In 1982, NIAID scientist Willy Burgdorfer, Ph.D., identified the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Read about the groundbreaking discovery of Borrelia burgdorferi.
Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged deer tick. It is the most common tickborne infectious disease in the United States. State health departments reported 22,572 confirmed cases and 7,597probable cases of Lyme disease to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010.
NIAID has a long-standing commitment to conduct Lyme disease research with the major goals of developing better means of diagnosing, treating, and preventing the disease. To accomplish these objectives, the NIAID Lyme disease research portfolio includes a broad range of activities designed to increase our understanding of this disease. Learn more about NIAID's Lyme disease research.
HHS Federal Research Update on Lyme Disease Diagnostics—Sept. 24, 2012
NIAID Media Availability: NIH-Funded Scientists Sequence Genomes of Lyme Disease Bacteria—Oct. 18, 2010
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Last Updated September 26, 2013
Last Reviewed April 20, 2011