Is there a Lyme-like disease in Australia? Summary of the findings to date
AuthorChalada, MJ; Stenos, J; Bradbury, RS
Source TitleOne Health
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
University of Melbourne Author/sStenos, John
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsChalada, M. J., Stenos, J. & Bradbury, R. S. (2016). Is there a Lyme-like disease in Australia? Summary of the findings to date. ONE HEALTH, 2, pp.42-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2016.03.003.
Access StatusOpen Access
Lyme Borreliosis is a common tick-borne disease of the northern hemisphere caused by the spirochaetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi s. l.) complex. It results in multi-organ disease with arthritic, cardiac, neurological and dermatological manifestations. In the last twenty-five years there have been over 500 reports of an Australian Lyme-like syndrome in the scientific literature. However, the diagnoses of Lyme Borreliosis made in these cases have been primarily by clinical presentation and laboratory results of tentative reliability and the true cause of these illnesses remains unknown. A number of animals have been introduced to Australia that may act as B. burgdorferi s. l. reservoirs in Lyme-endemic countries, and there are some Australian Ixodes spp. and Haemaphysalis spp. ticks whose geographical distribution matches that of the Australian Lyme-like cases. Four published studies have searched for Borrelia in Australian ticks, with contradicting results. The cause of the potential Lyme-like disease in Australia remains to be defined. The evidence to date as to whether these illnesses are caused by a Borrelia species, another tick borne pathogen or are due to a novel or unrelated aetiology is summarised in this review.
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