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WSU researchers crack the Lyme disease code

Campers stand at the edge of the water at sunset watching the stars come out, with the CanLyme logo floating in the foreground.

The next time a tick feeds on you, Washington State University researchers hope to make sure persistent arthritis caused by Lyme disease doesn’t linger for a lifetime.

Troy Bankhead, associate professor in WSU’s Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology department, and his team have spent more than a decade analyzing an immune evasive protein of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes tick-borne Lyme disease.

With the lab’s latest finding, that work is beginning to pay off.

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One Comment

  1. This paper helps our understanding of how persistent Borrelia infection can cause ongoing pain and suffering. Dr. Sapi and MacDonald have shown how Borrelia can form colonies or biofilm and like most bacteria Bb prefer to live on surfaces. Dr. Kim Lewis and Dr. Garth Ehrlich [search YouTube] have demonstrated that most infections are biofilm and biofilm is chronic infection by definition. Biofilm or plaque is a 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotic treatment than single cell organisms and the immune system and antibiotics can’t penetrate the polysaccharide matrix to clear the infection. The shield provided by the VlsE gene allows the Arp antigen to cause inflammation and the immune system can’t keep up with the constantly changing VlsE. The attacks by the immune system are thwarted and as a result the host’s tissues suffer inflammatory collateral damage. Cyst busting molecules and agents are needed to re-potentiate antibiotics and help the immune system to clear the infection as pointed out by Dr. Neil Spector and others.
    “What does Lyme disease do to your body?” Seeker [Dr. Raphael Stricker] YouTube 19-04-23: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtBb_pBZUaQ

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