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;in press. doi:10.1016/j.bjid.2021.101575.
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