Genomes of Lyme, new tests coming up?

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by victoria, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    This is interesting news... it is already known that people in different parts of the country with Lyme can respond differently to same drugs/herbs...


    Research Unlocking Mysteries Surrounding Lyme Disease

    WALL, N.J., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers recently developed novel diagnostic tools able to distinguish between the various strains of bacteria responsible for causing Lyme disease. For more than a decade, only one strain of B. burgdorferi (Lyme bacteria) had been sequenced (mapped), and although that helped research efforts, it was not sufficient to understand the relationship between geographic variations in strains and disease characteristics. Scientists have suspected different strains may infect different parts of the body, causing different symptoms.

    The recent completion of the genome sequencing of 13 additional isolates will greatly contribute to the improved understanding of the origins and effects of Lyme disease. Described as a "superb discovery tool," Journal of Bacteriology 2-2011, sequencing will also provide a more solid foundation for detection, diagnostic, and prevention strategies. The study was led by Dr. Steven Schutzer, Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett, and Dr. Sherwood Casjens. (Click link for all authors & affiliations:

    Lyme Disease Association (LDA) is encouraged that this latest accomplishment will provide a more in-depth understanding of Lyme disease, which in turn will lead to improved patient care. LDA funding often helps to start a project or complements federal funding such as that from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which was the case here. LDA continues on its mission, having raised over $5 million to date for Lyme-related research and education, with 100% of incoming funds slated for research going directly to projects such as this latest genome sequencing effort and the groundbreaking study below.

    In a separate new study -- by examining proteins in cerebrospinal fluid of Lyme and chronic fatigue patients and normal controls -- researchers led by Dr. Steven Schutzer, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School, and other scientists, discovered that chronic fatigue syndrome and neurologic Lyme disease are distinct disease entities. Currently, Lyme patients may be misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, so this finding will help scientists develop more accurate diagnostic tools and appropriate therapies.

    The Columbia Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, Dr. Brian Fallon, Director, provided samples for the above Lyme-chronic fatigue study published in PLoS One 2-23-11 ( The Center was established in part through funding from the LDA.
  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Article first published online: March 17, 2011


    Ten years after the discovery of spirochaetes as agents of Lyme disease in 1982 in the USA, three genomic species had diverged from the phenotypically heterogeneous strains of Borrelia burgdorferi isolated in North America and Europe: Borrelia afzelii, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (further B. burgdorferi), and Borrelia garinii. Whereas B. burgdorferi remained the only human pathogen in North America, all three species are aetiological agents of Lyme borreliosis in Europe.

    Another seven genospecies were described in the 1990s, including species from Asia (Borrelia japonica, Borrelia turdi, and B. tanukii), North America (Borrelia andersonii), Europe (Borrelia lusitaniae and Borrelia valaisiana), and from Europe and Asia (Borrelia bissettii). Another eight species were delineated in the years up to 2010: Borrelia sinica (Asia), Borrelia spielmanii (Europe), Borrelia yangtze (Asia), Borrelia californiensis, Borrelia americana, Borrelia carolinensis (North America), Borrelia bavariensis
    (Europe), and Borrelia kurtenbachii (North America).

    Of these 18 genomic species B. afzelii, B. burgdorferi and B. garinii are the confirmed agents of localized, disseminated and chronic manifestations of Lyme borreliosis, whereas B. spielmanii has been detected in early skin disease, and B. bissettii and B. valaisiana have been detected in specimens from single cases of Lyme borreliosis. The clinical role of B. lusitaniae remains to be substantiated.

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