Willy Burgdorfer Comments on Lyme Disease
He Suggests a Fresh Start in Diagnostics and Treatment
This Lyme disease researcher, Willy Burgdorfer, discovered Lyme and is a Ph.D., M.D., with years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the author of over 200 research papers.
[As I discovered spirochetes inside the tick] ... It was a "What in the hell? What's in that smear ... [moment]?" And then my work [on relapsing fever] as a Swiss student came back. [I said to myself], "Willy, these are spirochetes" ... in ... the tick ...
[So] many people ... said, "That is impossible, Willie, you can't get spirochetes out of hard-bodied ticks." [Now it is not in dispute]. [Since] I discovered the agent producing Lyme disease they called it Borrelia burgdorferi.
The similarities [between Lyme disease and syphilis is]...the infection of the brain, the nervous system. The syphilis spirochete, Treponema pallidum has an affinity for nerve tissues. The Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete very likely has that too. Children are especially sensitive to Borrelia burgdorferi. The Lyme disease spirochete is far more virulent than syphilis.... And [we] can't even make a [blood] smear with Borrelia burgdorferi and see the organism. Borrelia burgdorferi in the tissues of a patient is extremely difficult to demonstrate, because, first of all, you don't like somebody to take samples out of your brain [to look] for spirochetes. The same with other tissues.... But to prove that is extremely difficult. It demands surgical work, which is very expensive.
I am a believer in persistent infections because people suffering with Lyme disease, ten or fifteen or twenty years later, get sick [again]. Because it appears that this organism has the ability to be sequestered in tissues and [it] is possible that it could reappear, bringing back the clinical manifestations it caused in the first place...
The controversy in Lyme disease research is a shameful affair. And I say that because the whole thing is politically tainted. Money goes to people who have, for the past 30 years, produced the same thing—nothing. Serology has to be started from scratch with people who don't know beforehand the results of their research. There are lots of physicians around who wouldn't touch a Lyme disease patient. They tell the nurse, "You tell the guy to get out of here. I don't want to see him." That is shameful. So [this] shame includes physicians who don't even have the courage to tell a patient, "You have Lyme disease and I don't know anything about it."
I most regret that the technology used to diagnose and to even treat Lyme disease wasn't worked all the way through. It [was based on] only a few results, then published.... Borrelia burgdorferi is too serious an [infectious] agent to play with, and with many laboratories, the severity of the disease is overlooked.
Neurologic manifestations have to be the next stage of research and its ability to change its physiology and genetics.
Source: Very limited quotes from an extended three hour interview with Award Winning Director Andy Wilson.