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Lyme borreliosis is a zoonosis transmitted via lxodes ticks. The causal agent–the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato–triggers a multisystem
disease that manifests in particular in the skin, heart, nervous system and joints.
Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne infectious
disease in the Northern hemisphere. In Europe the
Lyme disease spirochetes are heterogeneous and comprise three species that infect humans: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii and B. afzelii. The microbiological diagnosis is based primarily on the detection of antibodies, and secondarily on the detection of the pathogen. Suitable material for the detection of the pathogen are various body fluids (cerebrospinal fluid, joint fluid) and biopsy material (in particular skin). Antibodies are usually detected in the serum. Negative serology does not exclude an early manifestation, and a positive finding is no proof of a clinically manifest infection–it may simply reflect an earlier