JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Lyme borreliosis

Allen C Steere, Franc Strle, Gary P Wormser, Linden T Hu, John A Branda, Joppe W R Hovius, Xin Li, Paul S Mead
Nature Reviews. Disease Primers 2016 December 15, 2: 16090
27976670
Lyme borreliosis is a tick-borne disease that predominantly occurs in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere and is primarily caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi in North America and Borrelia afzelii or Borrelia garinii in Europe and Asia. Infection usually begins with an expanding skin lesion, known as erythema migrans (referred to as stage 1), which, if untreated, can be followed by early disseminated infection, particularly neurological abnormalities (stage 2), and by late infection, especially arthritis in North America or acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans in Europe (stage 3). However, the disease can present with any of these manifestations. During infection, the bacteria migrate through the host tissues, adhere to certain cells and can evade immune clearance. Yet, these organisms are eventually killed by both innate and adaptive immune responses and most inflammatory manifestations of the infection resolve. Except for patients with erythema migrans, Lyme borreliosis is diagnosed based on a characteristic clinical constellation of signs and symptoms with serological confirmation of infection. All manifestations of the infection can usually be treated with appropriate antibiotic regimens, but the disease can be followed by post-infectious sequelae in some patients. Prevention of Lyme borreliosis primarily involves the avoidance of tick bites by personal protective measures.

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