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Plasmid. 2005 Jan;53(1):1-13. Epub 2004 Dec 16.

The plasmids of Borrelia burgdorferi: essential genetic elements of a pathogen.

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1
Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 903 South 4th St., Hamilton, MT 59840, USA. pestewart@niaid.nih.gov

Abstract

The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, has an unusual genome comprised of a linear chromosome and the largest plasmid complement of any characterized bacterium. Certain plasmid-encoded elements are required for virulence and viability, both in vitro and in vivo. The genetic tools to manipulate B. burgdorferi are sufficiently developed for precise molecular genetic investigations. B. burgdorferi now represents a prime system with which to address basic questions of plasmid biology and plasmid contributions to bacterial virulence and disease pathogenesis.

PMID:
15631949
DOI:
10.1016/j.plasmid.2004.10.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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