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Evidence-Based Dermatology: Research Commentary
June 2001

Lyme Disease Has a Favorable Prognosis

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(6):790-791. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-137-6-deb10003

Long-Term Outcomes of Persons With Lyme Disease

Seltzer EG, Gerber MA, Cartter ML, Freudigman K, Shapiro ED

JAMA. 2000;283:609-616

Lyme disease is a systemic, tick-borne disease (the most common vector-borne illness in the United States) with protean manifestations, including dermatologic, rheumatologic, neurologic, and cardiac abnormalities. The best clinical marker for the disease is the initial skin lesion, erythema migrans, that occurs in 60% to 80% of patients.1 The diagnosis is based on a characteristic clinical picture in the appropriate epidemiological setting. The specificity of available serologic tests is low. Disparate opinions have been generated about the long-term consequences of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that is the causative infectious agent: many authors believe that Lyme disease is difficult to treat, and a post–Lyme syndrome has been described in a case-control study with a small and particularly selected sample.2 The aim of this community-based retrospective cohort study was to assess the long-term outcomes of patients with Lyme disease.

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