I sadly have to agree with this review. Pfeiffer did an admirable job of research and of explaining the complicated web of tick biology and ecology, climate change, and the surge of tick-borne diseases around the world. But she writes a one-sided story, perhaps meant to create narrative tension and good story-telling. From the beginning, she creates a fictional world in which everyone on one side is evil and those on the other are ignored, abused, and left to physical and psychological trauma (or lack of funding). There is compelling and sorrowful truth to the suffering of people related in this book. But the causes and the scientific-medical attempts at solving these problems are so very much more complicated than Pfeiffer describes. As the reviewer writes, “The situation cries out for a good book — an evidence-based deep dive by a serious journalist into this baffling tick-borne disease — and it would be gratifying to report that Pfeiffer had written it…Unfortunately, her book falls far short of its promise — ultimately widening the gap between the two universes she describes.” I hope that the two sides can find a middle ground to better understand ticks and the diseases they carry, thereby reducing the harm inflicted on people. I don’t think this book helped.
Interesting that a “PHD in Biology” can’t actually refute any of the science or research cited in the book…. but only lamely editorializes and impotently agrees with the reviewer (who also didn’t successfully challenge any of the book’s referenced medical evidence). I smell a rat – make that two. Do your own homework folks. For reasons unknown, there are some people don’t want you to know the truth about the complexities of lyme disease.
For someone complaining about scientific rigor, this physician writer sure does skip a huge body of published research in his haste to discount the totality of the book. Just one suspicious omission…. he suggests that the “persistence of the Borrelia bacteria or spirochete has only been proven in lab and animal studies”… with is absolutely false. Here’s just one human study that establishes this phenomenon from a very credible source – the NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29662016. Even without this study and others demonstrating that the Lyme bacteria is persistent, if not downright impossible to kill, anyone with any level of critical thinking skill could deduct that if the bacteria is persistent in monkeys, dogs, horses, mice, gerbils and Petri dishes it follows that it’s probably going to cause lasting problems in humans. “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck, right?!” But what do I know, I’m just another poor sap suffering from Late Stage Neuro Lyme that wasn’t helped by the IDSA’s 14-28 day antibiotic regime. This all demonstrates one of two things -either he’s blindly parroting the IDSA company line or he’s not performing even the simplest scientific due diligence. Both these options make him easy to discount as any kind credible authority on Lyme or any literature related to the disease.
It’s always suspicious when a “physician” writer takes such a narrow, uncompassionate view of the complexities of Lyme. Also suspect is that after “going to all that trouble reading 20-page reference sections” (isn’t that what a good doc does?!), he can’t actually refute any of the evidence the author presents. My good doctor, if you want a solid example of scientific and research funding prejudice, how about the the 24 mil spent on Lyme research in 2017 – disease that affects hundreds Of thousands of sufferers vs the near billion dollar ask Congress made for Zika in its first year on the radar – a disease that affects mere thousands. The biggest and fastest growing vector borne disease in America…. How can such a disparity be rationalized? You’re probably a better writer than doctor, but Since your editorial style seems to lack any real critical rigor or balance, perhaps movie reviews would be a better venue for your biased perspective… than science.
Your paper is political, pretending t0 be scientific. You complain that Pfeiffer implies that the the scientific community is deliberately overlooking evidence it dislikes – which is exactly what you are doing – and exactly what the outdated IDSA guidelines for Lyme continue to do. You read one side of a complex debate while ignoring decades of material on all sides of this debate. You have not done your due diligence – yet, your argument against Pfeiffer’s book is essentially that she does not agree with you and the established IDSA guidelines – as if they had a monopoly on science. You repeat the propaganda that “there is no science behind the other side”. If you had done one fraction of the due diligence to understand this “debate”, you might be able to see how full of nonsense your critique is. But not likely. Studies show that the more data you present to someone with an already entrenched political position (yes, your position is clearly political), the more resistant they are to new data. Take a look at ALL of the research from all sides of this issue. This will take a lot more than a couple afternoons. You won’t like what you see – obviously.
“as summers grow longer and winters shorter thanks to human-caused global warming”
There is no evidence that this is so.
“While the studies supporting Lyme guidelines are not as robust as climate science”
Climate science is not robust, it depends on flawed modelling and heavily adjusted data.
Sad that such biased reporting proliferates. It’s popularity really does reveal the parallel universes of the social imagination created by lack of critical thinking.
Climate change is tertiary not the primary issue. By avoiding the truth May Beth Pfeiffer has just found a new way to politicize lyme (after all, look at the institution from which there is a response).
Patients and Scientist are pushing back against this ridiculousness. The real conversation is about OspA, B cell immune suppression and tolerance/cross tolerance. People are dying from tick borne disease while the “cabal” falsified the case definition to eliminate 85% of the sickest with the neuro form of the disease. This made the vaccine look 85% effective on the remaining 15% that would not have had a chronic illness anyway. This same cabal started and acted as investors in diagnostic companies that were basing results on the falsified definition. What every it took to make a buck and avoid jail since they knew there was no cure.
Any arguments about climate change and antibiotics are a false conversation meant to distract from the seriousness of the disease and the depths of the fraud. If you want to help a lyme patient and don’t want to become one, start demanding DOJ hearings. Start demanding the blood supply and pregnant woman be screened. Start demanding that Tick Borne Disease be handed over to the cancer researchers who have a better chance to address this successfully.
OspA-F are lipopoproteins, of which several are found on the outer membranes of some serotypes of bacteria, spirochete, mycoplasma, and fungi (but not all). A prevalent misconception is that OspA is specifically and exclusively a “fungal endotoxin”.
Have you seen the lawsuit recently filed in Texas against doctors, insurance companies, and the IDSA? In the late 80’s when insurance realized how expensive lyme could be to treat they began paying doctors to deny treatment and paying researchers to ignore and change previous research. Massive human rights violations. Aids, zika, etc (not denying the need for research into any disease) have had huge amounts of money thrown at them while lyme which affects more people is ignored.
Well, we tried to train her, but Pfeiffer wasn’t havin any science. See more about this Lyme fraud at:
TruthCures.org and ActionLyme.org
The scam is about the serological case definition being falsified at Dearborn (1994) to exclude the systemic damage from the fungal endotoxin of a “vaccine,” OspA. I challenge anyone reading this to explain exactly what OspA is. Then will those scientists who are honest and admit what OspA is, will be helping us indict the ALDF.com which is the RICO cabal Senator Blumenthal sued for anti-trust in 2006. Triacyl lipoproteins are the opposite of vaccines.
Anyone who denies that, is not a scientist. Pubmed shows thousands of scientists who claim TLR2/1 agonists cause immunosuppression.
Pfeiffer was not interested when I tried to explain it to her, LONG before she decided to write a book. So, this attack she is receiving on this website (undark.org) is all on her. She refused to look at the science.
— Kathleen Dickson
BS Chemistry, Southern CT State U.
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