Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link

Lyme Disease Spotlight

Lyme borreliosis is caused by various species of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Ixodes ticks. These ticks are found in temperate forested regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, generally at elevations less than 1300 meters.

Typical symptoms of Lyme borreliosis include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Symptoms may vary depending on the specific type of Borrelia. In North America, the principal species is B. burgdorferi sensu strictu, which is particular likely to cause arthritis. In contrast, the European species B. garinii and B. afzelii are more often associated with neurological and chronic dermatologic manifestations, respectively.  Approximately 85,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported annually in Europe. In the United States, recent studies suggest that approximately 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.


Lyme Borreliosis with Scalp Eschar Mimicking Rickettsial Infection, Austria
Mateusz Markowicz et al. Volume 26, Number 9—September 2020 Risk Factors for and Seroprevalence of Tickborne Zoonotic Diseases among Livestock Owners, Kazakhstan
Jennifer R. Head et al. Volume 26, Number 1—January 2020


Rodent Host Abundance and Climate Variability as Predictors of Tickborne Disease Risk 1 Year in Advance
Emil Tkadlec et al. Volume 25, Number 9—September 2019 Podcast Enhancement of Risk for Lyme Disease by Landscape Connectivity, New York, New York, USA
Meredith C. VanAcker et al. Volume 25, Number 6—June 2019 presentation_01Listen to the podcast Co-infections in Persons with Early Lyme Disease, New York, USA
Gary P. Wormser et al. Volume 25, Number 4—April 2019 Lyme Disease Emergence after Invasion of the Blacklegged Tick, Ixodes scapularis, Ontario, Canada, 2010–2016
Manisha A. Kulkarni et al. Volume 25, Number 2—February 2019


Increasing Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto–Infected Blacklegged Ticks in Tennessee Valley, Tennessee, USA
Graham J. Hickling et al. Volume 24, Number 9—September 2018 Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato in Père David Deer and Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks
Yi Yang et al. Volume 24, Number 5—May 2018 Dynamics of Spirochetemia and Early PCR Detection of Borrelia miyamotoi
Lyudmila Karan et al. Volume 24, Number 5—May 2018 Relative Risk for Ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease Where Vectors for Both Are Sympatric, Southeastern United States
Marcia E. Herman-Giddens Volume 24, Number 2—February 2018


Lyme Borreliosis in Finland, 1995–2014
Eeva Sajanti et al. Volume 23, Number 8—August 2017 Serologic Evidence of Powassan Virus Infection in Patients with Suspected Lyme Disease
Holly M. Frost et al. Volume 23, Number 8—August 2017 Podcast Relative Risk for Ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease in an Area Where Vectors for Both Are Sympatric, New Jersey, USA
Andrea Egizi et al. Volume 23, Number 6—June 2017 presentation_01Listen to the podcast Use of Mass-Participation Outdoor Events to Assess Human Exposure to Tickborne Pathogens
Jessica L. Hall et al. Volume 23, Number 3—March 2017


Jennifer B. Nuzzo Volume 22, Number 10—October 2016 Borrelia miyamotoi–Associated Neuroborreliosis in Immunocompromised Person
Katharina Boden et al. Volume 22, Number 9—September 2016 Current Guidelines, Common Clinical Pitfalls, and Future Directions for Laboratory Diagnosis of Lyme Disease, United States
Andrew Moore et al. Volume 22, Number 7—July 2016 Differences in Genotype, Clinical Features, and Inflammatory Potential of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto Strains from Europe and the United States
Tjasa Cerar et al. Volume 22, Number 5—May 2016 Lyme Disease in Hispanics, United States, 2000–2013
Christina A. Nelson et al. Volume 22, Number 3—March 2016


No Geographic Correlation between Lyme Disease and Death Due to 4 Neurodegenerative Disorders, United States, 2001–2010
Joseph D. Forrester et al. Volume 21, Number 11—November 2015 Epidemiology of Lyme Disease, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2002–2013
Todd F. Hatchette et al. Volume 21, Number 10—October 2015 TickNET—A Collaborative Public Health Approach to Tickborne Disease Surveillance and Research
Paul S. Mead et al. Volume 21, Number 9—September 2015 Enhancing Lyme Disease Surveillance by Using Administrative Claims Data, Tennessee, USA
Joshua L. Clayton et al. Volume 21, Number 9—September 2015 Incidence of Clinician-Diagnosed Lyme Disease, United States, 2005–2010
Christina A. Nelson et al. Volume 21, Number 9—September 2015 Geographic Distribution and Expansion of Human Lyme Disease, United States
Kiersten J. Kugeler et al. Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015 Oligoarthritis Caused by Borrelia bavariensis, Austria, 2014
Mateusz Markowicz et al. Volume 21, Number 6—June 2015 Antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato among Adults, Germany, 2008–2011
Hendrik Wilking et al. Volume 21, Number 1—January 2015


