Lyme disease often misdiagnosed and treated by pediatricians

Although Lyme disease (LD) has become more common over recent years and children are among the more frequently affected subjects, pediatricians do not follow guidelines concerning the identification and treatment of patients infected by Borrelia burgdorferi.

Researchers from the Universita degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy, performed a retrospective analysis of the charts of 160 children (91 males; mean age 7.96 +/-3.49 years) with symptoms of LD and a serologic confirmation of antibodies against B. burgdorferi. Among them, 72 (45%) had a history of tick bite. Clinical presentations were erythema migrans in 130 cases (81.3%), arthritis in 24 (15.0%), and neuroborreliosis in 6 (3.8%). 

Serology was performed 6-43 days after clinical presentation. ELISA test was positive in all the cases, but it was not confirmed by WI in 97 children (60.6%). Adequate treatment for type of drug prescribed occurred in 61 cases (38.1%), but only in 36 (22.5%) was it prescribed for an adequate period.