This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

The management of Lyme disease

Written by: | Published:

The classic erythema migrans rash seen in Lyme dis The classic erythema migrans rash seen in Lyme disease is often described as resembling a bull’s eye

Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the spirochaete bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.

Lyme disease is a zoonosis. Small mammals and birds carry the bacteria and transmit it to feeding larvae and nymphs of the Ixodes tick. Adult ticks feed and reproduce on a variety of larger mammals. Humans may become infected if bitten but are regarded as ‘end hosts’.

Ticks are not insects; they are arachnids and resemble small spiders. They survive in the type of humid conditions found in woodland, moorland and some urban parks and gardens, and may be brought indoors on pets or clothing.

The disease is spread by infected ticks, and B burgdorferi is usually transmitted to humans by nymph or adult ticks. Nymphs are the most likely to transmit infection. They are very small (about the size of a poppy seed), and are likely to be missed. Only one in three people who develop Lyme disease notice a tick bite.

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the northern hemisphere and is now considered endemic throughout the UK.

The nurse may be the first healthcare professional a patient asks for advice following a tick bite or with a tick attached to their skin.


Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.


What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.