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Tick-borne relapsing fever (FRGT) is a worldwide zoonosis. The
disease is caused by spirochetes of the genus Borrelia, and is transmitted to man by ticks of the genus Ornithodoros (O. erraticus in Spain).
5 FRTG cases attended in our hospital in a 2 years period are described. Diagnosis was established in all cases by demonstration of borreliae in peripheral blood. Three Borrelia strains were isolated from blood of 3 of our patients and they are maintained by passages through mice.
High fever, tachycardia and headache were noted in all cases accompanied in 2 of them by hepatosplenomegaly. Three of the patients complained of arthromyalgias or lumbar myalgia. Treatment with doxycicline was curative in all of them.
FRGT incidence in our country is probably underestimated due to the low suspicion of the
disease and the specificity of the clinical symptoms. The isolement of the causative Borrelia strain will allow the development of more specific serological tests necessary to establish the prevalence of this
disease as well to assess its implication in chronic diseases, as is observed in other borreliosis (i.e.
Lyme disease), that might be missed at this moment.