[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Relapsing fever borreliae, produced by ectoparasite-borne Borrelia species, cause mild to deadly bacteremia and miscarriage. In the perspective of developing inexpensive assays for the rapid detection of relapsing fever borreliae, we produced 12 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against Borrelia crocidurae and characterized the two exhibiting the highest titers. P3A10 MAb reacts with the 35.6-kDa flagellin B (flaB) of B. crocidurae while P6D9 MAb recognizes a 35.1-kDa variable-like protein (Vlp) in B. crocidurae and a 35.2-kDa Vlp in Borrelia duttonii. Indirect immunofluorescence assay incorporating relapsing fever and Lyme group borreliae and 11 blood-borne organisms responsible for fever in West Africa confirmed the reactivity of these two MAbs. Combining these two MAbs in indirect immunofluorescence assays detected relapsing fever borreliae including B. crocidurae in ticks and the blood of febrile Senegalese patients. Both antibodies could be incorporated into inexpensive and stable formats suited for the rapid point-of-care diagnosis of relapsing fever. These first-ever MAbs directed against African relapsing fever borreliae are available for the scientific community to promote research in this neglected field.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reservoir of Mycobacterium ulcerans causing Buruli ulcer (BU) remains unknown. Here, sterilized watery soil was mixed with 2 × 10(6) colony-forming units (CFU)/g of M. ulcerans Agy99 or M. ulcerans ATCC 33728 and incubated in a microaerophilic atmosphere in the presence of negative controls. Both M. ulcerans strains survived in soil for 4 months with a final inoculum of 300-440 CFU/g. Further, three groups of five mice with and without footpad scarification were exposed to control soil or M. ulcerans-inoculated soil. Although no specific clinical and histopathological lesions were observed in control animals, red spots observed on 8/20 scarified feet in 8/10 challenged mice yielded inflammatory infiltrates and positive real-time polymerase chain reaction detection of M. ulcerans DNA in five mice. BU can be acquired as an inoculation infection with watery soil as a transient source of infection. These experimental observations warrant additional field observations.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant viruses are generally considered incapable of infecting vertebrates. Accordingly, they are not considered harmful for humans. However, a few studies questioned the certainty of this paradigm. Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) RNA has been detected in human samples and TMV RNA translation has been described in animal cells. We sought to determine if TMV is detectable, persists, and remains viable in the lung tissues of mice following intratracheal inoculation, and we attempted to inoculate mouse macrophages with TMV. In the animal model, mice were intratracheally inoculated with 10(11) viral particles and were sacrificed at different time points. The virus was detected in the mouse lungs using immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, real-time RT-PCR and sequencing, and its viability was studied with an infectivity assay on plants. In the cellular model, the culture medium of murine bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDM) was inoculated with different concentrations of TMV, and the virus was detected with real-time RT-PCR and immunofluorescence. In addition, anti-TMV antibodies were detected in mouse sera with ELISA. We showed that infectious TMV could enter and persist in mouse lungs via the intratracheal route. Over 14 days, the TMV RNA level decreased by 5 log(10) copies/ml in the mouse lungs and by 3.5 log(10) in macrophages recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage. TMV was localized to lung tissue, and its infectivity was observed on plants until 3 days after inoculation. In addition, anti-TMV antibody seroconversions were observed in the sera from mice 7 days after inoculation. In the cellular model, we observed that TMV persisted over 15 days after inoculation and it was visualized in the cytoplasm of the BMDM. This work shows that a plant virus, Tobacco mosaic virus, could persist and enter in cells in mammals, which raises questions about the potential interactions between TMV and human hosts.