Lyme Disease News & Current Medical Research

The latest publications of scientific medical research, articles and news on Lyme disease from many resources are automatically displayed here.

List of latest Lyme news and medical research

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Strain-specific Lyme disease immunity lasts for years, Penn research finds

(University of Pennsylvania) A new study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania shows that humans appear to develop immunity against specific strains of the Lyme disease that can last six to nine years. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)

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Tuesday 1 April 2014

Exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi and Other Tick-Borne Pathogens in Gettysburg National Military Park, South-Central Pennsylvania, 2009

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases , Vol. 0, No. 0. (Source: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases)


Sunday 30 March 2014

[CXCL13: a biomarker for acute Lyme neuroborreliosis : Investigation of the predictive value in the clinical routine.]

CONCLUSIONS: The biomarker CXCL13 has a higher sensitivity (100 % vs. 87 %) with a specificity (99 %) comparable with the established diagnostic markers for LNB, e.g. CSF pleocytosis and Borrelia-AI in the investigated patient population. The negative predictive value of CXCL13 is 100 %. Therefore, a normal CXCL13 level virtually excludes LNB. In the clinical routine CXCL13 is a valuable and practical diagnostic marker for LNB and can even detect an acute LNB in patients without CSF pleocytosis. PMID: 24682168 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Der Nervenarzt)


Saturday 29 March 2014

Oral doxycycline for Lyme neuroborreliosis with symptoms of encephalitis, myelitis, vasculitis or intracranial hypertension

ConclusionTreatment with oral doxycycline resulted in a similar decrease in CSF mononuclear cell counts in patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis with CNS symptoms compared with patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis with PNS symptoms. The results indicate that oral doxycycline is an effective treatment for Lyme neuroborreliosis irrespective of the severity of symptoms. (Source: European Journal of Neurology)


Thursday 27 March 2014

A82: Lyme Arthritis: an Emerging Clinical Problem in Nova Scotia, Canada

Conclusion:Increasing numbers of children with Lyme arthritis are being seen in the pediatric rheumatology clinic in Nova Scotia. LD was not considered as a diagnosis in the majority of cases by the referring physician. A quarter of patients also had a history of unrecognized neurologic manifestations of LD. In keeping with published North American reports, most patients had an excellent outcome however a proportion continued to have arthritis and disability following antibiotic therapy. (Source: Arthritis and Rheumatism)


Wednesday 26 March 2014

Mice are reservoirs for tick-borne pathogens, amplify risk of Lyme disease and other tick-borne ailments

People living in northern and central parts of the U.S. are more likely to contract Lyme disease and other tick-borne ailments when white-footed mice are abundant. Mice are effective at transferring disease-causing pathogens to feeding ticks. And, according to an in-press paper in the journal Ecology, these "super hosts" appear indifferent to larval tick infestations. (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)

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Wednesday 26 March 2014

Comparison of serological and molecular panels for diagnosis of vector-borne diseases in dogs

Conclusions: We conclude that serological and PCR assays should be used in parallel to maximize CVBD diagnosis (Source: BioMed Central)


Tuesday 25 March 2014

Tips and tricks to stay safe from ticks

Jolyon Medlock, Medical Entomologist at Public Health England, explains why ticks are a health concern and outlines prevention tips for the public Related items from OnMedicaMosquitoes win battle of repellentEaster farm visit infection warningPublic warned to avoid tick bites and Lyme disease (Source: OnMedica Views)



Monday 24 March 2014

Bacterial and protozoal agents of feline vector-borne diseases in domestic and stray cats from southern Portugal

Infections with Babesia vogeli, Bartonella clarridgeiae, Bartonella henselae, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Hepatozoon felis and Leishmania infantum were molecularly detected in domestic and stray cats from sourthern Portugal. Image: Male domestic cat from the region of Lisbon. (Source: Parasites and Vectors)


Monday 17 March 2014

People, Pets, and Parasites: One Health Surveillance in Southeastern Saskatchewan.

Authors: Schurer JM, Ndao M, Quewezance H, Elmore SA, Jenkins EJ Abstract Residents of remote and Indigenous communities might experience higher exposure to some zoonotic parasites than the general North American population. Human sero-surveillance conducted in two Saulteaux communities found 113 volunteers exposed as follows: Trichinella (2.7%), Toxocara canis (4.4%), Echinococcus (4.4%), and Toxoplasma gondii (1.8%). In dogs, 41% of 51 fecal samples were positive for at least one intestinal parasite, 3% of 77 were sero-positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, and 21% of 78 for T. gondii. Echinococcus exposure was more likely to occur in non-dog owners (odds ratio [OR]: 11.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2-107, P = 0.03); although T. canis was more likely to occur in children (ages 4...

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Wednesday 12 March 2014

Identification of OppA2 linear epitopes as serodiagnostic markers for Lyme disease.

Authors: Signorino G, Arnaboldi PM, Petzke MM, Dattwyler RJ Abstract Laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on the serological detection of antibodies against the etiologic agent, Borrelia burgdorferi. Current diagnostics are insensitive at detecting early infection, when treatment is most effective. This deficiency results from the limited number of B. burgdorferi antigens expressed in early infection, and the use of an insensitive two-tier paradigm, put in place to deal with insufficient specificity associated with the use of whole protein antigens and/or bacterial lysates as serodiagnostic targets. Whole protein antigens contain epitopes that are unique to B. burgdorferi as well as 'cross-reactive' epitopes found in other bacteria. One method for overcoming the limitation...


Wednesday 12 March 2014

Antibodies to endothelial cell growth factor and obliterative microvascular lesions in synovia of patients with antibiotic‐refractory Lyme arthritis

Conclusions. The correlations of ECGF autoantibody reactivity with obliterative microvascular lesions imply that these autoantibodies may be involved in the obliterative process, suggesting that anti‐ECGF antibodies have specific pathologic consequences in synovial tissue in patients with antibiotic‐refractory Lyme arthritis. © 2014 American College of Rheumatology. (Source: Arthritis and Rheumatism)


Friday 7 March 2014

Lost first world war training battlefield discovered in Hampshire

Elaborate trench network was identified from old aerial photographs on land that is still owned by Ministry of DefenceA few suspiciously straight lines in a corner of a 1951 aerial photograph showing acres of featureless scrubby heath have led archaeologists to a lost first world war landscape.The mock battlefield, used for training soldiers before they were shipped across the Channel to confront the real thing, is complete with zig-zags of frontline, communication and reserve trenches, the enemy's front line, terrifyingly visible less than 200 yards away – and, a little further on, a holiday camp in Gosport, Hampshire.Browndown is still owned by the Ministry of Defence, but well used by local dog walkers, who knew there were humps, bumps and hollows into which a dog could annoyingly van...


Friday 7 March 2014

Identification of a core sequence for the binding of BosR to the rpoS promoter region in Borrelia burgdorferi.

Authors: Ouyang Z, Zhou J, Brautigam CA, Deka RK, Norgard MV Abstract The alternative sigma factor RpoS in Borrelia burgdorferi plays a central role in modulating host adaptive responses when spirochetes cycle between ticks and mammals. The transcriptional activation of σ54-dependent rpoS requires a Fur homologue designated as BosR. Previously, we found that BosR directly activates rpoS transcription by binding to the rpoS promoter. However, many other DNA-binding features of BosR have remained obscure. In particular, the precise DNA sequence targeted by BosR has not yet been completely elucidated. The prediction of a putative Per box within the rpoS promoter region has further confounded the identification of the BosR binding sequence. Herein, by using electrophoretic mobility sh...


Thursday 6 March 2014

The lymphocyte transformation test for the diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis has currently not been shown to be clinically useful

(Source: Clinical Microbiology and Infection)

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Wednesday 5 March 2014

Mouse vaccine could protect humans from Lyme disease

The only vaccine against tick-borne Lyme disease was pulled from the market because of side effects in humans. But could it still be useful?     (Source: New Scientist - Health)


Wednesday 5 March 2014

Why are there several species of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato detected in dogs and humans?

Authors: Skotarczak B Abstract Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is a group of spirochete bacteria species some of which cause borreliosis in humans and dogs. Humans and dogs are susceptible to illness from many of the same tick-borne pathogens, including B. burgdorferi s.l. (Bbsl). Little is known about the pathogenic role of the species of Bbsl in canines. The molecular methods which detect and amplify the DNA of borreliae and allow the differentiation of borreliae species or strains have not been used in canine diagnostics yet. Until now, it has been believed that in European dogs, like in humans, at least three pathogenic species occur but the most frequently described symptoms may be associated with the infection caused by B. burgdorferi sensu stricto species. A dog as well as a...


Monday 3 March 2014

Tick Test for Persistent Lyme Disease Tried in HumansTick Test for Persistent Lyme Disease Tried in Humans

A small experiment to see whether uninfected ticks could "diagnose" a lingering Lyme infection in people produced modest results, researchers say. Reuters Health Information (Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines)


Saturday 1 March 2014

Borreliosis and synovial lesions

Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease caused by the spirohete Borrelia burgdorferi. In the northeastern United States where the disease is endemic, the main vectors are the hard ticks Ixodes scapularis and lxodes pacificus. (Source: Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery)


Friday 28 February 2014

Tick test for persistent Lyme disease tried in humans

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A small experiment to see whether uninfected ticks could "diagnose" a lingering Lyme infection in people produced modest results, researchers say. (Source: Reuters: Health)

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Tuesday 25 February 2014

Geographic and genospecies distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA detected in humans in the United States.

This study provides further evidence that B. burgdorferi sensu stricto is not the only species associated with signs and/or symptoms consistent with Lyme borreliosis in the USA. PMID: 24568883 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Journal of Medical Microbiology)


Friday 21 February 2014

Outer Surface Proteins of Borrelia: Peerless Immune Evasion Tools.

Authors: Pulzova L, Bhide M Abstract Lyme borreliosis (LB), caused by Borrelia burgdorferi(B.b.), is the most frequently diagnosed tick-borne zoonosis in temperate zones of the Northern hemisphere. Borreliais unique among bacteria in its ability to express a wide variety of lipoproteins on its surface, which play an essential role in pathogenesis. Surface proteins of spirochetes are important virulence determinants, immune evasion molecules and adaptation factors in the transmission and interaction with host tissues. Vast diversity in the expressed surface proteome of Borreliain different niches and multifunctionality of proteins are the major strategies of Borreliato avoid the destructive effect of immune system. In this review we provide deep insight into the protein:protein inte...


Tuesday 18 February 2014

Ticks may cause double trouble, Stanford scientists find

(Stanford University) Stanford study finds ticks infected with Lyme disease and newly identified human pathogen are widespread in San Francisco Bay Area. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)


Friday 14 February 2014

To Stop Lyme, Vaccinate...the Mice?To Stop Lyme, Vaccinate...the Mice?

