|Lyme disease (Photo credit: monkeypuzzle)|
“This is a huge question,” said C. Ben Beard, chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We really need to understand what is going on.”
Many Lyme sufferers and activists, and some doctors are convinced that the bacteria that cause the disease can, especially if not caught early, evade antibiotics and the body’s immune system by burrowing into joints, the nervous system, and other tissue to wreak sustained havoc.
Most infectious disease specialists, however, say there is a lack of convincing evidence for this persistent infection and that a month or less of antibiotics usually knocks the disease from the body. They suggest other causes: another illness or reinfection through a second tick bite. Or patients may have a syndrome triggered by Lyme that causes long-term fatigue or pain.
Underlying the emotional impasse is this simple fact: Lyme bacteria have rarely been found in patients after a cycle of antibiotics. Lyme tests look not for the bacteria but for antibodies...... MORE>>>>>>>>>