The Australian authorities still stick with their opinion that Lyme disease doesn’t exist in this country. So now researchers are looking for a bacteria that causes Lyme-like symptoms in Australians. This is unlikely to be of any use, for they only build on existing, but unproven, theories.
“five never before seen species of bacteria have been uncovered.” I’m sure that’s really interesting, but I would like to see some practical use of this discovery. Medical research should be about practical results, not about details that are only interesting for researchers. But well, that’s the whole problem with medical research. It costs trillions of dollars a year and the results are barely existing. But I get side-tracked.
“We haven’t identified the bacterium which causes Lyme-like disease overseas” Not so fast, dr. Oskam. Is there any proof that these bacteria cause Lyme disease? If so, then why wasn’t the disease a problem till the 1970’s? And why did it explode after that? How many people are actually infected with these bacteria, without getting sick? You see, the last question is a really important one. If half the population carries a bacteria without getting sick, then obviously it’s not the bacteria that causes the disease. So don’t make any statements about a bacteria causing a certain disease till the answers to these questions are clear.
“distantly related to the Lyme Borrelia burgdorferi” And what does that mean? How do they identify this relationship? I might have a distant relationship to Asians and Africans, but I’m still quite a different type of human being. If a distant relationship doesn’t mean much in humans, then it likely won’t mean much in bacteria. “so whether this bacterium can cause disease is unknown at this stage.” Let me guess: you need to do more research to find that out.
“find out exactly what’s in the Australian ticks that can be transmitted and cause illness.” Dr. Oskam, the whole “controversy” about Lyme disease in Australia can be boiled down to one question: Can you cure Lyme disease? If no, then this research is completely redundant. If yes, then this research is completely redundant. Oops. “including bacteria but also viruses and other blood-borne pathogens.” You need to set up your research as widely as possible, so that you can create a result that looks good, so that you can get more funds for more research. But again this question: whatever you find, can you cure it? If not, then what is the use of your research?
“causes symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain and various neurological problems.” That also sounds a lot like poisoning. And wouldn’t that make a much better explanation for the huge increase in patients? The bacteria has always been there, but the poison has not. If you would forget about the bacteria for a moment, how many Australians have these kind of symptoms? I get the feeling that Lyme disease is just as common in Australia as in many other areas of the world. But when reality doesn’t fit your theory, you simply adjust reality. Throwing out the theory would cost you your job as a researcher. There is very little funding available for studies into the effects of man made chemicals.
“have recently been awarded a three-year grant” That’s what I mean. As long you come with some “hopeful results” you can keep your job. That the results don’t make any sense is not something that bothers the average researcher. “allow for their research to be taken to the next level.” I’m curious what the next level would be. You can build as high as you want, but if the basis of your building is bad or non-existent, then the whole lot will collapse. So I suggest that you first look into your basis before you waste another three years or your time.
“explore the significance of these new bacterial species” And the call that the next level. It sounds like this level won’t be of any use either. They will have to add another ten levels before anything useful is found. But usually this kind of research never makes it that far. Somewhere halfway it’s stopped, because it doesn’t get anywhere and there aren’t any results that justify more reseach. That’s why you rarely hear of any medical research that actually leads to new treatments. Let alone that there are any useful new treatments.
And in the meantime all the people with a “Lyme like disease” are suffering. They are sick, but don’t get any recognition for it, as they cannot have Lyme. This causes all kinds of problems with work and disability pensions. Many people will likely be sent to psychiatrists, where they will be poisoned further with psychotropic drugs. If they are lucky they will only get a few courses of toxic antibiotics. And all that is the result of nobody looking into poisons. The whole world is poisoned, everywhere people get sick, and neither doctors nor researchers are able or willing to do anything about it. And that’s a tragedy.