No, it’s not too difficult to culture B. burgdorferi. It’s just not relevant—right now—to clinical practice.
Why isn't it relevant? And why place a timeframe on it of "right now"?
Looking around, I don’t see many frightened members of the medical and scientific communities. Though I suppose many of us might be worried that some incautious individual will mistake laboratory contamination for a positive blood culture; or declare misdiagnosed illnesses, post-infection tissue damage, or serious psychiatric conditions for mere “neuroses”; or ignore 30+ years of clinical research on the non-infectious nature of post-Lyme sequelae.
What if you are scrupulous in your lab protocols yet still have positive cultures?
What if you do all of the following and still get a positive culture?:
- Use aerosol barrier pipette tips.
- UV-irradiate all workstations used for the setup of master mix preps and PCRs.
- Treat all surfaces and tube racks with a 10% bleach solution.
- Use frequent and careful glove changes.
- Perform DNA extraction, PCR setup, and PCR product analysis in different rooms.
- Use clean systems.
- Use a negative control such as UV-treated, deionized water.
- Do not do bacterial work, etc. during any human DNA extraction.
If your lab has done all of the above and there was oversight on following these steps, then what?
I've seen some critiques (including Worsmer et al's) about animal studies on Bb and sample contamination claims.
What I want to know is how the individuals offering the critique determine whether or not sample contamination occurred just by reviewing the study's paper?
I'm asking this for a lot of people who may also wonder how this is done.