Lyme disease is a huge problem in many parts of the United States, with thousands infected each year. Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, and is transmitted to humans and animals during the bite of a deer tick.
While about 80% of people with Lyme disease can be treated easily with a course of antibiotics within weeks of the tick bite, up to 20% will still have problems. While there is much controversy over why this is happening, there growing evidence that it it might be due to the existence of drug-tolerant Borrelia burgdorferi "persisters".
A recent study found that azlocillin (an acylated form of ampicillin which is similar to the antibiotics mezlocillin and piperacillin) successfully kills the persister bacteria. Just keep in mind that the study was done in the lab and mice, and not yet on people.
But the researchers are so excited with the results that they are patenting the compound. So it's early days, yet there seems to be potential. Stay tuned...