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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Dr. Tim Brooks: Serological Liar in Charge of a Lyme Disease Lab

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Author Topic: Dr. Tim Brooks: Serological Liar in Charge of a Lyme Disease Lab
Eight Legs Bad
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Tomorow Dr Tim Brooks, lying head of Lyme diagnostics in the UK, will be attending a Parliamentary meeting in which Lyme patients and doctors attempt to educate membes of parliament about the dire situation for British Lyme patients.

Of course Brooks is attending in order to spread disinformation.

Therefore please circulate the following blog post, exposing him for the liar he is. Thanks.
Elena
----------------
http://www.elenacook.org/blog-brooks-liar.html
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18 Jan 2015

Dr. Tim Brooks: A Serological Liar in Charge of a Lyme Disease Lab

We continue our "Breakfast with Brooks: Waffle and Fudge" series, dissecting the answers to patients' questions given by Dr Tim Brooks, head of Britain's Lyme testing unit at RIPL, the biowarfare research lab at Porton Down.

As we go to press, British Lyme patients and Lyme-literate doctors are due to testify at a meeting in Parliament tomorrow (19 Jan 2015) about the appalling state of diagnosis and treatment here. Head of the country's Lyme diagnostics at Porton Down biowarfare centre, Dr. Tim Brooks is being hastily despatched to Parliament by our Department of Health in order to dissuade any MP's from believing in the facts. Now is a good time to examine Dr. Brooks' record on "serological lying".

Let's start by reviewing his replies to two of the questions that patients put to him recently.

Q13
Which species/strains of borrelia have been found to be the most prevalent in England and Wales according to PHE's findings over the last year, 5 years, and 10 years?

Dr. Brooks' Answer:
"No systematic studies of species distribution have been made on a regular basis. The available information is that B. garinii is the most common infection, followed by B. afzelii, with B. burgdorferi ss making up only 10% or so of cases...."

Now, a glance at any Lyme patients' forum, British or otherwise, immediately reveals that the majority of severely disabled patients are complaining of neurological symptoms. The close association between the species B. garinii and neuroborreliosis has been established by numerous authors. (1)(2)(4)(6)

So, being tested with a Blot that is likely to pick up an infection with B. garinii would seem to be important. Having told us that B. garinii is the most prevalent species of Lyme in England and Wales, Dr. Brooks then insists, in his reply to another question (22a), that garinii is represented on the Immunoblot, the second tier of the two-tier testing used on all Lyme patients in the UK.

After waffling on about the test having been "extensively validated in European samples", he states that the DbpA ("decorin-binding protein A") proteins on the strip "are derived from B. garinii" and exhorts us to "follow the references" so that we can see it for ourselves.

As a small child, did you ever play "follow the leader", only to find that the "leader" had disappeared with the arrival of the ice cream van? Well, Dr. Brooks' wild-goose-chase recommendation to "follow the references" is even more frustrating. Which references? Where?

If we really want to know the composition of Virastripe, the Immunoblot used by Brooks, a good place to start might be with the maufacturer, Viramed.

And indeed, Viramed publish a leaflet (7) giving details of the composition of IgG and IgM blots. In it, they clearly state that the antigens in the blot are derived from the species Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Bb afzelli. No mention of garinii. Nil. Nada.

Not a dickie-bird.

Viramed do state that these antigens are "supplemented" with one recombinant antigen, the VlsE. However, when we "follow the references" on the leaflet, we learn that this antigen too, though synthetic, is based on the genetic sequence from Bb sensu stricto, not garinii.

Just to be 100% sure that there was no mistake, I wrote to the suppliers of the Virastripe test in Britain. I was referred to a Dr. Younghusband, who, after a confusing exchange of emails during which it appeared that she was not receiving some of my letters, eventually confirmed that garinii is, indeed, absent. I asked if she would tell Dr. Brooks the news. She promised she would.

Dr Younghusband stated, however, that we need not worry as there is "cross-reactivity" between the antigens of the different species, implying that a patient's immune system will react to them regardless of which species is used. This sentiment is of course, echoed by Dr Brooks himself, in his reply to Q22a.

Unfortunately, the scientific evidence begs to disagree.

