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Response to treatment with antibiotics was compared with serologic reactivity and clinical symptoms in a pediatric population with presumptive diagnoses of
Lyme borreliosis. The population analyzed for this study consisted of a subset of a larger
Lyme clinic population being monitored as part of a prospective study on pediatric
Lyme borreliosis. All patients resided in an area in which Ixodes scapularis and Borrelia burgdorferi are considered endemic. Serum from patients was tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting. Response to antibiotics was evaluated by members of a pediatric
Lyme clinic. Results showed that positive serologic test results correlate with a favorable response to antibiotics, as does the presence of erythema migrans (EM), regardless of serologic status. Seronegative patients without EM had chronic fatigue and arthralgia and/or myalgia as primary symptoms and did not respond to antibiotics, even when multiple courses of treatment were given. These results indicate that serologic tests designed to have high specificity can reliably rule out
Lyme borreliosis in patients with chronic symptoms, thus preventing unnecessary treatment with antibiotics.