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— Will Carry Out Clinical Trials with Blood Systems Research Institute, Creative Testing Solutions —

BOSTON, MA — September 10, 2012 — Immunetics, Inc., has received a $3.7 million, two year SBIR contract from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support clinical trials of a new blood screening test for Babesia infection.

“Babesia is among the top infectious threats to blood safety and, at present, there is no licensed test available. The NIH contract will allow us to address this gap in blood safety with the first cost-effective test designed for high-throughput screening of the blood supply.  We are honored to have been entrusted by NIH to carry out this public health mission,” said Andrew E. Levin, Ph.D., Immunetics Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director.

Babesia is a parasite which is transmitted by the same ticks that transmit Lyme disease. While it is often asymptomatic in healthy people, Babesia infection can lead to severe or fatal illness, especially in immunocompromised patients. The parasites can remain viable in blood donations and infect transfusion recipients. In recent years, nine fatal cases of transfusion-transmitted babesiosis have been reported. Surveillance carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed over 1,000 cases of infection nationwide in 2011 — a number that appears to be growing. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) sponsored a workshop in 2008 focused on Babesiosis as an emerging threat to the blood supply, and the Blood Products Advisory Committee convened a meeting in 2010 to advise the FDA on approaches to blood screening for Babesia.

The contract award will enable Immunetics to bring its Babesia test, developed under initial NIH support, through clinical trials and regulatory licensure. The trials will be carried out in collaboration with Blood Systems Research Institute of San Francisco, Calif., and Creative Testing Solutions of Tempe, Ariz. Creative Testing Solutions currently tests about 25% of the US blood supply, including regions endemic for the parasitic agent. The Babesia test will initially be made available through Creative Testing Solutions’ laboratories.

“We look forward to partnering with Immunetics and BSRI in the development and FDA approval process of a Babesia assay for use in blood screening,” said Creative Testing Solutions President Sally Caglioti. “It is always our intent to offer innovative services that provide our customers with the best donor testing possible. Active collaboration in the development of diagnostic tests that fit the immediate needs of the blood banking community is the next logical step to support CTS’ mission.”

“When the screening test identifies antibody-reactive donors, we will enroll and conduct rigorous testing of donation-derived and follow-up samples from those donors so that we can more fully understand the natural history of Babesia infection in asymptomatic donors,” said Michael P. Busch, M.D., Ph.D., Blood Systems Research Institute Director and Senior Vice President for Research and Scientific Affairs at Blood Systems. “The information that we derive will help guide the development of policies on how the test can be used most effectively. It will also determine whether and how donors who have had a positive result on the screening test could safely donate in the future.”

For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.immunetics.com or call 1-617-896-9100 or toll-free 1-800-227-4765.

Immunetics is a leading developer and provider of innovative tests for a variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases. Recently, the company received FDA clearance for its BacTx® test for bacterial contamination in platelets. The company has developed and markets other FDA-cleared products, including a test for Lyme disease, and is actively working on new tests for HIV and Chagas disease — both of which are known or emerging risks to the blood supply.

See full Article:

http://www.immunetics.com/pr_120910.html

Up until 2011, there have been 120 cases of Lyme disease confirmed in the province

CBC News

Posted: Sep 5, 2012 7:04 AM AT

Last Updated: Sep 5, 2012 12:22 PM AT

Though numbers of ticks carrying Lyme disease in Nova Scotia haven’t been confirmed yet for 2012, one New Brunswick scientist warns that it could be on the rise.

Ticks were first spotted at Admiral’s Cove Park in Bedford in 2006.

It’s one of five areas in the province where Lyme disease and the ticks that carry it have been found.

Researchers at Mount Allison University said the number of ticks carrying the disease has jumped from 15 per cent to 40 per cent in New Brunswick.

Professor Vett Lloyd said numbers haven’t been confirmed in Nova Scotia, but it’s possible the results are similar.

“There are probably pockets where the frequency is 40 per cent, there may also be small regions where the frequency is higher,” Lloyd said.

Two years ago the province overruled a decision by city council to spray an insecticide all around Admiral’s Cove Park to try to control the spread of the tick.

Deer baiting stations may be the best defence against the spread of the disease.

As the deer bends its neck to eat corn, an insecticide is applied that’s supposed kill any tick on its body.

Stopping the spread

Andrew Hebda, an entomologist at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, said he believes the increase isn’t as high as some scientists claim it to be, but there’s no stopping the spread.

see full story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/09/04/ns-lyme-disease-nova-scotia.html

A Close Up Of An Adult Female, An Adult Male, Nymph And Larva Tick Is Shown June 15, 2001. Ticks Cause An Acute Inflammatory Disease Characterized By Skin Changes, Joint Inflammation, And Flu-Like Symptoms Called Lyme Disease. Photograph by Stock

BY GWEN BARLEE, TIMES COLONIST JULY 5, 2012 Two weeks ago, something remarkable happened. Dr. Robbin Lindsay, a research scientist with the Public Health Agency of Canada, said he feared a “disease explosion” in regards to Lyme disease, a serious tick-borne infection now found throughout southern Canada.

Climate change has created more hospitable habitat for ticks that carry Lyme disease and, increasingly, infected ticks are found in higher numbers and in areas they weren’t found before.

Lyme disease is a serious infection. If a person bitten by an infected tick is treated promptly and robustly with antibiotics, the disease can be stopped in its tracks. However, if the disease is left untreated or misdiagnosed, the bacteria moves quickly out of the bloodstream into joints, cartilage and even into the brain, becoming an entrenched infection that can leave people in wheelchairs.

Lyme disease is known as the “great imitator” because it is a multi-system infection that mimics other chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis and even deadly Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is problematic to diagnose – the standard blood tests in Canada are notoriously unreliable. Matters are further complicated by the fact that many medical practitioners in Canada still believe Lyme disease is a rare and easy-to-treat condition.

Although the disease has exploded in the United States over the past 20 years, culminating in more than 30,000 diagnosed or suspected cases in 2010, here in Canada, where infected ticks seem to stop at the border, only 150 cases are diagnosed annually. Lack of medical knowledge, combined with inaccurate blood tests, has resulted in misdiagnosis and forced many infected Canadians to go south of the border and pay for medical treatment they should be able to get in Canada.

See full link:

http://www.vancouversun.com/touch/health/story.html?id=6887899

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/letters/Lyme+disease+songbirds/6944942/story.html

EDMONTON JOURNAL JULY 17, 2012 Re: “Lyme-carrying ticks here, researcher says,” the Journal, July 11.

The presence of the blacklegged tick in Alberta is not a new revelation.

Many years ago, our research team documented the first record of this tick species on a Swainson’s Thrush in Alberta, collected on May 19, 1998. In fact, we have reported blacklegged ticks collected from birds in Alberta in two peer-reviewed scientific journals, in 2001 and 2005 respectively.

In the Journal article on his research, Daniel Fitzgerald at the University of Alberta said it was possible that climate change is a factor for blacklegged ticks in Alberta. But there is no mention that migratory songbirds play an integral role in wide dispersal of bird-feeding ticks.

Weather data for Edmonton listing the mean daily temperatures during the past 50 years show climate change has nil or no effect on blacklegged tick survival in Alberta.

The provincial government and the medical profession have been oblivious to what is happening in nature while songbirds introduce Lyme disease vector ticks into Alberta each year.

John D. Scott, research scientist, Lyme Disease Association of Ontario, Fergus, Ont.

Sorry, will update later.

Alberta now admits they have a lot of Lyme…and their map only reflects those areas with contributing veterinarians.

http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=719290&playlistId=1.875536&binId=1.822997

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/touch/health/story.html?id=6919724

Lyme disease testing in Canada questioned

Last Updated: Jul 5, 2012 2:32 PM ET

Posted: Jul 5, 2012 8:12 AM ET

CBC News

Advocates with Lyme disease are calling on all levels of government in Canada to improve testing and treatment for the illness.

The disease is spread by a bite from an infected blacklegged tick that introduces

8 Lyme disease forces

bacteria into the bloodstream. Without

woman to U.S. 2:14

antibiotic treatment, it can cause a complicated, serious illness.

In Ottawa there were only 10 reported cases of the disease last year, but advocates and medical officials say it’s likely underreported because early symptoms can be misdiagnosed.

The disease shares many symptoms with other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), meningitis or chronic fatigue.

Dr. Carolyn Pim, Ottawa’s associate medical officer of health, said Lyme disease is often mistaken for fibromyalgia or MS.

“In the early stages the blood tests can be negative so they should be repeated. If people have inaccurate diagnosis it’s challenging not to have the symptoms treated,” said Pim.

Blood tests not accurate, advocate says

But according to Jim Wilson, head of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, blood tests conducted in Canada are part of the problem.

“The tests are not that accurate,” said Wilson, who had the disease, as did his daughter, who now has a pacemaker.

“We have many strains of the Lyme bacteria. We’re only testing for one strain of one species … we think that is horribly wrong.”

Ottawa resident Heather King, 38, told CBC News she has been forced to go to the United States for treatment of Lyme disease because doctors here do not know enough about the illness.

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May introduced a private member’s bill in June calling for a national action plan to improve the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease.

Bartonella: the epidemic you’ve never heard of
05.30.2012 | Tracey Peake

As if you needed another reason to hate fleas.

This is the first installment of a three-part series on Bartonella, bacteria that is being linked to a wide variety of ailments – many of them chronic, and some of them life-threatening. In part one, I’ll talk about what Bartonella is, and its growing recognition as a potentially very serious infectious disease. Part two will cover the wide array of transmission vectors and illnesses associated with the bacteria, and part three will review the current state of the research and recommendations for the future.

Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt is an expert on infectious diseases and a doctor of veterinary medicine. He also finds himself on the front lines of a quiet but growing epidemic. Bartonella is a bacteria most commonly associated with cat scratch disease, which until recently was thought to be a short-lived (or self-limiting, in medical lingo) infection. Bartonella isn’t new –doctors have known about cat scratch disease for almost a century – but it’s only in the past couple of decades that researchers like Breitschwerdt have started to discover exactly how pervasive Bartonella infecton is in animals and people.

“The main problem with determining whether Bartonella is involved with a particular illness has traditionally been the difficulty of culturing the bacteria from patient samples,” Breitschwerdt says. Some of his earliest work was simply dedicated to finding a better way to identify the presence of the bacteria in an animal or human. It’s fairly easy to find evidence of Bartonella in “reservoir hosts,” or the animals that harbor the bacteria: currently, researchers use a combination of serology and PCR (which stands for polymerase chain reaction) to identify Bartonella’s bacterial DNA in samples.

Finding it in potentially infected humans, however, takes a bit more specialized testing. Breitschwerdt had to develop a specialized growth media in order to be able to culture the bacteria in numbers great enough to detect using a standard PCR test.

Once Breitschwerdt and other researchers had the proper tools to look for evidence of the bacteria they found that Bartonella is literally all around us.

“We have found species of Bartonella in mammals ranging from mice to sheep to sea otters to dolphins,” he says. “There are at least 30 different species that we know of right now, and 13 of those have been found to infect human beings.”

SEE THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE:

http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/bartonella-epidemic/

Recent 3 part series on Bartonella:

http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/bartonella-epidemic/
http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/bartonella-2/
http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/bartonella-3/

Same thing going on in the East. Let the FOIPOP’s start raining down. West to East same BS !!

BY STEPHEN HUME, VANCOUVER SUN JUNE 6, 2012 The provincial government routinely fails its legal duty to promptly inform citizens of risks to public health and safety, warn legal scholars at the University of Victoria.

Failures to disclose include air pollution, deteriorating infrastructure, parasite infestations, contaminated water and disease risk. Relevant information has been withheld from potential victims, scientists and the media – in some cases for almost a decade, says the university’s Environmental Law Clinic following a study of six cases across B.C.

On Tuesday, the group asked the province’s information and privacy commissioner for a full investigation into what it says appears to be “an ongoing system-wide failure” by government to disclose in timely fashion information with clear public safety implications.

The pattern needs to be addressed “before a catastrophe occurs,” it warned.

“Concerns about ‘panicking’ the public must not become an excuse for withholding information,” the call for investigation says. “In many cases, the fact that the information is alarming is precisely why it must be disclosed.”

The submission, filed on behalf of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, says that under provincial law, public bodies are required to act “without delay” in publicly disclosing information about any “risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health or safety of the public.”

Also….

And in 2008, the researchers say, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Provincial Health Services Authority are alleged to have failed to promptly disclose at least two pieces of critical information about tick-borne Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is thought to be relatively rare in B.C. and is difficult to diagnose. It is caused by a bacteria transmitted by tick bites. It can have grave effects if not properly treated, but its symptoms often mimic or are masked by those from other serious disorders, creating multiple identification and treatment problems for health professionals and patients.

The UVic researchers say a key study conducted in 2008 and 2009 found that a substantial portion of Lyme disease cases in B.C. go unreported to provincial health authorities by doctors, despite legal obligations to report.

That study suggested that actual Lyme disease cases could be up to 25 times more numerous than previous official estimates. The finding was not released until 2011.

And provincial health authorities waited a year before releasing another key study on chronic Lyme disease in 2010, the submission says.

That study found that testing and treatment in B.C. were poor, that the actual level of infection in B.C. was unknown and that most medical doctors lacked adequate knowledge about the disease and its prevalence.

These findings were not released until 2011 -and only then in response to a freedom of information request, the researchers say.

“This information would have helped B.C. residents and doctors to educate themselves about the risks posed by Lyme disease, empowered people to take preventive measures to reduce their risks of contracting Lyme disease and contributed to an important discussion about changes to policy or law needed to grapple with the risks posed to public health,” the researchers wrote.

But it’s not just the provincial government that is failing to inform the public of potential health or other risks despite obligations to do so, the legal researchers say.

See full story here (nearly a full page):

http://www.vancouversun.com/touch/health/story.html?id=6737535

    By: Aspenn Environmental – TreeandLawnCare.comSome great pictures these folks have…add them on facebook!

    This photo is a great illustration of how different even the same species of tick (Ixodes Scapularis, the Lyme-carrying Deer Tick) can appear depending on the stage of its life cycle. Although barely the size of a poppy-seed, the nymphal tick (far left) is still capable of infecting human hosts with borrelia burgdorferi.           https://www.facebook.com/TreeAndLawnCare

1ml-once daily

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hippie-Peace-Freaks/138763606183836

Climate change bringing more ticks and infections

By Luke Hendry, The Intelligencer Friday, June 1, 2012 8:28:05 EDT PM

An apparent rise in ticks crossing Canada’s southern border has the local health unit urging residents to use caution in wooded areas.

Some ticks carry Lyme disease, an illness that can cause serious heart and neurological problems in humans if not treated quickly.

Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area is one of seven areas in Ontario where ticks are commonly found.

Last year, six ticks — five from Prince Edward County, one from Belleville — were found to carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

Four new human cases of Lyme were reported locally in 2011.

Seventy-one ticks were submitted for testing in 2011. This year, 46 were submitted by May 28 — and ticks are most active in summer, meaning there could be many more to come.

“We’re fairly confident the number of ticks is increasing because of climate change and the number of tick submissions is increasing because of public awareness,” Dave Dodgson, the environmental health manager for the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit.

To date, this year, there have been no human Lyme diagnoses locally, but Dodgson again said it’s early in the season.

Human Lyme infections have been climbing almost steadily since at least 2001.

“From 2001 to 2008 there was a steady increase and in 2005 it took off, and it seems to have maintained,” said Dodgson.

There were 24 human cases of Lyme disease diagnosed in Ontario in 2001. That peaked at 110 in 2008, but by 2010 had slid to 95.

“It’s relatively easily-treated if it’s caught quickly,” Dodgson said.

But Dodgson said local residents may not be aware of the risks and therefore not taking precautions.

“We heard some of that last year and that’s one reason we’re beefing up our public education.”

A warming climate has officials predicting more ticks and more Lyme disease in the future. The arachnids often hitchhike on birds, riding from the United States into Canada.

“There’ll be more ticks and they’ll be found in more parts of Canada,” said Aptie Sookoo, a public health inspector with the health unit.

That’s why Elizabeth May, leader of Canada’s Green Party, is about to table her private member’s bill calling for a national Lyme disease strategy.

She said this week she’d hoped to table it in May, which is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, but it was delayed by debate over the Conservatives’ budget implementation bill.

May now expects her bill to be tabled before the House of Commons rises for the summer.

She said the strategy would ensure the disease is recognized, diagnosed and treated swiftly. Though private bills can’t require the government to spend money, it would press for funding for provinces and territories to implement the strategy.

“It’s a concern for me because I’ve known people dealing with Lyme disease,” said May, adding she knows Lyme patients on both coasts who have suffered from the “devastating, catastrophic” illness.

“I don’t think we have nearly enough awareness in this country,” May said. “Due to the climate crisis … Lyme disease is spreading.”

See story:

http://www.intelligencer.ca/2012/06/01/climate-change-bringing-more-ticks-infections

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Michael Haynes at 10:04 AM

New Information about Lyme Disease in Nova Scotia

On page 14 of the 2nd edition of Trails of Halifax Regional Municipality, I state that the American Dog Tick is present in Nova Scotia, but carries “no known dangerous diseases.” Although this was apparently true when I wrote the manuscript in early 2010, a recently released study makes this now incorrect.

In an article published on August 11 in the Chronicle-Herald, it said: “Provincial records, kept since 2002, show that there have been 50 cases of Lyme disease treated in Nova Scotia, and 39 of those inflicted got the illness in this province.”

“Lyme disease is an inflammatory illness causing swelling of the joints, fever, fatigue, headache and muscle aches. It can lead to heart problems and chronic joint trouble if left untreated”, and symptoms may take years to appear. They are often difficult to correctly diagnose as Lyme Disease, due to their symptomatic similarity with other health problems and the fact that they arise long after the tick incident has been forgotten.

See full link:

http://hikinghrm.blogspot.ca/2010/08/new-information-about-lyme-disease-in.html?m=1

“Tormented” by Lyme Disease
By Luke Hendry
The Intelligencer
Friday, June 1, 2012 8:31:33 EDT PM

“It has completely changed my life and I live with it every day,” Cox, 68, said from her home north of Bancroft.

She was diagnosed in 1990 but believes the infection came from a suspected tick bite in the fall of 1989.

Cox said she was working in a swampy area behind the family home when she felt something on the back of her neck, so she “smucked” it.

“When I took my hand away my hand was completely smeared with blood, more than normal” from swatting a bug, she said.

“I wiped it on my pants and I said, ‘That guy had a good feed.’”

Cox said she never saw what bit her and thought little of it until later that fall, when she was struck by extreme fatigue. It continued that winter, along with flu-like aches and other symptoms.

Next came skin irritation and numb fingers and toes.

By the spring of 1990 blood tests had revealed an unknown infection. Cox was diagnosed with Lyme soon afterward.

She said she “felt great” and thought she was cured after being treated with antibiotics, “but then within a month the symptoms were coming back.”

See story here:

http://www.intelligencer.ca/2012/06/01/tormented-by-lyme-disease

Dogs with Lyme disease on rise
Adam MacInnis, Published on May 28, 2012
Pictou County vets are finding a large number of animals with ticks this year. Numerous have tested positive for Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness. Pictured is Cherie Smith with a Dalmation named Sally at the East River Animal Hospital.

Vet clinics throughout the county are reporting incidents of dogs with Lyme disease, a illness transmitted by black legged ticks which are now known to populate various areas of the county. Dr. Brenda Spence-MacLeod of the Pictou Veterinary Clinic said she has had two confirmed cases this spring of dogs with Lyme disease with the most recent confirmation arriving just last week. Like many other clinics in the county, she is seeing more canines coming in with ticks and tick bites, which is something that people in this area had never had to think about in the past. Even last year, she said she didn’t see it as much of a problem. “I am more concerned about it this year,” she said. She said that there are a lot of dogs who aren’t tested who could also be carrying the disease, but just aren’t showing clinical signs. Dr. Kathryn Finlayson of the East River Animal Hospital said she’s tested about 50 dogs over the last year with five coming back positive for Lyme disease. She was able to successfully treat four while the fifth had to be euthenized.

See full story:
http://m.ngnews.ca/News/Local/2012-05-28/article-2990211/Dogs-with-Lyme-disease-on-rise/1


paralyzed bird


Oxpecker

I’M REALLY LIKING THE LAST GUY…!! A Red-billed Oxpecker with a beakful of ticks to feed chicks in a nest on a game farm in the Nylsvlei region of South Africa

Lyme Disease-infected ticks dispersed across Canada by songbirds

FERGUS

At major centres across Canada, ticks carrying the Lyme disease bacterium have been collected from songbirds.

Those locations include Montreal, Toronto, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, and Victoria. Fergus tick researcher John D. Scott, of the Lyme Disease Association of Ontario, and his colleagues have discovered that songbirds widely disperse millions of Lyme disease vector ticks across Canada.

The blacklegged tick is the primary vector of Lyme disease east of the Rocky Mountains. Of the blacklegged ticks tested from eastern and central Canada, researchers found that 36% of them were infected with B. burgdorferi.

For the first time, Lyme-carrying blacklegged ticks were discovered in Quebec, Saskatchewan, northern New Brunswick, and northern Ontario on songbirds. Millions of bird-transported ticks, which are infected with B. burgdorferi, are dispersed nationwide, especially during spring migration.

On the west coast, these researchers have noted that four different tick species are involved in a web-like, four-tick cycle at one locality on Vancouver Island. Songbirds and small mammals store and supply Lyme bacteria to and involve at least four different tick species and, subsequently, transmit them to other hosts, including people.

Immature larval ticks, which were infected with B. burgdorferi, were detached from 9 different songbird species, and these collections show that certain songbirds act as competent reservoirs for Lyme disease infection. Since these baby larval ticks had not taken a blood meal previously, they would not have had a chance to pick up the Lyme disease infection anywhere else.

For example, songbirds, such as the American Robin, can harbour B. burgdorferi in their bodies, and later transmit Lyme bacteria to non-infect ticks. When bird-feeding ticks have taken a complete blood meal, they drop to the cool, moist leaf litter or grassy mulch, and undergo a 6-8 week molt (rest period) before they bite people or domestic animals.

Songbirds that are heavily infested with B. burgdorferi-infected ticks have the potential to initiate new tick populations endemic for Lyme disease. Because songbirds carry the ticks, and distribute them across Canada, people do not have to frequent an endemic area to contract Lyme disease. In fact, Canadians can get Lyme disease in their own backyards.

The peer-reviewed, scientific article was recently published in the Journal of Parasitology, a peer-reviewed, world-renowned scientific journal. Co-authors include Dr. John F. Anderson, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut and Dr. Lance A. Durden, Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia.

For more information contact John D. Scott; email: jkscott@bserv.com. A PDF version of the article is available from the lead author. It is also listed on the Lyme Disease Association of Ontario website: www.lymeontario.org. As well, the revised brochure, Lyme Disease in Ontario, is listed on the website, and provides pictures of various Lyme rashes and symptoms of Lyme disease.

May 25, 2012

See link:

http://www.wellingtonadvertiser.com/index.cfm?page=detail&itmno=12270

Lyme Disease Is Spreading Nationwide: Misdiagnosis Is More Common Than You Think

Posted May 22, 2012

An infected tick carrying Lyme disease could be no larger than a poppy seed and cause flu-like symptoms that are difficult to treat. As a result, Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or psychiatric disorders like depression!

It’s tick season.

The days are getting longer. Many of us are spending more time outdoors, enjoying the early summer months. Now, more than ever, is a good time to be on the lookout for ticks.

Lyme disease is four times more common than HIV infection in the United States, yet very few people know about it, and worse -very few doctors know how to manage a case of Lyme disease.

Deer ticks, otherwise known as the blacklegged tick, are one of the main vectors for Lyme disease. During the summer, they are at their maturity in their lifecycle and looking for large mammals to feed on – this includes human hosts.

According to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, many more ticks than usual will be carrying Lyme disease this summer season. (1)

Lyme disease is caused by an infection with the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Borrelia is known to survive specifically in deer ticks.

As Dr. Ostfeld explained during the International Conference of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID), 2011 saw a population explosion of white-footed mice. This just happens to coincide with the two-year lifecycle of ticks that can possibly transmit Lyme disease.

This means in that in 2012 the northeastern United States faces possibly the worst season yet for Lyme disease. Because Lyme disease is spreading throughout the United States and showing up as far west as California, Lyme awareness is essential.

See full link:

http://bodyecology.com/articles/lyme-disease-is-spreading-nationwide-misdiagnosis-is-more-common-than-you-think

Manitoba | Lyme disease alert –Blacklegged ticks out in southern part of province May 25, 2012

Winnipeg | 25 May 2012 [by Susie Strachan, Winnipeg Health Region]

See the little speck on the fingernail in the photo above? That’s a blacklegged tick nymph. Between a mere 1 to 5 mm in size, these ticks are incredibly hard to see, yet they’re something you have to keep an eye out for.

In Manitoba, both nymph and adult blacklegged ticks can carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. Different from the more common American dog tick, blacklegged ticks are being found in a number of areas across the southern part of Manitoba.

This has prompted Manitoba Health to warn everyone to take precautions in order to avoid exposure to Lyme disease.

“Look for blacklegged ticks after you’ve been in habitat they live in,” said Susan Roberecki, the Medical Lead with Environmental Health Public Health and Primary Health Care Division of Manitoba Health. “You want to take a good look at your skin and remove any attached ticks. Taking a shower or a bath after returning home after being outdoors is a good way to look at your skin.”

The risk of getting a tick-borne disease is small, especially if the tick is removed soon after it becomes attached. But your chance of getting Lyme disease in Manitoba is increasing, especially if you frequent areas where blacklegged ticks are established.

Blacklegged ticks are different than the more common American dog tick, which poses little if any threat to human health in Canada (click here for the difference between the ticks).

“People should consider taking precautions because the ticks are out there,” said Roberecki, adding that transmission usually does not occur until the tick has been attached for 24 to 48 hours so daily tick checks can be very beneficial to prevent infection.

Since 2009, 28 human cases of confirmed and probable Lyme disease from blacklegged ticks have been identified in Manitoba.

In 2011, Manitoba had seven confirmed cases of Lyme disease and four probable cases. Four additional reports not meeting the national surveillance case definition were also received. The definition for confirmed and probable cases for surveillance purposes is more stringent than clinical criteria used by physicians to consider treatment for Lyme disease. More patients are treated for Lyme disease than are reported to Manitoba Health

See full link:

http://bigmedicine.ca/wordpress/2012/05/manitoba-lyme-disease-alert-blacklegged-ticks-out-in-southern-part-of-province/

Update: May 30, 2012

Lyme Disease in Canada

The following background information is abstracted from Gideon www.GideonOnline.com and the Gideon e-book series. [1,2]

Time and Place: The first case of Lyme disease in Canada was reported from Quebec in 1984. – Approximately 100 cases had been reported as of 1990 (67 of these from Ontario); 205 as of 1994 (105 of these autochthonous). – As of 1997, cases were reported from New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, southern Manitoba and British Columbia. – 280 cases were reported from Ontario during 1981 to 1998 (127 locally acquired); 172 during 1999 to 2004 (31 locally-acquired). – 20 cases were reported in Alberta during 1989 to 2008. – Nova Scotia reported its first locally-acquired case of Lyme disease in 2002. – 93 cases were confirmed in British Columbia during 1997 to 2008 (true number estimated at 142).

