Friday, February 17, 2012

6 Paper On Borrelia burgdorferi, RpoS, And Formation of Round Bodies or "Cysts"

Dr. MacDonald just posted information on Lymenet Europe concerning a new paper by Dunham-Emsl et al about the round body aka "cyst" form of Borrelia burgdorferi as part of the Lyme disease life cycle within the tick.

The indication here is that Borrelia burgdorferi assumes a round body form within the tick in order to survive until circumstances for transmission to the host are present. There is no confirmation here, however, of its formation in vivo within a host mammal...

Full Text Source:

Borrelia burgdorferi Requires the Alternative Sigma Factor RpoS for Dissemination within the Vector during Tick-to-Mammal Transmission

Star M. Dunham-Ems, Melissa J. Caimano, Christian H. Eggers, Justin D. Radolf


While the roles of rpoSBb and RpoS-dependent genes have been studied extensively within the mammal, the contribution of the RpoS regulon to the tick-phase of the Borrelia burgdorferi enzootic cycle has not been examined. Herein, we demonstrate that RpoS-dependent gene expression is prerequisite for the transmission of spirochetes by feeding nymphs. RpoS-deficient organisms are confined to the midgut lumen where they transform into an unusual morphotype (round bodies) during the later stages of the blood meal. We show that round body formation is rapidly reversible, and in vitro appears to be attributable, in part, to reduced levels of Coenzyme A disulfide reductase, which among other functions, provides NAD+ for glycolysis. Our data suggest that spirochetes default to an RpoS-independent program for round body formation upon sensing that the energetics for transmission are unfavorable.


  1. "coup de grace" to that thread then.

    Thanks for posting Camp I will pass along tomorrow but today have been busy reading about a tV program talking about a study of 200 children with Autism where 4 out of 5 had their symptoms respond to antibiotics. Interestingly they interviewed Prof Montagnier ( Noble Prize winner ) and Prof Perronne (Infectious diseases doctor)Nelly has just uploaded to U tube translation will be posted later. Interestingly the boy featured in the TV program suffered with Lyme disease- this research follows the lead of doctors in the US.

    1. Joanne,

      I am still interested in the study, also note that Nature viewed Montagnier as a controversial figure in its article two years ago:

  2. Joanne,

    I think this is very notable research, because it marks the existence of round bodies or "cysts" as part of the life cycle inside the tick - rather than as an artifact or sign of spirochete deterioration. I know more patients and researchers are looking for evidence that round bodies in vivo in mammals (including humans) are the reason for persisting symptoms, but I don't know that that's the case. If Borrelia can persist, looking at what Embers and Barthold have done, I'd speculate that it's because it has persister cells and the form it takes is not directly tied to this.

    Thank you for the link to the video. That sounds very interesting, I'll have to give it a look. Four out of five children with autism in a group of 200 had symptom improvement after using antibiotics? That's an incredible outcome. I would like to see more details on the study. This kind of outcome suggests that antibiotics have some sort of quality which helps improve autism and/or children with autism have an infection which causes their symptoms and it responds to antibiotic treatment.

    Have they had thorough blood tests and immunological test done to determine what's going on? I'm now wondering about the remaining 1 out of 5 children, and why antibiotics have no effect on them.

  3. One thing I'd be wondering there is if Toxoplasmosis plays a role in their condition - particularly in France, which has one of the highest Toxoplasmosis rates of infection in the world.

  4. Hm, just did some poking around online. While Montagnier is a Nobel prize winner, he appears to be getting the same kind of criticism that Cary Mullis and Lynn Margulis have for their views on HIV/AIDS. Apparently Montagnier was in the film "House of Numbers" which offers the message that HIV can be cured through herbs and supplements alone. This doesn't automatically discredit Montagnier's research - but unfortunately, many in the world of scientific research will be less than eager to review his work because of his holding this radical view (which would not be supported by evidence).

    1. Okay, probably best to go to the source. I retract the second half of my last sentence in the preceding comment, because I found this statement of Montagnier's on HIV on his own web site:

      It does not sound like he is an AIDS denialist. He has not changed his mind about his own research. But he has been somehow misrepresented in his views by those who are.

      He is interested in looking at the immunological differences between people who do not seem to acquire HIV for various reasons and promotes vaccination development. This is hardly the position of a denialist.


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