Borrelia burgdorferi malQ mutants utilize disaccharides and traverse the enzootic cycle

Laura L. Hoon-Hanks, Elizabeth A. Morton, Meghan C. Lybecker, James M. Battisti, D. Scott Samuels, Dan Drecktrah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, cycles in nature between a vertebrate host and a tick vector. We demonstrate that B. burgdorferi can utilize several sugars that may be available during persistence in the tick, including trehalose, N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), and chitobiose. The spirochete grows to a higher cell density in trehalose, which is found in tick hemolymph, than in maltose; these two disaccharides differ only in the glycosidic linkage between the glucose monomers. Additionally, B. burgdorferi grows to a higher density in GlcNAc than in the GlcNAc dimer chitobiose, both of which may be available during tick molting. We have also investigated the role of malQ (bb0166), which encodes an amylomaltase, in sugar utilization during the enzootic cycle. In other bacteria, MalQ is involved in utilizing maltodextrins and trehalose, but we show that, unexpectedly, it is not needed for B. burgdorferi to grow in vitro on any of the sugars assayed. In addition, infection of mice by needle inoculation or tick bite, as well as acquisition and maintenance of the spirochete in the tick vector, does not require MalQ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Amylomaltase
  • Carbohydrate
  • Ixodes
  • Lyme disease
  • Trehalose

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Borrelia burgdorferi malQ mutants utilize disaccharides and traverse the enzootic cycle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this