It is distinct from post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, a set of lingering symptoms which may persist after successful treatment chronic lyme arthritis infection with Lyme spirochetes. The symptoms of «chronic Lyme» are generic and non-specific «symptoms of life».
The term is also applied to people who have had the disease in the past and some symptoms remain after antibiotic treatment, which is also called post-Lyme disease syndrome. A third and controversial use of the term applies to patients with nonspecific symptoms, such as fatigue, who show no objective evidence they have been infected with Lyme disease in the past, since the standard diagnostic tests for infection are negative. In some cases, these can last for more than 6 months. Lyme disease and were treated. While it is undisputed people can have severe symptoms, the cause and appropriate treatment are controversial. The authors concluded, «There is no scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that such spirochetes, should they exist in humans, are the cause of post-Lyme disease syndrome. Lyme disease, and advise against long-term antibiotic treatment as ineffective and possibly harmful.
Prolonged antibiotic therapy presents significant risks and can have dangerous side effects. It has questioned the generalizability and reliability of some of the above trials and the reliability of the current diagnostic tests. While there is general agreement on the optimal treatment for early Lyme disease, there is considerable controversy over the existence, prevalence, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of «chronic» Lyme disease. Lyme disease is used by a few physicians despite a lack of «reproducible or convincing scientific evidence», leading the authors to describe this diagnosis as «the latest in a series of syndromes that have been postulated in an attempt to attribute medically unexplained symptoms to particular infections.