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J Gen Microbiol. 1993 Oct;139(10):2445-9.

Variation in the size of the ospA-containing linear plasmid, but not the linear chromosome, among the three Borrelia species associated with Lyme disease.

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Laboratory of Vectors and Pathogens, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Hamilton, Montana 59840.


The aetiological agents of Lyme disease form a phylogenetically heterogeneous group, composed of three species, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia garinii, and group VS461. We have compared the sizes of the linear plasmid that carries the genes encoding the major outer-surface proteins OspA and OspB as well as the size and structure of the chromosome among the Lyme disease spirochaetes. We have found differences in the sizes of the ospA-containing plasmids, but not the linear chromosomes among the three species. The ospA-containing plasmid size of 50 kb in B. burgdorferi isolates is significantly smaller than the size of 55 kb in B. garinii isolates and 56 kb in group VS461 isolates. The chromosome was found to be linear in all three Borrelia species, but not significantly different in size.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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