Enhanced protective efficacy of Borrelia burgdorferi BB0172 derived-peptide based vaccine to control Lyme disease
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Lyme disease (LD) accounts for over 70% of tick-borne disease reported in the United States. The disease in humans is characterized by skin rash, arthritis, cardiac and neurological signs. Vaccination is the most efficient preventive measure that could be taken to reduce the incidence of the LD worldwide; however, at present no vaccine is available. In this study, evaluation of the Borrelia burgdorferi BB0172-derived peptide (PepB) in conjugated formulations was investigated as a vaccine candidate in murine model of LD. In brief, PepB was conjugated to the Cross-Reacting Material 197 (CRM197) and to Tetanus Toxoid heavy chain (TTHc) molecules, and subsequently used to immunize C3H/HeN mice. Following the challenge with 105 spirochetes/mouse via subcutaneous inoculation, TTHc:PepB construct showed protection in 66% of the immunized animals. Hence, to further evaluate the efficacy of TTHc:PepB, immunized mice were challenged with B. burgdorferi using the tick model of infection. The outcome of this experiment revealed that serum from TTHc:PepB immunized mice was borrelicidal. After tick infection, bacterial burden was significantly reduced (over 70%) in vaccinated animals when compared with the control groups regardless of whether the mice were infested 8 or 12-weeks post-priming. Therefore, we conclude that PepB conjugated antigens can serve as an alternative to prevent LD; nevertheless, further studies will be needed to dissect the mechanisms by which anti-PepB IgG antibodies are able to kill B. burgdorferi in vitro and in vivo to further advance in the development of formulations and delivery alternative to generate a safe anti-LD vaccine.
author list (cited authors)
Hassan, W. S., Giaretta, P. R., Rech, R., Ollivault-Shiflett, M., & Esteve-Gasent, M. D.