Vector-borne Infection - Research, Analysis, Strategy

VIRAS is a non-profit group comprised of patients and professionals with knowledge and experience in Lyme borreliosis and coinfections, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Our members are qualified and experienced in science and research, ethics, biology, psychology, psychotherapy, teaching, business and media.

VIRAS group objectives are:

> Improved testing and diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis in the UK

> Campaigning for testing, diagnosis and treatment of other vector borne infections, e.g., bartonella, babesiosis

> Campaigning for the identification and proper diagnosis of some of the tens of thousands of undiagnosed cases of Lyme borreliosis - particularly among misdiagnosed M.E. and 'CFS' patients where there is significant symptom overlap

> Analysis and comment on published research

> Analysis of public health policies and campaigning for changes which help patients and physicians

All Party Parliamentary Group

Minutes of the meeting for the first All Party Parliamentary Group for Lyme disease.
Includes statements from 10 UK Lyme advocacy groups: PDF

VIRAS responses to NICE

'Rapid Responses' to British Medical Journal article: 'Lyme disease: summary of NICE guidance'.
BMJ 2018;361:k1261 (Link to original BMJ article)
VIRAS Congenital transmission
VIRAS Are opinion-based guidelines what health professionals expect?
VIRAS Do the guidelines pass the test?
VIRAS Guidelines for Flat-Pack patients
VIRAS The Word is not Enough

VIRAS complaint to NICE about the draft Guideline. PDF

VIRAS analysis of the NICE Draft Guideline RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS:

VIRAS comment: "Be careful what you wish for" - webpage
Introduction to the analysis - webpage
Recommendation #1 analysis - webpage
Recommendation #2 analysis - webpage
Recommendation #3 analysis - webpage
Recommendation #4 analysis - webpage
Recommendation #5 analysis and conclusion - webpage
All the above sections in a PDF file

VIRAS Research Recommendations:
As an alternative to NICE's recommendations for 'priority research', here are projects that VIRAS suggest could actually address the causes of serious problems encountered by patients:
A Prospective Study to estimate the prevalence of Lyme borreliosis in UK patients diagnosed with long-standing moderate to severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) (PDF)
A Prospective Study of persisting or relapsing symptoms following treatment for Lyme borreliosis (PDF)

VIRAS response to NICE DRAFT GUIDELINE for Lyme Borreliosis November 2017:

Summary of VIRAS response to NICE Draft Guideline for Lyme Borreliosis PDF
Full Comments-form of VIRAS response to NICE Draft Guideline for Lyme Borreliosis PDF

VIRAS responses to NICE DRAFT SCOPE for Lyme Borreliosis February 2017:

6 Months from Early to Late.PDF
Bb Species.PDF
Co infections.PDF
Diagnostic Testing for Lyme Disease.PDF
Lyme Like Illness.PDF
Who is the Focus CFS.PDF

VIRAS pages:

VIRAS Interview by Denise Longman with Leona Gilbert and Armin Schwarzbach - includes description of the Elispot and Tickplex tests

VIRAS Survey on Delays in testing patients for Lyme disease - 330 respondents show that patients can wait months or years to get tested

VIRAS Notes on the Embers Monkey Trial - Research shows evidence of persistent infection after antibiotic treatment. PDF version

Tuskegee Experiment and Lyme disease in the UK - the similarities are shocking. PDF version

Survey of 120 UK Lyme borreliosis patients as PDF

Parliamentary Lyme Meeting includes two presentations by VIRAS members

Isabel Symptom Checker Survey for people diagnosed with Lyme, M.E., CFS. Results

Lyme Borreliosis incidence in England and Wales VIRAS referenced estimate

VIRAS World Wide Protest 2016 Handout printable Word doc

Antibody Staining Explained VIRAS explanation of Fluorescent antibody staining

Data Sources

VIRAS stakeholder comment on NIGE Guidelines review for M.E. and CFS July 2017: