Saturday, March 30, 2019

Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) in ectoparasites and reptiles in southern Italy.

Parasit Vectors. 2019 Jan 15;12(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3286-1.

Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) in ectoparasites and reptiles in southern Italy.

Mendoza-Roldan JA1,2,3, Colella V1, Lia RP1, Nguyen VL1, Barros-Battesti DM2,4, Iatta R1, Dantas-Torres F1,5, Otranto D6.

Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) is a complex containing pathogenic bacteria of which some species, such as Borrelia lusitaniae, use birds, small mammals and reptiles as reservoirs. In Italy, the bacteria have been detected in reptilian and avian reservoirs in the northern and central regions.

Here, 211 reptiles from three orders [Squamata (Sauria with seven species in five families and Ophidia with 11 species in three families), Crocodylia (one family and two species), and Testudines (two families and two species)] were examined for ectoparasites and molecular detection of B. burgdorferi (s.l.) in three different sites of southern Italy, an area for which no information was previously available on the occurrence of borreliosis in animals and humans. Borrelia lusitaniae was molecularly detected in larvae and nymphs (11.6%) of Ixodes ricinus infesting lizards (i.e. Podarcis muralis, Podarcis siculus and Lacerta bilineata) and in 12.3% blood samples of P. siculus. Finally, B. lusitaniae and Borrelia garinii were detected in 5.1% (32/630) of questing I. ricinus.

These results show the circulation of B. lusitaniae in southern Italy and suggest that P. siculus could play a role as a reservoir, representing a potential medical threat to humans living in or visiting these localities.

Borrelia garinii; Borrelia lusitaniae; Ectoparasites; Ixodes ricinus; Podarcis siculus; Reptiles

PMID: 30646928 PMCID: PMC6332633 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3286-1
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Thursday, March 28, 2019

A tick-reduction experiment in Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard

Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:43 am (PDT) . Posted by: 

"Rick Laferriere" ri_lymeinfo 

*Mice Against Ticks: an experimental community-guided effort to prevent 
tick-borne disease by altering the shared environment *
Buchthal J, Evans SW, Lunshof J, Telford SR 3rd, Esvelt KM.
/Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological 
Sciences/, 2019 May 13;374(1772):20180105.


Mice Against Ticks is a community-guided ecological engineering project 
that aims to prevent tick-borne disease by using CRISPR-based genome 
editing to heritably immunize the white-footed mice (/Peromyscus 
leucopus/) responsible for infecting many ticks in eastern North 
America. Introducing antibody-encoding resistance alleles into the local 
mouse population is anticipated to disrupt the disease transmission 
cycle for decades.

Technology development is shaped by engagement with community members 
and visitors to the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, 
including decisions at project inception about which types of disease 
resistance to pursue. This engagement process has prompted the 
researchers to use only white-footed mouse DNA if possible, meaning the 
current project will not involve gene drive. Instead, engineered mice 
would be released in the spring when the natural population is low, a 
plan unlikely to increase total numbers above the normal maximum in autumn.

Community members are continually asked to share their suggestions and 
concerns, a process that has already identified potential ecological 
consequences unanticipated by the research team that will likely affect 
implementation. As an early example of CRISPR-based ecological 
engineering, Mice Against Ticks aims to start small and simple by 
working with island communities whose mouse populations can be lastingly 
immunized without gene drive.

*Free, full text*:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

An additional 100,000 tick-bites estimated this year....

And more fun statistics which begs the question: Where did these come from???

About 400,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported in the United States annually, and about a quarter of those are from New York.  

FYI: Holly Ahern was interviewed for this story.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Jesse Colin Young and Lyme disease - Q&A: The Solo Years Then & Now

[Jessie Colin Yong] dropped off the charts after the '70s but continued to perform and release new material, some of it quite excellent, until 2006, when his discography suddenly stopped growing.

Now we know why. Young had contracted Lyme disease, which he'd apparently had for years but went undiagnosed until 2009. The debilitating illness kept him out of the game and, adding to his woes, in 1995 his house in his beloved Marin County, California, burned down, leading to Young moving from the area he'd called home since the late '60s. He and his family, including his wife Connie, son Tristan and daughter Jazzie (all of whom are involved in the new album), settled in Hawaii, where Jesse tried a completely new line of work, becoming a coffee farmer.

Today the Youngs live in South Carolina and Jesse is back on the road with the assistance of Tristan, who leads Jesse's new band composed of musicians Tristan met at the Berklee College of Music.

Q: You wrote "Lyme Life," on the new album, about your own experience with the illness.

JCY: There's lot of ugly stuff that happens to you when you get Lyme disease and I do have some dark feelings, but I had to keep [the song] about what needs to be done.

Q: How did the Lyme disease affect your performing and your songwriting?

JCY: When I say in "Lyme Life" that "the shadow left with me," that's kind of what it's like. It makes you crazy. It makes you paranoid. It increased my anxiety level tremendously. Panic attacks. And no doctor seemed to know. I think I may have had this for 20 or 30 years. I got diagnosed in 2009, and the treatment was difficult at times. Luckily by the time my son Tristan was graduating from Berklee College of Music, I was starting to feel like I was getting better, and when songs started to come, I knew something would happen.

