Most Common Tick Borne Disease Biology Essay

Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, has become the most common tick-borne disease in parts of the North-Eastern USA and Europe. Lyme borreliosis is caused by spirochaetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato group. In the USA, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, from here on referred to as B. burgdorferi, is the causative agent, whereas in Europe besides B. burgdorferi, but largely Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii are the prevailing causative agents. In 2009, Dutch general practicians were estimated to hold diagnosed Lyme Borreliosis 22.000 times. This figure has increased from 6.500 in 1994, 13.000 in 2001 and 17.000 in 2005.

The disease is named after the town Old Lyme, CT, USA where Prof. Dr. Allen Steere in 1975 foremost discovered the nexus between a tick-borne disease and a group of kids suspected of juvenile arthritis. Seven old ages subsequently, the causative agent B. burgdorferi was discovered by Willy Burgdorfer. In Europe, syndromes already reported since 1883, such as Bannwarth syndrome, can retrospectively be seen as Lyme manifestations. Besides, the nexus between tick bites and these manifestations was discovered by Garin and Bujadoux, and it was known that these upsets were caused by a pathogen sensitive to antibiotics. A farther penetration of the history of Lyme disease in Europe can be found in an elegant reappraisal from Stanek and Strle.

The pathogen

B. burgdorferi belongs to the order Spirochaetales, known for its coiling form and motility derived from the scourge. The genome comprises a additive chromosome and 21 additive and round plasmids, together approximately 1.5×106 base brace. The genome contains 1780 cistrons of which none are yet known to encode for toxins, and a big part encodes for lipoproteins. The obligate enzootic life rhythm of the spirochaetes involves ticks and a assortment of vertebrate hosts, including little gnawers, big mammals and birds.

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The vector

B. burgdorferi is transmitted by the cervid tick, Ixodes scapularis, whereas the European species are transmitted by the sheep tick, Ixodes Ricinus, besides vector of the tick-borne phrenitis virus. In general, clean tick larvae get the bacteria by feeding on septic animate beings. Ticks remain septic during their back-to-back moult periods, enabling both nymphal and grownup ticks to convey spirochaetes to other ( larger ) animate beings, including worlds. After their concluding bloodmeal grownup female ticks, which have already mated, lay clean eggs ; perpendicular transmittal merely seldom occurs. Both Ixodes species are capable of conveying spirochaetes while eating, which can take up to 5 yearss. The figure of visits to the GP ‘s office for tick bites in the Netherlands raised from 371 per 100.000 in 2001, to 446 and 564 in 2005 and 2009 severally. 18,6 % of grownup ticks are infected, compared to 10,1 % in nymphs, showed by a European meta-analysis in 2005. In 2007, 38 % of all tick bites in the Netherlands happened in woods, 36 % in gardens and 10 % in dunes.


A dramatic characteristic of Borrelia is its diverse capableness to hedge the host immune response. Borrelia has several mechanisms for this, but indispensable is the look of outer surface proteins ( Osp ‘s ) . The differential look of Osp ‘s addition the opportunity of endurance in the different environments that the bacteriums encounter during their enzootic life rhythms. OspA and B are upregulated when migrating from host to feeding ticks, and increase the endurance of B. burgdorferi in ticks. OspC is indispensable for transmittal of Borrelia during the tick eating to the host.

Another equivocations mechanism is the recombinant cistron look of the variable major protein-like sequence ( vls ) venue. This consequences in altered antigenicity of the lipoprotein VlsE and therefore protection against anti-VlsE antibodies. Besides, complement immune Borrelia strains express complement regulator-acquiring surface proteins ( CRASPs ) enabling Borrelia to adhere the host complement system ‘s negative regulators factor H and/or factor H like protein 1. Recently, another protein suggested to be of import for equivocation of the host adaptative immune response during infection is Lmp1. It consist of a N, center and C part. The in-between part contains proteins associated with adhesion, the C part contains proteins associated with protein-protein interactions. Utpal et Al. showed that the N-region addition pathogen survival pathogen survival in-vitro and in-vivo. ( 51 )

The spirochaete besides exploits tick intestine and salivary proteins ( salp ‘s ) , to protect itself. In the tick intestine, OspA binds the tick receptor of OspA ( TROSPA ) and when transmitted from tick to host, OspC binds Salp15. Immunisation surveies showed the benefit of these interaction for B. burgdorferi. The OspC-Salp15 binding shields the spirochaete from borreliacidal antibodies in Borrelia burgdorferi-immune mice. Furthermore, we showed Salp15 exerts immunosuppressive activity in vitro ; suppressing murine T-cell activation and stamp downing human dendritic cell ( DC ) map.

A figure of adhesins, proteins on the outer membrane that are involved in the anchoring and interaction with host cells, have been discovered, and are of import for the constitution of infection. A reappraisal from Coburn et Al overviewed these adhesins, most of import are the binding of BBK32 to fibronectin, P66 and BBB07 adhering integrin and DbpA and DbpB binds decorin and glycosminoglycans.


Early Lyme Borreliosis ( yearss to hebdomads )

Ticks attached shorter than 24 hours are estimated non to be able to convey Borrelia. In a Dutch survey with 167 tickbite instances in a general practinoners populations, merely one instance ( 0,7 % ) developed Lyme disease, which was after a tickbite longer than 24 hours. Erythematous tegument lesions smaller than 5 centimeter get downing within 2 yearss after withdrawal of the tick are most likely a tick spot hypersensitity reactions. Tick bite hypersensitivity should vanish within 1-2 yearss. No nosologies or intervention after a possible tickbite without the clinical diagnosing of erythema migrans ( EM ) or Borrelial Lympocythoma, the symptoms of early Lyme borreliosis are recommended. A typical Erythema migrans is an spread outing erythematous skin lesion with cardinal glade located at the site of tickbite get downing after 3-30 yearss, variating from 5 to 75 centimeter. Symptoms that can attach to are fever, myodynias and arthralgias and locally itching, combustion, and mild hurting. A Borrelial lymphocytoma is diagnosed seldomly, and merely in Europe, but described as a blue ruddy tumor-like tegument infiltrate, frequently located at ear lobe or mammilla and more common in kids with a subacute oncoming and can spontaneously decide. Both these symptoms respond good to antibiotic therapy. In a Swedish survey in 1995, 77 % of all Lyme manifestations were Erythema migrans and 3 % Borrelial lympocytoma.

Early on disseminated Lyme Borreliosis ( hebdomads to months )

When the infection is untreated, the spirochaete can circulate and do early neuroborreliosis ( 16 % of Lyme manifestations ) , Lyme arthritis ( 7 % ) , and rarely a ( myo ) carditits with ( partial ) auriculoventricular block ( & A ; lt ; 1 % ) . Notably, since the late eightiess, increasing consciousness for erythema migrans and better effectual antibiotic governments made these clinical manifestations become less common. The European Union Concerted Action on Lyme Borreliosis ( EUCALB ) has made standards for these manifestations for clinical intents and these are besides used in the Dutch guideline developed by the CBO. Early neuroborreliosis can be presented with one or more of the followers ; lymphocytic meningitis, which is more common in the United State, cranial neuritis ( Bell ‘s paralysis ) or a painful radiculitis, which is more common in Europe. Most instances occur between July and November, due to the lifecycle of the tick. In most patients, acute neurological symptoms better or decide in several hebdomads to months, even without antibiotic intervention.

The infection in articulations is oligoarticular, 50 % occurs in the articulatio genus. This manifestation is largely observed in the United States, where 60 % of untreated patients develop arthritis. Cardiac engagement in early Lyme borreliosis is rare, symptoms are related to auriculoventricular conductivity abnormalcies and largely in the presence of erythema migrans or within a few hebdomads after oncoming of infection and seems to be transeunt and self-limiting.

Late Lyme borreliosis ( months to old ages )

Persistent Lyme borreliosis can show with by joint puffiness, skin roseola, failing of facial and other musculuss or terrible concern. Manifestations can be divided in two groups, one where persistent B. burgdorferi infection is causative for the ongoing symptoms, e.g. acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans ( ACA ) and neuroborreliosis, and one where other mechanisms play a function, e.g. antibiotic-refractory Lyme arthritis, dilated myocardiopathy. B. afzelii is associated with ACA, B. garinii with neuroborreliosis and B. burgdorferi with Lyme artritis. 50 to 70 per centum of the patients with late manifestations of Lyme borreliosis do non retrieve an Em

ACA can develop up to ten old ages after infection and is described as a bluish-red atrophic tegument lesion, ab initio combined with hydrops and is located on the plantar sites of custodies and pess or distal parts of the legs. Periarticular nodules or sclerosed lesions can be observed. ACA can be confused for vascular conditions, more frequently when the legs are affected. It occurs largely in adult females older than 40 old ages, but has been described by the way in kids.

The late manifestations of neuroborreliosis include encephalomyelitis, encephalopathy and axonal polyneuropathy, for a period of at least 6 months. Symptoms are chiefly cognitive, but can besides include centripetal polyneuropathy or spastic paraparesis, but frequently presented in the combination of aspecific symptoms, such as weariness, unease and myodynia, which makes naming hard. Pleiocytosis, combined with intrathecal grounds of B. burgdorferi infection are hence indispensable. A European survey showed that stray chronic polyneuropathy, without the presence of other late Lyme borreliosis manifestation such as ACA, is seldom caused by Borrelia infection.

Joint manifestations can happen months to old ages after exposure, with intermittent recurrent onslaughts occur that persist for yearss, hebdomads, or months and are typically asymmetrical and pauciarticular in nature and affect one or two larger articulations and about ever the articulatio genus. Most Lyme arthritis patients respond good to conventional antibiotic intervention schemes, such as Vibramycin, but a little per centum will go on to hold chronic joint redness, non due to continuity of the spirochaete. This is called antibiotic-refractory Lyme arthritis and occurs more frequently in the United States than in Europe and has been associated with a familial sensitivity, i.e. the presence of several HLA-DR rheumatoid arthritis allelomorphs, among which is the DRB1*0401 molecule.

Dilated myocardiopathy has been found in patients in Europe based on isolation of the spirochaete from bosom tissue and serological surveies. Since spirochaetes have seldom been isolated by civilization, this might bespeak that symptoms could be due to past infection and myocardial marking instead than ongoing redness due to the presence of the spirochaete. Everyday therapy and showing of patients with idiopathic dilated myocardiopathy are of limited public-service corporation and should be reserved for patients with a clear history of antecedent Lyme borreliosis symptoms or a tick bite.

It becomes more hard when patients present with prevailing aspecific symptoms after adequately intervention with antibiotics, connoting that these symptoms are non caused by prevailing B. burgdorferi infection. Therefore, this composite of aspecific symptoms should best be referred to as post-Lyme disease syndrome. Post-Lyme disease syndrome has been linked to a wide array of symptoms that are extremely prevailing in the normal population. This, in combination with the fact that specific antibodies against B. burgdorferi occur in about 4-8 % of the normal population, even up to 20 % in high endemic countries, makes the diagnosing ‘chronic Lyme borreliosis ‘ a cumbrous diagnosing. A critical assessment of chronic Lyme Disease has been made by Feder et Al. in 2007.


The diagnosing of Lyme borreliosis is preponderantly based on clinical symptoms and Lyme-serological trials. The diagnosing of Lyme borreliosis can be readily considered in instance of symptoms which have been associated with B. burgdorferi infection and there is besides serological grounds for Borrelia infection ( table ) . Erythema migrans is a clinical diagnosing and serological grounds is non necessary. Furthermore, 20-50 % instances of erythema migrans occur without noticeable antibodies. On norm, antibody response starts 3-6 hebdomads after infection, but this period has a broad interindividual spreading. In instance of an unsure or untypical EM, serological testing can be considered. Notably, in the absence of specific clinical symptoms, the presence of specific antibodies does non needfully bespeak the presence of an active Borrelia infection. There is no specific trial that indicates prevailing Borrelia infection. Therefore, a positive antibody trial may besides be due to clinical or subclinical infections in the yesteryear. In the United States in approximately 10 % of the septic persons symptomless infection with B. burgdorferi seems to happen. In Europe this per centum is thought to be much higher. Alternatively, a positive serological trial in the absence of specific clinical symptoms could besides bespeak a false-positive consequence. Therefore, international and the CBO guideline recommends that, when there is merely a little intuition on Lyme Borreliosis, non to prove for antibodies against Borrelia.

Validated and widely accepted nosologies include civilization, Polymerase Chain Reaction ( PCR ) and antibody serological trials ; Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay ( ELISA ) , immunoblot and Western smudge. Clearly, a positive civilization in the presence of ongoing specific symptoms indicates an active infection and should be considered as the ‘gold criterion ‘ . Unfortunately, there are restrictions to civilization. It is expensive, the tissue samples should be incubated in particular medium for hebdomads and there is limited handiness in the Netherlands, although it can be performed in certain research labs, such as the Academic medical Center in Amsterdam ( AMC ) and Leiden ( LUMC ) . Detection of Borrelia utilizing both civilization or PCR can be utile on skin biopsies from patients with EM, acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans ( ACA ) and in synovial fluid from patients with Lyme artritis, for which a sensitiveness of 50-70 % has been reported.

Detection of antibodies in serum directed against B. burgdorferi is the most common diagnostic trial. Several guidelines recommend that a B. burgdorferi ELISA should be used as a screening trial and, when reactive, should be confirmed by an immunoblot or Western smudge. ELISAs need to be at least 2nd coevals trials. Antigen used should include OspC, but besides purified integral scourge can be used. For immunoblot, proving in Europe is different compared to the USA. In Europe, there is a narrower spectrum of Borrelia proteins, compared to the USA. The spectrum of Borrelia proteins recognized on Western smudge besides depends on the phase of the disease. During early infection, there are merely few Borrelia proteins recognized, where every bit in a phase with ACA a wider spectrum of antibodies can be detected. A European multicenter survey has provided a model for immunoblot reading, because a broad scope of proteins, i.e. sets, are detected in checks. Eight sets were found suited for effectual favoritism. Newer serological trials include an ELISA observing antibodies against C6, a 26-amino acid peptide that reproduces the sequence of the 6th invariable part ( IR6 ) within the cardinal sphere of the VlsE protein of B. burgdorferi sensu lato. The C6 ELISA has a high specificity but a low sensitiveness in the early stage. Notably, antibiotic intervention during early stage of infection cause a lessening in antibody titres against B. burgdorferi. In contrast to antibody degrees in early Lyme borreliosis, sensing rates of IgG antibodies are about 100 % in late Lyme borreliosis manifestations. Overall, the specificity of IgG-components in ELISA ‘s varies between 80 and 95 % . The specificity of IgM-components is lower, because rheumafactor, acute EBV and CMV infection and MS and other auto-immune diseases can besides give a positive trial. Although IgG and IgM ELISA ‘s have a high specificity and sensitiveness, consequences were found to be extremely variable between different research labs.

