Ticks (Lyme Disease)

Lyme Disease RashHistory of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is one of the three bacteria that cause the disease and is most prevalent in the United States. Named after the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were first identified in 1975.

Ticks & Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. Infected ticks can transmit the disease to humans from the Borrelia bacteria and is mostly found in ticks belonging to the species genus known as Ixodes (hard ticks).

Common Ticks in the United States

In the United States, the Ixodes ticks are closely related and have two species: Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus. Scapularis, also known as the black-legged tick, is found on the eastern United States and the pacificus is the western black-legged tick, is on the West Coast. The Ixodes species are much smaller than the common "dog tick" and may be extremely hard to find, depending upon its location on the body.

Additional Information

For more information on ticks, lyme disease, and how to avoid the two, please see our detailed tick profile (PDF).