Wednesday, October 3, 2012

National Lyme Disease Appeal in Australia

Dr. Luft’s research into the molecular biological structure of antigens of the Borrelia species, known to cause Lyme disease throughout the world, is aimed at developing sensitive, specific and user friendly diagnostic tests, as well as the development of possible vaccine candidates. The gold standard in testing would be “like a home pregnancy test for Lyme,” he said. It would be widely available, easy to use, inexpensive and reliable.

“The current blood tests are only accurate 30 to 70 percent of the time. Or put another way, they are inaccurate 30 to70 percent of the time. That level of accuracy is unacceptable. If all diagnostics were that unreliable, we’d all stop seeing doctors.” Dr. Luft’s research, which Time for Lyme has helped support, has led to the development of a vaccine that is currently in human trials in Europe.

The program concluded with a question and answer session. According to Dr. Dempsey, it is “not clear that this disease is ever completely eradicated” in the body and “the level of diagnosis and care is highly dependent upon the locale where you are treated.” Places such as the East End and Connecticut are more likely to have medical personnel who are knowledgeable about tick-borne diseases, increasing the chances of early diagnosis and treatment.

While opinions differ as to how aggressively to treat patients with antibiotics, Dr. Luft said that “one always needs to weigh the risk of treatment with the risks of the disease. Some patients are willing to adopt a wait and see attitude, others are not.” In the end, however, he said, “the only wrong course of action is for a doctor to blow it off.”

In sum, all panelists agreed that awareness is the most powerful preventative tool that currently exists. “Ticks love to hide out in creases and warm, wet areas,” said Dr. Luft. “After you’ve been outdoors, enlist your nearest and dearest to examine behind your knees, your groin, your crotch, hair line and armpits.”

Dr. Dempsey concurred. “We like to say that the bite you see is not the one that gives you the disease. It’s the one you don’t find that will make you sick.”

The Time for Lyme website ( has extensive information about tick-borne diseases, including guidelines for tick removal, disease signs and symptoms, diagnostic, testing and treatment issues and prevention tips, as well as information on current research projects."

Quoted from website:

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