Adaptation of Borrelia burgdorferi in the vector and vertebrate host

Microbes Infect. 2003 Jun;5(7):659-66. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(03)00097-2.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / microbiology*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / growth & development
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / physiology*
  • Disease Vectors
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Lyme Disease / transmission*
  • Ticks / microbiology*
  • Vertebrates / microbiology*