Borrelia burgdorferi is a tick-borne spirochaete, which causes Lyme disease in dogs, but also in humans and other animals.
Sample: 0,5 ml EDTA-blood, CSF, Tick
Modes of transmission
B. burgdorferi is transmitted by bites from Ixodes spp. ticks.
Clinical signs of the Lyme disease
Localized infection (erythema migrans), a localized red or pink rash appearing after 2-30 days at the site of a bite is the most common manifestation. The rash gradually migrates outwards. Local lymphadenopathy can occur.
Localized infection leads to early disseminated infection that can affect many tissues in the following weeks, principally the nervous, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems and the skin. Patients can have a flu-like illness with myalgia and arthralgia but without significant respiratory symptoms. Early neurological presentations include facial palsy, which can be bilateral, other cranial nerve lesions, lymphocytic meningitis and painful radiculoneuritis. Musculoskeletal complications include persistent arthralgia. Ocular, hepatic and other manifestations have also been reported. Encephalopathy and encephalomyelitis are rare manifestations. Lyme arthritis varies in incidence depending on where the infection has been acquired; it is more common in the USA than in Europe.
Lyme disease is treated by oral administration of antibiotics.
Simple measures to avoid tick bites and prompt removal of attached ticks can greatly reduce risk, as infection is unlikely to occur if ticks are attached for less than 18 hours. Precautions include using insect repellents and appropriate clothing.
Long-term outcomes following appropriate treatment of early presentations are excellent. Patients with severe tissue damage before treatment may recover only slowly or incompletely.
Lyme disease in dogs is the most common tick-borne infection in the temperate northern hemisphere.
Leutenegger, C.M., Pusterla, N., Mislin, C.N., Weber, R., and Lutz, H. (1999). Molecular evidence of coinfection of ticks with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent in Switzerland. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 37, 3390–3391.