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eMedicine - Lyme disease

Author(s)John Meyerhoff
AbstractLyme disease is due to infection with a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, and the body's immune response to the infection. In Europe, the rash (then called erythema chronicum migrans or ECM) was first described at the beginning of the 20th century. The neurologic manifestations and the association with Ixodes ticks were recognized by the mid 1930s and were known as tick-borne meningoencephalitis. In the United States, Lyme disease was not recognized until the early 1970s, when an outbreak of childhood arthritis occurred in the Lyme, CT region. This was investigated by Allen Steere, MD, and others from Yale. The recognition that the patients in the United States had ECM led to the recognition that Lyme arthritis was one manifestation of the same tick-borne condition known in Europe.
Date of publishing07/14/2005
Date of last review by us02/14/2006
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