The Controversies, Challenges and Complexities of Lyme Disease: A Narrative Review

J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2018;21(1):429-436. doi: 10.18433/jpps30254.


Purpose: Lyme disease has become an increasingly important global public health concern.

Method: A narrative review was conducted and designed to present a broad perspective on Lyme disease, and describe its history and development in terms of clinical care and public health implications. A structured literature search was conducted based on the question; what is currently known about Lyme disease?

Results: The narrative review is presented in chronological order in terms of a summary of the history of Lyme disease, the complexities of clinical diagnosis, the problematic interpretation of serologic testing, the conflicting guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and management of chronic Lyme, and benefits of antibiotic treatment.

Conclusion: Despite growing global incidence of the Lyme disease, treatment has not attracted pharmaceutical investment, and the evidence base and international guidelines for treatment and management of chronic Lyme continue to be conflicting and controversial. The challenges of this immune mediated tick borne disease for public health policy and clinical practice are summarised, alongside directions for future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / diagnosis
  • Lyme Disease / drug therapy*
  • Lyme Disease / immunology
  • Serologic Tests


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents