Lyme Disease History

Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete, is the causative agent of Lyme disease, which is a multisystem disorder. Skin lesion(s), erythema migrans (EM), followed in some patients by rheumatologic, neurologic, and cardiac abnormalities are the most common clinical manifestations (63).

The disease was first characterized almost 30 years ago when Steere and colleagues investigated an unusual cluster of illnesses resembling juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that occurred in 1975 near Lyme, Connecticut. B. burgdorferi was identified as the etiologic agent of Lyme disease and Ixodes scapularis was identified as the principal vector of the spirochete (63).

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