Pre-2008 Lyme & TBD Abstracts  - ARCHIVE

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Microbes Infect. 2006; Nov-Dec;8(14-15):2832-40. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Invasion of human neuronal and glial cells by an infectious strain of Borrelia burgdorferi.

Livengood JA, Gilmore RD Jr.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector-borne Infectious Diseases, 3150 Rampart Road, CSU Foothills Campus, Fort Collins, CO 80522, USA.

Human infection by Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent for Lyme disease, can result in serious acute and late-term disorders including neuroborreliosis, a degenerative condition of the peripheral and central nervous systems. To examine the mechanisms involved in the cellular pathogenesis of neuroborreliosis, we investigated the ability of B. burgdorferi to attach to and/or invade a panel of human neuroglial and cortical neuronal cells. In all neural cells tested, we observed B. burgdorferi in association with the cell by confocal microscopy. Further analysis by differential immunofluorescent staining of external and internal organisms, and a gentamicin protection assay demonstrated an intracellular localization of B. burgdorferi. A non-infectious strain of B. burgdorferi was attenuated in its ability to associate with these neural cells, suggesting that a specific borrelial factor related to cellular infectivity was responsible for the association. Cytopathic effects were not observed following infection of these cell lines with B. burgdorferi, and internalized spirochetes were found to be viable. Invasion of neural cells by B. burgdorferi provides a putative mechanism for the organism to avoid the host's immune response while potentially causing functional damage to neural cells during infection of the CNS.

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J Infect Dis. 2004; May 15;189(10):1881-91. Epub 2004 Apr 26.

Borrelia-specific interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 secretion in cerebrospinal fluid and blood during Lyme borreliosis in humans: association with clinical outcome.
Widhe M
, Jarefors S, Ekerfelt C, Vrethem M, Bergstrom S, Forsberg P, Ernerudh J.

Divisions of Clinical Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden. mona.widhe@imk.liu.se

The Borrelia-specific interferon (IFN)- gamma and interleukin (IL)-4 responses of 113 patients and control subjects were analyzed using the sensitive enzyme-linked immunospot method. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood samples were obtained, during the course of disease, from patients with chronic or nonchronic neuroborreliosis (NB) and from control subjects without NB. Blood samples were obtained from patients with Lyme skin manifestations and from healthy blood donors. Early increased secretion of Borrelia-specific IFN- gamma (P<.05) and subsequent up-regulation of IL-4 (P<.05) were detected in the CSF cells of patients with nonchronic NB. In contrast, persistent Borrelia-specific IFN- gamma responses were observed in the CSF cells of patients with chronic NB (P<.05). In patients with erythema migrans, increased IFN- gamma (P<.001) was observed in blood samples obtained early during the course of disease, whereas increased IL-4 (P<.05) was observed after clearance. On the contrary, patients with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans had Borrelia-specific IFN- gamma (P<.001), but not IL-4, detected in blood samples. The present data suggest that an initial IFN- gamma response, followed by up-regulation of IL-4, is associated with nonchronic manifestations, whereas a persistent IFN- gamma response may lead to chronic Lyme borreliosis.

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