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Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Recent studies have focused on how the
Lyme disease bacterium overcomes the challenges faced by an organism that depends on a vector-borne life style. These studies indicate that the spirochete expresses different surface proteins at different stages of its life. Here, Aravinda de Silva and Erol Fikrig review the evidence for differential gene expression and discuss the implications of these findings for the
Lyme disease vaccine that is currently being tested in human trials.