Special Issue "Advances in the Biology of Leptospira, Borrelia and Other Spirochetes"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Filippo Fratini
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Viale delle Piagge 2, Università di Pisa (Italy)
Interests: bacterial infectious disease, zoonosis, antimicrobial resistance, wildlife
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Giovanni Cilia
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Italy
Interests: pathogens; microbiology; molecular biology; antimicrobials; bacterial infectious disease; zoonosis; antimicrobial resistance; wildlife; honey bee
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Spirochetes are a Gram-negative bacteria group characterized by spiral-shaped cells, some of which are serious pathogens for humans and animals, which cause diseases and are responsible for zoonosis. Among them, the most known are Leptospira species, which cause leptospirosis; Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia gariniii, which are responsible for Lyme disease; Borrelia recurrentis, which causes relapsing fever; Treponema pallidum, which is the causative agent in syphilis and yaws; and Brachyspira pilosicoli and Brachyspira aalborgi, which cause intestinal spirochetosis.

Spirochete infections are re-emerging and widespread infectious diseases and zoonosis, globally distributed due to a large variety of wild and domestic animal species that can play a role as natural or accidental hosts. Moreover, specific animal species play an important role as reservoirs for particular spirochete species, such as members of the genera Leptospira and Treponema, while other are transmitted by ticks (e.g., Borrelia species).

The constant modification of ecosystems and habitats, especially for wildlife, the constant expansion of wild animals into urban areas which increases the possibility of direct or indirect contact with humans and domestic animals, and the emerging antibiotic-resistance phenomena highlight a new host–pathogen interaction as a consequence of the biological modification of these bacterial strains. Additionally, all of these features have important roles in human health and the epidemiology of these diseases.

The topic of this Special Issue is to investigate the biology of spirochetes, highlighting their biological modifications concerning new antibiotic resistance; new host–pathogen interactions; new genetic and genomic modifications; new signs, symptoms, and epidemiological features; new diagnoses; and other new aspects concerning the evolution of spirochetal diseases. You are invited to submit either an original article, a communication, or a review summarizing the different aspects discussed above. Manuscripts highlighting and documenting any aspect of the investigation of spirochetal diseases in humans, environment, wildlife, and domestic animals are welcome, and will be considered for publication.

Prof. Dr. Filippo Fratini
Dr. Giovanni Cilia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Leptospira
  • leptospirosis
  • pathology
  • zoonosis
  • wildlife
  • human health
  • infectious disease
  • domestic animal
  • Borrelia
  • Lyme disease
  • Treponema
  • syphilis
  • yaws
  • releasing fever
  • antibiotic resistance
  • host–pathogen interactions
  • Brachyspira
  • One Health

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


Open AccessArticle
The Platelet Fraction Is a Novel Reservoir to Detect Lyme Borrelia in Blood
Biology 2020, 9(11), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9110366 - 29 Oct 2020
Serological diagnosis of Lyme disease suffers from considerable limitations. Yet, the technique cannot currently be replaced by direct detection methods, such as bacterial culture or molecular analysis, due to their inadequate sensitivity. The low bacterial burden in vasculature and lack of consensus around [...] Read more.
Serological diagnosis of Lyme disease suffers from considerable limitations. Yet, the technique cannot currently be replaced by direct detection methods, such as bacterial culture or molecular analysis, due to their inadequate sensitivity. The low bacterial burden in vasculature and lack of consensus around blood-based isolation of the causative pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, are central to this challenge. We therefore addressed methodological optimization of Borrelia recovery from blood, first by analyzing existing protocols, and then by using experimentally infected human blood to identify the processing conditions and fractions that increase Borrelia yield. In this proof-of-concept study, we now report two opportunities to improve recovery and detection of Borrelia from clinical samples. To enhance pathogen viability and cultivability during whole blood collection, citrate anticoagulant is superior to more commonly used EDTA. Despite the widespread reliance on serum and plasma as analytes, we found that the platelet fraction of blood concentrates Borrelia, providing an enriched resource for direct pathogen detection by microscopy, laboratory culture, Western blot, and PCR. The potential for platelets to serve as a reservoir for Borrelia and its diagnostic targets may transform direct clinical detection of this pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Biology of Leptospira, Borrelia and Other Spirochetes)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop