Tick-borne diseases and autoimmunity: A comprehensive review

Yhojan Rodríguez, Manuel Rojas, M. Eric Gershwin, Juan Manuel Anaya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) are emerging and reemerging diseases transmitted by ticks, which portray wide heterogeneity and global distribution. TBDs may present acute clinical pictures that resemble those of autoimmune diseases (i.e., musculoskeletal symptoms, cutaneous involvement, neurologic impairment, renal failure, etc.), and in some cases infection is considered a triggering factor for autoimmunity (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune thyroid disease, vasculitides). The clinician should consider TBDs among the differential diagnoses when approaching autoimmune-like signs in areas of tick infestation. Epidemiological setting (e.g., endemic areas, seasons) and an accurate diagnostic approach (i.e., clinical history, physical examination and laboratory tests) are necessary to confirm TBDs. Further, control and prevention of TBDs is warranted. Research in the fields of ticks microbiome and vaccination (i.e., wildlife and humans) are ahead to control vector transmission and bacterial infection. This review offers a comprehensive update on TBDs and their relationship with autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-42
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
StatePublished - Mar 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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