Serious allegations of contamination were made by Barbara Johnson of the CDC regarding the Sapi culture test results suggesting that Sapi's results were merely artifacts of laboratory contamination - it just couldn't possibly be that Eva Sapi was able to grow spirochetes from infected patient blood samples even though (as was thoroughly discussed in that thread) growing Borrelia using BSK medium was nothing new or revolutionary. Even still, several opinion letters were published by the CDC affiliated scientist, Johnson, suggesting Sapi's culture results were false, her laboratory technique was sloppy, and/or the results were just simply made up.
It has since been found that Johnson's accusations of contamination in the Sapi culture were unfounded.
So, I guess it should come as no surprise that as soon as another group of scientists - this time epidemiologists - published results that the American IDSA-affiliated scientist, Alan Barbour, either didn't like, didn't believe, or was simply surprised about - another opinion letter writing spree ensued with, guess what, another damaging accusation of contamination!
But this time, the accused epidemiologists fought back. That's right. You can't bully Mexican scientists out of publishing results - and defending and standing by them - that you just don't like.
Here is the original Sapi culture thread:
Rebuttal published to CDC vs Advanced in J Clin Microbiology
http://www.lymeneteurope.org/forum/view ... f=5&t=5589
Page 3 in that same topic is where the Mexican scientific paper was fist brought up by Pandora:
http://www.lymeneteurope.org/forum/view ... 9&start=20
Here is the original paper published about the incidence of Lyme on the Mexico-Texas border:
Implications of climate change on the distribution of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis and risk for Lyme disease in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region
*Oops! I messed up the links. The link above is the right one now
The original opinion letter of allegations of contamination in the Mexican paper alleged by Barbour:
Analysis of the intergenic sequences provided by Feria-Arroyo et al. does not support the claim of high Borrelia burgdorferi tick infection rates in Texas and northeastern Mexico
And the decidedly thorough response, point-by-point, to every false accusation wielded at the group of epidemiologists:
Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected ticks from wildlife hosts, a response to Norris et al.
http://www.parasitesandvectors.com/cont ... 9/abstract
Please note the difference between active and passive collection of ticks as described in the fourth paragraph in the "Discussion" section of the original paper:
(Everything in bold is my emphasis)Although our species distribution model is congruent with the spatial distribution of LD cases in humans for Texas (see maps in http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/index.html webcite), a direct correlation cannot be established because additional vector density and B. burgdorferi prevalence data need to be gathered, and human movement has epidemiological consequences since infection can be acquired in a region different from the one where it is reported . The density of infected I. scapularis nymphs (DIN) has been suggested as a strong predictor for LD risk of infection [56,57,82,89,101]. For Texas this risk of infection has been deemed low because no I. scapularis nymphs were detected using standardized sampling techniques over nine localities in the state [56,82,106]. This contrasts with the continuous reports of human LD cases and the detection of canine LD in the state [107-109]. As an initial approach to understand where infected I. scapularis ticks occurred in Texas and Mexico, we performed a combination of passive and active searches of different developmental stages of this competent LD vector. In our search we did find B. burgdorferi infected adult I. scapularis ticks in areas were human LD has been reported  and where canine LD has been observed . The prevalence of I. scapularis infected with B. burgdorferi detected was higher than the 1% recorded in the early 1990’s using classical culture and microscopy techniques for the detection of B. burgdorferi[52,54,55], and than that observed more recently through a passive surveillance study and molecular techniques . The adult ticks found in this preliminary study were either questing on vegetation or feeding on wildlife (WTD and gemsbok) and companion animals (mainly dogs). Therefore, our results suggest that infected I. scapularis nymphs are present in Texas, but sampling methods standardized for the conditions in Northeast and Midwest US sites might not be optimal to sample a representative I. scapularis nymph population questing in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region. Variation in environmental conditions influencing questing behavior may significantly impact the type of host ticks encounter and may lead to differential host use within a particular study area [110-113]. Therefore, further studies testing different sampling procedures, including different times of the day and seasons are currently being developed by our team. Our goal is to determine the phenology of I. scapularis in the Southern US and Mexico and the questing behavior of the different developmental stages to determine how that will affect the risk for LD in humans and companion animals.
I swear, do these CDC and IDSA scientists even read the papers they're critiquing?