We are going at Lyme disease with everything we have.
— University Distinguished Professor Kim Lewis
This is good news for Lyme patients as so many are remaining ill after the current treatments have failed them. Standard treatments might help those who get diagnosed quickly but according to ILADS 40% of people will have long term health problems after getting infected with Lyme disease.
Some Lyme patients are complaining that they are being left to treat themselves or seek out expensive alternative treatments that insurance won’t cover.
Lewis, university professor says, “I find it amazing that when you show up at the doctor’s office you are not told that there is a 10 to 20% chance that your life as you know it has ended,” says Lewis.” Which is scary since new studies from the Journal of Medical Entomology have shown that the ticks that transmit Lyme disease now thrive in over half the counties in the US.
So a team of researchers from Northeastern’s Antimicrobial Discovery Center, are using a $1.5 million grant from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation to research different antibiotic combinations.
What is interesting it that Doxycyclene has been the standard treatment for Lyme disease for many years as the IDSA and CDC say it will elimate infection, yet Lewis says, “Doxycycline may be standard first-line treatment for Lyme, but, says Lewis, “It doesn’t even kill B. burgdorferi, it just suppresses its growth, leaving the rest of the work to the immune system. “
The good news is that the researchers have found combinations that are effective against B. burgdorferi in the test tube and will move on to animal studies next. They are extracting drugs from bacteria that lives in soil. They say they have found two already that act against Borrelia and are hoping to find some with less side effects for patients.
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