Richard N. Gottfried

SUBJECT: Chronic Lyme Disease and Long-Term Antibiotic Treatment.

Persons planning to attend the public hearing on Lyme Disease and antibiotic treatment
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Lara Kassel
Legislative Associate
Assembly Member Gottfried's office
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Albany, NY 12248
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NAME: Joachim Gruber
TITLE: Dr. rer.nat.
ADDRESS: Germany

Written Statement
I wish to express my opinion that long-term antibiotic treatment is scientifically sound and has been beneficial to victims of Lyme disease. For decades an analogous approach has been applied successfully  in other areas of medicine, e.g. in virus infections such as AIDS and in cancer intervention [1].

I am a German physicist, cooperating with medical professionals in Europe and the US. About 30 medical professionals who participated in one of my seminars at Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands, in March 1999 agreed on the following mechanism possibly responsible for symptom cycles in chronic Lyme:

"Some cell wall constituents released by Borrelia burgdorferi (the organism causing Lyme disease), such as lipopolysaccharides, belong to the class of TI-1 antigens. After successful elimination of TI-1 antigens, each new encounter with them produces an immune response identical to the preceding one, i.e. there is no immune memory of a previous encounter. This might lead to a chain of periodic immune responses that continues as long as there is a persistent source of antigen in the host."
It has been shown that B. burgdorferi has developed strategies to survive the attack of the immune system and of antibiotics in what might be called "generalized niches" [e.g. 2, 3, 4, 5]. Any such niche might act as the mentioned source in chronic Lyme.

Thus, like in other areas of medicine, an intervention that clinically monitors patients' reactions and adjusts therapy accordingly is likely to be more effective than the "one size fits all" standard approach - advocated in Lyme by the scientific advisors of the OPMC [6].

Respectfully yours,
Joachim Gruber

[1] J. Gruber, Burrascano's guidelines and immune response modeling.
[2] Brorson O, Brorson SH, Transformation of cystic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi to normal, mobile spirochetes. Infection 25(4):240-6, 1997.
[3] Liegner KB, Lyme disease: the sensible pursuit of answers. J Clin Microbiol 31(8):1961-1963, 1993.
[4] Preac Mursic V, Wanner G, Reinhardt S, Busch U, Marget W, Formation and cultivation of B. burgdorferi spheroplast-L-form variants. Infection 24:218-226, 1996.
[5] Zhang JR, Hardham JM, Barbour AG, Norris SJ, Antigenic variation in Lyme disease borreliae by promiscuous recombination of VMP-like sequence cassettes, Cell 89(2):275-285, 1997.
[6] Joachim Gruber, Evaluation of the long-term inflammation in neuroborreliosis.