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The plasmids of Borrelia burgdorferi: essential genetic elements of a pathogen.

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Abstract

The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of
Lyme disease, has an unusual genome comprised of a linear chromosome and the largest plasmid complement of any characterized bacterium. Certain plasmid-encoded elements are required for virulence and viability, both in vitro and in vivo. The genetic tools to manipulate B. burgdorferi are sufficiently developed for precise molecular genetic investigations. B. burgdorferi now represents a prime system with which to address basic questions of plasmid biology and plasmid contributions to bacterial virulence and
disease pathogenesis.

Plasmid. 2005 Jan;53(1):1-13. Epub 2004 Dec 16. Review

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