Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Appearance of lyme disease rash can help predict how bacteria spreads through body

Date:
February 4, 2014
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Lyme disease is often evident by a rash on the skin, but infections do not always produce similar rashes. This can make it difficult to detect the disease early, when antibiotic treatment is most effective. Researchers describe a new mathematical model that captures the interactions between disease-causing bacteria and the host immune response that affect the appearance of a rash and the spread of infection.

Lyme disease is often evident by a rash on the skin, but infections do not always produce similar rashes. This can make it difficult to detect the disease early, when antibiotic treatment is most effective. In the February 4th issue of the Biophysical Journal, published by Cell Press, researchers describe a new mathematical model that captures the interactions between disease-causing bacteria and the host immune response that affect the appearance of a rash and the spread of infection.

Related Articles


"Our findings are important because they connect how the rash looks with the behavior of the bacteria in our body," says co-author Dr. Charles Wolgemuth of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Dr. Wolgemuth and graduate student Dhruv Vig developed a fairly simple mathematical model that can account for the growth and appearance of a Lyme disease rash and might be used to predict the densities of the disease-causing bacteria in relationship to the rash as a function of time during spreading.

In many cases, patients with Lyme disease develop a rash with a bull's-eye appearance. The model reveals that in these cases, the rash begins as a small and uniform rash. Activation of the immune response is strongest at the center of the rash and clears most, but not all, of the bacteria from the center within about one week; however, bacteria at the edge of the rash continue to spread outward, further activating the immune response away from the edge. Therefore, the rash grows, but the center becomes less inflamed. As time progresses, though, the bacteria resurge at the center, leading to the characteristic bull's-eye pattern.

By revealing that the bacteria and immune cell populations change as a rash progresses, the model may help guide Lyme disease treatment. "The model that we have developed can be used to predict how the bacteria move through our bodies and how they are affected by therapeutics," explains Dr. Wolgemuth. To that end, the researchers simulated the progression of different rash types over the course of antibiotic treatment. They found that for all types of Lyme disease rashes, bacteria were cleared from the skin within roughly the first week; however, the dynamics of disappearance of the rash varied depending on the type of rash with which the patient presented. For example, while bull's-eye rashes resolved within a week of treatment, uniform rashes tended to be present even after four weeks, likely due to prolonged inflammation. Such differences suggest that there may not be a one-size-fits-all treatment regimen for resolving Lyme disease and its effects on the body.

Dr. Wolgemuth also notes that there are a number of similarities between the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and the bacterium that causes syphilis, and that "therefore, it is likely that this model will also be applicable to understanding syphilis, as well as potentially other bacterial infections."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. DhruvK. Vig, CharlesW. Wolgemuth. Spatiotemporal Evolution of Erythema Migrans, the Hallmark Rash of Lyme Disease. Biophysical Journal, 2014; 106 (3): 763 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.12.017

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Appearance of lyme disease rash can help predict how bacteria spreads through body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204123611.htm>.
Cell Press. (2014, February 4). Appearance of lyme disease rash can help predict how bacteria spreads through body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204123611.htm
Cell Press. "Appearance of lyme disease rash can help predict how bacteria spreads through body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204123611.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

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
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (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