According to recent research funded by the NIH itself, Lyme disease is never necessarily cured by any duration of antibiotic treatment: http://news.tulane.edu/pr/study-finds-lyme-bacteria-can-survive-after-antibiotic-treatment-months-after-infection
This is an incredible admission, because the scholarly consensus has been (and is still) that chronic Lyme or persistent infection is pseudoscience or quackery. Search any voice of authority in American medicine or disease research, and you'll only find the term "no evidence" with regard to persistent infection. The overwhelmingly popular response from medical doctors (including infectious disease specialists) and disease researchers is that chronic Lyme is not a real thing. According to them, it's a fiction made up by delusional people and reinforced by questionable outlier practitioners and quacks. In a little head-fake, these same authorities created a moniker to weasel their way out of reality: Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome. Basically, it's their way of saying, "yes, everyone still suffers the same or worse symptoms of Lyme after antibiotics; but that is no indication that infection persists, because infection cannot persist, because we said so."
This contemporary news story is of particular interest, because it is up against an entrenched belief system and paradigm. We'll have to see how this unfolds, because the various authoritative research bodies have been the ones who've long gotten this wrong and are still championing what amounts to pseudoscience themselves. It may be an odd turn of events for some readers; but the skeptics of chronic Lyme are actually the toe-the-line Luddites.
Previous research has already confirmed for us many times that the bacteria of Lyme disease is a very different creature than all other known bacteria and it persists:
- In mice after antibiotics:
- In humans after antibiotics:
- In mice following antibiotic treatment:
- Borrelia persists in cystic and atypical forms in response to hostile environments:
- Borrelia converts to spheroplast in spinal fluid:
- Borrelia spirochetes convert to cystic form within 1 minute in uninhabitable environment:
- Borrelia persists in macaques after antibiotic treatment:
- Biofilm formation of borrelia is understood:
- Antibiotics ineffective at eliminating round body and biofilm formations of borrelia:
In the recent Tulane research funded by the NIH, every single claim of chronic Lyme sufferers (which has categorically been dismissed in the past) was substantiated:
- 90% of infected individuals DID NOT showcase the bullseye rash - many clinicians still use the presence of the rash as a positive-for-infection diagnostic tool.
- Some subjects who were confirmed as infected with Lyme tested negative on typical antibody titer tests your doctor would administer. Most clinicians regard a negative titer test as definitive that the patient has no infection.
- Months after a 28 day (far less than most clinicians are willing to prescribe for) administration of the caustic doxycycline, the drill-shaped bacteria were still viable and burrowed into the bladder, heart, brain and skeletal muscle.
The general problem with the chronic Lyme debate has been that the medical world long ago embraced Lyme disease tests which by their very nature cannot work for Lyme. These faulty tests (which are genuinely considered the gold standard despite no evidence we can reliable trust them) measure the presence of the patient's antibodies against the borrelia bacterium. However, the Lyme is immunosuppressive. Therefore, this test could only work in the rare case that the patient were taking antibiotics before the test long enough to counter the suppressive effects of the disease. But even then, it has severe limits with accuracy.
Consequently, other researchers, suspecting that the vast majority of the scientists and medical experts are dead wrong, utilized microscopy to just scan for the presence of the bacterium specifically: http://www.apollon.uio.no/english/articles/2013/2_borrelia.html. Though their results were a deafening, definitive, and resounding "YES!," the antiquated official position continues to be parroted.
The old paradigm has proven difficult to kill despite overwhelming evidence against the scholarly consensus. Some scientific consensus has little to do with science and more to do with holding the popular view of peers. The debate over chronic Lyme is yet another example of this. But just maybe, now that the NIH itself was involved in this research AND that it is recent, the scholars can finally join the "quacks" who were right all along.