The PCR test detects the genome (DNA) of Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen responsible for the Lyme disease or Borreliose.
- For animals with clinical signs.
- 5 mL - blood - K3 EDTA tube
- 2 to 5 working days
What is Lyme disease?
- Lyme disease is a tickborne illness that results from infection with members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. These organisms are maintained in wild animals, but they can affect humans and some species of domesticated animals, like horses.
- Lyme disease has been reported in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia.
Clinical signsClinical signs appear in less than 10% of horses infected with the bacteria. Signs include:
- Lameness (usually of larger joints) that shifts from limb to limb;
- Generalised stiffness;
- Soreness in the large joints and back;
- Low-grade fever (which may or may not be present);
- Behavioural changes such as reluctance to work and irritability;
- Laminitis (occasionally associated with Lyme disease)
- Horses do not show a skin rash with Lyme disease.
- Swelling around a tick bite in a horse is generally due to a reaction to the tick’s saliva, not Lyme disease.
- The ticks become infected when they feed on rodents such as the white-footed mouse that carry the bacteria. The tick can then pass on this infection when it feeds on another host, such as a horse or deer. The bacteria migrate from the tick to the horse after 12 to 24 hours of attachment.
- In areas where the incidence of disease is high among people, only about 50% of horses are likely to become infected. Of these horses, less than 1 in 10 develops clinical signs of the disease. The remaining horses either have subclinical infection (carry the antibodies against the bacteria but remain clinically healthy) or their immune systems fight off the bacteria (and these horses carry the antibodies to Lyme disease for up to a year).
- People can also be infected with Lyme disease, but there is no risk of the disease being transmitted from horses to humans.
- Since there is no vaccine available, prevention is focused on control of the tick population:
- Perform a daily tick examination. Remember that it takes 12 to 24 hours of attachment for bacteria to migrate from the tick to the host.
- Treat turned out horses with permethrin-based insect repellents during peak adult deer tick seasons: early spring, late summer, and fall.
- Minimize habitat for ticks and their hosts.