Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi in experimentally infected dogs after antibiotic treatment.

 J Clin Microbiol. 1997 January; 35(1): 111–116. Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi in 
experimentally infected dogs after antibiotic treatment.  R K Straubinger, B A Summers, Y F 
Chang, and M J Appel  Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell 
University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. rks4@cornell.edu
In specific-pathogen-free dogs experimentally infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by tick exposure, 
treatment with high doses of amoxicillin or doxycycline for 30 days diminished but failed to 
eliminate persistent infection. Although joint disease was prevented or cured in five of five 
amoxicillin- and five of six doxycycline-treated dogs, skin punch biopsies and multiple tissues 
from necropsy samples remained PCR positive and B. burgdorferi was isolated from one 
amoxicillin- and two doxycycline-treated dogs following antibiotic treatment. In contrast, B. 
burgdorferi was isolated from six of six untreated infected control dogs and joint lesions were 
found in four of these six dogs.Serum antibody levels to B. burgdorferi in all dogs declined 
after antibiotic treatment. Negative antibody levels were reached in four of six doxycycline- 
and four of six amoxicillin-treated dogs. However, in dogs that were kept in isolation for 6 
months after antibiotic treatment was discontinued, antibody levels began to rise again, 
presumably in response to proliferation of the surviving pool of spirochetes. Antibody levels 
in untreated infected control dogs remained high




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