Journal Article

Acylated cholesteryl galactosides are ubiquitous glycolipid antigens among Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato

Gunthard Stübs, Volker Fingerle, Ulrich Zähringer, Ralf R. Schumann, Jörg Rademann and Nicolas W.J. Schröder

in FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology

Published on behalf of Federation of Microbiological Societies

Volume 63, issue 1, pages 140-143
Published in print October 2011 | ISSN: 0928-8244
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1574-695X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.2011.00827.x
Acylated cholesteryl galactosides are ubiquitous glycolipid antigens among Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato

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Abstract

Lyme disease (LD) is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern hemisphere. It is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, in particular, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia afzelii. However, other genospecies have been implicated as causative factors of LD as well. Borrelia burgdorferi exhibits numerous immunogenic lipoproteins, but due to strong heterogeneity, the use of these proteins for serodiagnosis and vaccination is hampered. We and others have identified acylated cholesteryl galactosides (ACGal) as a novel glycolipid present in B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, and B. garinii. ACGal is a strong antigen and the majority of patients display anti-ACGal antibodies in the chronic stages of LD. However, it is unknown whether ACGal is present in other presumably pathogenic B. burgdorferi genospecies. Therefore, we performed an analysis of the total lipid extracts of a wide spectrum of genospecies of B. burgdorferi sensu lato using thin-layer chromatography as well as Western blot and dot-blot assays. We show that ACGal is present in substantial quantities in all B. burgdorferi genospecies tested. Therefore, this molecule might improve the serological detection of rarely pathogenic genospecies, and may be used as a protective vaccine regardless of the prevailing genospecies.

Keywords: Lyme disease; Borrelia burgdorferi; glycolipid; antigen; vaccine; serology

Journal Article.  1934 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Biotechnology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Microbiology ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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