Lyme disease (LD) is the most virulent infectious disease epidemic to plague the United States since AIDS/HIV during the 1980s and early 1990s. This disease is a tick-borne illness transmitted by the Eastern black-legged deer tick, Ixodes scapularis and the pacific variation I. pacificus. While I. scapularis and I. pacificus were once believed the only two species of ticks to carry the spirochete known as Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), 37 known species are known, 12 of which are Lyme related, and an unknown number of genomic strains.
While the deer tick is the primary vector responsible for LD, some studies suggest other blood vectors can transmit Bb: mites, fleas, and mosquitoes. More research is needed to verify. One item of interest is the fact there is significant research to support evidence which documents pregnant women who are infected with LD, can pass Lyme disease to her unborn child through the placenta. This makes it possible for the pregnancy to end in miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects. Of those children who seem to be healthy often can develop Lyme later in life. Some doctors believe other human-to-human transmission is possible via sexual intercourse but more research is needed.
Ticks that carry Bb also carries can spread seven different co-infectors. Four of the most problematic are Babesia, Bartonella, and Erichiliosis and the newly discovered Powassan virus identified in I. scapularis. While this new virus is present it by no means affects as many people as the first three.
That said, LD is an epidemic across the entire US, and pandemic within in the Northeast and Upper Midwestern US, as well as many states in the Southeastern US and Pacific Northwest. The disease found in every state. In the US, the CDC estimates that the annual number of new cases of Lyme disease in the US exceeds 300,000 and as high as one million cases per year in the United States alone. This figure does not include the thousands of cases that go unreported or misdiagnosed; numbers continue to climb at alarming rates each year; five times higher than new AIDS cases. Lyme disease has become the most virulent vector-borne disease in the history of United States and world-wide. This year will likely be unprecedented simply because of the change in weather patterns. If these patterns continue to change the number of tick-borne illness’ world-wide number will likely approach a half billion to one billion infected with Lyme disease.
Borrelia burgdorferi — Spirochetes –Defense Mechanism
Bb has developed a defense mechanism, similar to Syphilis. Like Syphilis, Bb evolves into at least three stages in its life cycle. Once the bacterium enters the bloodstream it continues to morph and mutate for as long as it remains viable inside the host’s bloodstream. Bb also crosses the blood-brain-barrier like its cousin, and unlike any other known bacterium in existence. From the research learned from Syphilis. Scientists have been able to understand how to treat the disease. More funding is needed to support Lyme disease research.
One of the issues with treatment is the longer the tick is embedded, the greater chance the spirochetes have crossed the blood brain barrier. When this occurs, the spirochetes immediately bore into the various organs within the body or change-form and go undetected. When this situation occurs, the spirochetes are no longer within the bloodstream and do not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics made useless unless specific enzymes are given to specifically break down the biofilm, which surrounds the newly developed spirochete cyst, a defense mechanism the spirochetes use when they detect a threat (antibiotics). This is in part why it is so difficult to detect and why antibiotics used long-term need to include an enzyme to break down the bioflim. It is also in part why the disease is so contentious.
Stages of B. burgdorferi
Bb has developed a defense mechanism like Syphilis. Bb evolves into at least three stages in its life cycle. Once the bacterium enters the bloodstream it is a spirochete then it will continue to morph and mutate for as long as it remains viable inside the bloodstream. As stated above Bb crosses the blood-brain-barrier, and unlike any other known bacterium in existence except Syphilis. From the Syphilis, scientists have ascertained once the spirochetes enter the bloodstream they immediately begin to bore their way outside of the bloodstream.This theory is supported by the difficulty to detect Bb in the bloodstream in as little as 12-48 hours of a tick being embedded into the host. This also supports the need to administer antibiotics quickly once a tick is found embedded under the skin, and the potential need for long-term use of antibiotics discussed below.
- The Lyme spirochetes use bat-like wings called flagella to propel their corkscrew like bodies through the bloodstream. When the spirochetes cross the blood brain barrier they generally sense danger, then penetrate the muscles, joints, eyes, heart, kidneys, and other vital organs, nervous system, bones, and various skin sites where their will change form and give rise to the multitude of symptoms of disseminated diseases.
- L-Form- this form hides inside the cell. Sometimes it’s called an “intracellular L-form.”
- Cyst form – this form of Bb can blockade itself inside a slimy coated cyst called a biofilm, which evades antibiotics. These adherent cells are often embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance, which encompasses the spirochete when they form cysts inside the body. That said, three enzymes — Serrapeptase, Lumbrokinase, and Nattokinase — are used to break down biofilm coating that surrounds the cysts long enough to allow antibiotics to destroy the spirochetes. Lyme Literate doctors suggest antibiotics be given immediately following a tick bite before they burrow inside another organ and often with one of the above enzymes to help break down the biofilm. More on biofilm and cyst development is found under the Lyme Disease Tab under page heading.
It’s not my intent to scare you, only to make you aware of the seriousness of this disease so you maybe can understand it is a lot more than a simple bug bite. Also to understand how terrible it is for those who battle this disease. I have a lot of information to share and will continue to post in the pages sections. Depending on my health post should be fairly regular so you can understand the disease, protect yourself, and have fun, all while preventing tick attacks.
House of Thoth info will also be coming too!
Thanks for listening any questions send me a note and I would be happy to answer them.
LA Edwards, PhD
Environmental Science, Natural Resources, and Toxicology