Tuesday 6 Sept 2022

Tuesday 06 Sep


Venue opens



Chair: Linden Hu, USA (Tufts University)


Short introduction chair


Understanding mechanism underlying acute Lyme disease and chronic symptoms

Klemen Strle, USA (Invited speaker, Wadsworth Center)

Patients with Lyme borreliosis may present with a range of clinical manifestations which vary in severity and duration, including complications which persist after antibiotic therapy for the infection. The reasons for this heterogeneity are not well understood, but host immune responses likely play an important role. Herein we focus on our recent longitudinal study of immune responses in patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis, approximately 20% of whom experience symptoms that persist after antibiotic therapy, including pain, fatigue, and neurocognitive deficits.

Klemen Strle

Klemen Strle

Assistant Professor: Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Boston MA


The biology and pathogenesis of the Borrelia burgdorferi cell wall

Brandon Jutras, United States (Virginia Tech)


Diet-derived compounds modulate the innate immune response to Borrelia burgdorferi

Diego Barriales, Spain (CIC bioGUNE)


Characterization of the protective antibody response in babesiosis by use of whole pathogen proteome array and a mouse model of cd4 deficiency

Edouard Vannier, United States (Tufts Medical Center)


Break and Coffee



Chair: Jean Tsao, USA (Michigan State University)


Short introduction chair


Abundance in the host and tick is critical for the transmission success of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato

Maarten Voordouw, Canada (Invited speaker, University of Saskatchewan)

Borrelia burgdorferi is a tick-borne bacterium that causes Lyme borreliosis in humans. Populations of B. burgdorferi consist of multiple strains that are maintained in nature by cycling between Ixodes ticks and vertebrate reservoir hosts (e.g., rodents and birds). To date, we have little understanding of why some strains are more common in nature than others. The ability to maintain high abundance of bacteria in both the vertebrate host and the tick vector appears to be important for high transmission success. High bacterial abundance is also important in co-infections where hosts are infected with multiple strains and where strains compete for access to feeding ticks.

Maarten Voordouw

Maarten Voordouw

Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology


Are generalists species replacing specialists? Implications of hosts species distribution on tick-borne diseases along an altitudinal gradient in the Italian Alps.

Valentina Tagliapietra, Italy (Fondazione Edmund Mach)


The rise of urban tick-borne diseases: the roles of greenspace connectivity and wildlife community assembly

Maria Diuk-Wasser, United States (Columbia University)


Oral Delivery of a Modern-Day Systemic Acaricide Formulation for Pathogen Vector Management on White-Tailed Deer in Connecticut, USA

Scott Williams, United States (The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)

Poster Pitches


Click below to view the program of the poster pitches

12.30 – Lyme borreliosis in the Netherlands – Seroprevalence and risk factors
Dieneke Hoeve-bakker, Netherlands (RIVM)

12.33 – The Cdkn2a gene product p19 alternative reading frame (p19ARF) is a critical regulator of IFN-mediated Lyme arthritis
Janis Weis, United States (University Of Utah)

12.36 – Peripheral blood transcriptional signature of Lyme arthritis in children
Lise Nigrovic, United States (Boston Children’s Hospital)

12.39 – Pathogen abundance and transmission: Borrelia burgdorferi strains that establish high abundance in host tissues have higher transmission success to feeding Ixodes scapularis ticks
Christopher Zinck, Canada (University Of Saskatchewan, Western College Of Veterinary Medicine)

12.42 – Determining effects of winter weather conditions on nymphal Ixodes scapularis and adult Amblyomma americanum survival in Connecticut and Maine, USA
Megan Linske, United States (The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)

12.45 – Secretoglobin family 1D member 2 (SCGB1D2) protein inhibits growth of Borrelia burgdorferi and affects susceptibility to Lyme disease
Michal Tal, United States (MIT)


Lunch & Posters


Tick biology

Chair: Olaf Kahl, Germany (tick-radar GmbH)


Short introduction chair


Intricate tick-host-pathogen interactions in Lyme disease

Utpal Pal, USA (Invited speaker, University of Maryland)

New insights about tick biology and vector-host-pathogen interactions.

Utpal Pal

Utpal Pal

Professor & Director, VMSC Graduate Program


Francisella tularensis exhibits distinct infection and replication kinetics in Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor variabilis ticks

Jason Huntley, United States (University of Toledo)


Experimental tick infections and comparative in vivo transmission studies confirm the vector competency of Dermacentor reticulatus ticks for tick-borne encephalitis virus.

Boris Klempa, Slovakia (Biomedical Research Center, Institute Of Virology, Slovak Academy Of Sciences)


Break and Coffee


Lyme in the Lyme light

Hein Sprong, Netherlands (RIVM) and Joppe Hovius, Netherlands (Amsterdam UMC)


Short introduction chairs

This session is dedicated to topics that are controversial and have been the topic of debate.


Antibiotic treatment length and clinical features in European Neuroborreliosis: Two versus six weeks treatment with doxycycline

Anne Marit Solheim, Norway (Sørlandet Hospital)


Diagnostic parameters of cellular tests for Lyme borreliosis in Europe (VICTORY study): a case-control study

Freek van de Schoor, Netherlands (Radboudumc)


Chronic B. burgdorferi sl infection, lessons from animal models?

Monica Embers, USA (Invited speaker, Tulane University)

Many aspects of Lyme disease/Borreliosis are still topics of controversy within the scientific and medical communities. One particular point of debate is the etiology behind antibiotic treatment failure of a significant portion (10-20%) of Lyme disease patients. Post treatment Lyme disease (PTLD), the condition in which patients with Lyme disease continue to experience a variety of symptoms months to years after the recommended antibiotic treatment is likely caused by host autoimmune responses, post-infectious sequelae of acute Borrelia infection, and persistent infection. This talk will focus on evidence that supports the role of persistent infection in animal models and in humans. The role of the immune response in diagnosis and antibiotic efficacy is also considered.  Studies on antibiotics delivered in combination, and novel Borrelia-specific inhibitors that show promise for eradication of infection will also be discussed.

Monica Embers

Monica Embers

Director Of Vector-borne Disease Research




Gala diner