Tuesday, 23 November 2010


A Systems Approach in Understanding Tick-Borne Diseases: People, Animals, and the Ecosystem
Richard Ostfeld, Ph.D. Disease Ecologist
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

'We live in an age of emerging infectious diseases. A recent study by Jones et al demonstrates that no fewer than 335 new infectious diseases of humans have emerged since 1940.

Of those Infectious Diseases about 60% of them are Zoonotic, meaning that the pathogen replicates within and is transmitted from non humans vertebrate species to humans.

Of these Zoonotic diseases about 72% are from wildlife with the remainder coming from domestic animals of various kinds.

Fully 30% of the newly emerging diseases are vector borne including most of the Tick borne diseases we will be talking about today and tomorrow and throughout the 20th Centuray and into the 21st Century the rate of emergence of new Infectious Diseases of humans has increased.'

The above were the opening remarks by Richard Ostfeld at A Workshop on the Critical Needs and Gaps in Understanding Prevention, Amelioration, and Resolution of Lyme and Other Tick-borne Diseases: the Short-Term and Long-Term

To view and listen to the whole presentation click here

Much of the controversy over diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease comes back to the old problem of definition of Lyme Disease and it is interesting to see how the ILADS conferences (London and USA) moved away from that narrow definition of Lyme Disease, (Dr Bransfield's presentation of the Decade of the Microbe) as they are finding many of their patients are multiply infected with different organisms.

Dr Richard Horowitz interviewed for a TV program here refers to MCIDS - Multiple Chronic Infectious Diseases Syndrome found through CALDA website here


I was lucky that my Chronic symptoms of Arthritis and muscle weakness which developed following tick bites and Bulls eye rashes responded so well to long term antibiotics although it took 4 years for my GP to realise the connection to the tick bites.

I never tested fully positive on any of the two tests given but listening to the Institute of Medicine Workshop it seems that many of the tick borne illnesses have problems over testing and many of the available tests are not given to patients like myself who are chronically ill.

Through Eurolyme I am in touch with patients who have Neurolgical symptoms, some diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's and Motor Neurons who are responding well to long term antibiotics.

So whilst science is still evolving over these complex emerging diseases it is best to keep an open mind and see what works well for us as individuals.

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