Query: NC_011244:863306 Borrelia recurrentis A1, complete genome Lineage: Borrelia recurrentis; Borrelia; Spirochaetaceae; Spirochaetales; Spirochaetes; Bacteria General Information: Borrelia recurrentis isolated from adult patient with louse-borne relapsing fever in Ethiopia. Borrelia recurrentis is the causative agent of louse-borne relapsing fever. Prior to World War II, this organism was responsible for large disease outbreaks with a mortality of up to 40% in much of the world. Currently this disease is limited to parts of Africa, China, and Peru. B. recurrentis is transmitted when infected human body lice (Pediculus humanus) are crushed and their fluids contaminate mucous membranes or breaks in the skin. Relapsing fever is characterized by a period of chills, fever, headache, and malaise, an asymptomatic period, followed by another episode of symptoms. This cycle of relapsing is due to changes in the surface proteins of Borrelia, which allow it to avoid detection and removal by the host immune system. This antigenic variation is the result of homologous recombination of silent proteins into an expressed locus, causing partial or complete replacement of one serotype with another.
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General Information: This serogroup I strain was responsible for a major outbreak in France. Causes Legionnaire's disease. This organism is a non-marine bacterium usually found growing inside other organisms such as protozoans in aquatic environments. They can also be found in soil, freshwater, and in biofilms. The first outbreak of Legionnaire's disease occurred in 1976 at an American Legion convention and the resulting pneumonia-like disease resulted in 34 deaths. The cause of the disease was traced to Legionella bacteria. Once the bacteria are brought into the lungs they make contact with alveolar macrophages and are internalized where they can cause severe respiratory distress. Internalization occurs through specialized vacuoles (replicative phagosomes) that allow the bacteria to grow and replicate prior to escape from the macrophage. Formation of the replicative phagosome, which requires reprogramming of the normal phagosome maturation pathway, requires a type IV secretion system called the Dot/Icm system. This type IV system is closely related to the conjugative system of plasmid ColIb-P9, and is involved in the secretion of numerous protein components that aid in formation of the replicative phagosome. Other virulence determinants include a set of multidrug transporters and other efflux pumps for toxic compounds that may allow the organism to persist in its habitat, a set of LPS phase variable genes that enhance immune evasion, and a type II secretion system for transport of hydrolases.