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Lyme disease is a recently-described zoonotic
disease occurring widely in the U.S.A., Europe and Asia. The causative organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted predominantly by ticks of the genus Ixodes and infects a wide host range. The infection in humans causes the human
disease syndrome erythema chronicum migrans resulting in arthritis, neurological symptoms and/or cardiac abnormalities. Similar clinical signs have been described in domestic animals. The status of
Lyme disease in southern Africa is presently unknown but preliminary evidence indicates that the
disease may occur in humans in the Republic of South Africa. The abundance of hosts and tick vectors would favour the establishment of the infection in Africa.