Damage of Collagen and Elastic Fibres by Borrelia Burgdorferi

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From: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Damage of Collagen and Elastic Fibres by Borrelia Burgdorferi – Known and New Clinical and Histopathological Aspects

Lyme Borreliosis, or Lyme’s disease, manifests itself in numerous skin conditions. Therapeutic intervention should be initiated as soon as a clinical diagnosis of erythema migrans is made. The histopathology of some of the skin conditions associated with Lyme Borreliosis is characterised by structural changes to collagen, and sometimes also elastic fibres. These conditions include morphea, lichen sclerosus et atrophicus and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. More recently, further skin conditions have been identified by the new microscopic investigation technique of focus floating microscopy: granuloma annulare, necrobiosis lipoidica, necrobiotic xanthogranuloma, erythema annulare centrifugum, interstitial granulomatous dermatitis, cutaneous sarcoidosis and lymphocytic infiltration; these conditions also sometimes cause changes in the connective tissue. In the case of ligaments and tendons, collagen and elastic fibres predominate structurally. They are also the structures that are targeted by Borrelia. The resultant functional disorders have previously only rarely been associated with Borreliosis in clinical practice. Ligamentopathies and tendinopathies, spontaneous ruptures of tendons after slight strain, dislocation of vertebrae and an accumulation of prolapsed intervertebral discs as well as ossification of tendon insertions can be viewed in this light.

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