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Keywords:

  • antibiotic therapy;
  • Bannwarth syndrome;
  • European;
  • infections;
  • Lyme neuroborreliosis

Background:  Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is a nervous system infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bb).

Objectives:  To present evidence-based recommendations for diagnosis and treatment.

Methods:  Data were analysed according to levels of evidence as suggested by EFNS.

Recommendations:  The following three criteria should be fulfilled for definite LNB, and two of them for possible LNB: (i) neurological symptoms; (ii) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis; (iii) Bb-specific antibodies produced intrathecally. PCR and CSF culture may be corroborative if symptom duration is <6 weeks, when Bb antibodies may be absent. PCR is otherwise not recommended. There is also not enough evidence to recommend the following tests for diagnostic purposes: microscope-based assays, chemokine CXCL13, antigen detection, immune complexes, lymphocyte transformation test, cyst formation, lymphocyte markers. Adult patients with definite or possible acute LNB (symptom duration <6 months) should be offered a single 14-day course of antibiotic treatment. Oral doxycycline (200 mg daily) and intravenous (IV) ceftriaxone (2 g daily) are equally effective in patients with symptoms confined to the peripheral nervous system, including meningitis (level A). Patients with CNS manifestations should be treated with IV ceftriaxone (2 g daily) for 14 days and late LNB (symptom duration >6 months) for 3 weeks (good practice points). Children should be treated as adults, except that doxycycline is contraindicated under 8 years of age (nine in some countries). If symptoms persist for more than 6 months after standard treatment, the condition is often termed post-Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS). Antibiotic therapy has no impact on PLDS (level A).