather than a sigma28-like promoter is involved in the transcription of a major motility operon in bacteria. From these results in conjunction with results from a previous study (Y. Ge and N. W. Charon, Gene, in press), we have identified 26 genes in this operon that are relevant to motility and flagellar synthesis. With few exceptions, the gene order and deduced gene products were most similar to those of other spirochetes and Bacillus subtilis. Primer extension analysis indicated that transcription initiated from a conserved sigma70-like promoter immediately upstream of flgB; this promoter mapped within the heat-shock-induced protease gene hslU. Reverse transcriptase PCR analysis indicated that a single transcript of 21 kb initiated at this promoter and extended through flgE and (with our previous results) onto the putative motility gene flbE. The flgB promoter element had strong activity in both Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. As expected, a mutant of S. typhimurium with an inactivated flagellum-specific sigma28 factor did not affect the function of this promoter. Western blot analysis indicated that B. burgdorferi recombinant FliG and FliI were antigenically similar to those of E. coli and other spirochetes. Although complementation of E. coli or S. typhimurium fliG or fliI mutants with the B. burgdorferi genes was unsuccessful, B. burgdorferi recombinant FliI completely inhibited flagellar synthesis and motility of wild-type E. coli and S. typhimurium. These results show that spirochete motility genes can influence flagellar synthesis in other species of bacteria. Finally, Western blot analysis with sera from infected humans and animals indicated a weak or nondetectable response to recombinant FliG and FliI. These

  1. Effect of RpoN, RpoS and LuxS Pathways on the Biofilm Formation and Antibiotic Sensitivity of Borrelia Burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Sapi, Eva; Theophilus, Priyanka A. S.; Pham, Truc V.; Burugu, Divya; Luecke, David F.

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is capable of forming biofilm in vivo and in vitro, a structure well known for its resistance to antimicrobial agents. For the formation of biofilm, signaling processes are required to communicate with the surrounding environment such as it was shown for the RpoN–RpoS alternative sigma factor and for the LuxS quorum-sensing pathways. Therefore, in this study, the wild-type B. burgdorferi and different mutant strains lacking RpoN, RpoS, and LuxS genes were studied for their growth characteristic and development of biofilm structures and markers as well as for their antibiotic sensitivity. Our results showed that all three mutants formed small, loosely formed aggregates, which expressed previously identified Borrelia biofilm markers such as alginate, extracellular DNA, and calcium. All three mutants had significantly different sensitivity to doxycyline in the early log phase spirochete cultures; however, in the biofilm rich stationary cultures, only LuxS mutant showed increased sensitivity to doxycyline compared to the wild-type strain. Our findings indicate that all three mutants have some effect on Borrelia biofilm, but the most dramatic effect was found with LuxS mutant, suggesting that the quorum-sensing pathway plays an important role of Borrelia biofilm formation and antibiotic sensitivity. PMID:27980856

  2. First Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in Serum of the Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) in Northern Portugal by Nested-PCR.

    PubMed

    Faria, Ana S; Paiva-Cardoso, Maria das Neves; Nunes, Mónica; Carreira, Teresa; Vale-Gonçalves, Hélia M; Veloso, Octávia; Coelho, Catarina; Cabral, João A; Vieira-Pinto, Madalena; Vieira, Maria L

    2015-03-01

    Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne zoonosis in the northern hemisphere. Several vertebrates are crucial in the epidemiological cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, but the role of wild boar as a reservoir is still unknown. Sera were collected from 90 wild boars shot in the Trás-os-Montes region, Northern Portugal (hunting season 2011/2012). In this study, Borrelia DNA was detected for the first time by nested-PCR in three different sera, suggesting that the wild boar may be a potential reservoir for this spirochete. Sequencing results show 100% similarity with Borrelia afzelii. Further studies are needed to evaluate the public health risks associated with boar hunting.

  3. Treatment with Doxycycline of Generalized Annular Elastolytic Giant Cell Granuloma Associated with Borrelia burgdorferi Infection

    PubMed Central

    Tas, B; Caglar, A; Ozdemir, B

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT This is a case of generalized annular elastolytic giant cell granuloma (AEGCG) associated with borrelia infection and genes of p-30, p-31, p-39. A possible cross-mediated reaction from the T-cell type which might have induced the AEGCG is discussed from the concept of “heat-shock proteins (HSPs) and molecular mimicry”. PMID:26624605

  4. Outer Surface Protein C Peptide Derived from Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto as a Target for Serodiagnosis of Early Lyme Disease

    PubMed Central

    Arnaboldi, Paul M.; Seedarnee, Rudra; Sambir, Mariya; Callister, Steven M.; Imparato, Josephine A.

    2013-01-01

    Current serodiagnostic assays for Lyme disease are inadequate at detecting early infection due to poor sensitivity and nonspecificity that arise from the use of whole bacteria or bacterial proteins as assay targets; both targets contain epitopes that are cross-reactive with epitopes found in antigens of other bacterial species. Tests utilizing peptides that contain individual epitopes highly specific for Borrelia burgdorferi as diagnostic targets are an attractive alternative to current assays. Using an overlapping peptide library, we mapped linear epitopes in OspC, a critical virulence factor of B. burgdorferi required for mammalian infection, and confirmed the results by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We identified a highly conserved 20-amino-acid peptide epitope, OspC1. Via ELISA, OspC1 detected specific IgM and/or IgG in 60 of 98 serum samples (62.1%) obtained from patients with erythema migrans (early Lyme disease) at the time of their initial presentation. By comparison, the commercially available OspC peptide PepC10 detected antibody in only 48 of 98 serum samples (49.0%). In addition, OspC1 generated fewer false-positive results among negative healthy and diseased (rheumatoid arthritis and positive Rapid Plasma Reagin [RPR+] test result) control populations than did PepC10. Both highly specific and more sensitive than currently available OspC peptides, OspC1 could have value as a component of a multipeptide Lyme disease serological assay with significantly improved capabilities for the diagnosis of early infection. PMID:23365204

  5. Abundance of Ixodes ricinus and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in the nature reserve Siebengebirge, Germany, in comparison to three former studies from 1978 onwards

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background During the last decades, population densities of Ixodes ricinus and prevalences of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. have increased in different regions in Europe. In the present study, we determined tick abundance and the prevalence of different Borrelia genospecies in ticks from three sites in the Siebengebirge, Germany, which were already examined in the years 1987, 1989, 2001 and 2003. Data from all investigations were compared. Methods In 2007 and 2008, host-seeking I. ricinus were collected by monthly blanket dragging at three distinct vegetation sites in the Siebengebirge, a nature reserve and a well visited local recreation area near Bonn, Germany. In both years, 702 ticks were tested for B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA by nested PCR, and 249 tick samples positive for Borrelia were further genotyped by reverse line blotting. Results A total of 1046 and 1591 I. ricinus were collected in 2007 and 2008, respectively. In comparison to previous studies at these sites, the densities at all sites increased from 1987/89 and/or from 2003 until 2008. Tick densities and Borrelia prevalences in 2007 and 2008, respectively, were not correlated for all sites and both years. Overall, Borrelia prevalence of all ticks decreased significantly from 2007 (19.5%) to 2008 (16.5%), thus reaching the same level as in 2001 two times higher than in 1987/89 (7.6%). Since 2001, single infections with a Borrelia genospecies predominated in all collections, but the number of multiple infections increased, and in 2007, for the first time, triple Borrelia infections occurred. Prevalences of Borrelia genospecies differed considerably between the three sites, but B. garinii or B. afzelii were always the most dominant genospecies. B. lusitaniae was detected for the first time in the Siebengebirge, also in co-infections with B. garinii or B. valaisiana. Conclusions Over the last two centuries tick densities have changed in the Siebengebirge at sites that remained unchanged by human activity since

  6. Function of the Borrelia burgdorferi FtsH Homolog Is Essential for Viability both In Vitro and In Vivo and Independent of HflK/C

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Chen-Yi; Bestor, Aaron; Hansen, Bryan; Lin, Tao; Gao, Lihui; Rosa, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT In many bacteria, the FtsH protease and its modulators, HflK and HflC, form a large protein complex that contributes to both membrane protein quality control and regulation of the cellular response to environmental stress. Both activities are crucial to the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi, which depends on membrane functions, such as motility, protein transport, and cell signaling, to respond to rapid changes in its environment. Using an inducible system, we demonstrate that FtsH production is essential for both mouse and tick infectivity and for in vitro growth of B. burgdorferi. FtsH depletion in B. burgdorferi cells resulted in membrane deformation and cell death. Overproduction of the protease did not have any detectable adverse effects on B. burgdorferi growth in vitro, suggesting that excess FtsH does not proteolytically overwhelm its substrates. In contrast, we did not observe any phenotype for cells lacking the protease modulators HflK and HflC (ΔHflK/C), although we examined morphology, growth rate, growth under stress conditions, and the complete mouse-tick infectious cycle. Our results demonstrate that FtsH provides an essential function in the life cycle of the obligate pathogen B. burgdorferi but that HflK and HflC do not detectably affect FtsH function. PMID:27094329

  7. Drug Combinations against Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters In Vitro: Eradication Achieved by Using Daptomycin, Cefoperazone and Doxycycline

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jie; Auwaerter, Paul G.; Zhang, Ying

    2015-01-01

    Although most Lyme disease patients can be cured with antibiotics doxycycline or amoxicillin using 2-4 week treatment durations, some patients suffer from persistent arthritis or post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Why these phenomena occur is unclear, but possibilities include host responses, antigenic debris, or B. burgdorferi organisms remaining despite antibiotic therapy. In vitro, B. burgdorferi developed increasing antibiotic tolerance as morphology changed from typical spirochetal form in log phase growth to variant round body and microcolony forms in stationary phase. B. burgdorferi appeared to have higher persister frequencies than E. coli as a control as measured by SYBR Green I/propidium iodide (PI) viability stain and microscope counting. To more effectively eradicate the different persister forms tolerant to doxycycline or amoxicillin, drug combinations were studied using previously identified drugs from an FDA-approved drug library with high activity against such persisters. Using a SYBR Green/PI viability assay, daptomycin-containing drug combinations were the most effective. Of studied drugs, daptomycin was the common element in the most active regimens when combined with doxycycline plus either beta-lactams (cefoperazone or carbenicillin) or an energy inhibitor (clofazimine). Daptomycin plus doxycycline and cefoperazone eradicated the most resistant microcolony form of B. burgdorferi persisters and did not yield viable spirochetes upon subculturing, suggesting durable killing that was not achieved by any other two or three drug combinations. These findings may have implications for improved treatment of Lyme disease, if persistent organisms or detritus are responsible for symptoms that do not resolve with conventional therapy. Further studies are needed to validate whether such combination antimicrobial approaches are useful in animal models and human infection. PMID:25806811

  8. Motor Rotation Is Essential for the Formation of the Periplasmic Flagellar Ribbon, Cellular Morphology, and Borrelia burgdorferi Persistence within Ixodes scapularis Tick and Murine Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Syed Z.; Sekar, Padmapriya; Zhao, Xiaowei; Manne, Akarsh; Liu, Jun; Wooten, R. Mark

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi must migrate within and between its arthropod and mammalian hosts in order to complete its natural enzootic cycle. During tick feeding, the spirochete transmits from the tick to the host dermis, eventually colonizing and persisting within multiple, distant tissues. This dissemination modality suggests that flagellar motor rotation and, by extension, motility are crucial for infection. We recently reported that a nonmotile flaB mutant that lacks periplasmic flagella is rod shaped and unable to infect mice by needle or tick bite. However, those studies could not differentiate whether motor rotation or merely the possession of the periplasmic flagella was crucial for cellular morphology and host persistence. Here, we constructed and characterized a motB mutant that is nonmotile but retains its periplasmic flagella. Even though ΔmotB bacteria assembled flagella, part of the mutant cell is rod shaped. Cryoelectron tomography revealed that the flagellar ribbons are distorted in the mutant cells, indicating that motor rotation is essential for spirochetal flat-wave morphology. The ΔmotB cells are unable to infect mice, survive in the vector, or migrate out of the tick. Coinfection studies determined that the presence of these nonmotile ΔmotB cells has no effect on the clearance of wild-type spirochetes during murine infection and vice versa. Together, our data demonstrate that while flagellar motor rotation is necessary for spirochetal morphology and motility, the periplasmic flagella display no additional properties related to immune clearance and persistence within relevant hosts. PMID:25690096

  9. Genetic Variability within Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Genospecies Established by PCR-Single-Strand Conformation Polymorphism Analysis of the rrfA-rrlB Intergenic Spacer in Ixodes ricinus Ticks from the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Derdáková, Markéta; Beati, Lorenza; Pet'ko, Branislav; Stanko, Michal; Fish, Durland

    2003-01-01

    In Europe the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex is represented by five distinct genospecies: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, and Borrelia lusitaniae. These taxonomic entities are known to differ in their specific associations with vertebrate hosts and to provoke distinct clinical manifestations in human patients. However, exceptions to these rules have often been observed, indicating that strains belonging to a single genospecies may be more heterogeneous than expected. It is, therefore, important to develop alternative identification tools which are able to distinguish Borrelia strains not only at the specific level but also at the intraspecific level. DNA from a sample of 370 Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in the Czech Republic was analyzed by PCR for the presence of a ∼230-bp fragment of the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer of Borrelia spp. A total of 20.5% of the ticks were found to be positive. The infecting genospecies were identified by analyzing the amplified products by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method with restriction enzyme MseI and by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The two methods were compared, and PCR-SSCP analysis appeared to be a valuable tool for rapid identification of spirochetes at the intraspecific level, particularly when large samples are examined. Furthermore, by using PCR-SSCP analysis we identified a previously unknown Borrelia genotype, genotype I-77, which would have gone unnoticed if RFLP analysis alone had been used. PMID:12514035

  10. Genetic variability within Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies established by PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer in ixodes ricinus ticks from the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Derdáková, Markéta; Beati, Lorenza; Pet'ko, Branislav; Stanko, Michal; Fish, Durland

    2003-01-01

    In Europe the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex is represented by five distinct genospecies: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, and Borrelia lusitaniae. These taxonomic entities are known to differ in their specific associations with vertebrate hosts and to provoke distinct clinical manifestations in human patients. However, exceptions to these rules have often been observed, indicating that strains belonging to a single genospecies may be more heterogeneous than expected. It is, therefore, important to develop alternative identification tools which are able to distinguish Borrelia strains not only at the specific level but also at the intraspecific level. DNA from a sample of 370 Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in the Czech Republic was analyzed by PCR for the presence of a approximately 230-bp fragment of the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer of Borrelia spp. A total of 20.5% of the ticks were found to be positive. The infecting genospecies were identified by analyzing the amplified products by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method with restriction enzyme MseI and by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The two methods were compared, and PCR-SSCP analysis appeared to be a valuable tool for rapid identification of spirochetes at the intraspecific level, particularly when large samples are examined. Furthermore, by using PCR-SSCP analysis we identified a previously unknown Borrelia genotype, genotype I-77, which would have gone unnoticed if RFLP analysis alone had been used.

  11. Correlation of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Prevalence in Questing Ixodes ricinus Ticks with Specific Abiotic Traits in the Western Palearctic▿†

    PubMed Central

    Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Ortega, Carmelo; Sánchez, Nely; DeSimone, Lorenzo; Sudre, Bertrand; Suk, Jonathan E.; Semenza, Jan C.

    2011-01-01

    This meta-analysis of reports examining ticks throughout the Western Palearctic region indicates a distinct geographic pattern for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato prevalence in questing nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks. The greatest prevalence was reported between the 5°E and 25°E longitudes based on an analysis of 123 collection points with 37,940 nymphal tick specimens (87.43% of total nymphs; 56.35% of total ticks in the set of reports over the target area). Climatic traits, such as temperature and vegetation stress, and their seasonality correlated with Borrelia prevalence in questing ticks. The greatest prevalence was associated with mild winter, high summer, and low seasonal amplitude of temperatures within the range of the tick vector, higher vegetation indices in the May-June period, and well-connected vegetation patches below a threshold at which rates suddenly drop. Classification of the target territory using a qualitative risk index derived from the abiotic variables produced an indicator of the probability of finding infected ticks in the Western Palearctic region. No specific temporal trends were detected in the reported prevalence. The ranges of the different B. burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies showed a pattern of high biodiversity between 4°W and 20°E, partially overlapping the area of highest prevalence in ticks. Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are the dominant species in central Europe (east of ∼25°E), but B. garinii may appear alone at southern latitudes and Borrelia lusitaniae is the main indicator species for meridional territories. PMID:21498767

  12. Serological reactivity to Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Neorickettsia risticii, Borrelia burgdorferi and Rickettsia conorii in dogs from northwestern Spain.

    PubMed

    Amusategui, Inmaculada; Tesouro, Miguel A; Kakoma, Ibulaimu; Sainz, Angel

    2008-12-01

    The aim of the present work was to investigate the seroprevalence against Ehrlichia canis (Ec), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Ap), Neorickettsia risticii (Nr), Rickettsia conorii (Rc), and Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) in two different clusters of canine samples from Northwestern Spain. Cluster 1 included 479 dogs presented at veterinary clinics located in Ourense and Pontevedra. Cluster II included 170 dogs from the public kennel of Ourense. All 649 canine serum samples were analyzed by immunofluorescent antibody test. Prevalences against the above-mentioned agents in cluster I were: Rc (24.6%), Bb (6.26%), Ec (3.13%), Ap (5.01%), and Nr (1.04%), whereas for cluster II were: Rc (50%), Bb (8.8%), Ec (54.7%), Ap (45.3%), and Nr (4.7%). Rc was significantly associated with age and history of exposure to ticks, and Bb showed a statistical relationship with age and clinical status. Ec and Ap were related to the occupation of the dogs, with stray dogs being the most frequently seropositive. Furthermore, seroreactivity against Ec and Ap was significantly higher in Ourense than in Pontevedra. The univariate analysis demonstrated a significant concomitant seroreactivity between Ec and Ap and between Rc and Ec and Ap antigens. The seroreactivity to Nr must be interpreted very cautiously as this infectious agent has been seldom reported outside North America.

  13. Growth inhibiting activity of volatile oil from Cistus creticus L. against Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. in vitro.

    PubMed

    Hutschenreuther, A; Birkemeyer, C; Grötzinger, K; Straubinger, R K; Rauwald, H W

    2010-04-01

    Borreliosis patients from self-help groups reported considerable pain relief after ingestion of Cistus creticus leaf preparations. C. creticus leaf extracts of different polarities such as aqueous, ethyl acetate, hexane extracts as well as the volatile oil fraction obtained by steam distillation were tested for their antibacterial activity against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (Bbss) in vitro using the antibiotic amoxicilline as standard and polysorbate 80 as solubilizer for lipophilic extracts. Comparison of the four plant preparations shows that the volatile oil exerts the strongest growth inhibitory effect. Even concentrations of 0.02% (w/v) volatile oil in cultivation media reduced the total number of bacteria to 2% in comparison to a growth control after an eight-day cultivation period. While the aqueous extract did not reduce bacterial growth, incubation with hexane and ethyl acetate extracts clearly inhibited microbial growth. The main volatile components of the three active extracts tested were analyzed by GC-MS. The number of different labdane-type diterpenes as well as the total relative amount of diterpenes in the samples tested was highest in the essential oil of C. creticus. Identification of ten different volatile labdane-type diterpenes was assigned to the essential oil of C. creticus. Among these, manoyl oxide, 13-epi-manoyl oxide, 3-acetoxy-manoyl oxide and the monoterpene carvacrol were determined to be major constituents, accompanied by minor amounts of 3-hydroxy-manoyl oxide, all of which are known to exert antimicrobial activity.

  14. MicroRNA and mRNA Transcriptome Profiling in Primary Human Astrocytes Infected with Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Perley, Danielle; Blake, Emily; Jokinen, Bradley; Abbas, Ata; Nechaev, Sergei; Watt, John A.; Dhasarathy, Archana; Brissette, Catherine A.

    2017-01-01

    Lyme disease is caused by infection with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), which is transmitted to humans by deer ticks. The infection manifests usually as a rash and minor systemic symptoms; however, the bacteria can spread to other tissues, causing joint pain, carditis, and neurological symptoms. Lyme neuroborreliosis presents itself in several ways, such as Bell’s palsy, meningitis, and encephalitis. The molecular basis for neuroborreliosis is poorly understood. Analysis of the changes in the expression levels of messenger RNAs and non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs, following Bb infection could therefore provide vital information on the pathogenesis and clinical symptoms of neuroborreliosis. To this end, we used cultured primary human astrocytes, key responders to CNS infection and important components of the blood-brain barrier, as a model system to study RNA and microRNA changes in the CNS caused by Bb. Using whole transcriptome RNA-seq, we found significant changes in 38 microRNAs and 275 mRNAs at 24 and 48 hours following Bb infection. Several of the RNA changes affect pathways involved in immune response, development, chromatin assembly (including histones) and cell adhesion. Further, several of the microRNA predicted target mRNAs were also differentially regulated. Overall, our results indicate that exposure to Bb causes significant changes to the transcriptome and microRNA profile of astrocytes, which has implications in the pathogenesis, and hence potential treatment strategies to combat this disease. PMID:28135303

  15. Borrelia burgdorferi RevA Significantly Affects Pathogenicity and Host Response in the Mouse Model of Lyme Disease

    PubMed Central

    Byram, Rebecca; Gaultney, Robert A.; Floden, Angela M.; Hellekson, Christopher; Stone, Brandee L.; Bowman, Amy; Stevenson, Brian; Johnson, Barbara J. B.

    2015-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, expresses RevA and numerous outer surface lipoproteins during mammalian infection. As an adhesin that promotes bacterial interaction with fibronectin, RevA is poised to interact with the extracellular matrix of the host. To further define the role(s) of RevA during mammalian infection, we created a mutant that is unable to produce RevA. The mutant was still infectious to mice, although it was significantly less well able to infect cardiac tissues. Complementation of the mutant with a wild-type revA gene restored heart infectivity to wild-type levels. Additionally, revA mutants led to increased evidence of arthritis, with increased fibrotic collagen deposition in tibiotarsal joints. The mutants also induced increased levels of the chemokine CCL2, a monocyte chemoattractant, in serum, and this increase was abolished in the complemented strain. Therefore, while revA is not absolutely essential for infection, deletion of revA had distinct effects on dissemination, arthritis severity, and host response. PMID:26150536

  16. Infections and mixed infections with the selected species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in eastern Poland: a significant increase in the course of 5 years.

    PubMed

    Wójcik-Fatla, Angelina; Zając, Violetta; Sawczyn, Anna; Sroka, Jacek; Cisak, Ewa; Dutkiewicz, Jacek

    2016-02-01

    In the years 2008-2009 and 2013-2014, 1620 and 1500 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks, respectively, were examined on the territory of the Lublin province (eastern Poland). The presence of three pathogenic species causing Lyme disease was investigated: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii and B. garinii. The proportion of I. ricinus ticks infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato showed a highly significant increase between 2008-2009 and 2013-2014, from 6.0 to 15.3%. A significant increase was noted with regard to all types of infections with individual species: single (4.7-7.8%), dual (1.2-6.6%), and triple (0.1-0.9%). When expressed as the percent of all infections, the frequency of mixed infections increased from 21.4 to 49.2%. Statistical analysis performed with two methods (by calculating of odds ratios and by Fisher's exact test) showed that the frequencies of mixed infections in most cases proved to be significantly greater than expected. The strongest associations were found between B. burgdorferi s. s. and B. afzelii, and between B. burgdorferi s. s. and B. garinii. They appeared to be highly significant (P < 0.0001) when assessed by two methods for 2013-2014, and for the sum of findings for both time periods. The proportions of the individual species detected in the mixed infections in 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 revealed highly significant increases for B. burgdorferi s. s. and B. garinii (from 33.9 to 71.1% and from 18.2 to 82.9%, respectively), and an insignificant decrease for B. afzelii (from 51.4 to 41.6%). The proportions of the species B. burgdorferi s. s., B. afzelii and B. garinii (with combined single and mixed infections) for 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 were: 51.2/44.0 %, 30.6/24.9% and 18.2/31.1%, respectively. In conclusion, our results seem to indicate the detrimental trend of the increasing infection rate of I. ricinus ticks with B. burgdorferi s. l. in eastern Poland, and dramatic enhancement of mixed infections with individual species, which

  17. Surveillance for Ixodes pacificus and the tick-borne pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in birds from California's Inner Coast Range.

    PubMed

    Dingler, Regina J; Wright, Stan A; Donohue, Ann M; Macedo, Paula A; Foley, Janet E

    2014-06-01

    We investigated the involvement of birds in the ecology of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, and its associated zoonotic bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, at two interior coast-range study sites in northern California. Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis (GA), and B. burgdorferi s.s., the agent of Lyme disease (LD), are tick-borne pathogens that are well established in California. We screened blood and ticks from 349 individual birds in 48 species collected in 2011 and 2012 using pathogen-specific PCR. A total of 617 immature I. pacificus was collected with almost three times as many larvae than nymphs. There were 7.5 times more I. pacificus at the Napa County site compared to the Yolo County site. Two of 74 (3%) nymphal pools from an Oregon junco (Junco hyemalis) and a hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) and 4 individual larvae (all from Oregon juncos) were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi. Blood samples from a golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) and a European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) were positive for A. phagocytophilum DNA at very low levels. Birds that forage on ground or bark and nest on the ground, as well as some migratory species, are at an increased risk for acquiring I. pacificus. Our findings show that birds contribute to the ecologies of LD and GA in California by serving as a blood-meal source, feeding and transporting immature I. pacificus, and sometimes as a source of Borrelia infection.

  18. Follistatin-like protein 1 is a critical mediator of experimental Lyme arthritis and the humoral response to Borrelia burgdorferi infection.

    PubMed

    Campfield, Brian T; Nolder, Christi L; Marinov, Anthony; Bushnell, Daniel; Davis, Amy; Spychala, Caressa; Hirsch, Raphael; Nowalk, Andrew J

    2014-08-01

    Follistatin-like protein 1 (FSTL-1) has recently been described as a critical mediator of CIA and a marker of disease activity. Lyme arthritis, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, shares similarities with autoimmune arthritis and the experimental murine model collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Because FSTL-1 is important in CIA and autoimmune arthritides, and Lyme arthritis shares similarities with CIA, we hypothesized that FSTL-1 may be an important mediator of Lyme arthritis. We demonstrate for the first time that FSTL-1 is induced by B. burgdorferi infection and is required for the development of Lyme arthritis in a murine model, utilizing a gene insertion to generate FSTL-1 hypomorphic mice. Using qPCR and qRT-PCR, we found that despite similar early infectious burden, FSTL-1 hypomorphic mice have improved spirochetal clearance in the face of attenuated arthritis and inflammatory cytokine production. Further, FSTL-1 mediates pathogen-specific antibody production and antigen recognition when assessed by ELISA and one- and two-dimensional immunoblotting. This study is the first to describe a role for FSTL-1 in the development of Lyme arthritis and anti-Borrelia response, and the first to demonstrate a role for FSTL-1 in response to infection, highlighting the potential for FSTL-1 as a target in the treatment of B. burgdorferi infection.

  19. A survey for infection with Dirofilaria immitis, Ehrlichia canis, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Babesia canis in feral and client-owned dogs in the Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies.

    PubMed

    Hoff, Brent; McEwen, Beverly; Peregrine, Andrew S

    2008-06-01

    The frequency of infection with Dirofilaria immitis and Babesia canis and seropositivity to Ehrlichia canis and Borrelia burgdorferi in feral and client-owned dogs was determined. Feral dogs were 14.8 and 11.2 times more likely to be seropositive to D. immitis and E. canis, respectively, than were client-owned dogs. None of the dogs tested positive for B. burgdorferi or B. canis.

  20. A Drug Combination Screen Identifies Drugs Active against Amoxicillin-Induced Round Bodies of In Vitro Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters from an FDA Drug Library

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Although currently recommended antibiotics for Lyme disease such as doxycycline or amoxicillin cure the majority of the patients, about 10–20% of patients treated for Lyme disease may experience lingering symptoms including fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches. Under experimental stress conditions such as starvation or antibiotic exposure, Borrelia burgdorferi can develop round body forms, which are a type of persister bacteria that appear resistant in vitro to customary first-line antibiotics for Lyme disease. To identify more effective drugs with activity against the round body form of B. burgdorferi, we established a round body persister model induced by exposure to amoxicillin (50 μg/ml) and then screened the Food and Drug Administration drug library consisting of 1581 drug compounds and also 22 drug combinations using the SYBR Green I/propidium iodide viability assay. We identified 23 drug candidates that have higher activity against the round bodies of B. burgdorferi than either amoxicillin or doxycycline. Eleven individual drugs scored better than metronidazole and tinidazole which have been previously described to be active against round bodies. In this amoxicillin-induced round body model, some drug candidates such as daptomycin and clofazimine also displayed enhanced activity which was similar to a previous screen against stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters not exposure to amoxicillin. Additional candidate drugs active against round bodies identified include artemisinin, ciprofloxacin, nifuroxime, fosfomycin, chlortetracycline, sulfacetamide, sulfamethoxypyridazine and sulfathiozole. Two triple drug combinations had the highest activity against amoxicillin-induced round bodies and stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters: artemisinin/cefoperazone/doxycycline and sulfachlorpyridazine/daptomycin/doxycycline. These findings confirm and extend previous findings that certain drug combinations have superior activity against B. burgdorferi

  1. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from moose (Alces alces) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in southern Norway.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    As part of a larger survey, ears from 18 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and 52 moose (Alces alces) shot in the 2 southernmost counties in Norway were collected and examined for Ixodes ricinus ticks. Seventy-two adult ticks, 595 nymphs, and 267 larvae from the roe deer, and 182 adult ticks, 433 nymphs, and 70 larvae from the moose were investigated for infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.). The results showed the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA in 2.9% of the nymphs collected from roe deer and in 4.4% of the nymphs and 6.0% of the adults collected from moose. The spirochetes were not detected in adult ticks from roe deer, or in larvae feeding on roe deer or moose. In comparison, the mean infection prevalences in questing I. ricinus collected from the same geographical area were 0.5% infection in larvae, 24.5% in nymphs, and 26.9% in adults. The most prevalent B. burgdorferi genospecies identified in ticks collected from roe deer was B. afzelii (76.5%), followed by B. garinii (17.6%), and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (5.9%). Only B. afzelii (76.7%) and B. garinii (23.3%) were detected in ticks collected from moose. The present study indicates a lower prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection in I. ricinus ticks feeding on roe deer and moose compared to questing ticks. This is the first study to report B. burgdorferi s.l. prevalence in ticks removed from cervids in Norway.

  2. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens in South Bohemia (Czech Republic)--Spatial variability in Ixodes ricinus abundance, Borrelia burgdorferi and tick-borne encephalitis virus prevalence.

    PubMed

    Hönig, V; Svec, P; Halas, P; Vavruskova, Z; Tykalova, H; Kilian, P; Vetiskova, V; Dornakova, V; Sterbova, J; Simonova, Z; Erhart, J; Sterba, J; Golovchenko, M; Rudenko, N; Grubhoffer, L

    2015-07-01

    Spatial distribution of Ixodes ricinus tick host-seeking activity, as well as prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) were studied in the TBE endemic area of South Bohemia (Czech Republic). High variability in tick abundance detected in a network of 30 study sites was most closely associated with characteristics of vegetation cover. Of 11,182 tested tick samples, 12% carried DNA of spirochete from B. burgdorferi s.l. complex. B. afzelii and B. garinii prevailed among spirochete species. The presence of B. spielmanii in the region was confirmed. The median number of borrelial genome copies in positive samples reached 6.6 × 10(3) by real-time PCR. The total prevalence of TBEV in pooled samples reached 0.32% (20,057 samples tested), at least one TBEV positive tick was present in 21 out of 30 sampling sites.

  3. Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the sand lizard Lacerta agilis and co-infection of these bacteria in hosted Ixodes ricinus ticks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. are important tick-borne bacteria maintained in nature by transmission between ticks and vertebrate hosts. However, the potential role of lizards as hosts has not been sufficiently studied. Results The current study showed that 23 of 171 examined sand lizards Lacerta agilis were PCR positive for Anaplasmataceae. The nucleotide sequences of the several selected PCR products showed 100% homology with Anaplasma spp. found in Ixodes ricinus collected in Tunisia and Morocco (AY672415 - AY672420). 1.2% of lizard collar scale samples were PCR positive for B. lusitaniae. In addition, 12 of 290 examined I. ricinus were PCR positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. and 82 were PCR positive for Anaplasmatacea. The number of ticks per lizard and the number of ticks PCR positive for both microorganisms per lizard were strongly correlated. Moreover, we found a significant correlation between numbers of ticks infected with Anaplasmataceae and with B. burgdorferi s.l. living on the same lizard. However, there was no significant correlation between detection of both bacteria in the same tick. Conclusions To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Anaplasmataceae DNA and additionally the second report of B. burgdorferi s.l DNA detection in the sand lizard. PMID:21933412

  4. Comparison of Tick Feeding Success and Vector Competence for Borrelia burgdorferi Among Immature Ixodes scapularis (Ixodida: Ixodidae) of Both Southern and Northern Clades

    PubMed Central

    Goddard, Jerome; Embers, Monica; Hojgaard, Andrias; Piesman, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Northern and southern Ixodes scapularis Say populations differ greatly in density, host utilization, and especially questing behavior of the immatures. Haplotypes of I. scapularis in North America can be divided into two major clades—the All American Clade (haplotypes A through J) and the Southern Clade (M through O). This genetic variation may affect feeding success and vector competence. This study compared feeding success of larval I. scapularis measured by time-to-drop-off and subsequent transmissibility success of Borrelia burgdorferi to mice using ticks from Mississippi, Connecticut (both F haplotype), and Louisiana (haplotype O). Northern ticks (CT) fed to repletion much faster than MS and LA ticks: overall, 73.6% of CT ticks had dropped off mice at Day 3 compared to only 1.7% and 6.6% of ticks dropped off for MS and LA ticks at that same time point. As for vector competence, 4 of the 4 mice in each case (MS or CT) that had been fed on by infected nymphs tested positive for B. burgdorferi. In a second experiment, 5 of the 6 mice tested positive for B. burgdorferi after exposure to infected LA ticks as compared with 3 of the 4 mice exposed to infected CT ticks. These data demonstrate that there is no difference in northern and southern populations of I. scapularis in their ability to transmit B. burgdorferi, but the ability of the northern populations to feed rapidly on rodents exceeds that of southern populations. PMID:26336283

  5. Climate change and habitat fragmentation drive the occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, at the northeastern limit of its distribution.

    PubMed

    Simon, Julie A; Marrotte, Robby R; Desrosiers, Nathalie; Fiset, Jessica; Gaitan, Jorge; Gonzalez, Andrew; Koffi, Jules K; Lapointe, Francois-Joseph; Leighton, Patrick A; Lindsay, Lindsay R; Logan, Travis; Milord, Francois; Ogden, Nicholas H; Rogic, Anita; Roy-Dufresne, Emilie; Suter, Daniel; Tessier, Nathalie; Millien, Virginie

    2014-08-01

    Lyme borreliosis is rapidly emerging in Canada, and climate change is likely a key driver of the northern spread of the disease in North America. We used field and modeling approaches to predict the risk of occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria causing Lyme disease in North America. We combined climatic and landscape variables to model the current and future (2050) potential distribution of the black-legged tick and the white-footed mouse at the northeastern range limit of Lyme disease and estimated a risk index for B. burgdorferi from these distributions. The risk index was mostly constrained by the distribution of the white-footed mouse, driven by winter climatic conditions. The next factor contributing to the risk index was the distribution of the black-legged tick, estimated from the temperature. Landscape variables such as forest habitat and connectivity contributed little to the risk index. We predict a further northern expansion of B. burgdorferi of approximately 250-500 km by 2050 - a rate of 3.5-11 km per year - and identify areas of rapid rise in the risk of occurrence of B. burgdorferi. Our results will improve understanding of the spread of Lyme disease and inform management strategies at the most northern limit of its distribution.

  6. The nucleotide excision repair system of Borrelia burgdorferi is the sole pathway involved in repair of DNA damage by UV light.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Pierre-Olivier; Chaconas, George

    2013-05-01

    To survive and avoid accumulation of mutations caused by DNA damage, the genomes of prokaryotes encode a variety of DNA repair pathways most well characterized in Escherichia coli. Some of these are required for the infectivity of various pathogens. In this study, the importance of 25 DNA repair/recombination genes for Borrelia burgdorferi survival to UV-induced DNA damage was assessed. In contrast to E. coli, where 15 of these genes have an effect on survival of UV irradiation, disruption of recombinational repair, transcription-coupled repair, methyl-directed mismatch correction, and repair of arrested replication fork pathways did not decrease survival of B. burgdorferi exposed to UV light. However, the disruption of the B. burgdorferi nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway (uvrA, uvrB, uvrC, and uvrD) resulted in a 10- to 1,000-fold increase in sensitivity to UV light. A functional NER pathway was also shown to be required for B. burgdorferi resistance to nitrosative damage. Finally, disruption of uvrA, uvrC, and uvrD had only a minor effect upon murine infection by increasing the time required for dissemination.

  7. Linkages of Weather and Climate With Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae), Enzootic Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, and Lyme Disease in North America.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars; Ogden, Nicholas H; Beard, Charles B

    2016-03-01

    Lyme disease has increased both in incidence and geographic extent in the United States and Canada over the past two decades. One of the underlying causes is changes during the same time period in the distribution and abundance of the primary vectors: Ixodes scapularis Say and Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls in eastern and western North America, respectively. Aside from short periods of time when they are feeding on hosts, these ticks exist in the environment where temperature and relative humidity directly affect their development, survival, and host-seeking behavior. Other important factors that strongly influence tick abundance as well as the proportion of ticks infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, include the abundance of hosts for the ticks and the capacity of tick hosts to serve as B. burgdorferi reservoirs. Here, we explore the linkages between climate variation and: 1) duration of the seasonal period and the timing of peak activity; 2) geographic tick distributions and local abundance; 3) enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission cycles; and 4) Lyme disease cases. We conclude that meteorological variables are most influential in determining host-seeking phenology and development, but, while remaining important cofactors, additional variables become critical when exploring geographic distribution and local abundance of ticks, enzootic transmission of B. burgdorferi, and Lyme disease case occurrence. Finally, we review climate change-driven projections for future impact on vector ticks and Lyme disease and discuss knowledge gaps and research needs.

  8. Linkages of Weather and Climate With Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae), Enzootic Transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, and Lyme Disease in North America

    PubMed Central

    Eisen, Rebecca J.; Eisen, Lars; Ogden, Nicholas H.; Beard, Charles B.

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease has increased both in incidence and geographic extent in the United States and Canada over the past two decades. One of the underlying causes is changes during the same time period in the distribution and abundance of the primary vectors: Ixodes scapularis Say and Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls in eastern and western North America, respectively. Aside from short periods of time when they are feeding on hosts, these ticks exist in the environment where temperature and relative humidity directly affect their development, survival, and host-seeking behavior. Other important factors that strongly influence tick abundance as well as the proportion of ticks infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, include the abundance of hosts for the ticks and the capacity of tick hosts to serve as B. burgdorferi reservoirs. Here, we explore the linkages between climate variation and: 1) duration of the seasonal period and the timing of peak activity; 2) geographic tick distributions and local abundance; 3) enzootic B. burgdorferi transmission cycles; and 4) Lyme disease cases. We conclude that meteorological variables are most influential in determining host-seeking phenology and development, but, while remaining important cofactors, additional variables become critical when exploring geographic distribution and local abundance of ticks, enzootic transmission of B. burgdorferi, and Lyme disease case occurrence. Finally, we review climate change-driven projections for future impact on vector ticks and Lyme disease and discuss knowledge gaps and research needs. PMID:26681789

  9. Climate change and habitat fragmentation drive the occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, at the northeastern limit of its distribution

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Julie A; Marrotte, Robby R; Desrosiers, Nathalie; Fiset, Jessica; Gaitan, Jorge; Gonzalez, Andrew; Koffi, Jules K; Lapointe, Francois-Joseph; Leighton, Patrick A; Lindsay, Lindsay R; Logan, Travis; Milord, Francois; Ogden, Nicholas H; Rogic, Anita; Roy-Dufresne, Emilie; Suter, Daniel; Tessier, Nathalie; Millien, Virginie

    2014-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis is rapidly emerging in Canada, and climate change is likely a key driver of the northern spread of the disease in North America. We used field and modeling approaches to predict the risk of occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria causing Lyme disease in North America. We combined climatic and landscape variables to model the current and future (2050) potential distribution of the black-legged tick and the white-footed mouse at the northeastern range limit of Lyme disease and estimated a risk index for B. burgdorferi from these distributions. The risk index was mostly constrained by the distribution of the white-footed mouse, driven by winter climatic conditions. The next factor contributing to the risk index was the distribution of the black-legged tick, estimated from the temperature. Landscape variables such as forest habitat and connectivity contributed little to the risk index. We predict a further northern expansion of B. burgdorferi of approximately 250–500 km by 2050 – a rate of 3.5–11 km per year – and identify areas of rapid rise in the risk of occurrence of B. burgdorferi. Our results will improve understanding of the spread of Lyme disease and inform management strategies at the most northern limit of its distribution. PMID:25469157

  10. Borrelia burgdorferi upregulates the adhesion molecules E-selectin, P-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 on mouse endothelioma cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Böggemeyer, E; Stehle, T; Schaible, U E; Hahne, M; Vestweber, D; Simon, M M

    1994-06-01

    In order to obtain more information on processes leading to Borrelia burgdorferi-induced inflammation in the host, we have developed an in vitro model to study the upregulation of cell surface expression of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells by spirochetes. A mouse endothelioma cell line, derived from brain capillaries, bEnd3, was used as indicator population. bEnd3 cells were incubated with preparations of viable, inactivated or sonicated spirochetes and the expression of E-selectin, P-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 was monitored by immunocytochemistry and quantified by cell surface ELISA. We show that all three spirochetal preparations are able to upregulate cell surface expression of E-selectin, P-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 on bEnd 3 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The kinetics of cell surface expression of the individual adhesion molecules in the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi showed maxima at about 50 h of incubation or later; this was distinct from results obtained with sonicated-preparations of Escherichia coli bacteria or with enterobacterial LPS where peak expression was observed between 4 h and 16 h. The fact that Borrelia burgdorferi does not contain conventional LPS suggests that the mode of induction of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells is influenced by the phenotype of bacteria. At the peak of spirochete-induced cell surface expression of adhesion molecules (approximately 50 h), bEnd3 cells were found to bind cells of a VLA-4+ B lymphoma line (L1-2) much more efficiently than untreated control cells. The binding of L1-2 cells to presensitized bEnd3 cells was significantly inhibited (more than 75%) in the presence of monoclonal antibodies to both VLA-4 and its endothelial counterreceptor VCAM-1. These findings demonstrate that Borrelia burgdorferi organisms are able to induce functionally active adhesion molecules on endothelial cells in vitro and suggest that E-selectin, P-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 play an important role in the

  11. Population Structure of the Lyme Borreliosis Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in the Western Black-Legged Tick (Ixodes pacificus) in Northern California ▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Serological detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ehrlichia canis antibodies and Dirofilaria immitis antigen in a countrywide survey in dogs in Poland.

    PubMed

    Krämer, Friederike; Schaper, Roland; Schunack, Bettina; Połozowski, Andrzej; Piekarska, Jolanta; Szwedko, Aleksandra; Jodies, Robert; Kowalska, Dagmara; Schüpbach, Dörte; Pantchev, Nikola

    2014-09-01

    Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBDs) have increasingly become a focus of attention in the past few years. Nevertheless, in many parts of Europe information on their occurrence is still scarce. In a large study in Poland 3,094 serum samples taken from dogs throughout all 16 Polish provinces were tested using a commercial kit for the detection of circulating antibodies against Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ehrlichia canis and of Dirofilaria immitis antigen. A total of 12.31% (381/3,094; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 11.18-13.52%) and 3.75% (116/3,094; 95% CI: 3.11-4.48%) of the dogs were positive for A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. antibodies, respectively. Furthermore, 0.26% (8/3,094; 95% CI: 0.11-0.51%) were positive for E. canis antibodies and 0.16% (5/3,094; 95% CI: 0.05-0.38%) for D. immitis antigen. The highest percentages of A. phagocytophilum-positive dogs were noted in Lesser Poland, Silesia and Łódź Provinces. For B. burgdorferi s.l., the highest prevalence was recorded in Łódź Province. Co-infections with A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. were recorded in 1.71% of all examined dogs (53/3,094; 95% CI: 1.29-2.23%). One dog even had a triple infection, testing positive for E. canis too. Both A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. have previously been reported in Poland and were confirmed in the present study by positive samples from all 16 provinces. Concerning E. canis and D. immitis travel history or importation cannot be excluded as factors which may have determined the occurrence of these pathogens in the relevant animals. Practitioners in Poland should be aware of the above mentioned CVBDs and of prophylactic measures to protect dogs and their owners.

  13. The Borrelia burgdorferi RelA/SpoT Homolog and Stringent Response Regulate Survival in the Tick Vector and Global Gene Expression during Starvation

    PubMed Central

    Drecktrah, Dan; Lybecker, Meghan; Popitsch, Niko; Rescheneder, Philipp; Hall, Laura S.; Samuels, D. Scott

    2015-01-01

    As the Lyme disease bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi traverses its enzootic cycle, alternating between a tick vector and a vertebrate host, the spirochete must adapt and persist in the tick midgut under prolonged nutrient stress between blood meals. In this study, we examined the role of the stringent response in tick persistence and in regulation of gene expression during nutrient limitation. Nutritionally starving B. burgdorferi in vitro increased the levels of guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) and guanosine pentaphosphate (pppGpp), collectively referred to as (p)ppGpp, products of the bifunctional synthetase/hydrolase RelBbu (RelA/SpoT homolog). Conversely, returning B. burgdorferi to a nutrient-rich medium decreased (p)ppGpp levels. B. burgdorferi survival in ticks between the larval and nymph blood meals, and during starvation in vitro, was dependent on RelBbu. Furthermore, normal morphological conversion from a flat-wave shape to a condensed round body (RB) form during starvation was dependent on RelBbu; relBbu mutants more frequently formed RBs, but their membranes were compromised. By differential RNA sequencing analyses, we found that RelBbu regulates an extensive transcriptome, both dependent and independent of nutrient stress. The RelBbu regulon includes the glp operon, which is important for glycerol utilization and persistence in the tick, virulence factors and the late phage operon of the 32-kb circular plasmid (cp32) family. In summary, our data suggest that RelBbu globally modulates transcription in response to nutrient stress by increasing (p)ppGpp levels to facilitate B. burgdorferi persistence in the tick. PMID:26371761

  14. A high-throughput genetic screen identifies previously uncharacterized Borrelia burgdorferi genes important for resistance against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Meghan E.; Hyde, Jenny A.; Medina-Perez, Diana N.; Gao, Lihui; Lundt, Maureen E.; Li, Xin; Norris, Steven J.

    2017-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease in humans, is exposed to reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) in both the tick vector and vertebrate reservoir hosts. B. burgdorferi contains a limited repertoire of canonical oxidative stress response genes, suggesting that novel gene functions may be important for protection of B. burgdorferi against ROS or RNS exposure. Here, we use transposon insertion sequencing (Tn-seq) to conduct an unbiased search for genes involved in resistance to nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, and tertiary-butyl hydroperoxide in vitro. The screens identified 66 genes whose disruption resulted in increased susceptibility to at least one of the stressors. These genes include previously characterized mediators of ROS and RNS resistance (including components of the nucleotide excision repair pathway and a subunit of a riboflavin transporter), as well as novel putative resistance candidates. DNA repair mutants were among the most sensitive to RNS in the Tn-seq screen, and survival assays with individual Tn mutants confirmed that the putative ribonuclease BB0839 is involved in resistance to nitric oxide. In contrast, mutants lacking predicted inner membrane proteins or transporters were among the most sensitive to ROS, and the contribution of three such membrane proteins (BB0017, BB0164, and BB0202) to ROS sensitivity was confirmed using individual Tn mutants and complemented strains. Further analysis showed that levels of intracellular manganese are significantly reduced in the Tn::bb0164 mutant, identifying a novel role for BB0164 in B. burgdorferi manganese homeostasis. Infection of C57BL/6 and gp91phox-/- mice with a mini-library of 39 Tn mutants showed that many of the genes identified in the in vitro screens are required for infectivity in mice. Collectively, our data provide insight into how B. burgdorferi responds to ROS and RNS and suggests that this response is relevant to the in vivo success of the organism

  15. The Borrelia burgdorferi RelA/SpoT Homolog and Stringent Response Regulate Survival in the Tick Vector and Global Gene Expression during Starvation.

    PubMed

    Drecktrah, Dan; Lybecker, Meghan; Popitsch, Niko; Rescheneder, Philipp; Hall, Laura S; Samuels, D Scott

    2015-09-01

    As the Lyme disease bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi traverses its enzootic cycle, alternating between a tick vector and a vertebrate host, the spirochete must adapt and persist in the tick midgut under prolonged nutrient stress between blood meals. In this study, we examined the role of the stringent response in tick persistence and in regulation of gene expression during nutrient limitation. Nutritionally starving B. burgdorferi in vitro increased the levels of guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) and guanosine pentaphosphate (pppGpp), collectively referred to as (p)ppGpp, products of the bifunctional synthetase/hydrolase RelBbu (RelA/SpoT homolog). Conversely, returning B. burgdorferi to a nutrient-rich medium decreased (p)ppGpp levels. B. burgdorferi survival in ticks between the larval and nymph blood meals, and during starvation in vitro, was dependent on RelBbu. Furthermore, normal morphological conversion from a flat-wave shape to a condensed round body (RB) form during starvation was dependent on RelBbu; relBbu mutants more frequently formed RBs, but their membranes were compromised. By differential RNA sequencing analyses, we found that RelBbu regulates an extensive transcriptome, both dependent and independent of nutrient stress. The RelBbu regulon includes the glp operon, which is important for glycerol utilization and persistence in the tick, virulence factors and the late phage operon of the 32-kb circular plasmid (cp32) family. In summary, our data suggest that RelBbu globally modulates transcription in response to nutrient stress by increasing (p)ppGpp levels to facilitate B. burgdorferi persistence in the tick.

  16. Cerebrospinal fluid T-regulatory cells recognize Borrelia burgdorferi NAPA in chronic Lyme borreliosis.

    PubMed

    Amedei, A; Codolo, G; Ozolins, D; Ballerini, C; Biagioli, T; Jaunalksne, I; Zilevica, A; D Elios, S; De Bernard, M; D' Elios, M M

    2013-01-01

    The NapA protein of B. burgdorferi is essential for the persistence of spirochetes in ticks. One of the most intriguing aspects of NapA is its potential to interfere with the host immune system. Here, we investigated the role of the acquired immune responses induced by NapA in the cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) of patients with chronic Lyme borreliosis. We evaluated the cytokine profile induced in microglia cells and CSF T cells following NapA stimulation. We report here that NapA induced a regulatory T (Treg) response in the CSF of patients with chronic Lyme borreliosis and it is able to expand this suppressive response by promoting the production of TGF-beta and IL-10 by microglia cells. Collectively, these data strongly support a central role of NapA in promoting both Treg response and immune suppression in the CSF of patients with chronic Lyme borreliosis and suggest that NapA and the Treg pathway may represent novel therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

  17. Damage of collagen and elastic fibres by borrelia burgdorferi - known and new clinical and histopathological aspects.

    PubMed

    Müller, Kurt E

    2012-01-01

    Lyme Borreliosis, or Lyme's disease, manifests itself in numerous skin conditions. Therapeutic intervention should be initiated as soon as a clinical diagnosis of erythema migrans is made. The histopathology of some of the skin conditions associated with Lyme Borreliosis is characterised by structural changes to collagen, and sometimes also elastic fibres. These conditions include morphea, lichen sclerosus et atrophicus and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. More recently, further skin conditions have been identified by the new microscopic investigation technique of focus floating microscopy: granuloma annulare, necrobiosis lipoidica, necrobiotic xanthogranuloma, erythema annulare centrifugum, interstitial granulomatous dermatitis, cutaneous sarcoidosis and lymphocytic infiltration; these conditions also sometimes cause changes in the connective tissue. In the case of ligaments and tendons, collagen and elastic fibres predominate structurally. They are also the structures that are targeted by Borrelia. The resultant functional disorders have previously only rarely been associated with Borreliosis in clinical practice. Ligamentopathies and tendinopathies, spontaneous ruptures of tendons after slight strain, dislocation of vertebrae and an accumulation of prolapsed intervertebral discs as well as ossification of tendon insertions can be viewed in this light.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunn, John J.; Lade, Barbara N.

    1991-01-01

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

  19. Birds as reservoirs for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in Western Europe: circulation of B. turdi and other genospecies in bird-tick cycles in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Norte, A C; Ramos, J A; Gern, L; Núncio, M S; Lopes de Carvalho, I

    2013-02-01

    Birds are important in the ecology of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) because they are important hosts for vector tick immature stages and are known reservoirs for some Borrelia genospecies. The aim of our study was to assess the role of common passerine bird species as reservoirs for B. burgdorferi s.l. in Western Europe. We surveyed birds in enzootic areas in Portugal, where no information is available for birds as reservoirs for this aetiologic agent and where B. lusitaniae, for which few reservoirs have been identified, is the dominant genospecies. Twenty-three birds (2.9%), including Turdus merula, T. philomelos, Parus major and Fringilla coelebs harboured infected ticks, but only Turdus sp. harboured infected tick larvae. In one study area, although B. lusitaniae was dominant in questing Ixodes ricinus, no ticks feeding on birds were infected with this genospecies, and B. valaisiana was the dominant genospecies in I. ricinus larvae feeding on birds. In the other area ticks collected from birds were mainly I. frontalis which were infected with B. turdi. Two skin biopsies (4.2%) from two T. merula were positive, one for B. valaisiana and the other for B. turdi. This is the first report for B. turdi in Western Europe.

  20. Two Different Virulence-Related Regulatory Pathways in Borrelia burgdorferi Are Directly Affected by Osmotic Fluxes in the Blood Meal of Feeding Ixodes Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Lawrence, Kevin; Gherardini, Frank C.

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is a vector-borne illness that requires the bacteria to adapt to distinctly different environments in its tick vector and various mammalian hosts. Effective colonization (acquisition phase) of a tick requires the bacteria to adapt to tick midgut physiology. Successful transmission (transmission phase) to a mammal requires the bacteria to sense and respond to the midgut environmental cues and up-regulate key virulence factors before transmission to a new host. Data presented here suggest that one environmental signal that appears to affect both phases of the infective cycle is osmolarity. While constant in the blood, interstitial fluid and tissue of a mammalian host (300 mOsm), osmolarity fluctuates in the midgut of feeding Ixodes scapularis. Measured osmolarity of the blood meal isolated from the midgut of a feeding tick fluctuates from an initial osmolarity of 600 mOsm to blood-like osmolarity of 300 mOsm. After feeding, the midgut osmolarity rebounded to 600 mOsm. Remarkably, these changes affect the two independent regulatory networks that promote acquisition (Hk1-Rrp1) and transmission (Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS) of B. burgdorferi. Increased osmolarity affected morphology and motility of wild-type strains, and lysed Hk1 and Rrp1 mutant strains. At low osmolarity, Borrelia cells express increased levels of RpoN-RpoS-dependent virulence factors (OspC, DbpA) required for the mammalian infection. Our results strongly suggest that osmolarity is an important part of the recognized signals that allow the bacteria to adjust gene expression during the acquisition and transmission phases of the infective cycle of B. burgdorferi. PMID:27525653

  1. Physiological age of field-collected female taiga ticks, Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae), and their infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

    PubMed

    Uspensky, Igor; Kovalevskii, Yuri V; Korenberg, Edward I

    2006-01-01

    In some studies the prevalence of tick infection (infection rate) and the intensity of infection are negatively correlated with unfed tick age (in the broad sense of this term). However, no special research has been carried out to consider the phenomenon thoroughly. The infection indices of the female taiga ticks, Ixodes persulcatus, infected with Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. were related to tick physiological age, an index that more precisely reflects tick physiological state than the time of tick collection in the field or the duration of tick survival under laboratory conditions. A novel quantitative technique of physiological age determination based on the evaluation of the ratios between sizes of the stable (scutum) and the changing (alloscutum) structures of the tick body was used. The age was estimated in accordance with the classical age-grade scale introduced by Balashov and a more fractional scale determined by the new technique. In total, 131 female ticks were examined for their infection and physiological age, 46 of which were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. (mean infection rate 35.1%). The minimal intensity of infection was 0.4 bacterial cells per 100 fields of view whereas the maximal infection was 172 cells. There was no difference between the prevalence of infection in ticks of different physiological age. The intensity of infection obviously differed between ticks of different age groups in the scale introduced by Balashov but did not significantly differ between ticks of different age groups according to the fractional age-grade scale. The data concerning the relationships between Borrelia burgdorferi and unfed Ixodes ticks are considered.

  2. 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

  3. Immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR as diagnostic tools for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks collected from humans.

    PubMed

    Briciu, Violeta T; Sebah, Daniela; Coroiu, Georgiana; Lupşe, Mihaela; Cârstina, Dumitru; Ţăţulescu, Doina F; Mihalca, Andrei D; Gherman, Călin M; Leucuţa, Daniel; Meyer, Fabian; Hizo-Teufel, Cecilia; Fingerle, Volker; Huber, Ingrid

    2016-05-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate different methods used for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in ticks: immunohistochemistry followed by focus floating microscopy (FFM) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) targeting the ospA and hbb genes. Additionally, an optimized ospA real-time PCR assay was developed with an integrated internal amplification control (IAC) for the detection of inhibition in the PCR assay and was validated as an improved screening tool for B. burgdorferi. One hundred and thirty-six ticks collected from humans in a hospital from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, were investigated regarding genus, stage of development and sex, and then tested by all three assays. A poor quality of agreement was found between FFM and each of the two real-time PCR assays, as assessed by concordance analysis (Cohen's kappa), whereas the agreement between the two real-time PCR assays was moderate. The present study argues for a low sensitivity of FFM and underlines that discordant results of different assays used for detection of B. burgdorferi in ticks are frequent.

  4. Emergence of tick-borne pathogens (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ricketsia raoultii and Babesia microti) in the Kyiv urban parks, Ukraine.

    PubMed

    Didyk, Yuliya M; Blaňárová, Lucia; Pogrebnyak, Svyatoslav; Akimov, Igor; Peťko, Branislav; Víchová, Bronislava

    2017-02-01

    To date, only limited data about the presence of ticks and circulation of tick-borne pathogens in urban parks of Kyiv in northern Ukraine are available. In total, 767 ticks (696 Ixodes ricinus and 69 Dermacentor reticulatus) collected in seven urban parks and one suburban oak wood park in Kyiv were individually analyzed by the PCR assays. Tick-borne pathogens, namely spirochetes from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti, were detected in 11.1% of tested I. ricinus ticks. In total, 4% of I. ricinus ticks tested positive for the presence of B. burdorferi s.l. (Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii), 5.2% for A. phagocytophilum, and Ba. microti was confirmed in 1.9% of examined ticks. Mixed infections were recorded in four DNA samples, representing the prevalence of 0.6%. One female and two I. ricinus nymphs were simultaneously infected with B. afzelii and A. phagocytophilum, and one female carried B. afzelii and Ba. microti. In addition, 10.1% of D. reticulatus ticks tested positive for Rickettsia raoultii. Identification of infectious agents and their diversity, assessment of the relative epidemiological importance and determination of the prevalence in questing ticks from central parts of the cities are crucial steps towards the tick-borne diseases surveillance in urban environment.

  5. The crystal structures of two salivary cystatins from the tick Ixodes scapularis and the effect of these inhibitors on the establishment of Borrelia burgdorferi infection in a murine model

    SciTech Connect

    Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Horka, Helena; Salat, Jiri; Andersen, John F.

    2010-11-17

    We have previously demonstrated that two salivary cysteine protease inhibitors from the Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) vector Ixodes scapularis - namely sialostatins L and L2 - play an important role in tick biology, as demonstrated by the fact that silencing of both sialostatins in tandem results in severe feeding defects. Here we show that sialostatin L2 - but not sialostatin L - facilitates the growth of B. burgdorferi in murine skin. To examine the structural basis underlying these differential effects of the two sialostatins, we have determined the crystal structures of both sialostatin L and L2. This is the first structural analysis of cystatins from an invertebrate source. Sialostatin L2 crystallizes as a monomer with an 'unusual' conformation of the N-terminus, while sialostatin L crystallizes as a domain-swapped dimer with an N-terminal conformation similar to other cystatins. Deletion of the 'unusual' N-terminal five residues of sialostatin L2 results in marked changes in its selectivity, suggesting that this region is a particularly important determinant of the biochemical activity of sialostatin L2. Collectively, our results reveal the structure of two tick salivary components that facilitate vector blood feeding and that one of them also supports pathogen transmission to the vertebrate host.

  6. Seroprevalence and geographic distribution of Dirofilaria immitis and tick-borne infections (Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and Ehrlichia canis) in dogs from Romania.

    PubMed

    Mircean, Viorica; Dumitrache, Mirabela Oana; Györke, Adriana; Pantchev, Nikola; Jodies, Robert; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Cozma, Vasile

    2012-07-01

    Tick-borne diseases are of great concern worldwide. Despite this, in Romania there is only limited information regarding the prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in dogs. In all, 1146 serum samples were tested by SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) (IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Westbrook, ME) for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Ehrlichia canis antibodies, and for Dirofilaria immitis antigen. The correlation between positive cases and their geographic distribution, as well as potential risk factors (age, sex, breed, type of dog, habitat, and prophylactic treatments) were evaluated. Overall, 129 dogs (11.3%) were serologically-positive to one or more of the tested pathogens. The seroprevalence for the four infectious agents were: A. phagocytophilum 5.5% (63/1146), D. immitis 3.3% (38/1146), E. canis 2.1% (24/1146), and B. burgdorferi 0.5% (6/1146). Co-infection with E. canis and A. phagocytophilum was registered in 2 dogs (0.2%). The geographical distribution of the seropositive cases suggests clustered foci in southern regions and in the western part of the country for D. immitis, and in the southeastern region (Constanţa County) for E. canis. A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi showed a homogenous distribution, with a tendency for Lyme-positive samples to concentrate in central Romania. For D. immitis, A. phagocytophilum, and E. canis, administering prophylactic treatments was a risk factor associated with infection. Another associated risk factor was the type of dog (stray dogs were at risk being positive for D. immitis, shelter dogs for E. canis, and hunting dogs for B. burgdorferi). The prevalence of D. immitis was significantly higher in males and in dogs older than 2 years. This survey represents the first data detailing A. phagocytophilum and E. canis seroprevalence in Romanian dogs, and the most comprehensive epidemiological study on vector-borne infections in dogs from this country.

  7. Population-based passive tick surveillance and detection of expanding foci of blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis and the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Nelder, Mark P; Russell, Curtis; Lindsay, L Robbin; Dhar, Badal; Patel, Samir N; Johnson, Steven; Moore, Stephen; Kristjanson, Erik; Li, Ye; Ralevski, Filip

    2014-01-01

    We identified ticks submitted by the public from 2008 through 2012 in Ontario, Canada, and tested blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis for Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Among the 18 species of ticks identified, I. scapularis, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes cookei and Amblyomma americanum represented 98.1% of the 14,369 ticks submitted. Rates of blacklegged tick submission per 100,000 population were highest in Ontario's Eastern region; D. variabilis in Central West and Eastern regions; I. cookei in Eastern and South West regions; and A. americanum had a scattered distribution. Rates of blacklegged tick submission per 100,000 population were highest from children (0-9 years old) and older adults (55-74 years old). In two health units in the Eastern region (i.e., Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District and Kingston-Frontenac and Lennox & Addington), the rate of submission for engorged and B. burgdorferi-positive blacklegged ticks was 47× higher than the rest of Ontario. Rate of spread for blacklegged ticks was relatively faster and across a larger geographic area along the northern shore of Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River, compared with slower spread from isolated populations along the northern shore of Lake Erie. The infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in blacklegged ticks increased in Ontario over the study period from 8.4% in 2008 to 19.1% in 2012. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi-positive blacklegged ticks increased yearly during the surveillance period and, while increases were not uniform across all regions, increases were greatest in the Central West region, followed by Eastern and South West regions. The overall infection prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in blacklegged ticks was 0.3%. This study provides essential information on ticks of medical importance in Ontario, and identifies demographic and geographic areas for focused public education on the prevention of tick bites and tick-borne diseases.

  8. Role of migratory birds in introduction and range expansion of Ixodes scapularis ticks and of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Canada.

    PubMed

    Ogden, N H; Lindsay, L R; Hanincová, K; Barker, I K; Bigras-Poulin, M; Charron, D F; Heagy, A; Francis, C M; O'Callaghan, C J; Schwartz, I; Thompson, R A

    2008-03-01

    During the spring in 2005 and 2006, 39,095 northward-migrating land birds were captured at 12 bird observatories in eastern Canada to investigate the role of migratory birds in northward range expansion of Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and their tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. The prevalence of birds carrying I. scapularis ticks (mostly nymphs) was 0.35% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.30 to 0.42), but a nested study by experienced observers suggested a more realistic infestation prevalence of 2.2% (95% CI = 1.18 to 3.73). The mean infestation intensity was 1.66 per bird. Overall, 15.4% of I. scapularis nymphs (95% CI = 10.7 to 20.9) were PCR positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, but only 8% (95% CI = 3.8 to 15.1) were positive when excluding nymphs collected at Long Point, Ontario, where B. burgdorferi is endemic. A wide range of ospC and rrs-rrl intergenic spacer alleles of B. burgdorferi were identified in infected ticks, including those associated with disseminated Lyme disease and alleles that are rare in the northeastern United States. Overall, 1.4[corrected]% (95% CI = 0.3 [corrected] to 0.41) of I. scapularis nymphs were PCR positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. We estimate that migratory birds disperse 50 million to 175 million I. scapularis ticks across Canada each spring, implicating migratory birds as possibly significant in I. scapularis range expansion in Canada. However, infrequent larvae and the low infection prevalence in ticks carried by the birds raise questions as to how B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum become endemic in any tick populations established by bird-transported ticks.

  9. Eradication of Biofilm-Like Microcolony Structures of Borrelia burgdorferi by Daunomycin and Daptomycin but not Mitomycin C in Combination with Doxycycline and Cefuroxime

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States and Europe. While the majority of Lyme disease patients can resolve their symptoms if treated promptly, 10–20% of patients suffer from prolonged symptoms called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Although the cause for PTLDS is unclear, one possibility is the presence of bacterial persisters not effectively cleared by the current Lyme antibiotics. Recent studies identified several drug candidates including daptomycin, daunomycin, doxorubicin, and mitomycin C that had good activity against B. burgdorferi persisters. However, their relative activities against B. burgdorferi persisters have not been evaluated under the same conditions. In this study, we tested the anti-persister activities of these drugs against both 7-day and 15-day old stationary phase cultures of B. burgdorferi individually as well as in combination with Lyme antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime (Ceftin). Our findings demonstrate daunomycin and daptomycin were more active than mitomycin C in single drug comparison at 10 and 20 μM, as well as in drug combinations with doxycycline and cefuroxime. In addition, daunomycin was more active than doxorubicin which correlated with their ability to stain and accumulate in B. burgdorferi. The two drug combination of doxycycline and cefuroxime was unable to eradicate biofilm-like microcolonies of B. burgdorferi persisters. However, the addition of either daunomycin or daptomycin to the doxycycline + cefuroxime combination completely eradicated the biofilm-like structures and produced no visible bacterial regrowth after 7 and 21 days, while the addition of doxorubicin was unable to prevent regrowth at either 7 or 21 day subculture. Mitomycin C in combination with doxycycline and cefuroxime caused no regrowth at 7 days but visible spirochetal regrowth occurred after 21 day subculture. Furthermore, we found that cefuroxime (Ceftin), the third

  10. Eradication of Biofilm-Like Microcolony Structures of Borrelia burgdorferi by Daunomycin and Daptomycin but not Mitomycin C in Combination with Doxycycline and Cefuroxime.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States and Europe. While the majority of Lyme disease patients can resolve their symptoms if treated promptly, 10-20% of patients suffer from prolonged symptoms called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Although the cause for PTLDS is unclear, one possibility is the presence of bacterial persisters not effectively cleared by the current Lyme antibiotics. Recent studies identified several drug candidates including daptomycin, daunomycin, doxorubicin, and mitomycin C that had good activity against B. burgdorferi persisters. However, their relative activities against B. burgdorferi persisters have not been evaluated under the same conditions. In this study, we tested the anti-persister activities of these drugs against both 7-day and 15-day old stationary phase cultures of B. burgdorferi individually as well as in combination with Lyme antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime (Ceftin). Our findings demonstrate daunomycin and daptomycin were more active than mitomycin C in single drug comparison at 10 and 20 μM, as well as in drug combinations with doxycycline and cefuroxime. In addition, daunomycin was more active than doxorubicin which correlated with their ability to stain and accumulate in B. burgdorferi. The two drug combination of doxycycline and cefuroxime was unable to eradicate biofilm-like microcolonies of B. burgdorferi persisters. However, the addition of either daunomycin or daptomycin to the doxycycline + cefuroxime combination completely eradicated the biofilm-like structures and produced no visible bacterial regrowth after 7 and 21 days, while the addition of doxorubicin was unable to prevent regrowth at either 7 or 21 day subculture. Mitomycin C in combination with doxycycline and cefuroxime caused no regrowth at 7 days but visible spirochetal regrowth occurred after 21 day subculture. Furthermore, we found that cefuroxime (Ceftin), the third

  11. Seropositivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in a cohort of symptomatic cats from Europe based on a C6-peptide assay with discussion of implications in disease aetiology.

    PubMed

    Pantchev, Nikola; Vrhovec, Majda Globokar; Pluta, Silvia; Straubinger, Reinhard K

    2016-01-01

    There are only few reports on Lyme borreliosis (LB) in cats. The reasons might be a different tick infestation in cats compared to dogs, a low susceptibility for tick-borne infections or a low awareness of veterinarians for tick-borne diseases in feline patients. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) in feline sera, to compare the significance of feline versus canine LB, as well as to evaluate possible implications on disease occurrence. Specific antibodies against the C6-peptide of Bbsl in cats were detected by a rapid test based on enzyme immunoassay technique. The serum samples were sent to a diagnostic laboratory by veterinarians from Germany and other European countries with request for Borrelia serology in the years 2009-2011. Veterinarians were asked for information regarding the cats' location, age, gender, clinical signs, treatment and follow-up. In six of 271 (2.2%; 95% CI: 0.8-4.8%) cat sera, antibodies against the C6-peptide of Bbsl were detected. Proportion of Borrelia antibody-positive cat sera was significantly lower than the one determined for dogs during the same time period. All positive cats lived in countries endemic for LB (Germany, Sweden and Belgium), and all C6-antibody positive cats with the exception of one cat showed clinical signs. Possible implications on disease occurrence are discussed. Data presented here demonstrate a lower prevalence of Borrelia specific C6-antibodies in European cats when compared to dogs residing in the same regions. The absence of antibodies against Bbsl in 97.8% (95% CI: 95.2-99.2%) of the submitted samples indicate that diagnosis "feline LB"is rare in cats. Nevertheless, LB should be considered in cats with compatible clinical signs (e.g. shifting leg lameness, to less extent neurological signs) when other differential diagnoses are ruled out.

