Lyme borreliosis, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, is a multi-organ infection with dermatological, rheumatological, neurological, and cardiac manifestations. The main characteristic is a skin lesion, named erythema migrans. Relapsing fever, caused by numerous species of Borrelia, is characterized by a periodic cycle of acute and afebrile episodes. The serological diagnosis of these infections has limited value in sensitivity, specificity and predictive values.
Lyme borreliosis is usually diagnosed by recognition of a characteristic clinical picture with serological confirmation, and the diagnosis of relapsing fever relies on direct observation of spirochetes in peripherical blood. The elected treatment is almost always tetracycline for the young or for adults but not for pregnant women, although betalactamic (such as penicillin or 3rd generation cephalosporin for the central nervous system) or macrolides are indicated in several situations. The prognosis, with adequate treatment, is good. In the majority of Spanish regions, due to the low incidence of these diseases, the prophylactic antimicrobial treatment after a tick bite is not indicated.