Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Understanding Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a multi-systemic disorder caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete transmitted through tick bite. This primarily occurs in areas inhabited by small deer ticks (Ixodes dammini). The disease typically manifests in three stages: early localized stage is characterized by a distinctive red rash accompanied by flulike symptoms; early disseminated stage is characterized by neurologic and cardiac abnormalities; and the late stage is characterized by arthritis, chronic neurologic problems.

How it happens? 
  • Tick injects spirochete-laden saliva into host’s bloodstream 
  • After 3 to 32 days of incubation 
  • Spirochetes outward causing characteristic red macule or papule rash (erythema chronicum migrans) 
  • Spirochetes disseminate to other skin sites or organs through bloodstream or lymph system 
  • Spirochetes may survive for years in joint, or they may trigger inflammatory response in host and die.

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