Critical appraisal of chronic Lyme Disease

The New England Journal of Medicine (4 October 2007) has just published:

 

‘A critical appraisal of "Chronic Lyme Disease"

 


by Henry Feder (Depts of Family Medicine and Paediatrics, University of Connecticut Health Centre, Farmington, USA) et al

 

This appraisal comes to the controversial conclusions that:

 

Chronic Lyme disease is the latest in a series of syndromes that have been postulated in an attempt to attribute medically unexplained symptoms to particular infections.  Other examples that have now lost credibility are "chronic candida syndrome" and "chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection".  The assumption that chronic, subjective symptoms are caused by persistent infection with B.burgdorferi is not supported by carefully conducted laboratory studies or by controlled treatment trials.  Chronic Lyme disease, which is equated with chronic B.burgdorferi infection, is a misnomer, and the use of prolonged, dangerous, and expensive antibiotic treatment for it is not warranted.

 

Ref:  New England Journal of Medicine; 357: 1422 – 1430.

 

Dr Charles Shepherd

Medical Adviser, The ME Association

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