Lyme disease expert, Clinical Director for the Division of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Paul Auwaerter joined me to answer questions about Lyme disease diagnostic testing, treatment, chronic Lyme disease and Lyme literate physicians.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS
- Lyme advocate discusses CDC MMWR Chronic Lyme article
- Lyme Madness author, Lori Dennis, for the full show
- The ABCs of melanoma
- Psoriasis: Oral treatment clinical trials
- Hansen’s Disease, or leprosy in the US
- Ringworm: Is it a worm? No, it’s a fungus among us
- Polio: Additional cases reported in Syria
- Infection control breach prompts notification letters to Covenant Health patients
- New antiviral drug candidate inhibits a broad range of coronaviruses, including the SARS and MERS
- Cholera epidemic: 40,000 new cases reported in Yemen during past week
- Acupuncture elevates nitric oxide, encouraging release of analgesic substances
- Romania and Italy measles update, EU court ruling on vaccines
- Balamuthia: Profounda receives Orphan Drug Designation to use miltefosine for treatment
2 thoughts on “Lyme: Q & A with Paul Auwaerter, MD”
Tulane University just recently released the results of a study which showed Borrelia burgdorferi survived 28 days of antibiotics in all 5 chimpanzees tested. The key to this was that they allowed the bacteria to spread for several months before initiating treatment. This is a very important detail, because this is the all too common story among lyme patients. Many, like myself, are not diagnosed and treated immediately after contracting the infection. This is one reason “Lyme literate” drs say that the issue is not black and white as the CDC and IDSA make it out to be. It’s one thing to say that treatment is highly effective in those diagnosed early. But the CDC says very little about those who are treated in the late stages of infection, although they acknowledge that the bacteria can spread throughout the body, infecting the many organs and causing serious complications. It’s a curious fact that the medical community widely accepts that treponema pallidium can become a chronic, difficult to treat infection when caught late. And yet Borrelia burgdorferi, a cousin to syphilis but with over one hundred more active genes adding to its complexity, is completely eliminated 100% of the time when some antibiotics are thrown at it, and can never be a chronic infection.
Tulane used 5 methods of testing including xenodiagnostic to confirm the presence of living Borrelia in the chimps. 100% of the chimps, by literal definition had “chronic” infection with active Borrelia. This doesn’t prove that the same thing happens in humans, but it is a good indication, in light of the thousands of patients who report a tick bite and rash, or positive test, and then remain ill long after antibiotic treatment. Either way, the study needs to be applied to humans. The CDC and IDSA should be very cautious at this point in taking a staunch stance against the possibility of chronic Lyme disease, as they may look very foolish in the near future. If the bacteria can become chronic, it’s only a matter of time now before it will be validated, as Lyme has become hot under the magnifying glass in recent years.
I emailed the CDC asking them about the Tulane study. I wanted to see how they would respond, and if they felt the study had any significance. They simply said “yes, we find it significant”, but nothing further.