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Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

Slide 3

May 2008

Before we begin to answer this question, I‘d like to briefly review some background information on Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease occurs in a specific geographic distribution with the highest incidence occurring in the northeastern and upper Midwestern states. In addition to this specific geographical distribution, most cases occur during the spring, summer or fall months when individuals are outdoors and exposed to the tick factor.

Lyme disease continues to represent a significant public health concern with nearly 20,000 cases being reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006. However it is probably difficult to accurately estimate the true number of cases of Lyme disease as the clinical presentation is often variable. Patients with early Lyme may present with nonspecific symptoms with or without Erythema migrans which occurs in an estimated 50%-70% of cases. A picture of the classic target lesion is shown on the right hand side of the slide. Patients progressing to later stages of the disease may develop systemic sequelae including arthritic, neurologic or cardiac manifestations.

Lyme Disease


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