Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier by Neuroinvasive Pathogens

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Abstract

The penetration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and invasion of the central nervous system (CNS) are important steps for all neuroinvasive pathogens. All of the ways of pathogens passing through the BBB are still unclear. Among known pathways, pathogen traversal can occur paracellularly, transcellularly or using a “Trojan horse” mechanism. The first step of translocation across the BBB is the interactions of the pathogen’s ligands with the receptors of the host brain cells. Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the temperate zones of Europe and North America, are caused by Borreliella species (former Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato) that affects the peripheral and the CNS. In this review, we have presented various pathogen interactions with endothelial cells, which allow the disruption of the BBB so that the pathogens can pass across the BBB.

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