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Evolution of antigenic diversity in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii : a role for host specialization?

Råberg, L. LU ; Hagström, LU ; Andersson, M.; Bartkova, Simona; Scherman, K. LU ; Strandh, M. LU and Tschirren, B. LU (2017) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30(5). p.1034-1041
Abstract

Antigenic diversity in pathogenic microbes can be a result of at least three different processes: diversifying selection by acquired immunity, host–pathogen coevolution and/or host specialization. Here, we investigate whether host specialization drives diversity at ospC (which encodes an immunodominant surface protein) in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii. We determined prevalence and infection intensity of ospC strains in naturally infected wild mammals (rodents and shrews) by 454 amplicon sequencing in combination with qPCR. Neither prevalence nor infection intensity of specific ospC strains varied in a species-specific manner (i.e. there were no significant ospC × host species interactions). Rankings of ospC prevalences... (More)

Antigenic diversity in pathogenic microbes can be a result of at least three different processes: diversifying selection by acquired immunity, host–pathogen coevolution and/or host specialization. Here, we investigate whether host specialization drives diversity at ospC (which encodes an immunodominant surface protein) in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii. We determined prevalence and infection intensity of ospC strains in naturally infected wild mammals (rodents and shrews) by 454 amplicon sequencing in combination with qPCR. Neither prevalence nor infection intensity of specific ospC strains varied in a species-specific manner (i.e. there were no significant ospC × host species interactions). Rankings of ospC prevalences were strongly positively correlated across host species. Rankings of ospC infection intensities were correlated more weakly, but only in one case significantly < 1. ospC prevalences in the studied mammals were similar to those in ticks sampled at the study site, indicating that we did not miss any mammal species that are important hosts for specific ospC strains. Based on this, we conclude that there is at best limited host specialization in B. afzelii and that other processes are likely the main drivers of ospC diversity.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
antigenic diversity, ecological specialization, Lyme borreliosis
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
volume
30
issue
5
pages
8 pages
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • scopus:85018999844
  • wos:000400783800015
ISSN
1010-061X
DOI
10.1111/jeb.13075
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5c9d5c20-6569-41cc-ba61-a46c2a51f0e1
date added to LUP
2017-05-31 10:35:45
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:38:18
@article{5c9d5c20-6569-41cc-ba61-a46c2a51f0e1,
  abstract     = {<p>Antigenic diversity in pathogenic microbes can be a result of at least three different processes: diversifying selection by acquired immunity, host–pathogen coevolution and/or host specialization. Here, we investigate whether host specialization drives diversity at ospC (which encodes an immunodominant surface protein) in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii. We determined prevalence and infection intensity of ospC strains in naturally infected wild mammals (rodents and shrews) by 454 amplicon sequencing in combination with qPCR. Neither prevalence nor infection intensity of specific ospC strains varied in a species-specific manner (i.e. there were no significant ospC × host species interactions). Rankings of ospC prevalences were strongly positively correlated across host species. Rankings of ospC infection intensities were correlated more weakly, but only in one case significantly &lt; 1. ospC prevalences in the studied mammals were similar to those in ticks sampled at the study site, indicating that we did not miss any mammal species that are important hosts for specific ospC strains. Based on this, we conclude that there is at best limited host specialization in B. afzelii and that other processes are likely the main drivers of ospC diversity.</p>},
  author       = {Råberg, L. and Hagström,  and Andersson, M. and Bartkova, Simona and Scherman, K. and Strandh, M. and Tschirren, B.},
  issn         = {1010-061X},
  keyword      = {antigenic diversity,ecological specialization,Lyme borreliosis},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1034--1041},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Evolution of antigenic diversity in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii : a role for host specialization?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13075},
  volume       = {30},
  year         = {2017},
}