Chronic Lyme Disease
Before the organism that causes Lyme disease was identified, it was understood by front-line treating physicians that whatever was causing this mysterious tick-related illness was not a virus, it reacted to antibiotic therapy, it could be serious (heart, neurological complications, erosion of bone) and it often required repeated courses of antibiotics in those who relapsed to see marked improvement.
Lyme disease spirochete
"Named for the Connecticut town where the first identified cases occurred in 1972, this disorder has since been found elsewhere and may be caused by a virus transmitted by ticks. Attacks are often preceded by erythema chronicum migrans and are seldom prolonged, though they may recur. Symptomatic treatment only is advised, except in the rare instances of severe neurologic complications or myocardial conduction abnormality." (Steere, et al 1978) "Clinical studies have documented the efficacy of antibiotics, but therapy has failed in as many as 50% of cases of chronic infection." (Luft, Datwyler, et al 1987)
Lyme disease spirochetes
Neurological complications were described in the literature in the 1980's (Halperin, Datwyler, et al) and were said to be caused by central nervous system infection. Additionally, Luft, et al published that the:
"...infectious process of Lyme disease can appear as chronic dermatologic, rheumatologic, or neurologic."
It was also discovered that the chronic illness would advance to later stages and could go undetected on tests (seronegative).
"We conclude that the presence of chronic Lyme disease cannot be excluded by the absence of antibodies against B. burgdorferi and that a specific T-cell blastogenic response to B. burgdorferi is evidence of infection in seronegative patients with clinical indications of chronic Lyme disease." (Dattwyler, et al)
Studies can be reviewed by clicking on the subpages below.