For Medical Professionals

Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, is a cause of both localized and systemic infection. The acute infection of the skin has a high rate of bacteremia with approximately 40-50% of patients having positive blood cultures in research studies. The spirochete bacteria has mechanisms to avoid the human immune systems response. When not treated with effective antibiotics in the early phase of infection Lyme disease is associated with chronic infection and late arthritis in 60% of patients.

Antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease is effective in treating the acute physical signs of skin rash and early manifestations of infection. However, patients may continue to report symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and cognitive dysfunction months to years after antibiotic treatment. This persistent illness is known as Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, and is commonly referred to as chronic Lyme disease by patients.

What is known about Post-treatment Lyme disease Syndrome

Opinions on the Chronic Lyme debate:

A Patient's Perspective: The doctor diagnosed chronic Lyme disease, but many experts say it doesn't exist
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Point: Antibotic Therapy is not the answer for patients with persisting symptoms attributable to Lyme Disease
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Counterpoint: Long-Term Antibiotic Therapy Improves persistent symptoms Associated with Lyme disease
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Critical Needs and Gaps in Understanding Tick-Borne Diseases: Practicing Physician Perspective

Read the remarks of John Aucott, M.D.