Key to Lyme disease’s locale may be found in the gut of a tick

 

Key to Lyme disease’s locale may be found in the gut of a tick
Normal micro-biota of the tick gut are necessary to maintain the integrity of the glycoprotein-rich mucus lining of the gut (stained in pink), which is required for colonization of Lyme Disease spirochaetes, Yale researchers have found.

The prevalence of Lyme disease varies greatly between different locales throughout the North-east, even though the deer ticks that transmit Lyme bacterium are common throughout the entire region.

A new study by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine suggests an unusual explanation to the mystery: differences in the make-up of microbes in the guts of the ticks.

The disruption of micro-biota in the guts of the tick Ixodes scapularis—a known vector for Lyme and other human diseases—prevented colonization of the Lyme disease spirochaetes Borrelia burgdorferi, the Yale team showed. Yale researchers plan to investigate whether bacterial variations in the tick gut helps account for regional differences in Lyme disease infection rates, said Erol Fikrig, senior author of the paper.  For more information, please read the January issue of the journal Cell Host & Microbe.

Normal micro-biota of the tick gut are necessary to maintain the integrity of the glycoprotein-rich mucus lining of the gut (stained in pink in the accompanying illustration), which is required for colonization of Lyme disease spirochaetes, Yale researchers have found.

 

Provided by: Yale University

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