Borreliosis, also known as Lyme disease, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks. Ticks become infected when they feed on birds or mammals that carry the bacterium in their blood. The disease can be found mainly in Europe, North America and temperate Asia.

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. This rash occurs in approximately 60–80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3–30 days. A distinctive feature of the rash is that it gradually expands peripherally over a period of several days.

If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Most cases of Borreliosis can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

No vaccine against Borreliosis is currently available, so tick awareness, appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas, and early removal of attached ticks remain the most important prevention measures.

Latest outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publication

A review on the eco-epidemiology and clinical management of human granulocytic anaplasmosis and its agent in Europe

Dec 2019

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Prevalence and incidence of surgical site infections in the European Union/European Economic Area: how do these measures relate?

Dec 2019

Peer-Reviewed Publication

A new Borrelia on the block: Borrelia miyamotoi - a human health risk?

May 2019

Peer-Reviewed Publication

An updated meta-analysis of the distribution and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in ticks in Europe

Dec 2018


Synergies in community and institutional public health emergency preparedness for tick-borne diseases in the Netherlands

Technical report -

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Disease networks

Emerging Viral Diseases-Expert Laboratory Network (EVD-LabNet)

European network for medical and veterinary entomology (VectorNet)