Assessment of MALDI-TOF MS biotyping for Borrelia burgdorferi sl detection in Ixodes ricinus

Abstract : Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDITOF MS) has been demonstrated to be useful for tick identification at the species level. More recently, this tool has been successfully applied for the detection of bacterial pathogens directly in tick vectors. The present work has assessed the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus tick vector by MALDI-TOF MS. To this aim, experimental infection model of I. ricinus ticks by B. afzelii was carried out and specimens collected in the field were also included in the study. Borrelia infectious status of I. ricinus ticks was molecularly controlled using half-idiosome to classify specimens. Among the 39 ticks engorged on infected mice, 14 were confirmed to be infected by B. afzelii. For field collection, 14.8% (n = 12/81) I. ricinus ticks were validated molecularly as infected by B. burgdorferi sl. To determine the body part allowing the detection of MS protein profile changes between noninfected and B. afzelii infected specimens, ticks were dissected in three compartments (i.e. 4 legs, capitulum and half-idiosome) prior to MS analysis. Highly reproducible MS spectra were obtained for I. ricinus ticks according to the compartment tested and their infectious status. However, no MS profile change was found when paired body part comparison between non-infected and B. afzelii infected specimens was made. Statistical analyses did not succeed to discover, per body part, specific MS peaks distinguishing Borrelia-infected from non-infected ticks whatever their origins, laboratory reared or field collected. Despite the unsuccessful of MALDI-TOF MS to classify tick specimens according to their B. afzelii infectious status, this proteomic tool remains a promising method for rapid, economic and accurate identification of tick species. Moreover, the singularity of MS spectra between legs and half-idiosome of I. ricinus could be used to reinforce this proteomic identification by submission of both these compartments to MS.
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Pierre H. Boyer, Nathalie Boulanger, Amira Nebbak, Elodie Collin, Benoit Jaulhac, et al.. Assessment of MALDI-TOF MS biotyping for Borrelia burgdorferi sl detection in Ixodes ricinus. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (9), pp.e0185430. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0185430〉. 〈hal-01731006〉

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