Strategies To Generate A Vaccine Against Borrelia
Several significant obstacles have to be overcome before a vaccine can be considered effective in the context of the complex tick-host-pathogen interaction in Lyme borreliosis. B. burgdorferi is able to mount molecular survival strategies in order to circumvent the host’s immune defence mechanisms . In addition, persistence in bradytrophic tissues might render the pathogen inaccessible for the immune system .
B. burgdorferi not only manipulates human resident tissue cells and members of the immune system, but also interacts with the gene expression profile of the tick vector. The latter strategy enables the pathogen to survive within the tick and during the transmission process. Some of these tick gene products might be potentially valuable in developing a vector-antigen-based vaccine . These vector-based vaccine targets, however, are just at the beginning of being evaluated.
Owing to the presence of several Borrelia genotypes in Europe, a monovalent vaccine is not considered effective throughout Europe. Different vaccine targets therefore have to be considered. In addition, due to molecular strategies of the Lyme disease spirochete B. burgdorferi, including antigenic variation and immune escape, complement resistance as well as lateral gene transfer, one particular preventive strategy seems insufficient to induce long-term protection .
Later Symptoms And Signs Of Lyme Disease
If you dont seek treatment, other symptoms and signs of infection may appear over the following weeks and months, including:
- The bulls eye rash. It is also called erythema migrans, and it may appear on other areas of your body.
- Neurological problems. At any time after the initial Lyme disease infection, even years later, you could develop meningitis, Bells palsy , weakness or numbness in your limbs and impaired muscle movement.
You may also suffer from:
- Other rashes
Many weeks after infection, some people develop:
- Severe fatigue
How Can You Prevent Lyme Disease
The best way you can avoid Lyme disease in central PA, and indeed, anywhere there is a risk to human health, is to avoid walking in brushy, wooded areas with long grass. Other precautions you should take include:
- Tick-proof your yard. Clear leaves and brush on a regular basis and ensure you mow your lawn regularly.
- Cover up. When youre in grassy or wooded areas, wear long pants tucked into your socks, shoes, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat and gloves. Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to see ticks.
- Stay on trails. Try not to veer off from trails and avoid taking any routes through long grass or bushes. In addition, always keep your dog on a leash, as dogs are prone to tick bites, too.
- Wear insect repellent. An insect repellent with at least 20 percent or higher concentration of DEET will help protect your skin from tick bites. If youre a parent of young children, you should always apply repellent to your kids rather than letting them do it themselves and take care to avoid their eyes, mouth and hands. Chemical repellents can be toxic, so always use them with care and be sure to read the label.
Its also good practice to apply permethrin-containing products to your clothing for extra protection.
When its caught and treated as early as possible, Lyme disease can be fully treated, saving you from potential complications like arthritis and joint pain. You and your family can be tick aware while still enjoying the great outdoors and protecting your health.
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Other Integrative And Restorative Therapies
Modalities to help improve strength, mobility, and flexibility can help to relieve pain temporarily. Over time, improved function may help reduce the underlying cause of the pain. I am a big fan of hands-on treatment by a trained professional.
The following is a partial list of therapies you might consider.:
- Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
- Ultrasound therapy
- Vagus nerve stimulation
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Last but not least I do believe the key to happiness is laughter. Laughter reduces stress hormones like cortisol and releases endorphins, the bodys natural pain reliever. My simple advice is to avoid things that cause you stress, fear or anger.
Watch comedy or movies with happy endings. Stay connected with someone you can be honest with, one who listens and can make you laugh. Above all else, never give up hope.
LymeSci is written by Lonnie Marcum, a Licensed Physical Therapist and mother of a daughter with Lyme. In 2019-2020, she served on a subcommittee of the federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group. Follow her on Twitter: Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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What Are The Symptoms
The main feature of Lyme arthritis is obvious swelling of one or a few joints. While the knees are affected most often, other large joints such as the shoulder, ankle, elbow, jaw, wrist, and hip can also be involved. The joint may feel warm to the touch or cause pain during movement. Joint swelling can come and go or move between joints, and it may be difficult to detect in the shoulder, hip, or jaw. Lyme arthritis typically develops within one to a few months after infection.
Current Challenges And Future Priorities
Patients with PTLD represent a substantial burden to the United States health care system. In a large, health insurance claims analysis of 47 million members, estimated total direct medical costs from Lyme disease were between $712 million and $1.3 billion per year, with a significant portion of these specifically due to PTLD-related costs . The same study found that the adjusted odds of any PTLD-related symptom diagnosis following Lyme disease was 4.77 higher than age-, sex-, enrollment year-, region- and payer type-matched controls without Lyme disease, and that those patients with Lyme disease who went on to have at least one PTLD symptom had over twice the average total health care costs as those who did not . These cost estimates do not reflect additional indirect, non-medical, and lost productivity costs to patients, which may be substantial in a population with a chronic and significant illness impact on quality of life . Novel preventative approaches to reduce incidence of new Lyme disease cases, as well as physician and community educational interventions to increase awareness and reduce diagnostic delays and misdiagnosis, are needed to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. You get it when the blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick, bites you and stays attached for 36 to 48 hours. If you remove the tick within 48 hours, you probably wonât get infected.
When you do get infected, the bacteria travel through your bloodstream and affect various tissues in your body. If you donât treat Lyme disease early on, it can turn into an inflammatory condition that affects multiple systems, starting with your skin, joints, and nervous system and moving to organs later on.
The chances you might get Lyme disease from a tick bite depend on the kind of tick, where you were when it bit you, and how long the tick was attached to you. Youâre most likely to get Lyme disease if you live in the Northeastern United States. The upper Midwest is also a hot spot. But the disease now affects people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Where Is My Mind
It was the cognitive symptoms that bothered me the most. I had trouble concentrating and remembering things. Once, I went into a big box store and couldnt remember what I went there to buy.
When I drove somewhere, I had to carefully plan out the route, even when it was a familiar trip to a store or a doctor. I had mood changes as well, including some periods of depression.
I couldnt figure out what was happening to me.
I felt as though I was in the Yiddish song A Millers Tears where the lyrics are: The wheels keep turning, the years keep going, and I get old, and gray, and exhausted.
Its a plaintive melody, and I posted it on my desktop because I thought it described me and I liked to listen to it.
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What Causes Chronic Lyme Disease
The CDC says 10% to 20% of people treated for Lyme disease develop ongoing symptoms. These can include fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and thinking problems. The symptoms can last more than 6 months.
No one knows what causes chronic Lyme disease. One theory is the infection damages tissues or alters the immune system.
Some pain experts think the immune systemâs reaction to the Lyme infection causes changes that increase pain sensations and contribute to fatigue and poor sleep.
More research is underway.
No matter the cause, the symptoms are real. But most patients get better over time.
What Are The Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Treatments
Antibiotics, like all medications, have the potential for side effects. Any antibiotic can cause skin rashes, and if an itchy red rash develops while on antibiotics, a patient should see their physician. Sometimes symptoms worsen for the first few days on an antibiotic. This is called a Herxheimer reaction and occurs when the antibiotics start to kill the bacteria. In the first 24 to 48 hours, dead bacterial products stimulate the immune system to release inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that can cause increased fever and achiness. This should be transient and last no more than a day or two after the initiation of antibiotics.
The most common side effect of the penicillin antibiotics is diarrhea, and occasionally even serious cases caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile. This bacterial overgrowth condition occurs because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in our gut. It can be helpful to use probiotics to restore the good bacteria and microbiome balance.
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What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
Facts About Lyme Disease In Pa
Ticks thrive in the countryside of Pennsylvania in particular, and according to a study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , Lyme has a greater likelihood of occurring where suburban developments encroach on existing forest. This is thought to be because the white-footed mouse that is the most important animal in the Lyme disease transmission cycle can live without too many predators under these circumstances.
Notable statistics of Lyme disease in PA include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
For some people, a telltale sign of the disease is the red bulls eye-shaped skin rash that presents in some, but not all sufferers, within three to 30 days after being bitten by a tick.
Often, these first signs are missed when youre infected with Lyme disease and are dismissed as the flu or some other virus. This is very worrying because if antibiotic treatment isnt begun when the first signs of the disease present, your condition can become more serious.
Joint pain is another issue that can occur with Lyme disease. In the worst cases, over several weeks, nervous system and heart issues can develop. If left untreated, you may suffer from arthritis and neurological issues. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, when Lyme disease is untreated, more than half of all sufferers will develop sporadic arthritis bouts.
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Lyme Sci: 12 Ways You Can Help Yourself Manage Chronic Pain
Chronic paindefined as ongoing pain that continues for longer than six monthsis a common complaint of patients with persistent Lyme disease.
The CDC estimates that 20% of Americans currently live with chronic pain. Estimates range from 10% to 36% of Lyme patients who are diagnosed and treated early are left with chronic symptoms.
For the past 40 years, the medical definition of chronic pain was more narrowly defined, including only those patients with actual or potential tissue damage.
Recently, with the help of researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the International Association for the Study of Pain has made a subtle but important change to the medical definition of pain.
The new definition, An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damages, is important as it includes the pain caused by an overstimulated nervous system, commonly associated with chronic pain.
This new more inclusive definition, if adopted by insurance providers, could have a positive impact on access to health care for disempowered and neglected populations.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Arthritis
Lyme arthritis usually occurs during a later stage of Lyme disease that has not been treated. For many children, arthritis is the first symptom of Lyme disease they experience, and most do not remember being bitten by a tick.
Symptoms of Lyme arthritis include:
- Joint pain, usually in the knees
- Joint swelling, usually in the knees
- Limping or inability to put weight on a limb
Early symptoms of Lyme disease may include:
- Enlarging, warm rash at the site of the bite that can last days to weeks, often with a partial central clearing so that it looks like a bulls eye
If left untreated, later stage symptoms of Lyme disease can include:
- Rash on other parts of the body
- Bells palsy
- Severe headache and neck stiffness
- Pain and swelling in the large joints
- Heart palpitations
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Lyme Disease: Why Does Joint Pain Persist
Researchers have found clues that might lead to a treatment for Lyme arthritis. The secret may lie in the walls of the bacterium that causes the condition.
Lyme disease occurs when a person becomes infected with a tick-borne bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.
Initial symptoms typically include general fatigue, fever, skin rashes, and headaches.
Although doctors can often treat Lyme disease with antibiotics, if they do not catch it early, the bacteria can cause long-term issues with the individuals joints.
In fact, following infection with B. burgdorferi, about 60% of people develop a condition called Lyme arthritis, the hallmarks of which are inflamed and painful joints.
Lyme arthritis can persist for months or even years in some cases.
Researchers are still unsure why joint symptoms can continue long after antibiotics have destroyed the bacteria.
30,000 cases of Lyme disease among the United States population.
However, the true number of cases is likely to be much higher. In fact, the CDC estimate that there might be up to 300,000 cases each year.
According to the CDC, reports of Lyme disease have tripled since the late 1990s, and overall, tick-borne diseases are becoming more prevalent. This increase is due, at least in part, to rising global temperatures.
Due to the steady growth in the number of cases, scientists are keen to uncover more effective ways of treating the long-term symptoms.
Mitochondria Dysfunction And Chronic Pain
Mitochondria are the energy factories found in every cell. By some estimates there are 300 to 400 mitochondria in a cell. Chronic infection can damage the mitochondria. There is a growing body of science showing damaged mitochondria leads to chronic pain.
Lyme Disease Pain Strategy
It is possible to repair mitochondria. See How to Fix Mitochondria & Get Energy in Lyme Disease for steps to repair the injured mitochondria.
One other strategy is to eat low inflammatory foods which support mitochondria. See The Best Brain, Inflammation, Pain, Energy, and Detox Diet Ever for more information about an effective paleo diet.
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When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
Muscle Spasm Pain In Lyme Disease
Due to inflammation or nerve injury, many with Lyme have pain due to muscle spasm. In addition to strategies to lower cytokines and to control nerve pain signals, muscle relaxers can help with this situation.
Lyme Disease Pain Strategy
Magnesium is a useful supplement that supports muscle relaxation. The salt forms of magnesium that are most helpful for this are Magnesium Malate and Magnesium Citrate. Prescription muscle relaxers are also helpful.
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Treatment Of Early Manifestations
Table 1 Antibiotic therapy for early Borrelia burgdorferi infection
Late skin disease
Late skin manifestations are usually caused by B. garinii and B. afzelii, and are thus seen predominantly in Europe and not in the USA. Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans is caused by B. afzelii and is characterised as a blue/red-coloured atrophic skin lesion predominantly at the extremities . Antibiotic therapy for at least 4 weeks has been recommended .
Post-Lyme disease syndrome
Despite the resolution of Lyme borreliosis manifestations after antibiotic treatment in the majority of patients, a minority of patients present fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, concentration or short-term memory problems. These generally mild and self-limiting symptoms have been termed post-Lyme disease symptoms. If the symptoms last longer than 6 months they have been called post-Lyme disease syndrome.
Ticks Deer And Spiralized Bacteria: What Exactly Is Lyme
Lyme disease is caused by the bite of a black-legged tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. The main host for these ticks is the white-footed mouse, a rodent native to North America. As they grow, the ticks are often picked up by other animals, especially deer.
Lyme disease cases are known to be in at least 48 U.S. states.
Infected ticks transmit Lyme when they attach to your skin and feed on your blood. Once the tick attaches, it transmits the bacteria through its saliva. The bacteria enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body hence the diverse symptoms.
Borrelia burgdorferi are spiral-shaped bacteria known as spirochetes. Spirochetes are clever they can hide from your immune system, making them particularly difficult to fight off. The bacteria can also hide during treatment and persist even after an initial course of antibiotics.
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