Borrelia burgdorferi

The Deer Tick’s Dark Secret




Borrelia burgdorferi, Ixodes scapularis, Lyme Disease, Spirochete, Vector-borne infection


Since its recent discovery in the late 1970s, Lyme Disease (LD) has been a growing public health concern, especially in the United States where it accounts for the majority of vector-borne infections each year. The causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. This pathogen uses many unique mechanisms to both shield itself from the host immune response and cause disease. Clinically, LD presents in successive phases, with each increasing in severity as the bacterial cells migrate to new tissues and organ systems. On the epidemiological and ecological fronts, limitations in reporting, ecological changes, and a lack of public support hinder accurate surveillance and enhance the spread of the disease. The goal of this literature review is to increase public knowledge of B. burgdorferi, its vector, and the disease it causes, along with suggesting preventative measures to protect individuals who reside in high-risk areas. A collective and coordinated public health effort represents our greatest chance of restraining the LD-causing pathogen.


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Author Biography

Elizabeth Danka , St. Norbert College

Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Norbert College (Division of Natural Sciences). 


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How to Cite

Gaetano, A., & Danka , E. . (2024). Borrelia burgdorferi: The Deer Tick’s Dark Secret . Fine Focus, 10(1), 9–37.