University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Treatment trials for post-Lyme disease symptoms revisited

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Anti-Bacterial Agents; *Borrelia burgdorferi; Chronic Disease; Clinical Trials as Topic; Humans; Lyme Disease; Treatment Outcome


Bacterial Infections and Mycoses


The authors of 4 National Institutes of Health-sponsored antibiotic treatment trials of patients with persistent unexplained symptoms despite previous antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease determined that retreatment provides little if any benefit and carries significant risk. Two groups recently provided an independent reassessment of these trials and concluded that prolonged courses of antibiotics are likely to be helpful. We have carefully considered the points raised by these groups, along with our own critical review of the treatment trials. On the basis of this analysis, the conclusion that there is a meaningful clinical benefit to be gained from retreatment of such patients with parenteral antibiotic therapy cannot be justified.


Borrelia burgdorferi, Clinical trials, Lyme disease, Post-Lyme disease syndrome

DOI of Published Version



Am J Med. 2013 Aug;126(8):665-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.02.014. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of medicine

PubMed ID