Borrelia burgdorferi OspA is an arthropod-specific transmission-blocking Lyme disease vaccine

Aravinda M. De Silva, Sam R. Telford, Laura Rosa Brunet, Stephen W Barthold, Erol Fikrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

329 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, is transmitted by Ixodes ticks. A vaccine based on B. burgdorferi outer surface protein (Osp) A protects mise from spirochete infection. Here we report on the expression of OspA on spirochetes inside engorging ticks and relate OspA expression to antispirochetal immunity. Spirochetes in the gut of unfed nymphal ticks were stained by an OspA antibody, whereas in feeding ticks, the majority of spirochetes in the gut and salivary glands did not stain with the antibody. Thus, Ospa was not expressed on most spirochetes during transmission from the vector to the vertebrate host. To examine the mechanism of protection afforded by OspA antibody, mice were passively immunized with OspA antibody at different times relative to tick attachment. When OspA antibody was administered to mice before or at the time of tick attachment, spirochetal development events in the vector, such as growth and salivary gland invasion, were blocked and the mice were protected from B. burgodorferi infection. When OspA antibody was administered to mice 48 h after tick attachment, spirochetes persisted in the nymphs and the mice were not protected despite the presence of circulating antibodies in the host as well as in the tick blood meal. Thus, OspA immunity appears to be effective only during a narrow window time at the beginning of the blood meal when antibodies bind to OspA-expressing spirochetes in the tick gut and block transmission from the vector to the host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume183
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

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Lyme Disease Vaccines
Borrelia burgdorferi
Arthropods
Ticks
Spirochaetales
Antibodies
Salivary Glands
Meals
Spirochaetales Infections
Immunity
Nymph
Ixodes
Lyme Disease
Vertebrates
Coloring Agents
Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Borrelia burgdorferi OspA is an arthropod-specific transmission-blocking Lyme disease vaccine. / De Silva, Aravinda M.; Telford, Sam R.; Brunet, Laura Rosa; Barthold, Stephen W; Fikrig, Erol.

In: Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol. 183, No. 1, 01.01.1996, p. 271-275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

De Silva, Aravinda M. ; Telford, Sam R. ; Brunet, Laura Rosa ; Barthold, Stephen W ; Fikrig, Erol. / Borrelia burgdorferi OspA is an arthropod-specific transmission-blocking Lyme disease vaccine. In: Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1996 ; Vol. 183, No. 1. pp. 271-275.
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