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Lyme disease: basis for treatment strategy, primary preventive care and secondary preventive care.

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Lyme disease is the most common tick borne
disease and is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Ticks of the genus Ixodes are the vectors that transmit the infection to host mammals in endemic foci. Ixodes is infected by Borrelia at larval stage when it feeds on infected mammals. Man is an occasional host. The infection risk is linked to interaction between human and the natural environment. Strategies for prevention are closely related to the enzootic cycle of the Ixodes tick. Environmental measures to reduced tick density or host mammals are expensive, need to be repeated annually and cannot be applied to large areas. The primary prevention could be reduced to personal preventive measures such as reducing the amount of exposed skin and frequent checking for ticks. The risk of
Lyme disease transmission after a tick bite is relatively low, and remains under 4%. The transmission rate depends on the duration of feeding. A rapide tick removal with fine tweezers or preferably special forceps and disinfection of the bite site appear to be the best technique. The absence of scientific evidence, and the risk of adverse events does not lead to recommending antimicrobial prophylaxis. Follow-up and educating the patients on the
disease, clinical manifestation, and later primary prevention should be undertaken.

Med Mal Infect. 2007 Jul-Aug;37(7-8):381-93. Epub 2007 Apr 3. English Abstract; Review

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