Lyme disease patients are being warned against undergoing a form of treatment that involves injections of blood from malaria victims.

New York City Health Commissioner Woodrow Myers Jr. said the treatment, known as "malariotherapy," had resulted in at least two people in New York and New Jersey contracting malaria. Both patients had been treated in Mexico, he said."Injecting malaria-infected blood not only subjects a person to the risk of malaria, and death from malaria, but also to a host of other diseases that might be borne through donor blood," Myers said.

Myers urged doctors to warn their patients against undergoing the treatment and to be on the lookout for anyone who might have undergone the therapy.

Lyme disease, which is caused by an infection transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected deer tick, can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

Before antibiotics were developed to treat syphilis, some patients were treated with injections of blood from malaria victims under the erroneous belief it would be effective, said health commission spokesman Peter Lynn.