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Archived Comments for: Efficacy and safety of pharmacological treatments for neuroborreliosis—protocol for a systematic review

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  1. Inadequate database for this work

    mark johnson, Lyme Disease Assn.

    20 November 2014

    There have not been adequate numbers of studies with sufficient enrollment to determine efficacy and safety of treatment for lyme.  Nor have those with largest patient load been published.  Therefore, the published literature is going to be very skewed and no valid conclusions can be drawn at this time.

    Competing interests

    None declared
  2. Plea for information on unpublished trials

    Rick Dersch, German Cochrane Centre, Medical Center¿University of Freiburg

    12 December 2014

    Dear Sir,

    Scarcity of available data is a challenge for drawing valid conclusions in systematic reviews, especially when dissemination bias (also known as publication bias) is suspected. Results derived from a limited body of evidence should be evaluated with caution. Existence of dissemination bias may considerably lower the confidence one could have in the results of systematic reviews. Data from unpublished studies may well significantly change effect estimates and may lead to different conclusions.

    The amount of studies focusing on treatment of lyme neuroborreliosis is very likely limited. However, in the light of inconsistent treatment recommendations, it seems necessary to summarize and evaluate the existing evidence to enable optimal recommendations based on the best available evidence. As outlined in our published protocol, we plan, in an attempt to reduce dissemination bias, to search for unpublished and ongoing studies in clinical trial registers. So far, however, we were unable to identify completed but unpublished studies in our preliminary searches in clinical trial registries. Even more so, we would be highly interested in large unpublished trials on pharmacological treatments of lyme neuroborreliosis. If other researchers in this field are aware of such trials, we would highly appreciate any information on these trials. We would be very pleased to include data from these trials in our review.

    R Dersch, J J Meerpohl, S Rauer

    Competing interests

    SR reports receiving consulting and lecture fees, grant and research support from Bayer Vital GmbH, Biogen Idec, Merck Serono, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Baxter, RG, and Teva. Furthermore, SR indicates that he is a founding executive board member of ravo Diagnostika GmbH. All other authors declare that they have no competing interests.