Why Your Dog Can Get Vaccinated Against Lyme Disease And You Can’t

Canine vaccines protect against Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — Eleven-year-old “Ned Kelly” is in for his annual physical at a clinic in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. As part of his check-up, he’s getting a booster shot to protect him against Lyme disease. Ned doesn’t like needles, but he holds still while Dr. Joel Kaye squeezes the pink serum under his skin.

“Little pinch,” says Dr. Kaye, “we’ll be home free. All right, good job!”

Ned is lucky, because he’s one of the select few who can get the vaccine that gives him immunity against Lyme disease.

Ned is lucky because he’s a dog.

At the MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center, dogs are regularly vaccinated against Lyme. Ned’s owner, Joe Turchin, lives in Falmouth. Ticks are bad there and Lyme is prevalent.

Turchin’s glad he can protect his dog. But he wishes there were a human vaccine, too.

“You know, if there were a vaccine,” Turchin says, “our doctors would be suggesting it to us, certainly for those of us on the Cape and the islands. Because it’s a horrendous plague!”

Actually, modern science has given us a human vaccine against Lyme disease.

Too bad we don’t use it.

“Lyme disease is the only infection I know of where we have a safe and effective vaccine, but it’s not available to the public,” says Dr. Allen Steere, the physician who uncovered the disease. Steere was 33 years old back in 1975 when he was sent to the Connecticut town of Lyme to look into a mysterious cluster of kids who had gotten arthritis.

Dr. Allen Steere, the discoverer of Lyme disease (Josh Berlinger for WBUR)

“Four or five months into the investigation, we came to suspect that ticks may be involved,” Steere said of his team’s work. They had found a previously unknown disease, and ever since, Lyme has been Steere’s life’s work.

After the discovery, he and other scientists first isolated the spiral-shaped bacterium that causes Lyme disease, and then they looked for ways to make people immune to it. Today, Steere’s laboratory is at Massachusetts General Hospital. He says finding a biological pathway to vaccinate against Lyme was a major milestone.

“Lyme disease was epidemic in certain locations, particularly in the northeastern United States,” Steere says. “So here was the possibility of really changing that.”

By the mid-1990s, two pharmaceutical companies began trials of candidate vaccines.

Dr. Gregory Poland is a vaccinologist at the Mayo Clinic. He says the vaccines helped people build up lots of antibodies that killed the Lyme agent relatively quickly. “So that when a tick bites you and sucks your blood, it is sucking up the antibodies out of your blood,” Poland says. “Those antibodies go into the tick’s gut, kill the Lyme organisms so that when that tick then regurgitates into your skin, you don’t get Lyme disease.”

Poland says as innovative as these vaccines were for killing the Lyme bacterium before it even got into your body, they weren’t perfect. You had to get booster shots, so it took a year to become immune. It wasn’t approved for children 14 and under. Still, for those 15 and above, it worked pretty well. Human trials conducted by Steere showed that about 80 percent of those vaccinated gained immunity.

“People are fed up! This is a terrible situation we’re in, which means that a vaccine still makes sense.”
– Sam Telford, veterinarian

Introduced in 1998, the vaccine sold well at first. But then opponents spoke out: self-described ‘vaccine victims’ — perhaps similar to people today who claim the MMR vaccine causes autism. Back then, they said that the Lyme vaccine gave them arthritis.

“And this sort of got into popular lore,” Poland recalls. “It got on the Internet. There were a number of East Coast lawyers who started putting together class-action lawsuits. There were anti-vaccine advocacy groups that were formed.”

And there were threats against the scientists who had worked to help protect people against the disease. Poland had to hide where he lived. Steere got a security detail.

The clinical data did not back up any of this. The trials had not shown such side effects. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control looked into the claims, and then continued to recommended that people exposed to tick-infested areas get the vaccine.

But it was too late. Sales had plummeted. Four years after offering people immunity against Lyme, SmithKline Beecham stopped making the vaccine. The second vaccine-maker, Pasteur Mérieux Connaught, saw what had happened and never put out its own product.

The vaccine kills lyme bacteria in the tick before they even make it into the dog’s body. (Curt Nickish/WBUR)

“Now with the withdrawal of the vaccine, people are doing all kinds of things,” Poland says.

Poland notes that since then, Lyme has become more widespread and is now the most common tick-borne disease in the country.

“I’m personally aware of individuals, who in desperation have gone to veterinarians and remarkably convinced the veterinarian to inject them with the canine vaccine,” he says.

Despite the growing demand for access to a human vaccine, many drug companies say not they’re not interested in working on one.

“There are so many diseases,” notes Farshad Guirakhoo, senior director of external in North America at Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the drug giant Sanofi. His company is working instead on a vaccine for dengue fever.

“For diseases like Lyme disease, the medical need is smaller,” Guirakhoo says. “So we need to put our resources toward where the medical need is greater and then you can make the vaccine.”

With little to no interest from drug companies, some people want government to step in — even state government. Earlier this month, at a hearing of the new Massachusetts Lyme Disease Commission, veterinarian Sam Telford suggested the Bay State license GlaxoSmithKline’s FDA-approved vaccine.

“We all know that the market has changed,” Dr. Telford said then. “People are fed up! This is a terrible situation we’re in, which means that a vaccine still makes sense.”

Telford arguess the state could make it at the UMass Biologics Laboratory in Jamaica Plain, a facility that has made other vaccines before. GlaxoSmithKline would not say whether it would consider such an option.

So for now, there’s no sign of any vaccine becoming available. And if there were, Poland says the old opponents are already promising to fight the introduction of any new Lyme vaccine.

“So we know scientifically how to develop a vaccine that would protect against all this human misery,” Poland says with an air of regret. “And yet, for these societal and cultural reasons, not scientific reasons, that will not be done in the foreseeable future in the U.S.”

Steere is a little more hopeful. The man who first connected the mysterious affliction to the ticks of Lyme, Conn., back in 1975, has worked on the disease his entire professional life. Losing the human vaccine that he had helped along, he admits, was a major setback. But he doesn’t want to assign blame.

“Multiple things happened,” Steere says. “What I’d like to see happen now, is that it’s possible to move on. Even make a better vaccine. I think that’s still possible.”

Until that day, people are going to have to try to protect themselves. Long pants. Insecticides. Body inspections. People are going to have to keep living with Lyme.

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  • Alexander Davis

    Of course a human vaccine
    would be wonderful.    Unfortunately
    there is a lot of distrust out there.  
    As shown in the film “Under Our Skin”, the panel of physicians who wrote
    up the legal treatment guidelines includes those who profit from such a
    vaccine, those paid by drug companies, and those paid by the health insurance
    companies.  These physicians also receive
    our tax dollars as grants to publish their papers which they use to support
    their treatment guidelines.  It has been
    in the interest of the health insurance companies to save money by limiting
    treatment of Lyme victims, early and late, and this is the thrust of the legal
    treatment guidelines.  If there were a
    vaccine against gambling addiction, would we want it pushed by Bugsy

    • Guest

       Bugsy Who?

      • jefe68

        Ben “Bugsy” Siegal was gangster from New York (LA and Las Vegas) in the 20′s, 30′s and 40′s.

        Was one of the founding members of Murder Inc. He was a very violent man with close ties to the Genovese crime family as in Lucky Luciano. These guys were the original wise guys. He grew up with Al Capone, they were boyhood chums.

      • Alexander Davis

        My reference had to do with his relation to the Las Vegas Flamingo casino.    

    • Jen

      By “tax dollars” I am assuming you mean funding from the NIH which nearly every research lab relies on in part.

      And it would be in the best interest of insurance companies to not have chronic illnesses that require doctors visits every month.

      • Alexander Davis

        This is why it is convenient for the insurance companies (and the MDs on their payroll) to claim that the Lyme bacteria are very short-lived in the human body.

        • Jen

          I am not sure where you are getting that information. Lyme bacteria can be in the body for a long time, just like any other pathogen.

          • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

            Borrelia are well known for their persistence without treatment. Numerous animal studies have shown this occurs.

    • Marc Lamphier

      Oh gosh here we go again. The physicians are in it for the money and will game the system at the patient’s expense. I am in the medical /pharmaceutical community and the people I work with spend their lives trying to understand disease and how to treat it. The scientific challenges in being able to do this are enormous and nothing is ever really clear, but the worst part is when you succeed you have people screaming at you that you’re only doing it for the money, and lawyers looking for every crack in the data, imagined or otherwise, to skim off whatever they can. People completely overinterpret what it means for a physician to get paid as a consultant by a drug company. They are brought in precisely because they are the experts and are the people the public would want to be advising pharmaceutical companies on how to proceed. I am not sure what is meant by “profit from a vaccine”, unless they are shareholders in the company. Consultancies are a flat fee, highly regulated, and not very much money.

      I am so sick of listening to every trite conspiracy theory to explain why things go wrong. I think the explanation given in the article is exactly right and is a lesson we should learn from.

    • Kevin Folta

      Alexander,  it seems like you believe that grant money comes in, researchers publish a paper and then treatments happen.  Not so simple.  First you have to propose extremely well designed experiments and trials for how every cent of that grant money will be spent.  Then you do the experiment.  The data are, what the data are.  If they show efficacy of the vaccine, then that is published.  If it is not effective, then back to the drawing board and a change in formulation, antigen, adjuvants, etc.   Research is self-correcting.  Independent groups will find similar results, and if they don’t, research continues to resolve discrepancies.  The data that frame treatment protocols are extremely well established and are derived from substantial investments of time, dollars and effort.   Such discoveries and protocols are not driven by money at their core as much as the desire to solve a problem.   Scientists do have honest motivations, at least the vast majority.  It is not all about money as you suggest, even though it takes money to expand the mission, so profits are always welcome.  The profits from vaccination are not so good either.  If it was all about money they’d be working in cancer or alzheimers drugs. 

  • jefe68

    What is not mentioned in this article is that the vaccine for Lyme is not 100% effective for dogs.
    My dog has been getting it for years and a year ago he tested positive for the disease.
    He’s 11 so the odds are he’s going to dog heaven before the disease really effects him.
    But it is causing him some discomfort in his joints. The Vet informed me that the vaccine does not prevent dogs from getting the disease. It does lessen the effects of the disease however in some cases. Which seems to be the case in my dog. So far his quality of life is good.

    That said, one has to ask the question, why? The answer is seems that the profit motive for a vaccine has been in play for decades. There was a time when government and public universities were developing vaccines as it was in the interest of the public good. Seems to that this is one area that government can and should be getting involved in.

    Stop messing about and get the vaccine out there.

    • http://twitter.com/CurtNickisch Curt Nickisch

      Just to add on here, there are also several different Lyme vaccines for dogs, with different rates of efficacy.  The disease also apparently effects some breeds of dogs differently than others.

      And your point about the government changing the economic model for vaccines is a good one, one that Dr. Gregory Poland in this story might well agree with.

      • jefe68

        My vet said that all of the vaccines for dogs are not 100% effective and I would still have had my dog vaccinated. It does lessen the effect.
        It’s in his blood but the level is very low.

        From what I read about the trials for the human Lyme disease it was 75% effective in adults and almost 100% for young children.

        As with health care so goes the vaccines in this country, it’s all about money.

    • JL1997

       Jefe68 you’re jumping to conclusions here.  Glaxo already has the drug approved so they can market it any time.  These things can be cheap to make and sell for a lot of money.  You say they’re not making this drug for profit motives.  Think about how ridiculous that sounds.  Glaxo can’t make any profits if they *don’t* make drugs.

      The real reason is two-fold.  The market isn’t very big, since apparently enough people are afraid of buying it and there is no public health mandate for people in the affected areas to get it, and they don’t need to deal with the headaches of frivolous lawsuits.  If the state is willing to place volume orders and indemnify Glaxo against lawsuits, I can guarantee you that Glaxo will fire up its factories again to make this vaccine.

      • jefe68

        How am I jumping to conclusions about the profit in this? You then go on about people are afraid of the vaccine. I find that to be a strange conclusion.
        On the one hand you say the market is not very big. Which is funny when Lyme disease is one of largest infectious diseases out there in the entire US and has been growing every year. It’s now in Canada.

        As to lawsuit’s well all drug companies have insurance against this and if the drug is tested and vetted one would think people with common sense would be taking it. Are you one of the anti-vaccine types?

  • Glenwilde

    Great story. I got the vaccine and 1 year booster way back when. Not hearing about the shots for years, I was beginning to think I imaged it.

  • Deb Z

    I received the vaccine and the booster as well and I often wondered why they pulled it off the market. It’s good to know that it worked and did not get pulled because of bad side effects.

  • Mjmacdougall

    My daughter, in her 30′s, started experiencing a number of Neuro symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, muscle pains etc . She went through a number of diagnostic screening tests and procedures starting with Lymes and also for MS and fibromyalgia.
    After no definitive diagnosis, and worsening symptoms she at long last discovered that she indeed did have Lymes despite negative initial screening tests run by her doctors. It turns out that the screening tests she first received often used misses Lymes . The definitive test, called the Western Blot test, did finally pickup the Lymes disease.Inquiring minds will ask why the Western Blot test is not used at the outset to catch this insidious disease before it causes added problems for the infected individual.

    • Jen

      Blood testing has two steps, the second of which is the Western blot.

      • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

        I think that if one has a flu-like illness and they have been bitten by a tick or strongly suspect they were exposed, that it makes sense to give the patient a second blood test even if their early ELISA was negative. There are some patients who produce a delayed antibody response, and it can take several weeks for some people to produce a measurable response. If the ELISA was given in the first three weeks post-bite, I think it’s more likely to pull a false negative.

  • lara_H

    I would love to have access to a human vaccine for Lyme disease. As a transplant from the northern mid-west (where, until recently, Lyme was not an issue) to the east coast, it frustrates me to know my two dogs are more protected against the symptoms of infection than I am.

  • DrB

    There were many outbreaks of smallpox in the US between 1898 and 1903. Even though there was much proof of the efficacy of the smallpox vaccine in the vast majority of people, the “anti vaccination” folks magnified the relatively rare problems to such a degree that often local public health authorities had to use the police or the army to force people to get this protection. Passionate folks, no matter how misguided, often yield a great deal of influence over society.

    • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

      Actually, the very first and early smallpox vaccinations could cause smallpox itself and not just provide one with immunity. Smallpox then got replaced by cowpox in the vaccines given, which was less dangerous but similar enough to stimulate antibody response which fought smallpox. Early vaccines were crude in nature, and only after years of refining the process of making them have they become as safe as they are. People can STILL have a negative reaction to a vaccine, and certainly there have been recalls and lawsuits from vaccines which did lead to problems – these, however, are still considered to be in the minority relative to the tens of thousands of people who are vaccinated annually.

  • Janicemc

    According to one source: http://www.lymeneteurope.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3727 Baxter is testing a new Lyme Disease vaccine in Europe. I thought there was already one available in Europe based on a conversation I had with someone from Sweden last year. The thread in the link above has some additional references on the LYMErix vaccine that was previously available in the US.

    Thanks for this series. I’ve pointed a lot of friends who have had Lyme Disease to the site.

  • Elizabeth

    Good question on why people around the world are living with this while their “pets” get helped out. Why no humans?

  • Alexander Davis

    While we hope and wait for a
    safe and effective vaccine, we should go on the offensive and target the deer
    whose overpopulation brought us this plague.  
    To avoid Lyme, we are told to avoid areas where there are deer.  Deer have made us prisoners so that we can no
    longer enjoy the outdoors.  I grew up in
    Connecticut before there were deer or Lyme. 
    We lived in the country next to the woods. Life was idyllic.  Since the deer is the primary host of the egg-laying
    adult deer tick, decreasing the deer population results in a decrease of ticks
    and Lyme disease as shown by studies in Connecticut and elsewhere (see pages 2-4): http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/game/urbandeer07.pdfT

    Paul Curtis, extension wildlife specialist at Cornell University, said
    that getting deer densities down to 6-8 deer per square mile or less brings the
    tick population down to a reasonable level. (The New York Times 5/31/12) He noted that in the urban-rural
    fringes of many large metropolitan areas it’s not unusual to have densities of
    100-200 deer/square mile.      

    • http://dial-zero.livejournal.com/ dial_zero

       “Deer have made us prisoners…”

      Hahaha oh my gosh. While I recognize Lyme is a terrible disease, don’t you think there’s something a bit funny about blaming the deer and calling them a plague?  This is what happens when humans move into an area, eradicate all the natural predators, destroy natural wildlife habitats and generally shoot the the balance of the ecosystem all to hell. I am not pro- or anti-hunting, but you have to admit this is a problem of humans’ own making.

      • jefe68

        Hate to inform you but the natural predator for deer was the wolf and the catamount. They no longer exist in the New England area.
        The wolf has been replaced by the coyote, but they are not large enough to take down a healthy adult deer.

        Culling the deer herd is not a bad idea since most of the areas of New England that are having this problem have been populated for a more than 200 hundred years. 

        You are correct that it is our destruction of habitats that has some play here.
        The deer population is out of control and is adding to this. Not doing something here on that front seems lame to me. It’s also better for the deer herds in the long run.


      • Alexander Davis

        We have unfortunately banned hunting in too many areas.   Wikipedia states that in 1930 there were 300,000 deer in the US. Today there are 30 million. They have vastly overpopulated and spreading horrible diseases.

      • Andrew Pearce

        The predators have been gone, or nearly gone, for probably 100 years now. The deer population only exploded in the past 30 years. This “destroying the habitat” stuff is nonsense: the animals have adapted to suburbia and thrive there. There are FAR more deer here than in any remote forest. If you don’t live in an area plagued by deer, then you just don’t know how bad it is. I live in rural NJ and we have 100s of deer per square mile. They are everywhere, herds of dozens eating your lawn in the middle of the day. You can’t drive anywhere without seeing live ones or roadkilled ones. No tree bush or vegetable garden is safe anywhere. Although the state has raised bag limits for hunters, and many thousands are hit by cars, it makes no dent in their population. It is a plague, and you can not even walk around your own backyard without the risk of a tick bite.

  • Alexander Davis

    In Bridgeport CT, lowering
    the deer population 74% resulted in a 92% decrease in nymphal deer ticks. In
    Groton CT the deer population was reduced from 77 per square mile to 10 per
    square mile, and the Lyme Disease incidence decreased by 83%.. 
    As explained in this information, “Simply reducing deer numbers to
    natural levels, without any other actions of any kind taken, can eradicate Lyme
    Disease.”  :



  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q3YWTUQNUPP63673Z4H7F75YJQ Steve

    I took the three shot Limerix vaccine back when it was available with no side effects.  I live on the Vineyard, one of the top areas for Lyme and people all around me have come down with Lyme.  I have never had a problem. I am so glad I had access prior to it having been taken off the market.

  • Alyson

    Of all the vaccines in all the world, this one baffles me. It’s so hard to diagnose and to treat and we sit by and let people get it and have no idea.  I would pay out of pocket for this vaccine, as I do for my dog every year.

  • Alexander Davis

    Lyme Disease epidemic has been caused by the deer epidemic. Because of their large size, deer are the
    primary host of the adult deer tick, which requires a sizeable blood meal from a
    larger mammal for reproduction. The adult deer ticks, each of which lays
    thousands of eggs, are spread all around by the deer because of their large
    range. These eggs hatch into larvae and then nymphs which feed primarily on
    small mammals like mice. Eliminating the
    deer host interrupts this cycle. Studies
    in Connecticut and elsewhere have shown that decreasing the deer population
    results in a decrease in the incidence of Lyme Disease : (see pages 2-4) http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/game/urbandeer07.pdf

  • Burdge52

    My wife spent years trying to find out what was wrong with her!It’s time to look to someone besides Allen Steere who has FAILED at this job of doing something about Tick borne diseases!I know of no one that just has Lyme and has no other infections!He cares more about his patents then the people suffering with these diseases.Google ( Joy Burdge youtube ) and ask Allen Steere what he would have done for my wife!NOTHING! SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD UNDER THE CARE OF DOCTORS LIKE HIM!!!!!Or go to the link below and see what 100′s of thousands of us have gone through.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0lwBuFAI20the Lyme testing picks up about 42% of the cases and that is OK by his standards!He should hang his head in SHAME!!!!There is little to no compassion for these people.Ask Bill Chinnock of BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S E Street Band!Oh thats right he committed SUICIDE after struggling with Lyme disease for years!Maybe you can ask his wife they lived in Maine.Congressman Chris Smith NJ is calling for a Mannhattan type project to get to the bottom of the Lyme disease MESS!

    • Jen

      Ok, I am truly sorry that you have endured so much suffering as a result of Lyme disease. Everyone here will agree that it’s a bad disease and everything should be done to try to prevent it.

      Dr. Steere has done a lifetime of work on Lyme disease research, trying to piece together the biological puzzle it presents. And you want to belittle him with essentially no evidence and try to tarnish the work he’s done, when really you could calm down and explore the information that is out there further.

      OspA is a protein that is found on the Lyme disease bacteria. It is what was in the LYMErix vaccine, so that your body could produce antibodies against it and kill the bacteria before it made you sick. There are many, MANY papers out there (all in writing) that describe this process.

      The class-action lawsuit that was brought against LYMErix was on circumstantial evidence that was later found to be inconclusive – the vaccine was removed from the market because GSK found it to have low sales, not because the government demanded it be removed. And that lawsuit? It was settled out of court, and all the money went to the lawyers’ pockets, not the people who claimed to be injured. 

      The blood test varies in how effective it is based on when it is given – if it is given right after a tick bite, it will be negative even if you do have Lyme disease. The test looks for antibodies in your blood, and those take a couple of weeks to develop fully. This is why Lyme is diagnosed based on the symptoms you have when you go to the doctor.

      • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

        I think that, sadly, one of the problem is a number of doctors do not diagnose and treat acute Lyme disease early on, based on symptoms alone. Some seem poorly educated about tickborne illness. I saw a doctor who did not know what Babesia is and could not spell it – when this disease has been spreading throughout ticks in the northeast and is a threat in donated blood in hospitals. (Thankfully the Red Cross is doing a multicenter study of a screening test for Babesia now, and hopefully it will be successful.)

        One of the issues that came up during the LYMERix hearing was whether or not the OspA analog in the vaccine could trigger an autoimmune response to this component in some subset of patients. If I recall correctly, because the number of patients with Lyme-like symptoms after vaccination were considered to be a small number of patients with symptoms one would expect to find in the general population over time anyway, this was used as determination that the vaccine was safe. Is that your position on it? Do you have any citations you’d like to share about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and autoimmune disorders? I’d like to read them. Maybe you can inform me about your position and how this claim has been interpreted, because I’d think just because a subset of patients get specific symptoms that could be expected to show up in the general population anyway doesn’t mean that they would necessarily be attributed to non-vaccine causes. That’s what’s sticking on my mind, and I’d like some clarification on this point.

        • Jen

          The OspA and autoimmune link has been theorized in a lab setting - 
          http://iai.asm.org/content/67/1/173 (And Dr. Steere was an author on this paper)

          The problem is that when looked at in the population, it is impossible to determine causality of the arthritis events and in doing so, it becomes impossible to determine if the vaccine had any role in the development of the symptoms or if they happened to occur at the same time. So the evidence is suggestive, but not definite.
          Also the paper looked at the serum of patients infected with Lyme disease proper – another thought is that the inflammatory reaction from the bacteria promotes the arthritis reaction, and there is no evidence that the same thing happens with the vaccine.

          • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

            Thanks for your response.

            I’ve read a number of papers about the OspA/LFA-1 molecular mimicry hypothesis as it relates to Lyme arthritis – and more recent research on molecular mimicry of OspA within the brain, which is even scarier to me. (Has this study in particular been refuted?: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1085-9489.2004.09306.x/abstract  - and related research by Alaedini: http://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(04)00371-6/abstract?)
            There are more recent papers from Huber and others which associates persisting symptoms with HLA types which I find fascinating. Did anyone ever look at specific HLA/MHC types in those patients who reported negative effects related to the LYMErix vaccine? Just wondering.

            Your assessment above is that it couldn’t be certain if patients who reported arthritis could have this onset associated with the vaccine or some other cause, which to me leaves it as indeterminate without any further investigation.

  • Manduhai

    This story should have noted the following:
    1.  Alan Steere has a financial interest in the vaccine; he is not a disinterested source.
    2. The FDA was concerned that the vaccine causes arthritis in its initial approval.  They reviewed the complaints that vaccinated individuals got arthritis and decided they got arthritis from Lyme disease (sounds like an effective vaccine!) but upgraded the level of warning on the product.   Should people be forced to choose between arthritis and possibly preventing Lyme disease? 
    3.  Lyme can be controlled by controlling the size of the state’s deer herd.  By the way, there is another reason to control the size of the state’s deer herd.  Deer feed on saplings and they are destroying our forests.  Song birds have lost a lot of habitat and their numbers are dwindling. 

    • Me

      The vaccine is 80% effective.  White whine.

  • toodey bruce

    Why doesn’t NPR point out that a huge part of the problem is that drug companies can’t be trusted to tell the truth about their products and the clinical trial process is so flawed and influenced by drug company bias that we’ve had to rely on the courts to find out the truth about side effects? This article makes it look as if irrational fears have caused a safe drug to become unavailable, when the public has every reason not to trust the clinical trials process.
    New England Journal of Medicine published a credible study showing that a disturbing portion of clinical trials is biased to make the drugs look safe and effective. The drug companies suppress the trials that showed a drug had negative effects, i.e., those findings are never published or used as part of the evaluation of the drug. Drug companies also recode their results, when they can, to make findings look positive. If you understand how studies are done, you can see how it is possible to recode questionnaires such that important information about negative side effects gets lost in the final tabulation of results.
    It’s also widespread practice for drug companies to financially reward supposedly unbiased university scientists to make the findings look good. (The scientists themselves often don’t even write up the findings; the work is done by drug-company-financed writing companies. Then the primary author signs his name to the study.) University careers are built on these rewards. Some medical journals require the researchers to disclose whether they received more than $10,000 reward from the drug companies whose drugs they are evaluating. Most do not. Even when scientists do disclose, there are other ways than direct cash payments that drug companies can and do reward scientists, e.g., donating to their university labs, getting studies published in major medical journals, organizing conferences for them, all leading to promotions and prestige.
    So when individuals start showing side effects from an approved drug, people can not find comfort in the clinical trials process. No one wants to get lymes, but what knowledgeable person who understands the truth about the clinical trial process would be comfortable injecting herself and her children with a drug whose side effects haven’t been fairly tested?

    • Jen

      In the case of vaccinations, side effects are only seen in 1 in a million people – phase III clinical trials are large, but not that large, so sometimes weird adverse events are not seen until the vaccine goes on the market.

      Also with the LYMErix vaccine, there was no conclusive evidence that the vaccine actually caused these reactions. And those studies were done by independent researchers.

      • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

        Can you please point me to citations stating where the evidence has been reviewed and it was shown that an autoimmune response to the OspA analog in the vaccine was not the cause of patients’ symptoms? Thanks, appreciate it.

        • Jen

          Any papers reviewing the adverse events reported to VAERS should do the trick. Google will point you to many of them.

  • Batikquilt

    Yes, there were many people who had no side effects from the Lymerix vaccine,  but others who had had Lyme previously, recovered, and then received the vaccine became very ill.  Unfortunately, there were a whole bunch of active, outdoorsy-types who were very interested in this vaccine, hoping it would protect them from getting Lyme again.  Too bad it made them so sick instead.  There are also so many people walking around who were exposed to Lyme and don’t know it yet, who would be poor candidates for this vaccine.  With the inaccurate testing we have available, there is no good way to screen to prevent this.  That’s the real reason for the “poor sales” of Lymerix in the past.  Plus this vaccine could protect against only one strain of Lyme and now there are nearly 100 strains out there, not to mention the common co-infections that ticks pass on to us besides Lyme, such as bartonella, babesia, mycoplasma, ehrlichia, rocky mountain spotted fever, etc.   Ticks carry so many pathogens that can make us ill.  We need a tick spit vaccine, one that will protect us when our bodies detect a tick’s saliva, any tick, carrying any pathogen.  Lymerix can’t do that and never could, so don’t wish for it to come back!

