Michael Specter: The Growing Battle Over How to Treat Lyme Disease : The New Yorker

November 3, 2018

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/07/01/130701fa_fact_specter

QT:{{”
“The disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. In the Northeast and the Midwest, B. burgdorferi is transmitted by the bite of a black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. (In the Western United States, a related tick, Ixodes pacificus, prevails, and in Europe the main vector is Ixodes ricinus.) Lyme was all but unknown until 1977, when Allen Steere, a rheumatologist at Yale, produced the first definitive account of the infection. The condition was initially thought to have been an outbreak of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in and around Lyme, Connecticut. In 1982, Willy Burgdorfer, a medical entomologist at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories, determined that the infection was caused by the previously unknown spirochete borrelia. As is common in scientific practice, the bacterium was named for him: Borrelia burgdorferi.”

“The controversy over Lyme disease is unlikely to diminish until scientists resolve at least two critical, but related, questions. Can the bacteria persist in the body, causing harm and illness months or even years after treatment has ended? And can prolonged antibiotic therapy destroy the remaining bacteria?”
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