Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Greater Understanding Of Lyme Disease-causing Bacteria

Date:
July 3, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Lyme disease in the US is caused by the tick-borne bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, and usually begins with a skin lesion, after which the bacteria spread throughout the body to the nervous system, heart or joints.

Lyme disease in theU.S. is caused by the tick-borne bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and usually begins with a skin lesion, after which the bacteria spread throughout the body to the nervous system, heart or joints. About 60 percent of untreated individuals develop arthritis, which affects the knees in particular.

Related Articles


Lyme disease usually responds well to antibiotic therapy, but in rare cases arthritis can persist for months or years after treatment, a rare condition known as antibiotic-refractory Lyme arthritis. Joint fluid usually tests negative for B burgdorferi after treatment, indicating that joint inflammation may persist even after the bacteria has been eradicated.

Two genetic marker systems are used to correlate the variation of this bacterial strain with clinical outcomes: OspC typing divides B burgdorferi strains into 21 types, while the ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer type (RST) system divides them into just three groups, with certain RST groups corresponding uniquely to specific OspC types.

A new study led by Allen Steere of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School analyzed joint fluid samples from 124 patients with Lyme arthritis who were seen over a 30-year period. It identified B. burgdorferi strains in the joints of patients with Lyme arthritis and found that the genotype frequencies in joints reflected those in skin lesions. However, RST1 strains were the most frequent in patients with antibiotic-refractory arthritis. 

The researchers were able to identify 10 of the 16 B burgdorferi OspC types found in the northeastern U.S. and all three RST types in the joint fluid of patients with Lyme arthritis. Although it was only possible to determine B burgdorferi phenotypes in 40 percent of the samples, the researchers feel confident that the distribution reflects what has been observed in the skin because they were able to identify numerous OspC and RST types, and the distribution was similar to what has been reported in previous studies of skin lesions.

One might presume that the association of RST1 strains with antibiotic-refractory arthritis may reflect a greater ability of these strains to survive in the joint despite antibiotic therapy. However, this seems not to be the case. Rather, RST1 strains seem to induce a more marked immune response, which may set the stage for joint inflammation that persists after antibiotic therapy in genetically susceptible individuals.

“We hypothesize that RST1 strains are more virulent, leading to larger numbers of organisms in blood, and more inflammation in joints,” the authors state. They conclude that the results of this study “add to the emerging literature concerning the differential pathogenicity of strains of B burgdorferi.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kathryn L. Jones, Gail A. McHugh, Lisa J. Glickstein, Allen C. Steere. Analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi Genotypes in Patients with Lyme Arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, July 2009 DOI: 10.1002/art.24811

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Greater Understanding Of Lyme Disease-causing Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163156.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, July 3). Greater Understanding Of Lyme Disease-causing Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163156.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Greater Understanding Of Lyme Disease-causing Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163156.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins