Borrellia recurrentis - MegaMicro

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Borrellia recurrentis

Microbiology > Bacteriology > Treponema, Borrelia, and Leptospira
1.       Structure:
a.       Motile spirochete

2.       Clinical presentation:
a.       Relapsing Fever – caused by Antigenic variation of Variable Major Protein (VMP) in outer membrane
                                   Recurring cycles of 5 days febrile/ 8 days afrebrile
Symptoms may be similar to Recurrent Fever due to B. hermsii and trench fever of Bartonella quintana
3.       Pathobiology:
a.       Human to Human transmission via the human body louse - Humans are the only host
b.      The organism enters and multiply within the bloodstream and triggers an inflammatory response and fever
c.       Outer membrane proteins undergo antigenic variation and expression of silent genes; new antigenic type multiplies, stimulating new immune response and thus fever relapse (recurring cycles of 5 days febrile/8 days afebrile, continues up to 10 times)

4.       Diagnosis
a.       Blood sample/culture during fevers  - requires specialized media
b.       Peripheral Smear (Geimsa or Wright Staining) - organisms are visible
c.       Serology
d.       PCR /nucleic amplification tests

5.       Treatment - Treatment may lead to Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction
a.       Penicillin
b.      Tetracycline

Related concepts

Key Words
relapsing fever

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