Posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2015 Jun;29(2):309-23. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2015.02.012.


The prognosis following appropriate antibiotic treatment of early or late Lyme disease is favorable but can be complicated by persistent symptoms of unknown cause termed posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS), characterized by fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and cognitive complaints that persist for 6 months or longer after completion of antibiotic therapy. Risk factors include delayed diagnosis, increased severity of symptoms, and presence of neurologic symptoms at time of initial treatment. Two-tier serologic testing is neither sensitive nor specific for diagnosis of PTLDS because of variability in convalescent serologic responses after treatment of early Lyme disease. Optimal treatment of PTLDS awaits more precise understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in this illness and future treatment trials.

Keywords: Fatigue; Fibromyalgia; Musculoskeletal pain; Persistent symptoms; Posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / complications*
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis
  • Lyme Disease / drug therapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Syndrome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents