A1 Journal article (refereed)
Borrelia burgdorferi Outer Membrane Vesicles Contain Antigenic Proteins, but Do Not Induce Cell Death in Human Cells (2022)

Karvonen, K., Tammisto, H., Nykky, J., & Gilbert, L. (2022). Borrelia burgdorferi Outer Membrane Vesicles Contain Antigenic Proteins, but Do Not Induce Cell Death in Human Cells. Microorganisms, 10(2), Article 212. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10020212

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Karvonen, Kati; Tammisto, Hanna; Nykky, Jonna; Gilbert, Leona

Journal or series: Microorganisms

eISSN: 2076-2607

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 19/01/2022

Volume: 10

Issue number: 2

Article number: 212

Publisher: MDPI AG

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10020212

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79536


Like many bacterial species, Borrelia burgdorferi, the pleomorphic bacterium that causes Lyme borreliosis, produces outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Borrelial OMVs (BbOMVs) have been identified as containing virulence factors, such as outer surface proteins (Osps) A, B, and C, as well as DNA. However, the pathogenicity of BbOMVs in disease development is still unclear. In this study, we characterized purified BbOMVs by analyzing their size and immunolabeling for known antigenic markers: OspA, OspC, p39, and peptidoglycan. In addition, BbOMVs were cocultured with human non-immune cells for cytotoxicity analysis. The results demonstrated that, on average, the vesicles were small, ranging between 11 and 108 nm in diameter. In addition, both OspA and OspC, as well as Lyme arthritis markers p39 and peptidoglycan, were detected from BbOMVs. Furthermore, BbOMVs were cocultured with non-immune cells, which did not result in cell death. Combined, these results suggested that BbOMVs could participate in the induction of infection by functioning as a decoy for the host immune system. Furthermore, BbOMVs might serve as a means for persistent antigens to remain in the host for prolonged periods of time.

Keywords: borreliosis; Lyme disease; bacteria; Borrelia; proteins; antigens; immunity; immune response; immune system; immunology

Free keywords: Lyme borreliosis; bleb; extracellular vesicle; persistent antigen

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-06-03 at 09:54