Lyme disease predates the evolution of humans

The bacteria responsible for Lyme disease existed millions of years before humans, according to new fossil evidence.

Researcher George Poinar Jr from Oregon State University studied the remains of ticks fossilised in amber 15‒20 million years ago. Inside he found evidence for spirochete-like bacteria that closely resemble Borrelia, the modern-day cause of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease was first recognised in 1975, and Borrelia was identified as the bacteria responsible in 1981.

Read more at Oregon State University

Want to write?

Write an article and join a growing community of more than 100,200 academics and researchers from 3,206 institutions.

Register now