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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Dec 1;193(1):137-41.

Enhancement of OspC expression by Borrelia burgdorferi in the presence of tick hemolymph.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0266, USA.


Borrelia burgdorferi B31 cultured at 28 degrees C was used to assay the effects of tick hemolymph on outer surface protein C (OspC) surface expression. Using immunofluorescence, OspC surface expression was shown to increase in cultures treated with hemolymph from both Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor variabilis, while control samples (non-hemolymph treated) showed no increase in the levels of OspC. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis also showed an increase in OspC from spirochetes exposed to tick hemolymph. In addition, a lower-molecular-mass protein band of unknown identity was also enhanced in the hemolymph-exposed spirochetes. The significance of these effects of tick hemolymph on B. burgdorferi outer surface protein expression is unknown.

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