Borreliosis

Below you will find more information about Borreliosis from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Borreliosis it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Borreliosis and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Borreliosis comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Borreliosis, also known as Lyme disease, is an emerging infectious disease caused by bacteria from the genus Borrelia. The vector of infection is usually the bite of an infected black-legged or deer tick, but other carriers (including other ticks in the genus Ixodes) have been implicated. Borrelia burgdorferi is the leading cause of Lyme disease in the U.S. and Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are found in Europe. The disease presentation varies greatly, and may include a rash and flu-like symptoms in its initial stage, then musculoskeletal, neurologic, arthritic, psychiatric and cardiac manifestations. In a most of the cases, symptoms can be eliminated with antibiotics, especially if treatment begins early in the course of illness. Late or inadequate treatment often results to "late stage" Lyme disease that is disabling and difficult to treat. Controversy over diagnosis, testing and treatment has resulted to two different standards of care.

Treatment

Antibiotics are used for treatment of Lyme disease. Penicillin was initially demonstrated by researchers to be useful against Borrellia in the 1950s; today the antibiotics of choice are amoxicillin, doxycycline, and ceftriaxone. Macrolide antibiotics are also administered.

Symptoms and Signs

The acute phase of Lyme disease infection is a particular reddish "bulls-eye" rash, with accompanying fever, malaise, and musculoskeletal pain (arthralgia or myalgia). The characteristic reddish "bull's-eye" rash (also known as erythema chronicum migrans) may be seen in up to 80% of early stage Lyme disease patients, and appearing anywhere from one day to a month after a tick bite. The rash does not represent an allergic reaction to the bite, but a skin infection that is caused by the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. The incubation period from infection to the start of symptoms is usually 1-2 weeks, but can be much shorter (days), or much longer (months to years). Symptoms most often occur from May through September because the nymphal stage of the tick is responsible for majority of the cases. Asymptomatic infection exists, but they are quite uncommon.

Causes

Lyme disease is from the Gram-negative spirochetal bacteria from the genus Borrelia. At least 37 Borrelia species have been described, 12 of which are related to Lyme. The Borrelia species known to cause Lyme disease are collectively known as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and have been found to have a higher strain diversity than previously estimated. Until recently it was thought that only these three genospecies caused Lyme disease: B. afzelii, and also B. garinii (both found in Eurasia), and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (predominantly found in North America, but also in Europe). However, newly discovered genospecies have also been found to give the disease to humans. There are over 300 strains of Borrelia world wide and it is presently unknown how many of these cause lyme, but many of them may.

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