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We compared the efficacy of three antibiotics (ceftriaxone, erythromycin and clarithromycin) against Borrelia garinii infection in mice. The nymphal ticks of Ixodes persulcatus infected with the strain JEM6 of Japanese B. garinii were allowed to feed on female C3H mice. The mice were treated with each of the antibiotics for 5 consecutive days 1, 3, or 7 weeks after tick detachment. The doses of antibiotics per day were as follows: 5 mg intraperitoneal injection of ceftriaxone, 2 mg intraperitoneal injection of erythromycin and 1 mg peroral administration of clarithromycin. The infection status in treated mice was monitored by culturing their earlobes, hearts and urinary bladders in BSK II medium. Ceftriaxone eliminated borreliae completely; however, a recurrence of infection was observed in mice treated with erythromycin and clarithromycin.