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Lyme neuroborreliosis in HIV-1 positive men successfully treated with oral doxycycline: a case series and literature review.

Journal article
Authors Daniel Bremell
Christer Säll
Magnus Gisslén
Lars Hagberg
Published in Journal of medical case reports
Volume 5
Issue 465
ISSN 1752-1947
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Language en
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Lyme neuroborreliosis is the most common bacterial central nervous system infection in the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. Even though human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -1 infection is common in Lyme borreliosis endemic areas, only five cases of co-infection have previously been published. Four of these cases presented with typical Lyme neuroborreliosis symptoms such as meningoradiculitis and facial palsy, while a fifth case had more severe symptoms of encephalomyelitis. All five were treated with intravenous cephalosporins and clinical outcome was good for all but the fifth case Case presentations: We present four patients with concomitant presence of HIV-1 infection and Lyme neuroborreliosis diagnosed in Western Sweden. Patient 1 was a 60-year-old Caucasian man with radicular pain and cognitive impairment. Patient 2 was a 39-year-old Caucasian man with headaches, leg weakness, and pontine infarction. Patient 3 was a 62-year-old Caucasian man with headaches, tremor, vertigo, and normal-pressure hydrocephalus. Patient 4 was a 50-year-old Caucasian man with radicular pain and peripheral facial palsy. Patients one, two, and three all had subnormal levels of CD4 cells, indicating impaired immunity. All patients were treated with oral doxycycline with good clinical outcome and normalization of CSF pleocytosis. CONCLUSION: Given the low HIV-1 prevalence and medium incidence of Lyme neuroborreliosis in Western Sweden where these four cases were diagnosed, co-infection with HIV-1 and Borrelia is probably more common than previously thought. The three patients that were the most immunocompromised suffered from more severe and rather atypical neurological symptoms than are usually described among patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis. It is therefore important for doctors treating HIV patients to consider Lyme neuroborreliosis in a patient presenting with atypical neurological symptoms. All four patients were treated with oral doxycycline with a good outcome, further proving the efficacy of this regime.

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