Lyme Bugs Share Survival Genes!
Ending Simplistic Views of Lyme Treatment?
Dr. Casjens of the University of Utah School of Medicine, and a renowned genome team, including Dr. Fraser, President of the Institute of Genomic Research (TIGR), presented new information that Borrelia burgdorferi, the spiral-shaped bacteria that cause Lyme disease, is able to freely exchange genetic material among themselves.
Why is This Important?
It means that if one Lyme bug is resistance to an antibiotic by a useful genetic trick, it can pass that to another Lyme bug in a crude form of mating. The passed on survival genes are called plasmids and a way to defeat antibiotics, called "resistance" well studied in medicine. Yet, this appears to be the first evidence of this amazing ability in Lyme to beat antibiotics.
And it shows, contrary to common practice and medical ignorance, that chronic Lyme is not so wimpy as to be cured in a few weeks of antibiotics. In many cases this is dreamland.
The implications, according to these researchers, are that this ability may make both diagnosis and treatment difficult. The team concluded that frequent gene passing or recombination may help the bacteria survive in ticks and in the animals they feed on, including humans. The research was published in the Sept. 28 issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.