A new oral vaccine to prevent Lyme disease in mice decreased infection rates in ticks and might help break the cycle of transmission to humans. Medscape Medical News (Source: Medscape Infectious Diseases Headlines)


Friday 14 February 2014

Lymphocyte transformation test for diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis is currently not documented to be clinically useful

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Source: Clinical Microbiology and Infection)

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Friday 14 February 2014

Lack of IgG antibody seropositivity to Borrelia burgdorferi in patients with Parry–Romberg syndrome and linear morphea en coup de sabre in Mexico

ConclusionIn Mexico there are no previous studies on Borrelia infection and its relationship between PRS or LMCS. Our result showed a lack of association of either clinical entities with anti‐Borrelia‐antibodies. Former reports of this association may suggest coincidental findings without causal relationship. (Source: International Journal of Dermatology)


Wednesday 12 February 2014

Test for persistent Lyme infection using live ticks shown safe in clinical study

(NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) In a first-of-its-kind study for Lyme disease, researchers have used live, disease-free ticks to see if Lyme disease bacteria can be detected in people who continue to experience symptoms such as fatigue or arthritis after completing antibiotic therapy. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)


Saturday 8 February 2014

Cannabis kicks Lyme disease to the curb

(Source: NaturalNews.com)


Thursday 6 February 2014

Mathematical Model Developed by UA Physicists Could Help Treat Lyme Disease

(Source: The University of Arizona: Health)


Wednesday 5 February 2014

Evaluation of the Borrelia burgdorferi BBA64 protein as a protective immunogen in mice.

Authors: Brandt KS, Patton TG, Allard AS, Caimano MJ, Radolf JD, Gilmore RD Abstract The Borrelia burgdorferi bba64 gene product is a surface localized lipoprotein synthesized within mammalian and tick hosts and is involved in vector transmission. These properties suggest that BBA64 may be a vaccine candidate against Lyme borreliosis. Protective immunity against B. burgdorferi challenge was assessed in mice immunized with BBA64 protein. Mice developed a high-titered antibody response following immunization with soluble recombinant BBA64, but were not protected when challenged by needle inoculation of culture-grown spirochetes. Likewise, mice passively immunized with an anti-BBA64 monoclonal antibody were not protected against needle-inoculated organisms. BBA64-immunized mice were s...

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Tuesday 4 February 2014

Spatiotemporal evolution of erythema migrans, the hallmark rash of lyme disease.

Authors: Vig DK, Wolgemuth CW Abstract To elucidate pathogen-host interactions during early Lyme disease, we developed a mathematical model that explains the spatiotemporal dynamics of the characteristic first sign of the disease, a large (≥5-cm diameter) rash, known as an erythema migrans. The model predicts that the bacterial replication and dissemination rates are the primary factors controlling the speed that the rash spreads, whereas the rate that active macrophages are cleared from the dermis is the principle determinant of rash morphology. In addition, the model supports the clinical observations that antibiotic treatment quickly clears spirochetes from the dermis and that the rash appearance is not indicative of the efficacy of the treatment. The quantitative agreement be...


Saturday 1 February 2014

Common questions about bell palsy.

Authors: Albers JR, Tamang S Abstract Bell palsy is an acute affliction of the facial nerve, resulting in sudden paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. Testing patients with unilateral facial paralysis for diabetes mellitus or Lyme disease is not routinely recommended. Patients with Lyme disease typically present with additional manifestations, such as arthritis, rash, or facial swelling. Diabetes may be a comorbidity of Bell palsy, but testing is not needed in the absence of other indications, such as hypertension. In patients with atypical symptoms, magnetic resonance imaging with contrast enhancement can be used to rule out cranial mass effect and to add prognostic value. Steroids improve resolution of symptoms in patients with Bell palsy and remain the pr...


Tuesday 28 January 2014

Genotyping of borrelia from formalin‐fixed paraffin‐embedded skin biopsies of cutaneous borreliosis and tick bite reactions by assays targeting the IGS‐region, ospA, and OspC genes

ConclusionsOur results demonstrate that genotyping of borrelia can be easily implemented in a routine dermatopathology setting, especially useful as a fast method to confirm early cutaneous borreliosis. Genotyping could also enable earlier treatment of patients infected with invasive strains.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Source: British Journal of Dermatology)


Tuesday 28 January 2014

Genotyping of borrelia from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded skin biopsies of cutaneous borreliosis and tick bite reactions by assays targeting the IGS-region, ospA, and OspC genes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that genotyping of borrelia can be easily implemented in a routine dermatopathology setting, especially useful as a fast method to confirm early cutaneous borreliosis. Genotyping could also enable earlier treatment of patients infected with invasive strains. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 24471582 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: The British Journal of Dermatology)


Monday 27 January 2014

Meteorological Influences on the Seasonality of Lyme Disease in the United States.

Authors: Moore SM, Eisen RJ, Monaghan A, Mead P Abstract Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi infection) is the most common vector-transmitted disease in the United States. The majority of human Lyme disease (LD) cases occur in the summer months, but the timing of the peak occurrence varies geographically and from year to year. We calculated the beginning, peak, end, and duration of the main LD season in 12 highly endemic states from 1992 to 2007 and then examined the association between the timing of these seasonal variables and several meteorological variables. An earlier beginning to the LD season was positively associated with higher cumulative growing degree days through Week 20, lower cumulative precipitation, a lower saturation deficit, and proximity to the Atlantic coast. The...

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Saturday 25 January 2014

PCR Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes persulcatus Ticks in Mongolia.

Authors: Masuzawa T, Masuda S, Fukui T, Okamoto Y, Bataa J, Oikawa Y, Ishiguro F, Takada N Abstract A molecular epidemiological survey was conducted to identify the tick-borne disease agents Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Selenge Province, Mongolia. The survey was in response to a suspected A. phagocytophilum infection in a patient. In 2012, a total of 129 questing Ixodes persulcatus adult ticks were sampled by flagging vegetation. A. phagocytophilum and Borrelia spp. were detected by PCR, targeting the 16S rDNA (rrs) and 5S-23S intergenic spacer region, respectively. Infection rates for A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi sensu lato spp. were 6.2% and 55.0%, respectively. Six of the 129 ticks (4.9%) were coinfected with A. phagocytophilum and B....


Thursday 23 January 2014

Ongoing Discussion About the US Clinical Lyme Trials

Although we agree with Klempner et al that results from post hoc analyses of randomized controlled trials need to be viewed with caution, we are concerned that important results from planned analyses of primary hypotheses are being disregarded. The key point is that the study by Krupp et al demonstrated efficacy of ceftriaxone with respect to placebo on the only primary outcome measure that could reasonably be considered valid. That 69% of patients benefited with improvement in fatigue from intravenous ceftriaxone at 6 months compared with 23% of patients given intravenous placebo is a clear demonstration of antibiotic efficacy (P  (Source: The American Journal of Medicine)


Thursday 23 January 2014

Potential Benefits of Retreatment Highlight the Need for Additional Lyme Disease Research

We are responding to Klempner et al regarding our statistical review of the National Institutes of Health–sponsored antibiotic retreatment trials for Lyme disease. Our primary finding is that the trials did not prove retreatment is ineffective. A basic concept in statistical science regarding randomized controlled trials is that one can only conclude treatment is ineffective when the treatment effect and confidence interval exclude and are below the minimum clinically important difference. None of the trials showed this. Two trials actually demonstrated evidence of improvement in patients with severe symptoms at baseline. The trials without significant findings did not incorporate interactions between treatment and baseline severity in their statistical analysis. The only valid conclu...


Thursday 23 January 2014

The Reply

The communications from DeLong et al and Fallon et al express concerns about the findings, implications, and methods used in the 4 published treatment trials for persistent symptoms in patients previously treated for Lyme disease. (Source: The American Journal of Medicine)


Wednesday 22 January 2014

BORRELIA REMEDY (Borrelia Burgdorferi,) Liquid [Apotheca Company]

Updated Date: Jan 22, 2014 EST (Source: DailyMed Drug Label Updates for the last seven days (since May 20, 2007 EST))

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Monday 20 January 2014

Lyme Borreliosis Caused by Diverse Genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in northeastern China

ConclusionIn northeastern China, three genospecies of LB patients were detected. The B. burgdorferi genospecies identified in this study was predominantly B. garinii. A case infected with B. valaisiana‐related genospecies was first reported.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Source: Clinical Microbiology and Infection)


Wednesday 15 January 2014

Gut Microbiota of the Tick Vector Ixodes scapularis Modulate Colonization of the Lyme Disease Spirochete.

Authors: Narasimhan S, Rajeevan N, Liu L, Zhao YO, Heisig J, Pan J, Eppler-Epstein R, Deponte K, Fish D, Fikrig E Abstract Arthopods such as Ixodes scapularis ticks serve as vectors for many human pathogens. The arthropod gut presents a pivotal microbial entry point and determines pathogen colonization and survival. We show that the gut microbiota of I. scapularis, a major vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, influence spirochete colonization of ticks. Perturbing the gut microbiota of larval ticks reduced Borrelia colonization, and dysbiosed larvae displayed decreased expression of the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT). Diminished STAT expression corresponded to lower expression of peritrophin, a key glycoprotein sc...


Tuesday 14 January 2014

Insights into the Biology of Borrelia burgdorferi Gained Through the Application of Molecular Genetics.

Authors: Groshong AM, Blevins JS Abstract Borrelia burgdorferi, the vector-borne bacterium that causes Lyme disease, was first identified in 1982. It is known that much of the pathology associated with Lyme borreliosis is due to the spirochete's ability to infect, colonize, disseminate, and survive within the vertebrate host. Early studies aimed at defining the biological contributions of individual genes during infection and transmission were hindered by the lack of adequate tools and techniques for molecular genetic analysis of the spirochete. The development of genetic manipulation techniques, paired with elucidation and annotation of the B. burgdorferi genome sequence, has led to major advancements in our understanding of the virulence factors and the molecular events associate...


Monday 13 January 2014

Recognizing Lyme CarditisRecognizing Lyme Carditis

Three recent cases of sudden cardiac death from Lyme carditis point to the importance of recognizing and promptly treating this complication of Lyme disease. CDC Expert Commentary (Source: Medscape Pediatrics Headlines)


Saturday 11 January 2014

Diagnostic Criteria of Acute Rheumatic Fever.

Authors: Burke RJ, Chang C Abstract Acute rheumatic fever is an inflammatory sequelae of Group A Streptococcal pharyngitis that affects multiple organ systems. The incidence of acute rheumatic fever has been declining even before the use of antibiotics became widespread, however the disease remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children, particularly in developing countries and has been estimated to affect 19 per 100,000 children worldwide. Acute rheumatic fever is a clinical diagnosis, and therefore subject to the judgment of the clinician. Because of the variable presentation, the Jones criteria were first developed in 1944 to aid clinicians in the diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever. The Jones criteria have been modified throughout the years, most recently in ...

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Thursday 2 January 2014

Divergence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes could be driven by the host: diversity of Borrelia strains isolated from ticks feeding on a single bird

Dispersal of infected ticks due to bird migration is a key to the establishment of new foci of Lyme borreliosis. The dynamics of infection in birds support the mixing of different species, the horizontal exchange of genetic information, and appearance of recombinant genotypes. Image: Genetically diverse Borrelia strains are often found within the same tick or same vertebrate host, presenting a wide opportunity for genetic exchange. (Source: BioMed Central)


Monday 30 December 2013

A mathematical perspective of seasonal variations in Lyme disease transmission

Lyme disease is a common tick-borne illness caused by a bacterium, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. The transmission dynamics of Lyme disease is dependent on a variety of factors, including the length of the tick's life cycle, availability of hosts, climatic conditions and seasonal influences, which are important to understand for control strategies. (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)


Monday 30 December 2013

Ménage à trois: Borrelia, dendritic cells, and tick saliva interactions.

