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Lyme borreliosis, the most common vector-borne
disease in the northern hemisphere, is caused by bacteria belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi complex. The
disease is multisystemic, affecting mainly the skin, nervous system, heart and joints. In Europe, the vector of the
disease is the tick Ixodes ricinus, whereas in the United States of America, two primary tick vectors exist, namely: I. scapularis in the north-eastern and mid-western regions and I. pacificus on the west coast. Several species of small and medium-sized mammals and ground-feeding birds serve as reservoirs for the bacteria in endemic areas. The prognosis for patients with
Lyme borreliosis is excellent, particularly when diagnosed and treated early in the course of infection. Prevention of
Lyme borreliosis can be achieved using two approaches, either prevention of infection by immunisation, or prevention of tick bites through avoidance, personal protection and tick control.