Lyme Disease Scientific Conference Offers Latest Findings in Research and Clinical Developments

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Lyme Disease Association announce their jointly sponsored 13th annual national conference, "Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases: Microbial Persistence & Tick-Borne Diseases New Scientific & Clinical Directions." Designed for healthcare providers and offering 13.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits to CME registrants, the conference is being held Sept. 29-30, 2012 Philadelphia. To register, visit

Twenty faculty members including two European presenters, are led by conference course co-directors, Brian Fallon, MD, MPH, director, Columbia Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center in New York, well-known for research on neurologic and neuropsychiatric Lyme disease; and Stephen Barthold, DVM, PhD, University of California, Davis, member of the Institute of Medicine and pioneer in the study of Borrelia in the mouse model. The conference presenters will provide their expertise covering a broad range of research and clinical topics.

A focus of the meeting is to explore the significance of recent findings in the monkey and mouse model that demonstrate the persistence of Borrelia burdorferi (Bb) infection despite antibiotic treatment. A presentation from the Chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, will describe recent trends in tick-borne diseases, including information about the newly described phlebovirus identified in two patients after tick exposure in Missouri.

Other topics include: diagnostic assays from Europe and the implications of genomic differences in Bb strains in the U.S.; what we know about chronic inflammation in Lyme disease based on the mouse model; treatment approaches including in vitro sensitivity studies of Bb to antimicrobials; the role of nutrition in recovery; newly studied reservoir targeted vaccines; review of how Bb causes disease and its implications for the pregnant woman; typical and atypical neurologic presentations (including "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome"); immunologic findings in early Lyme; long-term follow-up studies of neurologic Lyme; how Bb compromise the blood brain barrier; the significance of antiphospholipid antibodies in patients with chronic symptoms; and an exploration of Lyme, depression and suicide. Poster presentations will also be available. Exhibitors will be onsite.

Lyme disease is a serious multi-systemic infection, which can cause arthritic, muscular-skeletal, cardiac, neurologic, ophthalmologic, and psychiatric manifestations. The classic bull's eye rash is not always present, and testing may not be reliable, so an early clinical diagnosis and appropriate treatment are needed to help to prevent Lyme from becoming established.