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Breakthrough paves way for new Lyme disease treatment

published June 17th, 2019

A Virginia Tech biochemist has discovered the cellular component that contributes to Lyme arthritis, a debilitating and extremely painful condition that is the most common late stage symptom of Lyme disease, a press release said.

According to the release from Virginia Tech, the biochemist, Brandon Jutras, found that as the Lyme-causing bacteria borrelia burgdorferi multiplies, it sheds a cellular component called peptidoglycan that elicits a unique inflammatory response in the body.

“This discovery will help researchers improve diagnostic tests and may lead to new treatment options for patients suffering with Lyme arthritis,” said Jutras, lead author on the study. “This is an important finding and we think that it has major implications for many manifestations of Lyme disease, not just Lyme arthritis.”

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  1. This finding supports the view favoured by the IDSA group of physicians. Many physicians hold that so called post treatment Lyme disease symptoms are most likely directly attributable to the previous infection [persisters] and represent treatment failure. This group notes that most of the reported posttreatment symptoms began before treatment and that the original Lyme diagnoses were, in part, based on their very existence.

    The bulk of the evidence to date generally supports the second group of physicians. Clinical researchers have repeatedly documented persistent posttreatment symptoms and/or findings and concluded that this was evidence of treatment failure.

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