Doctors and scientists discuss “Chronic Lyme” beliefs

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Experts around the world agree that chronic Lyme diagnosis and treatment is inappropriate. While there is substantial peer reviewed literature regarding the social phenomenon of “chronic Lyme disease,” there has been relatively little commentary accessible to the public.

Below are educational articles by doctors and scientists, presented for a lay audience. More commentaries are listed in our papers section.

Medical education for doctors and medical professionals can be found in our Lyme CME section.

We’ve also gathered stories from former quacks who became advocates for science.

Dr. Rachel Pearson, MD: The Challenge of ‘Chronic Lyme’

Dr. Lawrence Zemel, MD and Dr. Paul Auwaerter, MD: Treating ‘chronic Lyme disease:’ Is it medical fraud?

Dr. Edward McSweegan, PhD:

Dr. Peter Lipson, MD: 

Dr. Harriet Hall, MD: 

Panel of Yale professors: Discussion of the propaganda film Under Our Skin

Dr. Vincent Iannelli, MD:

Dr. Karen Ravin, MD: Debunking myths surrounding Lyme disease

Dr. Lori Handy, MD: Lyme Disease: Facts & Fiction

Dr. Henry M. Feder, MD: Long-Term Lyme Disease Unsubstantiated

Dr. David Scales, MD: 

Dr. Stephen Salzberg, PhD: Long-Term Antibiotic Use For Lyme Disease Doesn’t Work, Study Finds

Dr. Jonathan Howard, MD: Neurologist explains chronic Lyme false assumptions

Dr. John Halperin, MD: Lyme Documentary Misleading, Perhaps Irresponsible [Review of Under Our Skin]

Dr. Steven Luger, MD: The Lyme Disease Expert web site

Dr. Andrea C. Love, PhD:

Dr. Nikki Stamp and Pixie Turner: (Un)Well 05: Bee Stings: The Bees Knees? 🔊

Dr. Samantha Ahdoot, MD: Lyme Disease 101

Dr. Allen Steere, MD: Interview with NPR

Dr. Chad Hayes, MD: Citations Needed: The curious “science” of integrative medicine

Dr. Lucy McBride, MD: The health risks of supplements and alternative medicine

Dr. Ross Boyce, MD: Destroying the Village in Order to Save It: Collateral Damage in the Battle Over Lyme Disease

Dr. Lynora Saxinger, MD:

Dr. Lynora Saxinger, MD and Dr. Stan Houston, MD: Addressing ‘alternative facts’ about Lyme disease

Dr. J. Marc Girard, MD: An example of pseudoscience: Chronic Lyme disease

Dr. Susan O’Connell, Consultant Medical Microbiologist: Re: Lyme Wars

Dr. Laura Helmuth, PhD: Why Is Romney Campaigning on Medical Quackery?

Dr. Charles Radis, DO (a rheumatologist):

Dr. Steven Novella, MD:

Dr. Mark Crislip, MD: 

Dr. Sunil K. Sood, MD: Lyme disease often misdiagnosed, resulting in unnecessary antibiotics

Dr. Karen Roos MD: Neurologic Complications of Lyme Disease

Dr. Phil Baker, PhD:

Dr. David Gorski, MD:

Dr. John Snyder, MD: Lemons and Lyme: Bogus tests and dangerous treatments of the Lyme-literati

Anonymous infectious disease doctor in Australia: Letter about “Lyme-like illness” in Australia

Dr. Bill Stamey, MD: Lyme and parkinsonism: is there a connection?

