Lyme disease represents a growing public health threat. Recent molecular and genetic studies have confirmed that Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, is one of the most complex bacteria known to man. Affinity for multiple cell types and the presence of non-replicating forms of B. burgdorferi have contributed to persistent infection and failure of simple antibiotic regimens. The controversial clinical science of Lyme disease has impeded reliable diagnosis and effective treatment of this protean illness. Two major clinical hurdles are the absence of a therapeutic endpoint in treating Lyme disease and the presence of tick-borne coinfections that may complicate the course of the illness. New strategies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease are urgently needed.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.