Fundamental processes in the evolutionary ecology of Lyme borreliosis

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Sep;4(9):660-9. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1475. Epub 2006 Aug 7.


The evolutionary ecology of many emerging infectious diseases, particularly vector-borne zoonoses, is poorly understood. Here, we aim to develop a biological, process-based framework for vector-borne zoonoses, using Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis in humans, as an example. We explore the fundamental biological processes that operate in this zoonosis and put forward hypotheses on how extrinsic cues and intrinsic dynamics shape B. burgdorferi s.l. populations. Additionally, we highlight possible epidemiological parallels between B. burgdorferi s.l. and other vector-borne zoonotic pathogens, including West Nile virus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / microbiology*
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / immunology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / physiology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / immunology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / physiology*
  • Ecology
  • Humans
  • Ixodes / microbiology*
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology*
  • Lyme Disease / genetics
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology
  • Lyme Disease / transmission
  • Models, Biological
  • West Nile virus / genetics
  • Zoonoses