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ILADS > Evidence-Based Definition of Chronic Lyme Disease Published in Antibiotics Journal


The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) announced that their paper “Chronic Lyme Disease: An Evidence-Based Definition by the ILADS Working Group” has been published in the journal “Antibiotics” as part of the special issue “Antibiotics Resistance of Borrelia.” The authors of the paper are Dr. Samuel Shor, Dr. Christine Green, Dr. Beatrice Szantyr, Dr. Steven Phillips, Dr. Kenneth Liegner, Dr. Joseph Burrascano, Jr., Dr. Robert Bransfield, and Dr. Elizabeth L. Maloney.

The paper, published on December 16, 2019, provides the evidence‐based definition of chronic Lyme disease (CLD). The article is available via the following link:

ILADS defines CLD as a multisystem illness with a wide range of symptoms that are either continuously or intermittently present for a minimum of six months. CLD is the result of an active and ongoing infection by any of several pathogenic members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex (Bbsl). The ILADS Working Group conducted a systematic review of over 250 peer-reviewed papers to characterize the clinical spectrum of CLD. This evidence‐based definition of CLD clarifies the term’s meaning, and the review validates that chronic and ongoing Bbsl infections can result in chronic disease. The use of this CLD definition will promote a better understanding of the infection and facilitate future research.

Samuel Shor, MD, lead author, says, “In establishing the scientific basis of our definition, ILADS rejects claims that chronic Lyme disease does not exist and we encourage researchers to take up the work that will ultimately improve outcomes and patients’ lives.”

ILADS is a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary medical society dedicated to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme and its associated diseases. ILADS promotes the understanding of tick-borne diseases through research and education, and it strongly supports those physicians and other healthcare professionals who are dedicated to advancing the standard of care for Lyme and its associated diseases.


Barbara Buchman
Executive Director, ILADS