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This profile was last updated on 3/10/09  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Willy Burgdorfer

Wrong Dr. Willy Burgdorfer?

Board Member

LDF Founding

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
Lyme disease is named after the ..., 10 Mar 2009 [cached]
Lyme disease is named after the town where it was first discovered in 1975 In 1982, Willy Burgdorfer discovered the causative agent of Lyme disease.
Borrelia burgdorferi, w hich was discovered by LDF Board member Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, MD (hon).
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A protein that's essential for the bacterium that causes Lyme disease to become virulent has been In 1982, the agent responsible for Lyme disease was discovered by Willy Burgdorfer, who isolated spirochetes belonging to the genus Borrelia from the mid-guts of ticks While the ailment's origin was discovered in (Old Lyme) Connecticut, the ticks that carry Disease are found all over the United States and other countries. of microbiology at UT Southwestern and senior author of a study now online and in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
disease, discovered disease, discovered in 1977, is the most prevalent tick-borne infection in the U.S. Borrelia burgdorfei, the bacterium that causes disease, lives in infected mammals and In 1982, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease was discovered by Willy Burgdorfer who isolated spirochetes belonging to the genus Borrelia from the mid-guts of Ixodes Protein helps transport manganese in the bacteria behind the disease, study finds.
n 1982 the brilliant entomologist, Willy Burgdorfer, discovered the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. He was investigating ticks at the United States Rocky Mountain Laboratories A tick found in the Topanga area has tested positive for the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, marking the first such finding in Southern California, according to a county disease . .
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).
In 1982, researcher Willy ..., 18 Nov 2014 [cached]
In 1982, researcher Willy Burgdorfer, a researcher and expert in spirochetal diseases at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana, along with his colleague Alan Barbour, M.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center.
In examining the ticks for rickettsiae (the bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain Fever), Burgdorfer noticed "poorly stained, rather long, irregularly coiled spirochetes. Further examination revealed spirochetes in 60% of the ticks. Dr. Burgdorfer and Dr. Barbour continued to study this spiral-shaped bacteria, or spirochete, from infected deer ticks, and in November 1981, the two scientists discovered that the spirochete caused both the symptoms of Lyme disease and the strange bulls-eye rash called erythema migrans (EM).
The spirochete was later named Borrelia burgdorferi in honor of Dr. Burgdorfer's role in its discovery.
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer is an American scientist born in 1932 and educated in Basel, Switzerland, considered an international leader in the field of medical entomology. He discovered the bacterial pathogen that causes Lyme disease, a spirochete named Borrelia burgdorferi in his honor. Dr. Burgdorfer earned his Ph.D. in zoology, parasitology, and bacteriology from the University and from the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel. As a research subject for his thesis he chose to study the development of the African relapsing fever spirochete, Borrelia duttonii in its tick vector Ornitnodoros moubata, and to evaluate this tick's efficiency in transmitting spirochetes during feeding on animal hosts. During his college years he was a member of a research team investigating outbreaks of Q fever in various parts of Switzerland and became interested in similar research activities carried out at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory (RML) in Hamilton, Montana, a U.S. National Institutes of Health research facility. He joined RML in 1952 as a Research Fellow, and later became a Research Associate in the USPHS's Visiting Scientist Program. In 1957, he became a U.S. citizen and shortly thereafter joined the RML staff as a Medical Entomologist. Dr. Burgdorfer's research concerned the interactions between animal and human disease agents and their transmitting arthropod vectors, particularly ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. His research contributions are published in more than 225 papers and books, and cover a wide field of investigations including those on relapsing fevers, plague, tularemia, Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other bacterial and viral diseases. Dr. Burgdorfer gained worldwide recognition for his 1982 discovery of a tick-borne spirochete as the long-sought cause of Lyme disease and related disorders in the U.S. and Europe. The agent was named after him - Borrelia burgdorferi.
Throughout his career, Dr. Burgdorfer participated in a number of World Health Organization (WHO) and other health organization-sponsored seminars and congresses. From 1967-1972, he served as Associate Member on the Rickettsial Commission of the Armed Forces Epidemiology Board. For several years (1968-1971) he was also Co-Project Officer of the PL 480-sponsored Research Project on Rickettsial Zoonoses in Egypt and adjacent areas, and from 1979 to 1986, he directed the WHO-sponsored Reference Center for Rickettsial Diseases at RML in Montana, U.S. Although retired since 1986, Dr. Burgdorfer continues his association with the Rocky Mountain Laboratories' Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis as Scientist Emeritus. He is also active on the Scientific/Medical Advisory Committee of the Lyme Disease Foundation. In 1999, he delivered the keynote address at the 12th International Conference on Lyme Disease and Other Spirochetal and Tick-Borne Disorders.
This entry was posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Lyme Disease, Coping with Lyme disease, Diagnosis of Lyme Disease, Discussion, General, Lyme Disease News, Lyme Disease Symptoms, Lyme Stories, medical controversies and tagged Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, lyme disease. Bookmark the permalink.
Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, MD ..., 22 Mar 2009 [cached]
Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, MD (Hon)
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer discovered the causative agent of LD, Borrelia burgdorferi. This spirochete (a type of bacterium) was subsequently named in his honor. Dr. Burgdorfer is an international leader in researching interactions between animal and human disease agents and the organisms that transmit them. He has received numerous awards including the prestigious Koch Award, the Bristol Award, the Schaudinn-Hoffman Plaque, and the Walter Reed Gold Medal. He is coeditor of the book Aspects of Lyme Borreliosis and has published over 220 papers and edited numerous books. Willy received his PhD from the University of Basel and honorary MD degrees from the University of Bern and University of Marseille. Dr. Burgdorfer has cochaired several LDF International Scientific Conferences and is active on the LDF's Scientific /Medical Advisory Committee. He serves as Deputy Editor of the LDF's peer-reviewed Journal of Spirochetal and Tick-borne Diseases.
LDF -- Board of Directors, 21 Feb 2012 [cached]
Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, MD (Hon)
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