Category Archives: Research

CanLyme is dedicated to promoting advancements in Lyme disease research. More research is needed to accurately diagnose and treat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses and CanLyme has taken measures to address this, see our Venture Grants Policy.

CanLyme board member Reuben Kaufman, PhD has an ambitious tick study project underway on Salt Spring Island, BC and his program is also able to feed ticks to another CanLyme board member Janet Sperling who is completing her doctorate on examining the various pathogens that are found in the guts of Canadian ticks.
The articles and abstracts below have primarily been sourced from: PubMed.gov or the individual journals in which they were published. Please click the PubMed or journal link to read the whole article on their site.

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Recent in: Research

A 4-year-old boy with ataxia and aphasia

[CanLyme Note: The rashes shown in this case are dismissed Canada-wide by doctors who are not taught about multiple rashes, and the worst of it is that if you are not in a “known endemic area” Lyme disease will be dismissed. In reality, Lyme disease occurs anywhere in Canada where our songbirds birds fly. If you have robins, finches and wrens Continues →

WSU researchers crack the Lyme disease code

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 Continues →

Lyme Disease: Diversity of Borrelia Species in California and Mexico Detected Using a Novel Immunoblot Assay

Abstract Background: With more than 300,000 new cases reported each year in the United States of America (USA), Lyme disease is a major public health concern. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (Bbss) is considered the primary agent of Lyme disease in North America. However, multiple genetically diverse Borrelia species encompassing the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) complex and the Relapsing Fever Borrelia (RFB) group are capable of causing tickborne Continues →

Lyme Disease Frontiers: Reconciling Borrelia Biology and Clinical Conundrums

Abstract Lyme disease is a complex tick-borne zoonosis that poses an escalating public health threat in several parts of the world, despite sophisticated healthcare infrastructure and decades of effort to address the problem. Concepts like the true burden of the illness, from incidence rates to longstanding consequences of infection, and optimal case management, also remain shrouded in controversy. At the Continues →

How do infections like the coronavirus jump from animals to people?

National Geographic “Zoonotic diseases, which pass from animals to humans, kill millions of people every year. Where do they come from and how can we avoid them?” ” Some zoonotic diseases are relatively benign, but many—for example, Lyme disease—are quite harmful. Some, such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can be deadly. “ Read full article

Monitoring of Nesting Songbirds Detects Established Population of Blacklegged Ticks and Associated Lyme Disease Endemic Area in Canada

Abstract This study provides a novel method of documenting established populations of bird-feeding ticks. Single populations of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the rabbit tick, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, were revealed in southwestern Québec, Canada. Blacklegged tick nymphs and, similarly, larval and nymphal rabbit ticks were tested for the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), using PCR and the flagellin (flaB) gene, and Continues →

Potential treatment for Lyme disease kills bacteria that may cause lingering symptoms, study finds

March 12, 2020 “For decades, the routine treatment for Lyme disease has been standard antibiotics, which usually kill off the infection. But for up to 20% of people with the tick-borne illness, the antibiotics don’t work, and lingering symptoms of muscle pain, fatigue and cognitive impairment can continue for years — sometimes indefinitely. A new Stanford Medicine study …” Read Continues →

Shania Twain: I’m never going to have my old voice again

March 8, 2020 “She got the tick-borne illness in 2003, and had to undergo open-throat surgery after her voice was damaged by the effects of dysphonia as a result of the disease. Now, Shania has said she “mourned” the loss of her voice,  …” ” Speaking in a preview clip for an upcoming interview, she said “I’m never going to Continues →

Post-treatment Lyme Disease as a Model for Persistent Symptoms in Lyme Disease

[CanLyme Note: The term post treatment Lyme disease syndrome is controversial and excludes those not effectively treated following the current treatment guidelines imposed upon physicians and patients.] “It has long been observed in clinical practice that a subset of patients with Lyme disease report a constellation of symptoms such as fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and musculoskeletal pain, which may last for Continues →

Borrelia burgdorferi hijacks cellular metabolism of immune cells: Consequences for host defense

Abstract Changes in cellular metabolism have proven to be important factors in driving cell behavior. It has been shown that cellular metabolism of immune cells changes when exposed to or infected by several pathogens: while this is often an adaptation of the host cells to the infection, sometimes it represents a mechanism through which the pathogens evade immune activation. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu Continues →

Transgenic functional complementation with a transmission -associated protein restores spirochete infectivity by tick bite

Abstract The relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia hermsii and the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto each produces an abundant, orthologous, outer membrane protein, Vtp and OspC, respectively, when transmitted by tick bite. Gene inactivation studies have shown that both proteins are essential for spirochete infectivity when transmitted by their respective tick vectors. Therefore, we transformed a vtp-minus mutant of B. hermsii with ospC from B. burgdorferi and examined the behavior Continues →

The General Symptom Questionnaire-30 (GSQ-30): A Brief Measure of Multi-System Symptom Burden in Lyme Disease

[CanLyme Note: The term post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) referenced in this article is contentious as it implies treatment has eradicated the infectious Lyme disease borrelia bacteria. There is an abundance of evidence showing that the bacteria can survive recommended treatment periods. Many people do well with longer term treatment while others do not respond at all. Other limitations of Continues →

Genetic Manipulation of Borrelia Spp

Abstract The spirochetes Borrelia (Borreliella) burgdorferi and Borrelia hermsii, the etiologic agents of Lyme disease and relapsing fever, respectively, cycle in nature between an arthropod vector and a vertebrate host. They have extraordinarily unusual genomes that are highly segmented and predominantly linear. The genetic analyses of Lyme disease spirochetes have become increasingly more sophisticated, while the age of genetic investigation in the relapsing fever spirochetes Continues →

Non-anticoagulant heparin as a pre-exposure prophylaxis prevents Lyme disease infection.

Abstract Lyme disease (LD) is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl). After transmission to humans by ticks, Bbsl spreads to multiple organs, leading to arthritis, carditis, and neuroborreliosis. No effective prophylaxis against human LD prior to tick exposure is currently availa-ble. Thus, a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against LD is needed. The establishment of LD bacteria at diverse sites is Continues →