Hannah K. Wilder

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BACKGROUND With the global distribution, morbidity, and mortality associated with tick and louse-borne relapsing fever spirochetes, it is important to understand the dynamics of vector colonization by the bacteria and transmission to the host. Tick-borne relapsing fever spirochetes are blood-borne pathogens transmitted through the saliva of soft ticks, yet(More)
Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular epitheliotropic bacterial pathogen of humans. Infection of the eye can result in trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. The pathophysiology of blinding trachoma is driven by multiple episodes of reinfection of conjunctival epithelial cells, producing an intense chronic(More)
BACKGROUND Borrelia turicatae, an agent of tick-borne relapsing fever, is an example of a pathogen that can adapt to disparate conditions found when colonizing the mammalian host and arthropod vector. However, little is known about the genetic factors necessary during the tick-mammalian infectious cycle, therefore we developed a genetic system to transform(More)
BACKGROUND Relapsing fever spirochetes are global yet neglected pathogens causing recurrent febrile episodes, chills, nausea, vomiting, and pregnancy complications. Given these nonspecific clinical manifestations, improving diagnostic assays for relapsing fever spirochetes will allow for identification of endemic foci and expedite proper treatment.(More)
1 Department of Pediatrics, Section of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas, United States of America, 2 Texas State Guard, Medical Brigade, Uvalde, Texas, United States of America, 3 Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, United States of America, 4(More)
The hallmark of disease caused by tick- and louse-borne relapsing fever due to Borrelia infection is cyclic febrile episodes, which in humans results in severe malaise and may lead to death. To evaluate the pathogenesis of relapsing fever due to spirochetes in an animal model closely related to humans, disease caused by Borrelia turicatae after tick bite(More)
Adaptation is key for survival as vector-borne pathogens transmit between the arthropod and vertebrate, and temperature change is an environmental signal inducing alterations in gene expression of tick-borne spirochetes. While plasmids are often associated with adaptation, complex genomes of relapsing fever spirochetes have hindered progress in(More)
BACKGROUND Ornithodoros turicata is a veterinary and medically important argasid tick that is recognized as a vector of the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia turicatae and African swine fever virus. Historic collections of O. turicata have been recorded from Latin America to the southern United States. However, the geographic distribution of this vector(More)
Synanthropic wild mammals can be important hosts for many vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The aim of this study was determine the exposure of synanthropic mammals to two types of tick-borne pathogens in Panama, spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) and Borrelia relapsing fever (RF) spirochetes. One hundred and thirty-one wild mammals were evaluated,(More)
Relapsing fever (RF) spirochetes colonize and are transmitted to mammals primarily by Ornithodoros ticks, and little is known regarding the pathogen's life cycle in the vector. To further understand vector colonization and transmission of RF spirochetes, Borrelia turicatae expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP) marker (B. turicatae-gfp) was generated.(More)
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