Lyme borreliosis


Figure 13 - The life cycle of a tick

Lyme disease is often referred to as Lyme borreliosis. This is due to the type of germ called Borrelia that causes the disease. There are several different types of Borrelia: Borrelia Burgdorferi, Borrelia Duttoni, Borrelia Spirochetes, borrelia afzelii, borrelia garinii, borrelia spielmanii, and the recently discovered Borrelia Mayonii. However, the most common type of Lyme disease, is the one caused by Borrelia Burgdorferi.

As you probably already know, Lyme disease is generally spread by ticks. There exist other vectors of propagation like rats, lice and others. To read about these other types of propagation go to

Most of the time, the ticks causing Lyme disease are from the Ixodes genus, most specifically from the Ixodes Scapularis, and Ixodes Ricinus. Ticks get infected with the bacteria and carry it around, until they find an appropriated host. In most cases, the host will represent a human being or an animal. The tick, seeking to survive, will attach itself to the hair or clothes of passing by mamals and bite through their skin. The bite is sometimes painless due to the chemicals released, anesthetizing the local area. After a day of presence on the skin, the risk of infection becomes significant, however, if removed quickly the risk of infection are less significant.


To know if the disease was effectively transferred, it is important to keep an eye on the area of the tick bite. In 50% of the cases where a patient is infected by the bacteria, an erythema migrants will be forming on the skin. This erythematic migrants can best be described as a red sphere in the shape of a bullseye with a slight clearing on the inside. However, this will most likely not be the only symptom associated with the infection.

Weeks or even months after the infection, a patient can start feeling symptoms. The main difficulty is the extremely wide range of possible experienced symptoms.

  • High fever, followed by physical and mental fatigue,

  • Headaches that do not pass even with the use of pain killers,

  • Loss of memory,

  • Difficulties to concentrate,

  • Depression (due to the neurotoxins in the body)

  • Night sweat

  • Red eyes

  • Sore throat

  • Sensitivity to noise

  • Pain on the right side of the abdomen

  • Muscular and articular pain (inflated articulations)

  • Frequent hematomas (due to vascular system fragility)

  • Sensation of cold feet and hand

All of the symptoms listed here above are the result of Lyme being a vascular disease. The germs enter and follow the blood stream till they encounter areas of weaker immunity in which they will settle. For example if a patient suffers from a fragile heart, the germs will tend to settle in this specific area. Their reproduction by binary fission, causes the intermittant release of toxins, triggering various autoimmune responses. Patients will then generally start feeling the symptoms locally where the germs have settled. 

Because our body is fully made up of a vascular system, the germs can settle practically anywhere. Depending on where they settle, Lyme will evolve into the different variations we know. They can mutate in all of the following: neurological , pulmonary , gastroenterological, ophthalmological, gynecological, dermatological, rheumatic and articular Lyme.

Lyme Carditis 

Depending on the circumstances, tick bites can result in Lyme Carditis. Lyme carditis is a form of Lyme disease that occurs when the infection establishes inside the heart tissue. It is only one of the many potential complications of Lyme which specifically targets the vascular system. This type of Lyme is usually caused by an early staged Lyme not being taken in charge and left untreated. Early estimations say 4 to 10% of patients left untreated on a longer duration reveal symptoms of Lyme carditis. The main issue with this disease, is the impacts it has on the cardiac system and the heart. In most cases, the symptoms are relatively light, with patients experiencing light-headedness, fainting, shortness of breath, palpitations, and/or chest pain. However, this infection has already resulted in a few scarce cases of death. These unusaul cases further emphasizing the importance and necessity of developing efficient methods of diagnosis, to take immediate actions and avoid significant complications.