Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Susceptibility to ticks and Lyme disease spirochetes is not affected in mice co-infected with nematodes (2016)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Maaz, Denny (WE 6)
    Rausch, Sebastian (WE 6)
    Richter, Dania
    Krücken, Jürgen
    Kühl, Anja A
    Demeler, Janina
    Blümke, Julia
    Matuschka, Franz-Rainer
    Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg V
    Hartmann, Susanne (WE 6)
    Infection and immunity; 84(5) — S. 1274–1286
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    URL (Volltext): http://iai.asm.org/content/early/2016/02/09/IAI.01309-15.full.pdf
    DOI: 10.1128/IAI.01309-15
    Pubmed: 26883594
    Institut für Immunologie und Molekularbiologie

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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Small rodents serve as reservoir hosts for tick-borne pathogens, such as spirochetes causing Lyme disease. Whether natural co-infections with other macroparasites alter the success of tick feeding, anti-tick immunity and the host's reservoir competence for tick-borne pathogens remains to be determined. In a parasitological survey of wild mice in Berlin approximately 40% of Ixodes ricinus infested animals harboured the nematode Heligmosomoides spp. simultaneously. We, therefore, aimed to analyse the immunological impact of the nematode/tick co-infection as well as its effect on the tick-borne pathogen Borrelia afzelii. Hosts experimentally co-infected with H. polygyrus and larval/nymphal I. ricinus ticks developed substantially stronger systemic Th2 responses, based on GATA-3 and IL-13 expression, than did single-infected mice. During repeated larval infestations, however, anti-tick Th2 reactivity and an observed partial immunity to tick feeding was unaffected by concurrent nematode infections. Importantly, the strong systemic Th2 immune response in co-infected mice did not affect the susceptibility to tick-borne B. afzelii. An observed trend for decreased local and systemic Th1 reactivity against B. afzelii in co-infected mice did not result in higher spirochete burden, neither facilitated bacterial dissemination nor induced signs of immunopathology. Hence, this study indicates that strong systemic Th2 responses in nematode/tick co-infected house mice do not affect the success of tick feeding and the control of the causative agent of Lyme disease.