Bad Lyme Bug Spreading Virulent Strain of Lyme Disease Spreading in U.S., Europe
By Daniel J. DeNoon WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
June 9, 2008 -- A virulent strain of Lyme disease germ is spreading in the U.S. and in Europe, a new study shows.
It's not a new strain of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete or spiral-shaped bacterium that causes Lyme disease. In fact, it was one of the first strains ever identified -- found in the cerebrospinal fluid of a patient with severe Lyme meningitis.
But now Wei-Gang Qiu, PhD, Benjamin Luft, MD, and colleagues find that the particularly nasty ospC type A strain appears to be the most common of the 20 or so B. burgdorferi strains found in the U.S. The spread of this virulent strain, they suggest, could be part of the reason for the increase in Lyme disease cases seen over the past two decades.
"OspC type A is the type most widely distributed in the U.S. -- and, as others have shown, this is the most virulent strain," Qiu, an assistant professor at New York's Hunter College, tells WebMD. "If this is widespread, it is not good. You don't want to see this thing increase."
Luft, professor of medicine and former chief of infectious diseases at SUNY Stony Brook, says the spread of the ospC type A strain may explain part of the U.S. Lyme disease epidemic.
"Perhaps part of the Lyme disease story is not that B. burgdorferi just emerged in the 1970s, but that this group of strains that cause more disease became more dominant in our environment," Luft tells WebMD. "So instead of people getting infected with less virulent strains, they got infected with a more virulent strain and got more disease."
Qiu and Luft note that the rise of a more virulent Lyme spirochete isn't the whole story. People get the infection from the bite of a deer tick. As suburbs encroach on rural areas, and as more homes are built near forests, more people are at risk of tick bites. Increased exposure to ticks accounts for most of the increase in Lyme disease.
Qiu and colleagues found that the ospC type A strain is the most widespread strain in the U.S. It's also widespread in Europe. That was a surprise, as Lyme disease spirochetes in Europe are spread by different ticks and harbored by different animal hosts than in the U.S.
"What is surprising is these ospC type A strains in the U.S. and in Europe are genetically almost identical," Qiu says. "So this type is quite unusual in its ability to colonize new habitats. ... This is very strong evidence for this type having a very broad ecological niche in terms of the species that can carry it."
"This means it went from one continent to another continent relatively recently," adds Luft. "And it means that, as Europe and U.S. have very different ecosystems, this strain is highly adaptable to new environments. ... This makes it a formidable foe -- and it causes significant disease."
It's not clear whether this bad Lyme germ traveled from North America to Europe or vice versa. And it's not clear when this happened, although it seems to have occurred in the last 200 years, possibly when a tick-infested bird crossed the Atlantic.
It's likely, Qiu says, that this strain will continue to become more prominent in areas where Lyme disease is established.
CDC medical epidemiologist Kevin Griffith, MD, MPH, says that while Lyme disease has been reported in nearly every state, 10 mostly Northeastern states account for 92% of cases.
Although the 20,000 cases reported to the CDC in 2006 were fewer than the 23,000 cases reported in 2005, Griffith says the true number of cases is probably larger.
"There is probably a true increase in the number of cases," Griffith tells WebMD.
The good news, he says, is that there's been a drop in the most severe, late-stage manifestations of Lyme disease. He attributes this to doctors identifying the disease -- and beginning treatment -- sooner now than in the earlier years of the epidemic.
Qiu and colleagues report their findings in the July issue of the CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases.
(Are ticks bad in your area? What do you do to watch out for them? Talk with others on WebMD's Health Cafe message board.)
Thank you for posting this. It's very interesting because I told Dr S in SF about 1.5 years ago that I thought I had an especially virulent strain of Bb because I kept relapsing so quickly every time they tried to take me off of Bicillin and my symptoms were so severe.
I was just thinking about this today, because just today I began feeling that I was relapsing again.
This article reinforces that feeling, unfortunately.
