Monday, April 23, 2018

A clue on the connection between the microbiome and autoimmune disease

Lab Chat: How migrating gut bacteria might do damage


Scientists have discovered a particular microbe that can venture out of the gut and set up shop in other organs, where it seems to trigger an autoimmune response that's similar to what's seen in patients with lupus. The finding gives researchers new clues about the potential link between the microbiome and autoimmune disease. Here's what Dr. Martin Kriegel of Yale told me about the work, published in Science.

What did you discover about a potential link between the microbiome and lupus?

Studies have suggested autoimmune disease might have a microbial trigger. We gave mice that modeled autoimmune disease broad spectrum antibiotics to manipulate the microbes in the gut. We almost completely prevented mortality. But a big hurdle is figuring out which bacteria are behind the link, and how. So we tracked the bacteria with fluorescent tags.

What did you see?

We saw that E. Gallinarum bacteria somehow crossed the barrier of the gut and impacted immune cells. The bacteria tipped the balance from being prone to developing autoimmune disease to actually developing it. When we went to human liver tissue, we also found these microbes. We think it drives important autoimmune pathways.

Journal article:

Translocation of a gut pathobiont drives autoimmunity in mice and humans

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Lyme Controversy & The Psychiatric/Cognitive Effects From Tickborne Infections

Here's a presentation by a psychiatrist who is very well versed in Lyme, about the weird brain symptoms that Lyme and coinfections in the nervous system can cause. 


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Fwd: Putting Lyme on the national stage

Excellent book. Please help promote it. I heard Mary Beth speak about the book and her research while writing it. We need to spread the word about Lyme and the inequities foisted upon us as Lyme patients. Please explore the links in this email and forward this to friends and family, to doctors, legislators, etc.


Putting Lyme on the national stage
Here's how you can help
The more buzz created about this book, the more likely it will garner national media attention.

And that can help bring about substantial change. Topics that don't get talked about on the public stage are too easily ignored by policy makers. READ MORE.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease

This is an important study. 


Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Version 1 : Received: 7 March 2018 / Approved: 8 March 2018 / Online: 8 March 2018 (07:08:02 CET) 
How to cite: Middelveen, M.J.; Sapi, E.; Burke, J.; Filush, K.R.; Franco, A.; Fesler, M.C.; Stricker, R.B. Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease. Preprints 2018, 2018030062 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0062.v1). Middelveen, M.J.; Sapi, E.; Burke, J.; Filush, K.R.; Franco, A.; Fesler, M.C.; Stricker, R.B. Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease. Preprints 2018, 2018030062 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0062.v1). 

Introduction: Lyme disease is a tickborne illness that generates controversy among medical providers and researchers. One of the key topics of debate is the existence of persistent infection with the Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in patients who have been treated with recommended doses of antibiotics yet remain symptomatic. Persistent spirochetal infection despite antibiotic therapy has recently been demonstrated in non-human primates. We present evidence of persistent Borrelia infection despite antibiotic therapy in patients with ongoing Lyme disease symptoms. 

Materials & Methods: In this pilot study, culture of body fluids and tissues was performed in a randomly selected group of 12 patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms who had been treated or who were being treated with antibiotics. Cultures were also performed on a group of 10 control subjects without Lyme disease. The cultures were subjected to corroborative microscopic, histopathological and molecular testing for Borrelia organisms in four independent laboratories in a blinded manner. Results: Motile spirochetes identified histopathologically as Borrelia were detected in culture specimens, and these spirochetes were genetically identified as Borrelia burgdorferi by three distinct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. Spirochetes identified as Borrelia burgdorferi were cultured from the blood of seven subjects, from the genital secretions of ten subjects, and from a skin lesion of one subject. Cultures from control subjects without Lyme disease were negative for Borrelia using these methods. 

Conclusions: Using multiple corroborative detection methods, we showed that patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms may have ongoing spirochetal infection despite antibiotic treatment, similar to findings in non-human primates. The optimal treatment for persistent Borrelia infection remains to be determined. 

Subject Areas Lyme disease; Borrelia burgdorferi; Tickborne disease; Chronic infection; Spirochete culture 

Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.