Oertzenweg 19 b
+49 30 838 62299
Lyme borreliosis is caused by bacteria belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, which belongs to the family Spirochaetaceae. The disease was described in humans for the first time in 1977 near the town Lyme (Connecticut, USA), from which the name of the disease is derived. In Europe and Asia, there are several pathogenic genospecies (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. bavariensis, B. garinii and B. afzelii), which can cause Lyme disease. Borrelia have a low tenacity, and are therefore dependent on hosts for survival. Borrelia are generally extracellular pathogens, which reproduce in a multiannual enzootic cycle in ticks (Ixodes spp.) and mammals. A manifestation of Lyme borreliosis is always dependent on its transmission by the carrier ticks. During the life cycle of ticks in Europe, its prevalence rate in the population nearly doubles. Epidemiological data regarding the prevalen ce of the disease in horses in Germany are not yet available. A manifestation of Lyme borreliosis occurs rarely in horses, and the clinical signs of the disease are not pathognomonic. The diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis should be confirmed only if the following criteria apply to the given patient: The horse has experienced tick exposure, shows manifestation of clinical signs and detection of the infectious organism or specific host antibody response was proved. Important differential diagnoses have been eliminated. Clinical signs might progress or recur despite antibiotic treatment. Due to the possible persistence of the pathogen, the prevention of the disease should be granted highest priority. Prophylactic measures available include the earliest possible mechanical removal of ticks, the use of repellents and vaccination.