Lyme disease

Borreliosis; Bannwarth syndrome

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread through the bite of one of several types of ticks.

Lyme disease organism, Borrelia burgdorferi

Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochete bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It is similar in shape to the spirochetes that cause other diseases, such as relapsing fever and syphilis. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Tick, deer engorged on the skin

This is an engorged deer tick (Ixodes dammini) embedded in the skin of a human host. In the United States, these ticks are the primary source of Lyme disease. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and M. Fergione.)

Lyme disease - Borrelia burgdorferi organism

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is known as a spirochete because of its long, corkscrew shape. This photograph shows the typical corkscrew appearance of a spirochete. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Tick, deer - adult female

This is an adult female deer tick, Ixodes dammini. It transmits Lyme disease and babesiosis to humans. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is an acute inflammatory disease characterized by skin changes, joint inflammation and flu-like symptoms caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. Symptoms resolve in 3 to 4 weeks even without treatment, but secondary or tertiary disease may develop if initial infection is not treated.

Lyme disease, erythema migrans

Erythema migrans is the initial lesion of Lyme disease, and often appears at the site of the infecting tick bite. It is a red, enlarging rash, flat or slightly raised, and may reach from 4 to 20 inches (12 to 35 cm) across (the average rash is 6 inches, or 17 cm). (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Tertiary Lyme disease

Tertiary Lyme disease is a late, persistent inflammatory disease characterized by skin changes, neurological and musculoskeletal symptoms caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by the bite of a tick. Tertiary Lyme disease is indicated by chronic arthritis.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention