Essay on Lyme and Tick Borne Disease 

A friend sent me this article:

Scientists Have Developed A Shot That Could Offer Complete Protection Against Lyme Disease

https://www.bicycling.com/training/lyme-disease-protection-shot?

Unfortunately, there are two things that make this headline and subsequent article a non-starter for me. 

First, in the past five (or more years), there have been many wonderful medical innovations, “2-3 years out”, that have never been heard from again; second: “The downside, however, is that this shot would not protect from the host of other diseases that ticks carry, including powassan virus, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis.” From NIH.gov, “We report here the successful application of MLVA for strain discrimination among a group of 41 globally diverse Borrelia isolates including B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii.” To expand… One tick may carry many diseases, sometimes for convience called Lyme, but also many other names, I personally like to use “tick borne disease” (TBD).

“Lyme borreliosis is the most common vector-borne disease in the Northern
48 Hemisphere and is caused by spirochete bacteria that belong to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu
49 lato species complex. These tick-boren pathogens are transmitted among vertebrate hosts by
50 hard ticks of the genus Ixodes. Each Borrelia species can be further subdivided into
51 genetically distinct strains. Multiple-strain infections are common in both the vertebrate host
52 and the tick vector and can result in competitive interactions. To date, few studies on
53 multiple-strain vector-borne pathogens have investigated patterns of co-occurrence and
54 abundance in the arthropod vector. We demonstrate that the abundance of a given strain in the
55 tick vector is negatively affected by the presence of co-infecting strains. In addition, our study
56 suggests that the spirochete abundance in the tick is an important life history trait that can
57 explain why some strains are more common than others in nature.” Source: http://aem.asm.org/content/early/2016/11/07/AEM.02552-16.full.pdf
According to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), (of which one of my doctors was past president): “THERE ARE 5 SUBSPECIES OF BORRELIA BURGDORFERI, OVER 100 STRAINS IN THE US, AND 300 STRAINS WORLDWIDE
This diversity is thought to contribute to its ability to evade the immune system and antibiotic therapy, leading to chronic infection.”  http://www.ilads.org/lyme/lyme-quickfacts.php

So, articles like this I simply find frustrating….

And please, *never* follow the CDC guidelines or the website, in my personal experience, they are woefully, almost criminally inaccurate. Look for articles written by people who have actually experienced tick diseases, they tend to have a much better “boots on the ground” view of the subject. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s