Lyme Disease Bacterium Switches Out Iron For Manganese To Evade Immune System Study Shows
The bacterium that causes Lyme Disease substitutes manganese for iron in its diet, a new study finds. The pathogen is the first known organism to live without iron.
This talent helps the pathogen evade the immune system, which often acts against foreign invaders by starving them of iron.
Lyme disease is transmitted by tick bites and can cause fever, fatigue, headaches and rashes. If not treated promptly with antibiotics, the disease can start to attack the circulatory and central nervous systems, causing shooting pains and numbness as well as cognitive difficulties.
Now, researchers have found that to cause Lyme disease, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi requires a large supply of manganese, which it uses instead of iron to make an important enzyme. The discovery could open new doors for the treatment of Lyme disease, said study researcher Valeria Culotta, a molecular biologist at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“The only therapy for Lyme Disease right now are antibiotics like penicillin, which are effective if the disease is detected early enough,” Culotta said in a statement. Penicillin acts by attacking the bacteria’s cell walls, she said, but some forms of the bacteria don’t have cell walls.
“We’d like to find targets inside pathogenic cells that could thwart their growth,” Culotta said.
“The best targets are enzymes that pathogens have, but people do not, so they would kill the pathogens but not harm people,” she said.
Resources On How To Heal Lyme Disease Naturally
Lyme disease isnt something Ive dealt with personally and I havent done much studying done on it as of yet. But I wanted to get together a good article for resources for people trying to learn more about this insidious disease, especially as it is supposed to be a very bad year for ticks. It is possible to heal though, and I know many that are beating Lymes butt naturally and successfully.
Updated 3/2019: I started reading quite a bit more about Lyme and co a few months ago when I learned that I likely have Bartonella myself. I personally am comfortable with Buhners information on the herbs and how to typically treat these infections, as long as they are coupled with good foundational care.
Approaching It Like An Engineer
So I returned to my engineering roots. Usually, when all seems lost, its time to step back and reanalyze the data. When Russ passed, I retired from my role as caregiver and returned to the discipline that always provided the answers I craved: science.
The first step was to cast a wide net and learn. Through a partnership with Lyme Warrior, I reached out to top researchers in the Lyme world. Pioneers in the space agreed to be interviewed and theyve gained through decades of studying tick-borne illness.
They explained the complexities and challenges of these elusive pathogens. I was also fortunate to connect with the Center for Lyme Action. They needed a writer for an educational paper on the state of Lyme disease research to raise awareness and hopefully more funding. A project to dig into the research and summarize it? Sign me up.
One year later, what have I learned? Well, Id say that my research review has helped me answer two key questions that plagued me as a caregiver: 1) why is diagnosing Lyme so freaking hard, and 2) why are millions of Lyme patients still sick after treatment?
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Early Detection Is Key
Avoiding a Lyme disease misdiagnosis and possible complications depends on timely, accurate testing. Lyme disease should not be discounted in patients presenting with autoimmune disease-like symptoms, even if the patient doesnt remember a tick bite or rash. Even if the patient has a history of or genetic predisposition to autoimmune disorders, the presence of such a disorder doesnt rule out Lyme disease.
But diagnosing Lyme disease requires more specific, sensitive testing than is typically recommended by the CDC, especially at later stages of the disease. Learn why IGeneX tick-borne disease tests are different.
How To Manage Inflammation In Lyme Disease
Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial cause of Lyme disease, and co-infections causes the immune system to launch a profound inflammatory response. While antibiotic treatments, such as doxycycline and cefuroxime, can destroy B. burgdorferi, these drugs do little to mitigate the inflammatory response launched in response to these microbes. Left untreated, Lyme-induced inflammation damages cells, tissues, and organs, inducing widespread bodily dysfunction.
While the CDC offers recommendations for Lyme disease treatment from the antimicrobial perspective, it makes no recommendations as to how affected individuals should manage the inflammatory side effects of the illness. Functional medicine, on the other hand, offers a unique set of tools for managing Lyme-associated inflammation, including nutrition changes, lifestyle changes, and natural anti-inflammatory compounds. These holistic interventions can significantly improve Lyme disease inflammation, creating a strong foundation for healing.
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Recognizing The Types Of Ticks That Carry Lyme Disease And Co
Most people are aware that a deer tick ranges in size from a sesame seed to that of a poppy seed, while a dog tick is much larger.
What most people do not know is that a fully engorged deer tick is the same size of a fully engorged dog tick!
Nymph ticks are harder to spot, as they are much smaller than an adult deer tick, are a translucent/pale color, and are as small as the period at the end of this sentence. It is very common to not realize that you have been bitten by a tick, and to never find the tick that transmitted Lyme disease to you. These ticks are usually hidden well enough to become fully engorged and drop off without your awareness, which is how most people contract Lyme and other co-infections.
less than half of people diagnosed with Lyme have a history of a known tick bite or bullseye rash.
Remember, you do not need to have found a tick on your body or to have developed Erythema migrans to be diagnosed with Lyme disease. In fact, less than half of people diagnosed with Lyme have a history of a known tick bite or bullseye rash. If you do develop any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor about proper testing, or find a Lyme literate practitioner who knows how to diagnose and treat appropriately.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Dogs can display several forms of Lyme disease, but the most common symptoms are lameness, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In addition, serious kidney complications have been associated with Lyme disease in dogs.
Clinical signs of Lyme disease in horses include shifting-leg lameness, generalized stiffness, hypersensitivity to touch, weight loss, and poor performance. Sometimes, the bacteria can infect the central nervous system, leading to neurologic symptoms.
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The Salt/c Plus Protocol:
A popular Lyme disease natural treatment protocol that has provided relief to thousands of people, is called the Salt/C Plus protocol. It has been found to be particularly effective at permanently alleviating chronic and rapidly degenerative Lyme disease infection, where aggressive antibiotic treatment has failed.
At its most basic level, it involves taking increasingly large doses of Vitamin C along with pure sea salt. Using what is referred to as the scale up method for dosing. The protocol is often used for long periods of time with results sometimes achieved very early on but may also be achieved after long term use. This is believed to be from the bacteria hibernating so to speak, within the body.
Some bacteria are now known to have developed a strategy of hiding within host cells to escape the immune system as well as many antibacterial treatments.
This essentially means that the bacteria can lie dormant inside host cells and may become a source of relapsing infection . The sudden or sporadic change or decrease in symptoms is consistent with the microbes eventually succumbing to the steady and continuous Salt/C Plus application.
The Salt/C Plus protocol is designed to eventually eliminate harmful bacteria and microbes from the human body, even those not caused by Lyme disease.
Can Lyme Disease And Covid
Lyme disease can be treated most effectively with antibiotics when the disease is caught early. There are no specific treatments currently available for COVID-19, although those with milder cases of COVID-19 may experience some symptom relief through over-the-counter medications similar to those used for colds and the flu.
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How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Tick control and prevention methods significantly reduce the likelihood of infection. Maintaining antibodies against B. burgdorferi through vaccination can further protect your animal. Antibody amounts and duration of vaccine antibodies can vary in individuals. Verifying your animals antibody response to vaccination helps to assure durable protection.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Early symptoms of Lyme disease typically present as a circular red skin rash around a tick bite called Erythema migrans. This red, circular, or oval-shaped rash often expands over a period of days and can reach up to 12 inches across. Sometimes the center clears as it enlarges resulting in a bull’s-eye appearance. It’s typically not itchy or painful but may feel warm to the touch. Some people develop this rash at more than one place on their bodies. The rash can appear up to a month after you’ve been infected, but it usually occurs within one to two weeks and can last for several weeks.
Not everyone with Lyme disease gets the rash. You may also have flu-like symptoms in the first few weeks of infection, such as tiredness, muscle pain, headaches, high temperature , chills, swollen lymph nodes, and joint pain .
A few people with Lyme disease develop more serious symptoms weeks, months, or even years later. These include:
- Severe headaches and muscle pain
- Problems affecting the brain or nerves, such as memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and dizziness
- Pain in the joints and muscles often in the knees
- Heart problems such as heart palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord
Disease signs and symptoms can appear quickly or gradually over time, and they are different for everyone.
Left untreated, Lyme disease may spread to your heart and nervous system.
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Support Your Gut Health
Many individuals with Lyme disease have gone through multiple rounds of antibiotics. While antibiotics can offer significant benefits to many Lyme sufferers, they also reduce levels of beneficial microorganisms in the GI tract. This allows less desirable opportunistic and pathogenic organisms, including various yeasts and bacteria, to proliferate.
The resulting imbalance in the gut microbiota can compromise immune function, digestion, and nutrient absorption. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests that Borrelia may directly infect the gastrointestinal tract. It is thus crucial to support the health of your gut if you have Lyme disease.
A growing body of research indicates that diet profoundly impacts gut health. There are certain foods you should prioritize to support your gut health, including:
Taking A Bite Out Of Lyme What To Do If You Are Bitten By A Tick
What if you are bitten? Do not panic, as there is plenty that both conventional and naturopathic medicine can do acutely to prevent infection from taking hold and causing illness. First things first, however, you must remove the tick safely.
Do not use anything to suffocate the tick, as this may cause the tick to regurgitate its contents into you and expose your body to Borrelia burgdorferi and other species of Borrelia that cause Lyme disease, as well as its co-infections. Use flat-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick at the base of the head and slowly but firmly pull the tick from the skin in the same direction that it is implanted.
