Borrelia burgdorferi aggrecanase activity: more evidence for persistent infection in Lyme disease

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2013 Aug 14;3:40. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2013.00040. eCollection 2013.


Lyme disease is the most common tickborne illness in the world today. A recent study describes for the first time an enzyme produced by the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, that cleaves aggrecan, a proteoglycan found in joints and connective tissue. Discovery of the spirochetal aggrecanase raises many questions about the pathogenesis of Lyme arthritis and lends support to the concept of persistent B. burgdorferi infection in patients with chronic Lyme disease symptoms.

Keywords: BbHtrA; Borrelia burgdorferi; Lyme disease; aggrecanase; arthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Borrelia burgdorferi / enzymology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / pathology*
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Virulence Factors
  • Endopeptidases
  • aggrecanase