Lyme disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness caused by a bacterium called a "spirochete." Lyme disease is spread by ticks when they bite the skin. Lyme disease can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart and nervous system. Interestingly, the disease only became apparent in 1975 when mothers of a group of children who lived near each other in Lyme, Connecticut made researchers aware that their children all were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This unusual grouping of illness that appeared "rheumatoid" eventually led researchers to the identification of the bacterial cause of Lyme disease in 1982. The number of cases of the disease in an area depends on the amount of ticks in an area and how often the ticks are infected with the bacteria. In certain areas of New York, where Lyme disease is common, over half of the ticks are infected. Lyme disease has been reported most often in the Northeastern United States, but has been reported in all 50 states as well as China, Europe, Japan, Australia and the parts of the former Soviet Union.

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Lyme disease n an acute inflammatory disease that is usu. characterized initially by the skin lesion erythema migrans and by fatigue, fever, and chills and if left untreated may later manifest itself in cardiac and neurological disorders, joint pain, and arthritis and that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Borrelia (B. burgdorferi) transmitted by the bite of a tick esp. of the genus Ixodes (I. scapularis syn. I. dammini in the eastern and midwestern U.S., I. pacificus esp. in some parts of the Pacific coastal states of the U.S., and I. ricinus in Europe) called also Lyme, Lyme borreliosis

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a disease caused by a spirochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi, and transmitted by certain ticks of the genus Ixodes. Following a 3-32-day incubation period, a slowly extending red rash develops in approximately 75% of cases; intermittent systemic symptoms include fever, malaise, headache and neck stiffness, and muscle and joint pains. Later, 60% of patients suffer intermittent attacks of arthritis, especially of the knees, each attack lasting months and recurring over several years. The spirochaete has been identified in synovium and synovial fluid. Neurological and cardiac involvement occurs in a smaller percentage of cases. Treatment is with tetracycline or penicillin.

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a recurrent, multisystemic disorder caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi; vectors for human infection are the ticks Ixodes scapularis and I. pacificus. It begins in most cases with erythema chronicum migrans (at least 5 cm in diameter), which is followed by highly variable manifestations that may include myalgia, arthritis of large joints, stiff neck, involvement of the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and systemic symptoms such as chills, fever, headache, malaise, and vomiting.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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