The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, expresses RevA and numerous outer surface lipoproteins during mammalian infection. As an adhesin that promotes bacterial interaction with fibronectin, RevA is poised to interact with the extracellular matrix of the host. To further define the role(s) of RevA during mammalian infection, we created a mutant that is unable to produce RevA. The mutant was still infectious to mice, although it was significantly less well able to infect cardiac tissues. Complementation of the mutant with a wild-type revA gene restored heart infectivity to wild-type levels. Additionally, revA mutants led to increased evidence of arthritis, with increased fibrotic collagen deposition in tibiotarsal joints. The mutants also induced increased levels of the chemokine CCL2, a monocyte chemoattractant, in serum, and this increase was abolished in the complemented strain. Therefore, while revA is not absolutely essential for infection, deletion of revA had distinct effects on dissemination, arthritis severity, and host response.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Infection and Immunity, v. 83, no. 9, p. 3675-3683.

Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

The copyright holders have granted the permission for posting the article here.

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Funding Information

This work was supported by NIH/NIAID grant K22AI093671 to C.A.B.