Global TV – Lyme disease tests may not be accurate for some Canadians – Patients worried

[CanLyme Note: The Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada (AMMI) failed to point out that there is no ‘gold standard serology’ for Lyme disease. The only standard is American ‘surveillance criteria’ that were never intended for establishing whether or not to treat clinical cases of Lyme disease. The US surveillance criteria were established in 1994 before Canadians knew how complex the antibody response to Lyme disease is. The American Dearborn surveillance criteria were contentious at the time and they remain contentious today – they don’t score Lyme specific bands 31 and 34 but they do score cross-reacting band 41. With input from our European colleagues we need to revisit the Dearborn criteria and how we clinically diagnose Lyme disease in Canada rather than use flawed testing to deny the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Canadian doctors are discouraged from treating patients even though it’s clear that false negatives are at least as important for Canadians as false positives and subsequently much more harmful. The obvious misery of a false negative result is clearly demonstrated when this patient received a negative test result at the provincial lab but a positive test result from an accredited American university lab. Why doesn’t the AMMI take this opportunity to ask the national lab to release banding patterns on western blot results so doctors can have more information as the basis for their diagnoses? The AMMI should stress the importance of clinical diagnosis rather than imply that doctors who use their clinical skills are being misled.]

Also, the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax published the information from Dr. Gregson and the AMMI alleging patients are at risk from US for-profit private labs.  Dr. Gregson, et al, failed to inform the public that the government approved tests in Canada come from for-profit corporations who are dictated to by the United States Center for Disease Control.to limit their testing to only one strain of the many Lyme Disease causing bacteria. The AMMI always leans toward not diagnosing and leaving the patient sick with labels such chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis that have nothing to do with defining the disease… labels that instead simply define a group of symptoms that are experienced by all chronic Lyme Disease sufferers.  Drugs are freely offered to treat those label’s symptoms, but not the disease.

Nova Scotia Lyme patient Donna Lugar gives her response to Dr. Gregson in today’s (Sept. 3rd, 2015) Chronicle Herald newspaper …

“I would like to respond to the Sept. 3 article titled “False-positive Lyme tests concern researcher,” about concerns expressed by Dr. Dan Gregson, an infectious disease consultant at the University of Calgary who is researching Lyme disease.

First of all, thank you for the article as any awareness raised about Lyme and tick-borne diseases is better than none. However, the article examines only a small segment of the real issue. The real issue is why are people looking elsewhere for a diagnosis? Could it be that they have gone to a number of doctors and have had a number of tests but nothing has been diagnosed and they are trying to find out what is wrong with them? Could it be that they have so many symptoms, affecting so many systems, that no other diagnosis makes sense? Could it be that they are so frustrated with being told that there is nothing wrong with them and that it is all in their head that they have no other option than to look elsewhere?

It is a well documented fact that the ELISA, the test often used to diagnose Lyme disease …”

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  1. janet carroll on said:

    When you add up the number of false positives and false negatives it shows that the present testing system doesn’t work either way. They can’t deny false negatives when they acknowledge false postives.

  2. Pingback: Ontario Lyme Alliance responds to article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that missed the mark. | CanLyme – Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

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