For example, in 2009 a Scottish team found a significant improvement in the sensitivity of their serological testing when they started using an antigen made of a combination of local strains of Bb sensu stricto and B. afzelli, instead of the reference strain which was Bb sensu stricto only.(5)

And Ryffel et al (6) found long ago that 52% of a set of sera from patients with neuroborreliosis reacted to an immunoblot based on garinii antigens, whereas when the same sera were tested on blots based on other species, the sensitivity ranged from 6-22%.

Six percent sensitivity. That's a pretty poor showing for a garinii-less blot, especially when you remember that in a live scenario every percentage point would correspond to many devastated lives, to patients left to deteriorate without treatment.

Another study, which compared the reactivity of sera to the antigen OspC derived from Borrelia garinii with OspC from Borrelia sensu stricto and afzelli, found that OspC from B. garinii was the best at detecting neuroborreliosis.(2)

What about Decorin-binding protein A, the antigen which Brooks (falsely) claimed came from garinii?

Well, in stark contrast to Brooks' notion that species does not matter, the team of Heikkila et al, after designing recombinant DbpA antigens based on the different genospecies of Bb, found that "sera from the majority of patients" reacted with only one of the species and had "no or low cross-reactivity to the other two variant proteins". (3)

Perhaps even more worrying, some researchers have noticed a connection between garinii and antibiotic-resistant Lyme.(1)

I am confident that Dr. Younghusband did inform Dr. Brooks that the Blot he is using on British patients' sera contains no garinii. That was a year ago. Has he apologised for making a false statement? Has he made the slightest effort to remedy the shortcomings of this test?

Stay tuned as we analyse yet more serological lying from the serial liar in charge of Britain's Lyme diagnostics, Dr. Tim Brooks of Public Health England.
---
References:

"Treatment-resistant Lyme Arthritis caused by Borrelia Garinii", Limbach FX et al, ann Rheum Dis 2001; 60:284-286
"Analysis of the Human Antiobody REsponse to Outer Surface Protein C (OspC) of Borrelia Burgdorferi Sensu stricto, Borrelia garini, and Borrelia afzelli", Mathiesen et al, Med Microbiol Immunol 1996; 185 (3):121-9"

"Species-specific serodiagnosis of Lyme arthritis and neuroborreliosis due to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, and B. garinii by using decorin binding protein A." Heikkila et al, J Clin Microbiol 2002 Vol 40 No 2 453-460

"Significant Improvement of the Recombinant Borrelia-Specific Immunoglobulin G Immunoblot Test by Addition of VlsE and a DbpA Homologue Derived from Borrelia garinii for Diagnosis of Early Neuroborreliosis", Schulte-Spechtel et al, J Clin Microbiol. Mar 2003; 41(3): 1299–1303.

"Local Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia afzelii strains in a single mixed antigen improves western blot sensitivity", Mavin et al, J Clin Pathol. 2009 Jun;62(6):552-4.

"Scored Antibody Reactivity Determined by Immunoblotting Shows an Association between Clinical Manifestations and Presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, B. afzelii, and B. Valaisiana in Humans", Ryffel et al, J Clin Microbiol. Dec 1999; 37(12): 4086–4092.

Viramed Product Leaflet for Virastripe Immunoblot kits V-BSSGOK and V-BSSMOK

END
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Justice will be ours.

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Rumigirl
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Bless your persistent heart for fighting this never-ending battle!!! It's infuriating beyond words!

And you can be sure that, just as in the US, if the "powers that be" get infected, they will avail themselves of treatment that they don't recommend for everyone else!!

Not to mention which, they will likely do a lot to prevent it in the first place.

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Keebler
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Elana,

Thanks so much for your excellent articles posted - and your continued presence & work toward change.

Tomorrow in the UK (or tonight for those of us in the states) seems a key event. I so hope truth will win out.
-

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poppy
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Serological liar. Love that terminology.
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Rumigirl
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quote:
Originally posted by poppy:
Serological liar. Love that terminology.

Yup! It goes to show who is using their intelligence for good, and who for wrong.
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Keebler
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Well, anyone who is a Serological liar would also have to have sociopathic tendencies - or just be cruel - to not care how lies and deceit so affect others' lives.

Unless, of course, they just care more about benefits gained for themselves and that just outweighs others in their views. They may still go "ahh" at cute puppies but not if their bank accounts were affected somehow.
-

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