Tick expert shares Lyme disease views

The blood tests used are problematic because they detect antibodies produced by a body’s immune system, not the bacteria that causes the disease, Grier said. Within the first four to six weeks of infection, patients won’t test positive for the disease because not enough antibodies are produced, he said.

Excerpted from  the Winona Daily News ( Posted: 02/27/2011 ) 

Current methods used to diagnose and treat Lyme disease prevent some patients from receiving necessary treatment, said one tick-borne disease researcher.

Tom Grier, from Duluth, Minn., a biology and chemistry graduate from the University of Minnesota, spoke Saturday morning at the Winona Public Library about methods used to test for the disease and treatment guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

“Everything is in place to create a disease that’s hard to treat,” Grier said.

Lyme patients should be diagnosed and receive treatment based on symptoms, not on blood-work results, Grier said.

“We’d be better off if there had never been a test,” he said.

The blood tests used are problematic because they detect antibodies produced by a body’s immune system, not the bacteria that causes the disease, Grier said. Within the first four to six weeks of infection, patients won’t test positive for the disease because not enough antibodies are produced, he said.

As the disease progresses, Grier said, bacteria moves out of the bloodstream and into a person’s tissues. Antibodies can no longer be detected at that point, rendering the tests useless, he said.

Patients would be better served if physicians focused on Lyme symptoms and did away with blood work, Grier said.

For the complete article: http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/local/article_47ef8b60-422c-11e0-8a6d-001cc4c03286.html

 

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~ by Rob on February 27, 2011.

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