What is Chronic Lyme Disease?

The sooner that treatment is begun after the start of an infection, i.e after a bite from an infected tick, the higher the success rate. Untreated or undertreated infections will inevitably resurface as chronic Lyme, with its tremendous problems of morbidity (state of being diseased or unhealthy) and difficultly with diagnosis and treatment and high cost in every sense of the word. (Burrasscano, J, Jr. M.D., 2008) .

Dr. Joseph Burrascano offered the following definition of Chronic Lyme disease in 2008, (Burrasscano, J, Jr. M.D., 2008)

  1. Illness present for at least one year (this is approximately when immune breakdown attains clinically significant levels).
  2. Have persistent major neurologic involvement (such as encephalitis / encephalopathy. Meningitis etc.) or active arthritic manifestations (active synovitis)
  3. Still have active infection with Borrelia Burgdorfer (Bb) regardless of priori antibiotic therapy (if any).

Chronic Lyme is an altogether different illness than earlier stages, mainly because of the inhibitory effect on the immune system. (Burrascano, J, Jr M.D. 2008)

Find out about Co-infections with Lyme disease.


Burrascano Jr. M.D., D. (2008). Advanced Topics in Lyme Diease. 16th Ed.
McFadzeab, N. and Burrascano, J. (2012) The beginner’s guide to lyme disease. South Lake Tahoe, Calif: BioMed Publishing Group.