The Lyme disease agent exploits a tick protein to infect the mammalian host

Nandhini Ramamoorthi, Sukanya Narasimhan, Utpal Pal, Fukai Bao, X. Yang, Durland Fish, Juan Anguita, Michael V. Norgard, Fred S. Kantor, John F. Anderson, Raymond A. Koski, Erol Fikrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

294 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, is maintained in a tick-mouse cycle. Here we show that B. burgdorferi usurps a tick salivary protein, Salp15 (ref. 3), to facilitate the infection of mice. The level of salp15 expression was selectively enhanced by the presence of B. burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis, first indicating that spirochaetes might use Salp15 during transmission. Salp15 was then shown to adhere to the spirochaete, both in vitro and in vivo, and specifically interacted with B. burgdorferi outer surface protein C. The binding of Salp15 protected B. burgdorferi from antibody-mediated killing in vitro and provided spirochaetes with a marked advantage when they were inoculated into naive mice or animals previously infected with B. burgdorferi. Moreover, RNA interference-mediated repression of salp15 in I. scapularis drastically reduced the capacity of tick-borne spirochaetes to infect mice. These results show the capacity of a pathogen to use a secreted arthropod protein to help it colonize the mammalian host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume436
Issue number7050
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Arthropod Proteins
Borrelia burgdorferi
Lyme Disease
Spirochaetales
Ixodes
Ticks
Salivary Proteins and Peptides
RNA Interference
Antibodies
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Ramamoorthi, N., Narasimhan, S., Pal, U., Bao, F., Yang, X., Fish, D., ... Fikrig, E. (2005). The Lyme disease agent exploits a tick protein to infect the mammalian host. Nature, 436(7050), 573-577. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03812

The Lyme disease agent exploits a tick protein to infect the mammalian host. / Ramamoorthi, Nandhini; Narasimhan, Sukanya; Pal, Utpal; Bao, Fukai; Yang, X.; Fish, Durland; Anguita, Juan; Norgard, Michael V.; Kantor, Fred S.; Anderson, John F.; Koski, Raymond A.; Fikrig, Erol.

In: Nature, Vol. 436, No. 7050, 28.07.2005, p. 573-577.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ramamoorthi, N, Narasimhan, S, Pal, U, Bao, F, Yang, X, Fish, D, Anguita, J, Norgard, MV, Kantor, FS, Anderson, JF, Koski, RA & Fikrig, E 2005, 'The Lyme disease agent exploits a tick protein to infect the mammalian host', Nature, vol. 436, no. 7050, pp. 573-577. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03812
Ramamoorthi N, Narasimhan S, Pal U, Bao F, Yang X, Fish D et al. The Lyme disease agent exploits a tick protein to infect the mammalian host. Nature. 2005 Jul 28;436(7050):573-577. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03812
Ramamoorthi, Nandhini ; Narasimhan, Sukanya ; Pal, Utpal ; Bao, Fukai ; Yang, X. ; Fish, Durland ; Anguita, Juan ; Norgard, Michael V. ; Kantor, Fred S. ; Anderson, John F. ; Koski, Raymond A. ; Fikrig, Erol. / The Lyme disease agent exploits a tick protein to infect the mammalian host. In: Nature. 2005 ; Vol. 436, No. 7050. pp. 573-577.
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