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Article

The Platelet Fraction Is a Novel Reservoir to Detect Lyme Borrelia in Blood

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G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
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Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2020, 9(11), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110366
Received: 16 September 2020 / Revised: 23 October 2020 / Accepted: 27 October 2020 / Published: 29 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Biology of Leptospira, Borrelia and Other Spirochetes)
To diagnose Lyme disease, a patient’s blood is tested for antibodies that develop as part of the immune response. This can lead to cases being missed or inadequately treated. An ideal test would directly detect the Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia, to provide better clinical guidance. In this study, we aimed to improve the methods currently used to find Borrelia in human blood, and identified two opportunities for optimization. We demonstrate that the container most commonly used to collect blood (EDTA) decreases Borrelia’s ability to grow, and we identify a superior alternative (citrate). Additionally, using experimentally infected blood, we show that Borrelia is highly concentrated in the platelet fraction, making it an ideal candidate for direct detection. These results lay the foundation for diagnostic test development, which could improve patient outcomes in Lyme disease.
Serological diagnosis of Lyme disease suffers from considerable limitations. Yet, the technique cannot currently be replaced by direct detection methods, such as bacterial culture or molecular analysis, due to their inadequate sensitivity. The low bacterial burden in vasculature and lack of consensus around blood-based isolation of the causative pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, are central to this challenge. We therefore addressed methodological optimization of Borrelia recovery from blood, first by analyzing existing protocols, and then by using experimentally infected human blood to identify the processing conditions and fractions that increase Borrelia yield. In this proof-of-concept study, we now report two opportunities to improve recovery and detection of Borrelia from clinical samples. To enhance pathogen viability and cultivability during whole blood collection, citrate anticoagulant is superior to more commonly used EDTA. Despite the widespread reliance on serum and plasma as analytes, we found that the platelet fraction of blood concentrates Borrelia, providing an enriched resource for direct pathogen detection by microscopy, laboratory culture, Western blot, and PCR. The potential for platelets to serve as a reservoir for Borrelia and its diagnostic targets may transform direct clinical detection of this pathogen. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lyme disease; Borrelia; blood processing; EDTA; citrate; platelets; molecular detection; OspA; culture; diagnosis Lyme disease; Borrelia; blood processing; EDTA; citrate; platelets; molecular detection; OspA; culture; diagnosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sanderson, V.P.; Mainprize, I.L.; Verzijlenberg, L.; Khursigara, C.M.; Wills, M.K.B. The Platelet Fraction Is a Novel Reservoir to Detect Lyme Borrelia in Blood. Biology 2020, 9, 366. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110366

AMA Style

Sanderson VP, Mainprize IL, Verzijlenberg L, Khursigara CM, Wills MKB. The Platelet Fraction Is a Novel Reservoir to Detect Lyme Borrelia in Blood. Biology. 2020; 9(11):366. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110366

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sanderson, Victoria P., Iain L. Mainprize, Lisette Verzijlenberg, Cezar M. Khursigara, and Melanie K.B. Wills 2020. "The Platelet Fraction Is a Novel Reservoir to Detect Lyme Borrelia in Blood" Biology 9, no. 11: 366. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110366

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