Tick-Borne Infection Borrelia Miyamotoi Discovered in the United States

The first U.S. case of human B. miyamotoi infection was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in January.  The infection has been discovered in 18 patients in southern New England and neighboring New York by researchers at the Yale Schools of Public Health and Medicine.  Because it is so new, it does not yet have a name.

Blood tests are used to detect the infection which is spread by common deer ticks.  The viral-like illness is a distant relative of Lyme disease and it shares many similar symptoms to both Lyme and relapsing fever infections.  Symptoms can include fever, muscular aches and pains, headaches and fatigue, with a small portion also developing a rash.  Drugs such as doxycycline and amoxicillin, effective in combating Lyme disease, seem to clear symptoms and the infection.

The bacterium was first found in ticks in Japan in 1995, and then was identified by Yale researchers in Connecticut in 2001.  The first human cases of B. miyamotoi infection were reported in Russia in 2011.

To learn more, you can read the full article:

Meningoencephalitis from Borrelia miyamotoi in an Immunocompromised Patient
Joseph L. Gugliotta, M.D., Heidi K. Goethert, Sc.D., Victor P. Berardi, B.S., and Sam R. Telford, III, Sc.D.
N Engl J Med 2013; 368:240-245