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Lyme borreliosis causes a special type of arthritis whose development appears to be controlled by a functioning immune system. Immunocompetent C3H and severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (strain SH-2-82) to induce experimental
Lyme disease. Expression of clinical symptoms was mild to very moderate in the C3H but more rapidly developing and severe in the SCID mouse. Various pharmacological compounds, such as anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs, monoclonal antibodies and other miscellaneous agents, were investigated for profiling their effects in this model in both mouse strains. Several
disease parameters were assessed, in particular paw swelling. The use of these various compounds provided further evidence that experimental borreliosis in mice represents a special type of arthritis which has no autoimmune basis and which requires productive infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. In addition, when comparing these results with those obtained in other mainly immune driven arthritis models commonly used in inflammation research, it is concluded that this arthritis model is not suitable for the therapeutic assessment of antiinflammatory agents.