Lyme disease

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Lyme disease


Lyme borreliosis,

a nonfatal bacterial infection that causes symptoms ranging from fever and headache to a painful swelling of the joints. The first American case of Lyme's characteristic rash was documented in 1970 and the disease was first identified in a cluster at the submarine base in Groton, Conn., by Navy doctors who reported their findings in 1976. It became more widely known and received its common name when it struck a group of families in nearby Lyme, Conn. In the United States the disease occurs mainly in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest among people who frequent grassy or wooded areas, but black-legged ticks are found in roughly half the counties in the United States. The disease is also prevalent in N and central Europe and temperate Asia. It is caused by the spirochetes of the genus Borrelia and is transmitted by black-legged, or deer, ticks of the genus Ixodes, which live on deer, mice, dogs, and other animals.

The bite of the tick injects the bacteria into the blood. A red rash develops, often circular with a bull's-eye appearance, followed by flulike symptoms (fever, headache, and painful joints). Most people are successfully treated with antibiotics. A small number develop chronic disease with neurological problems, memory loss, arthritis, and eye inflammation. Lyme disease is sometimes accompanied by babesiosisbabesiosis
, tick-borne disease caused by a protozoan of the genus Babesia. Babesiosis most commonly affects domestic and wild animals and can be a serious problem in cattle, but since the mid-20th cent. the disease has also been found in humans.
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 or human granulocytic ehrlichiosisehrlichiosis
, any of several diseases caused by rickettsia of the genera Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by ticks. Both human forms tend to develop about nine days after a tick bite.
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, which also infect Ixodes ticks.

See also Rocky Mountain spotted feverRocky Mountain spotted fever,
infectious disease caused by a rickettsia. The bacterium is harbored by wild rodents and other animals and is carried by infected ticks of several species that attach themselves to humans.
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See P. Murray, The Widening Circle (1996); A. Karlen, Biography of a Germ (2000); J. A. Edlow, Bull's-Eye (2003).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Lyme disease

A multisystem illness caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, generally begins with a unique expanding skin lesion, erythema migrans, which is often accompanied by symptoms resembling those of influenza or meningitis. During the weeks or months following the tick bite, some individuals may develop cardiac and neurological abnormalities, particularly meningitis or inflammation of the cranial or peripheral nerves. If the disease is untreated, intermittent or chronic arthritis and progressive encephalomyelitis may develop months or years after primary infection. See Nervous system disorders

The causative agent, B. burgdorferi, is a helically shaped bacterium with dimensions of 0.18–0.25 by 4–30 micrometers. Once thought to be limited to the European continent, Lyme borreliosis and related disorders are now known to occur also in North America, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, and Africa, where B. burgdorferi is maintained and transmitted by ticks of the genus Ixodes, namely I. dammini, I. pacificus, and possibly I. scapularis in the United States, I. ricinus in Europe, and I. persulcatus in Asia. Reports of Lyme disease in areas where neither I. dammini nor I. pacificus is present suggest that other species of ticks or possibly other bloodsucking arthropods such as biting flies or fleas may be involved in maintaining and transmitting the spirochetes. See Ixodides

All stages of Lyme borreliosis may respond to antibiotic therapy. Early treatment with oral tetracycline, doxycycline, penicillin, amoxicillin, or erythromycin can shorten the duration of symptoms and prevent later disease. See Antibiotic

Prevention and control of Lyme borreliosis must be directed toward reduction of the tick population. This can be accomplished through reducing the population of animals that serve as hosts for the adult ticks, elimination of rodents that are not only the preferred hosts but also the source for infecting immature ticks with B. burgdorferi, and application of tick-killing agents to vegetation in infested areas. Personal use of effective tick repellents and toxins is also recommended. See Infectious disease, Insecticide

Lyme disease affects not only humans but also domestic animals such as dogs, horses, and cattle that serve as hosts for the tick vectors. Animals affected show migratory, intermittent arthritis in some joints similar to that observed in humans.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Lyme disease

[′līm di‚zēz]
A complex multisystem human illness caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Also known as Lyme borreliosis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In approaching treatment of a condition such as chronic Lyme disease, exploring and addressing MCAS while simultaneously addressing underlying triggers often results in patients finding higher ground.
A diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease might be based solely on clinical judgment and without laboratory evidence of B.
Little did I know that just two years later my son would be diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease and forced to travel to Cape Breton for treatment.
Patients report a significant and severe decline in health status associated with chronic Lyme disease [15].
(67) Most significantly, advocates of non-standard Lyme practice believe that intensive, expensive antibiotic regimens are required (68) to control what those advocates understand to be a persistent and potentially untreatable "chronic Lyme disease." (69)
The remaining 11 chapters address clinical aspects; including the use of antibiotic therapy; perspectives from Europe and the British Isles; cardiac, rheumatological, and nervous system involvement; Lyme disease in children; chronic Lyme disease; and the psychology of "Post-Lyme disease syndrome" and "Not Lyme." Distributed in the US by Stylus Publishing.
A broad band pattern between 60 and 90/93 kDa is a support for the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease and, among the most significant proteins in our study, the 60 and 65 kDa proteins were also observed.
(14), (17) The National Institute of Health sponsored several clinical trials of prolonged antibiotic treatment for chronic Lyme disease. Some results suggested improvement in fatigue and cognitive function, although these results were not sustained.
In some states, particular types of physicians are especially despised: obstetricians who deliver babies, practitioners of integrative or complementary medicine, caregivers for chronic Lyme disease, pain management physicians, and providers of certain hormonetherapies.
I recently surveyed my partners and learned that over the last 5 years, they have lost only two patients to "chronic Lyme disease." Considering that we've got droves of ticks, we should be proud of that statistic--but when I say "lost," I'm not referring to mortality.
(3) Shortly after the guidelines were issued, the Connecticut attorney general alleged that IDSA had violated state antitrust law by advising against long-term antibiotics to treat "chronic Lyme disease (CLD)." The IDSA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health agree with that recommendation and that "despite extensive study, no clear evidence has emerged to support the contention that CLD results from a past or persistent Lyme disease infection." (3)
Cameron, an epidemiologist, medical doctor and Lyme Disease researcher, after conducting a research study, "The present findings emphasize that timely treatment of chronic Lyme disease is crucial for outcome."

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