Review: 'Through the Shadowlands’ describes Julie Rehmeyer's ME/CFS Odyssey
I should note at the outset that this review is based on an audio version of the galleys and the epilogue from the finished work. Julie Rehmeyer sent me the final version as a PDF, but for some reason my text to voice software (Kurzweil) had issues with it. I understand that it is...
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Falsified: Microscopy method is not useful for detecting Borrelia & Babesia

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by deleder2k, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/23744235.2016.1144931?journalCode=infd20
     
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  2. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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  3. lauluce

    lauluce as long as you manage to stay alive, there's hope

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    argentina
    deleder2k and JaimeS like this.
  4. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

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    Devil's advocate: If not borrelia, what are the structures? And/or why are they appearing or seeming to appear? Does PCR always identify borrelia? If so, why isn't it used for patient diagosis/testing?

    I'm just trying to get a very general (emphasis on general (!)) understanding, should anyone already know enough to provide such general/easy info. :)
     
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  5. roller

    roller wiggle jiggle

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    conclusion: instead of lab-results you can throw a coin as well
     
  6. lauluce

    lauluce as long as you manage to stay alive, there's hope

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    argentina
    hahaha, some laughs are good for the spirit... we should throw a pedantic doctor to the air and see if it falls face down or face up
     
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  7. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    "PCR analysis detected Borrelia DNA in one sample of the patient group and in eight samples of the control group"

    Doesn't sound like a very specific PCR technique - what an extraordinary false positive rate. Still if this technique couldn't find a positive in the LM-verified samples, nothing would!
     
  8. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    "Blood from 21 patients previously interpreted as positive for Borrelia and/or Babesia infection by the LM-method and 41 healthy controls without known history of tick bite were collected, blinded and analysed for these pathogens by microscopy in two laboratories by the LM-method and conventional method, respectively, by PCR methods in five laboratories and by serology in one laboratory."

    The patients were previously interpreted by the LM method to have borrelia and or babesia. They was probably diagnosed by the LM method, or by shabby pseudo tests from Germany before entering. It doesn't sound strange that their results in both groups were low.
     
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  9. Antares in NYC

    Antares in NYC Senior Member

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    My thoughts exactly. Unless I'm missing something, this study is also exposing PCR as highly unreliable.
     
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  10. Dufresne

    Dufresne almost there...

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    Granted I'm no ace when it comes to parsing these things but it looks like their PCR is bogus. And that they actually imply the PCR results falsified the method. WTF? I would say finding 66% positive in the patient group and 85% in healthy controls virtually falsified the method. It seems to me both the methods were proven to be garbage. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
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  11. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    I was a bit surprised by the results because I did think PCR was very reliable. The main problem seems to be the low levels of bacteria in biological samples, the presence inhibitors and potential loss of bacteria from sample handling. These can all result in a potentially high number of false negatives.

    I finally got around to doing a little research - not exhaustive, not enough energy. I found a very comprehensive review here It's a bit old but does look at PCR in different tissues/body fluids and gives an idea of sensitivity, false positives etc.

    There's no need to wade through all the detail, you can just look at the tables.

    The only test sample where there seems to be an issue with false positives is urine. They do comment in the text that there might be cross-reactivity with other infectious agents in urine, though why it is more of an issue in this medium is a bit of a mystery.

    In any case, in the section on avoiding contamination, the paper emphasises what I think is really the problem with the study which is the subject of this thread. The amount of specific DNA in the test samples is very small so even a tiny amount of contamination of DNA from the testing lab could affect the outcome. The level of care needed to eliminate this type of contamination is common in research labs but might not be elsewhere.

    I don't think this study is showing that PCR is necessarily unreliable, just that it can certainly be unreliable in the wrong hands.
     
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  12. Research 1st

    Research 1st Severe ME, POTS & MCAS.

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    Hello.

    Please can you elucidate who exactly these 'shabby pseudo tests' from Germany are from please, as in the laboratory names?

    I'd like to know the names of the labs you believe are ''shabby pseudo tests'', because so far, all the labs I've seen in Germany are of a reliable quality standard. (DAkkS accredited - German quality standard) and others are associated to German Universities.

    Thanks.
     
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  13. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    I think this has been discussed on the forum previously. Many labs use unverified tests. Shabby was probably not a wise word to use. I meant undocumented/unverified.
     
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  14. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    I would like to add with regard to the German labs like Infectolab which is linked to BCA are in fact accredited and it was announced on Facebook via the UK Lyme group who has Jon Caldwell as a member that the NHS will now accept the results of positive tests for borrelia because they are satisfied with this lab at least.

    Apparently Armin's lab has applied for the same accreditation and it is likely to be granted too so perhaps some people on here will have to review their attacks on these German labs at least.

    Pam
     
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  15. Helen

    Helen Senior Member

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    Did anyone get access to the full article?
     
  16. duncan

    duncan Senior Member

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    It may have been linked on LymeNet Europe.
     
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  17. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Accreditation does not mean a test is valid. This may be changing as there's a call for listing these tests as medical devices where accreditation is more strictly defined. This is in the US so don't know if US accreditation is comparable to other countries.

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/new-fda-regulatory-role-threatens-bogus-diagnostic-tests/
     
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  18. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    I spoke to a skeptical doctor about the low rate of sensitivity in PCR blood (3.4%) and this study. He said that if they could see lyme bacterias in a microscope, then the PCR test would sure as hell be positive.
     
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  19. duncan

    duncan Senior Member

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    Not sure if that logic holds up, @deleder2k . The efficacy of PCR was gauged at times against culture-positive cases, and I don't think it did all that well. I think its range was 10 to 60%?

    Sorry, no studies to refer to at the moment to back my admittedly shaky memory.
     
  20. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    I think his point was that if it was possible to spot it using a microscope, it would be so clear that PCR would be positive too. His conclusion is that this LM microscope method is a big scam.

    He (dr. Aavitsland) is the former Deputy Director General of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. He usually responds on Twitter:
     
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