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From tick bite to treatment,
Lyme disease is a serious concern for those who reside in parts of the world where this infectious disorder is endemic. It is a multi-system and sometimes multi-stage illness caused by a unique spirochetal bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which reaches its human victim after being transmitted by a bite from Ixodid (deer) ticks that are found mostly in certain parts of North America and Europe. Management of
Lyme disease patients is usually not problematic, especially in endemic areas, where rapid diagnosis and response to the recommended treatment regimen most often leads to a favourable outcome. Initially this review article describes briefly some of the key historical, epidemiological, microbiological and diagnostic aspects of
Lyme disease. With this foundation, there follows a more in-depth coverage on the proper management of asymptomatic tick bite victims and of those suffering from authentic
Lyme disease. Much of the key information related to proper therapy is based on results that have accrued from rigorously conducted clinical studies. The final part of this review then concentrates on some of the more controversial issues involving diagnosis and treatment, the availability and possible usefulness of other non-antibiotic treatment options and the prospects for more efficient antibiotic treatment regimens as well as development of a newer class of effective antibiotics, based on promising preclinical data.