Authors: Mason LM, Veerman CC, Geijtenbeek TB, Hovius JW Abstract Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, is inoculated into the skin during an Ixodes tick bite where it is recognised and captured by dendritic cells (DCs). However, considering the propensity of Borrelia to disseminate, it would appear that DCs fall short in mounting a robust immune response against it. Many aspects of the DC-driven immune response to Borrelia have been examined. Recently, components of tick saliva have been identified that sabotage DC responses and aid Borrelia infection. In this review, we summarise what is currently known about the immune response of DCs to Borrelia and explore the mechanisms by which Borrelia manages to circumvent this immune response, with or w...


Sunday 29 December 2013

Occurrence and transmission efficiencies of Borrelia burgdorferi ospC types in avian and mammalian wildlife.

Authors: Vuong HB, Canham CD, Fonseca DM, Brisson D, Morin PJ, Smouse PE, Ostfeld RS Abstract Borrelia burgdorferi s.s., the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in North America, circulates among a suite of vertebrate hosts and their tick vector. The bacterium can be differentiated at the outer surface protein C (ospC) locus into 25 genotypes. Wildlife hosts can be infected with a suite of ospC types but knowledge on the transmission efficiencies of these naturally infected hosts to ticks is still lacking. To evaluate the occupancy and detection of ospC types in wildlife hosts, we adapted a likelihood-based species patch occupancy model to test for the occurrence probabilities (ψ - "occupancy") and transmission efficiencies (ε - "detection") of each ospC type. We detected differen...


Saturday 28 December 2013

On the Curious Motions of Syphilis and Lyme Disease Bacteria

The bacteria that cause syphilis and Lyme Disease have something extraordinary in common: they manage to propel themselves through their environment in spite of the fact their tails are located inside their bodies.For bacteria, they’re also unusually shaped and active. In this movie, you can see the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease moving like living, squirming cavatappi . [More] (Source: Scientific American - Official RSS Feed)

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Monday 23 December 2013

Lyme borreliosis

Abstract: Lyme borreliosis is a tick-transmitted spirochaetal disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. It is acquired in forested and heathland areas of the temperate northern hemisphere. The most common presentation is an erythematous rash spreading slowly from the site of a tick bite. Clinical manifestations of disseminated infection include facial palsy, viral-like meningitis, radiculopathy, meningoencephalitis and arthritis. Lyme borreliosis responds to antibiotic treatment at all stages, with excellent results for patients with early disease. Patients with long-standing infection causing significant tissue damage can have slow or incomplete recovery. A small minority of treated patients can have persistent non-specific symptoms, similar to those seen following some other inf...


Saturday 21 December 2013

Dietary composition and spatial patterns of polar bear foraging on land in western Hudson Bay

Conclusions: Our results suggest that polar bears are foraging opportunistically in a manner consistent with maximizing intake while minimizing energy expenditure associated with movement. The frequent mixing of plant-based carbohydrate and animal-based protein could suggest use of a strategy that other Ursids employ to maximize weight gain. Further, consuming high rates of certain vegetation and land-based animals that may yield immediate energetic gains could, instead, provide other benefits such as fulfilling vitamin/mineral requirements, diluting toxins and assessing new foods for potential switching. (Source: BMC Ecology - Latest articles)


Friday 20 December 2013

Assessment of the potential contribution of the highly conserved C‐terminal motif (C10) of Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface protein C (OspC) in transmission and infectivity

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Source: FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology)


Friday 20 December 2013

Sensitive multiplex PCR assay to differentiate Lyme spirochetes and emerging pathogens Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti

Conclusion: Real-time quantitative PCR using specific primers and molecular beacon probes for the selected amplicon described in this study can detect three tick-borne pathogens simultaneously in an accurate manner. (Source: BMC Microbiology - Latest articles)


Thursday 19 December 2013

Occupational exposure to zoonotic agents among agricultural workers in Lombardy Region, northern Italy.

Conclusions: The higher frequency of the presence of serum antibodies to zoonotic agents (e.g. Leptospira spp. and Coxiella burnetii) in animal breeders suggests that they are more exposed to biological agents than workers not involved in animal breeding activities. The risk of contact with HEV deserves further studies because the adoption of different assays can result in significantly different results. The promotion of immunization of agricultural workers might be a priority, in particular for migrants. PMID: 24364433 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine : AAEM)


Thursday 19 December 2013

Essential factor for Lyme disease transmission identified

(Public Library of Science) Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, hitchhikes in ticks for dissemination to mammalian hosts--including humans. An article in the 19 Dec. issue of PLOS Pathogens identifies HrpA, an RNA helicase, as a crucial player in the transmission from ticks to mammals. George Chaconas and colleagues analyze the molecular function of the HrpA protein and further explore its role in the bacterium's complicated life cycle, in particular for transmission of the pathogen. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)


Thursday 19 December 2013

A mathematical perspective of seasonal variations in Lyme disease transmission

(Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Lyme disease is a common tick-borne illness caused by a bacterium, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. In a paper published last month in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, authors Yuxiang Zhang and Xiao-Qiang Zhao propose a reaction-diffusion model to study transmission dynamics of Lyme disease while taking into account seasonality. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)

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Tuesday 17 December 2013

Lysosomal β-glucuronidase regulates Lyme and rheumatoid arthritis severity

Lyme disease, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most prevalent arthropod-borne illness in the United States and remains a clinical and social challenge. The spectrum of disease severity among infected patients suggests that host genetics contribute to pathogenic outcomes, particularly in patients who develop arthritis. Using a forward genetics approach, we identified the lysosomal enzyme β-glucuronidase (GUSB), a member of a large family of coregulated lysosomal enzymes, as a key regulator of Lyme-associated arthritis severity. Severely arthritic C3H mice possessed a naturally occurring hypomorphic allele, Gusbh. C57BL/6 mice congenic for the C3H Gusb allele were prone to increased Lyme-associated arthritis severity. Radiation chimera experiments revealed that resident...


Tuesday 17 December 2013

[Correspondence] Lyme disease vaccination: safety first

In the Article by Nina Wressnigg and colleagues and the related Comment by Paul Lantos describing a novel Lyme vaccine, the authors attempt to avoid discussion of the side-effects of the previous Lyme vaccine, LYMErix (SmithKline Beecham, Pittsburgh, USA). This approach to safety issues bodes ill for the new Lyme vaccine candidate. (Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases)


Tuesday 17 December 2013

[Correspondence] Lyme disease vaccination: safety first – Authors' reply

We refute the assertion by Raphael Stricker and Lorraine Johnson that we avoided discussion of the side-effects of the previously licensed Lyme vaccine, LYMErix, in our report of a novel multivalent candidate vaccine against Lyme borreliosis. In our introduction, we provide a full and balanced description of the hypothesised safety concerns associated with the monovalent outer surface protein A (OspA) vaccine LYMErix, and we present and discuss in detail the safety data generated in our phase 1/2 trial of the new multivalent vaccine. (Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases)

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Tuesday 17 December 2013

[Correspondence] Lyme disease vaccination: safety first – Author's reply

I wholly concur with Raphael Stricker and Lorraine Johnson that attention to safety must be central to the development of any novel therapeutic agent. Comparative safety has certainly been an open topic of discussion with several second generation vaccines, such as those for acellular pertussis, rotavirus, and Japanese encephalitis, which were developed mainly because of safety concerns with their predecessors. This should no doubt be the case for novel Lyme disease vaccines, whether based on Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface protein A (OspA) or other antigens. (Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases)


Sunday 15 December 2013

Are Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms Due to Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is the number one vector borne spreading epidemic worldwide, and mimics common diseases such as Fibromyalgia (FM), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis), autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and MS, as well as psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety.read more (Source: Psychology Today Depression Center)


Sunday 15 December 2013

Arthropod bites.

Authors: Juckett G Abstract The phylum Arthropoda includes arachnids and insects. Although their bites typically cause only local reactions, some species are venomous or transmit disease. The two medically important spiders in the United States are widow spiders (Latrodectus), the bite of which causes intense muscle spasms, and the brown recluse (Loxosceles), which may cause skin necrosis. Widow bites usually respond to narcotics, benzodiazepines, or, when necessary, antivenom. Most recluse bites resolve uneventfully without aggressive therapy and require only wound care and minor debridement. Tick bites can transmit diseases only after prolonged attachment to the host. Treatment of clothing with permethrin and proper tick removal greatly reduce the risk of infection. Ticks of medi...


Friday 13 December 2013

Three Sudden Cardiac Deaths Associated with Lyme Carditis — United States, November 2012–July 2013

(Source: CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report)


Friday 13 December 2013

Three Cases of Sudden Cardiac Death Linked to Lyme Carditis (FREE)

By Cara Adler Three cases of sudden cardiac death associated with Lyme carditis were reported in 2012 and 2013 and are described in MMWR … (Source: Physician's First Watch current issue)

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Friday 13 December 2013

Three sudden cardiac deaths associated with lyme carditis - United States, november 2012-july 2013.

Authors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Abstract Lyme disease is a multisystem illness caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete transmitted by certain species of Ixodes ticks. Approximately 30,000 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease were reported in the United States in 2012, primarily from high-incidence states in the Northeast (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and upper Midwest (Minnesota and Wisconsin). Common manifestations include cutaneous, neurologic, and rheumatologic signs and symptoms. Symptomatic infection of the heart is rare in recognized Lyme disease cases and usually resolves promptly with appropriate antibiotic therapy. Nonetheless, card...


Thursday 12 December 2013

Sudden Cardiac Death in Untreated Lyme CarditisSudden Cardiac Death in Untreated Lyme Carditis

Three sudden cardiac deaths associated with undiagnosed and untreated Lyme carditis highlighted the need to check cardiac status in patients with Lyme disease and Lyme exposure in some heart patients. Medscape Medical News (Source: Medscape Today Headlines)


Wednesday 11 December 2013

Lyme disease in the United Kingdom

Lyme disease, while still an uncommon disease in the UK, is on the increase. Case numbers have increased by 3.6-fold since 2001, with over 950 cases reported by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in 2011, compared with less than 500 cases annually pre-2004. HPA indications of the true incidence are suggested to be closer to 3000 cases/year, of which around 82% of cases are indigenously acquired. Three genospecies, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelli and Borrelia garinii, represent the predominant pathogenic variants in the UK. Erythema migrans is the commonest manifestation, occurring in 60%–91% of cases. In the UK, neuroborelliosis is the most common complication, while myocarditis is unusual, and death from either conduction disease or carditis is extremely rare. T...


Tuesday 10 December 2013

Co-infection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Rickettsia species in ticks and in an erythema migrans patient

The co-infection rates with Rickettsia spp. and B. burgdorferi s.l. in ticks and in patients with early Lyme borreliosis were determined. Image: Ixodes ricinus can carry Borrelia and Rickettsia simultaneously. (Source: Parasites and Vectors)


Monday 9 December 2013

Determinants and protective behaviours regarding tick bites among school children in the Netherlands: a cross-sectional study

Conclusions: Most children have a good knowledge of ticks and the potential consequences of tick bites. Knowing persons who personally got ill after tick-bite is associated with a good knowledge score and leads to higher susceptibility and better appreciation of the need for body checks. Perceived severity is associated with a good knowledge score and with knowing persons who got ill after tick-bite. Is seems to be useful to additionally address children in health education regarding ticks and tick-borne diseases. The relationship between health education programs for children (and their parents) about ticks and their possible consequences and prevention of these deserves further study. (Source: BMC Public Health - Latest articles)

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Friday 6 December 2013

Crystal structure of PfbA, a surface adhesin of Streptococcus pneumoniae, provides hints into its interaction with fibronectin.

Authors: Beulin DS, Yamaguchi M, Kawabata S, Ponnuraj K Abstract PfbA is a surface adhesin and invasin of Streptococcus pneumoniae that binds to human fibronectin and plasminogen of the host extracellular matrix. It is a virulence factor for its pathogenesis. The crystal structure of recombinant PfbA150-607 from S. pneumoniae strain R6, was determined using multiwavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) method and refined to 1.90Å resolution. The structure of rPfbA150-607 revealed that residues Thr150 to Lys570 form a rigid parallel beta helix, followed by a short disordered region (571 to 607) that consists of beta hairpins. The structural organization of the beta helix resembles that of polysaccharide-modifying enzymes. The structural and sequence features essential for fibronectin...


Thursday 5 December 2013

The telomere resolvase of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, promotes DNA single-strand annealing and strand exchange

We report here that ResT also possesses single-strand annealing activity and a limited ability to promote DNA strand exchange reactions on partial duplex substrates. This combination of activities suggests ResT is a nexus between the seemingly distinct processes of telomere resolution and homologous recombination. Implications for hairpin telomere replication and linear plasmid recombination, including antigenic variation, are discussed. (Source: Nucleic Acids Research)


Wednesday 4 December 2013

Sensitivity of a point of care tick-test for the development of Lyme borreliosis

We evaluated whether a self-test for ticks predicts development of early Lyme borreliosis. We used www.tekenradar.nl for collection of ticks removed from humans, and subsequent follow-up. The self-test appeared to be not suitable for the prediction of early Lyme borreliosis. Image: Adult and nymphal Ixodes ricinus together with the logo of the website. (Source: Parasites and Vectors)


Sunday 1 December 2013

Global infectious diseases—The new norm for the United States?

From 1900 to the end of the 20th century, and into the present, there has been a significant shift in the top ten causes of death in the United States (). Where once infectious diseases were leading health care concerns, these have been largely replaced by cardiovascular disease and cancer. Unfortunately for a large proportion of the planet, infectious diseases remain the leading causes of death, disability, in some cases preventable blindness, and other serious sequelae. Because of our location, significant public health and medical infrastructure, and widespread immunizations against a wide array of pathogens, the US has been fortunately isolated from many infectious diseases, with the notable exception of tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, Lyme, West Nile, pneumonia, and influenza-related ill...


Saturday 30 November 2013

Are My Anxiety and Depression Due to Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is known as “the great imitator” and is spreading worldwide in epidemic proportions, mimicking every known medical condition seen in a doctor’s office. read more (Source: Psychology Today Anxiety Center)

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Saturday 30 November 2013

Potential Role of Deer Tick Virus in Powassan Encephalitis Cases in Lyme Disease-endemic Areas of New York, USA.

We report 14 cases of Powassan encephalitis from New York during 2004-2012. Ten (72%) of the patients were residents of the Lower Hudson Valley, a Lyme disease-endemic area in which I. scapularis ticks account for most human tick bites. This finding suggests that many of these cases were caused by DTV rather than POWV. In 2 patients, DTV infection was confirmed by genetic sequencing. As molecular testing becomes increasingly available, more cases of Powassan encephalitis may be determined to be attributable to the DTV lineage. PMID: 24274334 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Emerging Infectious Diseases)


Wednesday 27 November 2013

Etiology, diagnosis, and management of facial palsy: 2000 patients at a facial nerve center

Conclusion: Bell's palsy remains the most common facial palsy; females present more often for evaluation. Comprehensive diagnostic investigation is mandatory in atypical cases, and thorough management must be multi‐disciplinary. The algorithms presented herein outline a single center's approach to the facial palsy patient, providing a framework which clinicians caring for these patients may adapt to their specific settings. (Source: The Laryngoscope)


Friday 22 November 2013

Automated cerebrospinal fluid cell count - New reference ranges and evaluation of its clinical use in central nervous system infections.

CONCLUSIONS: We suggest new CSF cell count reference ranges of <4cells/μL for lymphocytes, <3cells/μL for monocytes and <3cells/μL for granulocytes. The separation of mononuclear cells into lymphocytes and monocytes did not facilitate the discrimination between Lyme neuroborreliosis and viral CNS infection. PMID: 24275252 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Clinical Biochemistry)


Tuesday 19 November 2013

Lyme neuroborreliosis presenting with alexithymia and suicide attempts - Banerjee R, Liu JJ, Minhas HM.

[Abstract unavailable] Language: Eng... (Source: SafetyLit: All (Unduplicated))


Tuesday 19 November 2013

Viscous dynamics of lyme disease and syphilis spirochetes reveal flagellar torque and drag.

Authors: Harman M, Vig DK, Radolf JD, Wolgemuth CW Abstract The spirochetes that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and syphilis (Treponema pallidum) swim through viscous fluids, such as blood and interstitial fluid, by undulating their bodies as traveling, planar waves. These undulations are driven by rotation of the flagella within the periplasmic space, the narrow (∼20-40 nm in width) compartment between the inner and outer membranes. We show here that the swimming speeds of B. burgdorferi and T. pallidum decrease with increases in viscosity of the external aqueous milieu, even though the flagella are entirely intracellular. We then use mathematical modeling to show that the measured changes in speed are consistent with the exertion of constant torque by the spiroche...


Tuesday 19 November 2013

New findings could help target the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and syphilis

(Cell Press) The bacterial pathogens that cause Lyme disease and syphilis are highly invasive. These pathogens, or spirochetes, can invade the central nervous system and, in the case of syphilis, enter the placenta, causing disease in the unborn child. In the Biophysical Journal, a Cell Press publication, researchers provide new insights into how these spirochetes penetrate tissue barriers. The findings might be used to develop new treatment strategies to help affected patients or even prevent infections. (Source: EurekAlert! - Infectious and Emerging Diseases)

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Wednesday 13 November 2013

Rituximab for tumefactive demyelination refractory to corticosteroids and plasma exchange

Case history A 38-year-old woman with no significant past medical history presented with a generalised tonic–clonic seizure. The patient was afebrile and general physical and neurological examinations were normal. MRI of the brain revealed an irregular mass in the right temporal lobe with T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) signal hyperintensity and heterogeneous enhancement after the administration of gadolinium (figure 1A–D). Laboratory investigations included normal blood count, liver enzymes, serum creatinine, angiotensin converting enzyme and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Serum serologies for lyme, syphilis, viral hepatitis, brucella and HIV were negative. Tests for antinuclear antibodies, extractable nuclear antigens, rheumatoid factor and ...


Thursday 7 November 2013

Natural killer cells and natural killer T Cells in Lyme arthritis

IntroductionNatural killer (NK) and natural killer T (NKT) cells provide a first line of defense against infection. However, these cells have not yet been examined in patients with Lyme arthritis, a late disease manifestation. Lyme arthritis usually resolves with antibiotic treatment. However, some patients have persistent arthritis after spirochetal killing, which may result from excessive inflammation, immune dysregulation and infection-induced autoimmunity. Methods: We determined the frequencies and phenotypes of NK cells and invariant NKT (iNKT) cells in paired peripheral blood (PB) and synovial fluid (SF) samples from 8 patients with antibiotic-responsive arthritis and 15 patients with antibiotic-refractory arthritis using flow cytometry and cytokine analyses. Results: In antibiotic-r...


Friday 1 November 2013

Differential expression of Ixodes ricinus salivary gland proteins in the presence of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex.

Authors: Cotté V, Sabatier L, Schnell G, Carmi-Leroy A, Rousselle JC, Arsène-Ploetze F, Malandrin L, Sertour N, Namane A, Ferquel E, Choumet V Abstract In Europe, Ixodes ricinus is the main vector of Lyme borreliosis. Their salivary glands play a critical role in the biological success of ticks. To better understand the cross-talk between Borrelia burgdorferi and tick salivary glands, we analyzed protein expression in the salivary glands of Ixodes ricinus adult ticks that were infected by various strains of the B. burgdorferi sl complex. iTRAQ allowed the identification of more than 120 proteins, providing the first proteomic data pertaining to Ixodes ricinus salivary glands. Among these proteins, only 12 were modulated in the presence of various Borrelia strains. Most of them ar...


Friday 1 November 2013

Comparison of isolation rate of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in two different culture media, MKP and BSK‐H

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Source: Clinical Microbiology and Infection)

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Wednesday 30 October 2013

Purification of a serine protease and evidence for a protein C activator from the saliva of the tick, Ixodes scapularis.

In this study, we have purified an enzyme with trypsin-like activity from the saliva of the tick vector of Lyme Disease, Ixodes scapularis. This enzyme, named as IXOSP (Ixodes scapularis salivary serine protease), is a 29.9 kDa molecule with N-terminus FPxMVxLRIKxR. A BLAST search identified IXOSP as a secreted serine protease (AAY66740) with a conserved catalytic triad His, Asp, and Ser. In vitro studies demonstrated that IXOSP cleaves chromogenic substrates with arginine in the P1 position, by a mechanism inhibited by PMSF or aprotinin. Gene expression studies revealed that IXOSP is expressed at different tick developmental stages, including eggs, and unfed or fed adult tick salivary glands, but not in nymphs or in the midgut. While the physiological substrate for IXOSP remains to be ide...


Sunday 27 October 2013

Researchers Seek Scapegoat for Lyme Disease s Startling Prevalence

The fear of ticks, and of the Lyme disease these bloodsuckers carry, is well founded: roughly 30,000 cases of Lyme are reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention every year. Because most cases go unreported, the true toll is more like 300,000, the CDC estimated in August. The new figure “confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous public health problem,” Paul Mead, the CDC's chief of Lyme epidemiology and surveillance, said at the time. [More] (Source: Scientific American - Official RSS Feed)


Monday 21 October 2013

Recurrent Lyme Disease: Old or New Infection?Recurrent Lyme Disease: Old or New Infection?

A teen presents with a second bull's-eye rash. What is going on? Medscape Pediatrics (Source: Medscape Today Headlines)


Sunday 13 October 2013

Climate change: a survivors' guide

As warnings of global climate change grow ever more dire, John Vidal offers 10 tips on how to prepare for an apocalyptic future1 Stay cool, dryBritain is expected to get more extremes of heat and rainfall, so prepare for more severe floods, longer droughts and more powerful storms. No one knows quite what the effect over time will be of a slowing Gulf stream, or the melting of arctic sea ice, but climate scientists confidently expect temperatures to rise up to 4C by 2100. That could mean big shifts in rainfall patterns and a more unpredictable climate. So clear your drains, fix your roof and move to Wales – or at least to somewhere with good water supply. The worst that could happen? Your grandchildren will inherit inexorably rising temperatures that render much of the Earth uninhab...


Thursday 10 October 2013

Inter- and intra-specific pan-genomes of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato: genome stability and adaptive radiation

Conclusions: Intra- and inter-specific pan-genome sizes of B. burgdorferi s.l. expand linearly with phylogenetic diversity. Yet gene-acquisition rates in B. burgdorferi s.l. are among the lowest in bacterial pathogens, resulting in high genome stability and few lineage-specific genes. Genome adaptation of B. burgdorferi s.l. is driven predominantly by copy-number and sequence variations of lipoprotein genes. New genomic groups are likely to emerge if the current trend of B. burgdorferi s.l. population expansion continues. (Source: BMC Genomics - Latest articles)

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Thursday 3 October 2013

A Germ Cell Tumor Masquerading as Bell Palsy

A 2-month-old girl with a germ cell tumor presented with right peripheral facial nerve palsy. Her vital signs and examination were normal except for right peripheral facial nerve palsy. Laboratory analyses revealed normal blood leukocyte count (6740/mm3), serum C-reactive protein (3 mg/L), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (20 mm/h). Viral serology, Lyme titer, and peripheral blood smear were normal. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and internal acoustic canal revealed no mass lesion (). She was diagnosed with Bell's palsy and was administered steroid treatment. (Source: Pediatric Neurology)


Monday 30 September 2013

Multi-criteria decision analysis as an innovative approach to managing zoonoses: results from a study on Lyme disease in Canada

Conclusions: MCDA was used to structure key decision criteria and capture the complexity of Lyme disease management. This facilitated the identification of gaps in the scientific literature and enabled a clear identification of complementary interventions that could be used to improve the relevance and acceptability of proposed prevention and control strategy. Overall, MCDA presents itself as an interesting systematic approach for public health planning and zoonoses management with a "One Health" perspective. (Source: BMC Public Health - Latest articles)


Friday 20 September 2013

Vaccines against diseases transmitted from animals to humans: A one health paradigm.

Authors: Monath TP Abstract This review focuses on the immunization of animals as a means of preventing human diseases (zoonoses). Three frameworks for the use of vaccines in this context are described, and examples are provided of successes and failures. Framework I vaccines are used for protection of humans and economically valuable animal, where neither plays a role in the transmission cycle. The benefit of collaborations between animal health and human health industries and regulators in developing such products is discussed, and one example (West Nile vaccine) of a single product developed for use in animals and humans is described. Framework II vaccines are indicated for domesticated animals as a means of preventing disease in both animals and humans. The agents of concern ar...


Thursday 19 September 2013

Stephen E. Malawista, Lyme Disease Researcher, Dies at 79

Dr. Malawista and his team were credited with defining an ailment that was causing distress in Connecticut.     (Source: NYT Health)


Thursday 19 September 2013

Op-Ed Contributor: Bring Back the Lyme Vaccine

How a marketing fiasco derailed an important medical development.     (Source: NYT Health)

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Wednesday 18 September 2013

Bring Back the Lyme Vaccine [OPINION]

Each year there are more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But last month, the C.D.C. announced that the real number of annual infections was closer to 300,000. Shouldn’t there be a vaccine for such a prevalent and dangerous disease? (Source: RWJF News Digest - Public Health)


Wednesday 18 September 2013

Borrelia kurtenbachii sp. nov.: A widely distributed member of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex in North America.

Authors: Margos G, Piesman J, Lane RS, Ogden NH, Sing A, Straubinger RK, Fingerle V Abstract Lyme borreliosis group spirochetes are parasitic bacteria transmitted by vector ticks of the genus Ixodes and distributed mainly between 40° and 60° northern latitude. Since Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (hereinafter, B. burgdorferi) was described in the northeastern USA during the early 1980s, an increasing diversity has been noted within the species complex. Here, we validate a new genospecies, Borrelia kurtenbachii sp. nov., that prevails in transmission cycles among vector ticks and reservoir hosts in North America. Confirmation of the presence of this species in Europe awaits further investigation. PMID: 24048870 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: International Jou...


Monday 16 September 2013

Borrelia burgdorferi BbHtrA degrades host ECM proteins and stimulates release of inflammatory cytokines in vitro

Summary The Lyme disease spirochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi, causes damage to diverse host tissues and induces inflammation but the mechanisms of injury are poorly understood. We recently reported that a surface‐exposed B. burgdorferi protease, which is expressed during human disease and is conserved within the major Lyme disease spirochaete species, degrades the extracellular matrix proteoglycan, aggrecan. Here we demonstrate that BbHtrA also degrades fibronectin and numerous proteoglycans found in skin, joints and neural tissues. BbHtrA degradation of fibronectin released known pro‐inflammatory fibronectin fragments FnIII13–14 and Fnf‐29, which may amplify the inflammatory processes triggered by the presence of the bacteria. When this hypothesis was tested directly by exposing c...


Monday 16 September 2013

Molecular detection and genetic identification of Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii from patients presenting with a rare skin manifestation of prurigo pigmentosa in Taiwan

Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence of B. garinii and B. afzelii isolated and identified in patients with PP. Whether this unusual skin lesion is a new manifestation of Lyme disease needs to be studied further. (Source: International Journal of Infectious Diseases)


Monday 9 September 2013

Juice feasting can heal Lyme disease naturally

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe. Deer ticks, which feed on the blood of animals and humans, can harbor the bacteria - Borrelia burgdorferi - and spread it when feeding. You're more likely to get Lyme disease if you live... (Source: NaturalNews.com)

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Monday 9 September 2013

[Lyme arthritis in children: A diagnostic trap.]

We report the case of an 8-year old girl with knee arthritis treated as septic arthritis in a region where Lyme disease is rare. Six days later, clinical and biological worsening suggested that the diagnosis had to be reconsidered. Lyme arthritis was confirmed by serology. Treatment was adapted and the progression was positive. This case reminds us that, in children, Lyme arthritis may look alike septic arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and must be considered as a possible diagnosis, even in low-incidence areas. PMID: 24028811 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Archives de Pediatrie)


Friday 6 September 2013

B. burgdorferi PUR Domain Protein [Gene Regulation]

The PUR domain is a nucleic acid-binding motif found in critical regulatory proteins of higher eukaryotes and in certain species of bacteria. During investigations into mechanisms by which the Lyme disease spirochete controls synthesis of its Erp surface proteins, it was discovered that the borrelial PUR domain protein, Bpur, binds with high affinity to double-stranded DNA adjacent to the erp transcriptional promoter. Bpur was found to enhance the effects of the erp repressor protein, BpaB. Bpur also bound single-stranded DNA and RNA, with relative affinities RNA > double-stranded DNA > single-stranded DNA. Rational site-directed mutagenesis of Bpur identified amino acid residues and domains critical for interactions with nucleic acids, and it revealed that the PUR domain has a distinct me...


Friday 6 September 2013

Distinctive Immunoglobulin VH Gene Features of Cutaneous Marginal Zone Lymphomas in Asian Cases

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (Source: British Journal of Dermatology)


Tuesday 3 September 2013

Don’t Get Ticked Off Over Chronic Lyme Disease

An empathic health care provider will need to explain the problems with the theory of chronic Lyme disease, and do what should be done whenever a patient comes in for the evaluation of chronic pain and fatigue: provide support, embark on a thorough medical evaluation, and gently advise them that the proffering of cures when there are none can be dangerous.read more (Source: Psychology Today Depression Center)


Tuesday 3 September 2013

Borrelia burgdorferi HtrA May Promote Dissemination and Irritation

(Source: Molecular Microbiology)


Tuesday 3 September 2013

Borrelia burgdorferi HtrA May Promotes Dissemination and Irritation

(Source: Molecular Microbiology)

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Friday 30 August 2013

Two years of hell with Lyme

For most people it starts with a telltale, bulls-eye rash and flu-like symptoms. But what if you never get the rash? What if you blow off your symptoms as a bad case of the flu? (Source: CNN.com - Health)


Friday 30 August 2013

Prevalence of borreliosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and Dirofilaria immitis in dogs and vectors in Voronezh Reserve (Russia).

Authors: Volgina NS, Romashov BV, Romashova NB, Shtannikov AV Abstract Most of the dogs studied for the prevalence of CVBD have previously received acaricidal and insecticidal treatments. In the present work, a very specific population of dogs (Group 1) that had never been treated against ticks and mosquitoes was studied. Moreover, the territory occupied by this population has also never been treated, because it is a protected area - Voronezh Natural Reserve. Canine patients from veterinary clinics (Group 2) that had been treated against VBD vectors were studied for comparison. Eighty-two dogs (Group 1) were enrolled in June, 2008. Blood samples were tested using the IDEXX SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) test. A specific heartworm antigen was detected in 12.2% samples. The seroprevalence for Anap...


Friday 30 August 2013

BBA70 Is a Potent Plasminogen-binding Protein [Microbiology]

The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi lacks endogenous, surface-exposed proteases. In order to efficiently disseminate throughout the host and penetrate tissue barriers, borreliae rely on recruitment of host proteases, such as plasmin(ogen). Here we report the identification of a novel plasminogen-binding protein, BBA70. Binding of plasminogen is dose-dependent and is affected by ionic strength. The BBA70-plasminogen interaction is mediated by lysine residues, primarily located in a putative C-terminal α-helix of BBA70. These lysine residues appear to interact with the lysine-binding sites in plasminogen kringle domain 4 because a deletion mutant of plasminogen lacking that domain was unable to bind to BBA70. Bound to BBA70, plasminogen activated by urokinase-type plasminogen a...


Thursday 29 August 2013

Untreated Lyme disease: 2 years of hell

For most people it starts with a telltale, bulls-eye rash and flu-like symptoms. But what if you never get the rash? What if you blow off your symptoms as a bad case of the flu? (Source: CNN.com - Health)

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Thursday 29 August 2013

Differential Diagnosis and the Suspension of Judgment.

Authors: Kennedy AG Abstract In this paper I argue that ethics and evidence are intricately intertwined within the clinical practice of differential diagnosis. Too often, when a disease is difficult to diagnose, a physician will dismiss it as being "not real" or "all in the patient's head." This is both an ethical and an evidential problem. In the paper my aim is two-fold. First, via the examination of two case studies (late-stage Lyme disease and Addison's disease), I try to elucidate why this kind of dismissal takes place. Then, I propose a potential solution to the problem. I argue that instead of dismissing a patient's illness as "not real," physicians ought to exercise a compassionate suspension of judgment when a diagnosis cannot be immediately made. I argue that suspending j...


Wednesday 28 August 2013

Borrelia burgdorferi BbHtrA degrades host ECM proteins and stimulates release of inflammatory cytokines in vitro

Summary The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, causes damage to diverse host tissues and induces inflammation but the mechanisms of injury are poorly understood. We recently reported that a surface‐exposed B. burgdorferi protease, which is expressed during human disease and is conserved within the major Lyme disease spirochete species, degrades the extracellular matrix proteoglycan, aggrecan. Here we demonstrate that BbHtrA also degrades fibronectin and numerous proteoglycans found in skin, joints and neural tissues. BbHtrA degradation of fibronectin released known pro‐inflammatory fibronectin fragments FnIII13‐14 and Fnf‐29 which may amplify the inflammatory processes triggered by the presence of the bacteria. When this hypothesis was tested directly by exposing chondr...


Tuesday 27 August 2013

Rise in Diagnoses of Lyme Disease

New preliminary reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year—an estimate ten times higher than the yearly reported number of 30,000. These estimates are based on results from three ongoing studies by the CDC that use various methods to define the average number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease. From the CDC brief: The first project analyzes medical claims information for approximately 22 million insured people annually for six years, the second project is based on a survey of clinical laboratories and the third project analyzes self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public. The high number of Americans diagnosed with this disease highlights the need for awaren...


