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Microbes Infect. 2003 Jun;5(7):659-66.

Adaptation of Borrelia burgdorferi in the vector and vertebrate host.

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  • 1Room 525A, Section of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8031, USA.


Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is the causative agent of Lyme disease, which afflicts both humans and some domestic animals. B. burgdorferi, a highly evolved extracellular pathogen, uses several strategies to survive in a complex enzootic cycle involving a diverse range of hosts. This review focuses on the unique adaptive features of B. burgdorferi, which are central to establishing a successful spirochetal infection within arthropod and vertebrate hosts. We also discuss the regulatory mechanisms linked with the development of molecular adaptation of spirochetes within different host environments.

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