Friday, November 23, 2012

0 Lyme Research Alliance Response To Reporting On Reinfection Study

The executive director of the Lyme Research Alliance responded to the New York Times' article, “New Infection, Not Relapse, Brings Back Lyme Symptoms, Study Says” which refers to the Lyme disease reinfection study recently published in the NEJM:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/opinion/lyme-disease-study.html

(original text removed in observance of NYT copyright policy.)

Current Active Research Projects which are listed on LRA's site:
http://www.lymeresearchalliance.org/research_projects.html



For the most part, I agree with Mr. Wild's statement. I only have some questions about this sentence: "This limited study supports the theory that Lyme is effectively treated by one short course of antibiotics, yet numerous scientists vehemently disagree."

I would have phrased it differently and stated it as "This limited study supports the theory that Lyme disease is always effectively treated by one short course of antibiotics, yet numerous scientists vehemently disagree."

There is a body of research which provides evidence that Lyme disease is not always effectively treated with one short course of antibiotics - even the IDSA's 2006 Guidelines state up to 10% of early acute cases of Lyme disease result in treatment failures. Those same guidelines cite studies on late stage Lyme disease cases which are treated according to the guidelines, yet patients are recorded as having relapses and not returning to their former health pre-infection.

In addition to the guidelines, there are case studies, research studies, and individual patient reports of relapsing symptoms after initial treatment.

At the same time, not everyone who contracts Lyme disease goes on to have persisting symptoms after initial treatment. The reason why some patients develop chronic Lyme disease and some do not is not clear. A delay in receiving initial antibiotic treatment appears to play a role - and the genotype of bacteria infecting a given patient and the patient's immune profile may also play a role in development of persisting symptoms. More research is required to understand the cause of chronic Lyme disease.


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