Watching Lyme disease-causing microbes move in ticks

Nov 16, 2009

Lyme disease is caused by the microbe Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans from feeding ticks.

Justin Radolf and colleagues, at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, have now visualized the microbe moving through the feeding tick and determined that it has a biphasic mode of dissemination. These data provide new insight into the transmission process, detailed understanding of which is essential if new methods of preventing human infection with the Lyme disease-causing microbe are to be developed.

In this study, the midguts and salivary glands of ticks before, during, and after feeding were isolated, and the live Borrelia burgdorferi microbes imaged in real time. In the first phase of dissemination, replicating microbes formed networks of nonmotile organisms that moved by adhering to the cells lining the tick midgut. In the second phase of dissemination, the microbes became motile invasive organisms that ultimately entered the salivary glands. These data challenge the conventional viewpoint that Lyme disease-causing are always motile within ticks and that this drives their dissemination.

More information: Live imaging reveals a biphasic mode of dissemination of Borrelia burgdorferi within ticks, view this article at: www.jci.org/articles/view/3940… HnLk45JRxih3aqbS4YCQ

Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation

Explore further: Two-armed control of ATR, a master regulator of the DNA damage checkpoint

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers track Lyme disease spirochetes

Jun 20, 2008

Microbiologists at the University of Calgary have demonstrated the first direct visualization of the dissemination of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. This real-time, three-dimensional look at ...

Researchers identify cell group key to Lyme disease arthritis

Dec 03, 2008

A research team led by the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and Albany Medical College has illuminated the important role of natural killer (NK) T cells in Lyme disease, demonstrating that the once little understood ...

Scientists identify potential key to Lyme disease

Feb 09, 2009

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a protein that may help give Lyme disease its bite. The findings suggest that the bacterial protein, which aids in transporting the metal manganese, is essential ...

Researchers to study lyme-like illness in Texas

Aug 15, 2008

Tao Lin, D.V.M., and Steven J. Norris, Ph.D., both with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, have been named grant recipients of the Norman Hackerman Advanced ...

Recommended for you

Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal

16 hours ago

A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on ...

'Hairclip' protein mechanism explained

Dec 18, 2014

Research led by the Teichmann group on the Wellcome Genome Campus has identified a fundamental mechanism for controlling protein function. Published in the journal Science, the discovery has wide-ranging implications for bi ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.