Dermatological and Genital Manifestations of Lyme Disease Including Morgellons Disease

Published Date
Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermotology
Middelveen MJ
Haggblad JS
Lewis J
Robichaud GA
Martinez RM
Shah JS
Du Cruz I
Fesler MC
Stricker RB

Although the erythema migrans (EM) skin rash is traditionally considered a hallmark of Lyme disease, other dermatological manifestations of the tickborne disease are less well known. We describe a 49-year-old woman with erosive genital ulcerations, secondary EM rashes and jagged skin lesions associated with Lyme disease. The skin rashes exhibited fibers characteristic of Morgellons disease. Molecular testing confirmed the presence of Borrelia DNA in both vaginal culture and serum specimens. In further studies on a secondary EM lesion containing filaments, Gömöri trichrome staining revealed the presence of collagen in the filaments, while Dieterle and anti-Borrelia immunostaining revealed intracellular and extracellular Borrelia organisms. Intracellular staining for Borrelia was also observed in lymphocytic infiltrates. Lyme disease may present with a variety of genital lesions and dermatological manifestations including Morgellons disease. Careful evaluation is required to determine the presence of Borrelia organisms associated with these dermopathies.

Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi; Lyme disease; Morgellons disease; erythema migrans; spirochetes; tickborne disease.