Choreography of Lyme Disease Spirochete Adhesins To Promote Vascular Escape

TitleChoreography of Lyme Disease Spirochete Adhesins To Promote Vascular Escape
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
JournalMicrobiol Spectr
Date Published05/2023
AuthorsTan X, Castellanos M, Chaconas G

Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted by a bite from an infected tick. Disease development involves a complex series of host-pathogen interactions as well as dissemination of the infecting organisms to sites distal to the original tick bite. The predominant pathway for this is believed to be hematogenous dissemination. The mechanism by which the spirochetes escape circulation is unknown. Here, using intravital microscopy, where the Lyme spirochete can be observed in a living mouse, we have studied the stage in the vascular escape process where each of three surface adhesins functions to facilitate escape of the spirochete from postcapillary venules to invade mouse knee joint peripheral tissue. A complex pattern of involvement at various locations in the multistage process is described using a unique experimental approach that is applicable to other disseminating pathogens.