Borrelioosi on useimpien lähteiden mm. CDC:n (USA:n tautien tarkkailuun ja ehkäisyyn keskittynyt laitos) mukaan maapallon nopeimmin lisääntyvä eläinperäinen sairaus. Vuodesta 2001 vuoteen 2002 tapausmäärissä tapahtui 40 %:n nousu. CDC myöntää tapausten määrän olevan aliraportoituja. Luotettavammat arviot ovat vähintään 10 kertaa nykyisiä raportoituja tapauksia suuremmat. Arvioiden mukaan esim. USA:ssa saattaa olla yli 2 miljoonaa kroonista borrelioosia sairastavaa.
Tutkimusten mukaan noin 90 % borrelioositapauksista jää huomioimatta silloin kun henkilöllä ei ole tyypillistä ihomuutosta, testit ovat negatiiviset ja akuutit oireet ovat epäspesifiset hoitavan lääkärin mielestä. Vääriä negatiivisia testituloksia ei juurikaan huomioida. Lääkärit eivät myöskään lähetä testejä useampiin laboratorioihin, esim. sellaisiin joissa on keskitytty tutkimaan punkkien välittämiä sairauksia ja joiden testeissä käytetään useampia borreliabakteerin alajajeja.
Tutkimuksien mukaan borreliabakteerin aiheuttama infektio aiheuttaa samankaltaisia oireita kuin esim.kroonisessa väsymysoireyhtymässä, fibromyalgiassa, MS-taudissa jne. Lapsilla ja kouluikäisillä nuorilla oireet diagnosoidaan usein virheellisesti oppimis-, tarkkaavaisuus- ja käyttäytymishäiriöiksi. Siksi virheellisten diagnoosien ja riittämättämien hoitojen mahdollisuus on suuri.
The Lancet - Infectious Diseases
Volume 4, Number 10 01 October 2004
http://infection.thelancet.com/journal/ ... on.30768.1
http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/new ... oct_04.htm
Lyme borreliosis: perspective of a scientist?patient
In their review of Lyme borreliosis, Ulrich Hengge and colleagues declare, "Extensive and often inaccurate publicity about the risk and outcomes of Lyme borreliosis has produced considerable anxiety about the disease. One result of this reaction is the inappropriate use of serological testing for Lyme borreliosis to identify the cause of widely prevalent, non-specific symptoms, such as pain and fatigue. This practice, in turn, has led to a virtual epidemic of over-diagnosis and over-treatment of patients with Lyme borreliosis". This is one side of the intense debate over Lyme borreliosis. There is a division among physicians; because of their fiercely held positions, communication among adversaries has not been productive, and issues of diagnosis and treatment remain unresolved. [2 and 3] This deplorable situation has damaged the quality of patient care and makes Lyme borreliosis a public-health threat. As a Lyme borreliosis patient who has worked in biological science in academia and industry for over 30 years, I am compelled to address the conflict between physicians, insurance companies, and government agencies, as well as the confusion over patient management.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme borreliosis is the fastest growing zoonotic disease; from 2001?2002 there was a 40% increase in cases surveyed, to 23763 cases. The CDC acknowledges under-reporting. Reliable estimates are at least ten times those reported, or about 250000 new cases per year ?more than five times the annual number of new AIDS cases in the USA.  According to these statistics, there are more than 2 million people with chronic Lyme borreliosis in the USA.
