Lyme Disease Patient Outcomes and Experiences; A Retrospective Cohort Study
Lyme disease is a vector-borne illness caused by Borrelia spp. bacterium spread by ticks to humans and other mammals. Despite being prevalent in many regions of the world, there remains considerable uncertainty surrounding many aspects of the disease, and consensus on the most appropriate and effective means of treating the illness remains to be achieved. Recommendations published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), the primary guidelines followed by health care professionals treating Lyme disease, diverge in many of their key recommendations, including treatment duration. Given this lack of consensus, surprisingly little research has been conducted on patient outcomes following different treatment approaches. In this study, patient outcomes were evaluated from a cohort of 210 Canadian Lyme disease patients seeking treatment at one US Lyme disease clinic following a treatment regimen conforming to the ILADS treatment guidelines. It was found that the majority of Lyme disease patients at the clinic responded positively to treatment and a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in symptoms was observed over time. This study, along with related studies, may help to guide physicians to provide their patients with the most effective care.