Dr. Leonid Schneider, PhD:

Dr. Erin Welsh, PhD and Dr. Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD: This Podcast Will Kill You: Lyme Disease: I’d like to check you for ticks 🔊

Dr. Sydnee McElroy, MD: Sawbones Podcast: Lyme Disease 🔊

Dr. Kathleen Degnan, MD and Dr. Anne H. Norris, MD: Tick-Borne Illnesses, Lyme Disease, and Summer Fever, in conversation with Kendal Williams, MD 🔊

Dr. Joseph H. Friedman, MD: When the doctor is crazier than the patient

Dr. Albert Fuchs, MD: Prolonged antibiotics don’t help in Lyme Disease

Dr. Richard J. Hamill, MD: Doc, Justin Bieber Has Lyme Disease And I Think I Do Too! What To Do When Your Patients Come To You With Somatic Complaints That They Attribute to Microbial Exposure 📺

Dr. Daniel A. Solomon, MD: It’s Tyme to Watch Out for Lyme (YouTube | MP3) 🔊

Dr. Dirk Vogelaers: Lyme disease: An example of a real disease that is misused by quacks 📺

Dr. Stephen Barrett, MD of Quackwatch:

Dr. Brad McKay, MBBS: Does Lyme disease exist in Australia? 

Doctors’ Pediatric: The Down Low On Lyme Disease

Dr. Martin J. Blaser, M.D.: Lyme disease treatment is source of contention

Dr. Dustin Ballard, MD: The Marriage of Contested Illnesses

Dr. Simon M. Helfgott, MD: Rheuminations: How Tiny Ticks Have Fueled Outrage and Acrimony in Some Communities

Dr. Durland Fish, PhD: article | interview

Dr. Sam Telford, Sc.D:

Dr. Sam Telford, ScD, Dr. Michael Jacobs, MD, Dr. Jim Butterick, MD, and Dr. Michael Loberg, PhD: Visiting physician’s statements about Lyme disease require correction

Dr. Gerald Weissmann, MD: “Chronic Lyme” and other medically unexplained syndromes

Dr. Daniel Summers, MD:

Dr. Heather Sher, MD: The Grace of Denial (LymeScience comment, paper mirror)

Dr. Mark Borigini, MD: Don’t Get Ticked Off Over Chronic Lyme Disease

Dr. Mark Drapkin, MD: Lawmakers overreach in casting themselves as infectious­ disease specialists

Dr. Eugene D. Shapiro, MD and Dr. Gary P. Wormser, MD: The ‘Chronic Lyme Disease’ Label Isn’t Helpful

Dr. Gary P. Wormser, M.D. and Dr. Raymond J. Dattwyler, MD: Myths and Reality of Lyme Disease

Dr. Usha Nellore, MD: Lyme disease: Not the epidemic that MPT film claims

Dr. Alex Carignan, MD, Dr. Karl Weiss, MD, Dr. François Boucher, MD, and Dr. Louis Valiquette, MD (French-Canadian): La maladie de Lyme: nouveau bastion de l’antiscience (Lyme disease: new bastion of antiscience)

Dr. Alex Carignan, MD (French-Canadian): «Il y a une pseudoscience qui s’est développée autour de la maladie de Lyme» (“There is a pseudoscience that has developed around Lyme disease”)

Dr. Robert Strang, MD: Nova Scotia’s health system has a handle on Lyme

Dr. Paul Frankish, MD: Lyme disease update and recent controversies

Dr. Bonnie Henry, MD and Dr. Muhammad Morshed, PhD: Lyme disease in British Columbia: Are we really missing an epidemic?

More: Experts affirm science of Lyme disease in Canada

Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, MD:  Long-term antibiotics not warranted for Lyme treatment

Dr. Todd Gleeson, MD: Lyme Disease: Diagnosis and Management in Military Treatment Facilities (slides, talk transcript)

Dr. Mark Hoofnagle, MD:

Dr. Matan Shelomi, PhD, Professor of Medical Entomology: What are the typical long term symptoms of Lyme disease?

Dr. Richard S. Bedlack Jr., MD, PhD: Podcast and paper debunking attempts to connect Lyme to ALS 🔊

Dr. Matthew Sims, MD, PhD and Dr. Nicholas Gilpin, DO: Beaumont HouseCall Podcast: The Ticks & Lyme Disease episode 🔊

Dr. Jeremy Devine, MD: Bill C-442 and “Chronic Lyme Disease”: the parallels with “chronic brucellosis”

Skeptical Raptor:

Dr. Paul Auwaerter, MD:

Dr. Michael Melia, MD and Dr. Paul Auwaerter, MD: Time for a Different Approach to Lyme Disease and Long-Term Symptoms

Dr. Karmela K. Chan, MD: Commentary: a disturbing conversation

Dr. Daniel Kaswan, MD: Is It Lyme Disease or Something Else?

