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The efficacy of antibiotic treatment of 117 patients with erythema chronicum migrans of
Lyme disease was evaluated in terms of the necessity for retreatment and the prevention of the late manifestations of
Lyme disease. Fifty-six patients with a minor form of the illness did not require retreatment and did not develop late manifestations following antibiotic treatment. Three pregnant patients were included in this group. Fourteen of sixty-one patients with a major form of the illness required retreatment, and five developed posttreatment late manifestations of
Lyme disease consisting of Bell’s palsy and persistent joint pain. Although the preferred antibiotic for treating erythema chronicum migrans of
Lyme disease has not been conclusively established, tetracycline and penicillin proved effective. The use of probenecid plus penicillin may be of benefit to patients with the major form of the illness.