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This profile was last updated on 6/26/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Willy Burgdorfer

Wrong Dr. Willy Burgdorfer?

P.O. Box 5658
Marysville , California 95901
United States

Company Description: is a non-profit corporation that is a central voice for Lyme patients across the nation through advocacy, education and research. Since 1989,...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • PhD
  • MD
  • Ph.D.
  • M.D. , P.C.
  • PhD National Institutes of Health
  • honorary MD degree
    University of Marseille
  • PhD Degree
    University of Basel
  • honorary MD degree
    University of Bern
152 Total References
Web References
This Lyme disease researcher, Willy Burgdorfer, discovered Lyme and is a Ph.D., M.D., with years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the author of over 200 research papers.
[As I discovered spirochetes inside the tick] ... It was a "What in the hell? What's in that smear ... [moment]? And then my work [on relapsing fever] as a Swiss student came back. [I said to myself], "Willy, these are spirochetes" ... in ... the tick ...
[So] many people ... said, "That is impossible, Willie, you can't get spirochetes out of hard-bodied ticks.
Lyme disease is a ..., 13 Sept 2006 [cached]
Lyme disease is a tick-transmitted multisystem infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), a spirochetal bacterium named after its discoverer and LDF Founding Board Member Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, MD (hon).
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer of the ... [cached]
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer of the National Institutes of Health and discoverer of the Lyme spirochete, puts the research into perspective: "The controversy in Lyme disease research is a shameful affair.
NatCapLyme | The Borrelia Genus | Lyme Topics, 9 Feb 2011 [cached]
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, serving at the National Institutes of Health's Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana in 1981, identified a spiral-shaped bacterium residing in the mid-gut of Ixodes deer ticks collected from Shelter Island, New York, not far from the epicenter of a new illness observed among children in Lyme, Connecticut. Dr. Burgdorfer's findings were first published in the journal Science in 1982 (Burgdorfer and others). A year later, scientists writing in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed his suspicion that this organism was responsible for the neurological and rheumatologic symptoms known as Lyme disease when it announced that this same "I. [Ixodes] dammini spirochete is the causative agent of Lyme disease" (Steere and others 1983).
Bb sensu stricto (Bb in the strict sense), the agent which Dr. Burgdorfer found to be the source of borreliosis symptoms in the American Northeast, is just one member of the Bb sensu lato group (Casjen and others 2000).
Researchers at the same Rocky Mountain Laboratories where Dr. Burgdorfer discovered Bb reported in 2001 that it contains at least six times as many genes as that of Treponema pallidum, the spirochete which causes syphilis (132 vs. 22 "genes encoding putative lipoproteins").
New Page 2, 20 Feb 2008 [cached]
The discovery of the strain of Borrelia that causes Lyme disease was made in 1982 by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) researcher named Dr. Willy Burgdorfer at NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratory (RML) in Montana, USA. The particular strain that causes Lyme disease infection is named Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) after its discoverer, Dr. Burgdorfer. Borrelia burgdorferi has subsequently been shown to be a stealth pathogen that has the metamorphic ability to change its presentation from spirochete into cyst and bleb forms. Dr. Burgdorfer and fellow researchers at RML determined through their research that Bb uses its metamorphic ability as a survival mechanism within its host.
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