Scientists Discover New Bacteria Responsible For Lyme Disease

•February 9, 2016 • 1 Comment

Excerpted from the Huffington Post :  (02/09/2016)

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Researchers have discovered a new bacteria that causes Lyme disease in humans, a U.S. health agency said Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working with the Mayo Clinic and health officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, discovered the new bacteria, called Borrelia mayonii, the CDC said in a statement.

Previously, only one bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, was believed to cause human Lyme disease, which is transmitted through bites from by the blacklegged “deer” tick, the CDC statement said.

The new bacteria has so far only been detected in the upper Midwest region of the United States, the CDC said.

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Ticks carrying Lyme disease in almost half of U.S. counties

•January 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Excerpted from Reuters Health:  (01/18/2016)

Ticks that can spread Lyme disease now live in almost half of U.S. counties, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Varieties of the blacklegged tick that may carry bacteria responsible for Lyme disease are present in 45 percent of counties nationwide, compared with just 30 percent in 1998, researchers found.

“It’s important for people to be aware that there may be ticks in areas where they haven’t seen them previously so that they can take steps to help protect themselves and their families,” lead study author Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist at the CDC, said by email.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, also known as deer ticks, and the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus. These ticks are typically found in wooded and grassy areas.

Bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi cause Lyme disease. Common symptoms can include fever, headache, and fatigue, all of which can be easily confused with the flu. Some patients, but not all, develop a characteristic “bull’s eye” rash soon after the tick bite.

If caught early, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. But untreated Lyme disease can lead to lasting cognitive problems, joint and muscle pain and mood disorders.

To assess changes in the tick population, researchers analyzed data reported by counties using the same surveillance methods from 1998.

They found deer ticks in 1,420 out of 3,110 counties in the continental U.S., or about 46 percent of counties, and found western blacklegged ticks in 111 counties, or about 4 percent. Combined, this is a 45 percent increase from 1998 when ticks were reported in 1,058 counties.

Deer ticks are now established in 842 counties across 35 states, compared with 396 counties in 32 states in 1998. These ticks used to be concentrated in northeastern states but have move west and south.

Western blacklegged ticks are now established in 95 counties across six states, up from 90 counties in 1998. These ticks remain concentrated in Pacific coast states.

Outside of the U.S., ticks carry the disease in forested areas of Asia, northwestern, central and eastern Europe, according to the World Health Organization.

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CDC Refuses to End Preferential Treatment of IDSA Lyme Guidelines in Response to Citizen Petition

•December 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Excerpted from PR Newswire:  (12/15/2015)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is no reason to rewrite the agency’s policy on Lyme guidelines despite a petition demanding changes. The Mayday Project Lyme patient advocacy group shared the response to the citizen petition,

The petition, filed October 14, 2015, claims that CDC provides preferential treatment to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) by promoting IDSA’s 2006 guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease while withholding information from the public about more recent guidelines from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS).

In an email response to the petition, Beth P. Bell, MD, Director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), declined to take action, saying, “CDC believes that IDSA guidelines currently represent the best available synthesis of the medical literature on the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.”

Bruce Fries, a member of the Mayday Project and lead author of the petition says, “Even more troubling is that Dr. Bell, who endorses the preferential treatment of IDSA, is also a member of IDSA—a clear conflict of interest.”

The petition claims that “CDC’s preferential treatment of IDSA harms chronically ill patients, who are frequently misdiagnosed and denied medically necessary treatment because of restrictions imposed by the IDSA guidelines.” It adds that “CDC’s failure to provide equivalent exposure for the ILADS guidelines compounds the harm by limiting access to information about evidence-based treatments that could help these severely ill patients recover from this devastating disease.”

According to the petition, CDC’s preferential treatment of IDSA also violates the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, which states: “Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.”

Fries says, “It’s unacceptable that when a federal government agency is presented with evidence of improprieties, the official response is to confirm the improprieties and indicate they will continue.”

In response to the reply from CDC, signers of the petition are contacting their Congressional representatives and requesting assistance to compel CDC to end its preferential treatment of the IDSA guidelines for Lyme disease.

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Melbourne doctor claims campaign of intimidation over Lyme disease treatment

•December 16, 2015 • 3 Comments


Excerpted from News Corp: Australia (12/16/2015)

A MELBOURNE doctor specialising in the treatment of Lyme disease says he is being harassed out of the profession.

The medic who came forward, on condition of anonymity, has been treating patients suffering the debilitating effects of Lyme disease at his inner-city clinic for decades.

But he may be forced to close the practice due to what he calls a campaign of intimidation by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency culminating in a forthcoming disciplinary hearing.

Senator John Madigan, who in November setup a senate inquiry into ‘Lyme-like illnesses’ in Australia, has slammed AHPRA’s conduct saying they were putting patient’s lives at risk by targeting doctors treating the disease.

“The medical orthodoxy in this country is a law unto itself,” Senator Madigan said.

“In relation to Lyme disease I am seeing a mafia-like approach to doctors at the cutting edge who are helping patients in a tangible way.

“The lives of Australians are at stake. Doctors treating Lyme disease in this country must be allowed to continue their vital work until a thorough investigation of this disease in this country is undertaken.”

