10:59pm Sunday 22 October 2017

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

Normal microbiota 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 spirochetes, Yale researchers have found.

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

The disruption of microbiota in the guts of the tick Ixodes scapularis — a known vector for Lyme and other human diseases — prevented colonization of the Lyme disease spirochete 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 microbiota 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 spirochetes, Yale researchers have found.

  Contact Bill Hathaway william.hathaway@yale.edu 203-432-1322


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