A discussion of the history and future of Lyme disease in Canada, and the author’s experience with the zoonotic disease in his career at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML).
Lyme disease is a multi system disease that can be contracted in any Canadian province. Lyme disease is spreading in Canada and that spread can be expected to continue in the coming years.
Studies to date have identified high risk endemic areas for Lyme disease within limited areas of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
Current diagnostic tests are effective for detecting cases of disseminated, but not early, Lyme disease. Therefore, clinical cases of early Lyme disease are not well documented in Canada.
Controversies exist over clinical and diagnostic aspects of Lyme disease but the 2006 guidelines published by the Infectious Disease Society of America have been strongly endorsed by an independent review panel.
Research leading to improved diagnostics and to address medically unexplained symptoms is highly desirable.