Clinical evidence for rapid transmission of Lyme disease following a tickbite

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Feb;72(2):188-92. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2011.10.003. Epub 2011 Nov 21.


Lyme disease transmission to humans by Ixodes ticks is thought to require at least 36-48 h of tick attachment. We describe 3 cases in which transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, appears to have occurred in less than 24 h based on the degree of tick engorgement, clinical signs of acute infection, and immunologic evidence of acute Lyme disease. Health care providers and individuals exposed to ticks should be aware that transmission of Lyme disease may occur more rapidly than animal models suggest. A diagnosis of Lyme disease should not be ruled out based on a short tick attachment time in a subject with clinical evidence of B. burgdorferi infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arachnid Vectors / microbiology*
  • Bites and Stings / complications*
  • Bites and Stings / microbiology
  • Bites and Stings / parasitology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ixodes / microbiology*
  • Lyme Disease / transmission*
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Doxycycline