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The evolutionary ecology of many emerging infectious diseases, particularly vector-borne zoonoses, is poorly understood. Here, we aim to develop a biological, process-based framework for vector-borne zoonoses, using Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis in humans, as an example. We explore the fundamental biological(More)
Lyme borreliosis, caused by the tick-borne bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, has become the most common vector-borne disease in North America over the last three decades. To understand the dynamics of the epizootic spread and to predict the evolutionary trajectories of B. burgdorferi, accurate information on the population structure and the evolutionary(More)
In order to understand the population structure and dynamics of bacterial microorganisms, typing systems that accurately reflect the phylogenetic and evolutionary relationship of the agents are required. Over the past 15 years multilocus sequence typing schemes have replaced single locus approaches, giving novel insights into phylogenetic and evolutionary(More)
The ookinete surface proteins (P25 and P28) are proven antimalarial transmission-blocking vaccine targets, yet their biological functions are unknown. By using single (Sko) and double gene knock-out (Dko) Plasmodium berghei parasites, we show that P25 and P28 share multiple functions during ookinete/oocyst development. In the midgut of mosquitoes, the(More)
Analysis of Lyme borreliosis (LB) spirochetes, using a novel multilocus sequence analysis scheme, revealed that OspA serotype 4 strains (a rodent-associated ecotype) of Borrelia garinii were sufficiently genetically distinct from bird-associated B. garinii strains to deserve species status. We suggest that OspA serotype 4 strains be raised to species status(More)
Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA-1) of Plasmodium merozoites is established as a candidate molecule for inclusion in a human malaria vaccine and is strongly conserved in the genus. We have investigated its function in merozoite invasion by incubating Plasmodium knowlesi merozoites with red cells in the presence of a previously described rat monoclonal(More)
The genetic diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the agent of Lyme disease in North America, has consequences for the performance of serological diagnostic tests and disease severity. To investigate B. burgdorferi diversity in Canada, where Lyme disease is emerging, bacterial DNA in 309 infected adult Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in(More)
Using multilocus sequence analyses (MLSA), we investigated the phylogenetic relationship of spirochaete strains from North America previously assigned to the genospecies Borrelia bissettii. We amplified internal fragments of 8 housekeeping genes (clpA, clpX, nifS, pepX, pyrG, recG, rplB, and uvrA) located on the main linear chromosome by polymerase chain(More)
During the assembly of Plasmodium falciparum merozoites within the schizont stage, the parasite synthesizes and positions three sets of secretory vesicles (rhoptries, micronemes and dense granules) that are active during red cell invasion. There are up to 40 micronemes per merozoite, shaped like long-necked bottles, about 160 nm long and 65 nm at their(More)
We have developed an in vitro culture system for early sporogonic stages of Plasmodium berghei, which can be used to study developmental events normally taking place in the midgut of an infected mosquito. These include penetration of insect cells by the mature ookinete, transformation into oocysts and the early development of the latter, sustained through(More)