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Clocking the Lyme spirochete.

Malawista SE, de Boisfleury Chevance A - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: Its mean crossing speed was 1,636 microm/min (N = 28), maximum, 2800 microm/min (N = 3).This is the fastest speed recorded for a spirochete, and upward of two orders of magnitude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body.This alacrity and its interpretation, in an organism with bidirectional motor capacity, may well contribute to difficulties in spirochete clearance by the host.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. stephen.malawista@yale.edu

ABSTRACT
In order to clear the body of infecting spirochetes, phagocytic cells must be able to get hold of them. In real-time phase-contrast videomicroscopy we were able to measure the speed of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the Lyme spirochete, moving back and forth across a platelet to which it was tethered. Its mean crossing speed was 1,636 microm/min (N = 28), maximum, 2800 microm/min (N = 3). This is the fastest speed recorded for a spirochete, and upward of two orders of magnitude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body. This alacrity and its interpretation, in an organism with bidirectional motor capacity, may well contribute to difficulties in spirochete clearance by the host.

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Sequential translocations of Bb across a platelet (see text).Total elapsed time, A-H: 9 sec. Measured crossing speeds were as fast as 2800 µm/min, upward of two orders of magni-tude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body. Images from real-time phase-contrast videomicroscopy. Approx. ×1,000.
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pone-0001633-g001: Sequential translocations of Bb across a platelet (see text).Total elapsed time, A-H: 9 sec. Measured crossing speeds were as fast as 2800 µm/min, upward of two orders of magni-tude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body. Images from real-time phase-contrast videomicroscopy. Approx. ×1,000.

Mentions: Examples filmed in real time are seen in Figure 1. In this preparation the tethered spirochete made repeated complete crossings from one of its ends to the other. This made its speed amenable to analysis. We examined frame by frame the time it took for the Bb to cross the platelet in either direction, and, having crossed, how long it spent at either extremity. We made these measurements for 14 crossings (7 in each direction) over 34 sec, and, a little later, another 14 crossings over 42 sec. Combining the two sets, we calculated a mean crossing time of 0.55 sec (S.D.±0.19 sec), compared to a mean time between crossings of 1.71 sec (S.D.±1.23). The difference between these means is highly significant (n = 28; P<0.0001, paired t test, two tailed). Moreover, the spirochete measured 15 µm in length; therefore, its mean crossing speed was ∼27 µm/sec, or 1,636 µm/min. Its fastest crossing, measured in three of the 28 crossings, was 0.32 seconds, giving a fastest crossing speed of 46.88 µm/sec, or ∼2800 µm/min, which we believe to be the most rapid spirochete speeds so far measured.


Clocking the Lyme spirochete.

Malawista SE, de Boisfleury Chevance A - PLoS ONE (2008)

Sequential translocations of Bb across a platelet (see text).Total elapsed time, A-H: 9 sec. Measured crossing speeds were as fast as 2800 µm/min, upward of two orders of magni-tude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body. Images from real-time phase-contrast videomicroscopy. Approx. ×1,000.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2237901&req=5

pone-0001633-g001: Sequential translocations of Bb across a platelet (see text).Total elapsed time, A-H: 9 sec. Measured crossing speeds were as fast as 2800 µm/min, upward of two orders of magni-tude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body. Images from real-time phase-contrast videomicroscopy. Approx. ×1,000.
Mentions: Examples filmed in real time are seen in Figure 1. In this preparation the tethered spirochete made repeated complete crossings from one of its ends to the other. This made its speed amenable to analysis. We examined frame by frame the time it took for the Bb to cross the platelet in either direction, and, having crossed, how long it spent at either extremity. We made these measurements for 14 crossings (7 in each direction) over 34 sec, and, a little later, another 14 crossings over 42 sec. Combining the two sets, we calculated a mean crossing time of 0.55 sec (S.D.±0.19 sec), compared to a mean time between crossings of 1.71 sec (S.D.±1.23). The difference between these means is highly significant (n = 28; P<0.0001, paired t test, two tailed). Moreover, the spirochete measured 15 µm in length; therefore, its mean crossing speed was ∼27 µm/sec, or 1,636 µm/min. Its fastest crossing, measured in three of the 28 crossings, was 0.32 seconds, giving a fastest crossing speed of 46.88 µm/sec, or ∼2800 µm/min, which we believe to be the most rapid spirochete speeds so far measured.

Bottom Line: Its mean crossing speed was 1,636 microm/min (N = 28), maximum, 2800 microm/min (N = 3).This is the fastest speed recorded for a spirochete, and upward of two orders of magnitude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body.This alacrity and its interpretation, in an organism with bidirectional motor capacity, may well contribute to difficulties in spirochete clearance by the host.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. stephen.malawista@yale.edu

ABSTRACT
In order to clear the body of infecting spirochetes, phagocytic cells must be able to get hold of them. In real-time phase-contrast videomicroscopy we were able to measure the speed of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the Lyme spirochete, moving back and forth across a platelet to which it was tethered. Its mean crossing speed was 1,636 microm/min (N = 28), maximum, 2800 microm/min (N = 3). This is the fastest speed recorded for a spirochete, and upward of two orders of magnitude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body. This alacrity and its interpretation, in an organism with bidirectional motor capacity, may well contribute to difficulties in spirochete clearance by the host.

Show MeSH