Fast Five Quiz: Lyme Disease Practice Essentials

Herbert S. Diamond, MD


February 25, 2021

Patients who have had Lyme disease should be advised that antibodies induced by the infection are not protective against further exposures to B burgdorferi — one episode of erythema migrans does not always confer immunity to the next exposure. Consequently, preventive strategies remain important for these patients.

The risk of transmission of B burgdorferi from an infected tick to a human depends on the length of exposure. It takes hours for the tick to attach fully, and experimental studies have indicated that in most cases, the tick must feed for 36-48 hours to transmit B burgdorferi because the blood meal has to trigger the reproduction of Borrelia to a number large enough to be infective.

Stage 1 is also known as primary or early localized infection. It generally occurs within 30 days of the tick bite. Most patients present with a characteristic expanding rash (erythema migrans) at the site of the tick bite 7-14 days after the tick is removed.

Read more about Lyme disease transmission.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.