Present address: Center for Cellular Imaging and Nano Analytics (C-CINA), Biozentrum, University of Basel, Mattenstrasse 26, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland.
Evidence of direct cell–cell fusion in Borrelia by cryogenic electron tomography
Article first published online: 30 JAN 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 13, Issue 5, pages 731–741, May 2011
How to Cite
Kudryashev, M., Cyrklaff, M., Alex, B., Lemgruber, L., Baumeister, W., Wallich, R. and Frischknecht, F. (2011), Evidence of direct cell–cell fusion in Borrelia by cryogenic electron tomography. Cellular Microbiology, 13: 731–741. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01571.x
- Issue published online: 18 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 30 JAN 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 10 JAN 2011 07:11AM EST
- Received 15 September, 2010; revised 14 December, 2010; accepted 22 December, 2010.
Some Borrelia species are the causative agents of tick-borne Lyme disease responsible for different disabilities depending on species and hosts. Borrelia are highly motile bacterial cells, and light microscopy shows that these spirochetes can associate with each other during movement. Using cryo-electron tomography, we observed closely associated Borrelia cells. Some of these showed a single outer membrane surrounding two longitudinally arranged cytoplasmic cylinders. We also observed fusion of two cytoplasmic cylinders and differences in the surface layer density of fused spirochetes. These processes could play a role in the interaction of Borrelia species with the host's immune system.