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Lyme and associated tick-borne diseases: global challenges in the context of a public health threat

Christian Perronne  c [dot] perronne [at] rpc [dot] aphp [dot] fr

Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by ticks, was initially considered a recent, rare and regional occurrence. We now have evidence that very similar bacteria infected humans in Europe during the ice age (Keller et al.,2012). Evidence-based data are scarce
therefore many aspects of the disease remain controversial (Auwaerter et al.,2011; Lee and Vielmeyer, 2011; Perronne,2012), but in 2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised their annual estimates from 30,000 cases to 300,000 cases in the USA alone. Having
dramatically increased their numbers, the CDC are now calling Lyme disease “a tremendous public health problem in the United States” (CDC, 2011).

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