Lyme Life:

Friday, March 8, 2019

Former New York Mets pitcher reports Lyme dementia

The New York Times has a policy not to report on Lyme disease as a chronic, degenerative condition. Well, I guess some aspects of the truth just leak through:

Former New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver reports suffering from dementia as a consequence of Lyme disease.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Writing New Music Helped Avril Lavigne Live Through Terrifying Illness

I can really relate to this story below. You see, I've been playing piano since I was about 7 years old. When I had my most recent Lyme flareup in 2002, I actually forgot how to play the piano. I could not remember how to coordinate my hands and press the keys and the pedals. Worse yet, all the music I knew so well for decades I couldn't remember. I could not even read music. I remember looking at a Mozart sonata that I had known by memory and I could not decipher the notes on the pages. It just looked like hieroglyphics. I thought I had lost my best friend, my "go-to" comforting activity, for good. Well, I can report that with a lot of care from my LLMDs,  antibiotics, better diet, sleep studies to get my breathing at night working again, and good old Father Time, it all came back to me. I remembered the music I knew, even if my neurological damage made it difficult to coordinate and sit still at times. Maybe brain plasticity moved things around or my brain just needed to de-inflame or babesia had to be brought under control. Who knows? As I healed, I played more and more. I joined a choir in a church and played bass and keyboards there, getting a little better every week. I can say for sure that music is a healer. Listening, playing, singing, dancing — they all helped me tremendously. 

Check out what Avril Lavigne's experience with Lyme and music is/was:

The Canadian singer-songwriter opens up about a terrifying battle with illness and how writing new music saved her life.


Infections of the brain and psychosis
Are psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression triggered by infections in early life?

Two studies of coconut oil for treating Lyme disease

Here are two studies about coconut oil (and coconut derivatives) for treatment of Lyme disease. 

 2017 Sep;123(3):637-650. doi: 10.1111/jam.13523. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Reciprocal cooperation of phytochemicals and micronutrients against typical and atypical forms of Borrelia sp.



Borrelia sp., a causative pathogenic factor of Lyme disease (LD), has become a major public health threat. Current treatments based on antibiotics often lead to relapse after their withdrawal. Naturally derived substances that could work synergistically to display higher efficacy compared with the individual components may serve as a resource for the development of novel approaches to combat both active and latent forms of Borrelia sp.


Using checkerboard assay, we investigated the anti-borreliae reciprocal cooperation of phytochemicals and micronutrients against two species of Borrelia selected as prevalent causes of LD in the United States and Europe. 
We tested 28 combinations of phytochemicals such as polyphenols (baicalein, luteolin, rosmarinic acids), fatty acids (monolaurin, cis-2-decenoic acid) and micronutrients (ascorbic acid, cholecalciferol and iodine). The results showed that the combinations of baicalein with luteolin as well as monolaurin with cis-2-decenoic acid expressed synergistic anti-spirochetal effects. 
Moreover, baicalein and luteolin, when combined with rosmarinic acid or iodine, produced additive bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects against typical corkscrew motile spirochaetes and persistent knob/round-shaped forms, respectively. An additive anti-biofilm effect was noticed between baicalein with luteolin and monolaurin with cis-2-decenoic acid. 
Finally, application of the combination of baicalein with luteolin increased cytoplasmic permeability of Borrelia sp. but did not cause DNA damage.


These results show that a specific combination of flavones might play a supporting role in combating Borrelia sp. through either synergistic or additive anti-borreliae effects.


Presented here in vitro results might help advancing our knowledge and improving the approach to target Borrelia sp.
© 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


Borrelia sp.; biofilm; micronutrients; phytochemicals; reciprocal cooperation
[Indexed for MEDLINE] 


 2016 Jul 22;12(9):1093-103. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.16060. eCollection 2016.

Cooperation of Doxycycline with Phytochemicals and Micronutrients Against Active and Persistent Forms of Borrelia sp.

Author information

Dr. Rath Research Institute BV, Santa Clara, California 95050, USA.


Phytochemicals and micronutrients represent a growing theme in antimicrobial defense; however, little is known about their anti-borreliae effects of reciprocal cooperation with antibiotics. A better understanding of this aspect could advance our knowledge and help improve the efficacy of current approaches towards Borrelia sp. In this study, phytochemicals and micronutrients such as baicalein, luteolin, 10-HAD, iodine, rosmarinic acid, and monolaurin, as well as, vitamins D3 and C were tested in a combinations with doxycycline for their in vitro effectiveness against vegetative (spirochetes) and latent (rounded bodies, biofilm) forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii. 
Anti-borreliae effects were evaluated according to checkerboard assays and supported by statistical analysis. The results showed that combination of doxycycline with flavones such as baicalein and luteolin exhibited additive effects against all morphological forms of studied Borrelia sp. 
Doxycycline combined with iodine demonstrated additive effects against spirochetes and biofilm, whereas with fatty acids such as monolaurin and 10-HAD it produced FICIs of indifference. 
Additive anti-spirochetal effects were also observed when doxycycline was used with rosmarinic acid and both vitamins D3 and C. Antagonism was not observed in any of the cases. 
This data revealed the intrinsic anti-borreliae activity of doxycycline with tested phytochemicals and micronutrients indicating that their addition may enhance efficacy of this antibiotic in combating Borrelia sp. Especially the addition of flavones balcalein and luteolin to a doxycycline regimen could be explored further in defining more effective treatments against these bacteria.


Borrelia sp.; biofilm; cysts; doxycycline.; phytochemicals; spirochetes
[Indexed for MEDLINE] 
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