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Research confirms  presence of Borrelia cyst-like structures after antibiotic treatment and uncovers a unique localization of Borrelia species in the brain

Research continues to reveal an increasingly complex picture of Lyme disease.

A figure of brain testing locations over top of a microscopic image of Borrelia.

Emerging research out of the Czech Republic has revealed surprising results and invites further exploration into how Borrelia interacts with brain tissue. This research has a poignant element as well; it is based on autopsy results from a Lyme patient who took his own life after experiencing devastating mental health symptoms. His treatments included antibiotics and psychiatric medications. 

Golovchenko and her team found that PCR testing of Borrelia Burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia garinii were positive in the patient’s brain tissue, and surprisingly, each species was found in different parts of his brain. Furthermore, tissue samples tested positive for one or the other, but never both species of Borrelia.

“Importantly, the DNAs of the two spirochete species were detected in distinct areas of the brain; in no case did we find infection with both in the same brain region.” (Golovchenko, et al., 2023)

Although further research is needed to explore and confirm these findings in other patients, this paper confirms the presence of Borrelia cyst-like structures after treatment, includes an engaging discussion regarding Lyme disease, persistence, and mental health, and confirms the critical role of human tissue research in gaining a better understanding of Lyme and associated diseases.

Although the US Centers for Disease Control reports that most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with 2-4 weeks of antibiotics1, Golovchenko notes that recent research shows that between 36 and 63% of patients develop chronic symptoms after treatment for Lyme disease.2


Golovchenko M, Opelka J, Vancova M, Sehadova H, Kralikova V, Dobias M, Raska M, Krupka M, Sloupenska K, Rudenko N. Concurrent Infection of the Human Brain with Multiple Borrelia Species. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023; 24(23):16906. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242316906

Concurrent Infection of the Human Brain with Multiple Borrelia Species


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/postlds/index.html
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0116767

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