Borrelia burgdorferi Infection and Lyme Disease in North American Horses: A Consensus Statement.

Divers TJ1, Gardner RB2, Madigan JE3, Witonsky SG4, Bertone JJ5, Swinebroad EL6, Schutzer SE7, Johnson AL8.  J Vet Intern Med. Feb 22 2018 (Epub ahead of print)


Borrelia burgdorferi infection is common in horses living in Lyme endemic areas and the geographic range for exposure is increasing. Morbidity after B. burgdorferi infection in horses is unknown. Documented, naturally occurring syndromes attributed to B. burgdorferi infection in horses include neuroborreliosis, uveitis, and cutaneous pseudolymphoma. Although other clinical signs such as lameness and stiffness are reported in horses, these are often not well documented. Diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on exposure to B. burgdorferi, cytology or histopathology of infected fluid or tissue and antigen detection. Treatment of Lyme disease in horses is similar to treatment of humans or small animals but treatment success might not be the same because of species differences in antimicrobial bioavailability and duration of infection before initiation of treatment. There are no approved equine label Lyme vaccines but there is strong evidence that proper vaccination could prevent infection in horses.