Borrelia burgdorferi Genetic Markers and Disseminated Disease in Patients with Early Lyme Disease
Kathryn L. Jones,* Lisa J. Glickstein, Nitin Damle, Vijay K. Sikand, Gail McHugh, and Allen C. Steere
Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Disease,
Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., CNY 149/8301, Boston, Massachusetts 02114
Received 24 May 2006/ Returned for modification 17 September 2006/ Accepted 3 October 2006
Three genetic markers of Borrelia burgdorferi have been associated with disseminated disease: the OspC type, the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer type (RST), and vlsE.
Here, we modified previous methods so as to identify the three markers by PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism in parallel, analyzed B. burgdorferi isolates from erythema migrans (EM) skin lesions in 91 patients, and correlated the results with evidence of dissemination.
OspC type A was found approximately twice as frequently in patients with disseminated disease, whereas type K was identified approximately twice as often in those without evidence of dissemination, but these trends were not statistically significant.
The remaining seven types identified were found nearly equally in patients with or without evidence of dissemination.
RST 1 strains were significantly associated with dissemination (P = 0.03), whereas RST 2 and RST 3 strains tended to have an inverse association with this outcome.
The vlsE gene was identified in all 91 cases, using primer sets specific for an N-terminal sequence of B. burgdorferi strain B31 (vlsEB31) or strain 297 (vlsE297), but neither marker was associated with dissemination.
Specific combinations of the three genetic markers usually occurred together. OspC type A was always found with RST 1 and vlsEB31, type K was always identified with RST 2 and more often with vlsE297, and types E and I were almost always found with RST 3 and equally often with vlsEB31 and vlsE297.
We conclude that B. burgdorferi strains vary in their capacity to disseminate, but almost all strains isolated from EM lesions sometimes caused disseminated disease.
EXCERPTS FROM FULL ARTICLE:
Weeks to months later, about 60% of untreated individuals have later manifestations of the infection, including neurological, heart, and joint abnormalities (31).
. . .
Definition of disseminated disease.
In an early treatment study, carried out before practical laboratory markers of dissemination had been developed, disseminated disease was defined by a combination of clinical signs and symptoms (20).
It was later shown that multiple symptoms, particularly the combination of headache, arthralgia, myalgia, and fever, were associated with PCR evidence of B. burgdorferi in blood (9).
In this report, disseminated disease was defined by
* the laboratory marker of a positive PCR test for B. burgdorferi DNA in blood
* or by the clinical markers of multiple EM lesions
* or the combination of at least six of eight specific symptoms (headache, neck stiffness, fever, chills, myalgias, arthralgias, malaise, and fatigue), -- including the four that were previously shown to be associated with disseminated disease.
. . .
To determine the OspC type (A to U) of each sample, as defined by Seinost et al. and Wang et al. (27, 35), two restriction enzymes were selected based on their cutting of representative ospC sequences (NEBcutter V2.0 shareware program; http://tools.neb.com/NEBcutter2/index.php) (Table 2) (27)
. . .
Among the 91 patients, who were seen for a median of 4 days (range, 1 to 21 days) after the onset of EM, 58 (64%) had evidence of disseminated disease (Table 3).
The distributions of OspC types were similar using clinical and laboratory evidences of dissemination (data not shown); thus, the results were combined for presentation here.
Of the 10 OspC types identified, 9 were found among patients who did and did not have evidence of dissemination.
OspC type A, the most common type, was identified approximately twice as frequently in patients with disseminated disease as in those who did not have evidence of dissemination (21 of 58 [36%] versus 6 of 33 [18%] patients; P = 0.1).
Conversely, type K, the second most common type, was found approximately twice as frequently in patients who did not have evidence of dissemination as in those who did (13 of 33 [39%] versus 12 of 58 [21%] patients; P = 0.09).
However, these trends were not statistically significant. Moreover, since type K was the second most common type, 20% of the 58 patients who had evidence of disseminated disease were infected with this type.
