Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Med. 2002 Jul 15;196(2):275-80.

Molecular adaptation of Borrelia burgdorferi in the murine host.

Author information

Section of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8031, USA.


An analysis of expression of 137 lipoprotein genes on the course of murine infection revealed a two-step molecular adaptation by Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease spirochete. For the first step, regardless whether the initial inocula of B. burgdorferi expressed either all (cultured spirochetes) or less than 40 (host-adapted spirochetes) of the 137 lipoprotein genes, the spirochetes were modulated to transcribe 116 of the genes within 10 d after being introduced to the murine host. This step of adaptation was induced by the microenvironment of the host tissue. During the second step, which was forced by host immune selection pressure and occurred between 17 and 30 d after infection, B. burgdorferi down-regulated most of the lipoprotein genes and expressed less than 40 of the 137 genes. This novel adaptation mechanism could be a critical step for B. burgdorferi to proceed to chronic infection, as the pathogen would be cleared at the early stage of infection if the spirochetes failed to undergo this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center