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A recent study led by Dr. Monica Embers details important research on Lyme disease treatment. Combination therapies show increased efficacy in eliminating the disease, paving the way for new treatment options.

In a recent laboratory investigation documented in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Microbiology, researchers, led by Dr. Monica Embers from Tulane University, disclosed findings on seven combination therapies that demonstrated heightened efficacy in persistent Lyme disease in mice compared to conventional single antibiotic regimens. 

To start, the study explores the limitations of current monotherapy (single drug treatment) approaches, such as doxycycline or amoxicillin, and investigates the potential of combination therapies to eliminate persistent Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease. 

The researchers conducted experiments on mice infected with the Lyme bacteria, testing various drug combinations to determine efficacy in eradicating the infection. They found that monotherapy often failed to completely eliminate Borrelia burgdorferi, while certain combinations, including combinations of ceftriaxone & doxycycline, cefotaxime & doxycycline, and other dapsone combinations showed promising results in clearing the infection. 

The study emphasizes the need for further investigation into combination therapies as an alternative approach to monotherapy for disseminated chronic Lyme disease, which could potentially prevent chronic or post treatment Lyme. The researchers acknowledge the challenges, including limited preclinical evidence for efficacy, and suggest that the highlighted combination therapies, especially ceftriaxone & doxycycline and dapsone combinations, warrant further exploration before considering human trials. 

The research also discusses the importance of considering different strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, variations in plasmids (the genetic material that encodes the Lyme bacterium’s proteins), and bacterial genetic diversity in future studies. Additionally, the study highlights the necessity of testing these combinations against other strains of Borrelia and conducting further research in non-human primates before moving into human clinical trials.

Overall, the findings underscore the potential of combination therapies in addressing a persistent Lyme infection, and the need for continued research in this endeavor. (Embers et al., Frontiers in Microbiology, 2023).


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