Antibiotic Resistant Lyme

IDSA supporters have already made it clear that there is no antibiotic resistance associated with Lyme spirochetes. The problem was the doses of antibiotics they administered were too low to reach certain areas in the body, making it appear to some as if there were resistance.

BUT- Persisters and biofilms are different.

IDSA Guidelines- "The notion that symptomatic, chronic B. burgdorferi infection can exist despite recommended treatment courses of antibiotics (tables 2 and 3) in the absence of objective clinical signs of disease, is highly implausible as evidenced by (1) the lack of antibiotic resistance in this genus [39, 40, 310]..."

"Other studies have shown that Borrelia burgdorferi has not shown development of resistance to antibiotics recommended in standard guidelines. Experience with syphilis (another spirochaetal infection with early and late disease manifestations) has shown good success rates using appropriate antibiotic regimens for limited periods. (Tramont, 2010) "

My least favorite IDSA guideline author (Raymond Dattwyler) stated in 1989 that it is not that there is resistance, it is the doses/concentrations of antibiotics are too low. " Antibiotic concentrations reached with some oral therapies are too low for the protection of certain sites such as the central nervous system."

"Persister bacteria are dormant phenotypic variants that do not resist antibiotics by means of gene mutation, but instead tolerate antibiotics because most antibiotics need actively growing or dividing microbial cells in order to be effective.

Resistance mechanisms prevent antibiotics from hitting a target, whereas tolerance mechanisms make the targets invisible, creating small subpopulations of microbes able to withstand antibiotic attack by going dormant."

"The reason for relapse remains unknown, but recent studies suggested the possibilities of the presence of antibiotic resistant Borrelia persister cells and biofilms."

"Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes have been cultured from patients who have been given intensive (21 days to one year) antibiotic therapy with IV third generation cephalosporins. 3,4,9,10,11,12

There are many ways by which Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes resist antibiotic and immune destruction. The Lyme spirochetes can attain in vivo antibiotic resistance by their ability to live intracelluarly in fibroblasts, endothelial and glial cells, as well as other cells. 13,14,15,16 "

"The IDSA has a habit of using scare tactics in an attempt to make their point, stating things such as, “long-term antibiotic therapy may be dangerous, leading to potentially fatal infections in the bloodstream as a result of intravenous treatment.”

What they fail to mention are quotes by the IDSA authors themselves who have concluded, “B. burgdorferi [Lyme disease bacterium] does not acquire resistance to antibiotics.”

IDSA members also warn of the probability of complications such as septicemia developing during IV therapy. They fail to mention studies indicating 90% of cancer patient’s IV catheters tested showed that infectious organisms had colonized as a result of the catheters and 2% of the patients developed septicemia as a result. Shall we deny cancer patients treatments because the medical procedures or medications involved in their treatment may have associated risks? No. Then why deny Lyme patients the same life-saving treatment?"

"Finally, there have been no reports showing any change in antibiotic resistance patterns during the course of treatment. Ultimately, the determination of efficacy of therapy depends on the clinical response."

Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes