Monday, February 16, 2015

VIRAS Microscopy Presentation on Lyme

This is a must-see slide and movie show of Borrelia (Lyme disease bacteria) from the microscope. It knocked my socks off. The photography is so clear, and the description of the spirochetes and how they operate is very understandable in new and graphic detail, at least for me. This was part of a recent presentation to the National Health program in England that may have turned the tide in favor of chronic Lyme disease suffers in the UK.

Here's some more information about the actual meeting and who was in attendance, etc.
Peter Kemp's presentation demonstrating his microscopy is well worth a look:
Great to see this being presented in our parliament and in front of those whose responsibility it is to solve many of the problems with Lyme treatment in the UK. 
 Meeting for Lyme Borreliosis Patients with Public Health England at the Houses of Parliament 19th January, 2015

There are many important scientific presentations archived on this site:


Meeting for Lyme Borreliosis Patients with Public HealthEngland at the Houses of Parliament 19th January, 2015


Concise Summary of the Meeting

On 19th January 2015 a large group of patients and families converged on Meeting Room 14 in the Palace of Westminster for a meeting with PHE and Department of Health representatives and our own panel of experts, facilitated by Simon Hughes MP and chaired by The Countess of Mar. The meeting was brought about by the incredible energy and determination of Demetrios Loukas and Denise Longman.

On the government panel were:

Tim Brooks, Head of Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory, PHE
Amanda Semper, Scientific Program Manager, Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory, PHE
Ailsa Wight, Deputy Director Infectious Diseases and Blood Policy Branch, Department of Health Public Health Directorate

Simon Hughes introduced the meeting and then handed over to the Countess of Mar to chair.

The Countess of Mar opened with a speech that showed how clearly she understands and sympathises with the issues of Lyme Disease. She talked about scientific method, referring to the history of Galileo, and the need always to reconstruct theories in the light of evidence. Microscopy was where the science started and microscopy and culture are the way forward now. She told of the attitudes to Lyme now, the discounting of it as "fashionable", the way sero-negative patients are always denied diagnosis, and the lack of credibility of the low UK Lyme figures compared to the much higher, and climbing, figures elsewhere in the world.

Armin Schwarzbach MD PhD (specialist for laboratory medicine and infectious diseases from AugsburgGermany) pointed out the great age of the Borrelia bacterium, believed to be 15 million years. Now it is known to exist in many subspecies around the world and pleomorphic forms and biofilms have been cultured in vitro. (See his latest paper at

Dr Schwarzbach then discussed the early and later responses of the body to Lyme infection, sharing information well-accepted by Lyme doctors and patients. A discussion of some of the testing difficulties and inter-test disagreements followed - negative ELISAs giving positive immunoblots, low test sensitivity, the problem of false negatives, the difficulties of the persistent IgM response which confuses non-experts, and the difficulty of finding Lyme in the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid).

More generally, but still important, he noted that although Lyme symptoms can appear unspecific, the combination or pattern of symptoms is very diagnostic. However this takes time (at least an hour) to draw out of a consultation. Tests on the cellular immune response, eg LTT and Elispot, are better than looking for antibodies, but NO illness can be ruled out solely by lab tests. He talked about the involvement of Borrelia in the wide variety of damaging and economically important diseases with which we are familiar, Alzheimer's, where the plaques can be Borrelia biofilms, Autism, MS etc, emphasized that treatment must always be continued until symptoms are controlled, and then compared in detail the contrasting attitudes of the CDC and "other" clinicians and scientists to Lyme Disease and its treatment.

He left us with a list of proposals that in his view are necessary before the UK treatment of Lyme will be adequate. Briefly this included improved testing, antibiotic use, studies of pleomorphy, new antibiotics, training of new and established doctors, and education of the public.



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