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A Review of Lyme Arthritis in Children

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The Lyme arthritis is a common manifestation of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete. Despite its infectious background, the inflammation clinically and histopatologically resembles juvenile idiopathic arthritis. As it affects a considerable number of Lyme disease patients, it should be routinely considered in differential diagnosis.
Development of arthritis is partially dependent on spirochetal factors, including the ribosomal spacer type and the sequence of outer surface protein C. Immunological background involves Th1-related response, but IL-17 provides an additional route of developing arthritis. Autoimmune mechanisms may lead to antibiotic-refractory arthritis.
The current diagnostic standard is based on a 2-step testing: ELISA screening and immunoblot confirmation. Other suggested methods contain modified two-tier test with C6 ELISA instead of immunoblot. An initial 28-day course of oral antibiotics (doxycycline, cefuroxime axetil or amoxicillin) is a recommended treatment.
Severe cases require further anti-inflammatory management. Precise investigation of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches is advisable.
Source:  By Orczyk K1, Swidrowska-Jaros J1, Smolewska E2.  When a patient suspected with juvenile idiopathic arthritis turns out to be diagnosed with an infectious disease – a review of Lyme arthritis in children. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2017 May 8;15(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s12969-017-0166-0.

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