  12. Multilocus sequence analysis of Borrelia bissettii strains from North America reveals a new Borrelia species, Borrelia kurtenbachii

    PubMed Central

    Margos, Gabriele; Hojgaard, Andrias; Lane, Robert S.; Cornet, Muriel; Fingerle, Volker; Rudenko, Nataliia; Ogden, Nicholas; Aanensen, David M.; Fish, Durland; Piesman, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Using multilocus sequence analyses (MLSA), we investigated the phylogenetic relationship of spirochaete strains from North America previously assigned to the genospecies Borrelia bissettii. We amplified internal fragments of 8 housekeeping genes (clpA, clpX, nifS, pepX, pyrG, recG, rplB, and uvrA) located on the main linear chromosome by polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated sequences of the 8 loci showed that the B. bissettii clade consisted of 4 closely related clusters which included strains from California (including the type strain DN127-Cl9-2/p7) and Colorado that were isolated from Ixodes pacificus, I. spinipalpis, or infected reservoir hosts. Several strains isolated from I. scapularis clustered distantly from B. bissettii. Genetic distance analyses confirmed that these strains are more distant to B. bissettii than they are to B. carolinensis, a recently described Borrelia species, which suggests that they constitute a new Borrelia genospecies. We propose that it be named Borrelia kurtenbachii sp. nov. in honour of the late Klaus Kurtenbach. The data suggest that ecological differences between B. bissettii and the new Borrelia genospecies reflect different transmission cycles. In view of these findings, the distinct vertebrate host-tick vector associations and the distributions of B. bissettii and B. kurtenbachii require further investigation. PMID:21157575

  13. Multilocus sequence analysis of Borrelia bissettii strains from North America reveals a new Borrelia species, Borrelia kurtenbachii.

    PubMed

    Margos, Gabriele; Hojgaard, Andrias; Lane, Robert S; Cornet, Muriel; Fingerle, Volker; Rudenko, Nataliia; Ogden, Nicholas; Aanensen, David M; Fish, Durland; Piesman, Joseph

    2010-12-01

    Using multilocus sequence analyses (MLSA), we investigated the phylogenetic relationship of spirochaete strains from North America previously assigned to the genospecies Borrelia bissettii. We amplified internal fragments of 8 housekeeping genes (clpA, clpX, nifS, pepX, pyrG, recG, rplB, and uvrA) located on the main linear chromosome by polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated sequences of the 8 loci showed that the B. bissettii clade consisted of 4 closely related clusters which included strains from California (including the type strain DN127-Cl9-2/p7) and Colorado that were isolated from Ixodes pacificus, I. spinipalpis, or infected reservoir hosts. Several strains isolated from I. scapularis clustered distantly from B. bissettii. Genetic distance analyses confirmed that these strains are more distant to B. bissettii than they are to B. carolinensis, a recently described Borrelia species, which suggests that they constitute a new Borrelia genospecies. We propose that it be named Borrelia kurtenbachii sp. nov. in honour of the late Klaus Kurtenbach. The data suggest that ecological differences between B. bissettii and the new Borrelia genospecies reflect different transmission cycles. In view of these findings, the distinct vertebrate host-tick vector associations and the distributions of B. bissettii and B. kurtenbachii require further investigation.

  14. Biochemical and biophysical characterization of the major outer surface protein, OSP-A from North American and European isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi

    SciTech Connect

    McGrath, B.C.; Dunn, J.J.; France, L.L.; Jaing, W.; Polin, D.; Gorgone, G.; Luft, B.; Dykhuizen, D.

    1995-12-31

    Lyme borreliosis, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common vector-borne disease in North America and Western Europe. As the major delayed immune response in humans, a better understanding of the major outer surface lipoproteins OspA and OspB are of much interest. These proteins have been shown to exhibit three distinct phylogenetic genotypes based on their DNA sequences. This paper describes the cloning of genomic DNA for each variant and amplification of PCR. DNA sequence data was used to derive computer driven phylogenetic analysis and deduced amino acid sequences. Overproduction of variant OspAs was carried out in E. coli using a T7-based expression system. Circular dichroism and fluorescence studies was carried out on the recombinant B31 PspA yielding evidence supporting a B31 protein containing 11% alpha-helix, 34% antiparallel beta-sheet, 12% parallel beta sheet.

  15. Life stage-related differences in density of questing ticks and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato within a single cohort of Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

    The primary aims of this study were to quantify the density of Ixodes pacificus Cooley and Kohls nymphs and adults of the same generational cohort collected within a single year in six oak or madrone leaf litter habitats and to compare the prevalence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in adults originating from nymphal cohorts with a low (<1%) versus high (>10%) infection prevalence. Because adult densities were very low both in and adjacent to several sites, direct comparisons of infection prevalence between nymphs and adults were possible only for two sites. Mean density in these sites decreased from 11.95/100 m2 for nymphs to 0/100 m2 for adults in leaf litter, and infection prevalence with B. burgdorferi s.l. was four-fold higher in nymphs (7.4%) versus adults (1.6%) of the same generational cohort collected in ecotones bordering the leaf litter areas. Assuming a density of adults in leaf litter of 0.04/100 m2 (mean for all six examined sites) and an infection prevalence similar to that found in adults collected from litter ecotones, the risk of encountering infected ticks in leaf litter decreased >1,000-fold from the nymphal to adult stage. Regardless of site-specific infection prevalence in the nymphal stage (n = 2 sites; 0.7 versus 14%), the infection prevalence for the adults of the same generational cohort was similarly low (1.5-1.6%). Peak densities of adult I. pacificus were 0-0.1/100 m2 in leaf litter, 0-6.5/100 m2 in ecotonal grasslands, and 2.0-39.0/100 m2 in ecotonal chaparral. Despite more intensive sampling efforts in leaf litter, the vast majority of the 282 adults collected came from grass or chaparral ecotones (98.9%, n = 279) rather than leaf litter (1.1%, n = 3). The study yielded eight B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected adults; four of these carried B. burgdorferi sensu stricto Johnson, Schmidt, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner, and the remaining four were infected with currently undescribed B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes. This

  16. Middle region of the Borrelia burgdorferi surface-located protein 1 (Lmp1) interacts with host chondroitin-6-sulfate and independently facilitates infection.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiuli; Lin, Yi-Pin; Heselpoth, Ryan D; Buyuktanir, Ozlem; Qin, Jinhong; Kung, Faith; Nelson, Daniel C; Leong, John M; Pal, Utpal

    2016-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi surface-located membrane protein 1, also known as Lmp1, has been shown to play critical roles in pathogen evasion of host-acquired immune defences, thereby facilitating persistent infection. Lmp1 possesses three regions representing potentially discrete domains: Lmp1N, Lmp1M and Lmp1C. Because of its insignificant homology to known proteins, how Lmp1 or its specific regions contribute to microbial biology and infection remains enigmatic. Here, we show that distinct from Lmp1N and Lmp1C, Lmp1M is composed of at least 70% alpha helices and completely lacks recognizable beta sheets. The region binds to host glycosaminoglycan chondroitin-6-sulfate molecules and facilitates mammalian cell attachment, suggesting an adhesin function of Lmp1M. Phenotypic analysis of the Lmp1-deficient mutant engineered to produce Lmp1M on the microbial surface suggests that Lmp1M can independently support B. burgdorferi infectivity in murine hosts. Further exploration of functions of Lmp1 distinct regions will shed new light on the intriguing biology and infectivity of spirochetes and help develop novel interventions to combat Lyme disease.

  17. Borrelia burgdorferi cp32 BpaB Modulates Expression of the Prophage NucP Nuclease and SsbP Single-Stranded DNA-Binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Chenail, Alicia M.; Jutras, Brandon L.; Adams, Claire A.; Burns, Logan H.; Bowman, Amy; Verma, Ashutosh

    2012-01-01

    The Borrelia burgdorferi BpaB proteins of the spirochete's ubiquitous cp32 prophages are DNA-binding proteins, required both for maintenance of the bacteriophage episomes and for transcriptional regulation of the cp32 erp operons. Through use of DNase I footprinting, we demonstrate that BpaB binds the erp operator initially at the sequence 5′-TTATA-3′. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays indicated that BpaB also binds with high affinity to sites located in the 5′ noncoding regions of two additional cp32 genes. Characterization of the proteins encoded by those genes indicated that they are a single-stranded DNA-binding protein and a nuclease, which we named SsbP and NucP, respectively. Chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated that BpaB binds erp, ssbP, and nucP in live B. burgdorferi. A mutant bacterium that overexpressed BpaB produced significantly higher levels of ssbP and nucP transcript than did the wild-type parent. PMID:22730122

  18. Borrelia burgdorferi CheY2 Is Dispensable for Chemotaxis or Motility but Crucial for the Infectious Life Cycle of the Spirochete.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hui; Sultan, Syed; Yerke, Aaron; Moon, Ki Hwan; Wooten, R Mark; Motaleb, M A

    2017-01-01

    The requirements for bacterial chemotaxis and motility range from dispensable to crucial for host colonization. Even though more than 50% of all sequenced prokaryotic genomes possess at least one chemotaxis signaling system, many of those genomes contain multiple copies of a chemotaxis gene. However, the functions of most of those additional genes are unknown. Most motile bacteria possess at least one CheY response regulator that is typically dedicated to the control of motility and which is usually essential for virulence. Borrelia burgdorferi appears to be notably different, in that it has three cheY genes, and our current studies on cheY2 suggests that it has varied effects on different aspects of the natural infection cycle. Mutants deficient in this protein exhibit normal motility and chemotaxis in vitro but show reduced virulence in mice. Specifically, the cheY2 mutants were severely attenuated in murine infection and dissemination to distant tissues after needle inoculation. Moreover, while ΔcheY2 spirochetes are able to survive normally in the Ixodes ticks, mice fed upon by the ΔcheY2-infected ticks did not develop a persistent infection in the murine host. Our data suggest that CheY2, despite resembling a typical response regulator, functions distinctively from most other chemotaxis CheY proteins. We propose that CheY2 serves as a regulator for a B. burgdorferi virulence determinant that is required for productive infection within vertebrate, but not tick, hosts.

  19. Sera from OspA-vaccinated dogs, but not those from tick-infected dogs, inhibit in vitro growth of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed Central

    Straubinger, R K; Chang, Y F; Jacobson, R H; Appel, M J

    1995-01-01

    Dogs were challenged with Borrelia burgdorferi by exposure to ticks, with or without prior protection from infection by recombinant OspA (rOspA) vaccination. Sera from these dogs were tested for their capability to inhibit the growth of B. burgdorferi in vitro. Bacterial growth was detected by a color change in the culture medium, and the optical density was measured with a spectrophotometer in microtiter plates. By growth inhibition, which was complement dependent, the color change was lacking after 5 days of incubation. Over a 1-year study, nonvaccinated dogs infected by exposure to ticks showed high antibody titers to B. burgdorferi by kinetic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (KELA). The same sera did not inhibit spirochetal growth or did so only at a low dilution. These results corresponded to the lack of OspA and OspB antibodies seen in Western blots (immunoblots), and these dogs were not protected from infection or disease. In contrast, dogs immunized with rOspA prior to challenge with infected ticks produced high antibody titers, as determined by KELA, but their sera also had high growth-inhibiting antibody titers. Western blot analysis showed a strong band in the 32-kDa region when the sera of these dogs were tested. When adjuvant was administered with rOspA, antibody titers by both KELA and growth inhibition were higher and persisted longer in the immunized dogs. All dogs immunized with rOspA were protected from infection and disease. PMID:8567917

  20. Immunoglobulin M Capture Assay for Serologic Confirmation of Early Lyme Disease: Analysis of Immune Complexes with Biotinylated Borrelia burgdorferi Sonicate Enhanced with Flagellin Peptide Epitope

    PubMed Central

    Brunner, Michael; Stein, Stanley; Mitchell, Paul D.; Sigal, Leonard H.

    1998-01-01

    We previously reported on the efficacy of the enzyme-linked immunoglobulin M capture immune complex (IC) biotinylated antigen assay (EMIBA) for the seroconfirmation of early Lyme disease and active infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. In earlier work we identified non-cross-reacting epitopes of a number of B. burgdorferi proteins, including flagellin. We now report on an improvement in the performance of EMIBA with the addition of a biotinylated form of a synthetic non-cross-reacting immunodominant flagellin peptide to the biotinylated B. burgdorferi B31 sonicate antigen source with the avidin-biotinylated peroxidase complex detection system used in our recently developed indirect IgM-capture immune complex-based assay (EMIBA). As in our previous studies, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) reactivities of antibodies liberated from circulating ICs (by EMIBA) were compared with those of antibodies in unprocessed serum (antibodies found free in the serum, thus as an IgM-capture ELISA, but not EMIBA, because the antibodies were not liberated from ICs), the sample usually used in standard ELISAs and Western blot assays. The addition of the flagellin epitope enhanced the ELISA signal obtained with untreated sera from many Lyme disease patients but not from healthy controls. In tests with both free antibodies and ICs, with or without the addition of the flagellin epitope to the sonicate, we found the most advantageous combination was IC as the source of antibodies and sonicate plus the flagellin epitope as the antigen. In a blinded study of sera obtained from patients with early and later-phase Lyme disease, EMIBA with the enhanced antigenic preparation compared favorably with other serologic assays, especially for the confirmation of early disease. PMID:9542940

  1. The Borrelia burgdorferi telomere resolvase, ResT, anneals ssDNA complexed with its cognate ssDNA-binding protein

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shu Hui; Kobryn, Kerri

    2016-01-01

    Spirochetes of the genus Borrelia possess unusual genomes that consist in a linear chromosome and multiple linear and circular plasmids. The linear replicons are terminated by covalently closed hairpin ends, referred to as hairpin telomeres. The hairpin telomeres represent a simple solution to the end-replication problem. Deoxyribonucleic acid replication initiates internally and proceeds bidirectionally toward the hairpin telomeres. The telomere resolvase, ResT, forms the hairpin telomeres from replicated telomere intermediates in a reaction with similarities to those promoted by type IB topoisomerases and tyrosine recombinases. ResT has also been shown to possess DNA single-strand annealing activity. We report here that ResT promotes single-strand annealing of both free DNA strands and ssDNA complexed with single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB). The annealing of complementary strands bound by SSB requires a ResT–SSB interaction that is mediated by the conserved amphipathic C-terminal tail of SSB. These properties of ResT are similar to those demonstrated for the recombination mediator protein, RecO, of the RecF pathway. Borrelia burgdorferi is unusual in lacking identifiable homologs of the RecFOR proteins. We propose that ResT may provide missing RecFOR functions. PMID:27131360

  2. [Determination of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi in patients with morphea, lichen sclerosus et atrophicus and erythema chronicum migrans].

    PubMed

    Pinazo Canales, I; Betlloch Mas, I; Mestre Bauza, F; Salva Armengod, F; Parras Vázquez, F; Alomar Cardell, J

    1990-04-01

    Several cutaneous entities described in Europe as Chronic Migrans Erythema (CME), Mild Cutis Lymphadenosis (MCL) and Chronic Atrophyc Acrodermatitis (CAA) constitute clinical manifestations of a Borrellia Burgdorferi. The presence of clinical and hystologic lesions similar to those of liquen esclerosus and atrophyc (LEA) and localized esclerodermia (morphea) in patients with CAA has driven to several authors to demonstrate the aethiologic participation of B. Burgdorferi in patients carrying those cutaneous lesions with contradictory results. A serologic study with indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and FIAX test was performed in 16 patients (9 with morphea, 6 with LEA and 1 with CME) in order to evaluate the role of this microorganism in our environment. Five reactive sera were obtained of which only one presented IgG antibodies titrated at 1/256. The IgM antibodies by IIF and IgG by FIAX test turned out to be negative. A specific relationship between B. Burgdorferi and the studied entities could not be established.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Proving lipid rafts exist: membrane domains in the prokaryote Borrelia burgdorferi have the same properties as eukaryotic lipid rafts.

    PubMed

    LaRocca, Timothy J; Pathak, Priyadarshini; Chiantia, Salvatore; Toledo, Alvaro; Silvius, John R; Benach, Jorge L; London, Erwin

    2013-01-01

    Lipid rafts in eukaryotic cells are sphingolipid and cholesterol-rich, ordered membrane regions that have been postulated to play roles in many membrane functions, including infection. We previously demonstrated the existence of cholesterol-lipid-rich domains in membranes of the prokaryote, B. burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease [LaRocca et al. (2010) Cell Host & Microbe 8, 331-342]. Here, we show that these prokaryote membrane domains have the hallmarks of eukaryotic lipid rafts, despite lacking sphingolipids. Substitution experiments replacing cholesterol lipids with a set of sterols, ranging from strongly raft-promoting to raft-inhibiting when mixed with eukaryotic sphingolipids, showed that sterols that can support ordered domain formation are both necessary and sufficient for formation of B. burgdorferi membrane domains that can be detected by transmission electron microscopy or in living organisms by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Raft-supporting sterols were also necessary and sufficient for formation of high amounts of detergent resistant membranes from B. burgdorferi. Furthermore, having saturated acyl chains was required for a biotinylated lipid to associate with the cholesterol-lipid-rich domains in B. burgdorferi, another characteristic identical to that of eukaryotic lipid rafts. Sterols supporting ordered domain formation were also necessary and sufficient to maintain B. burgdorferi membrane integrity, and thus critical to the life of the organism. These findings provide compelling evidence for the existence of lipid rafts and show that the same principles of lipid raft formation apply to prokaryotes and eukaryotes despite marked differences in their lipid compositions.

  5. A phylogenomic and molecular marker based proposal for the division of the genus Borrelia into two genera: the emended genus Borrelia containing only the members of the relapsing fever Borrelia, and the genus Borreliella gen. nov. containing the members of the Lyme disease Borrelia (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex).

    PubMed

    Adeolu, Mobolaji; Gupta, Radhey S

    2014-06-01

    The genus Borrelia contains two groups of organisms: the causative agents of Lyme disease and their relatives and the causative agents of relapsing fever and their relatives. These two groups are morphologically indistinguishable and are difficult to distinguish biochemically. In this work, we have carried out detailed comparative genomic analyses on protein sequences from 38 Borrelia genomes to identify molecular markers in the forms of conserved signature inserts/deletions (CSIs) that are specifically found in the Borrelia homologues, and conserved signature proteins (CSPs) which are uniquely present in Borrelia species. Our analyses have identified 31 CSIs and 82 CSPs that are uniquely shared by all sequenced Borrelia species, providing molecular markers for this group of organisms. In addition, our work has identified 7 CSIs and 21 CSPs which are uniquely found in the Lyme disease Borrelia species and eight CSIs and four CSPs that are specific for members of the relapsing fever Borrelia group. Additionally, 38 other CSIs, in proteins which are uniquely found in Borrelia species, also distinguish these two groups of Borrelia. The identified CSIs and CSPs provide novel and highly specific molecular markers for identification and distinguishing between the Lyme disease Borrelia and the relapsing fever Borrelia species. We also report the results of average nucleotide identity (ANI) analysis on Borrelia genomes and phylogenetic analysis for these species based upon 16S rRNA sequences and concatenated sequences for 25 conserved proteins. These analyses also support the distinctness of the two Borrelia clades. On the basis of the identified molecular markers, the results from ANI and phylogenetic studies, and the distinct pathogenicity profiles and arthropod vectors used by different Borrelia spp. for their transmission, we are proposing a division of the genus Borrelia into two separate genera: an emended genus Borrelia, containing the causative agents of relapsing

  6. CheY3 of Borrelia burgdorferi is the key response regulator essential for chemotaxis and forms a long-lived phosphorylated intermediate.

    PubMed

    Motaleb, M A; Sultan, Syed Z; Miller, Michael R; Li, Chunhao; Charon, Nyles W

    2011-07-01

    Spirochetes have a unique cell structure: These bacteria have internal periplasmic flagella subterminally attached at each cell end. How spirochetes coordinate the rotation of the periplasmic flagella for chemotaxis is poorly understood. In other bacteria, modulation of flagellar rotation is essential for chemotaxis, and phosphorylation-dephosphorylation of the response regulator CheY plays a key role in regulating this rotary motion. The genome of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi contains multiple homologues of chemotaxis genes, including three copies of cheY, referred to as cheY1, cheY2, and cheY3. To investigate the function of these genes, we targeted them separately or in combination by allelic exchange mutagenesis. Whereas wild-type cells ran, paused (flexed), and reversed, cells of all single, double, and triple mutants that contained an inactivated cheY3 gene constantly ran. Capillary tube chemotaxis assays indicated that only those strains with a mutation in cheY3 were deficient in chemotaxis, and cheY3 complementation restored chemotactic ability. In vitro phosphorylation assays indicated that CheY3 was more efficiently phosphorylated by CheA2 than by CheA1, and the CheY3-P intermediate generated was considerably more stable than the CheY-P proteins found in most other bacteria. The results point toward CheY3 being the key response regulator essential for chemotaxis in B. burgdorferi. In addition, the stability of CheY3-P may be critical for coordination of the rotation of the periplasmic flagella.

  7. Retrospective clinical and molecular analysis of conditioned laboratory dogs (Canis familiaris) with serologic reactions to Ehrlichia canis, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Rickettsia rickettsii.

    PubMed

    Scorpio, Diana G; Wachtman, Lynn M; Tunin, Richard S; Barat, Nicole C; Garyu, Justin W; Dumler, J Stephen

    2008-09-01

    Dogs are susceptible to different tickborne infections, including members of the Anaplasmataceae (Ehrlichia canis, E. ewingii, E. chaffeensis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, A. platys), Borrelia burgdorferi, and Rickettsia rickettsii. These diseases can manifest with clinical signs including fever, anorexia, malaise, lameness, rash, and bleeding episodes; however, these signs are nonpathognomonic, and infections can occur in the absence of clinical signs. Hematologic abnormalities can include leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, hyperproteinemia and hypergammaglobulinemia. In biomedical research, diseases such as canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever may cause morbidity among exposed dogs and confound research results. Random-source dogs are susceptible to these diseases because of their increased risk of arthropod exposure. Nonpurpose bred, randomly selected conditioned dogs (n = 21) were examined; blood samples were taken for hematology, biochemistry analysis, tickborne pathogen serology, and PCR. Of these, 2 dogs (10% of the population) presented with illness characterized by fever, malaise, lameness, or hemostatic abnormalities, and 15 (71%) had antibodies to one or more tickborne pathogens. No specific hematologic or biochemical differences were apparent between seronegative dogs and seropositive dogs reactive to all 3 pathogens. E. canis and B. burgdorferi PCR of tissues and blood were negative for all dogs. PCR amplification of several Ehrlichia and Anaplasma genes yielded no positive samples. From this cohort of dogs, serologic and molecular results indicate prior exposure without active infection or clinical disease. Exposure to and potential for infection with these bacteria and other pathogens may contribute to blood and tissue alterations that could confound experiments and lead to misinterpretation of data in canine models.

  8. Long-term study of the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection in ticks (Ixodes ricinus) feeding on blackbirds (Turdus merula) in NE Poland.

