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Dissemination of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in mice: influence of the species and of the primary human isolation site

Abstract number: o258

De Martino  S.J., Sordet  C., Piemont  Y., Barthel  C., Collin  E., Sibilia  J., Jaulhac  B.

Objective: 

To study the influence of the Borrelia (B.) species and of the primary human isolation site of the bacteria on the dissemination of strains from the B. burgdorferi group in the C3H/HeN murine model of Lyme borreliosis.

Methods: 

Seventeen human european and north american isolates of the B. burgdorferi group (6 B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, 6 B. garinii, and 5 B. afzelii) were used. These strains have been isolated from erythema migrans (EM) (n = 7), borrelial lymphocytoma (BL) (n = 1), acrodermatitis chronicum atrophicans (ACA) (n = 1), neuroborreliosis (NB) (n = 6) and Lyme arthritis (LA) (n = 2). Spirochetes (105/100 ml) of each strain were inoculated by intradermal route into five mice. Development of arthritis was sought by measurement of tibio-tarsal joint. Four weeks later, mice were euthanased. Murine infection was checked by seroconversion. Spirochetes dissemination was investigated by culture and PCR of murine target organs (skin, heart, joint).

Results: 

All mice were seropositive for B. burgdorferi at day 28 post infection. A clinical murine arthritis (redness, swelling) was significantly correlated with a joint diameter >= 3 mm (p <= 0.0005). Low rate of discrepancies between B. burgdorferi culture and PCR results were observed in skin and heart whereas 40% of additional joints were found positive by PCR only (p <= 0.0005). Regarding the Borrelia species used for murine infection, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. garinii strains disseminated more frequently in mouse skin than B. afzelii strains. B. afzelii strains disseminated more frequently in joints than B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. garinii strains (p < 0.005). Regarding their primary human isolation site, strains from secondary and late cutaneous lesions (BL, ACA) were significantly more often detected in skin (p < 0.005). Strains involved in human NB or LA, were more frequently detected in murine joints (p < 0.005). Strains from EM disseminated in all murine organs.

Conclusion: 

Dissemination of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the mouse model of Lyme borreliosis varied according to the Borrelia species and the primary human isolation site. Human strains isolated from secondary and late cutaneous manifestations were preferentially detected in murine skin whereas strains able to disseminate in humans were preferentially detected in murine joints. EM strains for which human dissemination capability is unknown had a wide dissemination in mice.

Session Details

Date: 01/08/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: XXIst ISTH Congress
Subject:
Location: Oxford, UK
Presentation type:
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