Lyme Disease Studies

Do you have Lyme disease?

Warm weather brings outdoor fun and also the risk of tick bites, which can cause Lyme disease. The Lyme disease rash is usually round or oval and gradually expands. It may be all red or have a bull’s-eye appearance. If untreated, the infection may spread to other parts of the body and cause other problems, including paralysis of the face (called facial palsy); severe headaches and neck stiffness because of meningitis; heart palpitations and dizziness because of changes in heartbeat; and intermittent bouts of arthritis, with joint pain and swelling, particularly involving the knees.

If you suspect that you have Lyme disease, you may be eligible to participate in one of the research studies currently underway at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The studies offer evaluation, therapy, and follow up to patients with Lyme disease in hopes of learning more about the infection.

Basic Facts About the Studies

The studies are located in the Clinical Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Some travel costs may be covered.

There is no cost for study-related medical care or medicines.

People can be referred to a clinical trial by their personal physicians, or they can refer themselves.

Compensation is provided for participation in some of the studies.

Current Clinical Research Studies Seeking Volunteers

The following are selected clinical trials sponsored by NIAID and researching various aspects of Lyme disease. For more information about the studies you may click on the links, call 1-800-411-1010, or email lymedxstudies@niaid.nih.gov.

15-I-0131: Xenodiagnosis After Antibiotic Treatment for Lyme Disease 

This NIH study is seeking volunteers to determine whether Borrelia burgdorferi can be detected in people who have Lyme disease or who have a history of Lyme disease and have received antibiotic therapy. Borrelia burgdorferi is the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Most cases of Lyme disease are cured by antibiotics, but some people continue to experience symptoms despite the absence of detectable Lyme bacteria. This study uses a process known as xenodiagnoses, where clean laboratory-bred ticks are used to find Lyme disease bacteria in patients.

05-I-0219: Analysis of Lyme Disease Lesions 

Do you have a red rash that is round or oval and is gradually expanding? Is it all red or have a bull’s eye appearance? It could be Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States. Help us fight it! This study is researching what happens in the skin when a person is bitten by a tick and develops the Lyme disease rash, also known as an erythema migrans or bull’s-eye rash. If you have the Lyme disease rash you may be eligible to participate.

02-I-0055: Evaluation, Treatment, and Follow-up of Patients with Lyme Disease 

If you suspect that you have Lyme disease or have been recently diagnosed, you may be eligible to participate in this research study. Participation in the study offers an evaluation, therapy, and follow-up to patients with Lyme disease in hopes of learning more about the infection.

96-I-0052: Evaluation of Lyme Disease: Clinical, Microbiological and Immunological Characteristics 

Have you been diagnosed with Lyme disease and have completed antibiotic treatment, yet continue to experience symptoms? You may be eligible to participate in our research study. This study evaluates people with ongoing symptoms such as headache, fatigue, sleep disorders, memory and concentration difficulties, or arthritis with joint swelling. You may also be eligible if you were diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease and recovered from the infection.

Content last reviewed on April 10, 2017