Variable manifestations, diverse seroreactivity and post-treatment persistence in nonhuman primates exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi by tick feeding

Monica E. Embers, Nicole R. Hasenkampf, Mary B. Jacobs, Amanda C. Tardo, Lara A. Doyle-Meyers, Mario T. Philipp, Emir Hodzic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The efficacy and accepted regimen of antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease has been a point of significant contention among physicians and patients. While experimental studies in animals have offered evidence of post-treatment persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi, variations in methodology, detection methods and limitations of the models have led to some uncertainty with respect to translation of these results to human infection. With all stages of clinical Lyme disease having previously been described in nonhuman primates, this animal model was selected in order to most closely mimic human infection and response to treatment. Rhesus macaques were inoculated with B. burgdorferi by tick bite and a portion were treated with recommended doses of doxycycline for 28 days at four months post-inoculation. Signs of infection, clinical pathology, and antibody responses to a set of five antigens were monitored throughout the ~1.2 year study. Persistence of B. burgdorferi was evaluated using xenodiagnosis, bioassays in mice, multiple methods of molecular detection, immunostaining with polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies and an in vivo culture system. Our results demonstrate host-dependent signs of infection and variation in antibody responses. In addition, we observed evidence of persistent, intact, metabolically-active B. burgdorferi after antibiotic treatment of disseminated infection and showed that persistence may not be reflected by maintenance of specific antibody production by the host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberY
JournalPLoS One
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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Borrelia burgdorferi
Ticks
Primates
ticks
Antibodies
Animals
Antibody Formation
Infection
infection
Lyme disease
Lyme Disease
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Bioassay
Doxycycline
Pathology
xenodiagnosis
Xenodiagnosis
animal models
antibiotics
tick bites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Variable manifestations, diverse seroreactivity and post-treatment persistence in nonhuman primates exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi by tick feeding. / Embers, Monica E.; Hasenkampf, Nicole R.; Jacobs, Mary B.; Tardo, Amanda C.; Doyle-Meyers, Lara A.; Philipp, Mario T.; Hodzic, Emir.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 12, No. 12, Y, 01.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Embers, Monica E. ; Hasenkampf, Nicole R. ; Jacobs, Mary B. ; Tardo, Amanda C. ; Doyle-Meyers, Lara A. ; Philipp, Mario T. ; Hodzic, Emir. / Variable manifestations, diverse seroreactivity and post-treatment persistence in nonhuman primates exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi by tick feeding. In: PLoS One. 2017 ; Vol. 12, No. 12.
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