Good News For A Change!

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

5/14/15 Press Release

Lyme Disease- Oops!   

Bad news first?  Mistakes were made counting Lyme disease cases.  Big mistakes.  According to the CDC, its previously reported numbers were short by a factor of ten. The more accurate total is 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease per year.  Oops!

The other bad news?  In multiple studies antibiotics typically used to treat Lyme disease had been proven to not eradicate all of the Lyme bacteria in animals. More recently, these same antibiotics were also proven to be unable to kill all of the Lyme bacteria in the lab, specifically the ``persisters``.  

In the researchers own words:


``The current antibiotics used to treat Lyme disease, doxycycline and amoxicillin, have little or no activity against B. burgdorferi (Lyme disease) persisters… We identified 165 agents approved for use in other disease conditions that had more activity than doxycycline and amoxicillin against B. burgdorferi persisters.`` (1)


In other words, people treated for Lyme disease based on the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) treatment guidelines may continue to suffer from symptoms caused by an active infection.  Oops!

The good news?  Not yet.  It is reported drugs with the highest activity against Lyme persisters do not work against the actively growing spirochetes that cause Lyme disease. This means to kill all of the Lyme bacteria in its various stages a combination of drugs would be necessary for an undetermined length of time.

The good news?  Finally.  A follow up study published by Johns Hopkins (Feng, J. et al.) confirmed eradication of the Lyme bacteria in the lab was achieved using a combination of three drugs- daptomycin, cefoperazone and doxycycline. 

People with Lyme disease who experience symptoms after standard treatment now have a legitimate reason for their complaints, an ongoing infection.  This is good news because?  Many patients treated by the IDSA`s insurance friendly protocols were mistakenly told they were cured and were denied further treatment even when suffering from continuing, relapsing or worsening symptoms.  

Many were reported to be malingerers, or were inappropriately referred for mental health counseling, or were prescribed anti-inflammatory medications and told to be on an exercise program, or worse yet, were prescribed steroids to mask their symptoms, rather than receiving appropriate antimicrobial treatment for a chronic, disabling and sometimes life-threatening infectious disease. 

With Lyme tests still missing 75% of those who are infected, many of these people have since been misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, MS, Parkinsons, ALS, anxiety, heart conditions, depression, ADD, autism, cancer, arthritis and a host of other conditions with no known cause and no known cure.  Chances are good that a new combination of FDA approved drugs already on the market may help those with chronic Lyme and other maladies that mimic the later, more expensive and extensive, disabling stages of Lyme disease.  

The other good news?  The Honorable Governor Larry Hogan kept with the long-standing tradition, originally initiated by Governor William Donald Schafaer, and by way of an official Proclamation declared May 2015 to be Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maryland. 

For more information-

Lucy Barnes  

631 Railroad Avenue

Centreville, MD  21617



1.     Identification of novel activity against Borrelia burgdorferi  persisters using an FDA approved drug library. Feng, Wang, et al. Johns Hopkins University, 7/2/14.

2.     Drug Combinations against Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters In Vitro: Eradication Achieved by Using Daptomycin, Cefoperazone and Doxycycline. Feng J, et al. - Johns Hopkins University, 3/25/15.