Dr. David Robert Grimes, PhD: Fundraising appeals for the desperately ill are moving, but evidence is crucial

Erin Foeri, PharmD candidate: Caution advised in use of alternative medicines for chronic Lyme disease

Aaron Hentoff, MPH student: White Tears: Chronic Lyme Disease

Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, MD:

Dr. Todd Murray, MD (son of Polly Murray and one of the first recognized Lyme patients): Comments on “Maybe it’s Lyme”

Dr. Ric Arseneau, MD: Symptoms attributed to Chronic Lyme Disease

Dr. William G. Wilkoff, MD: Ticked off

Dr. Mark List, MD: Making Lemonade Out of Chronic Lyme Disease

Scott Gavura, pharmacist: Avoid prolonged antibiotics for “Chronic Lyme”

Dr. Edzard Ernst:

Dr. Michael Kruse, MD and former medic:

Colin Blenis, RN, DNP student: No Easy Answers for Lyme Disease: Chronic Lyme is not a Real Diagnosis

Dr. Alan Barbour: Let Scientists Do Their Jobs (New York Times Editorial)

Dr. Lawrence Zemel, MD: Law Would Allow Risky Treatment For Lyme Disease

Dr. Erin Welsh, PhD and Dr. Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD: Lyme Disease: I’d like to check you for ticks

Dr. Omar Abu Saleh, MBBS: Help in the fight against Lyme disease

Dr. Peggy Weintraub, MD: Misleading Lyme Disease Information on the Web :

In my practice, I explain that even apparently legitimate medical sites may contain erroneous information, that those that promote overdiagnosis and overtreatment often have financial motives, and that the ability to set up a website does not necessarily imply any medical knowledge. Surprisingly, many people do not realize this. For reliable information on Lyme disease, you can direct families to the CDC website.

Dr. Henry Masur, MD: IDSA: Our Lyme disease treatment guidelines were rigorously researched

Dr. Eric R. Brenner, MD: Long-term Therapy for Lyme Disease — or Not?

Dr. Brandon Beaber, MD: Multiple sclerosis is not Lyme disease

Dr. Leyla Sanai: The snake-oil salesmen who prey on schizophrenics

Dr. Michael Richman, MD: Chronic Lyme Disease Fact or Fiction?

Dr. John Farber, MD: What is normal- part 2

Diana Ernst, RPh: Chronic Lyme Diagnosis Leads to Potentially Fatal Drug Reaction

Dr. Julie Kardos, MD and Dr. Naline Lai, MD: Lyme disease: It’s back

Dr. Beth Santmyire-Rosenberger, MD, PhD: Lyme Disease

Dr. Ronald Rubin, MD: A Young Man with a New Skin Lesion of the Right Shoulder

Dr. Tina Tan, MD: Lyme Disease in Children: Symptoms & Treatment

Dr. William Bebout, MD: The Desperation for Cure – The Role of Quackery in Modern Medicine

Dr. Edsel Salvana, MD: No Lyme, no reason: Why the Philippines has no Lyme disease

Dr. Lucy Hornstein, MD:

Dr. Henrik Vogt (Norwegian):

Dr. Mats Reimer (Swedish):

Dr. Björn Olsen (Swedish): Lång behandling hjälper inte vid borreliabesvär (Long treatment does not help with Lyme disease)

Prof. Dr. med. Heidelore Hofmann (German): „Antikörper sind kein Beweis für eine Borreliose“ (“Antibodies are not evidence of Lyme disease.”)

Dr. Jarmo Oksi (Finnish):

Dr. Marc Gozlan (French): « Maladie de Lyme chronique » : le danger des traitements prolongés par antibiotiques (“Chronic Lyme Disease”: The Danger of Prolonged Antibiotic Therapy)

Dr. Cédric Lemogne and Dr. Pascal Cathébras (French): Non, vous n’avez pas la maladie de Lyme! (No, you do not have Lyme disease!)

