Clinical manifestations of Lyme neuroborreliosis in children: a review

Bruinsma, R.A., Zomer, T.P., Skogman, B.H. et al. Clinical manifestations of Lyme neuroborreliosis in children: a review. Eur J Pediatr 182, 1965–1976 (2023).

Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is a manifestation of Lyme disease involving the central and peripheral nervous system. It is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted by tick bites to a human host. Clinical signs of LNB develop after the dissemination of the pathogen to the nervous system. The infection occurs in children and adults, but the clinical manifestations differ. In adults, painful meningoradicultis is the most common manifestation of LNB, while children often present with facial nerve palsy and/or subacute meningitis. Subacute headache can be the only manifestation of LNB in children, especially during the summer months in Lyme disease-endemic regions. Non-specific symptoms, such as loss of appetite, fatigue or mood changes, may also occur, especially in young children. A high level of suspicion and early recognition of the various clinical manifestations presented by children with LNB is essential to minimize delay in diagnosis and optimize management. This review provides an overview of the spectrum of clinical manifestations, and discusses diagnosis, antibiotic treatment, and clinical outcome of LNB in children.

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