Borrelia burgdorferi is a bacterial species of the spirochete class of the genus Borrelia. B. burgdorferi exists in North America and Europe and is the predominant causative agent of Lyme disease. Borrelia species are considered diderm (double-membrane) bacteria rather than gram positive or negative.
Lyme disease is a zoonotic, vector-borne disease transmitted by the Ixodes tick (also the vector for Babesia); the causative agent is named after the researcher Willy Burgdorfer, who first isolated the bacterium in 1982. B. burgdorferi is one of the few pathogenic bacteria that can survive without iron, having replaced all of its iron-sulfur cluster enzymes with enzymes that use manganese, thus avoiding the problem many pathogenic bacteria face in acquiring iron.
Clinical presentation of Lyme disease may include the characteristic bull's eye rash and erythema chronicum migrans (a rash which spreads peripherally and spares the central part), as well as myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, arrythmia, arthritis, arthralgia, meningitis, neuropathies and facial nerve palsy.
Lyme disease, caused by "B. burdorferi from tick bites consist of 3 stages starting from initial bite. Stage 1: affects the area around the bite, there may be a rash or swelling. Stage 2 occurs weeks to months after, if still untreated the bacteria will be pushed further down into the body, it will start affecting the heart, bones, and nervous system. In Stage 3, occurs years after and you will develop chronic arthritis and neurological complications.
B. burgdorferi has been described as a novel spirochete. It resembles other spirochetes in that it is a highly specialized, motile, two-membrane, spiral-shaped bacterium that lives primarily as an extracellular pathogen. While only 0.2 to 0.3 micrometers wide, the cell length may exceed 15 to 20 micrometers.
B. burgdorferi is an anaerobic, motile spirochete with 7-11 bundled perisplasmic flagella set at each end that allow the bacterium to move in low and high viscosity media alike, which is related to its high virulence factor. 
B. burgdorferi (B31 strain) was the third microbial genome ever sequenced, following the sequencing of both Haemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma genitalium in 1995, and its linear chromosome contains 910,725 base pairs and 853 genes. The sequencing method used was whole genome shotgun. The sequencing project, completed and published in Nature in 1997, was conducted at The Institute for Genomic Research.
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- Video Interview, Eva Sapi, PhD on Borrelia Biofilms
- NCBI Borrelia Taxonomy Browser
- Borrelia burgdoferi B31 Genome Page