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Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Oct 30;65(10):1689-1694. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix605.

Depressive Symptoms in Patients Referred to a Tertiary Lyme Center: High Prevalence in Those Without Evidence of Lyme Borreliosis.

Author information

Lyme Center Apeldoorn.
Internal Medicine.
Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention.
Neurology, Gelre Hospital, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.



Controversy exists whether mood disorders, such as depression, are associated with Lyme borreliosis (LB). The study objective was to assess prevalence of depressive symptoms in subgroups of patients referred to a tertiary Lyme center, to investigate whether depressive symptoms can be used in clinical practice to discriminate for LB.


This cohort study included adult patients who visited a tertiary Lyme center between January 2008 and December 2014. Prior to medical consultation, serum samples were taken and the Beck Depression Inventory II was completed to assess depressive symptoms. Lyme diagnosis was retrospectively extracted from the patient's medical record. Patients were classified based on clinical LB and serology results. Prevalence of moderate/severe depressive symptoms was calculated. Using logistic regression, odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for moderate/severe depressive symptoms.


In total, 1454 patients were included. Prevalence of moderate/severe depressive symptoms was lowest in patients with no clinical LB and positive serology (15.3%), higher in patients with clinical LB with positive and negative serology (19.3% and 20.9% respectively), and highest in patients with no clinical LB and negative serology (29.3%). The odds ratio for moderate/severe depressive symptoms in patients with LB and positive serology was 0.71 (95% CI, .50-1.03) compared to patients with no LB and negative serology.


The prevalence of depressive symptoms was similar in patients with LB compared to patients with no evidence of infection. This suggests that depressive symptoms cannot be used to discriminate for LB in a tertiary Lyme center.


Beck Depression Inventory II; Lyme borreliosis; depression; prevalence

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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