Join Date: Sep 2006
I am quoting a few parts that stand out the most but I suggest reading the entire article that I will link at the bottom.
The American College of Physicians and Surgeons has recently published a newsletter, "The ACP Initiative on Lyme Disease, Vol. 1, Issue 1". Which sites a recently published paper that uses serology as an end point for cure, and has a short period of a few months as a follow up. At no time were the patients symptoms assessed as the basis of successful treatment. Instead, serologies were used as the determinant (Reference: Cetriaxone (IV Rocephin), compared with doxycycline for the treatment of Lyme disease. Dattwyler RJ, Luft BJ, Kunkel MJ, Finkel MF, Wormser GP, Rush TJ, Grunwaldt, et al New England J. of Med. 3373(5):289:294 July 31 1997.) The conclusion of this paper was that a short course of doxycycline (the least expensive drug known for treating Lyme disease) is as effective as a short course of "costly" IV Rocephin.
It is quite a bone to throw to the health insurance industry by saying all Lyme patient can now be treated a short period of time with the least expensive drug, but is it true? Let's examine this article and premise: At the 1993 LDF Conference, a study was presented by Dr. Daniel Cameron, MD. In his study of more than 40 nursing home patients, he found that the relapse rate for IV Rocephin for four weeks was 25%, but the relapse rate for doxycycline was 87%. The difference in this study was that the follow up was 13 months not three months.
In a six year, ongoing study using the population of Nantucket Island, there was an interesting statistic that occurred involving the use of IV Rocephin. Since the entire population of 5000+ on the island went to only four doctors, it was easy to do long term followups on patients who were treated for Lyme disease. What was found was IV Rocephin had the highest rate of relapse, unless followed up for several moths with oral antibiotics. This was because the short duration of four weeks of treatment was inadequate to prevent relapse. This was why 57% of these patients had documentable relapses.
So, any current study that compares short-term doxycycline success with IV Rocephin is comparing two inadequate treatments to each other.
The key to the Nantucket Island study, spotting the high incidence of relapse, was in the length of the followup. The longer the followup, the higher the relapse rate. Some have said that this high relapse rate may be due to reinfection, but subsequent animal models have shown this to be otherwise.
At the 1997 LDF conference, a study was presented using naοve beagles as subjects. In this study, three groups of six beagles were studied. One group of six was infected; using infected ticks, and treated with four weeks of amoxicillin. Another group was infected and treated with a double dose of doxycycline for four weeks.
The third group was the control. In the doxycycline treated group, at three months post-treatment, it appeared that 100% were cured. But, at two years at autopsy, five of the six (5/6) beagles were shown to have active infection, or complete relapse.
A more basic study showing the inadequacy of doxycycline goes back to 1989, in an abstract from Austria. Here, the researcher incubated a live culture of Borrelia burgdorferi with doxycycline for two weeks. The culture appeared to be dead, as both motility and reproduction had ceased. The culture did not have the appearance, however, of the amoxicillin treated culture, which was filled with Lysed cells. So, using micropore filters, the researcher filtered doxycycline treated cultures, and separated the intact Borrelia from the supernatant. He then washed them, and placed the filtrate back into fresh culture media. Over two thirds of the cultures reactivated, becoming motile and beginning to reproduce. It appeared that doxycycline immobilized the bacteria by interrupting protein syntheses and metabolism. This pushed the cells into a non-metabolic state. Since the doubling rate is often used as a means of determining if the cells are alive, it was assumed that the cultures were dead, when they were in fact just dormant.