Once the tick is removed, use a clear plastic sealable bag to store it. Apply hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound. Mix bentonite clay and Andrographis tincture to form a paste and apply it directly to the bite. Cover with a bandage soaked in the Andrographis tincture and let it heal.
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society recommends that those experiencing Erythema migrans undergo antibiotic therapy for four to six weeks.
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Does Lyme Disease Treatment With Antibiotics Affect Antibody Levels
Antibiotic treatment affects the pathogen . It does not directly influence antibody titers. However, if the treatment is successful and bacteria are removed from the host, the B-cells are not further triggered to produce new antibodies. As a consequence antibodies levels decrease after treatment. Thus, antibody levels are indicators of treatment success .
Solvents Chemicals & Pesticides
I also tested high for solvents and attribute this to living near the freeway in San Francisco and on Wilshire Blvd for years in Los Angeles. We used to get black soot on our patio and we were breathing that in our home to. Always be very conscious of where you are living and dont live too close to freeways or busy roads. Also make sure to have a chemical free home and buy organic to avoid pesticides. Moving away from the freeway and living by the beach as well as all the detox I was doing fortunately cleared the solvents from my body.
It is very important to use non toxic cleaning products and beauty and skin care products as well as we want to limit our chemical exposure while trying to detox and heal.
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Lyme Disease And Autoimmune Conditions
A Lyme disease infection is known to cause a weak immune system. To understand how this happens, the researchers isolated dendritic cells from healthy study participants and exposed them to Borrelia burgdorferi, finding that the bacterial infection causes receptor sites on the surface of dendritic cells, known as HLA-DRs, to mature and become active. Normally, these HLA-DRs cells would present antigens to killer T-cells, the immune system agents that remove invaders from the body.
The researchers believe that when the HLA-DRs interact with Borrelia burgdorferi, they are structurally changed and keep the dendritic cells from marking the bacterial proteins as foreign, which leads to the dendritic cells attracting T-cells, but instead of attacking the Lyme disease bacteria, instead attacks the healthy cells.
Senior author Mark Soloski, PhD, co-director for basic research at the centre, and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: We believe these observations are relevant not only to how Borrelia burgdorferi disrupts the immune system but other infections as well. Antibodies that react with a persons own tissues or organs have been reported in patients with infections, including COVID-19.
How Is The Lyme Multiplex Assay Different From The Assay My Veterinarian Can Perform
Your veterinarian can perform a quick assay in-house that checks for antibodies against only one B. burgdorferi surface protein. The in-house assay cannot detect early infection, cannot determine vaccination status, and does not quantify the amount of antibodies your animal is producing. Quantifying antibodies is an important measure for successful treatment and to confirm cure from Lyme disease.
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Why Is It So Hard To Diagnose Lyme Disease
In my humble opinion, THE biggest problem in Lyme disease is the current standard of care in diagnostics. A systematic review of 13 different studies on the CDC-recommended two-tier test revealed 49-65% sensitivityacross all stages of the disease. This means a person infected with the bacteria causing Lyme has a 35-51% chance of testing negative.
For those outside the Lyme world, this seems impossible. How can a diagnostic test be about as accurate as a coin flip? But those immersed in Lyme live this harsh reality. Russ tested negative on the two-tier test. Then, 15 months later, he tested positive with a different method. Unfortunately, in that time, his disease became entrenched.
The science behind these poor results is clear. The test looks for antibodies, which peak weeks after the initial infection. This makes the test inappropriate for the earliest stages of infection, precisely when it is the most treatable.
For those in the later, chronic stages of the infection, the immune system is often suppressed. Weak immune systems dont produce the same antibody levels and can cause titers to be below detection limits, as was the case for Russ.
Cunningham Panel Results Indicate Lyme Disease May Trigger Autoimmune Dysfunction
This newly published study, which examined Lyme disease and the immune system, illustrates molecular mimicry targeting neural tissue after Borrelia burgdorferi infection. The authors test the hypothesis that autoantibodies produced in patients with early Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Symptoms cross-react with neuronal antigens and potentially lead to Lyme disease sequelae. The authors conclude that patients with Lyme disease have a greater frequency of certain anti-neuronal autoantibodies and functional neuronal activation compared to community controls without a history of Lyme disease 1.
Elevated autoantibody results measured by the Cunningham Panel in this study included anti-lysoganglioside GM1, anti-D1R, and anti-D2R. Elevated CaMKII activation suggests that antineuronal antibodies have functional significance.
A heightened immunological response triggered by repeated infection with Bb may increase the risk for neurologic and neuropsychiatric symptoms among patients with previously treated LD .
This study examined 179 serum samples for the presence of Lyme disease and immune system reactivity. Patients were assigned to one of four groups:
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