Borreliosis tick-borne: symptoms, treatment, prevention

Tick borreliosis( Lyme borreliosis, Lim's disease, Lyme disease) is a common infectious disease characterized by a multiplicity of clinical manifestations, with a tendency to chronic, recurrent course and causing damage to the nervous system, skin, heart and musculoskeletal system. The geographical distribution of this disease is extremely extensive: it occurs almost on all continents( the exception is Antarctica).

Tick borreliosis is caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia( Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii).In this case, the first species of bacteria dominates, as an agent, in the United States, and the last two - in Europe.

In natural conditions, many vertebrates are natural hosts of the causative agents of Lim's disease: rodents, white-tailed deer, sheep, dogs, cattle, poultry. The main carriers of borrelia are iksodid mites.

It should be noted that mites are also the main reservoir of the pathogen: the infection in them continues throughout life and is transmitted transovarially to offspring. The life cycle of ixodid ticks usually lasts two years. Adult insects are often found in shrubs, a meter away from the ground, since it is from there that they can easily move to large mammals. Male mites die immediately after mating, so only females remain at the hibernation.

Ticks are extremely widespread in mixed forests of temperate regions. In endemic regions, their infection varies from 10 to 70%, but only in some of the insects borrelia are present in the salivary glands. In view of the fact that the pathogen can enter the human body only with the tick saliva when it is sucked, infection of people does not happen very often.

After biting at the site of suction of the insect, annular migrating erythema appears. From the place of entry into the body with blood and lymph flow, the pathogen is transferred to the internal organs. By killing, bacteria secrete a powerful endotoxin, which causes a whole stream of immunopathological reactions. In addition, Borrelia are able to remain in the lymphatic system for up to ten years, without harming the wearer of the disease.


  • 1 Symptoms of tick borreliosis
  • 2 Treatment of tick borreliosis
  • 3 Prevention of tick borreliosis

Symptoms of tick borreliosis

Borreliosis The incubation period for tick-borne borreliosis in most cases lasts from 7 to 14 days, but in some cases it may be shorter( 3-5 days) or muchlonger( from two months to several years).

There are three main stages of the disease, each of which has its own, specific symptoms of borreliosis.

The first stage, lasting from 3 to 30 days, is characterized by a subacute or acute onset. In this case, the primary signs of the disease are nonspecific:

  • chills;
  • catarrhal phenomena( dry cough, persistent sore throat, runny nose);
  • temperature increase;
  • stiffness of the neck muscles;
  • headache;
  • aches in muscles;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • appearance of tick-shaped redness spreading on the site of a tick bite( migrating erythema);
  • severe burning, pain and itching in the bite area;
  • general weakness;
  • signs of damage to the meninges( hyperesthesia, meningeal symptoms);
  • myalgia and arthralgia.

In the course of adequate treatment, the outcome of the first stage may be the complete recovery of the patient. Otherwise, the disease passes a late period, also consisting of two consecutive stages - the second and third. The second stage of the disease is characterized by neurological and cardiac symptoms:

  • increasing, throbbing pain in the head;
  • photophobia;
  • inelasticity of the occipital muscles;
  • fast fatigue;
  • paresis of cranial nerves;
  • disorders of sleep, memory, attention;
  • neuritis of the optic, oculomotor and auditory nerves;
  • cardiac rhythm disturbance;
  • shortness of breath;
  • compressive pain in the chest.

The third stage is formed in ten percent of patients in 0,5-2 years after the end of the acute period. The most studied in this period are skin lesions( atrophic acrodermatitis), inflammatory joint damage( Lyme arthritis), and a number of chronic neurologic syndromes.

At present, the occurrence of some etiologically undeciphered ailments is associated with tick-borne borreliosis: various convulsive conditions and reactions, progressive encephalopathy, certain psychoses, multiple mononeuritis, recurrent meningitis, transverse myelitis, vasculitis of the brain vessels.

Treatment of tick borreliosis

Treatment of tick borreliosis is complex and involves the appointment of adequate etiotropic and pathogenetic agents.

In the early stages of the disease, the drugs of choice are tetracycline and amoxyllicin. Along with them, patients with extensive dermatological manifestations of the disease are prescribed doxycycline.

When detecting symptoms of heart, nervous system or joint damage in patients, tetracycline drugs are not prescribed: amoxiclav, ceftriaxone or cefotaxime is actively used instead.

Along with antibiotic therapy, pathogenetic methods of treatment are actively used. With severe intoxication of the body and with severe fever, the patient is parenterally injected with detoxification solutions, with the detection of meningitis - dehydration drugs, and with neuritis of peripheral and cranial nerves, arthritis and arthralgia, physiotherapy is prescribed. During the recovery period, patients are prescribed adaptogens, fortified preparations and vitamins.

Prevention of tick borreliosis

Specific prophylactic procedures for tick borreliosis have not been developed so far. In turn, measures of nonspecific prevention include:

  • wearing protective clothing( shirts with a high collar and long sleeves, hats, long trousers, gloves);
  • application of insect repellent agents.