Persistent brain infection and disease reactivation in relapsing fever borreliosis
2006 (English)In: Microbes and infection, ISSN 1286-4579, E-ISSN 1769-714X, Vol. 8, no 8, 2213-2219 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Relapsing fever, an infection caused by Borrelia spirochetes, is generally considered a transient, self-limiting disease in humans. The present study reveals that murine infection by Borrelia duttonii can be reactivated after an extended time as a silent infection in the brain, with no bacteria appearing in the blood and spirochete load comparable to the numbers in an infected tick. The host cerebral gene expression pattern is indistinguishable from that of uninfected animals, indicating that persistent bacteria are not recognized by the immune system nor cause noticeable tissue damage. Silent infection can be reactivated by immunosuppression, inducing spirochetemia comparable to that of initial densities. B. duttonii has never been found in any host except man and the tick vector. We therefore propose the brain to be a possible natural reservoir of the spirochete. The view of relapsing fever as an acute disease should be extended to include in some cases prolonged persistence, a feature characteristic of the related spirochetal infections Lyme disease and syphilis.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2006. Vol. 8, no 8, 2213-2219 p.
Animals, Bacteremia, Borrelia/classification/*isolation & purification, Brain/*microbiology, Brain Chemistry, Brain Diseases/*microbiology, Colony Count; Microbial, Disease Models; Animal, Gene Expression Profiling, Immunosuppression, Male, Mice, Mice; Inbred C57BL, Relapsing Fever/*microbiology, Serotyping
Infectious Medicine Microbiology in the medical area Immunology in the medical area
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12903DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2006.04.007PubMedID: 16782384OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-12903DiVA: diva2:152574