• Kristin Bird
  • James R. O’Dell
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


The tetracyclines are a group of antibiotics discovered in the 1940s that were quickly recognized for their effectiveness against a variety of microorganisms. These drugs remain important for treatment of infections caused by mycoplasma, rickettsiae, Chlamydia, and some spirochetes. Tetracyclines were initially proposed as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) based on the belief that the disease may be caused or triggered by an infectious etiology [1, 2]. It is clear there is a link between infection and certain cases of polyarthritis related to hepatitis C, parvovirus, and Lyme disease. Although an infectious cause of RA has not been demonstrated, the role of the tetracycline family in treating RA has been re-examined due to the discovery of the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of these agents.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Lyme Disease Minocycline Treatment Minocycline Group Severe Exfoliative Dermatitis 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin Bird
    • 1
  • James R. O’Dell
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of RheumatologyCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Section of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine Residency Training Program983025 University of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA

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