Lyme arthritis is one of the most common clinical manifestations of
Lyme borreliosis. It is caused by an intraarticular infection with Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi. A small number of bacteria are liable to provoke severe arthritis by inducing mechanisms (including the induction of cytokines and chemokines) that amplify the inflammatory response. The cellular immune response against B. burgdorferi is characterised by a predominant T helper cell type 1 (Th1) pattern that appears to be inadequate to overcome the infection. In most cases,
Lyme arthritis may be cured by antibiotic therapy. A brief summary of current recommendations for the treatment of
Lyme arthritis in adults and children is given in this article. However, about 10% of
Lyme arthritis patients do not respond sufficiently to antibiotic treatment. Two not mutually exclusive pathogenetic concepts of these treatment-resistant cases will be discussed in the present study: persistent infection and infection-induced immunopathology.