Seven other less common types (B, D, E, G, H, I, and N) were identified nearly equally in patients with and without evidence of disseminated disease. Type F was found in only one patient who did not have evidence of dissemination.
Thus, almost all of the OspC types identified sometimes caused disseminated disease.
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Thanks for posting this very interesting article.
That last sentence gets me.
almost all....sometimes caused
Is it me?
Quest usually gives me band 23 positive too. Maybe the criteria for a positive test for Lyme should actually be "band 23 positive" on the Quest Western Blot.
I'm going to be getting another IGenex done, so we'll see what turns up there.
-------------------- Note: I'm NOT a medical professional. The information I share is from my own personal research and experience. Please do not construe anything I share as medical advice, which should only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner. Posts: 4881 | From Middlesex County, NJ | Registered: Jul 2006
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In trying to find out who these author's were, I ran across a LDA grants list. The above research article is a derivation of a study funded by LDA.
Here is a url listing research grants by the LDA. Pretty impressive. The above study is on the last page.
Dr. Qui does very interesting work- I used some of his information in my new book "Disguised as the Devil"
-when the "first" Europeans had contact with and settled in North America they contracted what are called contact illnesses-usually after they had explored their way through every tick infested area they could find.
The Vikings were here before Columbus and interacting with Europe( including sending back furs from Greenland)so there has been a lot of interaction between Europe and North America for hundreds of years.
The settlers in Jamestown, Plymouth and the Boston area came down with illnesses that they called by different names. When a bunch of people left Massachusetts to settle Connecticut (including Lyme)they and there cows got sick after hiking overland through tick risky areas.
No one knows for sure what these people suffered from, but Lyme disease is as a good a guess as anything else-especially if this virulent strain was running rampant in North America!
There were a lot of interactions between the two areas that were probably spreading Lyme disease of all flavors and infection levels for a long,long time! MM
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Here is an article by Tom Grier, explaining the importance of OspC (band 23-25), and a history of how they left it out of IDSA: (actually it is better to read the whole article)
quote: n 1994, the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Laboratory Directors, under a CDC grant, decided that there should be consistency between labs reporting Lyme disease Western Blots, and that a specific reporting criteria should be established.
The consensus committe, chaired by Dr. Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., MN, set nationwide standards for Western Blot reporting.
This sounds good, but one could argue they made a bad situation worse.
Prior to the hearing, virtually every lab had accepted bands 22, 23, 25, 31, and 34 kDa as specific and significant, and reported them as positive for exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi.
Not only are these bands specific for Borrelia species, but they represent all of the major outer surface proteins being used to develop the Lyme vaccines.
The committee, without any clear reasoning, disqualified those bands as even being reportable.
After the consensus meeting, those bands were no longer acceptable.
The result was that what had been a fair-to-good test for detecting Lyme disease had now become poor, arguably useless.
Many scientists have questioned these new reporting criteria, and several wrote letters of protest to both the committee and to laboratory journals.
Many labs stopped reporting the actual bands and instead, simply reported the test as positive or negative, thus preventing any further interpretations. (90)
How badly did the Lab Directors bootstrap this test?
The following is an analysis of the new guidelines presented as an abstract and lecture at the 1995 Rheumatology Conference in Texas, chaired by Dr. Alan Steere, MD. (1995 Rheumatology Symposia Abstract #1254, Dr. Paul Fawcett, et al.)
This was a study designed to test the recently proposed changes to Western Blot interpretation by the Second National Conference on Serological Testing for Lyme Disease, sponsored by the CDC.
The committee proposed limiting the bands that could be reported in a Western Blot for diagnosis of Lyme disease. Out of a possible 25 bands, 10 specific bands were selected as being reportable.
An lgG Western Blot must have five or more of these bands: 18, 21,28, 30, 39, 41,,45, 58, 66 and 93 kDa.
An lgM Western Blot must have two or more of the following three bands: 23, 39, 41.
