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LYME DISEASE ... Borrelia Burgdorferi
Monday, November 14, 2005
UTSA opens new bioterrorism lab
SAN ANTONIO - A new research lab for bioterrorism opened Monday at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
The $10.6 million Margaret Batts Tobin Laboratory Building will provide a 22,000-square-foot facility to study such diseases as anthrax, tularemia, cholera, lyme disease, desert valley fever and other parasitic and fungal diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these diseases as potential bioterrorism agents. Fifteen university researchers make up the newly established South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. [It's hard to tell if these researchers really believe these are "bio-terrorism" mechanisms, or if they just use the category to obtain research funding... editor]
Earlier this year, the researchers were awarded $9 million in federal funding for bioterrorism research conducted in a smaller lab on campus.
Portland Independent Media Center ... http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/331695.shtml#235843
For the first time, a US government body admits that Lyme disease
May Be Used As A Biological Warfare Agent.
This can be the reason that hundreds of thousands of men, women and children
around the world have been left to rot with incorrect diagnoses, or have had
their Lyme disease acknowledged, and then (falsely) informed that it is
an "easily-treated" disease, Subsequently given 3 weeks' antibiotics, then told
nothing further could be done (or that it was "all in their head") when symptoms
For the British, the existence of the epidemic is denied completely. Virtually no effort is made to warn or educate the public about the dangers of ticks, which carry the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi. In the UK, Lyme Disease's myriad presentations are routinely misdiagnosed as everything from "M.E." to MS to hypochondria.
The Borrelia genus has been a subject of biowar experimentation at least as far back as WW2, when the infamous Japanese Unit 731 (which tortured and experimented on live prisoners) studied it.
The reality is, Lyme disease, for many, is a chronic, horrendous, incapacitating condition, producing crippling fatigue, constant pain, loss of memory, possible paralysis, psychosis, blindness and even death.
Borrelia Burgdorferi is an ideal biowar agent, because it evades detection on routine tests, has an enormous range of different presentations, and can mimic everything from ADHD to multiple sclerosis to carpal tunnel syndrome to rheumatoid arthritis to chronic fatigue syndrome (M.E.) to lupus to schizophrenia. Medical staff...friend or foe... would never know what had hit them, nor even that ONE illness had hit their population, rather than an unexplained rise in dozens of known conditions.
Honest doctors and scientists who have tried to treat or research Lyme disease, according to ethical principles, have been viciously persecuted by government-backed organizations in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Many specialists in the US were threatened with loss of license or, had anonymous, false allegations sent to the medical board, tying them up in mountains of paperwork and legal fees...some were forced out of medicine or even driven to suicide.
Individuals with a background in military/biowarfare units, such as Dr Allen Steere, Mark Klempner, Philip Baker, Edward McSweegan, David Dennis, Alan Barbour etc have achieved top positions in Lyme research at CDC, NIH etc. from where they issue information apparently compatible with the objectives of their prior (past and present?) employers. This information does not always appear to be in the best interests of Borrelia Burgdorferi victims.
According to "Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease (click the link for the full article together with full foot notes ... The portion presented here is copied without permission for informational purposes only.)
Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States and Europe, and one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States. It is named after the town of Lyme, Connecticut where a cluster of cases occurred in the 1970s. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial infection with a spirochete from the species complex Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and is most often acquired from the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. Borrelia burgdorferi was first identified in 1982 by Willy Burgdorfer, a tick-borne disease expert at Rocky Mountain Labs in Hamilton, Montana. While Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is the predominant cause in the U.S., Lyme disease in Europe is more often caused by Borrelia afzelii or Borrelia garinii. The disease varies widely in its presentation, which may include a rash, flu-like symptoms, neurologic, arthritic and/or cardiac manifestations. Early detection and prompt antibiotic treatment (within the first eight weeks after infection) usually result in an excellent prognosis, though some patients remain symptomatic. Delayed or inadequate treatment may lead to a chronic illness that is disabling and difficult to treat
Lyme disease has many signs and symptoms, but skin signs, arthritis and/or various neurological symptoms are often present. Like syphilis, the symptoms frequently seem to resolve, yet the disease progresses. Conventional therapy is with antibiotics. People who suspect they have been exposed to Lyme disease should consult a doctor with knowledge of the disease immediately.
The incubation period from infection to the onset of symptoms is usually 1͊weeks, but can be much shorter (a couple of days), or even as long as one month.
The late symptoms of Lyme disease can appear months after infection.
Lyme disease may be misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or other (mainly autoimmune and neurological) diseases, which leaves the infection untreated and allows it to further penetrate the organism. Some of these conditions may be misdiagnosed as Lyme disease, although this is thought to be a rare occurrence. False positive Lyme diagnosis is most commonly due to false positive serology in a subset of patients who may suffer from syphillis, rheumatologic diseases, or infectious mononucleosis. More confounding is that patients may present with Lyme Disease and a related disease such as MS. This makes diagnosis exceptionally difficult. It should be noted that this kind of misdiagnosis is the exception rather than the rule as it is widely held that Lyme Disease is underdiagnosed and underreported ranging from factors of 10 to upwards of 40. It is important to remember that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is by definition a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning it would be inaccurate to say that a patient does not have Lyme because he or she has CFS. The substantial overlap in symptomatology between Lyme and CFS makes this a crucial point.
Lyme disease is caused by spirochetal bacteria from the genus Borrelia, which has well over three hundred known genomic strains. The Borrelia species known to cause Lyme disease are collectively known as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and have been found to have greater strain diversity than previously estimated. Until recently it was thought that only three genospecies caused Lyme disease: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (predominant in North America, but also in Europe), B. afzelii, and B. garinii (both predominant in Eurasia). However, newly discovered genospecies have also been found to cause disease in humans: B. lusitaniae in Europe (especially Portugal), North Africa and Asia, B. bissettii in the U.S. and Europe, and B. spielmanii in Europe. Additional B. burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies suspected of causing illness, but not confirmed by culture, include B. valaisiana (Eurasia, especially England, Switzerland and the Netherlands); B. japonica, B. tanukii and B. turdae (Japan); B. sinica (China); and B. andersonii (U.S.). Some of these species are carried by ticks not currently recognized as carriers of Lyme disease. Note: At present, diagnostic tests are based only on B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (the only species used in the U.S.), B. afzelii and B. garinii.
Apart from this group of closely related genospecies, additional Borrelia species of interest include B. lonestari, a spirochete recently detected in the Amblyomma americanum tick (Lone Star tick) in the U.S. B. lonestari is suspected of causing STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness), also known as Masters disease in honor of its discoverer. The illness follows a Lone Star tick bite and clinically resembles Lyme disease, but sufferers usually test negative for Lyme. There is currently no diagnostic test available for STARI/Masters, and no official treatment protocol, though antibiotics are generally prescribed. The B. miyamotoi spirochete, related to the relapsing fever group of spirochetes, is also suspected of causing illness in Japan. Spirochetes similar to B. miyamotoi have recently been found in both I. ricinus ticks in Sweden and I. scapularis ticks in the U.S.
While B. burgdorferi is susceptible to a number of antibiotics in vitro (in the test tube), there are contradictory reports as to the efficacy of antibiotics in vivo (in the body). B. burgdorferi may persist in humans and animals for months or years despite a robust immune response and standard antibiotic treatment, particularly when treatment is delayed and dissemination widespread. Numerous studies have demonstrated persistence of infection despite antibiotic therapy.
Various survival strategies of B. burgdorferi have been posited to explain this phenomenon, including the following:
For early cases, prompt treatment is usually curative. However, the severity and treatment of Lyme disease may be complicated due to late diagnosis, failure of antibiotic treatment, simultaneous infection with other tick-borne diseases including ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and bartonella, and immune suppression in the patient (sometimes resulting from inappropriate treatment with steroids).
A meta-analysis published in 2005 found that some patients with Lyme disease have fatigue, joint and/or muscle pain, and neurocognitive symptoms persisting for years despite antibiotic treatment. Patients with chronic Lyme disease have been shown to experience a level of physical disability equivalent to that seen in congestive heart failure. The disease is rarely fatal in and of itself, although deaths have been reported.
Persons who remove attached ticks should be monitored closely for signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases for up to 30 days. Single-dose doxycycline therapy may be considered for deer tick bites when the tick has been on the person for at least 36 hours.
Traditional treatment of acute Lyme disease usually consists of a minimum two-week to one-month course of antibiotics. In later stages, the bacteria disseminate throughout the body and may cross the blood-brain barrier, making the infection more difficult to treat. Chronic or late diagnosed Lyme is treated with oral or IV antibiotics, frequently ceftriaxone, for a minimum of four weeks.
With little research conducted specifically on chronic Lyme disease, treatment remains controversial. Currently there are two sets of peer-reviewed published guidelines; the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) advocates extended courses of antibiotics for chronic Lyme patients, while the Infectious Diseases Society of America does not recognize chronic infection and recommends no treatment for persistent symptoms following infection (see The Lyme controversy--Two standards of care). Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of long-term antibiotics for chronic Lyme have produced mixed results (see The Lyme controversy--Long-term antibiotic therapy).
Many alternative (or supplemental) therapies have been suggested. For example, melittin, a peptide from bee venom, has been shown to exert "profound inhibitory effects" on lyme bacteria.  Despite its demonstrated potency, apparently no further research has been conducted on melittin as a possible lyme treatment. Clinical trials of large doses of IV sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) have been shown to kill cancer cells and possibly parasites in the body. Largely due to this, there are many chronic lyme disease sufferers turning to natural therapies.
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