NYMC Faculty Publications


Immunoproteomic Analysis of Borrelia miyamotoi for the Identification of Serodiagnostic Antigens

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Publication Date

November 2019




The tick-borne spirochete, Borrelia miyamotoi, is an emerging pathogen of public health significance. Current B. miyamotoi serodiagnostic testing depends on reactivity against GlpQ which is not highly sensitive on acute phase serum samples. Additionally, anti-B. miyamotoi antibodies can cross-react with C6 antigen testing for B. burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, underscoring the need for improved serological assays that produce accurate diagnostic results. We performed an immunoproteomics analysis of B. miyamotoi proteins to identify novel serodiagnostic antigens. Sera from mice infected with B. miyamotoi by subcutaneous inoculation or tick bite were collected for immunoblotting against B. miyamotoi membrane-associated proteins separated by 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE). In total, 88 proteins in 40 2DE immunoreactive spots were identified via mass spectrometry. Multiple variable large proteins (Vlps) and a putative lipoprotein were among those identified and analyzed. Reactivity of anti-B. miyamotoi sera against recombinant Vlps and the putative lipoprotein confirmed their immunogenicity. Mouse anti-B. burgdorferi serum was cross-reactive to all recombinant Vlps, but not against the putative lipoprotein by IgG. Furthermore, antibodies against the recombinant putative lipoprotein were present in serum from a B. miyamotoi-infected human patient, but not a Lyme disease patient. Results presented here provide a comprehensive profile of B. miyamotoi antigens that induce the host immune response and identify a putative lipoprotein as a potentially specific antigen for B. miyamotoi serodetection.