Innate and Th1/Th17 adaptive immunity in acute and convalescent Brazilian borreliosis disease

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Introduction: Brazilian borreliosis (BB) disease is an infectious disease transmitted by ticks that mimics Lyme disease (LD) from the Northern Hemisphere. The BB clinical picture is characterized by a pathognomonic skin lesion (migratory erythema) and joint, neurological, cardiac and psychiatric symptoms. Innate and Th1/Th17 adaptive immunity seem to play an important role in the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Objective: The aim of this study was to characterize the role of innate and Th1/Th17 adaptive immunity in BB patients with acute (<3 months) and convalescent (>3 months) disease. Methods: Fifty BB patients (28 with acute and 22 with convalescent disease) without treatment and 30 healthy subjects were evaluated. Levels of 20 cytokines or chemokines associated with innate and Th1/Th17 adaptive immunity were analyzed using Luminex (Millipore Corp., Billerica, MA). Results: Overall, BB patients had increased levels of IL-8 (6.29 vs 2.12 p = 0.002) and MIP-1α/CCL3 (5.20 vs 2.06, p = 0.030), associated with innate immunity, and MIP3B/CCL19 (Th1; 297.86 vs 212.41, p = 0.031) and IL-17A (Th17; 3.11 vs 2.20, p = 0.037), associated with adaptive immunity, compared with the levels of healthy controls. When comparing acute BB vs. convalescent BB subjects vs. healthy controls, IL-1β, IL-8 and MIP-1α/CCL3 (innate mediators) levels were highest in patients in the acute phase of disease (p < 0.05). TNF-α was associated with disseminated symptoms and with humoral reactivity against Borrelia burgdorferi. IL-10 was significantly correlated with IL-6 (r = 0.59, p = 0.003), IL-8 (r = 0.51, p < 0.001), MIP-1α/CCL3 (r = 0.42, p < 0.001) and MIP-3β/CCL19 (r = 0.40, p = 0.002) in all BB patients. Conclusions: This is the first study describing that innate and Th1/Th17 adaptive immunity play a crucial role in BB disease. Furthermore, innate mediators are particularly important in acute BB disease, and TNF-α is associated with evolution of BB symptoms.
Bonoldi VLN, Yoshinari NH, Abreu PAE, Pereira RMR. Innate and Th1/Th17 adaptive immunity in acute and convalescent Brazilian borreliosis disease. Braz. J. Infect. Dis.. 2021 Apr;25(2):101575. doi:10.1016/j.bjid.2021.101575.
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