Welcome to our news updates for Spring 2012!
The weather is warming, the ticks are stirring, time to take precautions!!
No need to fear nature but knowing what lurks out there can make all the difference. Knowledge is power. To learn how to protect yourself from ticks check out our site at: Preventing Tick Bites
Remember, A Tick in Time Saves Lyme!
Tick Bite Prevention Week
BADA-UK have kick started their Tick Bite Prevention Week (runs from 26th March – 1st April 2012. For great tips on how to protect yourself, children & pets head on down to: Tick Bite Prevention Week
Spot any ticks this Spring or Summer? Why not fill in our survey showing ticks being spotted across Ireland? This will help to highlight high risk areas. For links to our previous results plus links to complete new surveys go to:
Do you like to walk, camp, hunt, spend time in the country? Are you a farmer, hunter or scout leader. Or maybe a scientist, medical professional, herbalist, vet surgeon, vet nurse or politician? Perhaps you’re a confirmed or suspected Lyme disease patient. Would you like to learn more about Lyme disease, ie how to prevent lyme, how to spot high risk areas, find out about tick-borne infection in animals, hear about testing, traditional, alternative & suportive remedies & ways to tackle chronic infection? Why not come down to our lyme disease conference to find out more? Tickets available at 20 euro for half day Tuesday 5th June & 40 euro for full day Wednesday 6th June. (A reduced rate of 50 euro is available for both days). Early bird prices are valid until March 31st. To learn more about our conference including details on agenda, speakers profiles, bookings & local accomodation check out our site at: Lyme Disease Conference
NB: Please note that CPD (continuinig professional development credits) have been approved for biologists, GP’s, vets & veterinary nurses..CPD Accreditation
May is International lyme awarness month
We’re currently looking for folks willing to undertake small projects across the country for fundriasing & raising awareness. Maybe hold a green theme Friday, everyone at work or school have to wear green clothes. Or maybe buy a selection of awareness ribbons & sell them at work. Anyone daring enough to die their hair green in aid of Lyme sufferers? Perhaps persuade your local street to Go Green for Lyme with posters, flyers & leaflets. Maybe a sponsored stroll, coffee morning or local showing of our lyme awareness presentation (not available online but can mail a copy on request).
Note for fundraisers remember to take photos for our web page!
Runners for the Flora Marathon
Folks willing to Parachute Jump in aid of Tick Talk
Raffle prizes for our June Conference
Folks willing to distribute conference flyers
Folks to distribute Lyme in Ireland leaflets to vets, doctors, medical centres, hospitals, national parks & librairies – Contact Us with your mailing address
Letter of Concern
March 2012 Tick Tak Ireland lodged a letter of concern regarding issues faced by Lyme Disease Patients Uk & Ireland. This was sent to the Minister of Health & Children Dr James Reilly, Dr Paul McKeown of the Health & Protection Surveillance Centre & the Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control. David Cameron PM for the UK will also received a copy in due course.
For a look at our concerns covering recognition, testing, persistence, co-infections (see appendix), transmission & guidelines click on the following links below:
Testing is so confusing!
Tick Talk has put together a Western Blot comparison xls. This highlights differences between the CDC criteria (US) to Igenex labs to Scottish Labs & from German MiQ 12 2000 criteria to rest of Europe MiQ 12 2000.
Types of bands & number of bands required for a positive are all different. This highlights exactly why tests are so confusing! Remember, the test kit manufacturers themselves say a negative does not rule out a diagnosis of Lyme Disease.
Trinity Biotech test kit states “The diagnosis of Lyme disease must be made based on history, signs (such as erythema migrans), symptoms, and other laboratory data, in addition to the presence of antibodies to B. burgdorferi.
*Negative results (either first- or second step*) should not be used to exclude Lyme disease.*
*NB first step – Elisa, 2nd step – Western Blot..
Some reasons for the possible pitfalls with Elisa testing per the kit manufacturer’s notes include the following…
*B. burgdorferi is antigenically complex with strains that vary considerably.
*Early antibody responses often are to flagellin, which has cross-reactive components.
*Patients in early stages of infection may not produce detectable levels of antibody.
*Early antibiotic therapy after EM may diminish or abrogate good antibody response.
Thus, (in their own words) “serological tests for antibodies to B. burgdorferi are known to have low sensitivity and specificity, and because of such inaccuracy, these test cannot be relied upon for establishing a diagnosis of Lyme disease”.
Lyme is a clinical diagnosis & according to the CDC the 2 tier testing is only meant for surveillance criteria & it is not intended to be used in clinical diagnosis..
Time to Listen
Isn’t it time we looked at ways to improve the lives of patients?
I’d like to quote from a 2003 article “The Lyme Wars: Time to Listen” by Raphael B Stricker† & Andrew Lautin
†Department of Medicine, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA
“Lyme disease remains a public health threat of major proportions. Continued trivialisation of this complex spirochetal illness only serves to augment the threat by legitimising ignorance of Lyme disease and neglect of Lyme disease patients. Until this trend is reversed, we will continue to see thousands of patients suffering at the hands of the medical establishment and desperately seeking care from the few providers who will listen. As modern medicine rockets into the 21st Century, this ostracism of suffering patients and persecution of dissenting healthcare providers can no longer be tolerated. For their part, Lyme disease patients and their providers must learn from the AIDS experience, where activism brought change when it was perceived that nobody was listening. And as more people listen, the ‘Lyme Wars’ may finally reach an end.”
Let’s hope through dialogue & research changes can be made soon!
For details on persistence & seronegativity check out our blog post: Persistence & Seronegativity