Friday, May 25, 2012

2 Wormser et al Criticism Launched at Embers' Rhesus Macaque Study

Wormser et al have recently published a critique of Embers' study, "Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Rhesus Macaques following Antibiotic Treatment of Disseminated Infection".

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2012 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Critical Analysis of Treatment Trials of Rhesus Macaques Infected with Borrelia burgdorferi Reveals Important Flaws in Experimental Design.
Wormser GP, Baker PJ, O'Connell S, Pachner AR, Schwartz I, Shapiro ED.


A critical analysis of two treatment trials of Chinese rhesus macaques infected with Borrelia burgdorferi indicates that insufficient attention was placed on documenting the blood levels, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic parameters of the antibiotics used in this host. Consequently, it is impossible to conclude that the findings have validity in judging the efficacy of doxycycline or ceftriaxone for the treatment of Borrelia burgdorferi in this animal model.

PMID: 22620495 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Full text of this critique is available here:

The full text of the original study which is the focus of this critique is here:

Related material on Camp Other blog:


For now I am sharing the news that the free full text this critique is available online. Further comments to be made at another time. Comments by readers are welcome.


  1. If I seem quiet about this criticism at the moment, I am - in order to give this criticism the feedback it requires I need some time to do a little research because I don't know enough about the PK/PD of certain antibiotics used in Rhesus macaques to comment at this point on the validity (or lack thereof) of their criticisms - regardless of how I feel about the criticism and whether or not I think it is fair.

    I am also waiting for Embers et al to issue an official statement in response to this criticism, as I expect they will in the near future. I would continue looking at the original published research related pages and comments on PLoSONE, because an additional statement may be issued there in response to Wormser et al.

  2. This paper may provide a partial answer to Wormser et al's critique:

    Pharmacokinetic analysis of oral doxycycline in rhesus macaques.
    Embers ME, Hasenkampf NR, Embers DG, Doyle LA.

    J Med Primatol. 2013 Apr;42(2):57-61. doi: 10.1111/jmp.12031. Epub 2012 Dec 20.



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