Monday, August 15, 2011

3 Round One: Lyme Disease Guidelines Research Scavenger Hunt

So, I've decided to start a little game here on Camp Other blog. It is an online scavenger hunt to determine which Lyme disease research being conducted in which universities and colleges involves or has involved members of the 2006 Lyme disease guidelines group.

I'm going to list Lyme disease related research either completed or currently being done in Column A, and in Column B, list the educational institution where the research was (or is) being conducted.

How to play:

  1. Match the research in Column A with the correct educational institution in Column B.
  2. Determine if members of the department involved are A) currently doing research with a member of the 2006 Lyme disease guideline authors or B) have worked on any research in a past with said guideline author(s).
  3. Write your matches and mentions of any guideline authors in a comment and submit your comment for posting.

You can use google, Wikipedia, and any on and offline tools for your answers.

Roughly one week after I post a round, I'll post the correct answers as well as post the next round of the game. I intend to run the game for several weeks - end date to be announced later.

If anyone wins all rounds, after that win is confirmed, the next post I write will be based on the winner's selected topic of choice and include hand-drawn illustrations by me.

Round One: Lyme Disease Scavenger Hunt
Research Description Educational Institution
1) We ask the question what genes in the B. burgdorferi genome are responsible for the pathogenesis and long-term survival, and how can these genes be identified? Our strategy is to analyze the B. burgdorferi virulence determinants by Signature-Tagged Mutagenesis in combination with Luminex®-based high-throughput screening procedures, and infectivity studies to identify genes and gene products required for infectivity in a mouse model. We are also exploring the etiology of an emerging tick-borne disease, Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness.

A) Michigan State University
2) Our laboratory studies Borrelia spirochetes and the diseases they cause, Lyme disease and relapsing fever. After transmission of Borrelia through bites of certain tick species, both Lyme disease and relapsing fever are characterized by the spread of bacteria via the bloodstream, which may lead to the infection of multiple organs such as the skin, heart, joints, and brain. While these pathogenic processes are not yet well understood on the molecular level, the involved virulence factors identified so far have been surface lipoproteins.

A first project identifies lipoprotein sequence determinants, membrane protein complexes and chaperones involved in spirochete lipoprotein export.We are currently using fluorescent proteins as markers for protein localization in live Borrelia cells to determine the sorting signals for surface and subsurface lipoproteins. Using biochemical and novel genetic approaches, we are also in the process of characterizing the lipoprotein export machinery in Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete. These studies will ultimately help in the design of novel intervention strategies for spirochetal infections.
B) The University of Texas
3) My career goal is to help reduce the burden of human, wild animal, and domestic animal disease through improved understanding of disease systems. I approach this goal by conducting novel research to elucidate the ecology of maintenance and transmission of zoonotic pathogens, so as to identify key targets within disease cycles for interventions that will reduce disease risk.My dual training in wildlife disease ecology and veterinary medicine allows me to combine ecological and epidemiological principles, field techniques, molecular analytical tools, and medicine to address important problems in ecosystem health at the population level.Thus far, I have studied the ecology of two vector-borne disease systems in North America - West Nile virus and Lyme disease.
C) University of Kansas

There is much to learn from playing this game in and of itself that you gain something whether you win or lose. (I also have a point to make in playing it, and I'll reveal it at the end of the series.)


  1. I should add here that to keep this game competitive and to prevent copying another's answers, I won't be posting your comments until the week is up and the round closes.

  2. CO,

    Here are my short answers. My brain is too tired to format the links properly.

    1: (B) University of Texas

    Norris SJ and T Lin seem to work as a team. I believe the possible connection with IDSA is Mario T. Philipp (see the last paragraph of this comment).

    Norris, SJ., J A Howell, E.A Odeh, T Lin, L Gao, and DG Edmondson. 2011. High-throughput plasmid content analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi B31 using Luminex multiplex technology. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 77:1483-1492.

    Xu H, MJ Caimano, T Lin, M He, JD Radolf, SJ Norris, F Gheradini, AJ Wolfe, and XF Yang. 2010. Role of acetyl-phosphate in activation of the Rrp2-RpoN-RpoS pathway in Borrelia burgdorferi. PLoS Pathog. 6:e1001104

    Tao Lin, Lihui Gao, Diane G. Edmondson, Mary B. Jacobs, Mario T. Philipp, and Steven J. Norris. 2009. Central Role of the Holliday Junction Helicase RuvAB in vlsE Recombination and Infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi. PLoS Pathog 5: e1000679. doi:10.1371/doi:10.1371/ journal.ppat.1000679.

    2: (C) University of Kansas

    Wolfram R. Zückert, Ph.D.
    has published with Barbour

    Zückert W.R., Lloyd J.E., Stewart P.E., Rosa P.A. & Barbour A.G. (2004) Cross-species surface display of spirochetal lipoproteins by recombinant Borrelia burgdorferi. Infect. Immun. 72:1463-1469.

    Lawson, C.L., Yung, B.H., Barbour, A.G. & Zückert, W.R. (2006) Crystal structure of neurotropism-associated variable surface protein 1 (Vsp1) of Borrelia turicatae. J. Bacteriol. 188:4522-4530.

    3: (A) Michigan State University

    Sarah Anne Hamer (formerly Yaremych)

    - has published with Bunikis, Fish & Barbour and has participated in what I consider to be noteworthy activities:

    Diuk-Wasser MA, Vourc’h G. Cislo P, Gatewood AG, Melton F, Hamer SA, Rowland M, Cortinas MR, Hickling GJ, Tsao JI, Kitron U, Piesman J, Fish D. 2010. Field and climate-based model for predicting the density of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis in the United States. Global Ecol Biogeogr 19:504-514.

    Gatewood AG, Liebman KA, Vourc’h G, Bunikis J, Hamer SA, Cortinas R, Melton F, Cislo P, Kitron U, Tsao J, Barbour AG, Fish D, Diuk-Wasser MA. 2009. Climate and tick seasonality are predictors of Borrelia burgdorferi genotype distribution. Appl Environ Micrb. 75:2476-2483.

    Diuk-Wasser M, Gatewood A, Cortinas R, Yaremych-Hamer S, Tsao J, Kitron U, Hickling G, Walker E, Brownstein J, Piesman J, and Fish D. 2006. Spatial and temporal patterns of nymphal host-seeking I. scapularis in the United States. J Med Ent 43:166-176.

    Gatewood A, Diuk-Wasser M, Cortiñas R, Tsao J, Yaremych-Hamer S, Brownstein J, Barbour R, Hickling G, Walker E, Kitron U, Piesman J, Fish D. First year results from a nation-wide field survey of Ixodes scapularis. Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogen V Conference, Neuchatel, Switzerland, August 2005.

    Invited Speaker for Pfizer ‘Lunch and Learn’. ‘Ticks, Trails, and Hummingbird Tales’. March 2011.

    Invited speaker at Michigan Lyme Disease Association annual Conference, August 2009; Safari Clubs International annual meeting, March 2010.

    Organized the ‘Conference for Veterinary and Medical Professionals on Emerging Lyme disease in Michigan’ at Brook Lodge, MI, November 2005. Attended by ~50 human and veterinary medical professionals; presented general disease information and research results

    CO, here is the blog entry that I found astounding and disturbing -- even if only half of it is true:

    I am really interested in knowing what you think about all of this.

  3. Rita,

    I'm withholding my comments on the advocacy site contents as well as on this content in general until we have played more rounds. Sorry to be cryptic, but it's better to wait.


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