Dr James Schaller
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Lyme Disease Pearls:

Unreliable Tests in Humans

Repeatedly Infected Deer are "Negative"

Neurological Lyme Patients
are "Negative" with Spinal Fluid Tests

A major problem with the diagnosis of Lyme disease stems from the variable results of serologic testing for its causative agent, B. burgdorferi. Indeed, well documented but seronegative Lyme disease has been widely reported in the medical literature [712], and the existence of seronegative infection is substantiated by the observation that the great majority of repeatedly infected deer remain seronegative for B. burgdorferi [13]. These observations raise doubt about the reliability of negative results using current Lyme disease tests, particularly when testing is aimed at the diagnosis of chronic as opposed to acute B. burgdorferi infections.

Just as seronegative but active Lyme disease has been documented in the scientific literature, so has active central nervous system (CNS) infection despite negative spinal fluid tests for B. burgdorferi [14,15]. Negative results are often obtained on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of known Lyme patients, including normal cell count and chemistry evaluations and absent Lyme antibody titers [14,15]. Consequently the absence of antibodies against B. burgdorferi in CSF cannot be relied on to rule out CNS infection with this organism. Given the foregoing, the diagnosis of B. burgdorferi infection should be made primarily on clinical grounds, with current serologies playing only supportive roles.

In addition to problems with diagnosis, it has been almost impossible to obtain a definition of cure for this illness due to inherent problems in culturing the organism. Without an easy method for culture, there has been no "gold standard" to assess treatment efficacy. Despite this uncertainty, some physicians insist that 30-day courses of antibiotic therapy are curative even for later stage Lyme disease. This belief persists despite seminal studies documenting that 30-day courses of antibiotics do not eradicate disseminated B. burgdorferi infection from mice, chimps and dogs [1618]. Although animal data must be interpreted with caution, it is not surprising that many humans with late stage Lyme disease also are not cured of their symptoms with 30-day courses of antibiotics.

THIS IS MERELY A SMALL EXERPT FROM A VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE FROM ILADS, WHICH HAS PHYSICIANS WITH ALLOT OF EXPERIENCE WITH LYME DISEASE AND WHO STUDY IT PASSIONATELY.

THEY HAVE HELPED MY FAMILY MEMBERS, MY PATIENTS AND FRIENDS, WHEN OTHERS WERE CLUELESS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING THIS FULL ARTICLE, LINK TO: www.ilads.org/position2.htm

To Your Health!

Dr. James


Bank Towers, Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL
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