How to test for Lyme disease using a tick

It can be difficult to prove Lyme disease with serologic tests. So, doctors took an unusual approach with the first in-human study to identify the infection with Xenodiagnosis. Using this methodology, uninfected larval ticks fed on 23 study participants. Two of them tested positive for B. burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. [1]

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CDC advises doctors to consider Lyme disease in emerging states

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising doctors to consider Lyme disease in states where the condition is emerging, according to the authors of a recently published article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

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MS and Lyme disease patients call for more participation in clinical trials

Patient advocates have long been involved in lobbying for patient rights and providing outreach and educational awareness of their disease. In the past, “Trials were conducted on their behalf, often without incorporating the needs and views of the participants, and rarely were the results of the trials shared with the study participants,” states Smith in an article published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal. [1] But times are changing and patients' voices have grown louder as they demand more involvement in research and clinical trials.

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Depression common in Lyme disease patients

There is still reservation among some in the medical community as to whether mood disorders, such as depression, are, in fact, associated with Lyme disease. The authors of a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases explore the possible connection.

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Child with Lyme disease presenting as pseudotumor cerebri

In a letter to the editor of the Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, doctors describe the case of a 6-year-old girl with pseudotumor cerebri who was diagnosed with Lyme disease. [1] Pseudotumor cerebri is a neurologic condition that has also been called idiopathic intracranial hypertension or benign intracranial hypertension.

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Case series shows wide range of Babesia symptoms and presentations

Babesia can be a serious tick-borne illness in some patients. A case series published in the Nurse Practitioner Journal demonstrates the difficulty in diagnosing the disease, as it can cause a wide range of clinical presentations. The authors focus on five cases which occurred in southeastern New Jersey, an area endemic for Babesia. All of the patients were hospitalized.

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Case report: Lyme neuroborreliosis more common in children

In Europe, neurologic manifestations of Lyme disease are more likely to occur in children than adults. The authors of an article published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology Reports describe the case of a young boy who suffered a series of neurologic complications over several years due to Lyme disease. [1] A review of the case demonstrates the difficulties in unraveling the cause of neurologic events in patients with a history of Lyme disease.

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Persister cells still a problem for Lyme disease patients

Bacterial persistence is not a new concept. “The term “bacterial persistence” is used to describe the ability of pathogenic bacteria (“persisters”) to survive in infected host tissues despite the presence of effective levels of antimicrobials and antibacterial cellular and humoral immunity,” writes Cabello from New York Medical College in the journal Environmental Microbiology.

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Blood donor infects premature infants with Babesia

Babesia is a parasite which infects red blood cells, causing symptoms similar to those seen with malaria. It’s typically transmitted by a tick bite but can be acquired through contaminated blood transfusions. The disease can be extremely difficult to recognize in adults. Imagine the challenge of diagnosing it in premature infants.

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European Ixodes tick found to carry Alpha Gal protein associated with red meat allergy

Studies have found an association between tick bites, specifically from the species Amblyomma americanum, also known as the Lone Star tick, and red meat allergies. “An association between tick bites, the development of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to galactose-α-1, 3-galactose (α-Gal or Alpha Gal) and red meat allergy has recently been reported,” explains the authors of an article published in PLoS One journal. [1]

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