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Borrelia burgdorferi is a species of Gram negative bacteria of the spirochete class of the genus Borrelia. B. burgdorferi is predominant in North America, but also exists in Europe, and is the agent of Lyme disease.
The incubation period from infection to the onset of symptoms is usually one to two weeks, but can be much shorter (days), or much longer (months to years).
Lyme arthritis usually affects the knees. In a minority of patients arthritis can occur in other joints, including the ankles, elbows, wrist, hips, and shoulders. Pain is often mild or moderate, usually with swelling at the involved joint. Baker's cysts may form and rupture. In some cases joint erosion occurs.
Lyme disease is diagnosed clinically based on symptoms, objective physical findings (such as erythema migrans, facial palsy, or arthritis), a history of possible exposure to infected ticks, as well as serological blood tests.Most but not all patients with Lyme disease will develop the characteristic bulls-eye rash, but many may not recall a tick bite.
The most widely used tests are serologies, which measure levels of specific antibodies in a patient's blood.
Antibiotics are the primary treatment for Lyme disease; the most appropriate antibiotic treatment depends upon the patient and the stage of the disease.The antibiotics of choice are doxycycline (in adults), amoxicillin (in children), erythromycin (for pregnant women) and ceftriaxone, with treatment lasting 14 to 21 days.
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