Mayo Researchers have discovered an entirely new Borrelia species that causes Lyme disease. The video below both explains how they discovered the new species and provides some conservative testing recommendations.
The new species, Borrelia mayonii, has only been detected in the upper Midwest. Infected patient's symptoms differ from Borrelia burgdorferi infection by presenting with a diffuse rash (verses a bulls-eye rash) and having GI side effects like nausea and vomiting. Patients also seem to have significantly worse bacterial counts and very severe sequela; including multiple hospitalizations.
Existing lab testing will identify B. mayonii and it is believed that current antibiotic treatments are effective against it. The only way to differentiate B. mayonii from B. burgdorferi is using a genetic based PCR test.
What is it? A new bacteria that causes Lyme disease has been discovered called Borrelia Mayonii
Is it detected differently? No, current testing for Lyme disease (Antibody, Western Blot, iSpot Lyme, etc.) appear to also detect this new species of Borrelia.
Is it treated differently? No, it does not change how we treat Lyme disease.
How does this change the Lyme disease landscape?
1.) It is a reminder that we are still very ignorant about Lyme disease and all the other infectious diseases that we have may not even know about.
2.) The telltale bull's eye rash is not the only rash doctors need to aware of. B. mayonii's diffuse rash suggests that any rash associated with other Lyme disease symptoms is highly suspect.
3.) Further evidence that doctor's need to stop using the bull's eye rash as a diagnostic requirement. FYI, it is often not present in B. burgdorferi infections.
4.) GI side effects can be a sequela of Lyme disease. The limited initial data compiled by the researches suggest that the 6 known cases had seen nausea and vomiting present. Clinicians need to be aware of any GI symptom.
5.) B. mayonii' was seen to be fond in very high levels in patients and the 6 patients discovered had more severe infections than those normally seen with B. burgdorferi .
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