Wiener klinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 130, Issue 15–16, pp 463–467 | Cite as

Management approaches for suspected and established Lyme disease used at the Lyme disease diagnostic center

  • Gary P. WormserEmail author
  • Donna McKenna
  • John Nowakowski
Lyme Borreliosis


2015 marks the 27th year that the Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center, located in New York State in the United States, has provided care for patients with suspected or established deer tick-transmitted infections. There are five deer tick-transmitted infectious in this geographic area of which Lyme disease is the most common.

For patients with erythema migrans, we do not obtain any laboratory testing. However, if the patient is febrile at the time of the visit or reports rigors and high-grade fevers, we consider the possibility of a co-infection and order pertinent laboratory tests.

Our preferred management for Lyme disease-related facial palsy and/or radiculopathy is a 2-week course of doxycycline. Patients who are hospitalized for Lyme meningitis are usually treated at least initially with ceftriaxone. We have not seen convincing cases of encephalitis or myelitis solely due to Borrelia burgdorferi infection in the absence of laboratory evidence of concomitant deer tick virus infection (Powassan virus). We have also never seen Lyme encephalopathy or a diffuse axonal peripheral neuropathy and suggest that these entities are either very rare or nonexistent.

We have found that Lyme disease rarely presents with fever without other objective clinical manifestations. Prior cases attributed to Lyme disease may have overlooked an asymptomatic erythema migrans skin lesion or the diagnosis may have been based on nonspecific IgM seroreactivity. More research is needed on the appropriate management and significance of IgG seropositivity in asymptomatic patients who have no history of Lyme disease.


Lyme disease Borrelia Lyme borreliosis 



The authors thank Lisa Giarratano for assistance. The authors also thank the many physicians, nurses, and medical students who have participated in the care of patients seen at the Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center.

Compliance with ethical standards

An approval by an ethics committee is not applicable to this manuscript.

The manuscript does not contain any patient data thus a statement regarding informed consent is not applicable.

Conflict of interest

Dr. Wormser reports receiving research grants from Immunetics, Inc., Institute for Systems Biology, Rarecyte, Inc., and bioMérieux SA. He owns equity in Abbott; has been an expert witness in malpractice cases involving Lyme disease and babesiosis; and is an unpaid board member of the American Lyme Disease Foundation. Donna McKenna and John Nowakowski—none.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary P. Wormser
    • 1
    Email author
  • Donna McKenna
    • 1
  • John Nowakowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Infectious DiseasesNew York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA

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