In add-on, by some, besides skin biopsies, blood and piss are besides used for PCR to observe B. burgdorferi. PCR on organic structure fluids is non recommended for microbiological diagnosing, for one, since Borrelia DNA can be detected in piss from healthy seropositive persons, doing the biological and clinical relevancy of a positive piss PCR ill-defined. In add-on, a meta-analysis showed an overall sensitiveness of the urine Borrelia PCR of 68 % ( run 13 % to 100 % ) . Finally, a survey by Steere and confederates showed that, after set uping an optimum PCR protocol with spiked piss, in merely 1 of 12 patients with an acute infection, presented by an EM, Borrelia DNA was detected.

The presence of anti-B burgdorferi antibodies in the CSF supports the diagnosing of neuroborreliosis. As with serum, besides positive B burgdorferi serology in the CSF combined with neurologic symptoms is non ever tantamount with neuroborreliosis. A Gallic survey showed that from 123 patients with positive IgG burgdorferi serology in the CSF, 74 patients did hold another etiologic diagnosing. However, merely 2 had a positive intrathecal anti-Borrelia antibody index ( AI ) ( specificity 97 % ) . In the group with definite Lyme, 30 out of 40 had a positive AI ( sensitiveness 75 % ) .


Antibiotics are effectual in all manifestations of Lyme Borreliosis, but is most effectual in the early phase. The recommended intervention of the different manifestations of Lyme borreliosis are shown in table 2 and has been based on the international guideline of the IDSA and the Dutch CBO guideline. The difference between antibiotics and expectative policy for Erythema migrans has ne’er been studied, because the justified usage of antibiotics has been showed by randomised double-masked tests in which different antibiotics were compared. Oral intervention in early Lyme borreliosis is every bit effectual as parental antibiotics, but has lower hazards and inauspicious events.

For EM and Borrelial Lympocytome Vibramycin for 10-14 yearss is effectual and without inauspicious event. The continuance of intervention has non been optimalized, but a randomised double-masked test in 2003 supported that 10 yearss doxycyline was plenty to eliminate Borrelia. For early disseminated Lyme borreliosis Vibramycin is besides recommended, except for neuroborreliosis for which Rocephin is first of pick. This besides accounts for late manifestations of Lyme disease, but with a longer continuance of intervention.

Several randomized placebo controlled clinical tests did non demo good effects of antibiotics over placebo in patients with residuary ailments after old equal intervention for B. burgdorferi infection. Still, patients with station Lyme disease syndrome who seek medical attending are normally treated for months to old ages with ( multiple ) intravenously administered antibiotics, with a high incidence of serious inauspicious effects. Occasionally, these patients are treated with unconventional and extremely unsafe methods.


The best preventative method is avoiding exposure to ticks and cut downing the hazard by protective vesture and consciousness for tick bites.Ticks can be controlled by acaracides, such as cyfluthrin, carbaryl or deltamethrin. However, opposition in ticks occurs, and acaricides are harmful for worlds, animate beings and environment. Calculations have indicated that a vaccinum is economically attractive when used for individuals with an one-year hazard of more than 1 % of undertaking Lyme disease. The merely accredited Lyme vaccinum was based on OspA, which showed a 70 % efficaciousness in stage III human tests It became available in 1998 but was removed from the market in 2002 because of public perceptual experiences on inauspicious events. Still, a vaccinum based on antibody-antigen from ticks or Borrelia might go an alternate in the hereafter. Animal surveies give supportive grounds on unsusceptibility against tick. We late reviewed the possibilities for a vaccinum against Lyme borreliosis, such as vaccins based on the combination of Borrelia and tick ( spit ) proteins. Antibodies against Salp15, by itself able to impair a B. burgdorferi infection in mice, had a interactive consequence with other antibodies against B. burgdorferi antigens, such as OspA or OspC. This has besides been demonstrated for OspA-Dbpa. A ternary combination vaccinum of OspC, DbpA and BBK32 showed an higher effectiveness so individual our dual, However, this is all in an experimental phase.