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How Obesity Affects Immune Response to Lyme and Treatment

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Diet-Induced Obesity Does Not Alter Tigecycline Treatment Efficacy in Murine Lyme Disease
Obese individuals more frequently suffer from infections, as a result of increased susceptibility to a number of bacterial pathogens. Furthermore, obesity can alter antibiotic treatment efficacy due to changes in drug pharmacokinetics, which can result in under-dosing. However, studies on the treatment of bacterial infections in the context of obesity are scarce.
To address this research gap, we assessed efficacy of antibiotic treatment in diet-induced obese mice infected with the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi.
Diet-induced obese C3H/HeN mice and normal-weight controls were infected with B. burgdorferi, and treated during the acute phase of infection with two doses of tigecycline, adjusted to the weights of diet-induced obese and normal-weight mice. Antibiotic treatment efficacy was assessed 1 month after the treatment by cultivating bacteria from tissues, measuring severity of Lyme carditis, and quantifying bacterial DNA clearance in ten tissues.
In addition, B. burgdorferi-specific IgG production was monitored throughout the experiment. Tigecycline treatment was ineffective in reducing B. burgdorferi DNA copies in brain. However, diet-induced obesity did not affect antibiotic-dependent bacterial DNA clearance in any tissues, regardless of the tigecycline dose used for treatment.
Production of B. burgdorferi-specific IgGs was delayed and attenuated in mock-treated diet-induced obese mice compared to mock-treated normal-weight animals, but did not differ among experimental groups following antibiotic treatment. No carditis or cultivatable B. burgdorferi were detected in any antibiotic-treated group.
In conclusion, obesity was associated with attenuated and delayed humoral immune responses to B. burgdorferi, but did not affect efficacy of antibiotic treatment.
Source: Petrosova H1, Eshghi A1, Anjum Z1, Zlotnikov N1, Cameron CE2, Moriarty TJ3. Diet-Induced Obesity Does Not Alter Tigecycline Treatment Efficacy in Murine Lyme Disease. Front Microbiol. [1] 2017 Feb 24;8:292. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00292. eCollection 2017.