A Retroactive Look at Relapsing Fever

Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever—caused by infected Borrelia bacteria transmitted via tick bites—seems rare. But is this due to low prevalence or because improper diagnoses have failed to capture its spread?

In a new study, researchers retroactively diagnosed a patient who presented in 2012 in Mexico with fever, abdominal pain, seizures and other symptoms. She tested negative for several common diseases but the antibiotic doxycycline kicked the mysterious infection. After reviewing patient history and analyzing a stored blood sample, researchers found evidence of TBRF spirochetes.

The researchers recommend increased surveillance to help with diagnoses and treatment and define the true scope of TBRF’s prevalence.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

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