Debate dogs Lyme meeting

Conflicting views over a chronic form of the disease cause some advocacy groups to withdraw from key workshop

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Oct 10, 2010
As Lyme disease experts gather today (11th October) in Washington DC for a two-day linkurl:scientific workshop;http://iom.edu/Activities/Disease/TickBorne.aspx organized by the Institutes of Medicine (IOM), a trio of disease advocacy groups have withdrawn their participation, claiming that the meeting is biased.
An adult deer tick (__Ixodes scapularis__)
Photo: Scott Bauer, courtesy USDA
After "much deliberation," the groups -- Time for Lyme, the Lyme Disease Association (a national group), and the California Lyme Disease Association -- decided to walk away from the meeting, arguing that organizers are not presenting enough information about the possibility that the disease can be chronic, and requires a long-term regimen of antibiotic drugs.Patients are typically administered a 2-3 week course of antibiotics to clear the infection. Some Lyme patients, however, complain of lingering symptoms weeks, months, or years after treatment stops, prompting some physicians and patient advocates to claim that the disease is chronic and persistent, and should...

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