Borrelia Mayonii: New Lyme Disease Causing Bacteria Discovered

Posted: Feb 9 2016, 6:11am CST | by , Updated: Feb 9 2016, 7:01am CST, in News | Latest Science News


Scientists Find New Lyme Disease Bacteria
  • US Scientists find Novel Lyme Disease Causing Bacteria

Scientists have found a novel Lyme disease bacteria species.

The CDC in synch with Mayo Clinic reported the discovery of a new species of bacteria (the Borrelia mayonii) that causes Lyme disease in human beings. Up until now, another bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi was thought to be the main agent of Lyme disease in North America.

The new bacteria were thought to be the cause of the disease after laboratory tests of half a dozen people having Lyme disease showed peculiar signs. The two bacteria, Borrelia mayonii and B. burgdorferi were related to each other. 

“This discovery adds another important piece of information to the complex picture of tickborne diseases in the United States,” said Dr. Jeannine Petersen, microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With this discovery, part of the puzzle of diseases caused by ticks has been solved. Up until now the new Lyme disease is only being spread in the upper Midwest areas of the United States.

The illnesses caused by both types of bacteria have some differences between them. Like B. burgdorferi, B. mayonii leads to high temperature, migraine, skin breakouts and neck stiffness only days after infection.

Arthritis also occurs weeks after exposure. However, B. mayonii causes nausea and emetic effects. It also causes spread out skin rashes and a higher quantity of bacteria in the blood.  

B. mayonii is supposed to be transferred to humans via the bite of a deer tick. These ticks have been found in two counties of northwestern Wisconsin.

The differences in types of bacteria came up when the samples of blood from patients were examined. B. mayonii bacteria were found in the upper midwestern United States.

The other states didn’t show any evidence of the bacteria. Identification of the bacteria may be made using PCR assay. Antibiotic treatments were followed by those infected with the B. mayonii ticks. A whole program was begun to eradicate the disease. 

The following precautions were advised in the eradication of the disease:

  • avodance of woods and leafy areas with brush and grasses;
  • usage of insect repellent when going outdoors;
  • employment of products that contain permethrin on clothes;
  • bathing and showering once indoors to flush out ticks;
  • an inventory of any ticks on the body after staying outdoors and last but not least
  • examination of equipment and domesticated animals for any signs of ticks.   

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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