2018 / 8 January

Spirochetal Infections and Lyme Disease

Spirochetal infections

  • Syphilis caused by Treponema pallidum
  • Yaws also called frambesia caused by Treponema pertenue
  • Lyme disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi in the United States, B. mayonii in the upper Midwestern United States, and B. afzelii and B. garinii in Europe and Asia.
  • Leptospirosis caused by caused by Leptospira

Lyme Disease
The most common vector-borne disease in the United States, is a multisystem illness usually caused by infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.


  • Conjunctivitis (uncommon, never prominent)
  • Carditis (usually manifests as heart block)
  • Meningismus as a sign of aseptic meningitis
  • Cranial neuropathy, especially cranial nerve VII and Bell palsy (peripheral seventh nerve palsy with decreased unilateral function, including the forehead)
  • In patients with late disease, the typical physical finding is arthritis.

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