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Adhesion mechanisms of Borrelia burgdorferi. Adv Exp Med Biol 2011;715:35-49 PMID: 21557056 PMCID: PMC4521209

Pubmed ID





The Borrelia are widely distributed agents of Lyme disease and Relapsing Fever. All are vector-borne zoonotic pathogens, have segmented genomes, and enigmatic mechanisms of pathogenesis. Adhesion to mammalian and tick substrates is one pathogenic mechanism that has been widely studied. At this point, the primary focus of research in this area has been on Borrelia burgdorferi, one agent of Lyme disease, but many of the adhesins of B. burgdorferi are conserved in other Lyme disease agents, and some are conserved in the Relapsing Fever Borrelia. B. burgdorferi adhesins that mediate attachment to cell-surface molecules may influence the host response to the bacteria, while adhesins that mediate attachment to soluble proteins or extracellular matrix components may cloak the bacterial surface from recognition by the host immune system as well as facilitate colonization of tissues. While targeted mutations in the genes encoding some adhesins have been shown to affect the infectivity and pathogenicity of B. burgdorferi, much work remains to be done to understand the roles of the adhesins in promoting the persistent infection required to maintain the bacteria in reservoir hosts.

Author List

Antonara S, Ristow L, Coburn J


Jenifer Coburn PhD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-79960126040   22 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adhesins, Bacterial
Bacterial Adhesion
Borrelia burgdorferi
Disease Reservoirs
Host-Pathogen Interactions
Lyme Disease
Receptors, Cell Surface
jenkins-FCD Prod-321 98992d628744e349846c2f62ac68f241d7e1ea70