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Enzootic origins for clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis



Enzootic origins for clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis



Infection, Genetics and Evolution 49: 48-54



Both early localized and late disseminated forms of Lyme borreliosis are caused by Borrelia burgdorferi senso lato. Differentiating between the spirochetes that only cause localized skin infection from those that cause disseminated infection, and tracing the group of medically-important spirochetes to a specific vertebrate host species, are two critical issues in disease risk assessment and management. Borrelia burgdorferi senso lato isolates from Lyme borreliosis cases with distinct clinical manifestations (erythema migrans, neuroborreliosis, acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, and Lyme arthritis) and isolates from Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on rodents, birds and hedgehogs were typed to the genospecies level by sequencing part of the intergenic spacer region. In-depth molecular typing was performed by sequencing eight additional loci with different characteristics (plasmid-bound, regulatory, and housekeeping genes). The most abundant genospecies and genotypes in the clinical isolates were identified by using odds ratio as a measure of dominance. Borrelia afzelii was the most common genospecies in acrodermatitis patients and engorged ticks from rodents. Borrelia burgdorferi senso stricto was widespread in erythema migrans patients. Borrelia bavariensis was widespread in neuroborreliosis patients and in ticks from hedgehogs, but rare in erythema migrans patients. Borrelia garinii was the dominant genospecies in ticks feeding on birds. Spirochetes in ticks feeding on hedgehogs were overrepresented in genotypes of the plasmid gene ospC from spirochetes in erythema migrans patients. Spirochetes in ticks feeding on hedgehogs were overrepresented in genotypes of ospA from spirochetes in acrodermatitis patients. Spirochetes from ticks feeding on birds were overrepresented in genotypes of the plasmid and regulatory genes dbpA, rpoN and rpoS from spirochetes in neuroborreliosis patients. Overall, the analyses of our datasets support the existence of at least three transmission pathways from an enzootic cycle to a clinical manifestation of Lyme borreliosis. Based on the observations with these nine loci, it seems to be justified to consider the population structure of B. burgdorferi senso lato as being predominantly clonal.

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Accession: 059687976

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PMID: 28040562

DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2016.12.030


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