Molecular Characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi from Case of Autochthonous Lyme Arthritis
Sharon I. Brummitt et al. Volume 20, Number 12—December 2014 Lyme Disease, Virginia, USA, 2000–2011
R. Jory Brinkerhoff et al. Volume 20, Number 10—October 2014 Borrelia garinii and Rickettsia monacensis in Ixodes ricinus Ticks, Algeria
Wassila Benredjem et al. Volume 20, Number 10—October 2014 Human Infections with Borrelia miyamotoi, Japan
Kozue Sato et al. Volume 20, Number 8—August 2014 Human Exposure to Tickborne Relapsing Fever Spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi, the Netherlands
Manoj Fonville et al. Volume 20, Number 7—July 2014 Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato Seroreactivity and Seroprevalence in the Northeastern United States
Peter J. Krause et al. Volume 20, Number 7—July 2014 Tick-borne Pathogens in Northwestern California, USA
Daniel J. Salkeld et al. Volume 20, Number 3—March 2014 Monitoring Human Babesiosis Emergence through Vector Surveillance New England, USA
Maria A. Diuk-Wasser et al. Volume 20, Number 2—February 2014


Potential Role of Deer Tick Virus in Powassan Encephalitis Cases in Lyme Disease–endemic Areas of New York, USA
Marc Y. El Khoury et al. Volume 19, Number 12—December 2013 Atypical Erythema Migrans in Patients with PCR-Positive Lyme Disease
Steven E. Schutzer et al. Volume 19, Number 5—May 2013 Borrelia crocidurae Meningoencephalitis, West Africa
Sandrine Goutier et al. Volume 19, Number 2—February 2013


Bartonella spp. Bacteremia and Rheumatic Symptoms in Patients from Lyme Disease–endemic Region
Ricardo G. Maggi et al. Volume 18, Number 11—November 2012 Bartonella spp. Bacteremia and Rheumatic Symptoms in Patients from Lyme Disease–endemic Region
C. Ben Beard et al. Volume 18, Number 11—November 2012 Bartonella spp. Bacteremia and Rheumatic Symptoms in Patients from Lyme Disease–endemic Region
Ricardo G. Maggi et al. Volume 18, Number 5—May 2012 Effect of Surveillance Method on Reported Characteristics of Lyme Disease, Connecticut, 1996–2007
Starr-Hope Ertel et al. Volume 18, Number 2—February 2012


Differential Risk for Lyme Disease along Hiking Trail, Germany
Dania Richter et al. Volume 17, Number 9—September 2011 Canine Serology as Adjunct to Human Lyme Disease Surveillance
Paul S. Mead et al. Volume 17, Number 9—September 2011 Multitarget Test for Emerging Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis in a Serosurvey of Dogs, Maine, USA
Peter W. Rand et al. Volume 17, Number 5—May 2011


Erythema Migrans–like Illness among Caribbean Islanders
Anu Sharma et al. Volume 16, Number 10—October 2010 Geographic Differences in Genetic Locus Linkages for Borrelia burgdorferi
Bridgit Travinsky et al. Volume 16, Number 7—July 2010 Evolution of Northeastern and Midwestern Borrelia burgdorferi, United States
Dustin Brisson et al. Volume 16, Number 6—June 2010 Bartonella spp. Transmission by Ticks Not Established
Sam R. Telford et al. Volume 16, Number 3—March 2010


Correlation between Tick Density and Pathogen Endemicity, New Hampshire
Seth T. Walk et al. Volume 15, Number 4—April 2009


Wide Distribution of a High-Virulence Borrelia burgdorferi Clone in Europe and North America
Wei-Gang Qiu et al. Volume 14, Number 7—July 2008 Effectiveness of Personal Protective Measures to Prevent Lyme Disease
Marietta Vázquez et al. Volume 14, Number 2—February 2008


Lyme Disease in Urban Areas, Chicago
Dean A. Jobe et al. Volume 13, Number 11—November 2007 Borrelia burgdorferi Infection and Cutaneous Lyme Disease, Mexico
Guadalupe Gordillo-Pérez et al. Volume 13, Number 10—October 2007 Zoonotic Pathogens in Ixodes scapularis, Michigan
Sarah A. Hamer et al. Volume 13, Number 7—July 2007 Human Babesia microti Incidence and Ixodes scapularis Distribution, Rhode Island, 1998–2004
Sarah E. Rodgers et al. Volume 13, Number 4—April 2007


Modulatory Effect of Cattle on Risk for Lyme Disease
Dania Richter et al. Volume 12, Number 12—December 2006 Borrelia lusitaniae and Green Lizards (Lacerta viridis), Karst Region, Slovakia
Viktória Majláthová et al. Volume 12, Number 12—December 2006 Lyme Borreliosis and Borrelia spielmanii
Vera Maraspin et al. Volume 12, Number 7—July 2006 Migratory Passerine Birds as Reservoirs of Lyme Borreliosis in Europe
Pär Comstedt et al. Volume 12, Number 7—July 2006 Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis Ticks, Chicago Area
Dean A. Jobe et al. Volume 12, Number 6—June 2006 Epidemic Spread of Lyme Borreliosis, Northeastern United States
Klára Hanincová et al. Volume 12, Number 4—April 2006 Economic Impact of Lyme Disease
Xinzhi Zhang et al. Volume 12, Number 4—April 2006


Third Borrelia Species in White-footed Mice
Jonas Bunikis et al. Volume 11, Number 7—July 2005 Antibody Testing and Lyme Disease Risk
Elizabeth G. Stone et al. Volume 11, Number 5—May 2005 Hypersensitivity to Ticks and Lyme Disease Risk
Georgine Burke et al. Volume 11, Number 1—January 2005


Do Antiborrelial Antibodies Suggest Lyme Disease in Cuba?
Islay Rodríguez et al. Volume 10, Number 9—September 2004 Typing of Borrelia Relapsing Fever Group Strains
Jonas Bunikis et al. Volume 10, Number 9—September 2004 Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, and Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis, Southern Coastal Maine
Mary S. Holman et al. Volume 10, Number 4—April 2004


Relapsing Fever–Like Spirochetes Infecting European Vector Tick of Lyme Disease Agent
Dania Richter et al. Volume 9, Number 6—June 2003


Co-feeding Transmission and Its Contribution to the Perpetuation of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Borrelia afzelii
Dania Richter et al. Volume 8, Number 12—December 2002 Mapping Lyme Disease Incidence for Diagnostic and Preventive Decisions, Maryland
Christina Frank et al. Volume 8, Number 4—April 2002 Predicting the Risk of Lyme Disease: Habitat Suitability for Ixodes scapularis in the North Central United States
Marta Guerra et al. Volume 8, Number 3—March 2002 Vector Interactions and Molecular Adaptations of Lyme Disease and Relapsing Fever Spirochetes Associated with Transmission by Ticks
Tom G. Schwan et al. Volume 8, Number 2—February 2002


Borrelia lonestari DNA in Adult Amblyomma americanum Ticks, Alabama
Thomas R. Burkot et al. Volume 7, Number 3—June 2001


Borrelia burgdorferi and the Causative Agent of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis in Deer Ticks, Delaware
Kathleen L. Curran et al. Volume 6, Number 4—August 2000 First Report of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis from Southern Europe (Spain)
José A. Oteo et al. Volume 6, Number 4—August 2000 Lyme Disease Surveillance in England and Wales, 1986-1998
Robert Smith et al. Volume 6, Number 4—August 2000 The bdr Gene Families of the Lyme Disease and Relapsing Fever Spirochetes: Potential Influence on Biology, Pathogenesis, and Evolution
David M. Roberts et al. Volume 6, Number 2—April 2000 Competence of American Robins as Reservoir Hosts for Lyme Disease Spirochetes
Dania Richter et al. Volume 6, Number 2—April 2000

Other Resources

CDC Lyme Disease information

edit_01 ScholarOne Submission Portal
Issue Select

Notice to Readers

Emerging Infectious Diseases now publishes online only. PDFs of issues, articles, and appendixes remain available to download or print.

Sign up at EID Subscriptions to receive email notifications for the table of contents, expedited articles, podcasts, CME credits, and specific article types and disease topics.



Get Email Updates

To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address: