The search for genetic factors underlying pathogenicity of nonviral tick-born infectious agents and the study of their properties for the development of individualised therapeutic approaches
Funding: Latvian Council of Science collaborration project "Genetic investigation of disease aetiology, pathogenesis and ageing processes in the Latvian population"
Subproject manager: Dr. biol. Viesturs Baumanis
Latvian population of ticks are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichiai sp, Anaplasma sp., Babesia sp. and Rickettsia sp. There are registred clinical cases of borreliosis, cases of erlihiosis since 2001. There are found pathogenic Babesia species in ticks, but no registered clinical cases, probably because of low sensitivity of diagnostic methods. Diagnosis of ricketsiosis is based only on clinical symptoms. The literature contains data on co-existence of many pathogenic micro-organisms in ticks, which may cause difficulty in diagnosis and therapy. Microbiological studies of microorganisms mentioned above is technically difficult, therefore approbation of molecular methods would be necessary. They would clarify the molecular pathogenic factors of these organisms and to identify their co-infection prevalence as well. There are also planned cloning of several Borrelia and Erhlichia genes, collecting and studying of gene products. The study provides characterization of immunogenic protein interaction with the patient antibody profile and search for clinical parallels between the antigen/antibody interaction and clinical form of disease. As a main result of this project use of specific antigens of Latvian tick population for diagnosis, vaccine development and individualized therapy would be possible. Using real-time PCR there are studied double and multi infection presence of ticks (2010).