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Vaccines for Lyme disease?

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Live Attenuated Borrelia burgdorferi Targeted Mutants in an Infectious Strain Background Protect Mice from Challenge Infection
 
Abstract
 
Borrelia burgdorferi, B. garinii and B. afzelii are all agents of Lyme disease in different geographic locations. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause significant and long-term morbidity, which may continue after appropriate antibiotic therapy has been administered and live bacteria are no longer detectable.
 
The increasing incidence and geographic spread of Lyme disease is renewing interest in vaccination of at-risk populations. We took the approach of vaccinating mice with two targeted mutant strains of B. burgdorferi that, unlike the parental strain, are virulent in mice.
 
Mice vaccinated with both strains were protected against challenge by the parental strain and a heterologous B. burgdorferi strain by either needle inoculation or tick bite. 
 
In ticks, the homologous strain was eliminated but the heterologous strain was not, suggesting that the vaccines generated a response against antigens that are produced by the bacteria both early in mammalian infection and in the tick. Partial protection was also conferred against B. garinii infection. Protection was antibody-mediated, and reactivity was observed to a variety of proteins.
 
These experiments suggest that live attenuated B. burgdorferi strains may be informative regarding identification of protective antigens produced by the bacteria and recognized by the mouse immune system in vivo. Further work may illuminate new candidates that are effective and safe for development of Lyme disease vaccines.
 
Source: Hahn BL, Padmore LJ, Ristow LC, Curtis MW, Coburn J. June 22, 2016. Live Attenuated Borrelia burgdorferi Targeted Mutants in an Infectious Strain Background Protect Mice from Challenge Infection. Clin Vaccine Immunol.. pii: CVI.00302-16. [Epub ahead of print]

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