Decades of rigorous research has resulted in an overwhelming scientific consensus about Lyme disease and other infections.

These conclusions were reflected in an exhaustive 2010 review of the 2006 “Lyme Disease, Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis, and Babesiosis Clinical Practice Guidelines” published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). The review was conducted by an independent scientific panel where an independent ombudsman certified each member as being free from conflicts of interest.

The panel unanimously upheld each of the 2006 recommendations after holding an all-day public hearing and considering 1,025 references. Among other things, the panel concluded:

  • In the case of Lyme disease, inherent risks of long-term antibiotic therapy were not justified by clinical benefit.
  • To date, there is no convincing biologic evidence for the existence of symptomatic chronic B. burgdorferi infection among patients after receipt of recommended treatment regimens for Lyme disease.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said it more simply:

“Chronic Lyme disease” is not a medical diagnosis.

Since 2010, the scientific consensus has only grown stronger. For example, the PLEASE trial joins four other major studies showing that Lyme disease patients do not benefit from long term antibiotics. In contrast, the anti-science group ILADS admits all twelve of its recommendations are based on “very low-quality evidence”.

Of course, the vast majority of people diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease never had Lyme disease in the first place, so any treatment for presumed Lyme disease would be inappropriate.

In 2010, the Healthcare Protection Agency of UK–after noting the vulnerability of patients “desperate for an explanation and possible cure for their illnesses”– issued scathing conclusions about guidelines issued by ILADS:

  • The ILADS guidelines are not evidence-based and are poorly constructed.
  • Application of the ILADS guidelines’ poorly defined case definitions will result in a very high risk of misdiagnosis.
  • Use of ILADS guidelines’ vague treatment recommendations, including prolonged use of antibiotics, has potentially serious consequences.
  • Patients misdiagnosed with Lyme disease risk losing opportunities for diagnosis and treatment of other conditions. They also risk serious physical, psychological social and financial adverse events.

Moreover, there is now compelling evidence that the duration of antibiotics can be shorter, in some circumstances, than those recommended in 2006 and 2010. These new recommendations are presented on the CDC web site and in a 2016 JAMA evidence review.

🌍 Experts agree around the world 🌎

Below are medical and science groups that support the scientific consensus about diagnosing and treating Lyme disease:

A 2010 survey of Connecticut primary care physicians found only 6 of 285 respondents (2.1%) said they diagnosed or treated presumed chronic Lyme disease.

In 2010, Dr. Sue O’Connell, a microbiologist who headed the Health Protection Agency Lyme Borreliosis Unit in the UK, performed a survey of Lyme diagnosis and treatment guidelines from 16 groups of medical experts in Europe and North America. She noted:

There is overall agreement regarding the clinical features of Lyme borreliosis and on the requirement for supporting laboratory evidence of a clinical diagnosis of later-stage infection. Two-tier serological testing, with immunoblot as a second-stage test, is currently recommended in most guidelines and reviews.

and:

No evidence-based European or North American guideline recommends prolonged or multiple courses of antibiotics for persistent symptoms following previously treated Lyme disease.

Other good sources

  • U of Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center
  • State and province public health departments
  • Science-based doctors board certified in infectious disease, neurology, rheumatology, psychiatry, dermatology, pediatrics, and Allergy and Immunology

 

Sources to avoid because they deny the scientific consensus

  • International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS)  [see the review from the UK’s Health Protection Agency]
  • LymeDisease.org
  • Global Lyme Alliance
  • Bay Area Lyme
  • Lyme Disease Association
  • IgeneX
  • NatCapLyme- The National Capital Lyme Disease Association
  • Stand4Lyme
  • Lyme Innovation
  • PA Lyme Resource Network
  • Lyme Action Network
  • Colorado Tick-Borne Disease Awareness Association
  • LivLyme Foundation
  • Focus on Lyme
  • Partnership for Tick-borne Diseases Education and Lymecme.info
  • Project Lyme
  • The Mayday Project
  • Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education
  • Lyme Society, Inc.
  • Florida Lyme Disease Association
  • Lyme Connection
  • LymeLight Foundation
  • LymeHope
  • Twin Cities Lyme Foundation
  • The Mighty
  • Institute for Functional Medicine
  • American Academy of Environmental Medicine
  • American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine
  • American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M)
  • Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
  • CanLyme – Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation
  • Canadian Lyme Science Alliance (CLSA) and Canadian Lyme Consortium
  • Association québécoise de la maladie de Lyme (AQML)
  • Caudwell LymeCo
  • Lyme Disease UK
  • Lyme Disease Action UK
  • German Borreliosis Society (Deutsche Borreliose-Gesellschaft)
  • Chronimed
  • Lyme Disease Association of Australia  [There is no compelling evidence you can contract real Lyme disease in Australia.]
  • Any other so-called Lyme patient group (other than this web site and the ALDF)
  • Lyme community videos such as Under Our Skin
  • Unscientific medicine practitioners, including those who market themselves using the following terminology: Lyme literate, integrative, functional, alternative, complementary, Traditional Chinese Medicine, holistic, natural, Biological, Ayurvedic, chiropractic, naprapathic, homeopathic, and naturopathic.
  • Any organization listed by Quackwatch in their list of questionable organizations
  • Academic centers that receive substantial funding and other support from chronic Lyme advocates, including:
    • Columbia University Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center
    • University of New Haven Lyme Disease Research Group
    • The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness