BORRELIA BURGDORFERI INFECTION

Borrelia burgdorferi infection is induced by four different bacterial species. It is primarily due to Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii in the US. Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii continue to be the main pathogens in Europe and Asia. Borrelia burgdorferi infection, the most common tick-borne disease in these areas, is transmitted through the bite of a black-legged tick, also identified as a deer tick.

If you live in or regularly visit grassy, heavily forested areas where ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi thrive, your danger of contracting the disease increases. In tick-infested areas, it’s critical to use common sense.

SYMPTOMS

 The stages can overlap, although they typically come in phases. There are numerous Borrelia burgdorferi infection symptoms.

Early Symptoms 

At the location of a tick bite or tick removal, a small, red bump that resembles the bump of a mosquito bite frequently develops and goes away over the course of a few days. This typical event does not suggest a Borrelia burgdorferi infection. 

However, a month after the infection, you may have these signs and symptoms: 

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Body pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Later Symptoms 

If left untreated, more symptoms and signs may develop over the coming weeks or months. These consist of the following: 

  • Erythema migrans
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological issues

Less Common Symptoms 

A few weeks following Borrelia infection, some persons experience: 

  • Heart issues
  • Eye inflammation
  • Liver inflammation
  • Severe fatigue

DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis might be challenging because many of the symptoms of Borrelia burgdorferi infection are also present in other illnesses. Furthermore, ticks that transmit the disease are capable of transferring other diseases.

If you don’t have the rash of a Borrelia burgdorferi infection, your doctor may perform a physical exam and talk about your health records, particularly whether you spent time outdoors during the summer months when the disease is frequent. 

The diagnosis can be confirmed or ruled out using laboratory tests to find antibodies to the microorganisms. The few weeks following an illness, when your body has had time to produce antibodies, are when these tests are most accurate. They consist of the following: 

  • Western blot test 
  • ELISA test, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

TREATMENT

The infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi is treated with antibiotics. The earlier therapy is initiated, the faster and more successful the recovery.

These are the most common antibiotics:

  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • Oral antibiotics

A small percentage of patients still experience certain symptoms after treatment, such as tiredness and muscle aches. 

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