Wednesday, 4 October 2017

When bitten by a tick

Relapsing fever is bacterial infection characterized by recurring episodes of fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea. It is caused by certain species of Borrelia spirochetes. which are transmitted through the bites of lice or soft-bodied ticks.

Borrelia duttoni is a Gram-negative, helical bacterium and belongs to the family of Spirochaetaceae. The bacterium is the cause of endemic tick-borne relapsing fever, which is found in central, eastern, and southern Africa. Transmission of Borrelia duttoni mainly occurs via ticks.

In general, Borrelia sp. are responsible for major diseases, including recurrent or relapsing fever. In 1868 the German Otto Obermeier identified the microorganisms during an epidemic in Berlin. The pathogenic potential was demonstrated in 1874 by Gregor M√ľnch, who inoculated himself with Borrelia recurrentis and survived the subsequent relapsing fever. The French microbiologists Sergent and Foley identified the body louse as the vector. The British pathologist Joseph Dutton (famous because of B. duttoni) discovered an alternative vector: the soft tick Ornithodoros moubata. He injured himself while performing an autopsy on a patient who had died from borreliosis and died himself from relapsing fever.

Most people who are infected develop sickness between five and 15 days after they are bitten. The symptoms may include a sudden fever, chills, headaches, muscle or joint aches, and nausea. A rash may also occur. These symptoms usually continue for two to 9 days, then disappear. This cycle may continue for several weeks if the person is not treated.

Note: Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease also caused by bacteria of the Borrelia type. The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness that begins at the site of a tick bite about a week after it has occurred.

Prepared slide by Lieder

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