The independent Victorian senator will today announce his backing for an inquiry into bullying in the medical profession.

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Surge in acute cases of Lyme disease in Britain spurs ministers to act

•December 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Excerpted from The Guardian: (12/04/2015)

Britain had a surge of cases this summer of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that in its most serious form can result in chronic fatigue, pain, confusion, depression-like symptoms and memory loss.

New figures show that after a two-year pause in the steady rise of cases, the number of acute cases – people who test positive and show symptoms of the disease – nearly doubled this summer, the peak season.

Public Health England also revealed that tests for the disease have increased five-fold in the past two months – though this is likely to be affected by publicity around the case of the billionaire John Caudwell and his family,who were diagnosed with the illness.

Growing concern about the spread of the disease, thought to affect 2,000 to 3,000 people in the UK each year, has prompted ministers to decide to set up a network of regional experts to help diagnose and treat the problem.

include a growing number of ticks in some weather conditions; more wild mammals that host them; an increase in the number of visitors to areas where they live; and greater awareness leading to more patients visiting GPs and therefore more diagnoses.

Other celebrities who have gone public after contracting the illness include the singer Avril Lavigne and the actor Richard Gere.

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The Link Between Lyme Disease and Alzheimer’s

•November 14, 2015 • 5 Comments

Excerpted from Pro hEALTH: (11/13/2015)

The Link Between Lyme Disease and Alzheimer’s

One of the unfortunate realities of Lyme disease is that it can create susceptibility to other illnesses and conditions, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. This is because Lyme disease interferes with a multitude of biochemical processes in the body; it damages cells, causes inflammation and toxicity and other unfavorable issues that can become a setup for other problems.

Since Lyme disease is first and foremost a neurological disease that affects the brain and nervous system (although it affects every system of the body), perhaps one of the most important diseases that people with Lyme disease are at an increased risk for is Alzheimer’s dementia. Indeed, research shows that some chronic infections are linked to Alzheimer’s, including spirochetal infections such as Borrelia, one of the primary infections of Lyme disease.

Authors Thomas J. Lewis, PhD and Clement L. Trempe, MD, describe the correlation between Alzheimer’s and Lyme disease in their 2014 book, The End of Alzheimer’s: A Differential Diagnosis Toward a Cure. They cite Dr. Judith Miklossy, a pioneering doctor who has extensively researched the connection between infection and Alzheimer’s. In a 2011 research paper entitled, “Alzheimer Disease—A neurospirochetosis?” Dr. Miklossy states, (as cited in The End of Alzheimer’s), “It is established that chronic spirochetal infection can cause slowly progressive dementia, brain atropy and amyloid deposition in neurosyphiis. Recently it has been suggested that various types of spirochetes, in an analogous way to Treponema palladium could cause dementia and may be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Borrelia burgdorferi has been shown to be similar to the syphilis spirochete, but Dr. Miklossy also goes on to say, “Borrelia burgdorferi was detected in the brain in 25.3% of AD [Alzheimer’s dementia] cases analyzed and was 13 times more frequent in AD compared to controls.” Even more interesting, she notes that the common dental spirochete Treponema has been observed in over 90% of people with Alzheimer’s. Thus, spirochetal infections have been shown in multiple studies to be linked to Alzheimer’s.

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Why Is the CDC Allowing a Private Group to Determine Federal Policy on Lyme Disease?

•October 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Excerpted from  Truth Out: (10/15/2015)

IDSA emphasizes the guidelines are voluntary, but CDC’s endorsement is effectively an official seal of approval, so many physicians feel compelled to comply and insurance companies are supported in refusing to cover non-IDSA compliant care.

Since they were first published in 2000, the guidelines that most doctors follow for the treatment of Lyme disease have been the subject of intense controversy, including an antitrust investigation by the state of Connecticut and hundreds of protests.

The center of the debate is over the existence of chronic Lyme disease, also referred to as “persistent infection,” which means that some Lyme bacteria can tolerate and survive antibiotic treatment.

Doctors rely on “clinical practice guidelines” to determine how best to treat patients, and insurance companies use them to decide what treatments to cover. The Centers for DiseaseControl Prevention (CDC) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) worked closelyto develop the controversial IDSA guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.

The view enforced by IDSA is that Lyme disease is easy to diagnose and simple to treat with a limited course of antibiotics. According to the IDSA guidelines, chronic Lyme does not exist and long-term antibiotic treatment is not warranted. The IDSA guidelines are followed by most physicians and used by insurers to determine limits on coverage.

The alternative paradigm, represented by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), maintains that Lyme disease is a serious national medical problem that needsto be researched, diagnosed, and treated aggressively. The ILADS guidelines recognize chronicLyme and recommend that the “duration of therapy be guided by clinical response, rather than by an arbitrary treatment course.”

Despite serious flaws, the CDC continues to promote the IDSA guidelines, extending preferential treatment to them, while omitting information about the guidelines set forth by the InternationalLyme and Associated Diseases Society.

In addition to causing harm to patients, CDC’s preferential treatment and participation in clandestine advisory meetings with authors of the IDSA guidelines violates federal law.

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