Conspicuously absent are the most important bands, 22, 23, 25, 31, and 34, which include OSPA, OSP-B and OSP-C antigens - the three most widely accepted and recognized Bb antigens.
These antigens were the antigens chosen for human vaccine trials.
This abstract showed that, under the old criteria, all of 66 pediatric patients with a history of a tick bite and bull's-eye rash who were symptomatic were accepted as positive under the old Western Blot interpretation.
Under the newly proposed criteria, only 20 were now considered positive. (The number of false positives under both criteria was zero percent.)
That means 46 children who were all symptomatic would probably be denied treatment! That's a success rate of only 31%.
*Note: A misconception about Western Blots is that they have as many false positives as false negatives. This is not true. False positives based on species specific bands are rare.
The conclusion of the researchers was: "the proposed Western Blot reporting criteria are grossly inadequate, because it excluded 69% of the infected children."
Thanks, good article. To put it in medical research terms:
The blood tests for lyme are highly specific, meaning they will lead to very few false positive tests, if any. So, people who have not been exposed to lyme will not test positive. If you do test positive, you have lyme.
However, these blood tests are not sensitive at all -- meaning they miss many true cases of lyme. So people who have lyme disease can very easily test negative. And they do, in large quantities.
Given the high long-term consequences of lyme, how can the IDSA promote a highly specific, but totally insensitive testing protocol? Shouldn't they try to do no harm first?
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I have read that these criteria were part of the Dearborn Conferences, which was a point of contention among participants, including Dr. D, who would not sign.
I may be misinterpreting this, but chronologically, the Lymerix vaccine came out after this conference.
I floated around google for awhile, trying to find out about cross reactivity of OspC. I did not find any info, but I did run across several patents and applications for Osp C.
The following patent is one example. It is a difficult read. However, what I learned from it is that even within the OspC, there is much variation in subfactors, which makes it even more difficult to devise a vaccine. I figured that even if they did come up with one, it still would not be 100% foolproof.
What the population would be left with, is the same as what is happening now. They would say, oh you had the vaccine, so you could not possibly have lyme. In reality, it may not cover all types of OspC.
This is sort of like the HPV vaccine that they were trying to make mandatory. It did not protect against all forms of HPV, just a certain form. But the public does not know this, and they think they are protected.
In this following patent, they are trying to increase effectiveness by also combining it with a vaccine of OspA.
The parts I had most benefit from was the complexity of the OspC. It is not just a simple thing!
This post inspired me to send Dr. Osterholm an email this morning. I hope it's ok.
Dear Dr. Osterholm,
I recently learned that in 1994 you chaired a committee which set nationwide standards for the Western Blot. In the process of doing so, the bands 22, 23, 25, 31, and 34 kDa were deemed no longer acceptable markers for the Western Blot and were disqualified as being reportable. I was wondering if that was true, and if so, why was this done?
It's my understanding that these bands include OSPA, OSP-B and OSP-C antigens, the three most widely accepted and recognized Bb antigens. These antigens were the antigens chosen for human vaccine trials. Also, a study presented at the 1995 Rheumatology Symposia in Texas (Rheumatology Symposia Abstract #1254, Dr. Paul Fawcett, et al.) showed that under the old criteria, 66 children with a history of tick bite and bull's eye rash and who were symptomatic were accepted as positive under the old Western Blot criteria, while under the new, revised criteria, only 20 of the children would be accepted as positive.
That means that 46 symptomatic children would be denied treatment under your committee's revised criteria. The conclusion of the researchers was that the revised Western Blot reporting criteria was grossly inadequate because it excluded 69% of infected children.
If any of this is untrue, please accept my apologies. My concern is for myself and thousands of others who, like myself, are extremely ill with symptoms of Lyme disease, but have been unable to get a timely diagnosis and treatment because we have only one or two of the currently accepted specific bands positive for Bb on the Western Blot. What's worse is that it has helped skew mainstream medicine's view of Lyme disease and is used as a reason by insurance companies to deny us coverage.
However, if you believe/recognize that any of the above is accurate, I ask that you take charge of a revision of the current Western Blot reporting criteria to include what have been proven to be highly specific antigens for Bb and reduce the required number of positive bands. I understand that band #30 on the WB has also been shown to be specific for Bb and should be added to those currently accepted for positive criteria. Really, if a person has one positive band for a highly specific antigen of Bb, doesn't that indicate that the person was exposed to B? Even so called ``indeterminate'' bands really indicate that the antigen was present, just not in high enough quantities to register positive.
There is a national epidemic of Lyme disease and it's coinfections which is currently being vastly undiagnosed due in large part to the failure of this test and those of the coinfections. This is a terrible and devastating illness which many Drs don't even believe exists in large part due to the inadequacy of this test. People are suffering because of it. I'm suffering because of it. Please help us by heading a movement to revise and improve the Western Blot.
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This just seems to me to prove the material that was written by Michael Carroll in Lab 257.
We are not infected with a "natural" borrelia. The one that is making us so ill is a bio-engineered organism that was probably meant as some kind of weapon.
The gov't is never going to admit this, so many thing are being obscured such as proper testing, treatment, insurance, disability. It just seems obvious to me.
Discreet Methods of Biological Warfare
By Marjorie Tietjen
How many of us are burdened with chronic disease or know a friend or family member who is totally or partially disabled? It is almost as if it has become normal and accepted for a large portion of the population to be ill with conditions or "autoimmune " diseases which have no known definitive tests, causes or cures.
Certainly our diet and the chemicals in our environment play a significant role in determining our state of health. However, we need to begin to question as to whether or not something more deceptive may also be taking place.
The media has become a monstrous propaganda machine.
Apparently their main goals are to mislead, distract and manipulate the population through fear.
When we become aware of the tools used by the media to control us, that is the first step in gaining back our freedom and autonomy. The Centers for Disease Control, the Media, The Dept. of Defense, and other government agencies, would have us believe that the most threatening biological agents are lethal microbes which cause acute disease and then death. A couple of examples would be anthrax and smallpox.
It appears that we are being intentionally misled as to where the real danger lies.
Government biological warfare documents speak of incapacitating agents as being the most effective weapons for disabling a nation.
When a population is infected with a lethal agent, it is very obvious that protective measures need to be taken, such as quarantine, antibiotics, etc.
These actions help to curb and abort the epidemic. A much more discreet, diabolical and effective method of disabling a country, would be to employ a moderately infectious organism, or combination of organisms (Russian Doll Cocktail), which would pass slowly through the population unnoticed.
Some of the criteria for effective disabling agents are:
1. A biological agent which lacks objective signs that can be determined by medical testing.
Many patients who are extremely ill with Lyme disease, mycoplasmas or other emerging co infections, are told all their tests are normal and therefore their problems must be all in their heads.
Many people labeled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gulf War Illness, and Fibromyalgia, are told the same thing.....if they would only get a new job, a hobby, or begin to exercise.....then they would be fine.
2. An agent which would produce so many symptoms throughout the body that it would appear as if the patient was malingering or faking.
This criteria prevents the medical community from taking the disease seriously. In the meantime it moves quietly through the population, being labeled as many separate diseases and conditions.
3. If the disabling agent is a combination of several diseases or microbes, some of which could be genetically engineered, then it becomes very difficult, if not impossible to diagnose and treat.
4. Diseases which are spread by insect vectors are very much sought after and have been used for years in biological warfare.
Using insect vectors makes an epidemic much easier to pass off as a natural event, while concealing the identity of the perpetrators.
The following quotes are from Science Daily, Sept 3, 2004.
They suggest that ticks, especially Ioxdes Scapularis (the deer tick which spreads Lyme disease) would make a very appropriate candidate for vectoring biological warfare agents.
As you read these quotes, ask yourself if the Ixodes Scapularis ticks could have already been utilized for this purpose.
"Ticks as small as a freckle can transmit a number of illnesses for which there is no vaccine, and in some cases, no cure. These creatures could even become bio-terrorism weapons."
Perdue University and The University of Connecticut, at the time this Science daily article was written, were undertaking the project of unraveling the genetics of the tick species Ixodes Scapularis.
Catherine Hill, Purdue's co-principal investigator, tells us that "From a bio- terrorism standpoint, it's pretty clear ticks could transmit a number of diseases that intentionally could be introduced and conveyed to people."
Another quote from the same article in Science Daily : "A number of ticks in the United States spread pathogens that the CDC considers potential bio-terrorism agents.
The family to which I. Scapularis belongs, Ixodidae, carries many of the microbes included on the CDC's Select Biological Agents and Toxins list."
These researchers are hoping that a better understanding of ticks will help them discover better treatments for the diseases they spread.
Not only are ticks considered an efficient means of transmitting biological weapons, but the spirochete, borrelia burgdorferi (the agent which causes Lyme disease) has also been considered by researchers, as a potential bio-warfare agent.
In fact,some advisory board members to Lyme disease organizations have extensive backgrounds in bio-warfare research.
Dr. Donald MacArthur, who was in charge of the development and testing of biological weapons for the Pentagon, had this to say at a Hearing before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations in 1969. "Incapacitating agents are a more recent development and are in the research and development (R&D) phase (in 1969).
In fact the prime emphasis in agent R&D is on developing better incapacitating agents. We are synthesizing new compounds and testing them in animals.
I should mention that there is a rule of thumb we use before an agent can be classified as an incapacitant, we feel that the mortality should be very low (emphasis mine).
Therefore the ratio of the lethal dose to the incapacitating dose has to be very high.
Now this is a technical job. We have some of the top scientists in the country working for years on how to get more effective incapacitating agents.
It is not easy." He also tells us that an incapacitating agent "imposes a greater logistic burden on the enemy when he has to look after disabled people."
When a large portion of the population is sick and unable to work, this puts an enormous strain on the economy.
Think for a moment about the Lyme/co-infection epidemic and how many people are unable to work.
We are not just talking about those who have been diagnosed with Lyme, but also the thousands upon thousands of people who are being mislabeled with depression.....and the ever-growing list of those people with so-called "autoimmune diseases".
Many readers are already aware of the great difficulty Lyme patients experience in trying to get diagnosed and treated.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that this denial of treatment is intentional.
We are told that Lyme disease has been around for hundreds of years and that ticks are filthy organisms which can spread many diseases in one single bite.
This appears to be true, but, is this due to a natural evolutionary process or is this sudden proliferation of countless co-infections, a process which has had some help from bio-warfare researchers?
Are all these ticks, carrying multiple pathogens, naturally this way or are they the result of the Russian Doll Concept?
Have ticks themselves been modified to endure harsh weather extremes?
The ticks which carry Lyme disease appear to be surviving in climates previously inhospitable to this species.
In fact, this disease is becoming endemic in many parts of the world at once and it seems to be just as controversial everywhere it spreads.
As I mentioned before, one of the criteria for an effective bio-warfare agent is resistance to antibiotics.
Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the causative agent of Lyme disease, can often present with persistent infection and is many times incurable with the standard antibiotic regimes.
In many cases it is obvious that a patient's symptoms are due to ongoing infection.
There is positive response to antibiotics,(even if not a total or permanent cure), herxheimer reactions, positive tests and even sometimes positive cultured biopsies and autopsies......all after what the mainstream medical system calls an "appropriate course of antibiotics."
Why are they denying that Lyme disease can persist in the body, despite what they consider adequate treatment? I don't believe this stance is due to stupidity or ignorance.
While usually extended antibiotics are necessary in controlling and improving a tenacious Lyme infection, it appears that the organism may never be totally eradicated.
