The Prokaryotes pp 3560-3567 | Cite as

The Genus Borrelia

  • Russell C. Johnson
  • Carrie A. Norton Hughes


The genus Borrelia is one of the four genera of the family Spirochaetaceae and is comprised of pathogenic spirochetes that are transmitted by arthropod vectors. With the exception of louse-borne relapsing fever, the borrelioses are zoonoses. In the past, due to the inability to culture the spirochetes and conduct the usual morphological and physiological studies for their classification, the borreliae have been classified into species solely on the basis of their arthropod vector. In addition, the antigenic variability associated with some of the borreliae has prevented the use of serological methods for their identification. With the formulation of a culture medium by Kelly (1971), and with subsequent improvements by Stoenner (1974) and Barbour (1984), many of the borreliae can now be cultivated in vitro and taxonomic methods based on molecular biology can be applied to their classification. Nineteen species of Borreliae have been recognized.


Lyme Disease Borrelia Burgdorferi Linear Plasmid Erythema Migrans Soft Tick 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell C. Johnson
  • Carrie A. Norton Hughes

There are no affiliations available

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