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Ticks Feeding in the Presence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease and Co-Infections' started by Ecoclimber, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Ecoclimber

    Ecoclimber Senior Member

    Yale J Biol Med. Mar 2014; 87(1): 3–13.
    Published online Mar 5, 2014.
    What Ticks Do Under Your Skin: Two-Photon Intravital Imaging of Ixodes Scapularis Feeding in the Presence of the Lyme Disease Spirochete
    Linda K. Bockenstedt,a,* David Gonzalez,b Jialing Mao,a Ming Li,a Alexia A. Belperron,a and Ann Habermanb

    Lyme disease, due to infection with the Ixodes-tick transmitted spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere. Our understanding of the tick-pathogen-vertebrate host interactions that sustain an enzootic cycle for B. burgdorferi is incomplete. In this article, we describe a method for imaging the feeding of Ixodes scapularis nymphs in real-time using two-photon intravital microscopy and show how this technology can be applied to view the response of Lyme borrelia in the skin of an infected host to tick feeding.

    In summary, two-photon intravital microscopy is a powerful tool that can be applied to the study of certain vector-borne zoonoses, particularly those in which the interaction of the vector with the vertebrate host occurs over a period of several hours to days. The ability to simultaneously image Ixodes tick feeding, Lyme borrelia, and the vertebrate in real time will enable the construction of models that more accurately depict the spatial and temporal interactions that complete the enzootic cycle of B. burgdorferi. Future studies employing this form of microscopy may help enlighten the fundamental processes that govern arthropod-borne zooneses like Lyme disease.

    Keywords: Ixodes scapularis ticks, two-photon intravital microscopy, Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease

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