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Description of Lyme disease-like syndrome in Brazil. Is it a new tick borne disease or Lyme disease variation?

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Abstract

An emerging clinical entity that reproduces clinical manifestations similar to those observed in
Lyme disease (LD) has been recently under discussion in Brazil. Due to etiological and laboratory particularities it is named LD-like syndrome or LD imitator syndrome. The condition is considered to be a zoonosis transmitted by ticks of the genus Amblyomma, possibly caused by interaction of multiple fastidious microorganisms originating a protean clinical picture, including neurological, osteoarticular and erythema migrans-like lesions. When peripheral blood of patients with LD-like syndrome is viewed under a dark-field microscope, mobile uncultivable spirochete-like bacteria are observed. PCR carried out with specific or conservative primers to recognize Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto or the genus Borrelia has been negative in ticks and in biological samples. Two different procedures, respectively involving hematoxylin and eosin staining of cerebrospinal fluid and electron microscopy analysis of blood, have revealed spirochetes not belonging to the genera Borrelia, Leptospira or Treponema. Surprisingly, co-infection with microorganisms resembling Mycoplasma and Chlamydia was observed on one occasion by electron microscopy analysis. We discuss here the possible existence of a new tick-borne
disease in Brazil imitating LD, except for a higher frequency of recurrence episodes observed along prolonged clinical follow-up.

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2007 Apr;40(4):443-56. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Review

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