Lyme borreliosis is a multisystem, protean infection from multiple strains and morphological forms  of Borrelia burgdorferi. Even when treated with antibiotics, this spirochete can cause persistent infection and lead to debilitating chronic illness in some people.[2 and 8] Symptoms during infection vary among patients and can include erythema migrans, flu-like illness (fever and chills), rheumatological (musculoskeletal pain), neurological (headache, fatigue, vertigo, confusion, and impairments of cognition, sleep, hearing, memory, and vision), and cardiac manifestations, and psychiatric illness. [2 and 9]
Given the incidence of Lyme borreliosis in the USA, it is perplexing that people living in endemic areas are ill for months or years before they are diagnosed and treated. In the literature, this problem is attributed to non-specific and fluctuating symptoms, re-infection, relapse, latent and asymptomatic infection, and the inadequacy of serological tests.[1, 2, 3, 9 and 10] However, the best explanation is the confusion generated by the medical and sociopolitical controversy over the incidence and seriousness of Lyme borreliosis and the existence of persistent infection. [1, 2, 3, 9 and 11]
Physician diagnosis of early B burgdorferi infections is made from assessment of clinical symptoms. After testing for co-occurring infections?such as babesia, ehrlichia, bartonella, and anaplasma[2 and 3]?aggressive antimicrobial treatments are prescribed at therapeutic dosages and duration.  Because society is mobile, physicians in areas that are non-endemic for Lyme borreliosis can encounter patients with early to chronic Lyme borreliosis. Misdiagnosis or ineffective treatment of early Lyme borreliosis can result in neurological illness and lead to expensive, long-term, intravenous antibiotic therapy?a cost that is difficult for patients and insurance companies to support.
Although there is not a commonly agreed to effective treatment for Lyme borreliosis, the widely held medical and political view (illustrated in the Hengge review) is that it is a minor illness, easily treated, and reliably cured with 14?21 days of oral antibiotic therapy, [1 and 11] even though there is no objective test to confirm cure.  This conservative position argues that most Lyme borreliosis cases meet the CDC restrictive surveillance criteria:  erythema migrans, positive ELISA, and IgM/IgG western blot results. [1 and 11] However, when erythema migrans is absent, [3 and 13] serology is negative, [1, 2 and 14] or acute, non-specific symptoms are inconsistent with the physician's understanding of Lyme borreliosis, the diagnosis may be overlooked in up to 90% of cases.  When diagnosis is delayed and serology remains negative, physicians tend to dismiss B burgdorferi infection. The probability of a false-negative result[2 and 14] is rarely considered even though the CDC warn that surveillance criteria alone should not determine diagnosis and treatment.  Furthermore, physicians rarely seek the assistance of laboratories and practitioners who specialise in tick-borne infections and use western blots with multiple B burgdorferi strains (assessing dissimilarity in reactivity patterns that are dependent on the strain used as the antigen source), PCR [2 and 9] and CD57  assays, or functional brain imaging (such as single photon emission computed tomography). 
In the absence of objective evidence it is not unusual for physicians who are confronted with fluctuating and non-specific symptoms to tell their patients: "You don't have Lyme disease, but I don't know what's
wrong with you". If a short-course of empirical antimicrobial therapy is rescribed, it is reasonable to ask how many patients remained ill, did not return to that physician, but did seek help from a practitioner experienced with tick-borne infections. The literature discusses the harmful effects and expense of over-prescribing antibiotics; however, the discussion rarely encompasses the long-term individual and societal consequences of untreated Lyme borreliosis.
Hengge and colleagues state: "Since Lyme borreliosis is a popular explanation for many poorly understood symptoms, such as arthralgias or chronic fatigue syndrome, proper instruction to physicians is key to prevent misdiagnosis or overdiagnosis". Conversely, the fact that symptoms of persistent B burgdorferi infection overlap those of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and motor neuron disease contributes to the misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment of this spirochetal illness.[2, 17, 18 and 19]
As numerous specialists are consulted, the patient may feel unheard and trivialised, and become overwrought in dealing with multiple diagnoses, each aligned with a physician's specialty yet not contributing to improved health. The suggestion that unresolved emotional issues are causing the patient's symptoms can be overwhelming for the patient and lead to questions of factitious or psychoneurotic illness. Cognitive impairment[2, 9 and 20] and chronic pain from neuropathy can activate depressive illness. [2 and 9] Neuropsychiatric manifestations of Lyme borreliosis in school-age children are often misdiagnosed as learning, behavioural, or attention deficit disorders. [9 and 20]
Lyme disease is a complex and extremely serious illness that affects patients and the entire medical community. I hope my comments will broaden the perspective on Lyme borreliosis presented in Hengge and colleagues? review.
http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/new ... oct_04.htm
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