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Title: Isolation and antigenic characterisation of UK isolates of Borrelia burgdorferi
Author: Sorouri-Zanjani, Rahim
ISNI:       0000 0001 3472 0012
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1993
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Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial infection which is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the bite of Ixodes ticks. It is a multi-system infection, and is now recognized as the most common tick-borne infection in Europe, North America, and other temperate countries. Although Lyme disease has been identified in the UK no precise epidemiological figures have been available for the UK, however the New Forest area of Hampshire has been particularly associated with the occurrence of the infection. A serological survey was carried out to compare sera from inner city blood donors with sera from New Forest inhabitants. This demonstrated a significantly higher prevalence of antibodies reacting with B.burgdorferi in the sera from the New Forest population. Further, a comparison of the prevalence rates among residents of the New Forest with forestry workers, strongly suggested a correlation between occurrence of infection and exposure to risk of tick bites. That B.burgdorferi is endemic in the New Forest and surrounding areas, was unequivocally confirmed by the use of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The use of PCR with oligonucleotide primers corresponding to the B.burgdorferi OspAB operon, provided a sensitive and specific method of detecting B.burgdorferi genome in infected ticks. These studies showed widespread occurrence of infection in ticks collected throughout the New Forest and surrounding area, although large differences were seen in the infection levels in ticks collected from different locations. The mid guts from infected Ixodes ricinus ticks were inoculated into medium to grow and successfully isolate pure cultures of two UK strains of B.burgdorferi. The availability of these UK isolates enabled their antigenic characterisation and comparison with the foreign strains currently used for serological diagnosis in the UK. These studies revealed significant antigenic differences between the strains.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Lyme disease; Forest populations