Saturday, July 10, 2010

Another clue

A paper in the latest Journal of Vector Ecology is attracting some press and may provide an additional clue to the mysterious chronic Lyme disease. The paper:
Detection of Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, including three novel genotypes in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from songbirds (Passeriformes) across Canada
is being used by one of the authors to explain why some patients test negative for Lyme disease but continue to show symptoms.

"In the ticks that we got from the West Coast, we found three new novel strains. This could be why Lyme disease patients are testing negative and they actually have one of these onboard and it's not showing up,"

However one of the coauthors disagrees:

Dr. Muhammad Morshed, a clinical professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of B. C, says Scott has reached the wrong conclusion from data he provided. Morshed's lab at UBC examined the tick-borne bacteria and identified the new strains, but says the genetic differences are not enough to throw off the current testing for Lyme disease.

So far the story has been picked up by the Vancouver Sun but I wouldn't be surprised if this one generates some more interest.

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