It is known that there are techniques used to enhance bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
So....while on the one hand the medical authorities are warning us of the dangers of the overuse of antibiotics and even limiting their valid applications....on the other hand they are creating and perhaps even letting loose antibiotic resistant germs.
I would like to quote Thomas Keske from his "Origin of Lyme Disease, part 2. The quotes in his excerpts are from the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
"Oddly, the Lyme agent, though it is a supposedly "old" disease, has a somewhat curious genetic structure that looks like it "was captured in mid-shuttle," like it is "still undergoing construction."
It is riddled with gene duplications and pseudo-genes, fragments with inversions, deletions, frame-shift mutations, inappropriately placed stop codones.
Perhaps the untidy genetic structure is a statistical fluke.
Of course another possibility not mentioned is that an odd genetic structure might conceivably be a product of genetic experimentation."
Please take some time to review the qualifications for an effective biological warfare agent and think about them in relation to the Lyme/co-infection epidemic.
Contemplate how Lyme patients are being treated.
We are often labeled as hysterical, depressed and as having antibiotic seeking behavior.
By the chance that there is an intentional epidemic being caused by "whomever", this psychological labeling causes doctors to ignore an epidemic which may be passed not only by ticks and other insects but through the blood supply, organ donation, intercourse, breast feeding and through the placenta during pregnancy.
Why are there no studies being conducted in these areas?
We need to put on our thinking caps and not be afraid to mention the unthinkable. When things just don't seem to add up, we must begin to ask difficult questions.
We don't want to simply make wild statements which create fear. However, we do need to raise our serious doubts in a concerned rational manner.
How can we resolve a problem without knowing it's real cause? And......how can we determine the real cause if we don't explore all the possibilities?
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"Luft, professor of medicine and former chief of infectious diseases at SUNY Stony Brook, says the spread of the ospC type A strain may explain part of
...the U.S. Lyme disease epidemic."
Did you notice "THE US Lyme Disease EPIDEMIC?"
That's paragraph 5
So now they have acknowledged we have an EPIDEMIC of Lyme disease in the US.
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"The good news, he says, is that there's been a drop in the most severe, late-stage manifestations of Lyme disease. He attributes this to doctors identifying the disease -- and beginning treatment -- sooner now than in the earlier years of the epidemic."
SORRY, that made me laugh. I saw 7 different doctors, NONE of which would tell me that I had Lyme even with a CDC positive western blot. If there actually is a drop in the most severe late-stage cases it is due internet sites like this one and people diagnosing themselves.
One more thing, they suggest that a tick was carried across the Atlantic ocean by a bird....but somehow so many doctors don't believe that lyme is in the south or midwest??? I guess they don't believe in bird migration either?
quote:Originally posted by soonermom: One more thing, they suggest that a tick was carried across the Atlantic ocean by a bird....but somehow so many doctors don't believe that lyme is in the south or midwest??? I guess they don't believe in bird migration either?
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Hey psano2 - good for you! That is an EXCELLENT letter, and I hope it rattles his cage a bit. I wish more people would write to the architects of the current Lyme debacle. Write to the scientists and doctors who have screwed this up so badly, and explain how their actions had serious consequences for you and all Lyme sufferers. Maybe they will listen and do something.
Way to go. Good letter, clear, concise, not hysterical. I would be very very interested to hear if he writes you back and what he says. Please PM me, if you remember, if you get a reply to that letter. Thanks for doing that!
Northstar and BorreliaBrain, Dr. Osterholm wrote back to me and said that he wasn't the chair of that committee, and that he is an epidemiologist, not a lab scientist, and sorry he couldn't help.
Do you think Tom Grier might have made a mistake on that in the article? I Googled his name exactly as written in the article, Dr. Michael Osterholm, PhD, MN, and that's who I got. He responded from an email at "umn.edu". I just Googled him again, and that's the only Michael Osterholm, PhD, MN that comes up.
