Phylogenomic Diversity Elucidates Mechanistic Insights into Lyme Borreliae-Host Association
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Marcinkiewicz, Ashley L.
Dupuis, Alan P.
Davis, April D.
Nowak, Tristan A.
Stout, Jessica L.
Ciota, Alexander T.
Diuk-Wasser, Maria A.
KeywordComputer Science Applications
Modeling and Simulation
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractHost association—the selective adaptation of pathogens to specific host species—evolves through constant interactions between host and pathogens, leaving a lot yet to be discovered on immunological mechanisms and genomic determinants. The causative agents of Lyme disease (LD) are spirochete bacteria composed of multiple species of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, including B. burgdorferi (Bb), the main LD pathogen in North America—a useful model for the study of mechanisms underlying host-pathogen association. Host adaptation requires pathogens’ ability to evade host immune responses, such as complement, the first-line innate immune defense mechanism. We tested the hypothesis that different host-adapted phenotypes among Bb strains are linked to polymorphic loci that confer complement evasion traits in a host-specific manner. We first examined the survivability of 20 Bb strains in sera in vitro and/or bloodstream and tissues in vivo from rodent and avian LD models. Three groups of complement-dependent host-association phenotypes emerged. We analyzed complement-evasion genes, identified a priori among all strains and sequenced and compared genomes for individual strains representing each phenotype. The evolutionary history of ospC loci is correlated with host-specific complement-evasion phenotypes, while comparative genomics suggests that several gene families and loci are potentially involved in host association. This multidisciplinary work provides novel insights into the functional evolution of host-adapted phenotypes, building a foundation for further investigation of the immunological and genomic determinants of host association.
CitationCombs M, Marcinkiewicz AL, Dupuis AP 2nd, Davis AD, Lederman P, Nowak TA, Stout JL, Strle K, Fingerle V, Margos G, Ciota AT, Diuk-Wasser MA, Kolokotronis SO, Lin YP. Phylogenomic Diversity Elucidates Mechanistic Insights into Lyme Borreliae-Host Association. mSystems. 2022 Aug 8:e0048822. doi: 10.1128/msystems.00488-22. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35938719.
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