Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans via a tick bite. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) claims that Lyme Borreliosis is the most common and fastest growing infectious illness in the United States. The disease can cause a variety of flu-like symptoms such as fever, achy joints, fatigue and headache.
From 1988 to 1994 at Westmead Hospital, 78 (1.8%) of 4,372 from local patients with suspected LD were positive for IgG by ELISA and IFAT. All 78 were tested by WB, using North American and European strains of Borrelia; 46 sera showed one or more bands. None, including those with putative late stage disease, showed more than 4 specific bands and thus were all negative by international criteria. Twenty-four patients with various bacterial, viral or autoimmune syndromes unrelated to LD were tested in parallel and 11/24 showed one or 2 indicative bands. Thus a high degree of cross reactivity was demonstrated with non-LD patients.
The antibiotic therapy of early LD generally results in complete recovery. A 2 week course of oral doxycycline or amoxycillin for Stage I and a third generation cephalosporin for Stage II are the most commonly used regimens. Treatment of late stage LD is less successful and a chronic or relapsing course is common. A third generation cephalosporin for 3 weeks is recommended.
currently enrolling patients into a study on neuroborreliosis: comparison of IV Ceftriaxone for three weeks vs. oral Doximycin for four weeks. Hopefully this study (with control CSF specimens) and long follow-ups of patients also will give us new knowledge on markers of how to identify patients with reactive symptomatology triggered by Lyme neuroborreliosis.