Caister Academic Press

The World-Wide Saga of Lyme Borreliosis

Jorge L. Benach and Juan Carlos García-Moncó
from: Lyme Disease and Relapsing Fever Spirochetes: Genomics, Molecular Biology, Host Interactions and Disease Pathogenesis (Edited by: Justin D. Radolf and D. Scott Samuels). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2021) Pages: 1-16.


We have kept this chapter as a historical account of the early days of Lyme borreliosis in both Europe and the United States. Recent advances at all levels in this field are being updated in all the other chapters. Moreover, controversies that surround the diagnosis and treatment of this disease have been taken up in a new chapter 23 in this book. Thus, the saga of Lyme borreliosis in this chapter is told now with the same perspective as in the previous edition. The clinical-epidemiologic studies of a cluster of arthritis in Lyme, Connecticut intersected with ongoing studies on tick borne diseases in Long Island, New York to set the stage for the discovery of the spirochete agent of Lyme disease. Studies on the microbiology of spirochetes at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana were critical for the cultivation of the newly discovered organism. The multi-national clinical studies in Europe throughout the 20th century on the dermatologic and neurologic manifestations characterized and enlarged the syndrome that we now know as Lyme borreliosis. For reasons that are discussed in this chapter, controversies have arisen among advocate patient groups and the clinicians and scientists that are at the forefront of research in Lyme borreliosis. Polarized opinions on what constitutes this disease and how to treat it have resulted in unprecedented litigation involving medical societies and advocate patient groups with no obvious end in sight read more ...
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