Vectors and Reservoirs: – The local vectors include the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), western blacklegged tick (I. pacificus) and rabbit tick (Haemaphysalis leporispalustris – possibly an enzootic vector in Alberta). – As of 2000, I. scapularis had been found in over 250 locations in Canada including Ontario, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia , New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan; the Long Point Peninsula on Lake Erie (southern Ontario); Point Pelee National park and Rondeau Provincial Park on the north shore of Lake Erie; and Atlantic Canada. – I. pacificus is found in the southern and coastal regions of British Columbia (Borrelia burgdorferi has also been found in Ixodes angustus in these areas), the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. – Passerine birds appear to disperse infected ticks in Canada. – An infected tick (Ixodes scapularis) was found on a bird (common yellowthroat = Geothlypis trichas) in Nova Scotia (1999). – Borrelia burgdorferi has been identified in an additional avian tick species, Ixodes auritulus. – Borrelia garinii has been identified in seabird ticks (Ixodes uriae) in Newfoundland. Ixodes uriae is a known parasite of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) on the Gannet Island Archipelago, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Prevalence surveys: 12.5% I. scapularis, including 10.1% of ticks collected from humans (2006 publication) 8% of I. scapularis nymphs recovered from northward migrating birds in non-endemic areas of Eastern Canada (2005 to 2006) 11.4% of ticks collected from songbirds (2004 to 2006) 67% of tick pools collected at Turkey Point Provincial Park, Ontario (2005 to 2006) 29.5% of ticks infesting songbirds, nationwide (2011 publication)

References: 1. Berger SA. Infectious Diseases of Canada, 2012. 496 pages, 107 graphs, 3130 references. Gideon e-books, http://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/country/infectious-diseases-of-canada/2. Berger SA. Lyme Disease: Global Status, 2012. 73 pages, 65 graphs, 593 references. Gideon e-books, http://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/disease/lyme-disease-global-status/

See link:

http://www.gideononline.com/2012/05/30/lyme-disease-in-canada/comment-page-1/#comment-156961

Helke Ferrie
Lyme Disease Goes Under The Microscope
Public Demands Better Testing and Treatment for World’s Fastest Proliferating Disease by Helke Ferrie

LYME PATIENTS KARIN KLOUMAN AND HER HUSBAND. PHOTO COURTESY LYME ACTION GROUP

The ancient Romans, not known for their user-friendly policies, did know when to listen to the “vox populi”; even emperors felt the heat when a lot of people made a noise about the same issue. Rome at its height held about a million people. So, what does it take to get the McGuinty government to face facts about one of the worst infectious diseases in the world? How about 3.5 million Ontarians?

MPP Bob Bailey (Conservative, Sarnia-Lambton) presented a petition on November 23, 2011, requesting that Ontario’s antiquated Lyme disease testing protocol (developed almost 50 years ago and documented to be up to 95% false negative) be replaced by internationally recognized, scientifically validated, reliable, new, FDA-approved tests. This petition also asked that the government direct Ontario doctors to learn to treat the most devastating form, Chronic Lyme Disease, in accordance with up-to-date diagnostic and treatment protocols. The petition emphasizes that this tick-borne illness mimics – and may contribute to –catastrophic diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, arthritic diabetes, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, and that these facts were published since the mid-1990’s, and also appear in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). About one hundred Ontario municipalities formally endorsed this petition: that’s 3.5 million Ontarians.

The response from our Minister of Health, the Hon. Deb Matthews, was posted March 19th on the government website. It announced: “This government is committed to protecting the safety of all Ontarians and their families from preventable vector-borne diseases,” and it lists what the government has done since 2010. (Incidentally, in 2010 the book Ending Denial – The Lyme Disease Epidemic: A Canadian Public Health Disaster appeared and was distributed to all federal and provincial politicians, Canada’s medical associations, and our universities.)

On the website, the Minister describes governmental awareness campaigns such as “Let’s Target Lyme,” an information effort for the public and health care providers on tick recognition, symptoms, and protection measures (http://www.ontario.ca/lyme). Matthews wants the millions of petitioners to know that Public Health Ontario is doing everything possible in synch with the federal government. Finally, the Minister’s statement includes what she sees as a confidence-inspiring statistic: over the past three years “the number of cases of Lyme disease has remained fairly stable at approximately 100 per year.” We are to believe that this is due to increased testing and surveillance. (Oddly, right across the border, Lyme cases are increasing exponentially, as new annual infection cases are being documented in the tens of thousands in most Eastern seaboard states; the same is true for Europe.)

In my view, the Minister’s response is appalling: – it does not address the irrefutable, documented, facts outlined in the petition; – it bypasses the core problem of Chronic Lyme disease; – it ignores the key demand for current, scientifically validated and reliable testing which is not available in Ontario, forcing those who can afford it to go to the U.S.; – it simply reaffirms that all is well with that bogus two-tiered ELISA-plus Western-blot test which MPP Bailey’s petition proposes to eliminate in favour of more accurate testing.

How can a government defend a test that is known to be 95% false negative? Even if it is supported by federal guidelines? Truly, Health Canada knows no evil, Public Health hears no evil, and the Ministry of Health speaks no evil.

Healthcare delivery is a provincial responsibility – so, the Lyme bug stops here. This inappropriate testing only serves the appearance of government diligence in the midst of the world’s fastest proliferating infectious disease – faster than tuberculosis and malaria (WHO 2008).

Those 100 cases cited by Matthews must have been identified by that antiquated ELISA testing protocol which unfortunately only recognizes foreign (outside North America) strains of Lyme bacteria; that means they fell into that potential 5% correctly detected group. Actually, given the soaring increase in all those chronic diseases listed in MPP Bailey’s petition, there likely are 95% more undetected Lyme infections happening annually which go untreated and, as the possibility of a treatable infection is simply not part of a differential diagnosis, these patients go on to become the victims of those other catastrophic diseases – the causes of which include Lyme (in theory, that would be at least another 1,700 cases annually).

What is really terrifying is the fact that Lyme is transmissible through the placenta as well as through sexual contact. The first documented case of sexually transmitted Lyme involved former U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr., who transmitted it to the former First Lady. So, despite the huge advances medicine has made in infectious disease prevention, detection, and treatment, here we go back to the 19th century when syphilis was the equivalent of our current Lyme disease epidemic.

The April issue of the Journal of Parasitology reported that “millions of Lyme disease vector ticks are dispersed annually by songbirds across Canada.” According to the report, samples taken from 42 bird species identified Lyme-infected ticks throughout Canada, all the way to the Yukon, causing Canadians to be exposed to this infection “locally without any history of travel” into endemic areas. More than 50 strains of the Lyme-causing Borellia burgdorferi are known to be strictly North American variants, but “Canadian testing laboratories have not yet considered geographic and genome sequence variation,” resulting in “clinicians [being] unaware of the genetic heterogeneity” of these bacteria; thus an accurate diagnosis is impossible.

In December 2010, the Journal of Clinical Microbiology published a severe critique of the testing protocol used by infectious disease specialists at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto; this study was funded and co-authored by the Public Health Agency of Canada. In it, the authors discuss the case of a Lyme-infected child whose Canadian test was negative, but the Lyme-specific treatment was undertaken anyway on the basis of symptoms and history and continued regardless of the test result, which saved the child’s life.

My Personal Experience with Lyme In 2010, when I co-authored and published Ending Denial for the Lyme Action Group and the national CanLyme organization, I never dreamed that I myself would become infected with Lyme in 2011 – as did my husband, and two of my granddaughters, and that I would also nurse a Chronic Lyme patient through her pregnancy. Nine months were spent worrying about the high probability of a brain-damaged baby being born, because Lyme spirochetes attack the developing fetal brain.

Astonishingly, the mother obtained three (!) blood tests showing the presence of Lyme over the course of three months in the first trimester, all by that outdated ELISA blood test. Since it only recognizes foreign strains, it appears she had been infected outside Canada.

The Canadian ELISA testing protocol cannot pick up infections contracted within Canada through those species’ variants that are endemic to North America. Our continental variants of Borrelia burgdorferi can be delivered through migratory birds, deer ticks, cats, dogs, moose, mosquitoes, male sperm, placental blood, human tears, and breast milk. Yet, the infectious disease specialist who saw our pregnant patient simply announced that she could not possibly have Lyme, even though the Ontario test results were in his hands. A fair guess would be that he did not know what to do about Lyme.

Any reader will wonder why only testing for foreign bugs qualifies under OHIP. This is because in Canada the two most definitive antibody responses, named bands 31 and 34 which confirm the presence of Borrelia spirochetes, are omitted from the ELISA testing protocol. Our pregnant patient had positive blood test results because she was infected with an Asian variant of Borrelia burgdorferi that the Ontario test does recognize.

In Ontario, a self-satisfied blind government appears to lead a medical profession kept blind too, with a testing protocol that ensures everybody stays purposefully ignorant because that test too is almost totally blind, occasionally able to recognize a few cases and thereby lull us all into a false sense of public health security. How are doctors supposed to know how to recognize Lyme disease when our testing protocol prevents recognition so perfectly? When they do see it, they are unprepared to treat it. All that sophisticated medical research published in the most prestigious international journals is kept out of medical practice by a government policy that ensures complex new scientific discoveries about Lyme do not confuse medical minds with the true facts about this messy disease. A friend of mine summarized current government policy beautifully: “All we need to knock off the human race is a Lyme tick to wreck our immune systems and a cell phone to fry our brains.” (See my April feature in Vitality.)

Fortunately, our family got help fast – through an ILADS-trained physician. As a result, our pregnant friend was treated with daily antibiotic shots during the crucial months of pregnancy when Lyme-mediated potential kidney failure in the mother needed constant monitoring with various antibiotics. During the first six months, ultrasound tests showed that the fetus was abnormally small, but as soon as the appropriate antibiotic protocol commenced, the baby grew fast to a normal size.

Finally, as the result of a homeopathic protocol created by a Lyme-literate homeopath, midwife, and professor of obstetrics, a rare and wonderful outcome was achieved: a baby grown in a Chronic Lyme patient’s body, but born Lyme-free, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces. The mother is in equally good health, and blood testing at six weeks post-partum showed negative for Lyme Disease. This success happened despite Ontario’s insupportable policy which misguides Ontario’s infectious disease doctors. All the thanks go to the research of Dr. Charles Ray Jones, an expert on Lyme in pregnancy who presented last October at the annual international ILADS conference, held in Toronto for the first time. And yes, the rest of us are also on the mend, through the use of naturopathy and antibiotics.

Who benefits from this insupportable government policy? Jim Wilson, founder and director of the national patient support group, CanLyme, agrees with Pamela Weintraub, the author of the famous book Cure Unknown; Jim writes that the consistent downplaying of the severity of Lyme disease only “benefits the global medical insurers, who underwrite all of our employee disability coverage and who do not want to incur the cost of this global pandemic, and the workers’ compensation boards across Canada. The pharmaceutical industry benefits greatly by inventing a new drug to treat each of the many symptoms of Lyme Disease, making billions of dollars globally while doing no research to treat the cause of the disease or to find better diagnostic tools.”

Public Activism and Scientific Research Leads to New Developments Under the leadership of Jim Wilson, the Lyme-afflicted residents of B.C. have worked for more than two decades now to get the attention of their provincial government. “Naturopaths in British Columbia,” Jim writes, “who have passed the pharmacology exams have been allowed to prescribe and several have stepped up to the plate by diagnosing and treating patients who require antibiotics. We are hoping the situation is about to improve again in B.C. In 2010, the B.C. government, in response to pressure exerted by the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation and patients across the province, announced the opening of a Complex Chronic Disease Clinic. The clinic will focus on chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Lupus. Board members from CanLyme and representatives from the other disorder groups have played a limited but hopeful role in the set-up of the clinic… Interviews for the medical director position for this new B.C. clinic, housed at the B.C. Children and Women’s Hospital in Vancouver, were completed at the end of March, 2012. The clinic is to be operational by May 1st, 2012.”

Terrible as Lyme disease is, it is also true that some of the finest medical minds have figured out its deep and complex puzzles so that many treatment protocols have been developed, some of which do not require antibiotics. Most interesting is the work of Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, who has treated Lyme for decades and discovered that recovery by any treatment protocol requires that the patient be fully protected from EMF radiation. In the presence of cell phone radiation, for example, Lyme bacteria and their co-infections thrive and are able to evade therapeutic interventions. His Lyme patients must switch off their main electrical breakers at night, and avoid all forms of wireless technology while undergoing treatment. There is a wealth of information out there about healing from Lyme. (More information on the Klinghardt protocol can be found in the book Ending Denial.)

But the microbial arms’ race is far from over: we have recently learned from a Yale University researcher, Dr. Durland Fish, that there exists yet another variant of the Lyme-causing bacterium, called Borrelia miyamotoi, also found in deer ticks. Initially it causes much higher fevers than the traditional Lyme bacteria. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health refused funding for its study repeatedly, until forced into action by Russian scientists who proved its existence, and then proved that it causes Lyme disease.

What will it take before Ontario gets real on this issue? One ray of hope comes from MPP Bailey and his colleague MPP Kim Craitor (Liberal, Niagara Falls) whose admirable response to this Ministerial stonewalling is to introduce a Private Member’s Bill in the Ontario legislature soon. This Bill is intended to make Lyme disease a political issue requiring a proper response – from every MPP representing those 3.5 million Ontarians whose petition was fluffed off.

Because Lyme disease affects more people than cancer, and left untreated could cost the healthcare system even more than cancer, this is a fiscal issue of the first order. Those of you who worked to get MPP Monte Kwinter’s Health Freedom Bill passed into law in 2000 know that health freedom is only health-promoting and freedom-protective to the extent that we refuse to tolerate policies that haven’t a leg to stand on and are a disgrace to public health. May is international Lyme Disease Month. Is it not high time that Ontario joins the rest of the world?

References • H. Ferrie, ed. Ending Denial – The Lyme Disease Epidemic: A Canadian Public Health Disaster, KOS Publishing 2010. This book covers the politics, history, science, and proven therapies for Lyme disease in the context of the Canadian situation. All proceeds go to Lyme Action Group: $20 plus shipping and tax, call 519-927-1049 • For reliable testing and treatments contact http://www.ILADS.org • In Canada visit the national group http://www.CanLyme.com • in Ontario http://lymeactiongroup.blogspot.ca • To support the private member’s bill contact MPP Bob Bailey at bob.baileyco@pc.ola.org and MPP Kim Craitor, Kim@KimCraitor.com

See link:

http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/lyme-disease-goes-under-the-microscope/

THIS SHOULD READ…CHANCES OF GETTING LYME IN P.E.I- AS RARE AS BIRD SIGHTINGS!!
How sad the public will falsely trust these Articles from our Health care. Great comment from C.P.
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Prince Edward Island

Chances of contracting Lyme disease on the Island may be slim, but a recent increase of cases in Atlantic Canada is cause to be more vigilant, says P.E.I.’s Chief Public Health Office.

The disease is caused by a bacteria found in some deer ticks, and can be passed to humans through a bite.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recently said instances of the disease are on the rise across the country, with more disease-carrying ticks reported in Nova Scotia, New Bruswick, Manitoba and Ontario.

But Dr. Heather Morrison, the Island’s Chief Public Health Officer, said cases of Lyme disease originating in this province are non-existent.

“There’s never been a case of Lyme disease diagnosed in a human in P.E.I., who acquired the disease from a tick bite in P.E.I.,” Morrison said.

“Deer ticks can be brought in by migratory birds, for instance, so the concern is always to be vigilant. Given what’s going on in our neighbouring provinces, we’re certainly concerned about increasing Lyme disease in ticks.”

She added that some patients have been diagnosed with the disease on the Island in the past, but their tick bites always originated in other areas.

The public health office sends a letter to all physicians in the provinces around this time of year, reminding them to submit any ticks they find for testing, along with information on how to test for Lyme disease in humans.

Pets can also be susceptible to bites and Lyme disease. Morrison said Charlottetown’s Atlantic Veterinary College follows a similar testing procedure with any ticks it finds on animals.

The main symptoms of Lyme in humans include: The appearance of a rash, and non-specific flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fevers, aches and pains.

“Those symptoms usually start three to 32 days after a known, possible tick bite,” Morrison explained. “Lyme disease is able to be treated with antibiotics, and the main tests for it are… blood tests. Sometimes it requires initial testing, but also follow-up testing 30 days later.”

sbrun@journalpioneer.com

See link:

http://www.journalpioneer.com/News/Local/2012-05-23/article-2986526/Islanders-should-be-vigilant-of-Lyme-carrying-ticks:-Chief-Public-Health-Officer/1

À few interesting links:

Coyote Management in Prince Edward Island www.gov.pe.ca/…/fae_coyote_man.pdf

Birds Disperse Ixodid (Acari: Ixodidae) and Borrelia …
www.nabernet.com/mainfiles/…/1043.pdf

Biological control of ticks
www.peipfi-komdasulsel.org/…/CBPV_ …