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Borrelia Protein Interactions Critical for Persistence in Mammals

Utpal Pal and team at the University of Maryland, College Park published a review on the interactions between Borrelia burgdorferi proteins, as well as between microbial proteins and host components, and protein and non‐protein components, highlighting their roles in pathogen persistence in the mammalian host.

Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of Lyme disease that persists in a complex enzootic life cycle, involving Ixodes ticks and vertebrate hosts. The microbe invades ticks and vertebrate hosts in spite of active immune surveillance and potent microbicidal responses, and establishes long‐term infection utilizing mechanisms that are yet to be unravelled. The pathogen can cause multi‐system disorders when transmitted to susceptible mammalian hosts, including in humans. In the past decades, several studies identified a limited number of B. burgdorferi gene‐products critical for pathogen persistence, transmission between the vectors and the host, and host–pathogen interactions. A better understanding of the contributions of protein interactions in the microbial virulence and persistence of B. burgdorferi would support development of novel therapeutics against the infection.

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