Clinical association: Lyme disease and Guillain-Barre syndrome

Am J Emerg Med. 2017 Oct;35(10):1583.e1-1583.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2017.07.030. Epub 2017 Jul 8.


Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a life-threatening condition in which patients may present to the Emergency Department in respiratory distress leading to death. The early identification and treatment of such a condition is paramount in preventing mortality. While there are many infections associated with GBS, the association with Lyme disease is uncommon. Through our case we aim to highlight Borrelia burgdorferi as an important antecedent infection associated with the development of GBS. In this case we report a 31-year-old male who was diagnosed with Lyme disease and GBS with relevant clinical presentation including progressive numbness and weakness in bilateral hands and feet for the past 1week along with areflexia. Initiation of medical therapy with intravenous immunoglobulin and parenteral ceftriaxone resulted in resolution of his symptoms. The treatment of both diseases early can help prevent further central nervous complications leading to high morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: Guillain-Barre syndrome; Lyme disease; Neuropathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Ceftriaxone / administration & dosage
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Electromyography
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / complications*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / administration & dosage
  • Immunologic Factors / administration & dosage
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lyme Disease / complications*
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis
  • Lyme Disease / drug therapy
  • Male


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Ceftriaxone