LYMEPOLICYWONK: Lyme Disease: Call for a “Manhattan Project” to Combat the Epidemic
PLOS Pathogens just published the most recent commentary by Dr. Stricker and me on Lyme disease calling for a Manhattan Project effort to seriously tackle this debilitating illness in light of the CDC’s increase in annual incidence from 30,000 to 300,000. An excerpt and a link to the full article, which is available open access is below.
“What needs to be done to combat the growing Lyme disease epidemic? As suggested by others [Dr. Liegner], we need to establish a “Manhattan project” along the lines of the approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. First, an inclusive panel of clinicians, researchers, patients, and government officials should be established to determine the new approach to Lyme disease using the type of panel balancing recommended by government guidelines for controversial diseases. This panel should revoke the archaic and ineffective IDSA Lyme guidelines and establish new clinical parameters for Lyme disease diagnosis. Second, a uniform standard for Lyme disease testing should be established, with emphasis on a “gold standard” culture and/or PCR test for the spirochete. This effort would mirror the government-supervised approach to HIV/AIDS that was used to ensure high test sensitivity for that disease, as described above. Third, further trials of antibiotic therapy should be conducted once the “gold standard” testing is in place, with emphasis on combination antimicrobial therapy and encouragement of pharmaceutical industry participation , , ”
The full article is available open access–meaning you can read it for free. Stricker RB, Johnson L (2014) Lyme Disease: Call for a “Manhattan Project” to Combat the Epidemic. PLoS Pathog 10(1): e1003796. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003796
Dr. Liegner first raised the call for a Manhattan Project for Lyme disease in an article in the Poughkeepsie Journal.
The LYME POLICY WONK blog is written by Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA, who is the Executive Director of LymeDisease.org, formerly CALDA. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, follow me @lymepolicywonk.