    • Tamefire819

      Interesting claim; are you an Epidemiologist? Any citations or sources to support your position, because without them it’s just more anti-vaccination rhetoric.

      • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

        I’m not anti-vaccine. I think safe and effective vaccines have improved our quality of life, made international travel safer for many, and prevented deadly diseases from spreading which we no longer worry about. 

        That said, they are at least right about the vaccine not being able to protect against more strains. And the vaccine also does not prevent people from contracting other tickborne infections. This is not rhetoric; there are number of citations you can look up for this information.

        Dr. Steere himself wrote that he thought LYMErix was not successful because of the low risk of LD in much of the US at the time the vaccine was distributed, the need for boosters every 1-3 years, the high cost relative to early antibiotic treatment (the shots were about $150-200 in 2000, relative to about $30 worth of doxycycline), and of course, the theoretical concern that it might lead to autoimmune arthritis. (Pg.196, Tick-Borne Diseases of Humans, by Goodman, Dennis, and Sonenshine)

  • MAmom

    Living on a partially wooded lot and knowing several people who are suffering from Lyme  I am constantly wishing there was a vaccine available or at least a regular testing system in high risk areas like ours. I’ve seen what happens when Lyme goes undiagnosed for long periods and I worry for our kids.

    I see many comments that suggest that reducing deer populations is the solution. Certainly deer are significant carriers. We should also be aware though that squirrels and other small mammals are now being seen as carriers and by virtue of their large numbers it is clear that the Lyme epidemic is not going away any time soon.

    • Alexander Davis

      Although other small mammals are carriers, the adult deer tick can not feed on a rodent. It requires a large mammal, and 90% feed on deer. Nymphs and larvae feed on mice, etc., but without the egg-laying adults there are no larvae or nymphs.  Some other larger mammals like raccoons may host adults, but they are very good at grooming, ie eating the ticks.  Stopping the plague at the adult deer tick stage has been shown to work.  

      • MAmom

         I was responding to this article I just read two days ago: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/160257615.html#!page=1&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst which says they have now confirmed squirrels as playing a role in spreading this and other tick-carried diseases. I’m definitely not arguing that deer are not the major factor. I’m just suggesting that we consider that there are other carriers that will continue to spread the disease.

  • shobud

    One of the least controversial issues in the Lyme saga is that the current  testing is flawed. At this stage of the game any responsible physician would agree with that.

    It would have been nice if the author had explored how the development of this vaccine influenced the current state of Lyme testing, especially the western blot.

    Constraining a disease definition to exclude the majority of the patients with significant neurological involvement in an attempt to make your vaccine appear to perform better is not exactly “helping them”. Standing behind that crippled definition and stopping any further progress is immoral.

    • Jen

      1 – I wouldn’t say that current testing is flawed. I think that people have unrealistic expectations for the testing.
      2 – I do not think that development for the vaccine had any impact on testing. Western blots have been around for decades, after all.
      3 – What exactly do you mean by “exclude the majority of patients…to perform better”? The vaccine was designed to prevent illness from occurring – and it was evaluated based on how well it prevented severe illness.

      • shobud

         1. The current testing is most definitely flawed. The false negative rate, especially in later cases (generally more severe) is abysmal. Unrealistic expectations aside I know from personal experience that Dr’s take a negative as a negative and that is not always the case. Better education of physicians would be valuable here.

        2. The western blot has been around, yes… but how it was to be interpreted changed. Steere initially and correctly said that the bands shown would change with the disease progression. He later retracted that during the development phase of this vaccine.

        The current blot standards are more specific to early stage lyme with an arthritic component.

        Beyond that the 2 bands that were absolutely specific for lyme (!) were removed because they would also show up if a person had received the vaccine.

        3. I mean that they retracted their initial description of a complex multi stage neurological illness and essentially replaced it with a form of arthritis. And that that was a way to further downplay both “adverse reactions” to the vaccine, but also to say that a person who had received the vaccine but still became symptomatic did “not have lyme” if they didn’t match this curtailed definition.

        Look up “Dearborn Conference” and “lyme”. This is all out there.

        • Dr_Alex

           1. There is no flaws in testing, especially with addition of C6 peptide. Physicians are appropriately educated.

          Patients and people who want this “controversy” to continue lingering for some clear or hidden purposes need to be educated. You will not take an advise about  your health from a plumber, I suppose.

          • Alexander Davis

            One big problem with testing is that as the CDC reports on its webpage,  those who have been given antibiotics may not produce enough antibodies to test positive.  

          • Dr_Alex

             If they were given antibiotics appropriately, they are treated.

          • shobud

            How do you define appropriately? Because most Dr’s are functioning with “3-4 weeks of doxycycline”. That will work if caught early enough. Maybe. Beyond that the science is still out.

          • Burdge52

            Now we know why so many people are suffering when you have people like Alex & Jen
            that can’t find middle ground and help people that are suffering.
            Again you are right and we are all WRONG!
            WOW! no wonder after 37 years we have not made progress.
            time for new people looking at this MESS!
            What’s up with that?

        • Jen

          I looked up the Dearborn Conference, and the description of what apparently went on. 

          It is scientifically wrong. ELISAs are actually more sensitive than Western blots, which is why they are used first in the two-step test. Sensitive means that you catch everyone who has the disease/will ultimately test positive. The Western blot is the second test because it tends to be more robust and will get rid of the false positives.

          Now, we need to go back to the fact that both of these tests are looking for antibodies – which take time to develop and is why the test will always be negative a couple of days after a tick bite. I believe that the band shift in the Western blot as the disease progresses that you are referring to is a difference in the antibodies being produced. Early in an infection the body produces IgM antibodies, which in Lyme disease tend to bind to the OspA protein on the bacterial surface, and then later in the infection the body naturally switches to IgG antibodies, when OspC is the dominant protein on the bacteria. Different target, different band.

          In terms of the neurologic illness versus arthritis – neurological symptoms do not present in everyone, and untreated Lyme progresses to arthritis in a large proportion of patients. Regardless, vaccine efficacy trials look at Lyme diagnoses, which clinically can include either arthritis or neurological symptoms.

          • Burdge52

            Jen people like you are the reason people are suffering.

          • Jen

            I already replied to the post above but I want to stress that being a scientist that works with these tests, THERE IS A TEST FOR LYME DISEASE! Do I need to write in all capital letters to get my point across?! Have we sunk to the level where civil discourse cannot be achieved?!?

          • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

            “Have we sunk to the level where civil discourse cannot be achieved?!?”

            People get very emotional over issues which have destroyed their lives. I have compassion for them, having been infected with Lyme disease myself. I’m able to maintain a certain amount of detachment when discussing Lyme disease because of my training – but given the right moment, I could also get upset. I try not to, and try to just ask questions. Working in the sciences, the way to find the answers is to collect all the data and learn. Do research. Unfortunately, the research has not moved fast enough for my liking regarding treatment for someone in my situation, and this is where life gets difficult on a daily basis.Yes, there is a test for Lyme disease. There are many, in fact. And I’m not sure what verification and validation  procedures they go through to ensure they give the same relative measurement for specificity and sensitivity across the board. But everyone knows early test results are not reliable.In my own personal situation, how the ELISA was applied mattered. I had an EM rash, the doctor thought it was an allergic reaction to the tick bite, and yet a week later the rash expanded outward just like an EM. An early ELISA was negative, but only because it was TOO early and thus I was denied early treatment. I went to another doctor who later gave me another blood test. I was positive. But by then my Lyme disease had disseminated and I was very very ill. To this day, I have lingering symptoms, and they are not mild or minor. I have a few good days here and there. If an early test could have detected antibodies or the organism in me, then I could have had immediate treatment and probably avoided the past several years of pain, suffering, and financial loss (from not only medical expenses – but not working).

            We need better early tests. Especially if doctors are not sure you have an EM rash and want other confirmation. Even though an EM alone is reason enough to treat a patient.

      • Burdge52

        Their testing is Flawed!
        There is no test for Lyme disease.
        if there was a test it would find the germ.
        Watch this doctor at the Pennsylvania Human Services Committee Hearing
        Harrisburg Pa.
        At least he cares and shows it as he testified when he chokes up.
        He shows his Human side that is more that i can say for a few people on this site.


        • Jen

          I do these tests, so I can tell you that yes, there is a test for Lyme. All of the scientists that work on this problem care and it is insulting that others dare think that we don’t care.

  • brighteyed_explorer

    Since there are several tick-borne diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, is it possible that the Lyme disease vaccine may cause false security when out and about and thus make one more likely to ignore ticks and their bites; and perhaps acquire one of the other tick-borne diseases. This might explain the 80% effectiveness of the Lyme disease vaccine and the possible arthritis cases; all due to tick-borne diseases other than Lyme?

  • lymelissa

    This article makes me all kinds of mad!!! Alan Steere an expert?! Didn’t Alan Steere think Lyme was a virus and sent his patients away with tylenol?! But the man who believed it was a bacteria(AND WAS RIGHT) has been ridiculed and put in front of medical boards? 

    “People are going to have to keep living with Lyme” is non-sense how dare you say that when this disease has surpassed AIDS. 

    • Jen


      Alan Steere found the bacteria in the first place. So, no, he didn’t think it was a virus. Read the story.

      • shobud

        Sorry, but you are incorrect. Initially he was indeed looking for a viral source. And he didn’t “discover the bacteria”. That was Wily Burgdorfer.

        This may be relevant: http://underourskin.com/news/lyme-discoverer-willy-burgdorfer-breaks-silence-heated-controversy

        • Jen

          Well initially he was investigating arthritis cases so before the bacteria was discovered in 1981, and the symptoms of early Lyme do seem like a viral infection.

          • Alexander Davis

            Read Pamela Weintraub’s book Cure Unknown.   Steere was denying antibiotics to the patients in the early days while Dr. Charles Ray Jones was already curing his with antibiotics.

          • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

            Dr. Steere was denying patients antibiotics when a Danish doctor at the military base in Groton, CT, was apparently giving recruits there penicillin to treat their tick bite induced infection. This doctor had figured it out, having come from Europe and seen Borrelia there. I don’t know how it is that Dr. Steere did not make the connection then, seeing the results from these recruits. I think this happened before Dr. Jones was using antibiotics, but I could be wrong.

      • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

        Read Dr. Jonathan Edlow’s book, “Bull’s Eye: Unraveling The Medical Mystery Of Lyme Disease.” ok  That and Polly Murray’s “The Widening Circle”. Dr. Edlow published this book out of Yale, and it portrays Steere as a controversial figure, mentioning his thought that it was a virus first and only later, after Dr. Willy Burgdorfer confirms a spirochetal bacteria is causing the infection does Dr. Steere have to change tracks. Both are pretty good books about the early years of Lyme disease’ discovery.

  • co638

    No vaccine is 100% effective, and the Lyme vaccine for dogs has been a bit controversial for a number of years, even in places like the Cape and the Islands  where dogs who have been vaccinated still are ill from Lyme disease, and I would say 9 out of 10 would test positive as ‘carriers’ of the disease- questionable efficacy, questionable that it may ‘trigger’ a syndrome known as ‘Lyme Nephritis’ especially in certain breeds – so, a lot of questions still remain….

  • AlanThinks

    A friend has serious neurological consequences from long un-diagnosed Lyme disease. My dog and I spend a lot of time in the outdoors and have pulled many deer ticks off myself. My dog has been vaccinated.  I tried two years ago to get the vaccination but could not.  I want the vaccine.  The immunization cooks have been proven wrong – for Lyme as well as for child-hood vaccines. Bring back the vaccine!

  • Liz

    Please investigate the other side of the vaccine story. The vaccine incorporated parts of the tick which contained a component known to cause intransigent arthritis in a significant portion of the population…I think about 30%. It has to do with a ‘lock and key’ combination: for those people who carry a certain trait, if given the Lyme vaccine, that trait hooks up with a part of the tick that completes the ‘lock and key’ combination that then creates an intransigent form of arthritis. The vaccine makers knew of this combination and its possibility of these side effects, but put the vaccine on the market anyway.

    I haven’t looked at this research in several years, but it has to do with HLA (Helen Lane Anderson) in this combination.

    In addition, there is a credible treatment for Lyme which individuals can do themselves. If they cannot get a prescription for doxycycline, they van get a supplement

    • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

      Please do further research. The vaccine incorporated an analogous OspA in it, an outer surface protein from Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria which causes Lyme disease. The hypothesis as to why the vaccine caused a negative reaction and persisting symptoms in patients was based on OspA in the vaccine triggering an autoimmune response. The argument put forward by those who made the vaccine that it was still safe was that because the number of people who had these symptoms was no greater than those in the general population who would be expected to have the same symptoms, anyway, that the vaccine was likely safe. This, in my opinion, still has yet to be determined because it’s not clear to me how many people out there may have developed an autoimmune condition due to molecular mimicry from LFA and OspA. 

      HLA, by the way, is not a person named Helen. You may be confusing HLA types with HeLA, which is a line of cultivated cells that everyone uses for research. HLA as it is related to a patient’s response to Lyme disease due to their genetic background is the Human Leukocyte Antigen, which is the human major histocompatibility complex. Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_leukocyte_antigen then google “HLA and Lyme disease” for more info.

      • http://twitter.com/CurtNickisch Curt Nickisch

        Thanks for weighing in. I read through your website as I was reporting this story.  I wanted to include Steere’s “molecular mimicry” hypothesis in this story, because ironically his hypothesis and research fueled the debate that sank the vaccine he had worked to develop.  But there wasn’t time to fit it into the story.

        • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

          You’re welcome. I think it’s important to look at all the data and research on issues related to Lyme disease, the LYMErix vaccine, and the controversy that is Chronic Lyme Disease as well. 

          Dr. Steere’s hypothesis is shared by other researchers who have also seen evidence of molecular similarity in the joints but also within the brain, which is the more concerning part. There are also a number of researchers who also think that Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria which causes Lyme disease, can be dormant at time and might persist after antibiotic treatment. So those are the two main “sides” of the controversy, but not everyone is aware that there are even more hypotheses behind these as to why people have persisting symptoms -such as the hypothesis called the “amber theory” or one where chronic Lyme disease is a metabolic disorder. I think it’s good to look at everything, and consider that maybe the patient who is suffering may be suffering due to more than one cause, too. This, even without considering the patient may have contracted more than one tickborne infection at the same time.

        • Dclaesson

          Please give the “molecular mimicry” hypothesis  to all who have posted comments on this article. 

          • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

            Are you asking Curt or are you asking me about sharing the molecular mimicry hypothesis? 

            If you’re wondering what my opinion is, I think persisting symptoms can have more than one cause and it is not necessarily the same in all patients who have contracted Lyme disease.

    • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

      Apologies for my typo above – I added “that the vaccine was likely safe” when I already had mentioned it in the same sentence.I wanted to also add here that a patient’s HLA or MHC type may have something to do with how well their immune system fights off infection. It is part of the basis for developing VGV-L, a treatment which Viral Genetics is working to get FDA approval for for clinical trials. VGV-L is supposed to treat patients with Chronic Lyme Disease/PTLDS.

  • Dclaesson

    Ticks are loaded with bacteria, viruses, protozoans, parasites and a vaccine for Borrelia will do nothing to deal with Coxiella burnetti or Q fever which may require 4 years of antibiotics.  Not to mention the Brucella, Tularemia, Babesia, all rickettsias such as Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick borne typhus, Bartonellas, Mycoplasmas, Chlaymdias, over 100 viruses and yes we see dengue fever showing up in lyme patients and the protozoan toxoplasma gondii.  Can you actually believe people who ignore the myriad of pathogens within lyme patients ?   In addition, adjuvants in vaccines that increase antibody production are being cited as possible explanations for all the auto immune diseases we have.  Just another theory since we have no idea as to how Borrelia or these other pathogens behave.  Borrelia is mutating its outer surface proteins all the time and we find different kinds all over the world.  Erol Fikrig tried to stop the ticks from salivating thereby reducing the amount of pathogens being injected.  One or more of these pathogens are turning on the latent EBV virus in B cells.  Then, the lyme person’s immune system must fight all the latent viruses previously held under control by the immune system.  Perhaps, Borrelia is the only culprit devastating the immune system of lyme patients ?  Opportunistic pathogens of HIV/AIDS patients are showing up in lyme patients as well.  What seems to be causing that  ?  We do know that Chlamydias, Mycoplasmas and Brucella are all chronic infections.  Now what role are prions playing in this “lyme disease ?”  One must understand the pathogens thoroughly before they can think of a vaccine.  Raccoon roundworms if they enter the CNS kill humans quite effectively.  Dr. Wormser says ticks are not vectors of Bartonella when we have research world wide that says they are.  Bartonella has been a culprit in endocarditis and the Mayo clinic named a Bartonella after themselves.  These people (IDSA) have been spreading their lies that lyme is hard to catch and easy to treat and you want to entrust them to develop a vaccine ?  I for one would not fund any research grants that had their names on it. 

    • Dr_Alex

       Unfortunately,  this is pure speculation with a lot of non-scientific and anti-scientific information. Please, reader, beware of this.

      • Dclaesson

        Oh gosh, you people need to do some reading and start testing the blood of lyme patients.  Beware of those that are down playing the seriousness and complexity of zoonotic vectors. 

    • Jen

      While some of the diseases you listed could be spread by ticks, the vast majority are not. Additionally, the diseases that could be spread by ticks have a different geographic spread and will probably not be in the ticks we have here in the northeast. 

      There is enough misinformation about Lyme disease out on the internet – stop adding to it.

  • Peggy

    I got two out of three shots about ten years ago before my doctor decided not to give me the 3rd because she had “doubts.” I wonder if there is anyway to find outif I have the anti bodies. I’m always being bitten by the little jerks but so far so good.

    • http://twitter.com/CurtNickisch Curt Nickisch

      Peggy, I was told as I reported this story that immunity would have faded over all these years.  But you wouldn’t have been protected until you got that third vaccine shot.  So from what I understand, it’s unlikely you have residual protection.

      • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

        She would have had partial protection with two shots. But hypothetically, there would not be an antibody response generated to the bands for the vaccine by now, based on one study I read about post-vaccine antibody response after several years. 

        Peggy, you could always get a WB from Igenex and see if you have an antibody response to OspA…

  • Dclaesson


    Protecting Hunters from Risk: Some
    Common Sense Guidelines


    · Anaplasmosis

    · Avian

    · Babesiosis

    · Brucellosis

    · Campylobacteriosis
    (Campylobacter jejuni)

    · Chronic Wasting Disease

    · Cryptosporidiosis

    · Deer

    · Hydatid Tapeworms

    · Ehrlichiosis

    · Equine
    Encephalitis Viruses

    · Escherichia coli
    Infection (E. coli)

    · Giardiasis

    · Hantavirus

    · Leptospirosis

    · Lyme Disease (Lyme

    · Plague

    · Q fever

    · Rabies

    · Raccoon Roundworm
    (Baylisascaris procyonis)

    · Rocky Mountain Spotted
    Fever (tick-borne typhus fever) and other spotted fevers

    · Salmonellosis
    (Salmonella species)

    · Sarcoptic

    · Toxoplasmosis

    · Trichinellosis

    · Tuberculosis

    · Tularemia

    · West Nile Virus

    Specific Risks Associated with
    International Hunting

    · Chikungunya

    · Crimean Congo
    hemorrhagic fever

    · Rift Valley Fever

    • Dclaesson

      This is only a partial list of what is being found in lyme patients.  The writer of this article has a MORAL obligation to tell the truth.  Allen Steere thought that children all through CT had JRA or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and as a man stated on here he thought that that was caused by a virus.  Borrelia burgdorferi was named after Wally Burgdorfer.  I could care less who found Borrelia here in the US for it was known in Denmark in the 1840′s and in Sweden in the 1860′s.  Borrelia afzelli being named after Arvid Afzellius.  What is important is that we tell the truth finally and get busy figuring out how to eradicate these pathogens. 

      • http://twitter.com/CurtNickisch Curt Nickisch

        Willy Burgdorfer was definitely the scientist who had developed special expertise to investigate ticks and he is the one who first found and identified the bacterium.  It’s named in his honor.  (He and I also happen to have in common that we both studied in Basel, Switzerland, but I digress).

        Allen Steere clearly credits Burgdorfer and did so with me in person.  Remember that many researchers, Steere and others, were working on this for years.  The spirochete bacterium was discovered like 7 or 8 years AFTER Lyme was identified as a tick-borne illness.

        • Dclaesson

          Well then, why doesn’t Dr. Steere talk about all the plethora of bacteria, protozoans, viruses, parasites that are within lyme patients ?  One dose or 14 days or 30 days of doxycycline will not eradicate the pathogens and that is not successful long term for Borrelia either.  We have many kinds of Borrelia within us.  WI study on beagle puppies found many kinds of Borrelia and the UMDNJ figured out the genomic structure of 13 kinds of Borrelia for a reason.  Curt, do you have a science background ?  Most scientific writers have degrees in the sciences and have some understanding of the issues that they are writing about.  Otherwise they can believe whatever is being fed to them.  As I mentioned to you in a private e-mail my child was very ill and missed a year of high school with lyme disease and is still not 100 %.  She has tested positive for BRUCELLA, BABESIA DUNCANI, EHRLICHIA, BARTONELLA, HSV1, HHV 6, COXSACKIE A and B viruses, Papillomaviruses and had a mosaic wart which is sign of immune deficiency and has low Ig G sub classes, Parvo virus B -19, Now, she is testing positive for EBV and CMV.  You can add Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlaymdia pneumoniae, and IgM positivity for me to Toxoplasma gondii.  She has received positive testing in Europe for Chlaymdia pneumoniae as well.  There is much cross reactivity with antibody testing, especially for Brucella.  We have used PCR, IFA and other methods as well as culturing.  My poor child was given the diagnosis of Girls Adolescent Fatigue Syndrome by a pediatric infectious disease physician.  Various pediatric infectious disease physicians mis diagnosed her and the ones who are friends of mine knew nothing about tick borne diseases when questioned.  Therein lies the problem.  Curt, please do some research and come up with another article that will inform the public.

  • Dclaesson
  • Dclaesson

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2003 Jul-Aug;116(7-8):306-11.
    [Seroepidemiological studies of zoonotic infections in hunters in southeastern Austria--prevalences, risk factors, and preventive methods].
    [Article in German]
    Deutz A, Fuchs K, Schuller W, Nowotny N, Auer H, Aspöck H, Stünzner D, Kerbl U, Klement C, Köfer J.
    SourceFachabteilung 8C-Veterinärwesen, Universität Wien. armin.deutz@stmk.gv.at
    AbstractThe aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalences to zoonotic pathogens in hunters, to propose preventive measures and to obtain more information about the occurrence of zoonotic pathogens in local wild animal populations. From 146 male and 3 female hunters originating from the south-eastern Austrian federal states of Styria and Burgenland blood samples were taken and anamnestic data were obtained using a questionnaire. The serological investigations included the following viral, bacterial and parasitic zoonotic agents or zoonoses, respectively (antibody-seroprevalences in brackets): encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV, 15%), Puumala-Hantavirus (10%), Newcastle Disease virus (NDV, 4%), borreliosis (IgG 42%, IgM 7%), brucellosis (1%), chlamydiosis (3%), ehrlichiosis (IgG 15%, IgM 3%), leptospirosis (10%), tularaemia (3%), Q fever (0%), Echinococcus multilocularis/E. granulosus (5%/11%), toxocariasis (17%). Out of a control group of 50 persons (urban population, no hunters) only one person was found to be seropositive for Toxocara canis and NDV and four for EMCV, all other results were negative in the control group. The high seroprevalences especially to Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Ehrlichia spp., Leptospira interrogans, E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, encephalomyocarditis virus and Puumala virus demonstrate that hunters are particularly exposed to zoonotic pathogens. It should also be noted that one hunter was seropositive for Brucella abortus and five exhibited antibodies to Francisella tularensis. In these cases, as well as in the cases of the 15 seropositives for Leptospira interrogans, the suspected source of infection may–besides rodents–also include wild boars and brown hares. The infections with NDV and Chlamydophila psittaci may be traced back to contact with certain species of birds (potential risk: aviaries). For Hantaviruses, rodents are considered to be the main source of human infections.You only know what you run tests for…. There are many more pathogens not listed here but this gives you an idea of what these hunters and any other outdoor enthusiasts had within their blood.  Notice viral, bacterial and parasitic agents ?  Do you think that these doctors have any financial interest in vaccines ? 

    • Dr_Alex

       Does not prove a point, the authors ( I would like to see more than one article) do not link all zoonotic infections to Lyme. They evaluated  hunters. If you go into the water, prepare to be wet.

    • strummer

      So what?  This does not mean that the vaccine is useless nor that it causes arthritis.

      • Dclaesson

        Lyme is much more than infection with Borrelia and needs many medications to eradicate the pathogens.  Coxiella burnetti may require four years of antibiotics. Mycoplasmas, Chlamydias and Brucella are known CHRONIC infections.  They are tolerated by macrophages.  Dr_Alex what kind of doctor are you ?  I have many, many articles proving the myriad of pathogens injected from ticks.  There is a study in WI whereby the researchers infected beagle puppies with wild caught ticks and then tested their blood.  Powassan virus was just one of a plethora of pathogens they found and many people with lyme are showing up positive for Powassan virus.  Again, I reiterate, please all of you research before you show your ignorance for the world to see.  

      • Dclaesson

        If these physicians have lied so easily in the past what does that tell you ?  There can be no vaccine for lyme disease because you would need vaccines for all of the pathogens. Dr.  Erol Fikrig (Yale) understands this because he worked on the first vaccine and has admitted in a newpaper article that there were adverse outcomes with Lymerix.  He is looking at ways to  stop the tick from salivating and injecting the contents of its mid gut.  However, I think he is not 100 % successful in those attempts.  Strummer, my daughter was very ill with lyme disease and has tested positive for so many pathogens and missed a year of high school.  I have researched many, many hours a day to figure out how the pathogens behave and to try and cure her.  Flippant comments by people who have no understanding of lyme disease and its complexity are hurtful to those of us with lyme and have family members whose lives have been irreversibly damaged by these pathogens.  This is meant to all who ignore the seriousness of lyme.

  • Katie

    My cousin contracted Lyme recently, as she’s an avid hiker and camper. I never even knew there was a vaccine against Lyme, and now I’m more than a little pissed at the mindless whiners that have shut it down.

    • milli2

      They aren’t mindless whiners. Perhaps you should investigate the issue a little more. This article is extremely one-sided.

      • strummer

        Perhaps you’d like to present your case rather than just make the bold assertion that it is one-sided whilst inferring that there is more to the issue.  If you do present your case, could you please provide evidence and cite credible sources?  Thank you.

    • Dclaesson

      Oh for heavens sake, do some research.

  • Alexander Davis

    Dr. Steele calls the vaccine safe and effective.  If he wishes to be believed he should tell us whether he has any financial conflict of interest, patents, etc.    

    • ugh!

      You expect to get paid for the work you do

      • Alexander Davis

        Are you implying that it’s fine to hide the flaws in a vaccine in order to profit by it?    

  • Ggadi

    Informed consent, one provides the pro’s and con’s, then lets the consumer make their own mind up as to whether or not they wish to get the vaccine.  That is called FREEDOM, & CHOICE.  Apparently the demagogues resisting the vaccine’s dissemination do not believe that people should have the freedom to choose.  Let them get Lyme Disease and see what the needless suffering is all about, versus any minor risks from the vaccine.

    • Dr_Alex

       Ghadi, you rose important point and I agree with you. Many good medications and another medical devices are taken from the market just because some adverse effects, most of the times is ill service to the public, especially there are no comparable alternatives.
      Consumers, not FDA should have  a choice having informed consent and getting educated about benefits and risks. Also, frivolous lawsuits should not be granted in those cases.

  • dianelsrn

    Great article. I am an adult nurse practitioner and my husband is a veterinarian. It is appauling that he can protect his patient’s if their owner’s wish and I can’t protect mine.

    For those who state this is one sided or are looking for disclosures- you are barking up the wrong tree. First- who would benefit financially from this? No company wants to make this vaccine- that is the problem. Vaccines are already VERY low profit and are high legal risks because you are giving them to healthy folks so if anything goes wrong they will sue (whereas if you give a medication to a sick person and they have an adverse reaction they usually accept that as a risk of trying to treat their disease and do not sue). The government gives incentives to vaccine producers for this reason.

    Furthermore, the arthritis link was investigated in studies and was found not to exist- for this reason the CDC continued to recommend it. Just because you develop achy joints the same year you get a lyme vaccine does not mean it caused it anymore than autism developing in the second year of life after a child is vaccinated means it caused it. Correlation does not equal causation. If you eat chinese take out and then develop vomiting you will blame the take out but it very well could not be the take out but the unwashed hands on the man who cut up the fruit you ate for breakfast ot the germs from your kid who shared your glass this morning.

    I don’t expect those who ignore all vigorous scientific investigation into vaccines to put aside their pre-established notions that vaccines cause all manner of ills. There seem to be many people determined to believe that thouseands of scientists and medical professionals from multiple organizations, universities and corporations are greedy and receiving kickbacks to recommend a therapy that they know is harming millions of children and adults and to produce misleading evidence that vaccines are safe. To me that is insanity. When a vaccine is found to have unforeseen problems after release that bear up to scientific investigation the FDA and CDC pull it (as in the case of the rotovirus vaccine). Why- because while the system isn’t perfect- physicians, nurses, and public health professionals want people to be healthy.

    • guest

       You might want people to be healthy but I don’t think a nurse practitioner is qualified to make judgments about complex immunology.

      • Dclaesson

        I have noticed that stupid people seem to be the most stubborn and cling to certain ideas even when they are proven wrong. 

    • Dclaesson

      Appalling not appauling says it all.  I have seen such arrogance in the medical community and therein lies the problem.  Too many people think that if they attended LPN or RN or ARNP or MD or PhD programs that they know it all.  One woman who took out the trash at a physician’s office was giving medical advice.  Humility and an inquistive mind are needed to solve the complicated riddle of these pathogens.  One should constantly follow the quest for the solution and keep an open mind.  Semmelweis was drummed out of the medical community because he suggested that physicians wash their hands to prevent the spread of puerperal fever.  This arrogance within the medical field  is long standing and needs to be corrected. 

      • Dclaesson

        inquisitive….typing not spelling error. 

  • p_cayer

    Huge chunks of information have been conveniently left out of this article.  First it was the drug company who chose to withdraw the vaccine from the market, claiming lack of interest.

    More than a few individuals who got the vaccine ended up in wheelchairs.  What happened?  Because Lyme testing is so inaccurate that it misses up to 70% of cases, some individuals were vaccinated who, unbeknownst to everybody,  already had a dormant Lyme infection in their bodies.  When they got the vaccine, it triggered full-blown Lyme .

    Steere and his cohorts maintain that Lyme is hard to get and easy to treat, so it is curious that he thinks it so important to vaccinate against such a benign illness.

    The truth is, there is a raging Lyme epidemic, people are dying, others become profoundly disabled.  Lyme-denial is rampant in the medical community.  Thank the gods for our ILADS docs.  I was misdiagnosed for decades by doctor after doctor.  Finally there was no denying something was very wrong.  Turns out I had late-stage disseminated Lyme.  Went to an ILADS doc, got a positive test from Lyme specialty lab, and have been treating for four years. Most of my symptoms are resolving, and I expect that I am near the end of treatment.  But it is a long haul for the many who were misdiagnosed for so long by the Lyme-denialists.

    To get the full truth about Lyme, watch the documentary Under Our Skin (watch for free on hulu).  Read Pam Weintraub’s book Cure Unknown.  And then get ready for a medical scandal the likes of which this country has never seen.  Think Tuskegee Experiment times a million.  Heads will roll, and I expect some “scientists” will be fleeing the country and buying up old nazi hideouts in Paraguay.

    • Alexander Davis

      Speaking of Nazis, two books (John Loftus: The Belarus Secret and Michael
      Carroll: Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Germ
      Laboratory) present information about Nazi germ warfare experts experimenting
      with disease-bearing ticks on Plum Island, NY after WW II. Plum Island is close to Lyme CT and deer swim back and forth to the mainland.  We might consider the deer to be Nazi WMD.    

  • lmchase

    Dear Mr. Nickisch:

    Kindly divulge the source of the Press Release from which you have garnered these “opinions! ”    

  • QuentinColgan

    What would Jesus Charge?

  • BL


  • Tjb_12389

    Greedy Lawyers will be he end of this country if we don’t take measures to curb them.

  • Lymeinfo

    Caution about canine Lyme vaccines… I’ve been told via Lyme-literate vet and by my own NOT to get my dog vaccinated b/c it might actually INFECT dogs.  

    • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

      This is interesting. What evidence does the vet have that the vaccine could infect dogs? Is that really what the vet meant – or did the vet mean it could REACTIVATE latent Lyme disease bacteria? 

  • Alexander Davis

    The current New England Journal of
    Medicine features a review article on babesiosis, another disease carried
    by the deer tick. Just as Lyme bacteria are spirochetes like syphilis, the
    babesia organisms are intraerythrocytic protozoa like malaria. Babesiosis can
    be fatal and has been transmitted by blood transfusion.  Babesia infections are increasing and in some
    areas in southern New England are almost as common as Lyme disease. As reported
    in this article, the spread of this disease has been fueled by the expansion of
    the deer population, and  “elimination of
    deer populations sharply reduces the risk of infection but is difficult to
    implement.”   We have unfortunately banned
    hunting in too many areas. Wikipedia states that in 1930 there were 300,000
    deer in the US. Today there are 30 million. They have vastly overpopulated and are
    spreading horrible diseases.

    • Dclaesson

      Babesia microti and duncani are the only ones that can be tested for at Quest for they purchased Specialty Laboratories.  Quest and Lab Corp are interested in profits and they know the extent of this epidemic.  There are many other Babesial strains that we have no tests for and that holds true for all the pathogens of lyme disease.  Bartonella etc.  Our blood supply is not checked for ANY of the pathogens.  Babesia divergens and malaria respond to one medication but it was ineffective for Toxoplasma gondii.  Each Borrelia species is susceptible to different antibiotics and we have many kinds of Borrelia now…outer surface proteins are mutating all the time.  One  person’s Borrelia may respond to doxycycline and another may do well with amoxicillin.  All of the co infections need additional treatment so even if you deny the chronicity of Borrelia, the IDSA must realize that one day or fourteen days or one month will not touch Brucella, Tularemia, Q fever or Coxiella burnetti or Babesia, or Bartonella or the worms and other parasites and protozoa that are part of lyme infections.  I do not know one person who has been infected with Borrelia alone.  Shame on them for propagating all these lies on the trusting public. 

  • loyal_listener

    Why is there not a watchdog group or consumer or healthcare advocacy group pushing for the vaccine’s re-release?  Lyme is an absolute epidemic throughout New England.  The idea that there is a vaccine available but not being administered is unconscionable.  

    • Gaspano

      What is unconscionable: that the vaccine was released without the proper warnings on the product so that those who carry a perfectly normal enzyme factor, which is triggered upon exposure to the OspA protein used in the preparation of the vaccine, would end up with uncontrollable arthritis and joint destruction.  The people whose joints were destroyed would have been much better off had they been properly tested and not vaccinated. 

      The result of putting the vaccine on the market without the proper warnings and requirement of enzyme testing prior to vaccination is what’s unconscionable.

      Just because a vaccine was produced and put on the market doesn’t mean it was safe.  And it wasn’t on the market long enough in a large enough portion of the at risk population to even determine whether it was effective.

      If you had a vial of the vaccine in hand and you didn’t know your own enzyme status, ask yourself whether you’d risk your joints for the rest of your life or whether you’d prefer to take the necessary precautions to avoid getting bitten.

      Yes, tick borne diseases are at epidemic proportions.  That’s a given.  What’s also a given: a fairly large portion of the medical community is still behaving as if there is nothing out of the ordinary going on at all and anyone who is sick is either mistaken about the state of their own health.  Or psychotic.

      Far more could be accomplished with simple, reliable and accurate diagnostic tools than can be accomplished by putting a half-assed vaccine back on the market thinking it’s a panacea.

