https://akademiai.com/doi/10.1556/1886.2019.00003

Comment; Interesting that such indolent infectious agents can co-exist within lymphoid tissue in a symbiotic relationship within biofilms formed for mutual defense.

Sapi E. Related information1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven,West Haven, CT 06516, USA

*Author for correspondence: 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven CT 06516; Tel.: +1-203-479-4552; E-mail: esapi@newhaven.edu.
Gupta K. Related information1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven,West Haven, CT 06516, USA
Wawrzeniak K. Related information1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven,West Haven, CT 06516, USA
Gaur G. Related information1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven,West Haven, CT 06516, USA
Torres J. Related information1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven,West Haven, CT 06516, USA
Filush K. Related information1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven,West Haven, CT 06516, USA
Melillo A. Related information1Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven,West Haven, CT 06516, USA
Zelger B. Related information2Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Medical University Innsbruck,Innsbruck, Austria

*Author for correspondence: 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven CT 06516; Tel.: +1-203-479-4552; E-mail: esapi@newhaven.edu.

https://doi.org/10.1556/1886.2019.00003This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

Abstract

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Our research group has recently shown that Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium, is capable of forming biofilms in Borrelia-infected human skin lesions called Borrelia lymphocytoma (BL). Biofilm structures often contain multiple organisms in a symbiotic relationship, with the goal of providing shelter from environmental stressors such as antimicrobial agents. Because multiple co-infections are common in Lyme disease, the main questions of this study were whether BL tissues contained other pathogenic species and/or whether there is any co-existence with Borrelia biofilms. Recent reports suggested Chlamydia-like organisms in ticks and Borrelia-infected human skin tissues; therefore, Chlamydia-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses were performed in Borrelia-positive BL tissues. Analyses of the sequence of the positive PCR bands revealed that Chlamydia spp. DNAs are indeed present in these tissues, and their sequences have the best identity match to Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydia trachomatis. Fluorescent immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization methods demonstrated the presence of Chlamydia antigen and DNA in 84% of Borrelia biofilms. Confocal microscopy revealed that Chlamydia locates in the center of Borreliabiofilms, and together, they form a well-organized mixed pathogenic structure. In summary, our study is the first to show BorreliaChlamydia mixed biofilms in infected human skin tissues, which raises the questions of whether these human pathogens have developed a symbiotic relationship for their mutual survival.