Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) or Masters’ disease is an emerging infectious disease related to Lyme disease that occurs in southeastern and south-central United States. It is spread by tick bites, but the organism that causes the infection is unknown.
This illness is a tick-borne disease carried by the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum. This tick was first proposed as a possible vector of disease in 1984, and the illnesses associated with the tick called “Lyme-like disease”, but it was not recognized to be distinct from Lyme disease until the late 1990s.
Several studies have failed to detect Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the causative agent of Lyme disease, in patients from the southern United States. This disease may be caused by the related bacterium Borrelia lonestari, which is a spirochete first isolated in culture in 2004. However, this conclusion is controversial since the spirochete is not detected in all cases of the syndrome, which has led some authors to argue that the illness is not caused by a bacterial pathogen