Epidemiology of Lyme disease

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2015 Jun;29(2):187-210. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2015.02.010.


Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness in North America and Europe. The etiologic agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, is transmitted to humans by certain species of Ixodes ticks, which are found widely in temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. Clinical features are diverse, but death is rare. The risk of human infection is determined by the geographic distribution of vector tick species, ecologic factors that influence tick infection rates, and human behaviors that promote tick bite. Rates of infection are highest among children 5 to 15 years old and adults older than 50 years.

Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi; Epidemiology; Human; Incidence; Ixodes; Lyme disease; Tick-borne diseases; Zoonosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology*
  • Lyme Disease / transmission
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors