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Johns Hopkins Continuing Denial of Chronic Lyme

Johns Hopkins Continuing Denial of the 
Existence of Chronic Lyme Disease

Chronic Lyme disease does exist in spite of Johns Hopkins unsubstantiated opinions and a handful of IDSA supporters trying to say otherwise.

Winter 2011, Update-  Johns Hopkins infectious disease doctors are STILL denying the existence of chronic Lyme disease.  They STILL believe people who are not cured after taking their recommended, insurance friendly treatment protocol (cheapest antibiotic on market for least amount of time) are not physically sick- they are simply experiencing the "aches and pains of daily living".  They routinely recommend chronically ill Lyme patients "get more exercise", take "anti-inflammatory medications" (advil, etc) and see a "psychiatrist" rather than prescribing antibiotics for a serious bacterial infection(s) that can disable and kill patients.   

These doctors STILL, in spite of all the scientific literature and clinical evidence to the contrary, promote the idea that 2-3 weeks of antibiotics cures Lyme disease!

You can see the latest video (link below) by a Johns Hopkins infectious disease doctor, Paul Auwaerter, who was investigated by the Attorney General (CT) and found, along with a small group of like-minded doctors, to be riddled with conflicts of interest and extremely biased.  Auwaerter not only was the editor of the discredited IDSA Lyme disease guidelines, he is the IDSA's spokesman.  

He also authored the study at Johns Hopkins that proved 75% of people with Lyme are being missed using his and the IDSA's recommended tests that bring in over $3 million per year in Maryland alone.

In the short video, Auwaerter doesn't attempt to help patients.  Instead, he attempts to discredit doctors and any other health care professionals that treat patients for chronic Lyme disease when they deem it appropriate.  

He also uses scare tactics to deter patients from going to doctors who will treat sick patients beyond Auwaeter's restrictive guideline protocols, or who consider taking antibiotics for a longer time than he recommends.  Some of his assertions in this video are totally unfounded.

Auwaerter's video does not offer any explanation as to what is causing the Lyme symptoms in Lyme patients, other than saying the diagnosis chronically ill Lyme patients are given is not correct, indicating he is still promoting the A.B.L.S. (Anything But Lyme Syndrome) diagnosis that has ruined many lives and has no known cause, and no known cure.

To watch the latest video against chronic Lyme patients and the doctors treating them, click here.

To see another Auwaerter video about how easy it is to treat Lyme disease, and how some people don't need any treatment at all, click here.

Before the organism (spirochete) that causes Lyme disease was identified, it was understood by treating physicians that whatever was causing the mysterious tick-related illness was not a virus as reported, it did react positively to antibiotic therapy, it could become serious (heart, neurological complications, erosion of bone) and it often required repeated courses of antibiotics to see marked improvement, especially in those who relapsed after what was thought to be "standard antibiotic therapy".

Over the years the scientific explanation regarding why people suffer from continuing symptoms and relapses after standard treatment has become clear.  For example:    

Persister Cells- 2010- K. Lewis, Professor and Director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20528688

Persister Cells, Dormancy and Infectious Disease- 2007- K. Lewis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17143318

Lab page

http://www.northeastern.edu/adc/'

Author's info:  Kim Lewis, Professor and Director, Antimicrobial Discovery Center 
k.lewis@neu.edu 

Department of Biology
Northeastern University
405 Mugar Life Sciences
360 Huntington Avenue 
Boston, MA 02115 USA
Phone: 617.373.8238 

Although thousands of scientific papers have been written indicating persistent infection is the cause of continuing symptoms, members of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and their supporters (Johns Hopkins) continue to deny the existence of chronic Lyme disease after their one size fits all treatment protocol fails and they continue to recommend against the use of antibiotics to treat potential chronic Lyme infections in sick patients.  

To note- they also recommend against using any supplements (vitamins, etc) or anything but the cheapest antibiotics on the market (insurance-friendly).  The IDSA recommends in its Guidelines that people with tick bites and/or a rash, have not one, but two positive tests for Lyme disease before they are treated.  This is their policy even when knowing full well the studies (including their own) have proven their recommended Lyme tests miss 75% or more of those who are infected (Hopkins 2005).

I.  Some of the early researchers/doctors once thought Lyme was a virus and no antibiotic treatment was recommended.  People suffered, some became disabled and some died as a result.  

"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)

II.  Some knew antibiotics were affective for Lyme disease, yet, as many as 1/2 of the patients failed to sustain improvement with their recommended short-course therapy.  Today, patients continue to be told there is "no such thing as chronic Lyme disease" and their symptoms are described as being no worse than the "aches and pains of daily living".

"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) 

III.  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.  Their "fix" was to prescribe more antibiotics and claim patients were cured at the end of treatment.  Additionally, Luft, et al published that the: 

"...infectious process of Lyme disease can appear as chronic dermatologic, rheumatologic, or neurologic."

IV.  It was also discovered that chronic Lyme illness would advance to later stages and could go undetected on tests (seronegative).  Rather than extend the duration of antibiotics to cover the unknown and treat recurring symptoms, all treatment protocols and other available options are "not recommended" for patients.

"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)