Addressing the Antiquity of Lyme Disease: Detection of B. burgdorferi DNA in Museum Specimens of Ixodes dammini
Lyme disease is a tick-borne immune-mediated multisystem disorder occurring at any age and in both sexes [1–3]. Its clinical hallmark is an early expanding skin lesion, erythema chronicum migrans (ECM), which may be followed weeks to months later by neurologic, cardiac, or joint abnormalities. Many of these subsets of the clinical manifestations of Lyme disease were recorded in the European medical literature early in this century [4–7], but recognition of the disease as a distinct clinical entity in the United States has been relatively recent [1–3]. While some epidemiologic studies have suggested a relatively rapid spread from earlier enzootic foci, it is not known how long Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal etiologic agent of Lyme disease [8,9], has existed in foci of these reservoir or vector populations.
KeywordsLyme Disease Borrelia Burgdorferi Museum Specimen Gray Squirrel Distinct Clinical Entity
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