Tuesday 27 August 2013

Americans Diagnosed With Lyme Disease Annually

CDC Estimates Americans Diagnosed With Lyme Disease Annually (Source: eMedicineHealth.com)


Tuesday 27 August 2013

Tomography captures flagellar assembly in cells [Microbiology]

In this study, we genetically trapped intermediates in flagellar assembly and determined the 3D structures of the intermediates to 4-nm resolution by cryoelectron tomography. We provide structural evidence that secretion... (Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

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Monday 26 August 2013

Imugen develops deer tick-borne blood test to detect infection

Norwood-based Imugen Inc., a clinical laboratory specializing in specimen testing of tick-borne disease, has launched a new blood test designed to detect the presence of the deer tick-borne bacteria, Borrelia miyamotoi. Miyamotoi is recognized as the fourth deer tick-borne infection along side Lyme disease, Babesia and Anaplasma. In an interview with Mass High Tech, Imugen’s medical director and rheumatologist at Jordan Hospital, Dr. Philip J. Molloy said Borrelia miyamotoi, a spirochete bacteria… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Hospitals headlines)


Monday 26 August 2013

Lyme Disease Skyrockets

Public Health: Some 300,000 cases of tick-borne illness occur each year in the U.S., 10 times previous estimates (Source: Chemical and Engineering News)


Friday 23 August 2013

Lyme Disease is in the News

. To learn more, visit the MedlinePlus Lyme Disease health topic page. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick... (Source: What's New on MedlinePlus)


Wednesday 21 August 2013

Lyme disease common in U.S.

The blacklegged ticks are out, and they're infecting hundreds of thousands of Americans each year with a bacterial illness. (Source: CNN.com - Health)


Wednesday 21 August 2013

CDC: Lyme disease more common than we thought

The blacklegged ticks are out, and they're infecting hundreds of thousands of Americans with a bacterial illness -- more often than experts previously thought. (Source: WDSU.com - Health)

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Wednesday 21 August 2013

Lyme disease in the US is '10-times underreported'

The number of Lyme disease cases diagnosed in the US every year is around 300,000, according to new figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number is about 10 times higher than the number officially reported. CDC officials presented their new preliminary estimates in Boston on Sunday at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the US, where every year the CDC receives reports on 30,000 cases... (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)


Tuesday 20 August 2013

CDC: Lyme disease more common than we thought

The blacklegged ticks are out, and they're infecting hundreds of thousands of Americans each year with a bacterial illness. (Source: CNN.com - Health)


Tuesday 20 August 2013

CDC: Why Is Lyme Disease Activity So Much Higher Than Predicted?

Upwards of 300,000 people may be affected by Lyme disease each year – 10 times more than previously estimated. (Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News)


Tuesday 20 August 2013

U.S. Lyme Disease Cases Vastly Underreported: CDC

Title: U.S. Lyme Disease Cases Vastly Underreported: CDCCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/19/2013 12:35:00 PMLast Editorial Review: 8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM (Source: MedicineNet Hepatitis C General)


Tuesday 20 August 2013

New Tick-Borne Illness Being Diagnosed In Mass.

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Tuesday 20 August 2013

An Estimated 300,000 Americans Diagnosed with Lyme Disease Each Year (FREE)

By the Editors Over 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, but the actual number of annual cases is roughly … (Source: Physician's First Watch current issue)


Tuesday 20 August 2013

Actual U.S. Lyme disease about 300,000 cases a year

ATLANTA, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Each year, more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to federal health officials, but U.S. researchers say the actual number is closer to 300,000. (Source: Health News - UPI.com)


Monday 19 August 2013

Video: Sequester cutting 57k kids out of Head Start

The CBS News Roundup: The White House says it continues to 'evaluate' the situation in Egypt, refusing once again to call the military takeover there a "coup"; Lyme disease is ten times more common than previously thought; Sequestration budget cuts will force more than 57,000 children out of Head Start -- all this and more. Nick Dietz reports on the news you need to know. (Source: Health News: CBSNews.com)


Monday 19 August 2013

Lyme Disease Far More Common Than Previously Known

Fewer than 30,000 cases of the tick-borne illness are reported each year. But the CDC says surveys of labs that test for the disease, six years of insurance claims and other surveillance methods suggest that the number of infections is actually ten times higher.» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us (Source: NPR Health and Science)


Monday 19 August 2013

New Lyme Culture Test Failed CDC AnalysisNew Lyme Culture Test Failed CDC Analysis

Most 'positive' patient samples reported were contaminated by laboratory strains used to develop the test method and were likely false-positives. Medscape Medical News (Source: Medscape Today Headlines)

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Monday 19 August 2013

Video: CDC: Lyme disease rates 10 times higher than previously reported

New Lyme disease numbers from gov't health officials show about 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with the tick-borne illness each year. Jericka Duncan reports. (Source: Health News: CBSNews.com)


Monday 19 August 2013

CDC: Lyme disease rates 10 times higher than previously reported

Typically up to 30,000 Lyme disease cases reported to CDC each year, but new report finds number closer to 300,000 infected (Source: Health News: CBSNews.com)


Monday 19 August 2013

Lyme Disease Cases 10 Times Higher Than Previously Reported

ATLANTA (AP) — Lyme disease is about 10 times more common than previously reported, health officials said Monday. As many as 300,000 Americans are actually diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced. Read: CDC report Usually, only 20,000 to 30,000 illnesses are reported each year. For many years, CDC officials have known that many doctors don’t report every case and that the true count was probably much higher. The new figure is the CDC’s most comprehensive attempt at a better estimate. The number comes from a survey of seven national laboratories, a national patient survey and a review of insurance information. “It’s giving us a fuller picture and it’s not a pleasing one,” said Dr. Paul Mead, who o...


Monday 19 August 2013

CDC Provides Estimate of Americans Diagnosed with Lyme Disease Each Year

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Related MedlinePlus Page: Lyme Disease (Source: MedlinePlus Health News)


Monday 19 August 2013

Lyme Disease Far More Common than Previously Known

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 300,000 Americans are getting Lyme disease every year, and the toll is growing. (Source: RWJF News Digest - Public Health)

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Friday 16 August 2013

Ixodes ricinus abundance and its infection with the tick-borne pathogens in urban and suburban areas of Eastern Slovakia

We investigated the occurrence and seasonal activity of Ixodes ricinus ticks in correlation with microclimatic factors. The risk of infection with the tick-borne bacterial agents (Borrelia, Anaplasma and Neoehrlichia was confronted with the reported Lyme borreliosis cases in the studied areas of Slovakia. Image: Questing Ixodes ricinus female. (Source: Parasites and Vectors)


Wednesday 14 August 2013

Diagnostic value of cytokines and chemokines in Lyme neuroborreliosis.

Authors: Cerar T, Ogrinc K, Lotric-Furlan S, Kobal J, Levicnik-Stezinar S, Strle F, Ruzic-Sabljic E Abstract The aim of the present study was to assess concentrations of different cytokines and chemokines in serum and CSF of patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis, and to identify possible marker(s) that would enable distinction between clinically evident and suspected Lyme neuroborreliosis as well as between Lyme neuroborreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Our additional interest was to evaluate relationship between cytokine/chemokine concentrations and B. burgdorferi sensu lato isolation from CSF as well as intrathecal synthesis of specific borrelial antibodies.We found that higher concentrations of CXCL 13 and lower concentrations of IL-10 in sera were associated with higher...


Wednesday 14 August 2013

Evaluation of Recombinant Protein TpF1 of Treponema pallidum for Serodiagnosis of Syphilis.

Authors: Jiang C, Zhao F, Xiao J, Zeng T, Yu J, Ma X, Wu H, Wu Y Abstract Syphilis is a chronic infection caused by Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, and the diagnosis of syphilis with sensitive and specific methods is challenging and important for the prevention and treatment of syphilis. In present study, we established a recombinant protein TpF1-based indirect immunoglobulin G (IgG) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot assay for human and rabbit sera. The 20-kDa recombinant protein TpF1 was detected by Western blotting probed with sera from rabbits immunized with recombinant TpF1 and infected with T.pallidum Nichols strain and T.pallidum clinical isolates, but was not detected probed with sera from uninfected rabbits. The sensitivity of the recombinant pr...


Saturday 10 August 2013

Assessment of Transcriptional Activity of Borrelia burgdorferi and Host Cytokine Genes During Early and Late Infection in a Mouse Model

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases , Vol. 0, No. 0. (Source: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases)


Thursday 1 August 2013

Phthriasis palpebrarum can resemble tick larva infestation in an eyelid

We present a case of phthiriasis palpebrarum in a 4-year-old boy. (Source: Journal of AAPOS)

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Tuesday 30 July 2013

Delayed diagnosis of lyme neuroborreliosis presenting with abducens neuropathy without intrathecal synthesis of borrelia antibodies.

We report a case of possible Lyme neuroborreliosis presenting with sixth cranial nerve neuropathy at the onset of the disease further developing into typical meningoradiculitis and multiple mononeuropathy. Surprisingly, Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies were not detected in the cerebrospinal fluid. PMID: 23888345 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Medicina (Kaunas))


Tuesday 30 July 2013

Lyme Disease DebateLyme Disease Debate

This new article gives an overview of how Lyme disease was discovered, and describes how it has become one of the most common vectorborne infections in North America and how it affects humans.  Environmental Health Perspectives (Source: Medscape Today Headlines)


Monday 29 July 2013

Potential Misdiagnoses of Bell's Palsy in the Emergency Department

Conclusion: Emergency providers have a very low rate of misdiagnosing Bell's palsy. The association between imaging use and misdiagnosis is likely confounded by patient acuity. Increasing age and diabetes are modest risk factors for misdiagnosis. (Source: Annals of Emergency Medicine)


Friday 26 July 2013

The Reply

Miller's letter further illustrates the misconceptions about Lyme disease. The assertion that Lyme “ELISA [enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay] tests are intrinsically unreliable” is inaccurate. In the majority of patients with very early Borrelia burgdorferi infection, typically an erythema migrans, antibody is undetectable; such patients should be treated without testing. Serologic testing also may be negative in occasional patients with other early manifestations, such as facial nerve palsy. Here a convalescent titer will almost always be positive, just as in other diseases. With these few specific exceptions, related to the normal temporal evolution of the immune response, false negatives are extremely rare. In fact, false positives are a greater problem, particularly with ELISAs, i...


Friday 26 July 2013

Chronic Lyme Disease: Liberation from Lyme Denialism

The Review article by Halperin et al concerning Lyme disease “misconceptions” is the latest in a series of Lyme denialist attacks by members and supporters of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). This series of copycat opinion pieces is disturbing from both a scientific and political perspective because the articles frame the complex debate over chronic Lyme disease in terms of “evidence-based medicine” on the one hand, versus “antiscience” on the other. Furthermore, the latest Lyme denialist attacks appear to be a concerted effort to offset recent political action aimed at helping the scores of untreated, undertreated, and mistreated Lyme disease patients around the globe. (Source: The American Journal of Medicine)

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Friday 26 July 2013

Alternative Considerations for “Common Misconceptions About Lyme Disease”

Alternative considerations are presented for the article “Common Misconceptions About Lyme Disease.” Are serology tests for Lyme disease reliable? Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays may provide false-negative results not only because of the time delay for the patient's immune system to produce the antibodies but also because the various enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays are intrinsically unreliable. (Source: The American Journal of Medicine)


Friday 26 July 2013

[Articles] Safety and immunogenicity of a novel multivalent OspA vaccine against Lyme borreliosis in healthy adults: a double-blind, randomised, dose-escalation phase 1/2 trial

The novel multivalent OspA vaccine could be an effective intervention for prevention of Lyme borreliosis in Europe and the USA, and possibly worldwide. Larger confirmatory formulation studies will need to be done that include individuals seropositive for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato before placebo-controlled phase 3 efficacy studies can begin. (Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases)


Friday 26 July 2013

[Comment] Lyme disease vaccination: are we ready to try again?