    PubMed

    Gryczyńska, Alicja; Welc-Falęciak, Renata

    2016-11-01

    Seeking evidence to confirm that blackbirds (Turdus merula) may be involved in environmental maintenance of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. (the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis), we conducted a long-term study over three separate 2-year periods, together embracing a span of almost 20 years, all in the same area in northeastern Poland. We examined a total of 78 blackbirds and collected 623 Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on them. The tick infestation prevalence was found to be very high (89.7 %). Among all ticks collected, 9.8 % individuals were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes. We found statistically significant growth in the prevalence of infected ticks as well as an increasing proportion of blackbirds hosting them in subsequent years of study. Ticks feeding on blackbirds were infected mainly with B. garinii (45.7 %), a genospecies commonly encountered in birds, and with B. afzelii (28.6 %), until recently considered rodent-associated. We also identified B. turdi (22.9 %), frequently found in recent years in ticks feeding on birds, and B. spielmanii (2.8 %), which had previously not been found in infected ticks feeding on blackbirds. We also found that ticks infected with genospecies associated with avian reservoir groups (B. garinii and B. turdi) were not randomly distributed on blackbirds, but instead focused on certain bird specimens. We therefore conjecture that this is a result of ticks becoming infected either from the host blackbird itself, or from other infected ticks feeding on the same host blackbird. We did not find any similar dependency for the rodent specialist B. afzelii.

  9. Comparison of Protection in Rabbits against Host-Adapted and Cultivated Borrelia burgdorferi following Infection-Derived Immunity or Immunization with Outer Membrane Vesicles or Outer Surface Protein A

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Ellen S.; Champion, Cheryl I.; Wu, Xiao-Yang; Skare, Jonathan T.; Blanco, David R.; Miller, James N.; Lovett, Michael A.

    2000-01-01

    In this study, infection-derived immunity in the rabbit model of Lyme disease was compared to immunity following immunization with purified outer membrane vesicles (OMV) isolated from Borrelia burgdorferi and recombinant outer surface protein A (OspA). Immunization of rabbits with OMV isolated from virulent strain B31 and its avirulent derivative B313 (lacking OspA and DbpA) conferred highly significant protection against intradermal injection with 6 × 104 in vitro-cultivated virulent B. burgdorferi. This is the first demonstration of protective immunogenicity induced by OMV. While immunization with OspA and avirulent B31 OMV provided far less protection against this challenge, rabbits with infection-derived immunity were completely protected. Protection against host-adapted B. burgdorferi was assessed by implantation of skin biopsies taken from rabbit erythema migrans (a uniquely rich source of B. burgdorferi in vertebrate tissue) containing up to 108 spirochetes. While all of the OMV- and OspA-immunized rabbits were fully susceptible to skin and disseminated infection, rabbits with infection-derived immunity were completely protected. Analysis of the antibody responses to outer membrane proteins, including DbpA, OspA, and OspC, suggests that the remarkable protection exhibited by the infection-immune rabbits is due to antibodies directed at antigens unique to or markedly up-regulated in host-adapted B. burgdorferi. PMID:10858236

  10. Borrelia mayonii sp. nov., a member of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, detected in patients and ticks in the upper midwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Pritt, Bobbi S; Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B; Sloan, Lynne M; Schriefer, Martin E; Replogle, Adam J; Bjork, Jenna; Liu, Gongping; Kingry, Luke C; Mead, Paul S; Neitzel, David F; Schiffman, Elizabeth; Hoang Johnson, Diep K; Davis, Jeffrey P; Paskewitz, Susan M; Boxrud, David; Deedon, Alecia; Lee, Xia; Miller, Tracy K; Feist, Michelle A; Steward, Christopher R; Theel, Elitza S; Patel, Robin; Irish, Cole L; Petersen, Jeannine M

    2016-11-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a multisystem disease caused by spirochetes in the Borrelia burgdorferisensu lato (Bbsl) genospecies complex. We previously described a novel Bbsl genospecies (type strain MN14-1420T) that causes LB among patients with exposures to ticks in the upper midwestern USA. Patients infected with the novel Bbsl genospecies demonstrated higher levels of spirochetemia and somewhat differing clinical symptoms as compared with those infected with other Bbsl genospecies. The organism was detected from human specimens using PCR, microscopy, serology and culture. The taxonomic status was determined using an eight-housekeeping-gene (uvrA, rplB, recG, pyrG, pepX, clpX, clpA and nifS) multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) and comparison of 16S rRNA gene, flaB, rrf-rrl, ospC and oppA2 nucleotide sequences. Using a system threshold of 98.3 % similarity for delineation of Bbsl genospecies by MLSA, we demonstrated that the novel species is a member of the Bbsl genospecies complex, most closely related to B. burgdorferisensu stricto (94.7-94.9 % similarity). This same species was identified in Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This novel species, Borrelia mayonii sp. nov, is formally described here. The type strain, MN14-1420, is available through the Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zelkulturen GmbH (DSM 102811) and the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC BAA-2743).

  11. Serological detection of antibodies to Anaplasma spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ehrlichia canis and of Dirofilaria immitis antigen in dogs from Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Montenegro, Víctor M; Bonilla, Marta C; Kaminsky, Darwin; Romero-Zúñiga, Juan José; Siebert, Susanne; Krämer, Friederike

    2017-03-15

    In a study in Costa Rica 314 serum samples from dogs throughout all seven provinces were tested using a commercial kit for the detection of circulating antibodies against Anaplasma spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Ehrlichia canis, and of circulating antigen of Dirofilaria immitis. A total of 6.4% (20/314) and 38.2% (120/314) were positive for Anaplasma spp. (An) and E. canis (Ec) antibodies. Overall, 8.0% (25/314) were positive for D. immitis (Di) antigen. One single dog reacted positive with B. burgdorferi s.l. (Bb) antigen (0.3%, 1/314). E. canis positive dogs were detected in all provinces (highest percentages in Guanacaste, Puntarenas [both significantly different compared to the overall] and Limón). Guanacaste and Puntarenas also showed the highest prevalences of Anaplasma spp. (both significantly different compared to the overall). The highest prevalence of D. immitis was detected in Puntarenas (significantly different compared to the overall). Double pathogen exposure (Ec plus An; Ec plus Di; Ec plus Bb) were recorded in 8.9% (28/314). Two dogs showed a triple pathogen exposure (0.6%, 2/314; An, Ec and Di). There was a significant difference between male (11.5%, 18/156) and female (4.4%, 7/158) animals for D. immitis positive results. There was also a significant difference between breed and no breed dogs regarding the characteristics of a general positive test, as well as seropositivity to the single pathogens of Anaplasma spp., E. canis and D. immitis. Finally there was a significant difference in the presence of clinical signs again regarding the characteristics of a general positive test, as well as seropositivity to Anaplasma spp., E. canis and D. immitis. Practitioners in Costa Rica should be aware of the canine vector-borne diseases mentioned as dogs are at risk of becoming infected. Concerning the positive B. burgdorferi s.l. dog, an autochthonous occurrence cannot be confirmed due to a history of adoption and an unusual tattoo number

  12. Resolution of experimental and tick-borne Borrelia burgdorferi infection in mice by passive, but not active immunization using recombinant OspC.

    PubMed

    Zhong, W; Gern, L; Stehle, T; Museteanu, C; Kramer, M; Wallich, R; Simon, M M

    1999-03-01

    Vaccination with outer surface protein A (OspA) of Borrelia burgdorferi prevents subsequent infection and disease in both laboratory animals and humans with high efficacy. OspA-based immunity, however, does not affect established infection due to the loss of OspA expression in the vertebrate host. We show here that repeated passive transfer of mouse and/or rabbit immune sera to recombinant GST-OspC fusion protein resulted in a dose-dependent resolution (1) of fully established arthritis and carditis as well as infection in needle-challenged C.B-17 SCID and (2) of infection in both experimentally and tick-infected BALB/c mice. Unexpectedly, active immunization of disease-susceptible AKR/N mice with GST-OspC only led to prevention but not resolution of disease and infection, in spite of high serum titers of OspC-specific Ab and the expression of ospC in tissue-derived spirochetes. The data suggest that the efficacy of OspC antibody-mediated immunity depends on the immunological history of the recipient and/or environment-dependent regulation of OspC surface expression by spirochetes in vivo. The results encourage further attempts to develop therapeutic vaccination protocols against Lyme disease.

  13. Temporal and spatial distribution of Ixodes pacificus and Dermacentor occidentalis (Acari: Ixodidae) and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Contra Costa County, California.

    PubMed

    Kramer, V L; Beesley, C

    1993-05-01

    The seasonal activity and spatial distribution of adult and immature Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls and Dermacentor occidentalis Marx were determined along trails and on hillsides in two parks in Contra Costa County, CA. I. pacificus and D. occidentalis adults were most numerous in January and May, respectively. Adult ticks were significantly more abundant along heavily vegetated trails than on open grassy hillsides, and on the uphill versus the downhill side of trails. Five species of rodents were captured, and numbers of I. pacificus and D. occidentalis larvae per rodent were highest in May-June and July, respectively. Few nymphs were recovered either by flagging or from captured rodents. An average of 2.2 and 2.8% of the I. pacificus adults collected from the two parks were infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner. The greatest risk of contracting Lyme disease from adult I. pacificus in these two Contra Costa County parks is during the winter months, especially while hiking near the uphill side of trails.

  14. Epitope-Specific Evolution of Human B Cell Responses to Borrelia burgdorferi VlsE Protein from Early to Late Stages of Lyme Disease.

    PubMed

    Jacek, Elzbieta; Tang, Kevin S; Komorowski, Lars; Ajamian, Mary; Probst, Christian; Stevenson, Brian; Wormser, Gary P; Marques, Adriana R; Alaedini, Armin

    2016-02-01

    Most immunogenic proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, are known or expected to contain multiple B cell epitopes. However, the kinetics of the development of human B cell responses toward the various epitopes of individual proteins during the course of Lyme disease has not been examined. Using the highly immunogenic VlsE as a model Ag, we investigated the evolution of humoral immune responses toward its immunodominant sequences in 90 patients with a range of early to late manifestations of Lyme disease. The results demonstrate the existence of asynchronous, independently developing, Ab responses against the two major immunogenic regions of the VlsE molecule in the human host. Despite their strong immunogenicity, the target epitopes were inaccessible to Abs on intact spirochetes, suggesting a lack of direct immunoprotective effect. These observations document the association of immune reactivity toward specific VlsE sequences with different phases of Lyme disease, demonstrating the potential use of detailed epitope mapping of Ags for staging of the infection, and offer insights regarding the pathogen's possible immune evasion mechanisms.

  15. Borrelia burgdorferi protein BBK32 binds to soluble fibronectin via the N-terminal 70-kDa region, causing fibronectin to undergo conformational extension.

    PubMed

    Harris, Gemma; Ma, Wenjiang; Maurer, Lisa M; Potts, Jennifer R; Mosher, Deane F

    2014-08-08

    BBK32 is a fibronectin (FN)-binding protein expressed on the cell surface of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. There is conflicting information about where and how BBK32 interacts with FN. We have characterized interactions of a recombinant 86-mer polypeptide, "Bbk32," comprising the unstructured FN-binding region of BBK32. Competitive enzyme-linked assays utilizing various FN fragments and epitope-mapped anti-FN monoclonal antibodies showed that Bbk32 binding involves both the fibrin-binding and the gelatin-binding domains of the 70-kDa N-terminal region (FN70K). Crystallographic and NMR analyses of smaller Bbk32 peptides complexed, respectively, with (2-3)FNI and (8-9)FNI, demonstrated that binding occurs by β-strand addition. Isothermal titration calorimetry indicated that Bbk32 binds to isolated FN70K more tightly than to intact FN. In a competitive enzyme-linked binding assay, complex formation with Bbk32 enhanced binding of FN with mAbIII-10 to the (10)FNIII module. Thus, Bbk32 binds to multiple FN type 1 modules of the FN70K region by a tandem β-zipper mechanism, and in doing so increases accessibility of FNIII modules that interact with other ligands. The similarity in the FN-binding mechanism of BBK32 and previously studied streptococcal proteins suggests that the binding and associated conformational change of FN play a role in infection.

  16. A high frequency of viral agents yet absence of Borrelia burgdorferi is seen within the myocardium of subjects with normal left ventricular systolic function: an electron microscopy study.

    PubMed

    Kuchynka, Petr; Palecek, Tomas; Grus, Tomas; Schramlova, Jana; Krsek, Daniel; Vitkova, Ivana; Rohn, Vilem; Lindner, Jaroslav; Wicks, Eleanor; Nemecek, Eduard; Dostalova, Gabriela; Podzimkova, Jana; Linhart, Ales

    2016-03-01

    A wide range of viral agents is associated with the development of acute myocarditis and its possible chronic sequela, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). There is also increasing evidence that Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) is associated with DCM in endemic regions for Bb infection. This study sought to use electron microscopy to prospectively analyze the presence of viruses and Bb within the myocardium of 40 subjects with preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction and 40 patients with new-onset unexplained DCM during the same time period. Virus particles were found within the myocardium of 23 subjects (58%) of both cohorts studied, yet there was no statistically significant difference in virus family presence between those with DCM versus those with preserved LV systolic function. In contrast, Bb was detected only in those subjects with DCM (0 versus 5 subjects; p ˂ 0.05). Polymerase chain reaction was performed on samples from patients who were positive for Bb according to electron microscopy, and Bb was confirmed in 4 out of 5 individuals. Our results demonstrate that the prevalence of viral particles does not differ between subjects with preserved LV systolic function versus those with DCM and therefore suggests that the mere presence of a viral agent within the myocardium is not sufficient to establish a clear link with the development of DCM. In contrast, the presence of Bb was found only within myocardial samples of patients with DCM; this finding supports the idea of a causal relationship between Bb infection and DCM development.

  17. Human tick infestation pattern, tick-bite rate, and associated Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. infection risk during occupational tick exposure at the Seedorf military training area, northwestern Germany.

    PubMed

    Faulde, Michael K; Rutenfranz, Martin; Hepke, Jürgen; Rogge, Mareike; Görner, Andreas; Keth, Alexander

    2014-09-01

    The human tick infestation pattern, tick bite rate, and associated Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.-infection risk were investigated during occupational tick exposure of military personnel at the Seedorf military training area, northwestern Germany, from January to December 2009. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. seroconversion rates were monitored from April to September 2009. Continuous occupational health surveillance and education were established. Feeding ticks were mostly removed by medical personnel, transferred to 70% ethanol, identified, and tested for B. burgdorferi s.l. Pre- and post-exposure sera were screened for B. burgdorferi s.l. antibodies. A total of 710 feeding ticks was removed, 704 (99.2%) of which were I. ricinus, 5 were I. hexagonus (0.7%), and one was H. concinna (0.1%). Of the I. ricinus specimens, 63.9% were nymphs, 24.7% larvae, 10.9% adult females, and 0.5% adult males. The tick bite rate among occupationally exposed personnel was 42.2% from April to September 2009. Up to 18 simultaneously feeding ticks per person per exposure incident were detected. The mean number of attached ticks was 2.0±2.2 per person per exposure incident. Overall, 86.4% of all feeding ticks were removed from patients within less than 24h after attachment. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. DNA could be detected in 3.5% of larval, 4.4% of nymphal, 13% of adult female, and 33.3% of adult male ticks, indicating a mean prevalence of 5.3%. Among the genospecies detected, B. afzelii accounted for 84%, B. burgdorferi s.s. for 11%, B. garinii for 3%, and B. spielmanii for 3%. The overall seroconversion rate in 566 personnel exposed from April to September was 1.7%, and 0.7% acquired clinical Lyme borreliosis. Experiences reported herein indicate the need to further improve personal protection measures, health education, and medical staff training in order to minimize exposure to ticks and optimize diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.

  18. Enhancement of immune response towards non-lipidized Borrelia burgdorferi recombinant OspC antigen by binding onto the surface of metallochelating nanoliposomes with entrapped lipophilic derivatives of norAbuMDP.

    PubMed

    Křupka, Michal; Mašek, Josef; Bartheldyová, Eliška; Turánek Knötigová, Pavlína; Plocková, Jana; Korvasová, Zina; Škrabalová, Michaela; Koudelka, Štěpán; Kulich, Pavel; Zachová, Kateřina; Czerneková, Lýdie; Strouhal, Ondřej; Horynová, Milada; Šebela, Marek; Miller, Andrew D; Ledvina, Miroslav; Raška, Milan; Turánek, Jaroslav

    2012-06-10

    Lyme disease caused by spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, is a tick-born illness. If the infection is not eliminated by the host immune system and/or antibiotics, it may further disseminate and cause severe chronic complications. The immune response to Borrelia is mediated by phagocytic cells and by Borrelia-specific complement-activating antibodies associated with Th1 cell activation. A new experimental vaccine was constructed using non-lipidized form of recombinant B. burgdorferi s.s. OspC protein was anchored by metallochelating bond onto the surface of nanoliposomes containing novel nonpyrogenic lipophilized norAbuMDP analogues denoted MT05 and MT06. After i.d. immunization, the experimental vaccines surpassed Alum with respect to OspC-specific titers of IgG2a, IgG2b isotypes when MT06 was used and IgG3, IgM isotypes when MT05 was used. Both adjuvants exerted a high adjuvant effect comparable or better than MDP and proved themselves as nonpyrogenic.

  19. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato prevalence and diversity in ticks and small mammals in a Lyme borreliosis endemic Nature Reserve in North-Western Spain. Incidence in surrounding human populations.

    PubMed

    Espí, Alberto; Del Cerro, Ana; Somoano, Aitor; García, Verónica; M Prieto, José; Barandika, José F; García-Pérez, Ana L

    2016-07-18

    To determine the prevalence and diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) in an endemic Nature Reserve (Sierra del Sueve) in North-Western Spain, and the risk of human exposure to infected ticks in Asturias, 1013 questing ticks and 70 small mammals were collected between 2012 and 2014. A retrospective descriptive analysis was also carried out on human Lyme borreliosis (LB) cases reported to the local hospital (Cabueñes). Samples were screened for B. burgdorferi s.l. presence by a nested PCR assay, and genospecies were confirmed by sequencing. B. burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 1.4% (12/845) of I. ricinus questing nymphs, 9.1% (2/33) of questing adults, and 12.9% (9/70) of small mammals, as well as in the other tick species. PCR positive samples of 17 questing tick and 6 small mammals were sequenced. Four genospecies were identified: B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. lusitaniae, and B. valaisiana. Phylogenetic analyses based on the flaB gene showed the heterogeneity of B. afzelii in this area. The detection of B. burgdorferi s.l. among questing ticks and small mammals in the study area, as well as the abundance of ticks and of large wild and domestic mammals, indicate a high risk of infection by B. burgdorferi s.l. in the area. Reporting of LB cases to the local hospital support this, and shows the need of thorough monitoring of B. burgdorferi infection in ticks and hosts in the area. More investigations are needed to assess the role of different wildlife species and the risk of transmission to humans.

  20. Association of CD4+ CD25+ T cells with prevention of severe destructive arthritis in Borrelia burgdorferi-vaccinated and challenged gamma interferon-deficient mice treated with anti-interleukin-17 antibody.

    PubMed

    Nardelli, Dean T; Burchill, Matthew A; England, Douglas M; Torrealba, Jose; Callister, Steven M; Schell, Ronald F

    2004-11-01

    CD4+ CD25+ T cells are a population of regulatory T cells responsible for active suppression of autoimmunity. Specifically, CD4+ CD25+ T cells have been shown to prevent insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease, and pancreatitis. Here, we present evidence that CD4+ CD25+ T cells also play a major role in controlling the severity of arthritis detected in Borrelia burgdorferi-vaccinated gamma interferon-deficient (IFN-gamma degrees ) C57BL/6 mice challenged with the Lyme spirochete. When B. burgdorferi-vaccinated and challenged IFN-gamma degrees mice were treated with anti-interleukin-17 (IL-17) antibody, the number of CD4+ CD25+ T cells increased in the local lymph nodes. Furthermore, histopathologic examination showed the mice to be free of destructive arthritis. When these anti-IL-17-treated B. burgdorferi-vaccinated and challenged mice were also administered anti-CD25 antibody, the number of CD4+ CD25+ T cells in the local lymph nodes decreased. More importantly, severe destructive arthropathy was induced. In addition, delayed administration of anti-CD25 antibody decreased the severity of the arthritis. These results suggest that CD4+ CD25+ T cells are involved in regulation of a severe destructive arthritis induced with an experimental model of vaccination and challenge with B. burgdorferi.

  1. Current Surveys of the Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Leishmania infantum, Babesia canis, Angiostrongylus vasorum and Dirofilaria immitis in Dogs in Bulgaria.

    PubMed

    Pantchev, Nikola; Schnyder, Manuela; Vrhovec, Majda Globokar; Schaper, Roland; Tsachev, Ilia

    2015-08-01

    Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBDs) have increasingly become a focus of interest in recent years. Some of the CVBDs are zoonotic and may therefore also represent a risk for the human population. Different factors are in discussion to explain the expansion of vectors and pathogens into formerly unaffected areas. Knowledge of the prevalence and distribution of CVBDs in Bulgaria is scant overall and most data rely on single case descriptions. The aim of the present study was to determine the seroprevalence of important CVBDs in 167 dogs from central-southern Bulgaria (Stara Zagora), with special emphasis on hitherto uninvestigated babesiosis and angiostrongylosis, on poorly investigated Lyme borreliosis and canine granulocytic anaplasmosis, and on the potentially zoonotic dirofilariosis and leishmaniosis. Relatively high prevalence rates were documented for anti-Babesia canis antibodies, Dirofilaria immitis antigen (16.2 %; 27/167 each), anti-Ehrlichia canis (21 %; 35/167) and anti-Anaplasma phagocytophilum antibodies (30.5 - 46.1 %; 51 - 77/167), while Borrelia burgdorferi seroprevalence was low (2.4 %; 4/167). All samples were negative for Leishmania infantum antibodies and Angiostrongylus vasorum antigen and antibodies. In total, 64.7 % (108/167) of the samples indicated infection or exposure to at least one agent and a high proportion of dual infections (39.8 %; 43/108) was demonstrated. Multiple infections with up to four different organisms were also detected. Our data underline the importance of CVBDs and especially of co-infections which could influence the clinical outcome in dogs.

  2. Borrelia burgdorferi elicited-IL-10 suppresses the production of inflammatory mediators, phagocytosis, and expression of co-stimulatory receptors by murine macrophages and/or dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Chung, Yutein; Zhang, Nan; Wooten, R Mark

    2013-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) is a tick-borne spirochete that is the causative agent for Lyme disease. Our previous studies indicate that virulent Bb can potently enhance IL-10 production by macrophages (MØs) and that blocking IL-10 production significantly enhances bacterial clearance. We hypothesize that skin-associated APC types, such as MØs and dendritic cells (DCs) are potent producers of IL-10 in response to Bb, which may act in autocrine fashion to suppress APC responses critical for efficient Bb clearance. Our goal is to delineate which APC immune functions are dysregulated by Bb-elicited IL-10 using a murine model of Lyme disease. Our in vitro studies indicated that both APCs rapidly produce IL-10 upon exposure to Bb, that these levels inversely correlate with the production of many Lyme-relevant proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and that APCs derived from IL-10(-/-) mice produced greater amounts of these proinflammatory mediators than wild-type APCs. Phagocytosis assays determined that Bb-elicited IL-10 levels can diminish Bb uptake and trafficking by MØs, suppresses ROS production, but does not affect NO production; Bb-elicited IL-10 had little effect on phagocytosis, ROS, and NO production by DCs. In general, Bb exposure caused little-to-no upregulation of several critical surface co-stimulatory markers by MØs and DCs, however eliminating Bb-elicited IL-10 allowed a significant upregulation in many of these co-stimulatory receptors. These data indicate that IL-10 elicited from Bb-stimulated MØs and DCs results in decreased production of proinflammatory mediators and co-stimulatory molecules, and suppress phagocytosis-associated events that are important for mediating both innate and adaptive immune responses by APCs.

  3. bptA (bbe16) is essential for the persistence of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in its natural tick vector

    PubMed Central

    Revel, Andrew T.; Blevins, Jon S.; Almazán, Consuelo; Neil, Lori; Kocan, Katherine M.; de la Fuente, José; Hagman, Kayla E.; Norgard, Michael V.

    2005-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the agent of Lyme disease, is a zoonotic spirochetal bacterium that depends on arthropod (Ixodes ticks) and mammalian (rodent) hosts for its persistence in nature. The quest to identify borrelial genes responsible for Bb's parasitic dependence on these two diverse hosts has been hampered by limitations in the ability to genetically manipulate virulent strains of Bb. Despite this constraint, we report herein the inactivation and genetic complementation of a linear plasmid-25-encoded gene (bbe16) to assess its role in the virulence, pathogenesis, and survival of Bb during its natural life cycle. bbe16 was found to potentiate the virulence of Bb in the murine model of Lyme borreliosis and was essential for the persistence of Bb in Ixodes scapularis ticks. As such, we have renamed bbe16 a gene encoding borrelial persistence in ticks (bpt)A. Although protease accessibility experiments suggested that BptA as a putative lipoprotein is surface-exposed on the outer membrane of Bb, the molecular mechanism(s) by which BptA promotes Bb persistence within its tick vector remains to be elucidated. BptA also was shown to be highly conserved (>88% similarity and >74% identity at the deduced amino acid levels) in all Bb sensu lato strains tested, suggesting that BptA may be widely used by Lyme borreliosis spirochetes for persistence in nature. Given Bb's absolute dependence on and intimate association with its arthropod and mammalian hosts, BptA should be considered a virulence factor critical for Bb's overall parasitic strategy. PMID:15860579

  4. Activation of Human Monocytes by Live Borrelia burgdorferi Generates TLR2-Dependent and -Independent Responses Which Include Induction of IFN-β

    PubMed Central

    Salazar, Juan C.; Duhnam-Ems, Star; La Vake, Carson; Cruz, Adriana R.; Moore, Meagan W.; Caimano, Melissa J.; Velez-Climent, Leonor; Shupe, Jonathan; Krueger, Winfried; Radolf, Justin D.

    2009-01-01

    It is widely believed that innate immune responses to Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) are primarily triggered by the spirochete's outer membrane lipoproteins signaling through cell surface TLR1/2. We recently challenged this notion by demonstrating that phagocytosis of live Bb by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) elicited greater production of proinflammatory cytokines than did equivalent bacterial lysates. Using whole genome microarrays, we show herein that, compared to lysates, live spirochetes elicited a more intense and much broader transcriptional response involving genes associated with diverse cellular processes; among these were IFN-β and a number of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), which are not known to result from TLR2 signaling. Using isolated monocytes, we demonstrated that cell activation signals elicited by live Bb result from cell surface interactions and uptake and degradation of organisms within phagosomes. As with PBCMs, live Bb induced markedly greater transcription and secretion of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10 and IL-1β in monocytes than did lysates. Secreted IL-18, which, like IL-1β, also requires cleavage by activated caspase-1, was generated only in response to live Bb. Pro-inflammatory cytokine production by TLR2-deficient murine macrophages was only moderately diminished in response to live Bb but was drastically impaired against lysates; TLR2 deficiency had no significant effect on uptake and degradation of spirochetes. As with PBMCs, live Bb was a much more potent inducer of IFN-β and ISGs in isolated monocytes than were lysates or a synthetic TLR2 agonist. Collectively, our results indicate that the enhanced innate immune responses of monocytes following phagocytosis of live Bb have both TLR2-dependent and -independent components and that the latter induce transcription of type I IFNs and ISGs. PMID:19461888

  5. Evaluation of Selected Borrelia burgdorferi lp54 Plasmid-Encoded Gene Products Expressed during Mammalian Infection as Antigens To Improve Serodiagnostic Testing for Early Lyme Disease.

    PubMed

    Weiner, Zachary P; Crew, Rebecca M; Brandt, Kevin S; Ullmann, Amy J; Schriefer, Martin E; Molins, Claudia R; Gilmore, Robert D

    2015-11-01

    Laboratory testing for the diagnosis of Lyme disease is performed primarily by serologic assays and is accurate for detection beyond the acute stage of the infection. Serodiagnostic assays to detect the early stages of infection, however, are limited in their sensitivity, and improvement is warranted. We analyzed a series of Borrelia burgdorferi proteins known to be induced within feeding ticks and/or during mammalian infection for their utility as serodiagnostic markers against a comprehensive panel of Lyme disease patient serum samples. The antigens were assayed for IgM and IgG reactivity in line immunoblots and separately by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), with a focus on reactivity against early Lyme disease with erythema migrans (EM), early disseminated Lyme neuroborreliosis, and early Lyme carditis patient serum samples. By IgM immunoblotting, we found that recombinant proteins BBA65, BBA70, and BBA73 reacted with early Lyme EM samples at levels comparable to those of the OspC antigen used in the current IgM blotting criteria. Additionally, these proteins reacted with serum samples from patients with early neuroborreliosis and early carditis, suggesting value in detecting early stages of this disease progression. We also found serological reactivity against recombinant proteins BBA69 and BBA73 with early-Lyme-disease samples using IgG immunoblotting and ELISA. Significantly, some samples that had been scored negative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended 2-tiered testing algorithm demonstrated positive reactivity to one or more of the antigens by IgM/IgG immunoblot and ELISA. These results suggest that incorporating additional in vivo-expressed antigens into the current IgM/IgG immunoblotting tier in a recombinant protein platform assay may improve the performance of early-Lyme-disease serologic testing.

  6. [The importance of recombinant proteins of West Siberian isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi S.L. for serological diagnostic of ixodic tick borreliosis].

    PubMed

    Karavayev, V S; Genina, E S; Ryabchenko, A V; Beklemoschev, A B

    2014-06-01

    The structural proteins OspC, FlaB, FlaA and DbpB of agent of ixodic tick borreliosis are one of main antigens inducing humoral immunity at initial stages of disease. Owing to it, the task was stated to evaluate antigen activity of recombinant proteins OspC (OscP-Bg), fragment of FlaB (f-FlaB) and DbpB of genospecies B. garinii and OspC (OscC-Ba) of genospecies of B. afzelii of West Siberian isolates of Borrelia Burgdorferi S.L. for their possible application as antigens for serological diagnostic of ixodic tick borreliosis The recombinant proteins OscP-Bg, OscC-Ba, f-FlaB, FlaA and DbpB are analyzed using technique of enzymoimmunoassay to detect ability to bound antibodies of serums of patients with ixodic tick borreliosis with localized and disseminated stage of infection. The difference of their sensitivity as antigens during detection of specific antibodies in blood serum of patients with ixodic tick borreliosis was demonstrated In serum of patients with ixodic tick borreliosis with disseminated stage of infection the level of specific IgM and IgG antibodies reacting with OscP-Bg, OscC-Ba, f-FlaB, FlaA and DbpB is within the limits 15.7-52.6% for IgG. The results of enzymoimmunoassay applied to patients with ixodic tick borreliosis for detection of IgM and IgG in serum demonstrated that OscP-Bg and f-FlaB determined the highest antigen activity with antigens. The study results make it possible to consider these proteins as perspective components for development of immune enzyme test system of diagnostic of ixodic tick borreliosis.

  7. Sensitive and Specific Serodiagnosis of Lyme Disease by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay with a Peptide Based on an Immunodominant Conserved Region of Borrelia burgdorferi VlsE

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Fang Ting; Steere, Allen C.; Marques, Adriana R.; Johnson, Barbara J. B.; Miller, James N.; Philipp, Mario T.

    1999-01-01

    VlsE, the variable surface antigen of Borrelia burgdorferi, contains an immunodominant conserved region named IR6. In the present study, the diagnostic performance of a peptide enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on a 26-mer synthetic peptide (C6) with the IR6 sequence was explored. Sensitivity was assessed with serum samples (n = 210) collected from patients with clinically defined Lyme disease at the acute (early localized or early disseminated disease), convalescent, or late disease phase. The sensitivities for acute-, convalescent-, and late-phase specimens were 74% (29 of 39), 85 to 90% (34 of 40 to 35 of 39), and 100% (59 of 59), respectively. Serum specimens from early neuroborreliosis patients were 95% positive (19 of 20), and those from an additional group of patients with posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome yielded a sensitivity of 62% (8 of 13). To assess the specificity of the peptide ELISA, 77 serum samples from patients with other spirochetal or chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, or neurologic diseases and 99 serum specimens from hospitalized patients in an area where Lyme disease is not endemic were examined. Only two potential false positives from the hospitalized patients were found, and the overall specificity was 99% (174 of 176). Precision, which was assessed with a panel of positive and negative serum specimens arranged in blinded duplicates, was 100%. Four serum samples with very high anti-OspA antibody titers obtained from four monkeys given the OspA vaccine did not react with the C6 peptide. This simple, sensitive, specific, and precise ELISA may contribute to alleviate some of the remaining problems in Lyme disease serodiagnosis. Because of its synthetic peptide base, it will be inexpensive to manufacture. It also will be applicable to serum specimens from OspA-vaccinated subjects. PMID:10565920

  8. Damage of Collagen and Elastic Fibres by Borrelia Burgdorferi – Known and New Clinical and Histopathological Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Kurt E

    2012-01-01

    Lyme Borreliosis, or Lyme’s disease, manifests itself in numerous skin conditions. Therapeutic intervention should be initiated as soon as a clinical diagnosis of erythema migrans is made. The histopathology of some of the skin conditions associated with Lyme Borreliosis is characterised by structural changes to collagen, and sometimes also elastic fibres. These conditions include morphea, lichen sclerosus et atrophicus and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. More recently, further skin conditions have been identified by the new microscopic investigation technique of focus floating microscopy: granuloma annulare, necrobiosis lipoidica, necrobiotic xanthogranuloma, erythema annulare centrifugum, interstitial granulomatous dermatitis, cutaneous sarcoidosis and lymphocytic infiltration; these conditions also sometimes cause changes in the connective tissue. In the case of ligaments and tendons, collagen and elastic fibres predominate structurally. They are also the structures that are targeted by Borrelia. The resultant functional disorders have previously only rarely been associated with Borreliosis in clinical practice. Ligamentopathies and tendinopathies, spontaneous ruptures of tendons after slight strain, dislocation of vertebrae and an accumulation of prolapsed intervertebral discs as well as ossification of tendon insertions can be viewed in this light. PMID:23986790

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. A spatially-explicit model of acarological risk of exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi-infected Ixodes pacificus nymphs in northwestern California based on woodland type, temperature, and water vapor

    PubMed Central

    Eisen, Rebecca J.; Eisen, Lars; Girard, Yvette A.; Fedorova, Natalia; Mun, Jeomhee; Slikas, Beth; Leonhard, Sarah; Kitron, Uriel; Lane, Robert S.

    2010-01-01

    In the far-western United States, the nymphal stage of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, has been implicated as the primary vector to humans of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (hereinafter referred to as B. burgdorferi), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis in North America. In the present study, we sought to determine if infection prevalence with B. burgdorferi in I. pacificus nymphs and the density of infected nymphs differ between dense-woodland types within Mendocino County, California, and to develop and evaluate a spatially-explicit model for density of infected nymphs in dense woodlands within this high-incidence area for Lyme borreliosis. In total, 4.9% (264) of 5431 I. pacificus nymphs tested for the presence of B. burgdorferi were infected. Among the 78 sampling sites, infection prevalence ranged from 0 to 22% and density of infected nymphs from 0 to 2.04 per 100 m2. Infection prevalence was highest in woodlands dominated by hardwoods (6.2%) and lowest for redwood (1.9%) and coastal pine (0%). Density of infected nymphs also was higher in hardwood-dominated woodlands than in conifer-dominated ones that included redwood or pine. Our spatial risk model, which yielded an overall accuracy of 85%, indicated that warmer areas with less variation between maximum and minimum monthly water vapor in the air were more likely to include woodlands with elevated acarological risk of exposure to infected nymphs. We found that 37% of dense woodlands in the county were predicted to pose an elevated risk of exposure to infected nymphs, and that 94% of the dense-woodland areas that were predicted to harbor elevated densities of infected nymphs were located on privately-owned land. PMID:20532183

  11. Identification of Borrelia burgdorferi ospC genotypes in canine tissue following tick infestation: Implications for Lyme disease vaccine and diagnostic assay design

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, D.V.L.; Earnhart, C.G.; Mather, T.N.; Meeus, P.F.M; Marconi, R.T.

    2013-01-01

    In endemic regions, Lyme disease is a potential health threat to dogs. Canine Lyme disease manifests with arthritis-induced lameness, anorexia, fever, lethargy, lymphadenopathy and, in some cases, fatal glomerulonephritis. A recent study revealed that the regional mean for the percentage of seropositive dogs in the Northeast of the USA is 11.6%. The outer surface protein C (OspC) of Lyme disease spirochetes is an important virulence factor required for the establishment of infection in mammals. It is a leading candidate in human and canine Lyme disease vaccine development efforts. Over 30 distinct ospC phyletic types have been defined. It has been hypothesized that ospC genotype may influence mammalian host range. In this study, Ixodes scapularis ticks collected from the field in Rhode Island were assessed for infection with B. burgdorferi. Ticks were fed on purpose bred beagles to repletion and infection of the dogs was assessed through serology and PCR. Tissue biopsies (n = 2) were collected from each dog 49 days post-tick infestation (dpi) and the ospC genotype of the infecting strains determined by direct PCR of DNA extracted from tissue or by PCR after cultivation of spirochetes from biopsy samples. The dominant ospC types associated with B. burgdorferi canine infections differed from those associated with human infection, indicating a relationship between ospC sequence and preferred host range. Knowledge of the most common ospC genotypes associated specifically with infection of dogs will facilitate the rational design of OspC-based canine Lyme disease vaccines and diagnostic assays. PMID:23962611

  12. Identification of Borrelia burgdorferi ospC genotypes in canine tissue following tick infestation: implications for Lyme disease vaccine and diagnostic assay design.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, D V L; Earnhart, C G; Mather, T N; Meeus, P F M; Marconi, R T

    2013-11-01

    In endemic regions, Lyme disease is a potential health threat to dogs. Canine Lyme disease manifests with arthritis-induced lameness, anorexia, fever, lethargy, lymphadenopathy and, in some cases, fatal glomerulonephritis. A recent study revealed that the regional mean for the percentage of seropositive dogs in the north-east of the USA is 11.6%. The outer surface protein C (OspC) of Lyme disease spirochetes is an important virulence factor required for the establishment of infection in mammals. It is a leading candidate in human and canine Lyme disease vaccine development efforts. Over 30 distinct ospC phyletic types have been defined. It has been hypothesized that ospC genotype may influence mammalian host range. In this study, Ixodes scapularis ticks collected from the field in Rhode Island were assessed for infection with B. burgdorferi. Ticks were fed on purpose bred beagles to repletion and infection of the dogs was assessed through serology and PCR. Tissue biopsies (n=2) were collected from each dog 49 days post-tick infestation (dpi) and the ospC genotype of the infecting strains determined by direct PCR of DNA extracted from tissue or by PCR after cultivation of spirochetes from biopsy samples. The dominant ospC types associated with B. burgdorferi canine infections differed from those associated with human infection, indicating a relationship between ospC sequence and preferred host range. Knowledge of the most common ospC genotypes associated specifically with infection of dogs will facilitate the rational design of OspC-based canine Lyme disease vaccines and diagnostic assays.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. The use of harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and geographic information system (GIS) methods to characterize distribution and locate spatial clusters of Borrelia burgdorferi and its vector Ixodes scapularis in Indiana.

    PubMed

    Keefe, Lisa M; Moro, Manuel H; Vinasco, Javier; Hill, Catherine; Wu, Ching C; Raizman, Eran A

    2009-12-01

    Ixodes scapularis (Say) is the vector for Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) the causative agent of Lyme disease (LD). The increased number and presence of ticks in the environment pose a significant health risk to people and many domestic animals including dogs, cats, and horses. This study characterized the distribution and expansion of I. scapularis and Bb and identified areas of increased risk of LD transmission in Indiana using geographical information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis. A cross-sectional sampling was performed for 3 consecutive years (2005-2007). A total of 3,412 harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were searched for ticks at Department of Natural Resources manned deer check-in stations. Hunters were asked for verbal permission to search the deer and to indicate on a road atlas where the deer was killed. All deer points were digitized into a GIS database. Identification of clustering in space and time for these organisms was performed using geostatistical software. Multiple spatial clusters of I. scapularis-infested deer were identified in western Indiana. B. burgdorferi was isolated from tick pools in 11 counties. In addition to the I. scapularis clusters, one spatial cluster of Bb-infected ticks was identified. Our current survey results and cluster analysis indicate that the western geographic regions of Indiana should be considered by the healthcare community to be at increased risk of LD compared with the rest of Indiana.

  15. Infection and co-infection rates of Anaplasma phagocytophilum variants, Babesia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi, and the rickettsial endosymbiont in Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) from sites in Indiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Fresia E; Pinger, Robert R; Vann, Carolyn N; Grindle, Nate; Civitello, David; Clay, Keith; Fuqua, Clay

    2008-03-01

    In total, 394 questing adult blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), collected at four sites were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for five microbial species: Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Babesia odocoilei, Borrelia burgdorferi, and the rickettsial I. scapularis endosymbiont. Identities of genetic variants of A. phagocytophilum were determined by sequencing a portion of the 16S DNA. In 55% of infected ticks (193/351), a single agent was detected. In 45% (158/351), two or more agents were detected; 37% harbored two agents and 8% harbored three agents. One male tick, collected from Ft. McCoy, WI, harbored all four microbial genera The highest rates of co-infection were by the Ixodes endosymbiont and B. burgdorferi (95/351). Two species of Babesia co-occurred within a single tick population in Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wells, ME, whereas only B. odocoilei was found in other tick populations. Only A. phagocytophilum human anaplasmosis variant was detected in questing ticks from Tippecanoe River State Park, IN; from Wells; and Ft. McCoy, whereas a single infected tick from Presque Isle, PA, was infected by AP-Variant 1. Partially engorged ticks from deer in Tippecanoe River State Park were all infected with AP-Variant 1. Frequency of infections with each agent varied among populations. Rates and types of co-infections were not significantly different from random except for the Ixodes endosymbiont and B. burgdorferi in male ticks, which co-occurred less frequently than expected. Thus, I. scapularis hosts an array of pathogenic and symbiotic agents and potential evidence of interactions among microbial species was observed.

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

    PubMed

    Goc, Anna; Niedzwiecki, Alexandra; Rath, Matthias

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Goc, Anna; Niedzwiecki, Alexandra; Rath, Matthias

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Evaluation of a canine C6 ELISA Lyme disease test for the determination of the infection status of cats naturally exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

    Levy, Steven A; O'Connor, Thomas P; Hanscom, Jancy L; Shields, Paulette

    2003-01-01

    The efficacy of a commercially available in-office kit (SNAP 3Dx, IDEXX Laboratories) for detection of antibodies directed against an invariable region (IR6) of the B. burgdorferi surface protein VlsE (Vmp-like sequence, Expressed), a surface antigen of the spirochete recognized during active infection has been evaluated in dogs. The present study was conducted to determine whether this in-office test could be useful for detection of antibodies to B. burgdorferi in cats. Cats owned by clients of a veterinary hospital located in an area hyperendemic for Lyme disease were included in the study. When possible, cats with an outdoor lifestyle, bite wounds, or current tick infestation were recruited for the study to help ensure that animals with a likelihood of exposure to natural infection by B. burgdorferi would be included in the test group. Of the 24 cats tested, 17 samples were positive for antibodies to B. burgdorferi by the C6 ELISA kit. For all 17 of these samples, a duplicate sample tested by immunofluorescent assay (IFA) was in agreement with the ELISA. Five samples were negative by both assays. Two samples that were negative by the C6 ELISA test had low IFA titers (1:100). One of these two discrepant samples was negative and one was positive for antibodies to B. burgdorferi by the Western blot test. It was concluded that the C6 ELISA test performed with good agreement with the IFA and Western blot tests for detection of antibody to B. burgdorferi in the majority of cats tested. The test offers the advantages of producing a result rapidly (approximately 8 minutes), and it requires only two drops of serum, plasma, or whole blood.

  19. Serological survey of Bartonella spp., Borrelia burgdorferi, Brucella spp., Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, Leptospira spp., Echinococcus, Hanta-, TBE- and XMR-virus infection in employees of two forestry enterprises in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Jurke, Annette; Bannert, N; Brehm, K; Fingerle, V; Kempf, V A J; Kömpf, D; Lunemann, M; Mayer-Scholl, A; Niedrig, M; Nöckler, K; Scholz, H; Splettstoesser, W; Tappe, D; Fischer, Silke F

    2015-10-01

    We initiated a survey to collect basic data on the frequency and regional distribution of various zoonoses in 722 employees of forestry enterprises in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) from 2011 to 2013. Exposures associated with seropositivity were identified to give insight into the possible risk factors for infection with each pathogen. 41.2% of participants were found to be seropositive for anti-Bartonella IgG, 30.6% for anti-Borrelia burgdorferi IgG, 14.2% for anti-Leptospira IgG, 6.5% for anti-Coxiella burnetii IgG, 6.0% for anti-Hantavirus IgG, 4.0% for anti-Francisella tularensis IgG, 3.4% for anti-TBE-virus IgG, 1.7% for anti-Echinococcus IgG, 0.0% for anti-Brucella IgG and anti-XMRV IgG. Participants seropositive for B. burgdorferi were 3.96 times more likely to be professional forestry workers (univariable analysis: OR 3.96; 95% CI 2.60-6.04; p<0.001); and participants seropositive for Hantavirus 3.72 times more likely (univariable analysis: OR 3.72; 95% CI 1.44-9.57; p=0.007). This study found a surprisingly high percentage of participants seropositive for anti-B. henselae IgG and for anti-F. tularensis IgG. The relatively high seroprevalence for anti-Leptospira IgG seen in this study could be related to living conditions rather than to exposure at work. No specific risk for exposure to C. burnetii and Echinococcus was identified, indicating that neither forestry workers nor office workers represent a risk population and that NRW is not a typical endemic area. Forestry workers appear to have higher risk for contact with B. burgdorferi-infected ticks and a regionally diverse risk for acquiring Hantavirus-infection. The regional epidemiology of zoonoses is without question of great importance for public health. Knowledge of the regional risk factors facilitates the development of efficient prevention strategies and the implementation of such prevention measures in a sustainable manner.

