Borrelia[bō-rē′lē-ă, bo-rel′ē-ă]


1. A genus of bacteria (family Treponemataceae) containing cells 8–16 mcm in length, with coarse, shallow, irregular spirals and tapered, finely filamented ends. These organisms are parasitic on many forms of animal life, are generally hematophytic, or are found on mucous membranes; most are transmitted to animals or humans by the bites of arthropods. The type species is Borrelia anserina. Within the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, three pathogenic groups have been identified in North America; all strains identified to date as human pathogens belong to the genospecies Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto.

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