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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is the most common tick-borne illness in the USA and Europe. Pathogens involved include Borrelia burgdorferi in the USA and B. afzelii and B. garinii in Europe. The characteristic rash of erythema migrans occurs in 70 –80% of patients. Neurological disease, including facial palsy, meningo-encephalitis, aseptic meningitis and polyradiculopathy, occurs in 10–15%. Cardiac disease, primarily manifest as heart block, is seen in 1–4%. Arthritis is a late complication in about 30% of untreated patients.
Source: Medicine - Category: Internal Medicine Authors: Tags: Bacterial infections Source Type: research
Radiologia (Engl Ed). 2021 Sep-Oct;63(5):425-435. doi: 10.1016/j.rxeng.2021.07.002.ABSTRACTInfections of the central nervous system caused by atypical bacteria are becoming more common. Borrelia burgdorferi and Rickettsia conorii are microorganisms transmitted by ticks; infection with these bacteria result in a wide spectrum of manifestations on imaging. In areas where these tick-borne microorganisms are endemic, including Spain, these infections must be included in the differential diagnosis of patients with a variety of systemic and neurologic symptoms. The clinical presentation of these infections is nonspecific, and CT...
Source: Radiologia - Category: Radiology Authors: Source Type: research
At my animal hospital in upstate New York, an epicenter of the U.S. tick epidemic, my dog Fawn lets out a whimper as the veterinarian injects her with her annual Lyme disease shot. I roll my eyes. She doesn’t know how good she has it. The injection means that if a tick bites her (and in rural New York, a tick always does), the creepy crawly will feast on dog blood that’s been supercharged with a Lyme bacteria-killing substance, and Lyme disease won’t be transmitted to Fawn. I wish I could be shot up with that superpower. Currently, there is no human vaccine for Lyme disease—even though more than two...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Disease feature Source Type: news
(Virginia Tech) Renowned tick immunobiologist Utpal Pal wants to adapt the rabies vaccination platform to produce antibodies that can protect against Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. The intention is to apply this work to other tick-borne diseases in the future.
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news
Borrelia burgdorferi is a tick-borne bacterium responsible for approximately 300,000 annual cases of Lyme disease (LD) in the United States, with increasing incidences in other parts of the world. The debilitating nature of LD is mainly attributed to the ability of B. burgdorferi to persist in patients for many years despite strong anti-Borrelia antibody responses. Antimicrobial treatment of persistent infection is challenging. Similar to infection of humans, B. burgdorferi establishes long-term infection in various experimental animal models except for New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits, which clear the spirochete within 4 t...
Source: Infection and Immunity - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Cellular Microbiology: Pathogen-Host Cell Molecular Interactions Source Type: research
In this study, we applied complementary in silico approaches to modeling how Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection modulates tick vector regulome. This proof-of-concept research provided support for the use of network analysis in the study of regulome response to infection, resulting in new information on tick-pathogen interactions and potential targets for developing interventions for the control of tick infestations and pathogen transmission. Deciphering the precise nature of circuits that shape the tick regulome in response to pathogen infection is an area of research that in the future will advance our knowledge of tick-...
Source: Frontiers in Physiology - Category: Physiology Source Type: research
In this study, we evaluated two mouse models - the C3H/N and Balb/c strains for susceptibility to infection and ability to transmit the pathogens via tick vector and to reveal the potential interactions between various bacterial tick-borne agents. Our results indicated that the C3H/N and Balb/c mice are well-accepted models of B. afzelii infection. However, they are not suitable for interaction studies with R. helvetica since the animals did not acquire rickettsiemia and do not transmit Rickettsia sp. to feeding ticks. PMID: 28854805 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Acta Virologica - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Acta Virol Source Type: research
“Doesn’t it typically happen during the summer?” asked a worried lady that had walked into my clinic in November with a growing circular rash on her wrist. She was referring, of course, to Lyme disease, that scourge of outdoor enthusiasts. While the peak season for Lyme disease is indeed summer, the ticks that transmit it are active March through December. And, while this may be off-season for the ticks, it is a good time to catch up on how to stay safe in the not-so-distant spring. What is Lyme disease, and how do you treat it? Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi which is sp...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Health Infectious diseases Prevention Source Type: blogs
Publication date: Available online 28 April 2015 Source:Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases Author(s): Vanessa Cook , Alan G. Barbour Peromyscus leucopus, the white-footed mouse, is one of the more abundant mammals of North America and is a major reservoir host for at least five tickborne diseases of humans, including Lyme disease and a newly-recognized form of relapsing fever. In comparison to Mus musculus, which is not a natural reservoir for any of these infections, there has been little research on experimental infections in P. leucopus. With the aim of further characterizing the diversity of phenotypes of host responses, ...
Source: Ticks and Tick borne Diseases - Category: Zoology Source Type: research
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