Dr. Burton Waisbren Sr. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is no longer with us but he would be speaking out about the CDC’s recent paper in the MMWR of five case reports of people who developed complications with IV antibiotics for Lyme disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28617768https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28617768

A founding member of the IDSA, Waisbren disagreed with their stance that Lyme is hard to get and easy to treat, is not persistent, and that IV antibiotics are too dangerous to use as a treatment option.

In his book, Treatment of Chronic Lyme Disease, he discusses 51 difficult cases, nearly all Chronic Lyme disease sufferers that had been misdiagnosed with everything from ALS to mental disorders. They had all been neglected by main stream medicine that was following the CDC/IDSA stringent guidelines of essentially 21 days of doxycycline.

Interestingly, Waisbren stated, “Back in the 1950’s, when many of these drugs were first coming out, infectious disease doctors studied and used them widely,” he says. “We would put children with rheumatic fever on penicillin for twenty years or more to prevent strep throat and it (the penicillin) did not hurt them,” he says. https://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/making-difference-milwaukee-doctor-chronicles-silent-epidemic

In regard to IV antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease and other tick born illnesses, Waisbren used it often – and heavy doses at that.  In fact, in essay 10 of his book he gives two protocols to be considered for the treatment of chronic LD that includes 6-8 grams of IV ceftriazone for at least 6 weeks and longer if the syndrome has entrenched itself for over a year or if the response is coming along slowly. In tandem with the IV antibiotics he typically also used doxycycline, an erythromycin, Diflucan, Flagyl, Valtrex, and gamma globulin. When there was not a satisfactory clinical response he would treat Babesia with Mepron and/or other antimalarials. For evidence of intransigent bartonellosis (Bell’s palsy of the face and gut, and chronic dermatitis) he would add rifampin and sometimes intravenous genamicin.

That’s a far cry more than the CDC/IDSA mono treatment mandate of doxycycline.

There were no IV complications mentioned at all in his book from the myriad of patients he treated.

Here’s another case:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/06/26/important-example-of-iv-antibiotics-for-lymemsids/   Initially diagnosed with dementia, “Once home, McGhee, who had begun receiving two weeks of IV antibiotics, seemed to be getting better. His confusion began to clear, his short-term memory improved and his tremors abated. ‘I could feel myself recovering,’ he recalled.”  This link also shows that Lyme/MSIDS can often present as dementia, ALS, Lupus, MS, and numerous other autoimmune diseases.  

About testing he states that the Western Blot appears to be the most positive finding in clinical LD, but…“setting arbitrary level of antibodies to diagnose a disease that has not been amenable to Koch’s postulates seems open to question.  By the same token, ignoring antibody results unless they meet arbitrary levels seems suspect.  The vast majority of patients in this series showed some WB antibody exposure, but many did not meet the arbitrary limits set….in our present state of knowledge, the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease is a clinical one.  Many of the patients in this series have suffered serious ‘hurts’ when they have been told that they could not have LD because their WB did not meet arbitrary limits.”  

Waisbren gives a stern warning that the public should insist that any new Lyme vaccine be devoid of peptides that mimic those present in humans as this is a potential problem as researchers do not know whether the vaccine can cause molecular mimicry which in turn can cause autoimmunity and circulation with myelin T-cells.  For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/01/26/lyme-vaccine-to-be-tested-on-humans/

Waisbren states in his foreword, “I have to come to the conclusion that there is an epidemic of chronic Lyme disease occurring in the United States that warrants more attention than it is getting from the government and the academic medical establishment. It is hard for me to believe that 51 cases of what I call the chronic Lyme disease syndrome represent a figment of my imagination….I suggest that those who doubt that the Lyme disease syndrome exists and that it can be treated turn to the over 200 peer-reviewed references included in summary articles written by two giants in the Lyme disease field: Dr. B.A. Fallon and Dr. Steven Phillips.”

If Waisbren thought chronic Lyme disease was an epidemic in 2011, what would he think now?

For more rebuttals to the MMWR article: