Archive for the ‘Lyme Vaccine’ Category

Lyme & Reason: Interviews with Advocates & Researchers

 Approx. 20 Min

Lyme & Reason: Battles & Breakthroughs Against Lyme Disease

Published on Sep 5, 2018

It’s a battle that has been raging for decades – the battle against Lyme Disease. Over the years, progress has been made against this dreaded tick-borne illness. But with breakthroughs come even more barriers. Watch this early peek at a new Fox 5 News special on the fight that could be signaling a new chapter in the ongoing bout against Lyme.
  • Interview with President and CEO of Valneva, Thomas Lingelbach on the Lyme Vaccine
  • Interview with Dr. Sung Lee on Lyme testing and his lawsuit against the CDC
  • Interview with Olivia Goodreau of LivLyme – an organization that raises money for research

Lemons & Lyme Part 2

Lemons and Lyme by Stanley Plotkin (Part 2)

Carl Tuttle
Hudson, NH

SEP 22, 2018 —
Please see the letter below addressed to Theoklis Zaoutis, MD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society regarding Plotkin’s commentary on the Lyme vaccine. A copy of this letter was forwarded to the Tick Borne Disease Working Group.


Wikipedia Plotkin page:

——— Original Message ———-
From: Carl Tuttle <>
Date: September 22, 2018 at 8:32 AM
Subject: Fwd: Lemons and Lyme by Stanley A. Plotkin
Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

13 September 2018 P L O T K I N C O L U M N
Lemons and Lyme
Stanley A. Plotkin
Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Doylestown


“It is odd that there is a lobby against the development and deployment of a vaccine against the disease by people who think they are suffering from Lyme infection in a chronic form, the existence of which remains doubtful. They believe that the first vaccine against Lyme disease caused chronic arthritis.”

Sept 22, 2018
The Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Oxford University Press
2001 Evans Road
Cary, NC 27513

Dear Dr. Zaoutis,
In reference to Dr. Plotkin’s statement above, please see the following excerpt from the attached REPORT ON LYMErix prepared for the 2001Advisary Committee Meeting:

“The people who have contacted us were, prior to vaccination with LYMErix, healthy, active and energetic. Indeed, the very reason they sought the LYMErix vaccine was their desire to preserve their healthy, active lifestyle. However, what they experienced was a dramatic degradation of their health and quality of life. As will be described below, these previously healthy individuals are now afflicted with painful, at times debilitating arthritic symptoms, including joint pain and swelling, as well as extremely severe Lyme-disease-like symptoms which have persisted to this day.”

Below is the link to the Final Judgement and Approval of the class action against SmithKline Beecham as a settlement was awarded to these individuals.


In addition please see the following study reporting adverse neurological complications:  Int J Risk Saf Med. 2011;23(2):89-96. doi: 10.3233/JRS-2011-0527.
Neurological complications of vaccination with outer surface protein A (OspA).
Marks DH1.

A wide range of neurological complications have been reported via the medical literature and the VAERS system after vaccination with recombinant outer surface protein A (OspA) of Borrelia. To explore this issue, 24 patients reporting neurological adverse events (AE) after vaccination with Lymerix, out of a group of 94 patients reporting adverse events after Lymerix vaccination, were examined for causation. Five reports of cerebral ischemia, two transient Ischemic attacks, five demyelinating events, two optic neuritis, two reports of transverse myelitis, and one non-specific demyelinating condition are evaluated in this paper. Caution is raised on not actively looking for neurologic AE, and for not considering causation when the incidence rate is too low to raise a calculable difference to natural occurence.

Dr. Zaoutis, to my knowledge there was no follow-up research to determine why this class of patient suffered the reaction they experienced. Is there a genetic predisposition that could give a similar reaction to the next OspA vaccine?
It would appear that Plotkin has used your journal as a pulpit to broadcast his propaganda. The peer-review process in this case was unsuccessful in determining suitability for publication.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carl Tuttle
Lyme Endemic Hudson, NH
Cc: Julie Weber-Roark MANAGING EDITOR
Attorney Daniel Dutko of Hanszen Laporte
The Honorable Chris Smith and Collin Peterson
Paul Spearman, MD, FPIDS: President, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society


For more:


How to Spot the Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

How to Spot the Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and is spread by ticks. Ticks become infected with the bacteria by feeding on infected mice and other small animals. When an infected tick bites other animals, it can transmit the bacteria to these animals. Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick (black-legged tick) and a small group of other closely related ticks. The deer tick is small and may bite animals and people without being detected. Lyme disease affects a variety of species, including dogs, cats, and people. Up to 95 percent of dogs infected with B. burgdorferi do not develop symptoms (people are much more likely to become ill with Lyme disease).

There is no evidence that Lyme disease is spread by direct contact with infected animals. However, keep in mind that ticks can hitch a ride home on your pets and move on to the humans in the household. **Please see my comment at end of article**

Risk Factors

Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the woods, bush, or areas of tall grass are most commonly infected with Lyme disease. However, ticks can be carried into yards on other animals, and dogs can become infected anywhere ticks are found.

Infections occur during tick season (usually spring through early fall), but the time between infection and the appearance of Lyme disease symptoms can be up to 2-5 months. **Please see comment**

Lyme disease is seen across the US and in many other parts of the world. In the US. Lyme disease is most common in the northeastern US, along with the Pacific coast, and in the midwest.

Signs of Lyme Disease

When clinical signs do develop, they may be transient or recurrent, and can include:

  • Fever.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Swollen, painful joints (dogs may be reluctant to move).
  • Lameness — limping which may be mild at first, then worsen, and may also shift from one leg to another.
  • Lethargy.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

Some dogs with Lyme disease may develop kidney disease.

Signs of kidney disease may include depression, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased thirst and urination (sometimes a lack of urination will develop). Dogs who develop kidney disease can become very ill and may not respond to treatment.

Neurological disease (behavioral changes, seizures) and heart complications, which are sometimes seen in humans, are rare in dogs.

Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

The diagnosis of Lyme disease must be based on a combination of factors, including history (tick exposure), clinical signs, finding antibodies to B. burgdorferi bacteria, and a quick response to treatment with antibiotics.

A positive antibody test is not enough to make a diagnosis on its own, because not all dogs that are exposed to B. burgdorferi get sick, and antibodies can persist in the blood for a long time after exposure.

Other diagnostic testing, such as blood and urine tests, x-rays, and sampling of joint fluid, may be done to check for signs of kidney disease and to rule out other conditions with similar signs and symptoms.

Treating Lyme Disease

Treatment with antibiotics usually produces rapid improvement in symptoms (antibiotics will be continued for a few weeks). Treatment may not be completely clear the bacteria, but produces a state where no symptoms are present (similar to the condition in dogs that don’t have symptoms from infection).

Kidney disease may develop some time after the initial infection, so is it a good idea to regularly check for excess protein in the urine of dogs that have had Lyme disease. Catching the kidney disease early in its course offers the best prognosis. If kidney disease is present, a longer course of antibiotics along with additional medications to treat the kidney disease is usually necessary.

Preventing Lyme Disease
  • Tick Control is extremely important for the prevention of Lyme disease (and many other diseases that can be transmitted by ticks). Check your dog daily for ticks and remove them as soon as possible, since ticks must feed for at least 12 hours (possibly 24-48 hours) before transmitting the bacteria causing Lyme disease. This is especially important in peak tick season and after your dog spends time in the bush or tall grass (consider avoiding these areas in tick season).  Products that prevent ticks such as monthly parasite preventatives (e.g., Frontline®, Revolution®) or tick collars (e.g., Preventic®) can be used; be sure to follow your veterinarian‘s advice when using these products. Keep grass and brush trimmed in your yard, and in areas where ticks are a serious problem, you can also consider treating your yard for ticks.  **Again, please see my comment at end of article**
  • Vaccines for Lyme Disease: Vaccination against Lyme disease is a controversial topic and is something that should be discussed in depth with your veterinarian. Many specialists do not recommend routine vaccination because so few dogs develop symptoms of Lyme disease, and when Lyme disease does occur in dogs, it is usually readily treated. Additionally, because arthritis and kidney problems associated with Lyme disease are at least partly related to the immune response to the bacteria (rather than the bacteria itself), there is concern that vaccination may contribute to problems. Vaccination is also not 100 percent effective, and it’s only helpful in dogs that have not already been exposed to B. burgdorferi. However, vaccination before exposure can help prevent dogs from getting Lyme disease and also prevent them from becoming a carrier of the bacteria. Where vaccines are used, it is usually recommended to start vaccinating dogs as young puppies (e.g., at around 12 weeks, with a booster 2-4 weeks later). The vaccine does not provide long-lasting immunity, so annual re-vaccination (ideally before tick season) is necessary. The recombinant form of the vaccine is considered to have less potential for side effects than the bacteria form of the vaccine.
Please note: this article has been provided for informational purposes only. If your pet is showing any signs of illness, please consult a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
While there are many useful take-aways from this article, a number of myths continue to be propagated.  
  1. There is evidence that there is transmission by direct contact with animals.  (Here we see evidence of Bb in feces, urine, tick excretes, cow milk, food, in utero, transplacental, sexual, semen, and mucus membranes.)
  2. My vet treated my dog for longer than a couple of weeks.  I think that wise knowing the organism reproduces slowly.  They also have the canine equivalent of probiotics but they are designed for a dog’s micro biome so don’t give him yours.
  3. The fallacy of it taking 24-48 hours to be transmitted, is just that – a fallacy.  Please read more about transmission time here:
  4. Transmission can occur at ANY TIME of the YEAR.  I have buddies pulling live ticks off their dogs in Northern Wisconsin in February.

Also, please note the comments about the vaccine.  They always want to state how great it is in animals but I see many comments that suggest extreme caution – similarly to the human Lyme vaccine.  First, it doesn’t provide lasting immunity, it causes obvious side-effects, it’s not 100% effective, and vaccination can make things worse for dog exposed to Bb.  Since this can be transmitted congenitally, it’s pretty hard to know what dogs already have Bb.  It’s Russian Roulette with dogs just as much as with humans.  Buyer beware.

The NY Times & the Question of a Lyme Vaccine

TOUCHED BY LYME: The NY Times and the question of a Lyme vaccine

By Dorothy Kupcha Leland, August 14, 2018

The New York Times ran an article today under the headline: Lyme disease is spreading fast. Why isn’t there a vaccine?

Most troubling to me is how the article quotes certain people in a way that totally misrepresents who they are.

Here’s a worrisome case in point:

The article states: Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin, an emeritus professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, said that the loss of the vaccine was a “public health fiasco.” He and other researchers said that in the years since, public opposition prevented drug companies from investing in another vaccine that could fail on the market.

It is true that Plotkin is an emeritus professor. It’s also true that he has been a paid consultant to vaccine manufacturers for years. (A simple Google search turns that up.) Shouldn’t that be mentioned in the article? Doesn’t that put his comments in a different light?

Interesting to note that the “public health fiasco” link in the paragraph above goes to a pro-vaccine op-ed that Plotkin wrote for the New York Times in 2013. That article also failed to disclose that its author was a paid consultant for vaccine interests at the time of publication. Seems like a serious oversight to me.

Here’s another illustration:

The article states: Dr. Phillip J. Baker, the executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation, a nonprofit group run by volunteers, predicted that opposition from Lyme groups that are suspicious of the medical establishment would hinder any vaccine’s prospects.

It’s true. Baker is executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation. But what is that group and who does it represent?


The ALDF is what can be termed an “astroturf organization.” It masquerades as a grassroots group whose name offers no hint of the special interests behind it. (See: The bogus grassroots of the American Lyme Disease Foundation.)

In fact, ALDF is a front organization for the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Virtually all of its board members and scientific advisors are members of the IDSA. Several are co-authors of the odious 2006 IDSA Lyme treatment guidelines—which the Lyme community views as being one of the major stumbling blocks for patients seeking appropriate diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.

Plain and simple, ALDF does not represent Lyme patients.

Our letter to HHS

In August of 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was poised to choose representatives of Lyme patients for its Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.

The Lyme community was deeply worried that the ALDF might be chosen to “represent” us.

At that time, sent a letter to HHS—co-signed by 48 other Lyme patient organizations—stating in part:

The undersigned advocates and representatives of the Lyme and tick-borne diseases community are advising you that the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF) does not represent patients. We respectfully request that you not award that organization any of the spaces reserved for patients on the federal Tick-Borne Working Group established by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The ALDF represents the interests of researchers affiliated with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Yet it portrays itself to the press and others as a patient organization.

In closing, our letter stated:

As real grassroots support groups representing real patients with Lyme disease, we want to make clear that the ALDF does not represent the interests of people with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. We regard the ALDF’s positions and statements regarding Lyme disease as harmful to patients.

To our relief, no patient/advocate seats on the Working Group were awarded to the ALDF.

Click here to read the whole letter:

Clarifying where views actually come from

The issue of bringing a Lyme vaccine to market is heating up. There will likely be lots of articles airing lots of differing opinions in the coming months.

I’m not saying that reporters shouldn’t cover varying viewpoints regarding this contentious topic. But it’s essential to clarify where those viewpoints actually come from. Paid consultants to vaccine companies should be labeled as such. Organizations that don’t represent patients should not be allowed to speak for us.

The following blogs cover more aspects of the Lyme vaccine debate:

TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland,’s Vice-president and Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at .



Regarding that last link, a lot has happened since both the 1998 Lyme vaccine and Weintraub’s 2008 book that declares the Lyme vaccine caused “rare” adverse events. THIS VACCINE CAUSED 229 DEATHS, INCLUDING 43 SUICIDES  (Dr. Lapenta lists all the adverse events and how many suffered with them),

In a vile cesspool of conflicts of interest are university patent holders, drug companies, and the FDA itself as another patent holder. It generated 40 million dollars before it was yanked.

Besides, death and suicide, please see:  One doctor stated that 21 patients developed severe arthritis after receiving the LYMERIX vaccine. “Given that Dr. Marks lead the clinical trials for Lymerix’s competitor, the OspA vaccine produced and then abandoned by Aventis Pasteur, his conclusions mean a lot. “In my opinion,” he told FDA officials, “there is sufficient evidence that Lymerix is causally related to severe rheumatologic, neurologic, autoimmune, and other adverse events in some individuals. This evidence is such as to warrant a significantly heightened degree of warnings and possible limitations or removal from marketing of Lymerix.”

Dr. Stricker states:
Another Lyme OspA Vaccine Whitewash
The meta-analysis by Zhao and colleagues comes to the conclusion that “the OspA vaccine against Lyme disease is safe and its immunogenicity and efficacy have been verified.” The authors arrive at this sunny conclusion by excluding 99.6% of published articles that demonstrate potential problems with the OspA vaccine. Furthermore, the authors ignore peer-reviewed studies, FDA regulatory meetings and legal proceedings that point to major problems with OspA vaccine safety (1-3). This whitewash bodes ill for future Lyme vaccine candidates because it fosters disregard for vaccine safety among Lyme vaccine manufacturers and mistrust among potential Lyme vaccines.
Weintraub’s article states that when considering vaccines one has to weigh the risk of the vaccine against the possible adverse reactions – which is true; however, we need to first start with being honest about the number of people with adverse reactions. In doing this, two things are important to keep in mind: 1) All numbers on ALL issues regarding Lyme/MSIDS are notoriously low. 2) ALL numbers on ALL issues regarding vaccines are notoriously low and downplayed.

Since 2008, more has come out about the ability of vaccines to reactivate latent infections:
This is an extremely important point to acknowledge as mainstream medicine STILL hasn’t even accepted the fact Lyme/MSIDS patients are often infected with far more than Lyme (Borrelia) to begin with. The current news that vaccines can activate even latent infections muddies and troubles the waters further and frankly spells doom to Lyme/MSIDS patients.

Personally, every single Lyme/MSIDS patient I know who has undergone vaccination has relapsed. That’s kind of a big deal.

This issue of problems with vaccines has exploded in recent years with new discoveries of contamination:
This contamination could very well be contributing to disease epidemics, including Lyme/MSIDS:

The first-ever study involving a truly unvaccinated population suggests that: fully vaccinated children may be trading the prevention of certain acute illnesses (chicken pox, pertussis) for more chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and Autism. The scientists also found that children born prematurely, who were vaccinated, were 6.6 times more likely to have a neurodevelopmental disorder.





Tickborne Diseases – Confronting a Growing Threat

Tickborne Diseases — Confronting a Growing Threat

Catharine I. Paules, M.D., Hilary D. Marston, M.D., M.P.H., Marshall E. Bloom, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

July 25, 2018, at

Every spring, public health officials prepare for an upsurge in vectorborne diseases. As mosquito-borne illnesses have notoriously surged in the Americas, the U.S. incidence of tickborne infections has risen insidiously, triggering heightened attention from clinicians and researchers.


Common Ticks Associated with Lyme Disease in North America.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of reported cases of tickborne disease has more than doubled over the past 13 years.1 Bacteria cause most tickborne diseases in the United States, and Lyme disease accounts for 82% of reported cases, although other bacteria (including Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Rickettsia rickettsii) and parasites (such as Babesia microti) also cause substantial morbidity and mortality. In 1982, Willy Burgdorfer, a microbiologist at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, identified the causative organism of Lyme disease, a spirochete eponymously named Borrelia burgdorferi. B. burgdorferi (which causes disease in North America and Europe) and B. afzelii and B. garinii (found in Europe and Asia) are the most common agents of Lyme disease. The recently identified B. mayonii has been described as a cause of Lyme disease in the upper midwestern United States. Spirochetes that cause Lyme disease are carried by hard-bodied ticks (see graphic), notably Ixodes scapularis in the northeastern United States, I. pacificus in western states, I. ricinus in Europe, and I. persulcatus in eastern Europe and Asia. B. miyamotoi, a borrelia spirochete found in Europe, North America, and Asia, more closely related to the agents of tickborne relapsing fever, is also transmitted by I. scapularis and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness occurring after a tick bite.

Patterns of spirochete enzootic transmission are geographically influenced and involve both small-mammal reservoir hosts, such as white-footed mice, and larger animals, such as white-tailed deer, which are critical for adult tick feeding. The rising incidence and expanding distribution of Lyme disease in the United States are probably multifactorial, but increased density and range of the tick vectors play a key role. The geographic range of I. scapularis is apparently increasing: by 2015, it had been detected in nearly 50% more U.S counties than in 1996.

Lyme disease’s clinical manifestations range from relatively mild, nonspecific findings and classic erythema migrans rash in early disease to more severe manifestations, including neurologic disease and carditis (often with heart block) in early disseminated disease, and arthritis, which may occur many months after infection (late disease). Although most cases are successfully treated with antibiotics, 10 to 20% of patients report lingering symptoms after receiving appropriate therapy.2 Despite more than four decades of research, gaps remain in our understanding of Lyme disease pathogenesis, particularly its role in these less well-defined, post-treatment symptoms.

Meanwhile, tickborne viral infections are also on the rise and could cause serious illness and death.1 One example is Powassan virus (POWV), the only known North American tickborne encephalitis-causing flavivirus.3 POWV was recognized as a human pathogen in 1958 after being isolated from the brain of a child who died of encephalitis in Powassan, Ontario. People infected with POWV often have a febrile illness that can be followed by progressive and severe neurologic manifestations, resulting in death in 10 to 15% of cases and long-term sequelae in 50 to 70% of survivors.3 An antigenically similar virus, POWV lineage II, or deer tick virus, was discovered in New England in 1997. Both POWV subtypes are linked to human disease, but their distinct enzootic cycles may affect their likelihood of causing such disease. Lineage II seems to be maintained in an enzootic cycle between I. scapularis and white-footed mice — which may portend increased human transmission, because I. scapularis is the primary vector of other serious pathogens, including B. burgdorferi. Whereas only 20 U.S. cases of POWV infection were reported before 2006,3 99 were reported between 2006 and 2016. Other tickborne encephalitis flaviviruses cause thousands of cases of neuroinvasive illness in Europe and Asia each year, despite the availability of effective vaccines in those regions. The increase in POWV cases coupled with the apparent expansion of the I. scapularis range highlight the need for increased attention to this emerging virus.

The public health burden of tickborne pathogens is considerably underestimated. For example, the CDC reports approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease per year but estimates that the true incidence is 10 times that number.1 Multiple factors contribute to this discrepancy, including limitations in surveillance and reporting systems and constraints imposed by available diagnostics, which rely heavily on serologic assays.4 Diagnostic utility is affected by variability among laboratories, timing of specimen collection, suboptimal sensitivity during early infection, imperfect use of diagnostics (particularly in persons with low probability of disease), inability of a single test to identify coinfections in patients with acute infection, and the cumbersome nature of some assays. Current diagnostics also have difficulty distinguishing acute from past infection — a serious challenge in diseases characterized by nonspecific clinical findings. Moreover, tests may remain positive even after resolution of infection, leading to diagnostic uncertainty during subsequent unrelated illnesses. For less common tickborne pathogens such as POWV, serologic testing can be performed only in specialized laboratories, and currently available tests fail to identify novel tickborne organisms.
Such limitations have led researchers to explore new technologies. For example, one of the multiplex serologic platforms that have been developed can detect antibodies to more than 170,000 distinct epitopes, allowing researchers to distinguish eight tickborne pathogens.4 In addition to its utility in screening simultaneously for multiple pathogens, this assay offers enhanced pathogen detection, particularly in specimens collected during early disease. Further studies are needed to determine such assays’ applicability in clinical practice.

Nonserologic platform technologies may also improve diagnostic capabilities, particularly in identifying emerging pathogens. Two previously unknown tickborne RNA viruses, Heartland virus and Bourbon virus, were discovered by researchers using next-generation sequencing to help link organisms with sets of unexplained clinical symptoms. The development and widespread implementation of next-generation diagnostics will be critical to understanding the driving factors behind epidemiologic trends and the full clinical scope of tickborne disease. In addition, sensitive, specific and, where possible, point-of-care assays will facilitate appropriate clinical care for infected persons, guide long-term preventive efforts, and aid in testing of new therapeutics and vaccines.

In the United States, prevention and management of tickborne diseases include measures to reduce tick exposure, such as avoiding or controlling the vector itself, plus prompt, evidence-based treatment of infections. Although effective therapies are available for common tickborne bacteria and parasites, there are none for tickborne viruses such as POWV.

The biggest gap, however, is in vaccines: there are no licensed vaccines for humans targeting any U.S. tickborne pathogen. One vaccine that was previously marketed to prevent Lyme disease, LYMErix, generated an immune response against the OspA lipoprotein of B. burgdorferi, and antibodies consumed by the tick during a blood meal targeted the spirochete in the vector.5 Nonetheless, the manufacturer withdrew LYMErix from the market for a combination of reasons, including falling sales, liability concerns, and reports suggesting it might be linked to autoimmune arthritis, although studies supported the vaccine’s safety. Similar concerns will probably affect development of other Lyme disease vaccines.5

Historically, infectious-disease vaccines have targeted specific pathogens, but another strategy would be to target the vector.5 This approach could reduce transmission of multiple pathogens simultaneously by exploiting a common variable, such as vector salivary components. Phase 1 clinical trials are under way to evaluate mosquito salivary-protein–based vaccines in healthy volunteers living in areas where most mosquito-borne diseases are not endemic. Since tick saliva also contains proteins conserved among various tick species, this approach is being explored for multiple tickborne diseases.5

The burden of tickborne diseases seems likely to continue to grow substantially. Prevention and management are hampered by suboptimal diagnostics, lack of treatment options for emerging viruses, and a paucity of vaccines. If public health and biomedical research professionals accelerate their efforts to address this threat, we may be able to fill these gaps. Meanwhile, clinicians should advise patients to use insect repellent and wear long pants when walking in the woods or tending their gardens — and check themselves for ticks when they are done.


While this article repeats much of the same verbiage that’s been repeated for years, particularly the vaccine push, they are ignoring the following:

  1. Many TBI’s are congenitally transmitted:
  2. There is a real probability of sexual transmission:
  3. While they mention Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia, and Babesia, there are many other players that are hardly getting a byline.  For a list to date:  This is an important issue because to date the medical world is looking at this complex illness as a one pathogen one drug illness when nothing could be further from the truth.  No one has done any research on the complexity of being infected with more than one pathogen.  It will reveal the CDC’s guidelines of 21 days of doxy to be utter stupidity.
  4. Also, worth mentioning is that only a few of these are reportable illnesses so there is absolutely no data on how prevalent any of this is.  Surveillance is a real problem.
  5. Regarding what ticks are where….this ancient verbiage needs to change.  Ticks are moving everywhere.  This is on record in numerous places:
  6. No tick is a good tick.  They all need blood meals and have the potential to transmit disease.  
  7. This article is silent about the Asian Longhorned tick that propagates itself by cloning and can drain cattle of their blood.  Found in six states so far it was recently found on a child in New Jersey:  Word in the tick world is it had NOT bitten the child and tested negative for pathogens.  What is concerning is that it is known to transmit SFTS virus and Japanese spotted fever in Asia. This story is a reminder that this tick is NOT just a livestock problem and that a normal child going about a normal day with NO contact with livestock had this tick on her.  Another clear reminder that it is foolish to put any of this in a box.
  8. They need to emphasize that the “classic erythema migrans rash” while indicative of Lyme, is unseen or variable in many patients.
  9. Constraints in testing is a true problem but an even bigger problem is untrained and uneducated medical professionals.  This stuff may never test clearly.  Get over it.  Get trained to know what to look for!
  10. The Lyme vaccine was a bust.  It still is.  Unless safety concerns are dealt with we want nothing to do with any vaccine.
  11. All I know is that mosquitoes and Zika get more attention that this modern day 21st century plague that is creeping everywhere and is a true pandemic.  It still isn’t being seriously dealt with or researched.  What research is being done is same – o – same -o stuff we already know.  Study the tough stuff – the unanswered questions or things that are just repeated as a mantra for decades.
We need answers out here not repeated gibberish that isn’t helping patients.

The one thing I didn’t deal with that I will point out now is this regurgitated number in the NEJM article of 10-20% of patients moving on to chronic/persistent Lyme. The following informative article written by Lorraine Johnson points out this number to be considerably higher which corresponds to my experience as a patient advocate: Excerpt below:

Besides the staggering financial cost to this 21st century plague, this paper, based on estimates of treatment failure rates associated with early and late Lyme, estimates that 35-50% of those who contract Lyme will develop persistent or chronic disease.

Let that sink in.

And in the Hopkins study found 63% developed late/chronic Lyme symptoms.

For some time I’ve been rankled by the repeated CDC statement that only 10-20% of patents go on to develop chronic symptoms. This mantra in turn is then repeated by everyone else.

While still an estimate, I’d say 35 to over 60% is a tad higher than 10-20%, wouldn’t you? It also better reflects the patient group I deal with on a daily basis. I can tell you this – it’s a far greater number than imagined and is only going to worsen.



Why We Care So Strongly About A Potential Lyme Vaccine

TOUCHED BY LYME: Why we care so strongly about a potential vaccine

by Dorothy Kupcha Leland

I was recently contacted by a reporter for a national news organization. She was blunt: why is your organization so opposed to a vaccine for Lyme disease?

Note, she didn’t say “what is your organization’s opinion about it?” or “are you opposed to it?” She re-stated several versions of this basic question: “why would an organization that is supposed to help Lyme patients be opposed to a vaccine that would protect people from Lyme disease?”


On the fast track

This comes as the French company Valneva SE is preparing for Phase 2 trials of its proposed Lyme vaccine, VLA-15. It has received fast-track designation from the FDA, which is a way of expediting the development of new drugs that are deemed to be especially needed.

It also comes on the heels of plenty of news coverage framing any discussion of a Lyme vaccine like this: A Lyme vaccine—any Lyme vaccine—is automatically a good thing. Anybody who raises any questions about it is a wicked “anti-vaxxer.” After all, look what those terrible people did to LYMErix.”

So, let me clarify a few points for the record. is not “anti-vaccine.” Rather, we think important questions should be answered about the last Lyme vaccine before a new one is approved.

Safety first

Plain and simple, we care about safety. The last vaccine, LYMErix, was introduced in 1998 and withdrawn from the market in 2002, after a number of serious problems cropped up.

Among them:

  • Over 1000 adverse events related to LYMErix were reported to the FDA, including death, strokes, musculoskeletal effects and neurologic effects.
  • Over 400 people who felt they had been injured by the vaccine were preparing a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer
  • The last vaccine was not very effective. It required three doses given over the span of a year, to achieve less than 80% effectiveness.
  • Furthermore, it was unclear whether booster shots would be required.
Osp A

According to Valneva, VLA15 targets outer surface protein A (Osp A) of Borrelia, and

“the anticipated safety profile is expected to be similar to other vaccines using the same technology.”

Guess what? LYMErix was also based on Osp A. And its safety issues have never been appropriately addressed.

Here’s our bottom line: we want these concerns investigated and resolved before any new Lyme vaccine comes on the market.


There’s another matter as well. It’s becoming ever clearer that tick-borne diseases include many strains of Borrelia (not just Borrelia burgdorferi—what might be considered “classic” Lyme) along with other pathogens such as Babesia, Anaplasma/Ehrlichia, and Powassan virus.

An Osp A vaccine won’t do diddly-squat for co-infections.

Thus, we’re also concerned that a vaccine that only targets classic Lyme will give a false sense of security to those who receive it.

The market for a Lyme vaccine is projected to be between $800 million to $900 million a year.

I would think a company that stands to make that kind of money would cross their t’s and dot their i’s, in preparing the way for their product.

Yet, the manufacturers have not been forthright about safety issues with the previous vaccine. Nor have they reached out to the Lyme community in connection with this new one.

Here’s a thought: Valneva, why don’t you change your approach, starting right now? Answer our questions. See if you can allay our fears. It’s the right thing to do.

TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland,’s Vice-president and Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at .



Unfortunately, this infantile attack ploy against anyone who raises ANY questions about ANY vaccine is occurring as I write this sentence.  It blows my mind how any professional gets away with name calling and bullying:

After all, much vaccine fraud has been uncovered recently:

More on the Lyme vaccine:

HHS Vaccine Fraud Proven

  Real News With David Knight  Approx. 20 Min

Published July 13, 2018

Del Big Tree explains on “Real News With David Knight”  that in exchange for giving vaccine companies immunity from prosecution for adverse reaction & medical harm, the Federal government said it would take measures to monitor & improve vaccine safety. A new lawsuit by Del Bigtree shows HHS never looked at ANY safety or adverse reactions for ANY vaccine for the 31 years since they were given oversight.

Big Tree has this fact in bright purple crayon on a legal document.  This isn’t speculation.  This is fact.

For the proof:


Whereas, on June 27, 2018, HHS sent ICAN the following response to the FOIA Request:

The [Department]’s searches for records did not locate any records responsive to your request.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Immediate Office of the Secretary (IOS) conducted a thorough search of its document tracking systems.  The Department also conducted a comprehensive review of all relevant indexes of HHS Secretarial Correspondence records maintained at Federal Records Centers that remain in the custody of HHS.  These searches did not locate records responsive to your request, or indications that records responsive to your request and in the custody of HHS are located at Federal Records Centers.  

Time to get rid of the 1986 Act 

(The 1986 Act grants economic immunity to pharmaceutical companies for injuries caused by vaccines.  (42 U.S.C. 300a a-11.)  It also makes HHS directly responsible for nearly every aspect of vaccine safety.  (42 U.S.C. 300a a-2, 300a a-27.) 

And we think HHS isn’t going to solve the Lyme/MSIDS problem?

Go to for more info.

For more: