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¨Why Are All Q-RIBb Test Results Positive?
Commentary from the Editors & Lida Mattman, Ph.D.
Editors: All samples tested positive for Lyme by the fluorescent antibody test (Q-RIBb). This finding initially prompted our concern over the integrity of the assay. However, if the assay is not producing false positives, as shown by the development data and analysis by two other independent laboratories, then the spirochete antigen is present throughout the population of sick individuals, as indicated by Dr. Whitaker’s findings. We believe the Q-RIBb (Quantitative-Rapid Identification of Borrelia burgdorferi) can be valuable for identifying the magnitude of infection and for tracking the progress of treatment.
Why should you believe this data? Dr. Whitaker has a strong background in developing fluorescent assays. The assay was evaluated by two independent laboratories and determined to be accurate.
Equally important, we spoke with Dr. Lida Mattman, Ph.D., previous laboratory director of Nelson Medical Research Institute in Warren, Michigan. Dr. Mattman has clarified the situation. Mattman, a Yale graduate and previous Director of Research of the laboratories of the UN, was culturing the organism in live culture, considered to be the GOLD STANDARD of Lyme identification. “During the last six months we were in operation, out of 400 patients, there were only two negative findings. One of the negative cases was a man from Germany and the other was a dog” - Dr. Mattman.
Dr. Mattman believes that spirochetes can become endemic in the population. In the early 1980’s, Yaws, a tropical spirochete disease causing elephantiasis-like symptoms was endemic in Haiti. The public heath department gave everyone penicillin. In France, 1 out of every 7 people tested positive for syphilis, but tests were poor and it could have been much higher. Secondary syphilis may be found in the mouth and skin so it can be communicable by touch alone.
Dr. Mattman believes that touching can spread Lyme disease. The Lyme spirochete can actually occur in tears, and therefore can be transmitted to hands, which contaminates doorknobs, pens, people shaking hands, etc. This appears to be consistent with the observation that whole families often culture positive for Lyme and present with symptoms.
Because of the contagious aspect, just about everyone who is sick, and many who are well, have a high probability of having Lyme spirochetes. Differences in susceptibility to illness may lie in areas of immunity, detoxification capabilities, stress, or many other factors that affect the expression of illness. For those who are sick and not responding to therapy, it would be wise to look for the presence and magnitude of Lyme and coinfections.
Warren Levin, M.D., Wilton, Connecticut
"Our little local newspaper published that 49% of the families from Richfield and 56% of the families from Wilton, Connecticut have at least one family member with Lyme disease. And that's just what they know about using conventional testing. I live and practice in the epicenter of this epidemic.”