Detection of Attenuated, Noninfectious Spirochetes in Borrelia burgdorferi– Infected Mice after Antibiotic Treatment

University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6). 12/2002; 186(10):1430-7. DOI: 10.1086/345284
Source: PubMed


Xenodiagnosis by ticks was used to determine whether spirochetes persist in mice after 1 month of antibiotic therapy for vectorborne
Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Immunofluorescence and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to show that spirochetes could be found in Ixodes scapularis ticks feeding on 4 of 10 antibiotic-treated mice up to 3 months after therapy. These spirochetes could not be transmitted
to naive mice, and some lacked genes on plasmids correlating with infectivity. By 6 months, antibiotic-treated mice no longer
tested positive by xenodiagnosis, and cortisone immunosuppression did not alter this result. Nine months after treatment,
low levels of spirochete DNA could be detected by real-time PCR in a subset of antibiotic-treated mice. In contrast to sham-treated
mice, antibiotic-treated mice did not have culture or histopathologic evidence of persistent infection. These results provide
evidence that noninfectious spirochetes can persist for a limited duration after antibiotics but are not associated with disease
in mice

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    • "Unfortunately, continued antibiotic treatment is not recommended as its long-term effectiveness has not been observed or proven (Delong et al. 2012; Stanek et al. 2012). The increasing trend with new and relapsing Lyme disease cases was noted and attributed mainly to inadequate prevention, ineffective therapy and/or bacterial persistency (Straubinger et al. 1997; Bockenstedt et al. 2002; Peltomaa et al. 2003; Hodzic et al. 2008; Feng et al. 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: AimsLittle is known about the effects of phytochemicals against Borrelia sp. causing Lyme disease. Current therapeutic approach to this disease is limited to antibiotics. This study examined the anti-borreliaea efficacy of several plant-derived compounds and micronutrients.Methods and ResultsWe tested the efficacy of 15 phytochemicals and micronutrients against three morphological forms of Borrelia burgdoferi and Borrelia garinii: spirochetes, latent rounded forms and biofilm. The results showed that the most potent substances against the spirochete and rounded forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii were cis-2-decenoic acid, baicalein, monolaurin, and kelp (iodine); whereas, only baicalein and monolaurin revealed significant activity against the biofilm. Moreover, cis-2-decenoic acid, baicalein, and monolaurin did not cause statistically significant cytotoxicity to human HepG2 cells up to 125 μg ml−1, and kelp up to 20 μg ml−1.Conclusions The most effective antimicrobial compounds against all morphological forms of the two tested Borrelia sp. were baicalein and monolaurin. This might indicate that the presence of fatty acid and phenyl groups is important for comprehensive antibacterial activity.Significance and Impact of the StudyThis study reveals the potential of phytochemicals as an important tool in the fight against the species of Borrelia causing Lyme disease.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Applied Microbiology
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    • "In addition, there were 3 mouse studies, 28 studies done in vitro only, and 1 tick study. None of the mouse studies reported the identification of round morphologic forms of B. burgdorferi in vivo333435 . Two studies describing the effects of spirochete cultivation in ex vivo human tissue (cerebrospinal fluid and tonsillar tissue) were considered to be culture experiments rather than direct demonstration of the disease process in vivo [36, 37]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Much of the controversy that surrounds Lyme disease pertains to whether it produces prolonged, treatment-refractory infection, usually referred to as chronic Lyme disease. Some have proposed that round morphologic variants of Borrelia burgdorferi, known variably as "cyst forms" and "L-forms," are responsible for the pathogenesis of chronic Lyme disease. We have undertaken a systematic review of the literature to determine if there is a documented role of these variants in Lyme disease pathogenesis or in syndromes compatible with chronic Lyme disease. Methods: Two systematic literature searches were performed to identify studies in which round morphologic variants of B. burgdorferi have been described in situ in human specimens. Results: Our primary literature search identified 6 studies that reported round morphologic variants of B. burgdorferi in specimens obtained from 32 total patients. No study described these forms in patients who had purely subjective symptom complexes (eg, fatigue or pain). No study investigated a causal relationship between morphologic variants and clinical disease or evaluated treatment of morphologic variants in vivo. Of 29 additional studies that described the morphology of B. burgdorferi from patients with Lyme disease, the organism was invariably described as having spirochetal morphology. Conclusions: In the context of the broader medical literature, it is not currently possible to ascribe a pathogenic role to morphologic variants of B. burgdorferi in either typical manifestations of Lyme disease or in other chronic disease states that are often labeled chronic Lyme disease. There is no clinical literature to justify specific treatment of B. burgdorferi morphologic variants.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    • "Embers et al138 addressed several of the key issues identified by Wormser and Schwartz140 in their 2009 review that focused on studies by Bockenstedt et al,141 Hodzic et al,142 and Straubinger et al,143 all of which documented the persistence of Bb in the tissues of animals despite the antibiotic challenge. "
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    ABSTRACT: Is chronic illness in patients with Lyme disease caused by persistent infection? Three decades of basic and clinical research have yet to produce a definitive answer to this question. This review describes known and suspected mechanisms by which spirochetes of the Borrelia genus evade host immune defenses and survive antibiotic challenge. Accumulating evidence indicates that Lyme disease spirochetes are adapted to persist in immune competent hosts, and that they are able to remain infective despite aggressive antibiotic challenge. Advancing understanding of the survival mechanisms of the Lyme disease spirochete carry noteworthy implications for ongoing research and clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · International Journal of General Medicine
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