The Brilliance of Borrelia: Mechanisms of Host Immune Evasion by Lyme Disease-Causing Spirochetes
Anderson C, Brissette CA
Lyme disease (LD) has become the most common vector-borne illness in the northern hemisphere. The causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, is capable of establishing a persistent infection within the host. This is despite the activation of both the innate and adaptive immune responses. B. burgdorferi utilizes several immune evasion tactics ranging from the regulation of surface proteins, tick saliva, antimicrobial peptide resistance, and the disabling of the germinal center. This review aims to cover the various methods by which B. burgdorferi evades detection and destruction by the host immune response, examining both the innate and adaptive responses. By understanding the methods employed by B. burgdorferi to evade the host immune response, we gain a deeper knowledge of B. burgdorferi pathogenesis and Lyme disease, and gain insight into how to create novel, effective treatments.
Keywords: Borrelia; Lyme disease; adaptive; complement; immune response; innate.