In 2019, the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (AMMI) Canada reaffirmed both its support for patients and the overwhelming international scientific consensus in a new “Position Statement on the Diagnosis and Treatment of People with Persistent Symptoms That Have Been Attributed to Lyme Disease.”
According to Dr. Todd Hatchette, President of AMMI Canada:
Patients being told they have chronic infection are often given prolonged antibiotics and alternative therapies that have never been shown to work and have, in fact, been harmful.
Patients are suffering from very real and sometimes debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation about Lyme disease. Patients want and deserve honest answers. As Canada’s experts in infectious diseases, we have an obligation to provide answers.
The Position Statement is endorsed by five additional medical groups:
- Association des Medecins Microbiologistes Infectiologues du Quebec
- Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
- Canadian Neurological Society
- Canadian Paediatric Society
- Public Health Physicians of Canada
Among other things, AMMI Canada emphasized:
- Patients should be treated in a compassionate, comprehensive, and evidence-guided manner.
- Prolonged antibiotic therapy does not alter patient outcomes, but can lead to potentially severe adverse reactions, like C. difficile and infections arising from intravenous catheters.
- An independent panel, certified free of conflicts of interests, confirmed in 2010 that the IDSA 2006 recommendations were sound.
- FDA and Health Canada approved tests are accurate in late Lyme disease.
- Laboratories that use alternative tests or read tests differently than mainstream doctors can have false positive rates of greater than 50%.
- Patients with chronic symptoms and a negative test for Lyme disease in Canada should not go to the United States to be diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease.
- More research is needed to help patients with ongoing symptoms.
- More education on Lyme disease is needed for health care workers and the public.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has also written about how the “chronic Lyme industry” spreads myths that are causing unnecessary concern.
Other medical and science groups in Canada also acknowledge the scientific consensus, including:
- National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (Canada)
- Public Health Canada
- Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec
- Press release (English | Français)
- AMMI Canada Position Statement (Journal web site | English | Français)
- Lyme Disease Fact Sheet (English | Français )
- AMMI Canada’s response to the Federal Framework on Lyme Disease (English | Français)
- AMMI 2011 Endorsement of IDSA Guidelines
- AMMI Lyme disease web page
Reporting on Lyme
- CTVNews: Canadian experts say prolonged antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease ‘harmful’
- CTV/The Canadian Press: From urine therapy to vitamins: study warns of untested Lyme disease ‘cures’
- Montreal Gazette: The chronic Lyme disease debate is not for the faint-hearted
- CBC Radio: Ombudman’s response to a conspiracy theorist
- The Method: Chronicle Herald journalist tries to get health official fired for mythbusting
- CBC: Former Lunenburg councillor misdiagnosed with Lyme disease now told he has ALS
- Thom Barker: Thinking Critically – Ticked off by flawed Lyme disease bill
- Skeptic North: Chronic Lyme Disease Creeps into Green Party Bill
- Global News: Explaining the mysteries of Lyme disease
- Canada Communicable Disease Report: Clinical aspects of Lyme disease (English | Français)
- La Presse: Docteur K (Amir Khadir)
- La Presse: Maladie de Lyme: gare à l’alchimie législative (Lyme disease: beware of legislative alchemy, featuring Maureen McShane)
- Scientifique en chef du Québec/Agence Science-Presse: Séparer le fait de l’opinion: le cas de la maladie chronique de Lyme
- Lyme disease testing: Canadians may receive false-positives from some US labs
Doctor and Academic Commentaries from Canada
- Dr. J. Marc Girard, MD: An example of pseudoscience: Chronic Lyme disease
- Dr. Robert Strang, MD: Nova Scotia’s health system has a handle on Lyme
- Dr. Alex Carignan, MD: La maladie de Lyme: nouveau bastion de l’antiscience (Lyme disease: new bastion of antiscience)
- Dr. Jeremy Devine, MD: Bill C-442 and “Chronic Lyme Disease”: the parallels with “chronic brucellosis”
- Dr. Bonnie Henry, MD and Dr. Muhammad Morshed, PhD: Lyme disease in British Columbia: Are we really missing an epidemic?
- Canadian Medical Association Journal: Lyme law uses “junk science” says expert
- Dr. David Patrick, MD: Interview and Resources
- Melanie McPhail & Jacob J. Shelley: The role of patient advocates in Lyme disease policy should be limited (CBC radio interview)
- Dan Gregson MD, G. Evans MD, David Patrick MD, William Bowie MD: Lyme disease: How reliable are serologic results?
- Dr. Nicholas Ogden and colleagues: What is the real number of Lyme disease cases in Canada?
- Dr. Lynora Saxinger, MD: Addressing ‘alternative facts’ about Lyme disease
- Dr. BL Johnston, MD and Dr. JM Conly, MD: Lyme disease: Is it or is it not?
- Other doctor and scientist commentaries
- Dr. Rakel Kling, MD, Dr. Eleni Galanis, MD, Dr. Muhammad Morshed, PhD, Dr. David M. Patrick, MD: Diagnostic testing for Lyme disease: Beware of false positives
- Dr. Ric Arseneau: Symptoms attributed to Chronic Lyme Disease