Dr. Yves Hansmann (French): VIDEO. «La maladie de Lyme peut être handicapante si elle est traitée tardivement», explique le professeur Hansmann (“Lyme disease can be disabling if treated late,” says Professor Hansmann)

Pr. Marc Gentilini (French): Le vrai scandale de la maladie de Lyme (The true scandal of Lyme disease)

Dr. Jean-Claude Desenclos (French):  L’élaboration des recommandations de prise en charge de la maladie de Lyme : un nécessaire questionnement éthique (Development of management guidelines for the management of Lyme disease: an ethical dimension is needed)

Pr. François Bricaire and Pr. Marc Gentilini (French): Halte aux fantasmes sur la maladie de Lyme! (Stop fantasies about Lyme disease!)

Dr. Pierre Kieffer (French):

Dr. Daniel Christmann (French): « Il n’y a aucune raison d’alimenter une angoisse autour de Lyme » (“There’s no reason to fuel any anxiety around Lyme.”)

Dr. Arnica (French): Maladie de Lyme: on a surtout besoin d’y voir clair (Lyme disease: we especially need to see clearly)

Dr. Pierre Tattevin, MD, PhD (French): Maladie de Lyme: attention au sur-diagnostic! (Lyme disease: beware of over-diagnosis!)

Dr. Jean Yves Nau (French): La maladie de Lyme, cas d’école de la rupture entre médecins et malades (Lyme disease, a textbook case of the rupture between doctors and patients)

Dr. Xavier Gocko (French): Video: Primum non nocere: Dr Xavier Gocko, general practitioner near Saint-Etienne, raises awareness of the risks of overdiagnosis and iatrogenesis in chronic Lyme. (see also)

Dr. Nicolas de Prost, Dr. Alice Raffetin, Dr. Sébastien Gallien, and Dr. Saskia Ingen-Housz-Oro (French): « Faux Lyme, vrai Lyell ! Quand le non-respect des recommandations HAS conduit une patiente en réanimation… » (“False Lyme, true Lyell! When non-compliance with French National Authority for Health recommendations leads a patient to intensive care… “) [LymeScience translation]

Dr. Preben Aavitsland, MD (Norwegian): En epidemi av borreliose? (An Epidemic of Borreliosis?)

Dr. med. Laura Cabrera (German): Gefährlich oder nur umstritten? Patienten kämpfen im Netz um Anerkennung der „chronischen Borreliose“ – Fakten und Fiktion (Dangerous or just controversial? Patients fight online for recognition of “chronic Lyme disease” – facts and fiction)

Dr. Dirk Draulans (Belgian biologist & journalist): Wat als de hersenen op hol slaan (What if the brain goes crazy) (mirror)

Dr. Miłosz Parczewski (Polish): przewlekła borelioza nie istnieje (chronic Lyme disease does not exist, mirror, English)

Dr. Wietse Wiels (Dutch): We urgently need to stop the scammers in the Lyme circuit

Dr. Luc Bonneux (Dutch):

Dr. Tjerk Wiersma (Dutch):

Dr. Jan Keppel Hesselink, MD, PhD and Dr. Lex Bouter, PhD (Dutch): ‘Science is also only an opinion’

Dr. André Weel (Dutch)Een nieuw begin, ook voor lyme? (A new beginning, also for Lyme?)

Dr. Cees Renckens (Dutch):

Dr. Emile Keuter (Dutch):

Dr. Klaus Hansen, Dr. Anne Mette Lebech Kjær, Dr. Jette Bangsborg, Dr. Christian Østergaard Andersen: Tvivl om Borrelia-diagnostik? Nej! (Doubts about Borrelia diagnosis? No!)

Dr. Jan Lindebjerg, MD (Danish): Alternativ borreliadiagnostik og -behandling (Alternative Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment) (mirror)

Dr. David Patrick, MD:

More posts about chronic Lyme pseudoscience can be found at Science-Based Medicine

List of resources from Norway

Other relevant LymeScience posts

Updated June 19, 2024