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  • Publication
    Métadonnées seulement
    Strain-specific antibodies reduce co-feeding transmission of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia afzelii
    Vector-borne pathogens use a diversity of strategies to evade the vertebrate immune system. Co-feeding transmission is a potential immune evasion strategy because the vector-borne pathogen minimizes the time spent in the vertebrate host. We tested whether the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia afzelii, can use co-feeding transmission to escape the acquired immune response in the vertebrate host. We induced a strain-specific, protective antibody response by immunizing mice with one of two variants of OspC (A3 and A10), the highly variable outer surface protein C of Borrelia pathogens. Immunized mice were challenged via tick bite with B.afzelii strains A3 or A10 and infested with larval ticks at days 2 and 34 post-infection to measure co-feeding and systemic transmission respectively. Antibodies against a particular OspC variant significantly reduced co-feeding transmission of the targeted (homologous) strain but not the non-targeted (heterologous) strain. Cross-immunity between OspC antigens had no effect in co-feeding ticks but reduced the spirochaete load twofold in ticks infected via systemic transmission. In summary, OspC-specific antibodies reduced co-feeding transmission of a homologous but not a heterologous strain of B.afzelii. Co-feeding transmission allowed B.afzelii to evade the negative consequences of cross-immunity on the tick spirochaete load.
  • Publication
    Métadonnées seulement
    Cross-reactive acquired immunity influences transmission success of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia afzelii
    Cross-reactive acquired immunity in the vertebrate host induces indirect competition between strains of a given pathogen species and is critical for understanding the ecology of mixed infections. In vector-borne diseases, cross-reactive antibodies can reduce pathogen transmission at the vector-to-host and the host-to-vector lifecycle transition. The highly polymorphic, immunodominant, outer surface protein C (OspC) of the tick-borne spirochete bacterium Borrelia afzelii induces a strong antibody response in the vertebrate host. To test how cross-immunity in the vertebrate host influences tick-to-host and host-to-tick transmission, mice were immunized with one of two strain-specific recombinant OspC proteins (A3, A10), challenged via tick bite with one of the two B. afzelii ospC strains (A3, A10), and infested with xenodiagnostic ticks. Immunization with a given rOspC antigen protected mice against homologous strains carrying the same major ospC group allele but provided little or no cross-protection against heterologous strains carrying a different major ospC group allele. There were cross-immunity effects on the tick spirochete load but not on the probability of host-to-tick transmission. The spirochete load in ticks that had fed on mice with cross-immune experience was reduced by a factor of two compared to ticks that had fed on naive control mice. In addition, strain-specific differences in mouse spirochete load, host-to-tick transmission, tick spirochete load, and the OspC-specific IgG response revealed the mechanisms that determine variation in transmission success between strains of B. afzelii. This study shows that cross-immunity in infected vertebrate hosts can reduce pathogen load in the arthropod vector with potential consequences for vector-to-host pathogen transmission. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Cross-immunity and community structure of a multiple-strain pathogen in the tick vector
    Many vector-borne pathogens consist of multiple strains that circulate in both the vertebrate host and the arthropod vector. Characterization of the community of pathogen strains in the arthropod vector is therefore important for understanding the epidemiology of mixed vector-borne infections. Borrelia afzelii and B. garinii are two species of tick-borne bacteria that cause Lyme disease in humans. These two sympatric pathogens use the same tick, Ixodes ricinus, but are adapted to different classes of vertebrate hosts. Both Borrelia species consist of multiple strains that are classified using the highly polymorphic ospC gene. Vertebrate cross-immunity against the OspC antigen is predicted to structure the community of multiple-strain Borrelia pathogens. Borrelia isolates were cultured from field-collected I. ricinus ticks over a period spanning 11 years. The Borrelia species of each isolate was identified using a reverse line blot (RLB) assay. Deep sequencing was used to characterize the ospC communities of 190 B. afzelii isolates and 193 B. garinii isolates. Infections with multiple ospC strains were common in ticks, but vertebrate cross-immunity did not influence the strain structure in the tick vector. The pattern of genetic variation at the ospC locus suggested that vertebrate cross-immunity exerts strong selection against intermediately divergent ospC alleles. Deep sequencing found that more than 50% of our isolates contained exotic ospC alleles derived from other Borrelia species. Two alternative explanations for these exotic ospC alleles are cryptic coinfections that were not detected by the RLB assay or horizontal transfer of the ospC gene between Borrelia species.
  • Publication
    Métadonnées seulement
    Borrelia burgdorferi genospecies detection by RLB hybridization in Ixodes cinus ticks from different sites of North-Eastern Poland
    (2014)
    Dunaj, Justyna
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    Zajkowska, JM
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    Kondrusik, M
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    ; ;
    Moniuszko, Anna
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    Pancewicz, Slawomir
    ;
    Swierzbi?ska, R
  • Publication
    Accès libre
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Tick bites in a Lyme borreliosis highly endemic area in Switzerland
    (2009)
    Hügli, Delphine
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    Moret, Jacqueline
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    ;
    Moosmann, Yves
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    Erard, Philippe
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    ;
    The duration of tick feeding is an important indicator to evaluate the risk of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato transmission, which increases considerably with the blood meal duration. This blood meal duration may be estimated from scutal index, the ratio between body length (idiosoma) and scutum width. For the estimation of blood meal duration in Ixodes ricinus, nymphal and adult female ticks were detached at predetermined intervals (24, 48, 72, and 96 h) from laboratory mice and rabbits and their scutal index calculated. From this, non-linear regression equations were developed to determine the duration of attachment for nymphal and adult female I. ricinus ticks. As part of an epidemiological study addressing the risk of subclinical (seroconversion) and clinical infections after a tick bite in the Neuchâtel area (Switzerland) over 3 years (2003–2005), duration of tick attachment and anatomical site of bites collected on participants as well as seasonal distribution of tick bites were studied. Tick attachment duration was estimated in all ticks collected during this study (n=261). Nymphs were attached for a mean (± standard error, SE) of 31.6 h (±2.6) and females for a mean (±SE) of 29.6 h (±3.2). Most nymphs were removed after 24 h of blood meal whereas most females were removed before 24 h. Legs were the major anatomical sites of bites for women (40.7%), men (44.4%), and almost all age classes. Only children <10 years old were bitten more frequently on the head (41.2%) and on the neck (38.5%) than participants >10 years. The majority of tick bites were recorded from May to July during the 3 years. Attachment sites can influence the discovery of ticks, hence the duration of the tick bite. A detailed body examination after each outing in forest and an early withdrawal of an attached tick is an effective way to prevent Lyme borreliosis.