Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. It was first discovered in the mid-1970s in an epidemic of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in Lyme, Connecticut. Since then, the number of people diagnosed with the illness has increased to an estimated 300,000 cases each year, accounting for more than 90% of all vector-borne disease in the U.S.

Over 20 species of Borrelia have been implicated in human and animal disease to date. Three genospecies of Borrelia cause most of the human disease: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) in the U.S. and Europe, and B. garinii and B. afzelii in Eurasia. Rarely, other species of Borrelia (B. valaisiana, B. lusitaniae, B. spielmanii, B. bissettii) have also been isolated from patients. Infection with Borrelia spp is generally referred to as borreliosis. Read on to learn more about Lyme Disease Symptoms & Risk Factors and diagnostic test options at Galaxy Diagnostics.