Monday, 18 July 2011


Congress Addresses Lyme Disease Issues

LDA Press Release

July 18, 2011. The all volunteer national Lyme Disease Association (LDA) is pleased to announce the introduction of a bill and proposed legislative actions that focus attention on the growing concerns surrounding Lyme and tick borne diseases.

Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) introduced HR-2557, the Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2011, on Friday, July 15, 2011, along with cosponsors Frank Wolf (VA), Tim Holden (PA), and Chris Gibson (NY).

Congressman Smith's bill, HR-2557, requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee to address a variety of important issues. The Committee will be charged with advising Federal agencies on priorities related to Lyme and tick-borne disease issues and will be composed of scientists, representatives from government agencies, health care providers and patient representatives. The Committee is charged with ensuring that a broad spectrum of scientific and stake-holder viewpoints are represented in public health policy decisions and that information disseminated to the public and physicians is balanced.

Congressman Smith, Chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus for the past seven years, has worked diligently to foster greater knowledge about tick-borne diseases over the years. Amongst his many Lyme-related endeavors, he hosted a Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Forum last summer in Wall Township, NJ, for health officials, medical professionals and the public, with over 300 people in attendance. Pat Smith of the LDA was one of the guest speakers.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has plans to highlight legislation to combat the spread of Lyme disease. He will meet with volunteer patient advocates from the Connecticut based Lyme disease group, Time for Lyme (TFL), an affiliate of the Lyme Disease Association, at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven on Monday, July 18, 2011.

Senator Blumenthal, who served an unprecedented five terms as Attorney General in Connecticut, is known for his efforts to make real and lasting difference in the lives of the people. He has been a long-time public defender of Lyme disease patients rights.

The Lyme Disease Association (LDA), an organization that seeks to eliminate tick-borne diseases by funding research, educating the public, and providing scientific conferences for doctors, is grateful to Congressman Smith, Senator Blumenthal, the bill cosponsors and staff for their enduring commitment to improve the health of countless patients suffering from Lyme and tick-borne diseases.

For more information please visit the LDA website

Contact Pat Smith, President, Lyme Disease Association, Inc. PO Box 1438, Jackson, NJ 08527. Toll free information line: 888-366-6611. Fax 732-938-7215.


Saturday, 16 July 2011


Evaluation of in-vitro antibiotic susceptibility of different morphological forms of Borrelia burgdorferi.


Lyme Disease Research Group, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA;



Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Although antibiotic therapy is usually effective early in the disease, relapse may occur when administration of antibiotics is discontinued. Studies have suggested that resistance and recurrence of Lyme disease might be due to formation of different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi, namely round bodies (cysts) and biofilm-like colonies. Better understanding of the effect of antibiotics on all morphological forms of B. burgdorferi is therefore crucial to provide effective therapy for Lyme disease.


Three morphological forms of B. burgdorferi (spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilm-like colonies) were generated using novel culture methods. Minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration of five antimicrobial agents (doxycycline, amoxicillin, tigecycline, metronidazole, and tinidazole) against spirochetal forms of B. burgdorferi were evaluated using the standard published microdilution technique. The susceptibility of spirochetal and round body forms to the antibiotics was then tested using fluorescent microscopy (BacLight™ viability staining) and dark field microscopy (direct cell counting), and these results were compared with the microdilution technique. Qualitative and quantitative effects of the antibiotics against biofilm-like colonies were assessed using fluorescent microscopy and dark field microscopy, respectively.


Doxycycline reduced spirochetal structures ∼90% but increased the number of round body forms about twofold. Amoxicillin reduced spirochetal forms by ∼85%-90% and round body forms by ∼68%, while treatment with metronidazole led to reduction of spirochetal structures by ∼90% and round body forms by ∼80%. Tigecycline and tinidazole treatment reduced both spirochetal and round body forms by ∼80%-90%. When quantitative effects on biofilm-like colonies were evaluated, the five antibiotics reduced formation of these colonies by only 30%-55%. In terms of qualitative effects, only tinidazole reduced viable organisms by ∼90%. Following treatment with the other antibiotics, viable organisms were detected in 70%-85% of the biofilm-like colonies.


Antibiotics have varying effects on the different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi. Persistence of viable organisms in round body forms and biofilm-like colonies may explain treatment failure and persistent symptoms following antibiotic therapy of Lyme disease.

Link to paper here


This excellent study may add to why some LLMD's are finding results with starting with cyst busters early in treatment. What a pity the denialists can't be bothered to read such research but instead insist they know that Lyme is easy to diagnose and simple to cure. Let them go live with our symptoms after inadequate treatment.

Friday, 15 July 2011


At last a slight change in direction from the overly dependence on the IDSA Guidelines, well done to these doctors for producing these new Guidelines and referencing to more of the doctors who specialise in Chronic Lyme disease and have a better understanding than the narrow minded doctors who only see an acute form and thus they believe we can all be cured in just a couple of weeks antibiotics!

Most of the patients I am in touch with failed the IDSA's treatment of a couple of weeks antibiotics but have made significant progress on longer courses of treatment.

Deutsche Borreliose-Gesellschaft e. V.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme borreliosis
Guidelines here

Just a few points mentioned
Chronic Lyme
Latency 8 years before symptoms developed.
50% not aware of tick bite
50% no EM
Seronegativity following early anti-biotic treatment therefore does not rule out Lyme borreliosis in any way.
Chronic stage
Lyme borreliosis can lead to numerous symptoms. The following are particularly frequent:
• fatigue (exhaustion, a chronic feeling of illness)
• encephalopathy (impaired cerebral function)
• muscular and skeletal symptoms
• neurological symptoms (including polyneuropathy)
• gastrointestinal symptoms
• urogenital symptoms
• ocular symptoms
• cutaneous symptoms
• heart diseases.
The success of treatment must be assessed clinically
A negative serological finding does not rule out Lyme borreliosis
There may be a disease requiring treatment even without the detection of antibodies. (Causes: e. g. antibi-otic treatment starting early but inadequate with immunodepressants, including cortisone, exhaustion of the immune system, masking of the causative agents, genetic disposition.)
Co-infections can be transmitted by ticks or by other routes of infection
The scientific basis for antibiotic treatment is still inadequate at the present time, with the exception of the localised early stages (EM). The considerable shortcomings in the scientific-clinical analysis are reflected in therapeutic guidelines, which are severely limited in the reli-ability of their recommendations and in their evidence base in the international litera-ture,(159) and they do not meet the requirements from the medical and health-policy aspects.

Successful antibiotic treatment is possible only if the individual has an effective immune sys-tem. With regard to antibiotic treatment, problems also arise with Borrelia due to natural or acquired resistance. The causative agent of Lyme borreliosis can evade the immune system by what are known as “escape mechanisms”

Thursday, 14 July 2011


Samuel Shor1, MD, FACP

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion for which there are no markers. Lyme disease is the most common vector borne illness in the United States for which chronic fatigue is a frequent clinical manifestation. Intervention of patients with Lyme disease with appropriately directed antimicrobials has been associated with improved outcomes.

An arbitrary date was chosen such that all patients registered in the database of the practice of the PI, which is located in the Lyme endemic area of Northern Virginia area were reviewed. The diagnosis of clinically significant fatigue > 6 months was chosen. Inclusion criteria required fulfilling the International Case Definition for CFS.
Of the total 210 included in the analysis, 209 or 99% were felt to represent a high likelihood of “seronegative Lyme disease.” Initiating various antimicrobial regimen, involved at least a 50% improvement in clinical status in 130 or 62%. Although not achieving the 50% threshold according to the criteria discussed, another 55 patients subjectively identified a beneficial clinical response to antimicrobials, representing a total of 188 or 88% of the total identified as having a high potential for seronegative Lyme disease.
A potentially substantial proportion of patients with what would otherwise be consistent with internationally case defined CFS in a Lyme endemic environment actually have a perpetuation of their symptoms driven by a persistent infection by Borrelia burgdorferi. By treating this cohort with appropriately directed antimicrobials, we have the ability to improve outcomes.
Link to the study here
Of course here in the UK a growing number of areas are being found to have ticks carrying Lyme Disease so depending on having been infected in just the known Lyme Endemic areas is just not the best way forward. What we need is much more research relevant to the situation in the UK.
Meanwhile anyone with ME/CFS symptoms should at least consider the possibility that it could be Lyme Disease, not everyone is aware of the sometimes poppy seed sized tick that can infect us and currently research shows that blood tests can miss up to 50% of cases, with about 50% of those infected not seeing a typical Bulls eye rash.

Monday, 4 July 2011


Look what I found crawling on my kitchen floor today!

An engorged tick not something you want to find when you have spent years suffering with Lyme Disease and years regaining your health.

I suspect it has dropped off our dog Beth a Springer spaniel and not my husband or myself.

Beth has been struggling with arthritis although she is an elderly lady. As she has often had ticks attached and engorged I suspected her arthritis like mine could be as a result of Lyme Disease although the blood tests were negative but I guess as they do an ELISA only then no surprises there to get a negative result.

I couldn't face another battle with vets for antibiotic treatment
so just in case a few months ago I tried her on Samento. What a difference she bounces around now as she did a few years ago with not much sign of arthritis and no need for anti inflammatories.

So here's hoping that if this tick was attached to her and infected her Samento will take care of any infections.

I will be keeping an eye on myself and husband too.

Just shows you can never be too careful even when you are Lyme aware.