Borrelia burgdorferi
This page was produced as an assingment for an undergraduate course at Davidson College.

Structural Features

Pathogen Life Cycle

Innate Immune Response

Humoral Immune Response

Cellular Immune Response

Evasion of the Immune System

Lyme Disease


Works Cited

Borrelia burgdorferi is the bacteria famous for causing Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis.  Lyme disease is the most prevalent arthropod-borne disease in the United States and Europe (Steere et. al., 2004)).  In 1975, rheumatologist Allen Steere discovered the link between Lyme disease and tick bites when a group of children in Lyme, Connecticut, with a recent history of tick bites presented an erythema migrans skin rash and then developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  In 1983, Willy Burgdorfer discovered a spirochete bacterium in the midgut of the Ixodes ricinus tick.  This pathogenic bacterium, named Borrelia burgdorferi, was determined to be the causative agent of Lyme disease (Diterich and Hartung, 2001).

Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete

Image courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Gilmore, CDC.

Image courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Gilmore, CDC.[]


This page was created for an undergraduate Immunology course, Biology 307, at Davidson College in the Spring semester of 2007 under Dr. Sophia Sarafova (

Please direct all comments and questions to Meredith Prasse (


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