Antiscience and ethical concerns associated with advocacy of Lyme disease

Paul G. Auwaerter, Johan S. Bakken, Raymond J. Dattwyler, J. Stephen Dumler, John J. Halperin, Edward McSweegan, Robert B. Nadelman, Susan O'Connell, Eugene D. Shapiro, Sunil K. Sood, Allen C. Steere, Arthur Weinstein, Gary P. Wormser

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Advocacy for Lyme disease has become an increasingly important part of an antiscience movement that denies both the viral cause of AIDS and the benefits of vaccines and that supports unproven (sometimes dangerous) alternative medical treatments. Some activists portray Lyme disease, a geographically limited tick-borne infection, as a disease that is insidious, ubiquitous, difficult to diagnose, and almost incurable; they also propose that the disease causes mainly non-specific symptoms that can be treated only with long-term antibiotics and other unorthodox and unvalidated treatments. Similar to other antiscience groups, these advocates have created a pseudoscientific and alternative selection of practitioners, research, and publications and have coordinated public protests, accused opponents of both corruption and conspiracy, and spurred legislative efforts to subvert evidence-based medicine and peer-reviewed science. The relations and actions of some activists, medical practitioners, and commercial bodies involved in Lyme disease advocacy pose a threat to public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-719
Number of pages7
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Antiscience and ethical concerns associated with advocacy of Lyme disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this