Lyme disease is an infectious
disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted by certain ixodid ticks. The illness usually occurs in stages with many different clinical manifestations. The
disease starts with a typical cutaneous lesion called erythema cronicum migrans, that usually develops at the site of the tick bite. After weeks or months, some patients develop neurological abnormalities, particularly meningitis, cranial nerve paralysis, peripheral radiculoneuritis, or cardiac involvement, such as atrioventricular blockade, myopericarditis and cardiomegaly, or migratory musculoskeletal pain. Months or years later, many patients develop arthritis, which usually occurs in intermittent attacks for several years.
Lyme disease was only recently recognized in the United States. However this borreliosis has now been recognized in every continent except South America. In this paper we review the clinical and laboratorial features of
Lyme borreliosis and discuss the possibility of its presence in Brazil or other parts of South America, where it has recently been recognized that ixodid ticks are common.