March 24, 1997

A Lyme Disease Controversy: Duration of Treatment-Reply

Author Affiliations

New Brunswick, NJ

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(6):700. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440270151017

I appreciate the comments of Nahass, Herman, and Hirsch and agree that education might have prevented and would still be valuable to help stem the tide of anxiety. A good example of an effective governmental effort in education is the program developed in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, the focus of a recent hyperendemic occurrence of LD, by the Hunterdon County Department of Health.

Certainly, as long as advocacy groups can, by dint of their vocal and vote volume, retain the notice of elected officials, there will continue to be more attention paid to their information than the results of scientific studies and logic.

I must take issue with one point made in the letter, however. Laboratory testing is overused, and new techniques may well be useful, but polymerase chain reaction analysis cannot differentiate between a live organism (active infection) and the presence of DNA-containing debris, blebs, or effete organisms. The

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