First report of Lyme disease causing mitral valve endocarditis

operating room
There have been multiple reports documenting cardiac manifestations of Lyme disease, including Lyme carditis, Lyme endocarditis and atrioventricular block. But valve problems caused by B. burgdorferi are rare. In a recent article “Lyme Disease-An Unusual Cause of a Mitral Valve Endocarditis,” Fatima and colleagues describe what they believe to be the “first documented case of mitral valve endocarditis [caused] by B. burgdorferi in North America.” [1]

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How the incidence of an EM rash can be inflated

The incidence of an erythema migrans (EM) rash, a definitive sign of Lyme disease, has been touted by Shapiro and Wormser as occurring in at least 90% of patients. Their claim is published in a recent letter to the editor in JAMA. [1] So, how did they reach this conclusion? The answer lies in the two studies they cite. [2,3]

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A case of Lyme carditis in Mexico

Mexico, flag
The medical literature typically describes Lyme carditis cases occurring in the Northeastern USA. But a recent article in the Journal of Electrocardiology features the case of a 23-year-old woman with Lyme carditis from the Northeast region of Mexico.

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Elderly Lyme disease patients more likely to have unfavorable treatment outcome

elderly
There have been limited studies investigating the impact of age on the clinical course and treatment outcome for Lyme disease. Now, a European study by Borsic and colleagues examines whether age is associated with treatment response.

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Are Lyme disease prevention methods really working?

There are a growing number of measures promoted to prevent Lyme disease. Yet, the number of cases continues to grow. So, how effective are these prevention methods? To answer that question, Richardson and colleagues reviewed the literature on such recommendations. In their assessment, the authors used a modified Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.

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Year in Review: Top 10 Lyme disease blogs for 2018

This past year, Lyme Disease Science blogs have covered a wide range of topics on tick-borne illnesses with subjects ranging from atypical case presentations to new, emerging diseases to innovative tick tracking methods. 

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Lyme disease no longer fits the ‘one microbe, one disease Germ Theory’

lab, microscope, testing
Doctors typically use the one microbe, one disease Germ Theory when trying to identify diseases in their patients. Lyme disease initially fit this theory after Dr. Willy Burgdorfer discovered that a spirochete (later named Borrelia burgdorferi) was the bacterial pathogen causing Lyme disease.

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Causes for under-detection of Lyme disease in Canada

Canada, flag
Researchers in Canada describe the same struggles with under-detection of Lyme disease that are seen in the United States.  “Public health information is significantly under-detecting and under-reporting human Lyme cases across Canada,” writes Lloyd and Hawkins in the journal Healthcare. [1]

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Over 20% of Lyme disease patients remain ill after treatment

Studies have shown that as many as 34% to 62% of Lyme disease patients remain ill years after treatment. [1,2] Wormser and colleagues have proposed using the term post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) for patients who remain ill after 3 weeks of antibiotics. [3]

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Atypical symptoms of Lyme disease: numbness, paresthesia and abdominal wall weakness

hands, elderly
Doctors are beginning to consider Lyme disease as a possible diagnosis in patients who present with unusual symptoms. This case study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, features a patient with unique manifestations of Lyme disease. Physicians presented the case at neurology grand rounds at Massachusetts General Hospital. [1]

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