Identification of Surface Epitopes Associated with Protection against Highly Immune-Evasive VlsE-Expressing Lyme Disease Spirochetes Microbial Immunity and Vaccines

The tick-borne pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi is responsible for approximately 300,000 Lyme disease (LD) cases per year in the United States. Recent increases in the number of LD cases, in addition to the spread of the tick vector and a lack of a vaccine, highlight an urgent need for designing and developing an efficacious LD vaccine. Identification of protective epitopes that could be used to develop a second-generation (subunit) vaccine is therefore imperative. Despite the antigenicity of several lipoproteins and integral outer membrane proteins (OMPs) on the B. burgdorferi surface, the spirochetes successfully evade antibodies primarily due to the VlsE-mediated antigenic variation. VlsE is thought to sterically block antibody access to protective epitopes of B. burgdorferi. However, it is highly unlikely that VlsE shields the entire surface epitome. Thus, identification of subdominant epitope targets that induce protection when they are made dominant is necessary to generate an efficacious vaccine. Toward the identification, we repeatedly immunized immunocompetent mice with live-attenuated VlsE-deleted B. burgdorferi and then challenged the animals with the VlsE-expressing (host-adapted) wild type. Passive immunization and Western blotting data suggested that the protection of 50% of repeatedly immunized animals against the highly immune-evasive B. burgdorferi was antibody mediated. Comparison of serum antibody repertoires identified in protected and nonprotected animals pe...
Source: Infection and Immunity - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Microbial Immunity and Vaccines Source Type: research

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Ticks and mosquitoes don’t care about COVID-19 safety protocols. They don’t care that people are trying to squeeze out the last moments of this restrictive summer by getting outdoors, hiking, or just sitting on their decks at night and feeling something that’s close to normal. COVID-19 has commanded our attention and caused people to adapt their behaviors to prevent one major health concern, but it doesn’t mean others have been eliminated. “Masks and social distancing will do nothing to protect you from what ticks and mosquitoes potentially carry,” says Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infe...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Autoimmune diseases Prevention Safety Source Type: blogs
Publication date: Available online 24 July 2020Source: Ticks and Tick-borne DiseasesAuthor(s): Annetta Zintl, Taher Zaid, Fiona McKiernan, Amalia Naranjo-Lucena, Jeremy Gray, Sorcha Brosnan, John Browne, Jack O’Connor, John Mee, Barbara Good, Emma L. Gillingham, Alexander G.C. Vaux, Jolyon Medlock
Source: Ticks and Tick borne Diseases - Category: Zoology Source Type: research
Lyme disease (LD) is an increasing public health problem. Current laboratory testing is insensitive in early infection, the stage at which appropriate treatment is most effective in preventing disease sequelae. The Lyme Disease Biobank (LDB) collects samples from individuals with symptoms consistent with early LD presenting with or without erythema migrans (EM) or an annular, expanding skin lesion and uninfected individuals from areas of endemicity. Samples were collected from 550 participants (298 cases and 252 controls) according to institutional review board-approved protocols and shipped to a centralized biorepository....
Source: Journal of Clinical Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Authors: Tags: Immunoassays Source Type: research
In this study, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was employed to investigate the local population structure of B. garinii in Ixodes ricinus ticks. The study took place in a natural wetland in Slovakia, temporally encompassing spring and autumn bird migration periods as well as the breeding period of resident birds. In total, we examined 369 and 255 ticks collected from 78 birds and local vegetation, respectively. B. burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 43.4% (160/369) of ticks recovered from birds and in 26.3% (67/255) of questing ticks, respectively. Considering the ticks from bird hosts, the highest prevalence was found for ...
Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Article Source Type: research
Committee Opinion No. 399: Management of Tick Bites and Lyme Disease During Pregnancy: (En français : Prise en charge des morsures de tiques et de la maladie de Lyme pendant la grossesse). J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2020 May;42(5):644-653 Authors: Smith GN, Moore KM, Hatchette TF, Nicholson J, Bowie W, Langley JM Abstract OBJECTIVE: Lyme disease is an emerging infection in Canada caused by the bacterium belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex, which is transmitted via the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. Populations of blacklegged ticks continue to expand and are now es...
Source: Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada : JOGC - Category: OBGYN Tags: J Obstet Gynaecol Can Source Type: research
Lyme borreliosis is a tick-borne disease caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. Bio-Rad Laboratories has developed a fully automated multiplex bead-based assay for the detection of IgM and IgG antibodies to B. burgdorferi. The BioPlex 2200 Lyme Total assay exhibits an improved rate of seropositivity in patients with early Lyme infection. Asymptomatic subjects from endemic and nonendemic origins demonstrated a seroreactivity rate of approximately 4% that was similar to other commercial assays evaluated in this study. Coupled to this result was the observation that the Lyme Total assay retained a high first-t...
Source: Journal of Clinical Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Authors: Tags: Immunoassays Source Type: research
In this study, we developed a new filter-based chemical extraction technique that allows measurement of high quality Borrelia spp. spectra from less than 100,000 bacteria per spot in MALDI-TOF MS. We used 49 isolates of 13 different species to produce the largest mass-library for Borrelia spp. so far and to validate the protocol. The library was successfully established and identifies>96% of used isolates correctly to species level. Cluster analysis on the sum spectra was applied to all the different isolates, which resulted in tight cluster generation for most species. Comparative analysis of the generated cluster to a...
Source: Frontiers in Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research
We examined gene expression patterns in the blood of individuals with early disseminated LD at the time of diagnosis (Acute LD) and also at approximately 1 month and 6 months following antibiotic treatment. A distinct acute LD profile was observed that was sustained during early convalescence (1 month) but returned to control levels six months after treatment. Using a computer learning algorithm, we identified sets of 20 classifier genes that discriminate LD from other bacterial and viral infections. In addition, these novel LD biomarkers are highly acurate in distinvuishing patients with acute LD from healthy subjects and...
Source: GEO: Gene Expression Omnibus - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Expression profiling by array Source Type: research
Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of tick-borne Lyme borreliosis (LB), has a limited metabolic capacity and needs to acquire nutrients, such as amino acids, fatty acids, and nucleic acids, from the host environment. Using X-ray crystallography, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, microscale thermophoresis, and cellular localization studies, we show that basic membrane protein D (BmpD) is a periplasmic substrate-binding protein of an ABC transporter system binding to purine nucleosides. Nucleosides are essential for bacterial survival in the host organism, and these studies suggest a key role for Bmp...
Source: Infection and Immunity - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Cellular Microbiology: Pathogen-Host Cell Molecular Interactions Source Type: research
Conclusions: This study found a high incidence of Lyme disease in Lithuania. We elucidated the baseline characteristics regarding the infected Lithuanian population which may ease medical clinicians' work on new Lyme diagnoses. PMID: 32151097 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Medicina (Kaunas) - Category: Universities & Medical Training Authors: Tags: Medicina (Kaunas) Source Type: research
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