Biomechanics of Borrelia burgdorferi Vascular Interactions

Topics with information and discussion about published studies related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
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Biomechanics of Borrelia burgdorferi Vascular Interactions

Post by dlf » Sat 27 Aug 2016 3:49

Biomechanics of Borrelia burgdorferi Vascular Interactions

Rhodaba Ebady, Alexandra F. Niddam, Anna E. Boczula, Yae Ram Kim, Nupur Gupta, Tian Tian Tang, Tanya Odisho, Hui Zhi, Craig A. Simmons, Jon T. Skare, Tara J. Moriarty5,
Open Access
Full text available from: ... 16)31059-2

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•Biomechanical characterization of bacterial-vascular interactions
•Identified catch bond-mediated bacterial vascular adhesion mechanism
•Conserved vascular interaction strategies in bacteria and host cells


Systemic dissemination of microbes is critical for progression of many infectious diseases and is associated with most mortality due to bacterial infection. The physical mechanisms mediating a key dissemination step, bacterial association with vascular endothelia in blood vessels, remain unknown. Here, we show that endothelial interactions of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi under physiological shear stress mechanistically resemble selectin-dependent leukocyte rolling. Specifically, these interactions are mediated by transfer of mechanical load along a series of adhesion complexes and are stabilized by tethers and catch bond properties of the bacterial adhesin BBK32. Furthermore, we found that the forces imposed on adhesive bonds under flow may be small enough to permit active migration driven by bacterial flagellar motors. These findings provide insight into the biomechanics of bacterial-vascular interactions and demonstrate that disseminating bacteria and circulating host immune cells share widely conserved mechanisms for interacting with endothelia under physiological shear stress.
A less scientific but more easily understood article about this study can be found in Scientific American:


Something to Grapple with: How Wily Lyme Disease Prowls the Body

The sneaky germ uses a mechanism like that of white blood cells to reach vulnerable tissues and hide from antibiotics ... tter-Share

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