Wednesday, December 7, 2011

0 Review Of The 2011 Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases National Conference

In October 2011, a national conference on Lyme and tick-borne diseases was held in Philadelphia by Columbia University and the Lyme Disease Association.

Here is a brief overview of the topics presented:

  • Dr. J. William Costerton’s riveting talk on “The Role of Biofilms in Chronic Bacterial Infections” reviewed the history of the discovery of biofilms, demonstrating that these biofilms enable micro-organisms to resist host defenses and antibiotics, enabling infections to become chronic.
  • Dr. Eva Sapi’s talk on “Killing Borrelia – an impossible job?” addressed various mechanisms associated with Borrelia burgdorferi that may help it to survive despite antibiotic treatment.
  • Dr. Jason A. Carlyon’s talk focused on Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). This emerging tick-borne pathogen demonstrates stealth trickery, enabling it to avoid and even subvert immune cells.
  • Dr. Richard Marconi’s talk on “C-Di-GMP” described research demonstrating that the cyclic nucleotide, c-di-GMP, plays a critical role in regulating several important cellular processes.
  • Dr. Chris Earnhart’s talk described work developing a novel next-generation Lyme disease vaccine based on outer surface protein C. Osp C is expressed by all Bb species and strains and is expressed in the human host for several weeks before being down-regulated.
  • Dr. Robert S. Lane gave a brief overview of his research team's long-term studies of the ecology and epidemiology of Lyme disease in California, and then summarized some exciting recent findings regarding the genospecies and genotypes of Borrelia burgdorferi s. l. that infect the western black-legged tick and humans in this region.
  • Dr. Karen Newell Rogers presented a talk about novel ways to target chronic inflammation and chronic immune activation among patients with chronic Lyme disease. The primary controversy with Lyme disease has been whether the disease is the result of long-lasting bacterial infection or whether long-term symptoms result from a post-infectious, uncontrolled autoimmune response.
  • Dr. Robert Yolken’s talk on “Infections and Human Neuropsychiatric Diseases” focused on the Stanley Center’s work at Hopkins which has examined infectious triggers of psychosis.
  • Dr. Josep Dalmau’s talk on “The Clinical Spectrum and Cellular Mechanisms of Autoimmunity in NMDA and other synaptic receptors”. His pioneering work studying anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis shows how an immune response triggered by a tumor (e.g., ovarian teratoma) or perhaps an infectious process, results in antibodies that can attack critical receptors and synaptic proteins in the Central Nervous System involved in memory, behavior, cognition, and psychosis.
  • Dr. John Aucott’s talk on “Early Lyme disease” reported from the SLICE prospective cohort and his Maryland studies.
  • Dr. Reinhard K. Straubinger's talk on “Canine and Equine Lyme Borreliosis” focused on Lyme borreliosis in animals, especially in dogs and horses.
  • Dr. James Moeller presented a talk on “Immunologic aspects of neuropsychiatric illness: Lyme disease as model”.
  • Dr. Brian Fallon presented a talk on “Models of Chronic Lyme Disease”. The talk started with a review of the terms that refer to chronic symptoms and recommendations on how the the IDSA’s definition of Post-treatment Lyme Syndrome could be improved. This talk reviewed the evidence regarding models of persistent infection and/or persistent immune activation.
  • Dr. Andrew Walter reported on Ehrlichiosis and Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in cases of children diagnosed in Delaware.
  • Dr. Andrea Gaito provided an update on the clinical evaluation and treatment of Lyme Arthritis from an autoimmune perspective. Lyme arthritis occurs in sixty percent of patients with untreated Lyme disease.
  • Dr. Ingeborg Dziedzic presented an interesting (and at times entertaining) overview of how Lyme disease impacts the eye, emphasizing that the eye is in part like the skin and in part like the brain.
  • Dr. Vijay Thadani presented an overview of seizures and non-epileptic seizures, showing videos of both. Brain infections such as Lyme disease can lead to the development of epilepsy.
  • Dr. Steve Bock addressed complementary and integrative medicine approaches to the treatment of chronic Lyme disease.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Maloney addressed studies of antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease, providing a thoughtful and critical review of the literature to identify lessons, gaps, and future research needs.

READ MORE - Full Presentation Information Here:
2011 Lyme and Tick Borne-Diseases National Conference Summary Report

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