Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chronic Lyme

People will probably interpret this study in a way that fits their favorite theory but on the face of it this paper from a couple of months ago in the New England Journal of Medicine argues against persistent Lyme disease infection being the cause of chronic Lyme disease.

Differentiation of Reinfection from Relapse in Recurrent Lyme Disease
None of the 22 paired consecutive episodes of erythema migrans were associated with the same strain of B. burgdorferi on culture. Our data show that repeat episodes of erythema migrans in appropriately treated patients were due to reinfection and not relapse. 

An editorial in the same issue states the implications quite explicitly:
The issue of relapse versus reinfection has a broader context because of patient-advocacy groups that promote months or years of antibiotic therapy for “chronic Lyme disease.” Moreover, chronic Lyme disease has become a common diagnosis for medically unexplained pain or neurocognitive or fatigue symptoms, even when there is little or no evidence of previous B. burgdorferi infection. Even so, these patients are said to have persistent infection, which can be suppressed only with months or years of antibiotic therapy, and the therapy must be restarted when symptoms recur. As concluded by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, there is no evidence of persistent B. burgdorferi infection in human patients after recommended courses of antibiotic therapy. Although B. burgdorferi infection may persist for years in untreated patients, the weight of evidence is strongly against persistent infection as the explanation for persistent symptoms in antibiotic-treated patients with Lyme disease.

Here's a report on the paper from the New York Times: New Infection, Not Relapse, Brings Back Lyme Symptoms, Study Says

(A) new study finds that repeat symptoms are from new infections, not from relapses.

The results challenge the notion, strongly held by some patients and advocacy groups, that Lyme disease, a bacterial infection, has a tendency to resist the usual antibiotic treatment and turn into a chronic illness that requires months or even years of antibiotic therapy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your magazine has chosen to de-
liberately participate in an or-
ganized conspiracy to cover up the
truth regarding Lyme disease at the
behest of certain special interests
who don't want the truth to be
known. I personally have suffered
from undiagnosed and untreated Lyme
disease as a direct result of the
ignorance of Texas doctors for lit-
erally decades. A blood PCR test
taken in July of 2011 finally ex-
posed the truth regarding unex-
plained neurological and arthritis
symptoms that were extremely chronic.
Most Texas doctors have been
brainwashed into believing the
outright lie that Lyme disease only
occurs in the northeast and it's
very easy to eradicate with only
short term antibiotics. They have
also swallowed the outright lie
that you can only get it from tick
Thanks to you, the CDC, and the
IDSA panel I have been forced to
act as my own doctor. Thanks to all
the propaganda, misinformation and
outright lies, very few doctors in
Texas are willing to treat Lyme and
most of the few that do use ex-
tremely ineffective protocols based
on the outright lies of your maga-
zine, the CDC, and the IDSA panel.