Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ehrlichia

I apologize for my lousy spelling. I have spelling this one and other things wrong. Sequoia notes a high incidence of antibodies to this Lyme co-infection in Peru. This does not surprise me. Lyme is a world wide epidemic. The vectors vary slightly as does the genus of Borrelia. Ehrlichia serology is probably more reliable than Lyme antibody testing. Testing for Borrelia remains a problem throughout the world. The ELISA has not been validated. The Western Blots are incomplete. Even when all 24 bands are tested it may still miss a third of the cases. The best test is probably the C6 peptide antibody index for Lyme. Unfortunately, it has only been studied for acute, not chronic forms of the infection. If the cut off point for a positive reaction was set at 0.1 rather than 0.9 it might be very helpful.Antigenic variation of the Lyme strains in other countries may make our serological tests completely invalid. The Ehrlichia strain reported in Peru is the same one we see in the US. Lyme is common in places with temperate climates like that of Peru and the US. It is not seen in tropical areas (the same areas which have no MS?). Perhaps the people in Peru are suffering with Lyme and are not being diagnoses or treated.

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