I'd be happy to send the letter to whoever the committee chair or members were, if I could find out their names. The poor testing we have for Bb and the coinfections is one of my biggest pet peeves.
BB, thank you for the compliment. Sometimes I get it right. Patti
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Psano, I am so sorry for any inconvenience. It is possible that Tom Grier could have erred. I just dont know.
As an epidemiologist, Dr. Osterholm may have played a part, but I have no idea. Tom Grier has done much research in lyme, and has made it readable; he is a microbiologist who had lyme. I took that right off the webpage.
The only way to confirm it or to correct the paper, would be to delve into ancient history. Perhaps that needs to be done, since there is a definite conflict of facts here.
This will not be easy, nor quick, so it may take some time. Perhaps someone will come along in the meantime to clarify.
It would seem that since it is ancient history, that whomever was on the committee, and even the committee itself, are defunct now as far as having powers to make changes retroactively.
It is in the hands of the CDC and IDSA, now, I would think. Thus, any changes now, would have to be done by CDC, since it is their "rules" now.
I think the head of CDC is Dr. Julia Geberling? Dont quote me on that one, nor the spelling. And even then, maybe it is a part of CDC that concerns itself with these criteria, and not the director.
I think LDA has met with CDC in the past to voice their concerns, so they are aware of the "problem". You might check LDA website for some past history; also, jemsekspecialty.com may have something in there.
Also, if you do a search here, for Dearborn (may be an "e" on the end of that) or Dressler, you may get some of the history with some other links. I think there was even a recent discussion of Dr. D and what happened when he voiced disagreement.
Of course, what happened is not right. It is the past, though, and we are left now with the results, which is our current concern.
That means that people who currently would be in power to initiate any changes, or to whom we could voice our concerns, are the ones who need to be addressed.
But remember the criteria are for epidemiological uses.
This is part of the "testing" weaknesses. It also reflects the misuse of CDC epidemiological criteria in making diagnoses.
CDC can make whatever standards they want for their survey purposes. The problem comes when it is mistakenly applied in a clinical situation. That is why they state that lyme is a clinical diagnosis.
Except that medical boards and insurance agencies misuse this because IDSA uses it (their new guidelines involve more than that, though). Also, CDC plays a role in this misapplication, since they only link to IDSA, and do not include ILADS guidelines on their lyme page.
[ 10. June 2008, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: northstar ]
Posts: 1331 | From hither and yonder | Registered: Sep 2005
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Northstar! You don't have to apologize to me. You didn't write the article, and I didn't intend to come off as complaining. Just to point out an apparent discrepancy. Outside of not finding the right guy to send my letter to, I love the article.
Yes the WB is what it is today, but if they changed it once, they can change it again. That's what I'm hoping for.
Pam Weintraub sorts all of this out in her book. She does a brilliant job of taking all the pieces and putting them together in a way that helps us see exactly where things went off track and why. She has identified much science that sits between the left - ILADS and the right - IDSA that supports the complexity of this disease; We need to figure out how to get this science in front of the IDSA review panel once it starts.
Posts: 422 | From Herndon, Virginia | Registered: Oct 2005
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i thought tom greer was a member here; i remember reading HIS NAME AS POSTER!
looked at directory, but nothing popped up when i typed his name; oh well..
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Lymeout, which Pam Weintraub book is it that you're referring to? Cure Unknown? I see she has a couple of them.
I'm still working on finding out who was on that committee in 1994. I think I'll make it my personal goal to get the Western Blot revised. I guess I should put the CDC on the list as well.
Posts: 975 | From California | Registered: Apr 2007
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thanks for the information. I haven't been able to post much recently bec my laptop died and I'll be without a computer at home for about 10 days. That's how long I'm told it will take to get it from Dell. I have get it made bec my office requires us to have Vista Business if we bring in our laptops.
Then I couldn't remember my password to get onto the board from the computer at work. Now at least I can get on, but without a computer at home, I don't have time to get things done. So it may be a while before I can devote some time to contacting these guys.