Persistence of IgM Antibodies in Lyme Infection

The Journal of Immunology (Hastey, C. J., et al.) 11.15.2023 published “Borrelia burgdorferi Infection–Induced Persistent IgM Secretion Controls Bacteremia, but Not Bacterial Dissemination or Tissue Burden.” In this study, researchers investigated the immune response of mice to B. burgdorferi infection. They found that Lyme infection creates a continuous production of IgM antibodies in mice primarily by conventional B cells (not B-1 cells), independent of T-cells function.  

It was found that dissemination of the pathogen into solid tissues and spirochetal tissue burden was controlled solely by the initiation of bacteria killing IgG antibodies, not IgM. Researchers propose that the absence of Lyme bacteria in blood may be due to continued production of IgM and that B. burgdorferi might actively cause the persistence of IgM antibody responses over IgG responses.

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