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We randomly assigned 21 patients with painful
Lyme neuroborreliosis radiculitis (Bannwarth’s syndrome) and neuroborreliosis meningitis to a 10-day treatment with either penicillin G. 4 x 5 million U/d (n = 10) or cefotaxime sodium, 3 x 2 g/d (n = 11), intravenously. We were not able to demonstrate clinical differences between groups, either during the 10-day treatment period or at follow-up examination a mean of 7.7 months after antibiotic therapy. Cerebrospinal fluid cefotaxime concentrations reached the minimum inhibitory concentration at the 90% level for Borrelia burgdorferi in all patients, while none of the patients treated with penicillin G had cerebrospinal fluid concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration at the 90% value. We conclude that patients with acute neurologic manifestations of
Lyme borreliosis may benefit from a 10-day treatment with cefotaxime or penicillin G. Cerebrospinal fluid antibiotic concentrations above the minimum inhibitory concentration at the 90% value, as observed in all patients treated with cefotaxime, offer the most hope for long-term prognosis.