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Int J Infect Dis. 2013 Mar;17(3):e153-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.09.014. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Borrelia burgdorferi infection and Lyme disease in children.

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Department of Maternal and Pediatric Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via Commenda 9, 20122 Milan, Italy.


Lyme disease is a multisystem disease that frequently affects children. It is caused by a group of related spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, that are transmitted by ticks belonging to species of the genus Ixodes. The clinical characteristics of Lyme disease in pediatrics resemble those observed in adults, although the symptoms may last for a shorter time and the outcome may be better. However, identifying Lyme disease in children can be significantly more difficult because some of its signs and symptoms can be similar to those of other common pediatric clinical manifestations. Finally, the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to childhood Lyme disease is frequently not codified, and guidelines specifically prepared for adults are used for children without having been validated. This review of the currently available data will evaluate what may be the best approach to the diagnosis and treatment of B. burgdorferi infection and disease in the pediatric population.

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