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The diagnosis of
Lyme disease is easy on the basis of clinical features only when it combines migrans chronic erythema, severe root pain affecting the limbs and facial paralysis, above all when bilateral. When pain is transient and slight and when erythema and the tick bite are absent facial paralysis may be mistaken for Bell’s palsy. The risk is that of failing to recognise
Lyme disease which may subsequently manifest itself as severe neurologic complications minimally sensitive to antibiotics. The multicenter study envisaged is designed to determine the incidence of Borrelia burgdorferi seroconversion in all individuals with a non-traumatic peripheral facial paralysis seen between 1.1.90 and 12.31.90. Serology is difficult to interpret on an individual basis. A large series will be necessary in order to be able to draw reliable conclusions. Two control series will be used: one consisting of a sub-group of facial paralyses with herpes zoster vesicles and the other based upon pairing of two control sera for each Borrelia burgdorferi positive serum. This should show whether
Lyme disease need really be feared in presence of an apparently isolated FP.