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Med Mal Infect. 2019 Mar;49(2):157-166. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2019.01.008. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Management of patients presenting with generalized musculoskeletal pain and a suspicion of Lyme disease.

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FHU INOVPAIN, centre d'évaluation et de traitement de la douleur, CHU de Timone, pôle de neurosciences cliniques, 13005 Marseille, France.
IRD, SSA, VITROME, IHU - méditerranée infection, Aix-Marseille université, AP-HM, 13005 Marseille, France.
IRD, MEPHI, IHU - méditerranée infection, Aix-Marseille université, AP-HM, 19-21, boulevard Jean-Moulin, 13005 Marseille, France. Electronic address:


Lyme disease is caused by bacteria of the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex, and can give polymorphic clinical manifestations that can affect several organs such as the skin, the central nervous system, or the joints. In recent years, patients' associations and physicians have been supporting the hypothesis that this infection would manifest as chronic generalized musculoskeletal pain symptoms, named "chronic Lyme disease". Fibromyalgia is a clinical presentation characterized by chronic generalized musculoskeletal pain with a major impact on quality of life and social and psychological functioning. We analyzed existing literature data on pain syndromes associated with Lyme disease (post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome) or tick bites (polymorphic symptoms after a tick bite). We also analyzed existing data on the diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of fibromyalgia. Our review shows that post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome has characteristics very close to post-infectious fibromyalgia. On the other hand, patients presenting for Lyme disease screening because of chronic generalized musculoskeletal pain symptoms after a tick bite should also be screened for fibromyalgia to allow appropriate management. Antibiotics are not recommended here.


Borrelia; Fibromyalgia; Fibromyalgie; Lyme disease; Lyme tardif post-thérapeutique; Maladie de Lyme; Post-treatment lyme disease syndrome

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