Discovery of Lyme Disease Bug Clone

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by tansy, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member


    "Discovery of Lyme Disease Bug Clone May Explain Disease Spread"

    Benjamin Luft, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Stony Brook
    University Medical Center, and colleagues discovered that a certain clone of
    Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease, appears to be
    the most common strain causing Lyme disease in North America and Europe, and
    may account for the increase in cases for the past 20 years.

    investigation and findings of the ospC-A clone are reported in the July 2008
    issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is currently available on line
    According to Dr. Luft, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease
    in the United States with more than 20,000 cases reported annually.

    While B.
    burgdorferi is the primary pathogen in the United States, clones of the
    pathogen are known to cause major disease. The ospC-A clone was one of the
    first strains ever identified.

    In “Wide Distribution of a High-Virulence Borrelia burgdorferi Clone in
    Europe and North America,” Dr. Luft and colleagues detail various methods of
    genetic testing of 68 B. burgdorferi isolates from Europe and North America.

    Based on the findings of their tests, the researchers concluded that the
    ospC-A clone dispersed rapidly and widely in the recent past and in both
    regions of the world.

    “I believe this discovery will make an important contribution since it
    identifies an identical and high virulence clone of Borrelia in both Europe
    and North America,” said Dr. Luft. “This may explain the recent spread of
    Lyme disease in North America.”

    The researchers report that the isolates of the clone were prevalent on both
    continents and uniform in DNA sequences, which suggests a recent
    trans-oceanic migration. More specifically, they explained: “The European
    and North American Populations of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto have diverged
    significantly because of genetic drift.

    Plasmid genes evolved independently
    and showed various effects of adaptive divergence and diversifying
    selection…genetic variation within the two continents contributed to most of
    the total sequence diversity, which suggests recent common ancestry,
    migration, or both, between the European and North American populations.”

    The research was funded partly by the Lyme Disease Association and the
    National Institutes of Health. Dr. Luft’s colleagues include: Wei-Gang Qui,
    Ph.D., and William D. McCaig, Hunter College of the City University of New
    York; John F. Bruno and Yun Xu of Stony Brook University; Ian Livey, Baxter
    Vaccine AG, Orth/Donau, Austria, and Martin M. Schriefer, of the Centers of
    Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado.

  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    wondering if this is man-made or nature's way of producing another "slate-wiper"...........

    Regardless of whether it IS 'natural' or man-made, it doesn't sound good if it's spread this quickly!