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Cells. 2013 Sep 13;2(3):607-20. doi: 10.3390/cells2030607.

An Enhanced ELISPOT Assay for Sensitive Detection of Antigen-Specific T Cell Responses to Borrelia burgdorferi.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology, Pharmasan Labs, Inc., Osceola, WI 54020, USA. chenggang.jin@pharmasan.com.
2
Department of Immunology, Pharmasan Labs, Inc., Osceola, WI 54020, USA. diana.roen@pharmasan.com.
3
Cellular Technology Limited, Shaker Heights, OH 44122, USA. paul.lehmann@immunospot.com.
4
NeuroScience, Inc., Osceola, WI 54020, USA. gottfried.kellermann@neurorelief.com.

Abstract

Lyme Borreliosis is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted through the bite of infected ticks. Both B cell-mediated humoral immunity and T cell immunity develop during natural Borrelia infection. However, compared with humoral immunity, the T cell response to Borrelia infection has not been well elucidated. In this study, a novel T cell-based assay was developed and validated for the sensitive detection of antigen-specific T cell response to B. burgdorferi. Using interferon-g as a biomarker, we developed a new enzyme-linked immunospot method (iSpot Lyme™) to detect Borrelia antigen-specific effector/memory T cells that were activated in vivo by exposing them to recombinant Borrelia antigens ex vivo. To test this new method as a potential laboratory diagnostic tool, we performed a clinical study with a cohort of Borrelia positive patients and healthy controls. We demonstrated that the iSpot Lyme assay has a significantly higher specificity and sensitivity compared with the Western Blot assay that is currently used as a diagnostic measure. A comprehensive evaluation of the T cell response to Borrelia infection should, therefore, provide new insights into the pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of Lyme disease.

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