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Lyme disease is a rapidly emerging infectious
disease and there are still many unanswered questions with respect to appropriate laboratory tests required for diagnosis of early
Lyme disease, types of antimicrobials required for treatment and duration of therapy. A qualitative systematic review was used to summarise the existing data for the treatment of early
Lyme disease. Eleven antibacterial therapy trials and 3 cost-effectiveness analyses met the inclusion criteria for this review. Antibacterial regimens that have been studied include phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin V), amoxicillin, amoxicillin/probenecid, tetracycline, doxycycline, cefuroxime axetil, erythromycin, roxithromycin, azithromycin and ceftriaxone. The data support the use of oral beta-lactam antibacterials [phenoxymethylpenicillin (penicillin V), amoxicillin, cefuroxime axetil] and oral tetracyclines as effective first-line treatment modalities for early
Lyme disease. Oral macrolides are considered second-line agents as their clinical efficacy has been less than that of the beta-lactams and tetracyclines. Courses of therapy ranging from 10 to 21 days are supported by the available evidence, although the optimal duration of therapy is unknown.