Arthropod- and host-specific Borrelia burgdorferi bbk32 expression and the inhibition of spirochete transmission

Erol Fikrig, Wen Feng, Stephen W Barthold, Sam R. Telford, Richard A. Flavell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Antisera to BBK32 (a Borrelia burgdorferi fibronectin-binding protein) and BBK50, two Ags synthesized during infection, protect mice from experimental syringe-borne Lyme borreliosis. Therefore, B. burgdorferi bbk32 and bbk50 expression within Ixodes scapularis ticks and the murine host, and the effect of BBK32 and BBK50 antisera on spirochetes throughout the vector- host life cycle were investigated, bbk32 and bbk50 mRNA and protein were first detected within engorged ticks, demonstrating regulated expression within the vector. Then bbk32 expression increased in mice at the cutaneous site of inoculation. During disseminated murine infection, bbk32 and bbk50 were expressed in several murine tissues, and mRNA levels were greatest in the heart and spleen at 30 days. BBK32 antisera protected mice from tick- borne B. burgdorferi infection and spirochete numbers were reduced by 90% within nymphs that engorged on immunized mice. Moreover, 75% of these ticks did not retain spirochetes upon molting, and subsequent B. burgdorferi transmission by adult ticks was impaired. Larval acquisition of B. burgdorferi by I. scapularis was also inhibited by BBK32 antisera. These data demonstrate that bbk32 and bbk50 are expressed during tick engorgement and that BBK32 antisera can interfere with spirochete transmission at various stages of the vector-host life cycle. These studies provide insight into mechanisms of immunity to Lyme borreliosis and other vector-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5344-5351
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume164
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2000

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Spirochaetales
Borrelia burgdorferi
Arthropods
Ticks
Immune Sera
Ixodes
Lyme Disease
Life Cycle Stages
Borrelia Infections
Disease Vectors
Molting
Nymph
Messenger RNA
Syringes
Infection
Fibronectins
Immunity
Carrier Proteins
Spleen
Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Arthropod- and host-specific Borrelia burgdorferi bbk32 expression and the inhibition of spirochete transmission. / Fikrig, Erol; Feng, Wen; Barthold, Stephen W; Telford, Sam R.; Flavell, Richard A.

In: Journal of Immunology, Vol. 164, No. 10, 15.05.2000, p. 5344-5351.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fikrig, Erol ; Feng, Wen ; Barthold, Stephen W ; Telford, Sam R. ; Flavell, Richard A. / Arthropod- and host-specific Borrelia burgdorferi bbk32 expression and the inhibition of spirochete transmission. In: Journal of Immunology. 2000 ; Vol. 164, No. 10. pp. 5344-5351.
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abstract = "Antisera to BBK32 (a Borrelia burgdorferi fibronectin-binding protein) and BBK50, two Ags synthesized during infection, protect mice from experimental syringe-borne Lyme borreliosis. Therefore, B. burgdorferi bbk32 and bbk50 expression within Ixodes scapularis ticks and the murine host, and the effect of BBK32 and BBK50 antisera on spirochetes throughout the vector- host life cycle were investigated, bbk32 and bbk50 mRNA and protein were first detected within engorged ticks, demonstrating regulated expression within the vector. Then bbk32 expression increased in mice at the cutaneous site of inoculation. During disseminated murine infection, bbk32 and bbk50 were expressed in several murine tissues, and mRNA levels were greatest in the heart and spleen at 30 days. BBK32 antisera protected mice from tick- borne B. burgdorferi infection and spirochete numbers were reduced by 90{\%} within nymphs that engorged on immunized mice. Moreover, 75{\%} of these ticks did not retain spirochetes upon molting, and subsequent B. burgdorferi transmission by adult ticks was impaired. Larval acquisition of B. burgdorferi by I. scapularis was also inhibited by BBK32 antisera. These data demonstrate that bbk32 and bbk50 are expressed during tick engorgement and that BBK32 antisera can interfere with spirochete transmission at various stages of the vector-host life cycle. These studies provide insight into mechanisms of immunity to Lyme borreliosis and other vector-borne diseases.",
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