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Interactions between human neutrophils and Borrelia burgdorferi, the
Lyme disease spirochete, were studied by dark-field microscopy combined with video technology. A previously unrecognized mechanism for neutrophils to phagocytize the spirochete was discovered. During phagocytosis, the spirochete attaches to the neutrophil head-on, the neutrophil forms a thin tubelike protrusion around the bacterium, and the fully covered spirochete is drawn into the cell.