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A Chronic Lyme Biomarker?

Researchers identify an antibody profile that may mark patients who suffer persistent symptoms of the tick-borne disease.

By | August 8, 2011

An adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, the species that carries Lyme diseasePHOTO BY SCOTT BAUER. (USDA ARS)

A more diverse antibody profile may distinguish people who experience chronic, persistent symptoms of Lyme disease, according to researchers at New York City's Weill Cornell Medical College.

Some people who are bitten by ticks and contract Lyme disease complain that their symptoms—including pain, lethargy, neurological problems and memory loss—persist for months or years after the infection has been treated with antibiotics. Controversy has swirled around such claims because physicians and researchers have been unable to find any trace of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete bacterium that causes Lyme, in these so-called post-Lyme disease patients. But now, Weill Cornell immunologist Armin Alaedini and colleagues have uncovered a molecular signature that may explain why Lyme disease lingers in some, but not others.

Alaedini and his team found a greater variety of antibodies to a B. burgdorferi surface protein, VIsE, in post-Lyme patients than in those who did not report chronic symptoms of the disease. The results, published on the website of Clinical Immunology last month, "could mean [some patients] naturally have a different antibody response to the infection than most people; it could mean they weren't treated properly; or it's possible they were reinfected and the second infection was never treated," Alaedini told Nature.

Whatever the cause of its persistence, the findings suggest that B. burgdorferi is hanging around in some Lyme patients and that symptoms of post-Lyme disease syndrome may be the result of an inflammatory response, as the immune system works overtime to produce a wider variety of VIsE antibodies to combat continual mutations in the bacterial protein. The research also opens the door to the possibility of a predictive biomarker that could help physicians identify Lyme patients at risk for developing the chronic form of the disease and treat them with more aggressive courses of antibiotics.

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Avatar of: Spinhirne

Spinhirne

Posts: 1

August 9, 2011

The entire scientific discussion of B. burgdorferi infections has been shaped and dominated by a few ideologues who in the early 1990s decided that it is easy to diagnose and treat. Now, in 2011, science writers continue to force fit all evidence through their lens.

The statement, "...physicians and researchers have been unable to find any trace of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete bacterium that causes Lyme", could just as easily be written, "researchers have never been able to present a convincing case that conventional recommended treatments eliminate the causative pathogen. Persisting infection is by far the most likely explanation for continuing symptoms."

If there is evidence of continuing immune response, why not go with the highly likely explanation that the bacterium persists and has not been adequately treated instead of proposing patients have an unusual genetic trait that sends their immune system into a highly unlikely and evolutionarily implausible state of developing unexplained immune responses?

Ideologues say that post-treatment PCR evidence of Bb results from B. burgdorferi killed years earlier. Ideologues say they cannot culture Bb post-treatment ignoring they could not culture Bb pre-treatment either, yet use this as evidence treatment was successful.

(Bb is extremely difficult to culture and culture is rarely attempted outside the research setting. The spirochetal pathogen Bb most resembles, Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis cannot be cultured outside of living mammals, so similar logic would conclude syphilis does not exist.)

At some point, any responsible scientist who has not swallowed the ideology whole cloth needs to object. Lyme borreliosis has symptoms quite similar to syphilis, has no test that reliably indicates infection or elimination, and conventional treatment has never been shown to be curative.

Rather than just report the ideologues talking points, writers should emphasize the misuse of scientific process to support an unsubstantiated ideology that keeps large numbers of people worldwide sick and disabled, and ignores fatal cases of borreliosis.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 9, 2011

The entire scientific discussion of B. burgdorferi infections has been shaped and dominated by a few ideologues who in the early 1990s decided that it is easy to diagnose and treat. Now, in 2011, science writers continue to force fit all evidence through their lens.

The statement, "...physicians and researchers have been unable to find any trace of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete bacterium that causes Lyme", could just as easily be written, "researchers have never been able to present a convincing case that conventional recommended treatments eliminate the causative pathogen. Persisting infection is by far the most likely explanation for continuing symptoms."

If there is evidence of continuing immune response, why not go with the highly likely explanation that the bacterium persists and has not been adequately treated instead of proposing patients have an unusual genetic trait that sends their immune system into a highly unlikely and evolutionarily implausible state of developing unexplained immune responses?

Ideologues say that post-treatment PCR evidence of Bb results from B. burgdorferi killed years earlier. Ideologues say they cannot culture Bb post-treatment ignoring they could not culture Bb pre-treatment either, yet use this as evidence treatment was successful.

(Bb is extremely difficult to culture and culture is rarely attempted outside the research setting. The spirochetal pathogen Bb most resembles, Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis cannot be cultured outside of living mammals, so similar logic would conclude syphilis does not exist.)

At some point, any responsible scientist who has not swallowed the ideology whole cloth needs to object. Lyme borreliosis has symptoms quite similar to syphilis, has no test that reliably indicates infection or elimination, and conventional treatment has never been shown to be curative.

Rather than just report the ideologues talking points, writers should emphasize the misuse of scientific process to support an unsubstantiated ideology that keeps large numbers of people worldwide sick and disabled, and ignores fatal cases of borreliosis.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 9, 2011

The entire scientific discussion of B. burgdorferi infections has been shaped and dominated by a few ideologues who in the early 1990s decided that it is easy to diagnose and treat. Now, in 2011, science writers continue to force fit all evidence through their lens.

The statement, "...physicians and researchers have been unable to find any trace of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete bacterium that causes Lyme", could just as easily be written, "researchers have never been able to present a convincing case that conventional recommended treatments eliminate the causative pathogen. Persisting infection is by far the most likely explanation for continuing symptoms."

If there is evidence of continuing immune response, why not go with the highly likely explanation that the bacterium persists and has not been adequately treated instead of proposing patients have an unusual genetic trait that sends their immune system into a highly unlikely and evolutionarily implausible state of developing unexplained immune responses?

Ideologues say that post-treatment PCR evidence of Bb results from B. burgdorferi killed years earlier. Ideologues say they cannot culture Bb post-treatment ignoring they could not culture Bb pre-treatment either, yet use this as evidence treatment was successful.

(Bb is extremely difficult to culture and culture is rarely attempted outside the research setting. The spirochetal pathogen Bb most resembles, Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis cannot be cultured outside of living mammals, so similar logic would conclude syphilis does not exist.)

At some point, any responsible scientist who has not swallowed the ideology whole cloth needs to object. Lyme borreliosis has symptoms quite similar to syphilis, has no test that reliably indicates infection or elimination, and conventional treatment has never been shown to be curative.

Rather than just report the ideologues talking points, writers should emphasize the misuse of scientific process to support an unsubstantiated ideology that keeps large numbers of people worldwide sick and disabled, and ignores fatal cases of borreliosis.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 11, 2011

I have had chronic myofascial pain and neuropathic pain for six years. I took anti-seizure drugs to help with the pain in the nerves and had weekly trigger point injections for years. In addition, I was taking Vicodin, Hydrocodone and Celebrex to try to control the pain. Nothing has worked as well as Lyrica. Now, instead of 2,800 mg of Neurontin, I take 225 mg of Lyrica. I have dropped the Celebrex and take drugs prescribed! Lyrica has changed my life, and after six years, I am finally ready to get back to work and living!

Findrxonline.com/blog

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 11, 2011

I have had chronic myofascial pain and neuropathic pain for six years. I took anti-seizure drugs to help with the pain in the nerves and had weekly trigger point injections for years. In addition, I was taking Vicodin, Hydrocodone and Celebrex to try to control the pain. Nothing has worked as well as Lyrica. Now, instead of 2,800 mg of Neurontin, I take 225 mg of Lyrica. I have dropped the Celebrex and take drugs prescribed! Lyrica has changed my life, and after six years, I am finally ready to get back to work and living!

Findrxonline.com/blog

Avatar of: lord voldemort

lord voldemort

Posts: 1

August 11, 2011

I have had chronic myofascial pain and neuropathic pain for six years. I took anti-seizure drugs to help with the pain in the nerves and had weekly trigger point injections for years. In addition, I was taking Vicodin, Hydrocodone and Celebrex to try to control the pain. Nothing has worked as well as Lyrica. Now, instead of 2,800 mg of Neurontin, I take 225 mg of Lyrica. I have dropped the Celebrex and take drugs prescribed! Lyrica has changed my life, and after six years, I am finally ready to get back to work and living!

Findrxonline.com/blog

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