Questions linger on the efficacy of the Lyme disease vaccine

A new study examines the efficacy of the Borrelia burgdorferi outer surface protein A (OspA) vaccine in a meta-analysis. [1]

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Ever wonder what is happening in the brain of neurologic Lyme disease patients who remain ill after treatment?

NEUROLOGIC LYME DISEASE PATIENTS
A new study, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, examined 23 of 77 patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis who suffered from ongoing illness despite treatment.

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Another Lyme Carditis Case

In their case review, Patel et al. demonstrate the involvement of mitral valve involvement and widespread conduction disease in a patient with Lyme carditis. The authors describe a 59-year-old man with 1) severe mitral regurgitation, 2) a dilated left atrium, 3) suspected ischemic disease, and 4) the presence of a combination of first-degree AV block, atrial flutter, and atrial fibrillation. Endocarditis was ruled out with culture. Ischemic disease was ruled out with right and left cardiac catheterization.

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Borrelia burgdorferi activates human astrocytes cells in culture

A study by Casselli and colleagues Borrelia burgdorferi activates human astrocytes cells in culture. Astrocytes are cells found in abundance in the central nervous system (CNS) that have been described as “key responders to CNS infection and important components of the blood-brain barrier,” according to Casselli in the Journal PLoS One.

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Questions to ask patients about Lyme disease

A growing number of patients are diagnosed with one condition only to find out that Lyme disease played a role. A recent case report on a patient with carditis did not consider Lyme disease in the discussion. An infectious disease specialist summarized the questions that should be asked when evaluating carditis patients for possible Lyme disease involvement.

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What if a pronounced TH17 cytokine response in Lyme arthritis were caused by a persistent infection?

There are some Lyme disease (LD) patients who continue to suffer from Lyme arthritis following antibiotic treatment. It has been suggested that ongoing symptoms may be due to “pronounced TH17 inflammatory responses.” [1] That is, an autoimmune response is the culprit, not the actual Borrelia infection.

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“Urban” ticks carry B. burgdorferi s.l. and B. miyamotoi

Ticks seem to be popping up everywhere. B. garinii, B. valaisiana, B. afzelii and B. miyamotoi-infected ticks have been found in urban- and peri-urban areas of southern England, according to a recently published paper in Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. [1]

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Cochrane review failed to identify a single USA trial on the neurologic complications of Lyme disease

When making treatment decisions, doctors often turn to the Cochrane review, a leading resource for systematic reviews in health care. The Cochrane review includes several trials of Lyme Neuroborreliosis (LNB), based on European studies. [1] But none on neurologic complications of Lyme disease in the USA.

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Ticks can survive a Northern winter. But can ticks survive a Southern summer?

Rhode Island Ixodes scapularis ticks survived just as well under northern and southern conditions. "Newly-emerged larvae from Rhode Island parents did not differ consistently in mortality under northern and southern conditions, possibly because of their younger age,” according to Ginsberg from the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

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Azithromycin gel fails to prevent Lyme disease

In a recent study conducted in Germany and Austria, researchers applied a 10% azithromycin gel to the site of a tick bite for 3 days. The trial was stopped early after it failed to prove that the gel worked in preventing Lyme disease (LD) for the 995 subjects. The topical treatment failed to prevent a combination of seroconversion or an EM rash in 11 (2%) of 505 individuals in the azithromycin group and 11 (2%) of 490 participants in the placebo group.

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