    • KMDickson

      Because OspA did not cause autoimmune arthritis.  It caused systemic illness and immunosuppression  See http://www.actionlyme.org/101016.htm 

    • KMDickson

      There is, http://www.actionlyme.org/index.htmI am a former Pfizer Analytical Methods Development and VALIDATION chemist.  The whistle was blown in Jan 2001, when I demonstrated the entire cryme to the FDA Vaccine Committee in person, demonstrating how the testing for Lyme was falsified by Allen Steere and that OspA caused immunosuppression (IL-10 and Dattwyler’s NK Cell Activity Suppression).http://www.actionlyme.org/101016.htm  

  • Gaspano

    Shame on the author of this piece.

    What Dr. Steere conveniently forgot to mention: he had patent interests in the development of the vaccine; Steere knew during the research that the OspA protein used to make the product could trigger naturally occurring enzyme factors in humans; a third of the population carries those enzyme factors; and in many who are carriers and were vaccinated, those factors were triggered which resulted in autoimmune responses similar to an arthritis. 

    Those people are not infected with the Lyme Borrelia but they are quite ill and debilitated: no one knows how to shut off the immune system functions which react to exposure to the protein.  The vaccine went off the market because the label on the product did not disclose this hazard.  Which resulted in class action litigation.  

    The CDC required a warning to MDs before administration of the vaccine: have the patient tested for the enzyme factor and do not administer to patients who carrier that factor.  Insurance carriers did not want to cover the testing procedures to make these determinations in advance of vaccinations.  Without the testing, patients were at risk.  Not for the Lyme disease infection.  They were at risk if they carried the enzyme factor, did not know it, could not get coverage for the required testing and, nevertheless, got vaccinated. 

    No sensible MD would, given the warnings and the necessity of determining which patient should not be vaccinated, would administer the vaccine.  Between the litigation resulting from not testing patients and the warnings to test, the vaccine had no market. 

    In short, the vaccine for human use is neither safe nor effective unless the patient is tested for the enzyme factor prior to vaccination.  And Dr. Steere knew of the connection between the protein coat as a trigger in a significant portion of the population during the research and development of the vaccine.  That ink is dry on the pages.  If Dr. Steere’s patent interests did not pan out in terms of a personal financial gain from the production, marketing and sale of the vaccine, well, that’s the way some things turn out in life.

    Furthermore, Dr. Steere did not “discover” Lyme disease.  It’s been known as Borrelia all over northern Europe since early reports of it in the 1800s.  Nor did Dr. Steere “discover” the organism which causes what is called Lyme disease in the US.  Dr. Willi Bergdorfer found the spirochete which causes the disease.  A bit of fact checking before publication would have sorted this error out.  What Dr. Steere may claim credit for is making the connection between ticks as the carrier of Lyme disease and cases of what looked like arthritis occurring in and around Lyme, Connecticut.

    As for use in dogs: my dog got Lyme disease and almost died.  Only the efforts of a very savvy vet safed that dog’s life.  And she almost died after being vaccinated.  Clearly, there are vaccination failures in canines and I knew vets now who will not vaccinate dogs because vaccination can confuse the clinical and objective picture in animals which are acutely ill.  And we should not become complacent about our animals and think that just because they were vaccinated, they are no longer at risk.  It’s simply not true.

    Instead of putting the focus on vaccination, it would be a lot more useful to a lot more people right now to put the focus on the development of reliable and accurate tests for Lyme disease at the earliest stages.  So that people who are bitten do not end up in Lyme hell.  I’ve been there and, along with thousands and thousands of others, I can attest that it was no picnic, I was lucky that one very smart MD figured it out after 14 others all got it wrong, and the lingering problems have been life altering. 

    I’d be a lot more impressed if Dr.  Steere had spent his time and the publically funded research dollars he has been given and used during his research career working on what everyone needs now and needed twenty years ago:  a reliable, accurate and simple diagnostic test which sorts out who has been infected and who hasn’t. 

    Shame on the reporter and shame on WBUR doing such a shoddy job on this topic.  And shame on NRP for broadcasting it.

    • Leecooper76

      You are
      wrong. The CDC issued no such warning and in fact found (along with the FDA) no
      connection between the vaccine and the autoimmune complaints. The vaccine was
      found to be 76% effective in adults. I suspect some people received the vaccine
      and still contracted Lyme’s. They then blamed the vaccine for perceived
      complications when in reality; they had Lyme’s and that caused the autoimmune

      • Alexander Davis

        Since Lyme can cause an autoimmune arthritis in which antibodies attack the joints, why couldn’t a vaccine, which produces antibodies, cause a flare-up of preexisting  autoimmune arthritis?

        • KMDickson

          LYMErix was not removed becuase it caused arthritis.  Arthritis is not a disease, like the AIDS-like outcome caused by exposure to OspA formerly designated the New Great Imitators by Yale, et al:

      • KMDickson

        No, the vaccine was not removed because it caused autoimmune arthritis.  It was removed becuase it caused an immunosuppression type illness and the reactivation/tolerance to opportunistics:

        • Leecooper76

          Now, pay attention: http://news.discovery.com/human/lyme-disease-ticks-vaccine-110617.html

          Note the important excerpt here:    ‘First, some research started to raise questions about the bacterial protein that
          formed the basis of the vaccine, suggesting that sensitivity to the protein
          might explain arthritis and other symptoms that show up in cases of chronic Lyme

          Subsequent trials disproved the link. But that didn’t matter to patient groups,
          who became convinced that the vaccine was responsible for causing the disease
          and chronic symptoms. Class-action lawsuits followed along with plenty of bad

          It’s a long fly ball to deep center, aaaaaaaaaaand, it’s out-a-here!

    • KMDickson

      Allen Steere did not have any patent interests in vaccines.  He did this on behalf of his fellow CDC officers who do own patents and the monopoly set up by Schoen, Persing, Corixa and Imugen:

  • Joan of Arc

    Read Lyme fraud explainer…http://www.disease-treatment.com/showthread.php?t=79190

    Does Allen Steere still have body guards? I suppose he should.

    • KMDickson

      The only body guards Steere needs are the ones who schlep you around in jail. 

  • Joan of Arc

    Allen Steere gets an invitation to “Under the Eightball”!

    Check out this video on YouTube:


  • Joan of Arc

    The story of many…http://www.publichealthalert.org/Articles/miscellaneous/Gloves%20Off.htm

    because of Allen Steere and his cronies! When will he and his cronies be tried and convicted? It’s long overdue.

  • Burdge52

    Alex and Jen please watch and give us your thoughts on this video from France.
    The Lyme and Autisum connection.

    • KMDickson

      I do not know who Alex and Jen are.  Since I don’t, they’re clearly nobodies.

    • KMDickson

      The Lyme and Autism connection is not spirochetes.  Please stop saying Autism is caused by Lyme.

      • Burdge52

        I never said it causes Autism!
        They are connected!
        Maybe when people that have Lyme and get Vaccinated that is the connection?
        But there is a connection and when treated with long term antibiotics
        80% of the children in the french study showed major inprovement!
        The crooks here in America will not even look at these studys.

        • Jen

          The association between vaccination and autism has been dismissed multiple times.

    • http://campother.blogspot.com/ Camp Other

      The Nobel prize winner who is doing the research on these children has said that it can be any of a number of bacteria which may be associated with their symptoms. It is stated in interviews given by him in both English and French. That is his hypothesis; he does not focus on Lyme disease as the culprit.

  • Burdge52

    Over 2350 comments in 4 weeks to the CDC on their facebook page in January 2012
    pleading for help and answers and again where is the middle ground in the LYME WARS!!
    We delivered over 50 hard copys to our Senators and Congressman in Washington DC in February of this year over 2 days going from office to office telling our elected officials that we need HELP.
    read the pleas for help and then tell us again we don’t know what we are talking about!
    100′s of comments were deleted from the CDC site because they didn’t like the peoples
    hard ball questions that the CDC has no answers for.

    • KMDickson

      The answer to the Lyme crymes is to have a website exposing it so the other nations can see what fools we have for “scientists.”  That will be the end of any respect anyone outside the United States would mistakenly have for anything related to health or science matters issued by the crazy, lazy and stupid  Uncle Sam.

  • Burdge52

    This Doctor went to 2 Doctors that wrote the guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease and they didn’t pick up his lyme and other tick borne illnesses!

    • KMDickson

      Doctors are not too smart, remember.  BigPharma tells MDs what’s a drug, and not the other way around. 
      Exception: “Lyme Disease” (means autoimmune knee linked to Steere’s specific HLAs).  
      Why?  Yale owned the patent for OspA, so Steere helped to create a monopoly on vector borne diseases test kits and vaccines by falsifying the test in Europe.  OspA and B were left out (they are encoded on the same plasmid) of the diagnostic standard, because by standard rule, you never qualify a vaccines’ success with the same antigen that is the vaccine.  That is why to this day you can’t have OspA antibody and have Lyme, despite Yale claiming it is 100% specific to Lyme.

  • KMDickson

    Willy Burgdorfer and Polly Murray discovered Lyme disease or the Lyme Relapsing Fever.   And Clifford Harding explained Steere’s fraudulent version of HLA-linked “only a knee,” (2010) Thus, infection with M. tuberculosis primes macrophages for the increased release of exosomes and microvesicles bearing M. tuberculosis peptide-MHC-II complexes that may generate antimicrobial T-cell responses.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20837713
    while Harding with Justin Radolf explained why OspA was immunosuppressive for everyone else  – and therefore was not a vaccine – in 2001: http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content/full/167/2/910 
    So, there was nothing explained by Allen Steere.  Steere falsified the testing in Europe as shown here, and of course he is famous for other imaginary stories like being stalked. 

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