Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Why some strains of Lyme disease bacteria are common and others are not

04.12.2012
Findings could lead to novel strategy to control disease

New clues about the bacteria that cause Lyme disease could lead to a novel strategy to reduce infections, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on December 4.

The study reveals that the immune system of the white-footed mouse, a very common reservoir for Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacterium that causes the disease), responds differently to different strains of the bacterium, a finding that will help scientists tweak the animals' immune systems to prevent infection. A vaccine that keeps these wild mice free of the pathogen could significantly curb the spread of the disease from mice to ticks to humans.

"There's no human vaccine, and there's not likely to be one," says Alan Barbour of the University of California, Irvine, the lead author of the study. "We have to focus on lowering the risk. One way to do that is by treating the animals that carry the disease." Rabies offers a good example of how this might be accomplished, says Barbour. By deploying vaccine-laced food bait, public health officials have managed to lower the rabies infection rate in wildlife and significantly limited the spread of the disease to pets and humans.

Although Lyme disease only emerged in the U.S. in the past 40 years or so, around 25,000 cases are now reported every year in this country and the medical costs of these cases are estimated to range in the billions of dollars. Despite the growing importance of the disease, little is known about the evolution and ecology of the bacterium that causes the illness.

Barbour and his colleagues sought to understand why as many as 15 different strains of B. burgdorferi exist in the wild at differing degrees of prevalence. In the parts of the country where Lyme disease is most common, the majority of white-footed mice are infected with B. burgdorferi during the course of the year. Unlike humans and lab mice, white-footed mice don't get sick when they're infected so the bacteria grow and multiply within them, and when a deer tick bites it sucks up the bacteria along with its blood meal.

In the lab, the group at UC Irvine exposed white-footed mice to various strains of B. burgdorferi and tracked the course of the infection. All the B. burgdorferi strains infected the white-footed mice, but some strains managed to grow to high densities in various mouse tissues while others did not.

Barbour says the immune reactions the mice mounted against the various strains explain these discrepancies: the greater the immune response, the fewer bacteria found in a mouse's tissues and vice-versa. Importantly, the strains that grew to greatest densities within the mice are also the strains that are most prevalent in the wild.

When they looked at the immune reaction to individual B. burgdorferi proteins the authors found a complex interplay of reactivities. The mice reacted in different degrees to the various proteins present in a single bacterial strain, which could explain why such a great diversity of B. burgdorferi strains are sustained in the wild, say the authors.

Barbour says knowing more about how the white-footed mouse reacts to all the various B. burgdorferi strains and immunogenic proteins will help vaccine developers select the best proteins to put in a vaccine. "The best candidate for the mouse vaccine is something that's the same in all the [B. burgdorferi] strains," he says.

Once a vaccine for the white-footed mouse is developed, it will need to be tested by exposing immunized mice to a selected set of diverse B. burgdorferi strains, says Barbour, and the results of this study can help make that selection. "If we can find five that are representative, that would be an advantage."

This study, he says, "is going to provide a foundation for future studies in understanding the infection in these animals as we proceed with developing vaccines."

mBio® is an open access online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology to make microbiology research broadly accessible. The focus of the journal is on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields. It can be found online at http://mBio.asm.org.

The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asmusa.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht MACC1 Gene Is an Independent Prognostic Biomarker for Survival in Klatskin Tumor Patients
31.08.2015 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

nachricht Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Universum: Simulationen am Supercomputer

Davon träumt die Wissenschaft: An einem Computer zu simulieren, wie sich das Universum bis heute entwickelt hat. Forscher aus Würzburg und Heidelberg wollen dem Traum jetzt näher kommen: Sie haben Rechenzeit im Wert von knapp fünf Millionen Euro auf einem Supercomputer bewilligt bekommen.

Der Würzburger Mathematiker Professor Christian Klingenberg und der Heidelberger Astrophysiker Professor Volker Springel haben sich Großes vorgenommen: Sie...

Im Focus: An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...

Im Focus: Starke, aber zeitlich begrenzte Temperaturabkühlungen unter der Lupe

Grosse Vulkanausbrüche schleudern beträchtliche Mengen an Schwefeldioxid in die Atmosphäre, die sich in Aerosole umwandeln, in der Stratosphäre verteilen, dort einen Teil der Sonneneinstrahlung blockieren und so die Erdoberfläche für einige Jahre abkühlen.

Ein internationales Forscherteam mit Berner Beteiligung hat nun dank der Kombination von Jahrringuntersuchungen an Bäumen und Klimamodellen einen Ansatz...

Im Focus: Elektrofahrzeuge kabellos laden und entladen

Über ein kabelloses Ladesystem können Elektroautos künftig nicht nur tanken, sondern die Energie ins Stromnetz zurückspeisen. Auf diese Weise helfen sie das Netz zu stabilisieren. Das kostengünstige Ladesystem erreicht hohe Wirkungsgrade – über den vollen Leistungsbereich von 400 Watt bis 3,6 Kilowatt. Die Abstände zwischen Auto und Ladespule können bis zu 20 Zentimeter be- tragen. Auf der Internationalen Automobil Ausstellung IAA in Frankfurt stellen Fraunhofer-Forscher den Prototyp vom 15. bis 18. September 2015 vor (Halle 4, Stand D33).

Es regnet in Strömen. Wer jetzt ein dickes unhandliches Kabel zwischen Elektrofahrzeug und Ladesäule einstecken muss, wird patschnass. Doch es nützt nichts,...

Im Focus: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Technologietag „Laser-Plasma-Hybridtechnologie“

01.09.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Kongress - Das Lebensende planen

01.09.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Internationale Ökologenkonferenz zeigt Wege in eine nachhaltige Zukunft auf

01.09.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

moove goes Luxemburg: vitaliberty und DKV Luxembourg starten Partnerschaft für gesunde Unternehmen im Großherzogtum

01.09.2015 | Unternehmensmeldung

Ausbildungsstart bei Siemens - rund 160 Azubis im 1. Ausbildungsjahr an fünf mitteldeutschen Standorten

01.09.2015 | Unternehmensmeldung

Siemens verkauft 18 Industriegasturbinen nach Thailand

01.09.2015 | Unternehmensmeldung