Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, Institut de Bactériologie, Université de Strasbourg, VBP EA7290, F-67000 Strasbourg, France; French National Reference Center on Lyme Borreliosis, CHRU, F-67000 Strasbourg, France. Electronic address: [Email]
The skin plays a key role in vector-borne diseases because it is the site where the arthropod coinoculates pathogens and its saliva. Lyme borreliosis, particularly well investigated in this context, is a multisystemic infectious disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and transmitted by the hard tick Ixodes. Numerous in vitro studies were conducted to better understand the role of specific skin cells and tick saliva in host defense, vector feeding, and pathogen transmission. The skin was also evidenced in various animal models as the site of bacterial multiplication and persistence. We present the achievements in this field as well as the gaps that impede comprehensive knowledge of the disease pathophysiology and the development of efficient diagnostic tools and vaccines in humans.