Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Great Chronic Lyme Mirage

I found some interesting comments by Phillip J. Baker (who seems to be associated with the American Lyme Disease Foundation) underneath an otherwise not recommendable article & discussion (or rather an article & discussion which can only be recommendable as a negative example for the display of confirmation biases and cognitive dissonances).

Especially this comment by Phillip J. Baker struck a chord with me:
Believe what you will, Phyllis, but you are wrong. Ceftiofur and ceftriaxone are chemically different in structure. Embers et al. have provided no assurances in their work that they have similar PK and PD properties, let alone the same MIC. It is incumbent upon them to provide such data, as well as to show that therapeutic regimen used was adequate to clear the huge inoculum that was used to produce a disseminated infection. Obviously, their experimental design did not mimic the Klempner study, which is what Mario was initially funded to do. Why he chose to use ceftiofur is for him to explain, not me. As I said before, ceftiofur has not been approved by the FDA for use in humans and there are no published data showing that it is effective for treating borreliosis in animals, let alone humans. There is one report showing that it is not effective for treating borreliosis in ponies.

Phillip J. Baker
on February 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm
He goes on to notice in another comment:
I must say that I find it strange that the term ceftriaxone is used throughout the Embers et al. paper, and it is only in the first paragraph on page 9 that it is first mentioned that ceftiofur was actually used. I find that very strange indeed.
So to claim that Lyme is still active despite anti-biotics, Embers et al. have to pull these two tricks:
  1. Use a "huge inoculum" to intruduce an amount of pathogens not encountered in the wild, causing an "massive disseminated infection" not encountered in the wild.
  2. Use an antibiotic that (most likely) is not effective in clearing the pathogen (let alone in this massive disseminated infection) – and hide that as good as you can.
What Phillip J. Baker describes are the tactics of quacks.

No wonder anybody with at least a couple of working brain cells left*, who looks into the matter comes to the conclusion that "Chronic Lyme" is a BS quack diagnosis.

And just for the record: I do think that these patients have an organic disease, which severely affects their lives – however there is no evidence** that this disease is Lyme. There are many many diseases that can cripple your live, and possibly some of which are yet of unknown.

* As to so called "Lyme Literate Medical Doctors" ("LLMD"):
They do not seem to have any working brain cells left. My (purely anecdotal and not evidence based) advise is to stay away from medical doctors who have no working brain cells. LLMD? Just say no. Choose a doctor instead with working brain cells, this is usually better for your health.

** As to any non-standard tests used to detect "Chronic Lyme": I can offer you an even more reliable Lyme test! I will match any price, just give me a call!

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