Lyme Disease

Clin Lab Med. 2010 Mar;30(1):311-28. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2010.01.003.


Lyme disease, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. The clinical presentation varies depending on the stage of the illness: early disease includes erthyma migrans, early disseminated disease includes multiple erythema migrans, meningitis, cranial nerve palsies, and carditis; late disease is primarily arthritis. The symptoms and signs of infection resolve in most patients after treatment with appropriate antimicrobials for 2 to 4 weeks. Serologic testing should be used judiciously as it often results in misdiagnosis when performed on blood from patients with a low prior probability of disease and those with only nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue or arthralgia without objective signs of infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / isolation & purification
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Humans
  • Ixodes / microbiology
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis*
  • Lyme Disease / etiology
  • Lyme Disease / therapy
  • Lyme Disease / transmission
  • Peromyscus / microbiology
  • Prognosis