The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is a tick-borne obligate parasite whose normal reservoir is a variety of small mammals . Whereas infection of these natural hosts does not lead to disease, infection of humans can result in Lyme disease, as a consequence of the human immunopathological response to B. burgdorferi [2,3]. Consistent with the pathogenesis of Lyme disease, bacterial products that allow B. burgdorferi to replicate and survive, rather than true "virulence factors," appear to be primarily what i…
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