Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 138016, 10 pages
Review Article

Relevance of Chronic Lyme Disease to Family Medicine as a Complex Multidimensional Chronic Disease Construct: A Systematic Review

1Department of Family Medicine & Chronic Care, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090 Brussels, Belgium
2Department of General Practice and University Hospitals Leuven, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Kapucijnenvoer 33, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Received 11 July 2014; Accepted 12 November 2014; Published 24 November 2014

Academic Editor: Christos D. Lionis

Copyright © 2014 Liesbeth Borgermans et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lyme disease has become a global public health problem and a prototype of an emerging infection. Both treatment-refractory infection and symptoms that are related to Borrelia burgdorferi infection remain subject to controversy. Because of the absence of solid evidence on prevalence, causes, diagnostic criteria, tools and treatment options, the role of autoimmunity to residual or persisting antigens, and the role of a toxin or other bacterial-associated products that are responsible for the symptoms and signs, chronic Lyme disease (CLD) remains a relatively poorly understood chronic disease construct. The role and performance of family medicine in the detection, integrative treatment, and follow-up of CLD are not well studied either. The purpose of this paper is to describe insights into the complexity of CLD as a multidimensional chronic disease construct and its relevance to family medicine by means of a systematic literature review.