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Detection of a large linear plasmid in Borrelia spielmanii isolate

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Borrelia spielmanii belongs to human pathogenic species within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex in Europe, which is a causative agent of Lyme disease. So far, the human disease caused by B. spielmanii has been associated with skin manifestations. The aim of the study was to analyze 4 human B. spielmanii isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and to localize genes of 3 important Borrelia proteins: OspA, DbpA, and VlsE. The analysis revealed variation within linear plasmid profiles among the strains; isolate PSigII contained a large plasmid of 100 kb compared with a 50 kb plasmid present in the 3 other B. spielmanii isolates, all carried the genes ospA and dbpA. Differences in the size of linear plasmids among the Borrelia strains may be a result of host–pathogen interactions, as the PSigII strain was the only strain of the 4 tested strains to be isolated from a patient with a previous history of Lyme disease, whereas 3 other patients were diagnosed with this disease for the first time.

Keywords: Borrelia spielmanii; Lyme disease; PFGE; large plasmid; maladie de Lyme; plasmide de grande taille

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Reference Center for Borreliae, Max von Pettenkofer Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Pettenkoferstr. 9a, 80336 Munich, Germany. 2: Department of Natural Foci Diseases, Parasitological Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Hlinkova 3, 04001 Košice, Slovakia.

Publication date: April 8, 2011

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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