BMC veterinary research

In vitro susceptibility of Borrelia burgdorferi isolates to three antibiotics commonly used for treating equine Lyme disease.

PMID 28962614


Lyme disease in humans is predominantly treated with tetracycline, macrolides or beta lactam antibiotics that have low minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) against Borrelia burgdorferi. Horses with Lyme disease may require long-term treatment making frequent intravenous or intramuscular treatment difficult and when administered orally those drugs may have either a high incidence of side effects or have poor bioavailability. The aim of the present study was to determine the in vitro susceptibility of three B. burgdorferi isolates to three antibiotics of different classes that are commonly used in practice for treating Borrelia infections in horses. Broth microdilution assays were used to determine minimum inhibitory concentration of three antibiotics (ceftiofur sodium, minocycline and metronidazole), for three Borrelia burgdorferi isolates. Barbour-Stoner-Kelly (BSK K + R) medium with a final inoculum of 10 The MIC against B. burgorferi varied among the three antibiotics with ceftiofur having the lowest MIC and metronidazole the highest MIC. The MIC values observed for ceftiofur in the study fall within the range of reported serum and tissue concentrations for the drug metabolite following ceftiofur sodium administration as crystalline-free acid. Minocycline and metronidazole treatments, as currently used in equine practice, could fall short of attaining MIC concentrations for B. burgdorferi.

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Ceftiofur, VETRANAL, analytical standard