Burgdorfer, Willy Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.
Rosa, Patricia National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana.
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A genus of spirochetes (bacteria in the family Spirochaetaceae) that have a unique genome composed of a linear chromosome and numerous linear and circular plasmids. Members of the genus Borrelia (borreliae) are motile, helical organisms with 4–30 uneven, irregular coils, and are 5–25 μm in length and 0.2–0.5 μm in width. Their locomotory apparatus consists of 15–22 fibrils coiled around the cell body and situated between the elastic envelope and cytoplasmic membrane. Motion is forward and backward, laterally by bending and looping, and corkscrewlike. Borreliae multiply by binary fission (a method of asexual reproduction accomplished by the splitting of a parent cell into two equal, or nearly equal, parts, with each growing to parental size and form). See also: Bacteria
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