The Lyme Spot is about having Lyme: living with it, putting up with it, embracing it, damning it, figuring it out, not figuring it out, but most of's about community. I will be sharing my experience, my feelings, and all the things I know that help me get through my days and keep me feeling positive, or at the very least keep me alive! But please, also come here to share your experiences, feelings and all the things you know. Together, we can get through anything...

Trine Tsouderos: A case of modern dubious reporting

Today this article, by Trine Tsouderos was published in the Chicago Tribune, and claimed the existence of Lyme disease is dubious. In this post I will refute that claim with facts.

Here is a list of quotes from the article, Chronic Lyme diseaes: A dubious diagnosis, that throw doubt on the existence of Lyme disease:
  • "There is little good evidence that Lyme disease exists."
  • "Raxlen had been accused of telling a woman dying of Lou Gehrig's disease that she had chronic Lyme disease, an illness that might not even exist."
  • "Strong evidence isn't on their side."
  • "There is no better example than the world of chronic Lyme, a disease that might not exist..."
Now, click here to see a compilation of peer-reviewed reports on the symptoms and characteristics of Lyme disease. 'Peer review' is a generic term for a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field in order to maintain standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. This document contains a slew of information from scientific, peer-reviewed studies and articles every one of which is evidence that Lyme disease exists. It even includes information on chronic Lyme borreliosis and it's persistence after IDSA recommended treatment.

Now here is a list of quotes from that same article that claim a short round of antibiotics cures Lyme.
  • "The bacterial infection, chiefly transmitted by deer ticks, can cause rashes, swollen joints and inflamed nerves, and usually is curable with a round of antibiotics."
  •  "...there is "no convincing biologic evidence" for a Lyme infection that persists and continues to sicken despite the recommended treatment, usually a few weeks of antibiotics."
Now click here to see a list of 73 studies on the Relapse/Persistence of Lyme Disease Despite Antibiotic Therapy. Below I have listed a few quotes from it:
  • “These results challenge prevailing dogma about [the] effectiveness of antibiotics for eliminating
    B. burgdorferi infection, and therefore further work is critically needed.”
  • "Here, borrelial isolates obtained from five patients with erythema migrans (EM) before the start of antibiotic therapy and again after the conclusion of treatment were investigated. … Our study substantiates borrelial persistence in some EM patients at the site of the infectious lesion despite antibiotic treatment over a reasonable time period. Borrelial persistence, however, was not caused by increasing MICs or minimal borreliacidal concentrations in these isolates. Therefore, resistance mechanisms other than acquired resistance to antimicrobial agents should be considered in patients with LB resistant to treatment.” (This is a long one, and kind of technical. What it means here at the end is, the Lyme spirochete did not become drug resistant. It persisted in spite of antibiotic therapy for some other reason. We now know that round-body forms and biofilm formation contribute to persistence.)
  • "Of 165 patients treated for disseminated Lyme borreliosis with three months or more of antibiotics (including a minimum of two weeks of ceftriaxone), 32 had treatment failure. At follow-up, 13 patients with clinical relapse were PCR or culture positive (10 PCR positive, 1 culture positive, 2 PCR and culture positive). In this study, culture or PCR-based evidence for the presence of live spirochetes was obtained in more than 40% of the patients with relapsed disease....We conclude that the treatment of Lyme borreliosis with appropriate antibiotics for even more than 3 months may not always eradicate the spirochete.”
These two documents make it clear that Trine Tsouderos did not write a "well-researched" article, as she claims here. It is clear that when she was writing this article, she was not "investing time and resources" or "digging deep on behalf of [the Chicago Tribune] readers". You say, Trine, that you are doing "a case study of modern dubious medicine". Well I just did a case study on your article and it looks like it's a case of modern dubious reporting.

**If you have Lyme, I greatly urge you to actually read these two documents. Not only are they are great resources for combating unsubstantiated claims like the ones quoted from the article written by Trine Tsouderos, but for someone with Lyme disease, who constantly deals with judgment and disbelief, reading excerpts from medical journals and actual scientific studies that prove the existence of chronic Lyme and it's persistence can be cathartic!


  1. Like the way you presented this. Well done post.

    Cam Brown
    MD News Magazine - Jacksonville edition

  2. You can avoid having your pet suffer from dog Lyme Disease by being alert to signs and symptoms of dog diseases. There are a number symptoms we can watch out for, the most common indicator being limping and/or lameness.

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