NYMC Faculty Publications


Characterization of a Borrelia Miyamotoi Membrane Antigen (BmaA) for Serodiagnosis of Borrelia Miyamotoi Disease

First Page


Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date





Borrelia miyamotoi is a tick-borne pathogen that causes Borrelia miyamotoi disease (BMD), an emerging infectious disease of increasing public health significance. B. miyamotoi is transmitted by the same tick vector (Ixodes spp.) as B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the causative agent of Lyme disease, therefore laboratory assays to differentiate BMD from Lyme disease are needed to avoid misdiagnoses and for disease confirmation. We previously performed a global immunoproteomic analysis of the murine host antibody response against B. miyamotoi infection to discover antigens that could serologically distinguish the two infections. An initial assessment identified a putative lipoprotein antigen, here termed BmaA, as a promising candidate to augment current research-based serological assays. In this study, we show that BmaA is an outer surface-associated protein by its susceptibility to protease digestion. Synthesis of BmaA in culture was independent of temperature at either 23 °C or 34 °C. The BmaA gene is present in two identical loci harbored on separate plasmids in North American strains LB-2001 and CT13-2396. bmaA-like sequences are present in other B. miyamotoi strains and relapsing fever borrelia as multicopy genes and as paralogous or orthologous gene families. IgM and IgG antibodies in pooled serum from BMD patients reacted with native BmaA fractionated by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and identified by mass spectrometry. IgG against recombinant BmaA was detected in 4 of 5 BMD patient serum samples as compared with 1 of 23 serum samples collected from patients with various stages of Lyme disease. Human anti-B. turicatae serum did not seroreact with recombinant BmaA suggesting a role as a species-specific diagnostic antigen. These results demonstrated that BmaA elicits a human host antibody response during B. miyamotoi infection but not in a tested group of B. burgdorferi-infected Lyme disease patients, thereby providing a potentially useful addition for developing BMD serodiagnostic tests.

This document is currently not available here.