  20. A serological survey of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in North America and the Caribbean as assessed by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, A. platys, Ehrlichia canis, E. chaffeensis, E. ewingii, and Borrelia burgdorferi species-specific peptides

    PubMed Central

    Qurollo, Barbara A.; Chandrashekar, Ramaswamy; Hegarty, Barbara C.; Beall, Melissa J.; Stillman, Brett A.; Liu, Jiayou; Thatcher, Brendon; Pultorak, Elizabeth; Cerrito, Brian; Walsh, Mary; Breitschwerdt, Edward B.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Tick-borne pathogens cause a spectrum of disease manifestations in both dogs and humans. Recognizing regional and temporal shifts in exposure are important as tick distributions change. To better delineate regional exposure to canine tick-borne pathogens, an expanded set of species-specific peptides were used to detect Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Aph), Anaplasma platys (Apl), Ehrlichia canis (Ec), Ehrlichia chaffeensis (Ech), Ehrlichia ewingii (Eew), and Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) antibodies in canine serum. Methods Archived canine serum samples (n=6,582) collected during 2008–2010 and in 2012 from the US, Canada, and the Caribbean were retrospectively screened for antibodies against Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species-specific peptides. Overall, regional and temporal seroprevalence rates were determined. Results Overall Bb and Eew were the most seroprevalent pathogens. During 2008–2010, seroprevalence rates increased overall for Aph and Ech, and regionally, Bb and Aph seroprevalence rates increased in the South. Canada had unexpectedly high seroprevalence rates for Ec and Apl. The most common co-exposures were Eew+Ech, followed by Aph+Bb and Eew+Bb. Conclusions This study demonstrated significant shifts in canine vector-borne disease seroprevalence rates. The use of specific peptides facilitated improved geographic delineation of tick-borne pathogen distributions among dogs, which may enhance epidemiological surveillance of vector-borne pathogens shared by dogs and humans. PMID:25405006

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

    PubMed Central

    Goc, Anna; Rath, Matthias

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Plasmid DNA and protein vaccination of mice to the outer surface protein A of Borrelia burgdorferi leads to induction of T helper cells with specificity for a major epitope and augmentation of protective IgG antibodies in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zhong, W; Wiesmüller, K H; Kramer, M D; Wallich, R; Simon, M M

    1996-11-01

    Plasmid DNA-based vaccination is an efficient way to evoke various forms of protective immunity in laboratory animals. Our previous experiments have shown that mice immunized with either plasmid DNA encoding the outer surface lipoprotein A (pOspA) of Borrelia burgdorferi or the respective lipoprotein (Lip-OspA) produce protective antibodies against subsequent challenge with virulent spirochetes. In the present study, we compared the specificity and function of T cells generated in AKR/N mice previously immunized to either pOspA or Lip-OspA. T cell populations derived by either of the two protocols consistently responded by proliferation in vitro to one (residues 186-203; B4) out of a panel of 27 overlapping 20-mer peptides spanning the entire OspA molecule of strain ZS7. B4 was shown to express allele-specific ligand motifs for I-Ek. Most of the other peptides produced variable and much less pronounced or marginal proliferative T cell responses. T cells reactive to B4 as well as to some minor epitopes were CD4+CD8- T cells which produced IFN-gamma but no detectable IL-4 upon antigen stimulation in vitro. Priming of AKR/N mice with B4 but not with inactive peptides of OspA led to an enhanced production of IgG antibodies, mainly of the IgG1 isotype, including those to a prominent protective epitope (LA-2) upon subsequent challenge with Lip-OspA or intact spirochetes. The data demonstrate that both plasmid DNA and protein immunization with OspA results in T cell responses with specificity for a dominant OspA epitope and suggest that priming of mice with immunodominant peptides accelerates the appearance of protective antibodies in vivo. The identification of T helper cell epitopes relevant for the induction of protective antibodies will also facilitate the design of more potent vaccines against Lyme disease.

  3. Structural characterization and modeling of the Borrelia burgdorferi hybrid histidine kinase Hk1 periplasmic sensor: a system for sensing small molecules associated with tick feeding

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Guangyu; Radolf, Justin D.; Malkowski, Michael G.; Caimano, Melissa J.

    2015-01-01

    Two-component signal transduction systems are the primary mechanisms by which bacteria perceive and respond to changes in their environment. The Hk1/Rrp1 two-component system (TCS) in B. burgdorferi consists of a hybrid histidine kinase and a response regulator with diguanlyate cyclase activity, respectively. Phosphorylated Rrp1 catalyzes the synthesis of c-di-GMP, a second messenger associated with bacterial life-style control networks. Spirochetes lacking either Hk1 or Rrp1 are virulent in mice but destroyed within feeding ticks. Activation of Hk1 by exogenous stimuli represents the seminal event for c-di-GMP signaling. We reasoned that structural characterization of Hk1's sensor would provide insights into the mechanism underlying signal transduction and aid in the identification of activating ligands. The Hk1 sensor is composed of three ligand-binding domains (D1-3), each with homology to periplasmic solute-binding proteins (PBPs) typically associated with ABC transporters. Herein, we determined the structure for D1, the most N-terminal PBP domain. As expected, D1 displays a bilobed Venus Fly Trap-fold. Similar to the prototypical sensor PBPs HK29S from Geobacter sulfurreducens and VFT2 from Bordetella pertussis, apo-D1 adopts a closed conformation. Using complementary approaches, including SAXS, we established that D1 forms a dimer in solution. The D1 structure enabled us to model the D2 and D3 domains. Differences in the ligand-binding pockets suggest that each PBP recognizes a different ligand. The ability of Hk1 to recognize multiple stimuli provides spirochetes with a means of distinguishing between the acquisition and transmission blood meals and generate a graded output response that is reflective of the perceived environmental threats. PMID:26321039

  4. A prospective study on the incidence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection after a tick bite in Sweden and on the Åland Islands, Finland (2008-2009).

    PubMed

    Wilhelmsson, Peter; Fryland, Linda; Lindblom, Pontus; Sjöwall, Johanna; Ahlm, Clas; Berglund, Johan; Haglund, Mats; Henningsson, Anna J; Nolskog, Peter; Nordberg, Marika; Nyberg, Clara; Ornstein, Katharina; Nyman, Dag; Ekerfelt, Christina; Forsberg, Pia; Lindgren, Per-Eric

    2016-02-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a common and increasing tick-borne disease in Europe. The risk of acquiring a Borrelia infection after a tick bite is not fully known. Therefore, we investigated the incidence of Borrelia infection after a bite by a Borrelia-infected tick and if the Borrelia load and/or the duration of tick-feeding influenced the risk of infection. During 2008-2009, ticks and blood samples were collected from 1546 tick-bitten persons from Sweden and the Åland Islands, Finland. Follow-up blood samples were taken 3 months after the tick bite. The duration of tick feeding was microscopically estimated and Borrelia was detected and quantified in ticks by real-time PCR. Anti-Borrelia antibodies were detected in sera using ELISA tests and immunoblot. Five percent (78/1546) of the study participants developed Borrelia infection (LB diagnosis and/or seroconversion) after a tick bite (45% bitten by Borrelia-infected ticks and 55% bitten by uninfected ticks). Of these, 33 developed LB (whereof 9 also seroconverted) while 45 participants seroconverted only. Experience of non-specific symptoms was more frequently reported by Borrelia-infected participants compared to uninfected participants. All who seroconverted removed "their" ticks significantly later than those who did not. The Borrelia load in the ticks did not explain the risk of seroconversion. Regional and sex differences in the Borrelia seroprevalence were found. The risk of developing a Borrelia infection after a bite by a Borrelia-infected tick is small but increases with the duration of tick feeding.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-12-01

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

  6. Whole-genome sequences of two Borrelia afzelii and two Borrelia garinii Lyme disease agent isolates.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  7. [Antibody titers against Borrelia in horses in serum and in eyes and occurrence of equine recurrent uveitis].

    PubMed

    Gerhards, H; Wollanke, B

    1996-08-01

    In Germany very little is known about antibody titers against Borrelia burgdorferi in the horse. In the USA there exist some studies on the titer levels and symptoms due to borrelia infections. Beside lameness, fever, polyarthritis, pneumonia and dullness there is a study showing a connection between panuveitis and Borrelia infection in the horse. In human medicine the infection with Borrelia burgdorferi becomes more and more important. Uveitis and other eye diseases due to Borrelia burgdorferi are proved and documented. The goal of this study was to find a connection between antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi and cases of equine recurrent uveitis (ERU). The antibody titer against Borrelia burgdorferi was determined by IFT in 153 horses with no sign of disease of the eye and in 79 horses with equine recurrent uveitis (ERU). 48% of all horses were found to be positive (titer 1:64 or higher). In addition 22 sera were tested in western-blot for antibody titers. There was no significant correlation between signs of ERU and increased antibody titers against Borrelia burgdorferi (p > 0.05). No clinical signs were seen in horses with elevated titers. No correlation between the age of the horses and the antibody level could be found. There was a connection between the antibody titer and the month of examination (p < 0.05). Highest titer levels were seen in May and November. This is both one month later than the activity of the transmitting ticks (I. ricinus).

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  9. Identification of Borrelia species after creation of an in-house MALDI-TOF MS database.

    PubMed

    Calderaro, Adriana; Gorrini, Chiara; Piccolo, Giovanna; Montecchini, Sara; Buttrini, Mirko; Rossi, Sabina; Piergianni, Maddalena; Arcangeletti, Maria Cristina; De Conto, Flora; Chezzi, Carlo; Medici, Maria Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a multisystemic disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) complex transmitted to humans by Ixodes ticks. B. burgdorferi sl complex, currently comprising at least 19 genospecies, includes the main pathogenic species responsible for human disease in Europe: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (ss), B. afzelii, and B. garinii. In this study, for the first time, MALDI-TOF MS was applied to Borrelia spp., supplementing the existing database, limited to the species B. burgdorferi ss, B . spielmanii and B. garinii, with the species B. afzelii, in order to enable the identification of all the species potentially implicated in LB in Europe. Moreover, we supplemented the database also with B. hermsii, which is the primary cause of tick-borne relapsing fever in western North America, B. japonica, circulating in Asia, and another reference strain of B. burgdorferi ss (B31 strain). The dendrogram obtained by analyzing the protein profiles of the different Borrelia species reflected Borrelia taxonomy, showing that all the species included in the Borrelia sl complex clustered in a unique branch, while Borrelia hermsii clustered separately. In conclusion, in this study MALDI-TOF MS proved a useful tool suitable for identification of Borrelia spp. both for diagnostic purpose and epidemiological surveillance.

  10. Identification of a new Borrelia species among small mammals in areas of northern Spain where Lyme disease is endemic.

    PubMed

    Gil, Horacio; Barral, Marta; Escudero, Raquel; García-Pérez, Ana L; Anda, Pedro

    2005-03-01

    The role of small mammals as reservoir hosts for Borrelia burgdorferi was investigated in several areas where Lyme disease is endemic in northern Spain. A low rate of infestation by Ixodes ricinus nymphs was found in the small mammal populations studied that correlated with the near-absence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in 184 animals tested and with the lack of transmission of B. burgdorferi sensu lato to I. ricinus larvae that fed on them. In contrast, questing ticks collected at the same time and in the same areas were found to carry a highly variable B. burgdorferi sensu lato repertoire (B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, and Borrelia afzelii). Interestingly, the only isolate obtained from small mammals (R57, isolated from a bank vole) grouped by phylogenetic analyses with other Borrelia species but in a separate clade from the Lyme disease and relapsing fever organisms, suggesting that it is a new species. This new agent was widely distributed among small mammals, with infection rates of 8.5 to 12% by PCR. Moreover, a high seroprevalence to B. burgdorferi sensu lato was found in the animal sera, suggesting cross-reactivity between B. burgdorferi sensu lato and R57. Although small mammals do not seem to play an important role as reservoirs for B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the study area, they seem to be implicated in the maintenance of spirochetes similar to R57.

  11. Identification of a New Borrelia Species among Small Mammals in Areas of Northern Spain Where Lyme Disease Is Endemic

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Horacio; Barral, Marta; Escudero, Raquel; García-Pérez, Ana L.; Anda, Pedro

    2005-01-01

    The role of small mammals as reservoir hosts for Borrelia burgdorferi was investigated in several areas where Lyme disease is endemic in northern Spain. A low rate of infestation by Ixodes ricinus nymphs was found in the small mammal populations studied that correlated with the near-absence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in 184 animals tested and with the lack of transmission of B. burgdorferi sensu lato to I. ricinus larvae that fed on them. In contrast, questing ticks collected at the same time and in the same areas were found to carry a highly variable B. burgdorferi sensu lato repertoire (B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, and Borrelia afzelii). Interestingly, the only isolate obtained from small mammals (R57, isolated from a bank vole) grouped by phylogenetic analyses with other Borrelia species but in a separate clade from the Lyme disease and relapsing fever organisms, suggesting that it is a new species. This new agent was widely distributed among small mammals, with infection rates of 8.5 to 12% by PCR. Moreover, a high seroprevalence to B. burgdorferi sensu lato was found in the animal sera, suggesting cross-reactivity between B. burgdorferi sensu lato and R57. Although small mammals do not seem to play an important role as reservoirs for B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the study area, they seem to be implicated in the maintenance of spirochetes similar to R57. PMID:15746336

  12. Multilocus spacer analysis revealed highly homogeneous genetic background of Asian type of Borrelia miyamotoi.

    PubMed

    Mukhacheva, Tatyana A; Salikhova, Irina I; Kovalev, Sergey Y

    2015-04-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi, a member of the relapsing fever group borreliae, was first isolated in Japan and subsequently found in Ixodes ticks in North America, Europe and Russia. Currently, there are three types of B. miyamotoi: Asian or Siberian (transmitted mainly by Ixodes persulcatus), European (Ixodesricinus) and American (Ixodesscapularis and Ixodespacificus). Despite the great genetic distances between B. miyamotoi types, isolates within a type are characterised by an extremely low genetic variability. In particular, strains of B. miyamotoi of Asian type, isolated in Russia from the Baltic sea to the Far East, have been shown to be identical based on the analysis of several conventional genetic markers, such as 16S rRNA, flagellin, outer membrane protein p66 and glpQ genes. Thus, protein or rRNA - coding genes were shown not to be informative enough in studying genetic diversity of B. miyamotoi within a type. In the present paper, we have attempted to design a new multilocus technique based on eight non-coding intergenic spacers (3686bp in total) and have applied it to the analysis of intra-type genetic variability of В. miyamotoi detected in different regions of Russia and from two tick species, I. persulcatus and Ixodespavlovskyi. However, even though potentially the most variable loci were selected, no genetic variability between studied DNA samples was found, except for one nucleotide substitution in two of them. The sequences obtained were identical to those of the reference strain FR64b. Analysis of the data obtained with the GenBank sequences indicates a highly homogeneous genetic background of B. miyamotoi from the Baltic Sea to the Japanese Islands. In this paper, a hypothesis of clonal expansion of B. miyamotoi is discussed, as well as possible mechanisms for the rapid dissemination of one B. miyamotoi clone over large distances.

  13. Comparative genome analysis: selection pressure on the Borrelia vls cassettes is essential for infectivity

    PubMed Central

    Glöckner, Gernot; Schulte-Spechtel, Ulrike; Schilhabel, Markus; Felder, Marius; Sühnel, Jürgen; Wilske, Bettina; Platzer, Matthias

    2006-01-01

    Background At least three species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) cause tick-borne Lyme disease. Previous work including the genome analysis of B. burgdorferi B31 and B. garinii PBi suggested a highly variable plasmid part. The frequent occurrence of duplicated sequence stretches, the observed plasmid redundancy, as well as the mainly unknown function and variability of plasmid encoded genes rendered the relationships between plasmids within and between species largely unresolvable. Results To gain further insight into Borreliae genome properties we completed the plasmid sequences of B. garinii PBi, added the genome of a further species, B. afzelii PKo, to our analysis, and compared for both species the genomes of pathogenic and apathogenic strains. The core of all Bbsl genomes consists of the chromosome and two plasmids collinear between all species. We also found additional groups of plasmids, which share large parts of their sequences. This makes it very likely that these plasmids are relatively stable and share common ancestors before the diversification of Borrelia species. The analysis of the differences between B. garinii PBi and B. afzelii PKo genomes of low and high passages revealed that the loss of infectivity is accompanied in both species by a loss of similar genetic material. Whereas B. garinii PBi suffered only from the break-off of a plasmid end, B. afzelii PKo lost more material, probably an entire plasmid. In both cases the vls gene locus encoding for variable surface proteins is affected. Conclusion The complete genome sequences of a B. garinii and a B. afzelii strain facilitate further comparative studies within the genus Borrellia. Our study shows that loss of infectivity can be traced back to only one single event in B. garinii PBi: the loss of the vls cassettes possibly due to error prone gene conversion. Similar albeit extended losses in B. afzelii PKo support the hypothesis that infectivity of Borrelia species depends heavily on

  14. Fine-Scale Phylogeographic Structure of Borrelia lusitaniae Revealed by Multilocus Sequence Typing

    PubMed Central

    Vitorino, Liliana R.; Margos, Gabriele; Feil, Edward J.; Collares-Pereira, Margarida; Zé-Zé, Libia; Kurtenbach, Klaus

    2008-01-01

    Borrelia lusitaniae is an Old World species of the Lyme borreliosis (LB) group of tick-borne spirochetes and prevails mainly in countries around the Mediterranean Basin. Lizards of the family Lacertidae have been identified as reservoir hosts of B. lusitaniae. These reptiles are highly structured geographically, indicating limited migration. In order to examine whether host geographic structure shapes the evolution and epidemiology of B. lusitaniae, we analyzed the phylogeographic population structure of this tick-borne bacterium using a recently developed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme based on chromosomal housekeeping genes. A total of 2,099 questing nymphal and adult Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in two climatically different regions of Portugal, being ∼130 km apart. All ticks were screened for spirochetes by direct PCR. Attempts to isolate strains yielded 16 cultures of B. lusitaniae in total. Uncontaminated cultures as well as infected ticks were included in this study. The results using MLST show that the regional B. lusitaniae populations constitute genetically distinct populations. In contrast, no clear phylogeographic signals were detected in sequences of the commonly used molecular markers ospA and ospC. The pronounced population structure of B. lusitaniae over a short geographic distance as captured by MLST of the housekeeping genes suggests that the migration rates of B. lusitaniae are rather low, most likely because the distribution of mediterranean lizard populations is highly parapatric. The study underlines the importance of vertebrate hosts in the geographic spread of tick-borne microparasites. PMID:19104655

  15. Borrelia miyamotoi: a widespread tick-borne relapsing fever spirochete.

    PubMed

    Wagemakers, Alex; Staarink, Pieter J; Sprong, Hein; Hovius, Joppe W R

    2015-06-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi is a relapsing fever spirochete that has only recently been identified as a human pathogen. Borrelia miyamotoi is genetically and ecologically distinct from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, while both are present in Ixodes ticks. Over 50 patients with an acute febrile illness have been described with a B. miyamotoi infection, and two infected immunocompromised patients developed a meningoencephalitis. Seroprevalence studies indicate exposure in the general population and in specific risk groups, such as patients initially suspected of having human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Here, we review the available literature on B. miyamotoi, describing its presence in ticks, reservoir hosts, and humans, and discussing its potential impact on public health.

  16. Head Lice of Pygmies Reveal the Presence of Relapsing Fever Borreliae in the Republic of Congo

    PubMed Central

    Amanzougaghene, Nadia; Akiana, Jean; Mongo Ndombe, Géor; Davoust, Bernard; Nsana, Nardiouf Sjelin; Parra, Henri-Joseph; Fenollar, Florence; Raoult, Didier; Mediannikov, Oleg

    2016-01-01

    Background Head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis, occur in four divergent mitochondrial clades (A, B, C and D), each having particular geographical distributions. Recent studies suggest that head lice, as is the case of body lice, can act as a vector for louse-borne diseases. Therefore, understanding the genetic diversity of lice worldwide is of critical importance to our understanding of the risk of louse-borne diseases. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we report the results of the first molecular screening of pygmies’ head lice in the Republic of Congo for seven pathogens and an analysis of lice mitochondrial clades. We developed two duplex clade-specific real-time PCRs and identified three major mitochondrial clades: A, C, and D indicating high diversity among the head lice studied. We identified the presence of a dangerous human pathogen, Borrelia recurrentis, the causative agent of relapsing fever, in ten clade A head lice, which was not reported in the Republic of Congo, and B. theileri in one head louse. The results also show widespread infection among head lice with several species of Acinetobacter. A. junii was the most prevalent, followed by A. ursingii, A. baumannii, A. johnsonii, A. schindleri, A. lwoffii, A. nosocomialis and A. towneri. Conclusions/Significance Our study is the first to show the presence of B. recurrentis in African pygmies’ head lice in the Republic of Congo. This study is also the first to report the presence of DNAs of B. theileri and several species of Acinetobacter in human head lice. Further studies are needed to determine whether the head lice can transmit these pathogenic bacteria from person to another. PMID:27911894

  17. Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato seroreactivity and seroprevalence in the northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Krause, Peter J; Narasimhan, Sukanya; Wormser, Gary P; Barbour, Alan G; Platonov, Alexander E; Brancato, Janna; Lepore, Timothy; Dardick, Kenneth; Mamula, Mark; Rollend, Lindsay; Steeves, Tanner K; Diuk-Wasser, Maria; Usmani-Brown, Sahar; Williamson, Phillip; Sarksyan, Denis S; Fikrig, Erol; Fish, Durland

    2014-07-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato, a relapsing fever Borrelia sp., is transmitted by the same ticks that transmit B. burgdorferi (the Lyme disease pathogen) and occurs in all Lyme disease-endemic areas of the United States. To determine the seroprevalence of IgG against B. miyamotoi sensu lato in the northeastern United States and assess whether serum from B. miyamotoi sensu lato-infected persons is reactive to B. burgdorferi antigens, we tested archived serum samples from area residents during 1991-2012. Of 639 samples from healthy persons, 25 were positive for B. miyamotoi sensu lato and 60 for B. burgdorferi. Samples from ≈10% of B. miyamotoi sensu lato-seropositive persons without a recent history of Lyme disease were seropositive for B. burgdorferi. Our results suggest that human B. miyamotoi sensu lato infection may be common in southern New England and that B. burgdorferi antibody testing is not an effective surrogate for detecting B. miyamotoi sensu lato infection.

  18. Bridging of cryptic Borrelia cycles in European songbirds.

    PubMed

    Heylen, Dieter; Krawczyk, Aleksandra; Lopes de Carvalho, Isabel; Núncio, Maria Sofia; Sprong, Hein; Norte, Ana Cláudia

    2017-02-02

    The principal European vector for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., the causative agents of Lyme disease, is the host-generalist tick Ixodes ricinus. Almost all terrestrial host-specialist ticks have been supposed not to contribute to the terrestrial Borrelia transmission cycles. Through an experiment with blackbirds, we show successful transmission by the widespread I. frontalis, an abundant bird-specialized tick that infests a broad range of songbirds. In the first phase of the experiment, we obtained Borrelia-infected I. frontalis (infection rate: 19%) and I. ricinus (17%) nymphs by exposing larvae to wild blackbirds that carried several genospecies (Borrelia turdi, B. valaisiana, B. burgdorferi s.s.). In the second phase, pathogen-free blackbirds were exposed to these infected nymphs. Both tick species were able to infect the birds, as indicated by the analysis of xenodiagnostic I. ricinus larvae which provided evidence for both co-feeding and systemic transmission (infection rates: 10%-60%). Ixodes frontalis was shown to transmit B. turdi spirochetes, while I. ricinus transmitted both B. turdi and B. valaisiana. Neither species transmitted B. burgdorferi s.s. European enzootic cycles of Borrelia between songbirds and their ornithophilic ticks do exist, with I. ricinus potentially acting as a bridging vector towards mammals, including man.