Borrelia burgdorferi—the spirochete that causes Lyme disease—was first identified in 1981. By 1983, it was known that most patients with Lyme disease have antibodies to a 31 kD protein that would come to be known as outer surface protein A (OspA). Antibodies against OspA were shown to protect laboratory animals against experimental infection with B burgdorferi. Research in the 1990s According to several models, the vaccine was cost effective for individuals at high risk of infection. However, in early 2002, LYMErix was voluntarily withdrawn from the market, merely 38 months after its approval. (Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases)


Monday 22 July 2013

Borrelia burgdorferi Oxidative Stress Regulator BosR Directly Represses Lipoproteins Primarily Expressed in the Tick during Mammalian Infection

Summary Differential gene expression is a key strategy adopted by the Lyme disease spirochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi, for adaptation and survival in the mammalian host and the tick vector. Many B. burgdorferi surface lipoproteins fall into two distinct groups according to their expression patterns: one group primarily expressed in the tick and the other group primarily expressed in the mammal. Here, we show that the Fur homologue in this bacterium, also known as Borrelia oxidative stress regulator (BosR), is required for repression of outer surface protein A (OspA) and OspD in the mammal. Furthermore, BosR binds directly to sequences upstream of the ospAB operon and the ospD gene through recognition of palindromic motifs similar to those recognized by other Fur homologues but with a 1‐bp...

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Friday 19 July 2013

Illuminating the roles of the Borrelia burgdorferi adhesins.

Authors: Coburn J, Leong J, Chaconas G Abstract The Lyme disease spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), must cause persistent, disseminated infection to be maintained in the natural enzootic cycle. In human Lyme disease, spirochetes spread from the site of a tick bite to colonize multiple tissue sites, causing multisystem clinical manifestations. The Lyme spirochetes produce many adhesive surface proteins that collectively recognize diverse host substrates and cell types and are likely to promote dissemination and chronic infection in a variety of tissues. Recent application of state-of-the-art in vivo imaging technologies is illuminating mechanisms of interaction of B. burgdorferi with the host and the importance of multiple adhesins during mammalian infection. PMID: ...


Thursday 18 July 2013

How Do Tick-Borne Diseases Evade The Tick's Immune System?

Ticks, blood-sucking arthropods that occur across the world, can transmit viruses, bacteria, and protozoa that threaten the health of their vertebrate hosts. Dangerous diseases transmitted by ticks include Lyme disease, which attacks humans in Europe and the USA and is caused by Borrellia bacteria; babesiosis, caused by the protozoan Babesia (a relative of the malaria parasite) that infects pets, cattle, and sometimes humans; and anaplasmosis, caused by the Anaplasma bacterium, which can have serious effects on cattle... (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)


Thursday 18 July 2013

The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi induces inflammation and apoptosis in cells from dorsal root ganglia

Conclusion: In this model, B. burgdorferi induced an inflammatory response and neuronal apoptosis of DRG. These pathophysiological processes could contribute to peripheral neuropathy in LNB. (Source: Journal of Neuroinflammation)


Thursday 18 July 2013

Cyclosporiasis Outbreaks

It's summertime. We are supposed to get a break from getting sick this time of year, right? While that is mostly true, as we don't usually have any big outbreaks like we do during cold and flu season, it does seem like there is always something going around during the summer. This includes diseases  like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (tick-borne diseases), West Nile virus infections (from mosquitoes), and many viral infections that are more common during the summer months....Read Full Post (Source: About.com Pediatrics)


Thursday 18 July 2013

How to stay safe during bug season

Welcome to bug season, when mosquitoes, ticks and other creepy crawlers make even the bravest mom hesitant to let her kids go outside. Not only are insects annoying, they can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. (Source: WDSU.com - Health)

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Wednesday 17 July 2013

Startle Myoclonus Induced by Lyme NeuroborreliosisStartle Myoclonus Induced by Lyme Neuroborreliosis

Lyme neuroborreliosis can present in many unusual ways, but this patient may be the first to present with an exaggerated startle reflex. Journal of Medical Case Reports (Source: Medscape Today Headlines)


Wednesday 17 July 2013

Encephalitis In New York State And Black-Legged Ticks Linked

The number of tick-borne illnesses reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the rise. Lyme disease leads the pack, with some 35,000 cases reported annually. In the Northeast, the black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) that spread Lyme disease also infect people with other maladies, among them anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and - as a new paper in the journal Parasites and Vectors reports - Powassan encephalitis. Powassan encephalitis is caused by Powassan virus and its variant, deer tick virus... (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)


Tuesday 16 July 2013

Selection of Neighborhood Controls for a Population-Based Lyme Disease Case-Control Study by Using a Commercial Marketing Database

This report describes the utility of the InfoUSA.com (InfoGroup, Papillion, Nebraska) commercial marketing database for neighborhood control recruitment in a Lyme disease case-control study in Connecticut during 2005–2007. (Source: American Journal of Epidemiology)


Monday 15 July 2013

Letters: Pets and Lyme Disease (1 Letter)

A letter to the Editor.     (Source: NYT Health)


Monday 15 July 2013

Black-legged ticks linked to encephalitis in New York state

(Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies) Ostfeld concludes: "When patients present with encephalitis symptoms in areas with high levels of Lyme disease, especially during the summer, physicians need to consider Powassan encephalitis. While rare, it's associated with significant complications. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral therapy, the best strategy remains prevention." (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)

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Friday 12 July 2013

The Disease That Looks Like Lyme--But Isn't

A newly identified disease spread by deer ticks may be among one of the new summer illnesses to be on the lookout for if you spend time outside in the Northeast and upper Midwest. The disease is referred to as Borriela miyamotoi. (Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News)


Thursday 11 July 2013

Lyme disease or a complication of delusional parasitosis?

Authors: Brakoulias V PMID: 23847121 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry)


Wednesday 10 July 2013

Structure of an atypical periplasmic adaptor from a multidrug efflux pump of the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi

Highlights: Abstract: Periplasmic adaptor proteins are essential components of bacterial tripartite multidrug efflux pumps. Here we report the 2.35Å resolution crystal structure of the BesA adaptor from the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi solved using selenomethionine derivatized protein. BesA shows the archetypal linear, flexible, multi-domain architecture evident among proteobacteria and retains the lipoyl, β-barrel and membrane-proximal domains that interact with the periplasmic domains of the inner membrane transporter. However, it lacks the α-hairpin domain shown to establish extensive coiled-coil interactions with the periplasmic entrance helices of the outer membrane-anchored TolC exit duct. This has implications for the modelling of assembled tripartite efflux pumps. (Source: FE...


Tuesday 9 July 2013

Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato prevalence in tick populations in Estonia

This study is the first survey of the presence, the prevalence and the genetic characteristics of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks in Estonia. Image: Lyme Borreliosis incidence rate per 100 000 population in Estonia 2000 ? 2012. (Source: Parasites and Vectors)


Tuesday 9 July 2013

Borrelia bavariensis sp. nov. is widely distributed in Europe and Asia.

Authors: Margos G, Wilske B, Sing A, Hizo-Teufel C, Cao WC, Chu C, Scholz H, Straubinger RK, Fingerle V Abstract Since the original description of Borrelia bavariensis sp. nov. in 2009, additional samples available from humans and ticks from Europe and Mongolia, respectively, have been used to further characterize Borrelia strains belonging to this group of spirochetes that utilize rodents as reservoir hosts. These investigations suggested the presence of related strains in Europe and Asia and confirmed their status as a distinct species. Furthermore, samples that were investigated by researchers from China and Japan confirm the ecological relationship of members of this proposed species with rodents and suggest that it has a wide distribution in Eurasia. Here, we use phylogenetic ...

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Monday 8 July 2013

Well: When Lyme Disease Lasts and Lasts

Often misdiagnosed and mistreated, chronic Lyme disease leaves thousands of people physically and mentally debilitated and without a medically established recourse.     (Source: NYT Health)


Monday 8 July 2013

Personal Health: When Lyme Disease Lasts and Lasts

Often misdiagnosed and mistreated, chronic Lyme disease leaves thousands of people physically and mentally debilitated and without a medically established recourse.     (Source: NYT Health)


Friday 5 July 2013

Keeping Bugs Away: 5 Things You Need To Know

The other day, as dusk fell on an afternoon outdoor party, my kids started swatting and itching. Oh, that’s right, I thought: it’s mosquito season. I remembered hearing about West Nile virus being found in some mosquitoes and kicked myself for not bringing bug spray. At the same party, a friend showed me a rash on her son’s leg. By the next day, it had turned into a classic Lyme disease rash. Definitely bug season. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get smart about preventing mosquito and tick bites. Here’s what you need to know: 1. The best protection against both mosquitoes and ticks is DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). This stuff really works (the smell of it keeps the bugs away). The higher the percentage of DEET, the longer it works: 10 percent works for a coup...


Tuesday 2 July 2013

Spillover Of Infectious Diseases Among Wildlife, Domestic Animals And People; Links Found Between Environment And Human Health

West Nile virus, Lyme disease and hantavirus. All are infectious diseases spreading in animals and in people. Is human interaction with the environment somehow responsible for the increase in these diseases? The ecology and evolution of infectious diseases will be highlighted at two symposia at the Ecological Society of America's annual meeting, held from Aug. 5-9 in Minneapolis, Minn. One symposium will address human influences on viral and bacterial diseases through alteration of landscapes and ecological processes... (Source: Health News from Medical News Today)


Tuesday 2 July 2013

Borrelia miyamotoi Infection Presenting as Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis: A Case Report.

CONCLUSION: The presence of B. miyamotoi DNA in the peripheral blood and the patients' eventual therapeutic response to doxycycline are consistent with the hypothesis that their illness was due to this newly recognized spirochete. Samples from tick-exposed patients acutely presenting with signs of HGA but who have a delayed response to doxycycline therapy or negative confirmatory test results for HGA should be analyzed carefully for evidence of B. miyamotoi infection. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: National Institutes of Health and the Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation. PMID: 23817701 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Annals of Internal Medicine)

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Monday 1 July 2013

Ten hyped highs, the poison squad, and Lyme disease: Weekly Web Review in Toxicology

Thefix.com interviews medical toxicologist Dr. Jeff Lapoint for a “Straight look at 10 Hyped Highs.” Topics include salvia, methoxetamine (“Mexxy”), Benzo Fury (6-APB), kratom, and Bromo Dragonfly. Worth reading. At Esquire, Bruce Watson writes about “The Poison Squad: An Incredible HIstory.” This piece tells the story of a project, run by Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley in the very early years of the twentieth century, to investigate the potential health hazards of various food additives. Officially called the “hygienic table trials”, the were quickly— and more accurately — dubbed the “poison squad”. Volunteers were fed increasings amounts of additives such as borax, sulfuric acid, saltpeter, formaldehyde, and copper sulfate. Wi...


Monday 1 July 2013

Does high biodiversity reduce the risk of Lyme disease invasion?

In a zone of Lyme disease emergence, host biodiversity did not inhibit Ixodes scapularis tick invasion by the 'dilution effect', but there was evidence for wider community biodiversity to be inhibiting tick invasion. Image: Ixodes scapularis larvae feeding on the ear of a Peromyscus leucopus mouse. (Source: Parasites and Vectors)


Monday 1 July 2013

Atypical Location of Lymphocytoma Cutis in a Child

Abstract Lyme borreliosis is a common infectious disease that can affect myocardial muscle or the central nervous system if not treated at an early stage. Here we report a unique case of an atypical location of lymphocytoma cutis in a 3‐year‐old boy. Histologic and immunohistochemical analysis revealed the correct diagnosis. (Source: Pediatric Dermatology)


Monday 1 July 2013

Optimization of Pulse-Field Gel Electrophoresis for Borrelia burgdorferi Subtyping.

CONCLUSION: PFGE can be used as a valuable test for routine genospecies identification of B. burgdorferi. PMID: 23895704 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Biomedical and Environmental Sciences : BES)


Saturday 29 June 2013

Tick Safety Tips for Kids at Summer Camp

Experts describe steps to prevent Lyme disease, other illnesses Source: HealthDay Related MedlinePlus Pages: Children's Health, Tick Bites (Source: MedlinePlus Health News)

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Friday 28 June 2013

Interplay of ecology, infectious disease, wildlife and human health featured at annual conference

(National Science Foundation) West Nile virus, Lyme disease and hantavirus. All are infectious diseases spreading in animals and in people. Is human interaction with the environment somehow responsible for the increase in these diseases? (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)


Friday 28 June 2013

Molecular Basis of Borrelia Immune Evasion [Protein Structure and Folding]

Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes that cause Lyme borreliosis survive for a long time in human serum because they successfully evade the complement system, an important arm of innate immunity. The outer surface protein E (OspE) of B. burgdorferi is needed for this because it recruits complement regulator factor H (FH) onto the bacterial surface to evade complement-mediated cell lysis. To understand this process at the molecular level, we used a structural approach. First, we solved the solution structure of OspE by NMR, revealing a fold that has not been seen before in proteins involved in complement regulation. Next, we solved the x-ray structure of the complex between OspE and the FH C-terminal domains 19 and 20 (FH19-20) at 2.83 Å resolution. The structure shows that OspE binds FH19-20 ...


Thursday 27 June 2013

Dynamic interplay of ecology, infectious disease, and human life

(Ecological Society of America) Two symposia focusing on the ecological dynamics of infectious diseases such as avian influenza, Yellow Fever, and Lyme will take place during the Ecological Society of America's 98th Annual Meeting, held this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One will look at human influences on viral and bacterial diseases through our alteration of landscapes and ecological processes, while the other will focus on the emerging field of eco-epidemiology that seeks to integrate biomedical and ecological research approaches to address human health threats. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)


Wednesday 26 June 2013

'The Lyme Wars' That Tiny Ticks Have Wrought

Since Lyme disease was first identified in the late 1970s, it has become the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the country. Journalist Michael Specter talks about his New Yorker article on the disease and its controversial history.» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us (Source: NPR Health and Science)


Wednesday 26 June 2013

Protect Yourself against Tick-Borne Disease

Source: Food and Drug Administration Related MedlinePlus Pages: Lyme Disease, Tick Bites (Source: MedlinePlus Health News)

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Wednesday 26 June 2013

Protect Yourself Against Tick-Borne Disease

The best known tick-borne diseases in the U.S. are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever, but scientists at the Food and Drug Administration found an increasing number of cases of babesiosis, a serious disease caused by a parasite carried by the same ticks that carry Lyme disease. Learn about these diseases and how to avoid them. (Source: FDA Consumer Updates)


Monday 24 June 2013

Dynamics of connective-tissue localization during chronic Borrelia burgdorferi infection

Authors: Denise M Imai, Sunlian Feng, Emir Hodzic & Stephen W Barthold (Source: Laboratory Investigation AOP)


Thursday 20 June 2013

Spatial and seasonal variation in the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks in Norway

Prevalence of LBS was higher in adult female ticks (21.6%) compared to adult male ticks (11.5%) and nymphs (10.9%), while prevalence of A. phagocytophilum was 8.8%. Prevalence of both bacteria was much higher in May compared to August. Image: Adult female Ixodes ricinus. (Source: Parasites and Vectors)


Wednesday 19 June 2013

A call to order at the spirochaetal host–pathogen interface

Summary As the Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi shuttles back and forth between arthropod vector and vertebrate host, it encounters vastly different and hostile environments. Major mechanisms contributing to the success of this pathogen throughout this complex transmission cycle are phase and antigenic variation of abundant and serotype‐defining surface lipoproteins. These peripherally membrane‐anchored virulence factors mediate niche‐specific interactions with vector/host factors and protect the spirochaete from the perils of the mammalian immune response. In this issue of Molecular Microbiology, Tilly, Bestor and Rosa redefine the roles of two lipoproteins, OspC and VlsE, during mammalian infection. Using a variety of promoter fusions in combination with a sensitive in...


Monday 17 June 2013

Mother diagnosed with MS and facing life in a wheelchair is cured - after she discovered her symptoms were due to a TICK BITE

After years of expensive drug therapy and injections for MS, a simple course of antibiotics has cleared Julia Marshall-Wessendorf, 37, from Bath, of all her symptoms. She believes she was suffering from Lyme disease. (Source: the Mail online | Health)

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Sunday 16 June 2013

Durham Veterinarian Warns of Summer Flea and Tick Season for Pets

DURHAM, N.C., June 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham, NC is reminding pet owners about the dangers of summer flea and tick season. According to veterinarian Dr. Soren Windram, pets need medicated protection to prevent health problems including worms, flea dermatitis, and tick-borne diseases, including Lyme Disease, ehrlichia and babesia. The vet clinic is also reminding pet owners to regularly check their pets for fleas and ticks. Dr. Windram says that regular spot checks and medication are the best way to keep pets free from fleas and ticks this summer. (Source: Medical News (via PRIMEZONE))


Thursday 13 June 2013

Nanotube sensor detects Lyme disease

Transistor-based device could rival traditional immunoassays (Source: PhysicsWeb News)


Thursday 13 June 2013

Nanotube transistors detect Lyme disease

Technique could rival traditional ELISA and Western blot immunoassays. (Source: Nanotechweb.org News)


Thursday 13 June 2013

Summer's Mystery Malady

Inside the Lyme epidemic. By Pamela Weintraub (Source: Psychology Today)


Wednesday 12 June 2013

Influence of MKP medium stored for prolonged periods on growth and morphology of Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto

Modified Kelly‐Pettenkofer (MKP) medium is one of the several media used for isolation and cultivation of Borrelia. The aim of the study was to assess whether particular Borrelia species (B. afzelii, B. garinii, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto) have the ability to grow in MKP medium stored at +4 °C for periods for 1 month up to 1 year, and how prolonged storage may influences Borrelia growth and morphology. The growth of Borrelia was evaluated after 5 days of incubation at 33 °C: cell count per mL, morphology, and motility were assessed. The results of this study showed that the duration of storage of MKP medium had statistically significant influence on growth of B. afzelii (p = 0.021) and B. garinii (p = 0.004), but not on growth of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (p = 0.204...

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Tuesday 11 June 2013

Treatment Trials for Post-Lyme Disease Symptoms Revisited

Abstract: The authors of 4 National Institutes of Health–sponsored antibiotic treatment trials of patients with persistent unexplained symptoms despite previous antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease determined that retreatment provides little if any benefit and carries significant risk. Two groups recently provided an independent reassessment of these trials and concluded that prolonged courses of antibiotics are likely to be helpful. We have carefully considered the points raised by these groups, along with our own critical review of the treatment trials. On the basis of this analysis, the conclusion that there is a meaningful clinical benefit to be gained from retreatment of such patients with parenteral antibiotic therapy cannot be justified. (Source: The American Journal of Medicine)


Monday 10 June 2013

A Call to Order at the Spirochetal Host‐Pathogen Interface

Summary As the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi shuttles back and forth between arthropod vector and vertebrate host, it encounters vastly different and hostile environments. Major mechanisms contributing to the success of this pathogen throughout this complex transmission cycle are phase and antigenic variation of abundant and serotype‐defining surface lipoproteins. These peripherally membrane‐anchored virulence factors mediate niche‐specific interactions with vector/host factors and protect the spirochete from the perils of the mammalian immune response. In this issue of Molecular Microbiology, Tilly, Bestor and Rosa redefine the roles of two lipoproteins, OspC and VlsE, during mammalian infection. Using a variety of promoter fusions in combination with a sensitive in v...


Monday 10 June 2013

Lyme disease spirochaetes possess an aggrecan‐binding protease with aggrecanase activity

Summary Connective tissues are the most common area of colonization for the Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi. Colonization is aided by the interaction between numerous bacterial adhesins with components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we describe a novel interaction between B. burgdorferi and the major ECM proteoglycan found in joints, aggrecan. Using affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry we identify two borrelial aggrecan‐binding proteins: the known ECM ligand Bgp (BB0588) and an uncharacterized protease BbHtrA (BB0104). Proteinase K studies demonstrate that BbHtrA is surface exposed. Immunoblots using sera from patients with both early and late Lyme disease establish that BbHtrA is expressed during human disease, immunogenic, and conserved in the three ma...


Sunday 9 June 2013

Epidemiology of Lyme disease among workers of forest inspectorates in Poland.

Conclusions. LB occurs more frequently among foresters older in age and with longer service (45%); in the younger group - 30%. Despite knowledge on preventive methods, there is no effective preventive method for this disease. PMID: 23772586 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine : AAEM)


Sunday 9 June 2013

Association between incidence of Lyme disease and spring-early summer season temperature changes in Hungary - 1998-2010.

Authors: Trájer A, Bobvos J, Páldy A, Krisztalovics K Abstract The increase of Lyme borreliosis (LB) can be expected due to climate change, while the distribution of the disease and annual activity of the vector and host animals depend on several factors of the environment. The presented study aimed to assess expressly the spring season temperature dependence on the incidence of LB in Hungary. The weekly LB data were obtained from the National Epidemiologic and Surveillance System for a period of 13 years - 1998-2010. Daily temperature data were derived from the European Climate Assessment and Dataset. The association was studied at national level, descriptive statistics and linear regression models were applied. A significant increasing trend was observed in the mean temperature...

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Friday 7 June 2013

Straw men don't get Lyme disease: response to Wood and Lafferty.

Authors: Ostfeld RS, Keesing F PMID: 23747005 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Ecology and Evolution)


Tuesday 4 June 2013

The Dos and Don'ts of Summer Fun

The school year may be almost over, but that doesn’t mean you should adopt a school’s-out attitude when it comes to your health. Regardless of your plans, heed these simple dos and don’ts to ensure you get a passing grade. At the Park DO outsmart the bugs. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing—you’ll be less attractive to bees, which like bright colors. Light colors also make it easier to spot ticks. If you’re planning to be outside for an extended time, spray your clothes, not your skin, with a bug repellent that contains DEET. If you are stung or plagued with insect bites, ice the swollen area, says Meredith Barbour, MD, a family physician at Duke Primary Care Brier Creek. An over-the-counter antihistamine will help reduce the swelling and the itching. DON’T ignore your...


Monday 3 June 2013

An insect bite on holiday put Sarah in a wheelchair. Africa? India? No, right here in Britain...

On a walking holiday in the UK, Sarah Bignell caught Lyme disease, an illness that caused her so much pain she was bedridden for weeks. (Source: the Mail online | Health)


Saturday 1 June 2013

Lyme Disease: From Early Localized Disease to Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome

This article provides nurse practitioners with the necessary information to diagnose and treat patients with Lyme disease, from early infection to post-Lyme disease syndrome. (Source: The Journal for Nurse Practitioners)