Eliminating factor H-binding activity of Borrelia burgdorferi CspZ combined with virus-like particle conjugation enhances its efficacy as a lyme disease vaccine

  • The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease in the US and Europe. No potent human vaccine is currently available. The innate immune complement system is vital to host defense against pathogens, as complement activation on the surface of spirochetes results in bacterial killing. Complement system is inhibited by the complement regulator factor H (FH). To escape killing, B. burgdorferi produces an outer surface protein CspZ that binds FH to inhibit complement activation on the cell surface. Immunization with CspZ alone does not protect mice from infection, which we speculate is because FH-binding cloaks potentially protective epitopes. We modified CspZ by conjugating to virus-like particles (VLP-CspZ) and eliminating FH binding (modified VLP-CspZ) to increase immunogenicity. We observed greater bactericidal antibody titers in mice vaccinated with modified VLP-CspZ: A serum dilution of 1:395 (modified VLP-CspZ) vs 1:143 (VLP-CspZ) yielded 50% borreliacidal activity. Immunizing mice with modified VLP-CspZ cleared spirochete infection, as did passive transfer of elicited antibodies. This work developed a novel Lyme disease vaccine candidate by conjugating CspZ to VLP and eliminating FH-binding ability. Such a strategy of conjugating an antigen to a VLP and eliminating binding to the target ligand can serve as a general model for developing vaccines against other bacterial infectious agents.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Ashley L. Marcinkiewicz, Ilva Lieknina, Svetlana Kotelovica, Xiuli Yang, Peter KraiczyGND, Utpal Pal, Yi-Pin LinORCiD, Kaspars Tars
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29472926
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in immunology
Publisher:Frontiers Media
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Fabio Bagnoli
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/02/08
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/03/13
Tag:Borrelia; CspZ; factor H; lyme disease; vaccine; virus-like particles
Issue:Art. 181
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
Copyright: © 2018 Marcinkiewicz, Lieknina, Kotelovica, Yang, Kraiczy, Pal, Lin and Tars. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0