  19. Ménage à trois: Borrelia, dendritic cells, and tick saliva interactions.

    PubMed

    Mason, Lauren M K; Veerman, Christiaan C; Geijtenbeek, Teunis B H; Hovius, Joppe W R

    2014-02-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, is inoculated into the skin during an Ixodes tick bite where it is recognised and captured by dendritic cells (DCs). However, considering the propensity of Borrelia to disseminate, it would appear that DCs fall short in mounting a robust immune response against it. Many aspects of the DC-driven immune response to Borrelia have been examined. Recently, components of tick saliva have been identified that sabotage DC responses and aid Borrelia infection. In this review, we summarise what is currently known about the immune response of DCs to Borrelia and explore the mechanisms by which Borrelia manages to circumvent this immune response, with or without the help of tick salivary proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. Virulence of recurrent infestations with Borrelia-infected ticks in a Borrelia-amplifying bird

    PubMed Central

    Heylen, Dieter J. A.; Müller, Wendt; Vermeulen, Anke; Sprong, Hein; Matthysen, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Lyme disease cases caused by Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. bacteria is increasing steadily in Europe, in part due to the expansion of the vector, Ixodes ricinus. Wild reservoir hosts are typically recurrently infested. Understanding the impact of these cumulative parasite exposures on the host’s health is, therefore, central to predict the distribution of tick populations and their pathogens. Here, we have experimentally investigated the symptoms of disease caused by recurrent infestations in a common songbird (Parus major). Birds were exposed three times in succession to ticks collected in a Borrelia endemic area. Health and immune measures were analyzed in order to investigate changes in response to tick infestation and Borrelia infection rate. Nitric oxide levels increased with the Borrelia infection rate, but this effect was increasingly counteracted by mounting tick infestation rates. Tick infestations equally reduced haematocrit during each cycle. But birds overcompensated in their response to tick feeding, having higher haematocrit values during tick-free periods depending on the number of ticks they had been previously exposed to. Body condition showed a similar overshooting response in function of the severity of the Borrelia infection. The observed overcompensation increases the bird’s energetic needs, which may result in an increase in transmission events. PMID:26553505

  3. Virulence of recurrent infestations with Borrelia-infected ticks in a Borrelia-amplifying bird

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heylen, Dieter J. A.; Müller, Wendt; Vermeulen, Anke; Sprong, Hein; Matthysen, Erik

    2015-11-01

    Lyme disease cases caused by Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. bacteria is increasing steadily in Europe, in part due to the expansion of the vector, Ixodes ricinus. Wild reservoir hosts are typically recurrently infested. Understanding the impact of these cumulative parasite exposures on the host’s health is, therefore, central to predict the distribution of tick populations and their pathogens. Here, we have experimentally investigated the symptoms of disease caused by recurrent infestations in a common songbird (Parus major). Birds were exposed three times in succession to ticks collected in a Borrelia endemic area. Health and immune measures were analyzed in order to investigate changes in response to tick infestation and Borrelia infection rate. Nitric oxide levels increased with the Borrelia infection rate, but this effect was increasingly counteracted by mounting tick infestation rates. Tick infestations equally reduced haematocrit during each cycle. But birds overcompensated in their response to tick feeding, having higher haematocrit values during tick-free periods depending on the number of ticks they had been previously exposed to. Body condition showed a similar overshooting response in function of the severity of the Borrelia infection. The observed overcompensation increases the bird’s energetic needs, which may result in an increase in transmission events.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Distribution of borreliae among ticks collected from eastern states.

    PubMed

    Taft, Sarah C; Miller, Melissa K; Wright, Stephen M

    2005-01-01

    Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States and is transmitted by Borrelia burgdorferi-infected Ixodes species. The disease is typically characterized by an erythema migrans (EM) rash at the site of tick feeding. EM rashes have also been associated with feeding by Amblyomma americanum ticks despite evidence suggesting that they are incompetent vectors for Lyme disease. In 1996, a Borrelia organism only recently cultivated in the laboratory was described in A. americanum ticks and designated B. lonestari. This Borrelia is believed to be the etiologic agent of a novel Lyme-like disease, southern tick associated rash illness (STARI). This study examined ticks collected from eight eastern states to evaluate the epidemiology of B. lonestari, B. burgdorferi, and their tick hosts. Three hundred individual or small pool samples were evaluated from tick genera that included Amblyomma, Ixodes, and Dermacentor. DNA was extracted following tick homogenization and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed using primers derived from the flagellin gene that amplify sequences from both B. burgdorferi and B. lonestari. Species specific digoxigenin labeled probes were designed and used to differentiate between B. burgdorferi and B. lonestari. Borrelia DNA was detected in approximately 10% of the A. americanum and I. scapularis tick samples, but none was present in any of the Dermacentor samples tested. Positive samples were detected in ticks collected from Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. This is the first known report of B. lonestari from Massachusetts and New York and the first detection in I. scapularis. This suggests that B. lonestari and its putative association with STARI may be more widespread than previously thought.

  6. Borrelia-induced meningoradiculitis--two different forms of the disease.

    PubMed

    Klöter, I; Adam, T; Schabet, M; Wiethölter, H; Peiffer, J

    1986-01-01

    The pattern of CSF cytological findings in the acute stage and after 10 days of antibiotic and steroid treatment was examined in 14 patients with meningoradiculitis due to an arthropode-transmitted infection with Borrelia duttoni (burgdorferi). At the acute onset of neurological symptoms, 12 patients revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis (cell count 50-500 X 10(6) cells/l) with numerous plasma cells (5-12% of the total cell count) and neutrophilic granulocytes (0.2-3.4%). 10-14 days after the onset of penicillin infusion and steroid treatment, cell count was reduced by at least 50% in 8 patients. Plasma cells then varied between 2 and 8%, whereas the neutrophilic granulocytes had disappeared. Two patients with slowly progressive neurological symptoms had a normal cell count, and inflammatory changes in CSF cytology were not observed.

  7. Borrelia infection in Ixodes pararicinus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) from northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Nava, Santiago; Barbieri, Amalia M; Maya, Leticia; Colina, Rodney; Mangold, Atilio J; Labruna, Marcelo B; Venzal, José M

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this work was to describe for the first time the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infecting ticks in Argentina. Unfed specimens of Ixodes pararicinus collected from vegetation in Jujuy Province were tested for Borrelia infection by PCR targeting the gene flagellin (fla), the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer region (IGS) and the 16S rDNA (rrs) gene. One male and one female of I. pararicinus collected in Jujuy were found to be positive to Borrelia infection with the three molecular markers tested. Phylogenetically, the Borrelia found in I. pararicinus from Jujuy belongs to the B. burgdorferi s.l complex, and it was similar to one of the genospecies detected in I. aragaoi from Uruguay. Also, this genospecies is closely related to two genospecies known from USA, Borrelia americana and the Borrelia sp. genospecies 1. The epidemiological risk that implies the infection with Borrelia in I. paracinus ticks from Argentina appears to be low because the genospecies detected is not suspected of having clinical relevance and there are no records of Ixodes ticks biting humans in the southern cone of South America. Further studies are needed to assess accurately if there is risk of borreliosis transmitted by ticks in South America.

  8. [Eye involvement of borrelia aetiology].

    PubMed

    Krbková, Lenka; Vodicková, Kristýna; Pellarová, Hana; Bednárová, Jana; Cápová, Iva

    2007-06-01

    We present a case of eye involvement -- intermediate uveitis -- during tick-borne borreliosis in a 10-year-old boy. Ophthalmologic examination revealed impaired vision, apparent thick floating whitish opacity in the vitreous humour of the left eye and fine fibres in the vitreous humour of the right eye. Sonographic examination confirmed hyperechogenic opacity in the vitreous humour. An autoimmune process was suspected but not confirmed. Serological examination showed IgG antibodies against three pathogenic borreliae and borderline values of IgM antibodies against Borrelia garinii were found by immunoblot. The boy was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone for 21 days. The subsequent sonographic examination showed only minute sporadic echogenicity. Biomicroscopically, only residual opacity in the vitreous humour was found. Isolated eye involvement of borrelia aetiology is rare. The discussion provides a review of similar cases of uveitis including diagnosis of the eye form as published in literature.

  9. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it—an update on B. burgdorferi adhesins

    PubMed Central

    Brissette, Catherine A.; Gaultney, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Adhesion is the initial event in the establishment of any infection. Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease, possesses myriad proteins termed adhesins that facilitate contact with its vertebrate hosts. B. burgdorferi adheres to host tissues through interactions with host cells and extracellular matrix, as well as other molecules present in serum and extracellular fluids. These interactions, both general and specific, are critical in the establishment of infection. Modulation of borrelial adhesion to host tissues affects the microorganisms's ability to colonize, disseminate, and persist. In this review, we update the current knowledge on structure, function, and role in pathogenesis of these “sticky” B. burgdorferi infection-associated proteins. PMID:24772392

  10. Evaluation of Borrelia real time PCR DNA targeting OspA, FlaB and 5S-23S IGS and Borrelia 16S rRNA RT-qPCR.

    PubMed

    de Leeuw, Bertie H C G M; Maraha, Boulos; Hollemans, Leonie; Sprong, Hein; Brandenburg, Afke H; Westenend, Pieter J; Kusters, Johannes G

    2014-12-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi non-sensu lato (s.l.) strains occurred in the Netherlands. A multiplex OspA, FlaB, IGS real time PCR was compared to 16S rRNA/rDNA RT-qPCR with lower average Cycle threshold (Ct) and LOD on strain dilutions. Multiplexing increased sensitivity on CSF samples (n=74), distinguishing B. burgdorferi s.l. from non-s.l. strains.

  11. Borrelia lusitaniae and green lizards (Lacerta viridis), Karst Region, Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Majláthová, Viktória; Majláth, Igor; Derdáková, Marketa; Víchová, Bronislava; Pet'ko, Branislav

    2006-12-01

    In Europe, spirochetes within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex are transmitted by Ixodes ricinus ticks. Specific associations are described between reservoir hosts and individual genospecies. We focused on green lizard (Lacerta viridis) as a host for ticks and potential host for borreliae. In 2004 and 2005, a total of 146 green lizards infested by ticks were captured, and 469 I. ricinus ticks were removed. Borrelial infection was detected in 16.6% of ticks from lizards. Of 102 skin biopsy specimens collected from lizards, 18.6% tested positive. The most frequently detected genospecies was B. lusitaniae (77.9%-94.7%). More than 19% of questing I. ricinus collected in areas where lizards were sampled tested positive for borreliae. B. garinii was the dominant species, and B. lusitaniae represented 11.1%. The presence of B. lusitaniae in skin biopsy specimens and in ticks that had fed on green lizards implicates this species in the transmission cycle of B. lusitaniae.

  12. Comparative study of binding of ovine complement factor H with different Borrelia genospecies.

    PubMed

    Kišová-Vargová, Lucia; Cerňanská, Dana; Bhide, Mangesh

    2012-03-01

    This study presents the binding of ovine factor H (fH) by various serotypes of Borrelia and simultaneously correlates their complement resistance to sheep serum. Affinity ligand binding assay was employed to study the binding of borrelial proteins to ovine recombinant fH and its truncated forms (short consensus repeat, SCR 7 and SCRs 19-20). From a repertoire of 17 borrelial strains, only two strains showed affinity to sheep fH. A ~28-kDa protein of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (B. burgdorferi s.s., strain SKT-2) bound full-length fH as well as SCRs 19-20. This fH-binding protein was further identified as complement regulator-acquiring surface protein of B. burgdorferi (BbCRASP-1) by MALDI-TOF analysis. Surprisingly, a ~26-kDa protein of Borrelia bissettii (DN127) showed affinity to full-length fH but not to SCR 7 and SCRs19-20. In complement sensitivity assay, both strains-SKT-2 and DN127-were resistant to normal sheep serum. Significant complement resistance of two Borrelia garinii strains (G117 and T25) was also observed; however, none of those strains was able to bind sheep fH. Our study underscores the need of further exploration of fH-mediated evasion of complement system by Borrelia in domestic animals.

  13. Borrelia miyamotoi in host-seeking Ixodes ricinus ticks in England.

    PubMed

    Hansford, K M; Fonville, M; Jahfari, S; Sprong, H; Medlock, J M

    2015-04-01

    This paper reports the first detection of Borrelia miyamotoi in UK Ixodes ricinus ticks. It also reports on the presence and infection rates of I. ricinus for a number of other tick-borne pathogens of public health importance. Ticks from seven regions in southern England were screened for B. miyamotoi, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Neoehrlichia mikurensis using qPCR. A total of 954 I. ricinus ticks were tested, 40 were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l., 22 positive for A. phagocytophilum and three positive for B. miyamotoi, with no N. mikurensis detected. The three positive B. miyamotoi ticks came from three geographically distinct areas, suggesting a widespread distribution, and from two separate years, suggesting some degree of endemicity. Understanding the prevalence of Borrelia and other tick-borne pathogens in ticks is crucial for locating high-risk areas of disease transmission.

  14. Borrelia spirochetes in Russia: Genospecies differentiation by real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Mukhacheva, T A; Kovalev, S Y

    2014-10-01

    Spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex are the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis which is widespread in Russia. Nowadays, three clinically important B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies, B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. bavariensis sp. nov., can be found in Russia, as well as B. miyamotoi, which belongs to the tick-borne relapsing fever group of spirochetes. Several techniques have been developed to differentiate Borrelia genospecies. However, most of them do not allow detection of all of these genospecies simultaneously. Also, no method based on the RT-PCR TaqMan approach has been proposed to differentiate the genetically closely related species B. bavariensis and B. garinii. In the present paper, we investigated two species of ticks, I. persulcatus and I. pavlovskyi (1343 and 92 adults, respectively). Two sets of primers and probes for RT-PCR, with uvrA, glpQ and nifS genes as targets, were designed to detect four Borrelia genospecies in positive samples. The average prevalence of Borrelia sp. was about 40%, with B. afzelii as the most prevalent genospecies. Mixed infections of B. bavariensis and B. garinii were found to be extremely rare. While B. bavariensis was predominant in I. persulcatus, I. pavlovskyi ticks were infected exclusively by B. garinii. The proposed technique proved to be efficient in selection of individual Borrelia species for further genetic analysis, in particular, for multilocus sequence typing. Also, it could be applied for the differentiation of Borrelia genospecies in clinical material.

  15. Presence of Borrelia in different populations of Ixodes pararicinus from northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Saracho Bottero, Maria N; Sebastian, Patrick S; Carvalho, Luis A; Claps, Leonor Guardia; Mastropaolo, Mariano; Mangold, Atilio J; Venzal, José M; Nava, Santiago

    2017-02-27

    This work was performed to evaluate the presence of Borrelia in different populations of Ixodes pararicinus from northwestern Argentina (Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán provinces). Questing adults and nymphs of I. pararicinus were collected from vegetation, and I. pararicinus nymphs were also collected on birds. Eighty-two ticks were tested for Borrelia presence by PCR targeting the gene flagellin and the rrfA-rrlB intergenic spacer region. Pools of ticks positive to Borrelia were formed by two nymphs collected on Turdus rufiventris in Tucumán, one nymph collected on Syndactyla rufosuperciliata in Jujuy, one nymph collected on Turdus nigriceps in Tucumán, three nymphs collected on T. nigriceps in Tucumán, and two females collected from vegetation in Salta. Two haplotypes of Borrelia sp. belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex were found. One of them is closely related to the haplotypes of Borrelia genospecies previously reported in I. aragaoi from Uruguay (haplotypes D and E) and in I. pararicinus from Jujuy Province in Argentina. The second haplotype (detected in the sample of Salta) is closely related to the haplotypes A, B and C associated with I. aragaoi from Uruguay. All these results suggest that the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies in I. pararicinus ticks is widespread along the entire distribution of this tick species in northwestern Argentina. However, the Borrelia presence in I. pararicinus cannot be directly assumed as a phenomenon of medical relevance, because Ixodes ticks are not relevant as human parasites in South America, and none of the two Borrelia genospecies detected in this work is related to any of the Borrelia genospecies currently known to be pathogenic to humans.

  16. Arthritis is developed in Borrelia-primed and -infected mice deficient of interleukin-17.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Joseph; Warner, Thomas F; Munson, Erik L; Nardelli, Dean T; Schell, Ronald F

    2016-10-01

    Interleukin-17 (IL-17) has been shown to participate in the development of Lyme arthritis in experimental mice. For example, neutralization of IL-17 with antibodies inhibits induction of arthritis in Borrelia-primed and -infected C57BL/6 wild-type mice. We hypothesized that mice lacking IL-17 would fail to develop Borrelia-induced arthritis. IL-17-deficient and wild-type C57BL/6 mice were primed with heat-inactivated Borrelia and then infected with viable spirochetes 3 weeks later. No swelling or major histopathological changes of the hind paws were detected in IL-17-deficient or wild-type mice that were primed with Borrelia or infected with viable spirochetes. By contrast, IL-17-deficient and wild-type mice that were primed and subsequently infected with heterologous Borrelia developed severe swelling and histopathological changes of the hind paws. In addition, Borrelia-primed and -infected IL-17-deficient mice exhibited elevated gamma-interferon (IFN-γ) levels in sera and increased frequencies of IFN-γ-expressing lymphocytes in popliteal lymph nodes compared to Borrelia-primed and -infected wild-type mice. These results demonstrate that IL-17 is not required for development of severe pathology in response to infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, but may contribute to disease through an interaction with IFN-γ.

  17. Search for Borrelia sp. in ticks collected from potential reservoirs in an urban forest reserve in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil: a short report.

    PubMed

    Costa, I P da; Bonoldi, V L N; Yoshinari, N H

    2002-07-01

    A total of 128 ticks of the genus Amblyomma were recovered from 5 marsupials (Didelphis albiventris) - with 4 recaptures - and 17 rodents (16 Bolomys lasiurus and 1 Rattus norvegicus) captured in an urban forest reserve in Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Of the ticks collected, 95 (78.9%) were in larval form and 22 (21.1%) were nymphs; the only adult (0.8%) was identified as A. cajennense. Viewed under dark-field microscopy in the fourth month after seeding, 9 cultures prepared from spleens and livers of the rodents, blood of the marsupials, and macerates of Amblyomma sp. nymphs revealed spiral-shaped, spirochete-like structures resembling those of Borrelia sp. Some of them showed little motility, while others were non-motile. No such structures could be found either in positive Giemsa-stained culture smears or under electron microscopy. No PCR amplification of DNA from those cultures could be obtained by employing Leptospira sp., B. burgdorferi, and Borrelia sp. primers. These aspects suggest that the spirochete-like structures found in this study do not fit into the genera Borrelia or Leptospira, requiring instead to be isolated for proper identification.

  18. Serological survey of Borrelia infection of dogs in Sapporo, Japan, where Borrelia garinii infection was previously detected

    PubMed Central

    UESAKA, Karin; MAEZAWA, Masaki; INOKUMA, Hisashi

    2015-01-01

    A serological survey of Borrelia infection of dogs was performed in Sapporo, Japan, where Borrelia garinii infection in dogs was detected in 2011. A total of 314 serum samples were collected from dogs that visited three animal hospitals in Sapporo from 2012 to 2014. The two-step evaluation method, involving screening ELISA followed by Western blot analysis, was used to detect antibodies against Borrelia species. A total of 34 samples were positive by ELISA. Among those 34 samples, 32 were positive for Borrelia spp. by Western blot. These findings suggest that the 32 dogs (10.2%) generated antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, such as B. garinii or B. afzelii. Antibody positivity was 7.6% and 13.3% for dogs living in urban and rural areas, respectively. Dogs with a history of tick infestation showed a positive rate of 16.7%, which was higher, although not significantly, than the 6.7% among dogs without a history. PMID:26522809

  19. Within-host competition between Borrelia afzelii ospC strains in wild hosts as revealed by massively parallel amplicon sequencing.

    PubMed

    Strandh, Maria; Råberg, Lars

    2015-08-19

    Infections frequently consist of more than one strain of a given pathogen. Experiments have shown that co-infecting strains often compete, so that the infection intensity of each strain in mixed infections is lower than in single strain infections. Such within-host competition can have important epidemiological and evolutionary consequences. However, the extent of competition has rarely been investigated in wild, naturally infected hosts, where there is noise in the form of varying inoculation doses, asynchronous infections and host heterogeneity, which can potentially alleviate or eliminate competition. Here, we investigated the extent of competition between Borrelia afzelii strains (as determined by ospC genotype) in three host species sampled in the wild. For this purpose, we developed a protocol for 454 amplicon sequencing of ospC, which allows both detection and quantification of each individual strain in an infection. Each host individual was infected with one to six ospC strains. The infection intensity of each strain was lower in mixed infections than in single ones, showing that there was competition. Rank-abundance plots revealed that there was typically one dominant strain, but that the evenness of the relative infection intensity of the different strains in an infection increased with the multiplicity of infection. We conclude that within-host competition can play an important role under natural conditions despite many potential sources of noise, and that quantification by next-generation amplicon sequencing offers new possibilities to dissect within-host interactions in naturally infected hosts.

  20. First molecular detection of Borrelia afzelii in clinical samples in Korea.

    PubMed

    Choi, Yeon-Joo; Han, Seung-Hoon; Park, Jin-Mi; Lee, Kyung-Min; Lee, Eun-Mi; Lee, Seung-Hyun; Song, Hyeon-Je; Koh, Young-Sang; Lee, Keun-Wha; Jang, Won-Jong; Park, Kyung-Hee

    2007-01-01

    Borrelia afzelii nucleic acids were detected in the sera of febrile disease patients by a nested PCR that targeted the rrf (5S)-rrl (23S) spacer of B. burgdorferi sensu lato. The B. afzelii-specific DNA fragment was detected in 8 out of 283 sera which were proven to have immunoglobulin G or M antibodies against B. burgdorferi antigens through IFA. The results were further confirmed through restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing analysis of the DNA fragments. The results indicated for the first time that Lyme borreliosis is prevalent in Korea.

  1. Borrelia Diversity and Co-infection with Other Tick Borne Pathogens in Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Raileanu, Cristian; Moutailler, Sara; Pavel, Ionuţ; Porea, Daniela; Mihalca, Andrei D.; Savuta, Gheorghe; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel

    2017-01-01

    Identifying Borrelia burgdorferi as the causative agent of Lyme disease in 1981 was a watershed moment in understanding the major impact that tick-borne zoonoses can have on public health worldwide, particularly in Europe and the USA. The medical importance of tick-borne diseases has long since been acknowledged, yet little is known regarding the occurrence of emerging tick-borne pathogens such as Borrelia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis”, and tick-borne encephalitis virus in questing ticks in Romania, a gateway into Europe. The objective of our study was to identify the infection and co-infection rates of different Borrelia genospecies along with other tick-borne pathogens in questing ticks collected from three geographically distinct areas in eastern Romania. We collected 557 questing adult and nymph ticks of three different species (534 Ixodes ricinus, 19 Haemaphysalis punctata, and 4 Dermacentor reticulatus) from three areas in Romania. We analyzed ticks individually for the presence of eight different Borrelia genospecies with high-throughput real-time PCR. Ticks with Borrelia were then tested for possible co-infections with A. phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., “Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis”, and tick-borne encephalitis virus. Borrelia spp. was detected in I. ricinus ticks from all sampling areas, with global prevalence rates of 25.8%. All eight Borrelia genospecies were detected in I. ricinus ticks: Borrelia garinii (14.8%), B. afzelii (8.8%), B. valaisiana (5.1%), B. lusitaniae (4.9%), B. miyamotoi (0.9%), B. burgdorferi s.s (0.4%), and B. bissettii (0.2%). Regarding pathogen co-infection 64.5% of infected I. ricinus were positive for more than one pathogen. Associations between different Borrelia genospecies were detected in 9.7% of ticks, and 6.9% of I. ricinus ticks tested positive for co-infection of Borrelia spp. with other tick-borne pathogens. The

  2. Endotoxin-like activity associated with Lyme disease Borrelia.

    PubMed

    Fumarola, D; Munno, I; Marcuccio, C; Miragliotta, G

    1986-12-01

    The newly recognized spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme Disease, has been examined for endotoxin-like activities as measured by the standard Farmacopea Ufficiale della Republica Italiana rabbit fever test and the Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay. The suspension of heat-killed microorganism caused a febrile response at a dose of 1 X 10(8) bacteria pro kilo. Similar results were obtained in the Limulus assay where the heat-killed spirochetes stimulated formation of solid clot until the concentration of 1 X 10(5) per ml. Both in pyrogen test and in Limulus assay heat-killed Escherichia coli exhibited a higher degree of potency. These results show that LD-Borrelia possess endotoxin-like activities which could help in understanding the pathogenesis of the clinical symptomatology of the disease.

  3. Assessing the abundance, seasonal questing activity, and Borrelia and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) prevalence of Ixodes ricinus ticks in a Lyme borreliosis endemic area in Southwest Finland.

    PubMed

    Sormunen, Jani J; Klemola, Tero; Vesterinen, Eero J; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Hytönen, Jukka; Hänninen, Jari; Ruohomäki, Kai; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E; Tonteri, Elina; Penttinen, Ritva

    2016-02-01

    Studies have revealed that Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) have become more abundant and their geographical distribution extended northwards in some Nordic countries during the past few decades. However, ecological data of tick populations in Finland are sparse. In the current study, I. ricinus abundance, seasonal questing activity, and their Borrelia spp. and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) prevalence were evaluated in a Lyme borreliosis endemic area in Southwest Finland,