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Does the Lyme Spirochete Harm Human or Primate Hearts?

First, it should be noted that you cannot do these studies on humans unless you live in Germany in 1939-1944. Second, it is unnatural or rare, according to some students of tick and flea infections, to only have one infection from the tick that carries Lyme disease. Why? My impression is their stomachs are basically super Petri dishes for almost everything. This is an overstatement, but it is meant to cause you to reflect on the notion their stomachs are STERILE... with the exception of Lyme.

Primates Infected Show Mild Heart Problems

Cardiac involvement in non-human primates infected with the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.

Cadavid D, Bai Y, Hodzic E, et al

To investigate cardiac involvement in the non-human primate (NHP) model of Lyme disease, we inoculated 39 adult Macaca mulatta with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strains N40 (BbN40) by needle (N=22, 14 immunocompetent (IC), seven permanently immunosuppressed (IS), and four transiently immunosuppressed (TISP)) or by tick-bite (N=4, all TISP) or strain 297 (Bb297) by needle (N=2 IS), or with B. garinii strains Pbi (N=4, 2 TISP and 2 IS), 793 (N=2, TISP) or Pli (N=2, TISP). Five uninfected NHPs were used as controls. Infection and inflammation was studied in the hearts and the aorta removed at necropsy 2-32 months after inoculation by (1) H&E and trichrome-staining; (2) immunohistochemistry and digital image analysis; (3) Western blot densitometry; and (4) TaqMan RT-PCR. All NHPs inoculated with BbN40 became infected and showed carditis at necropsy. The predominant cells were T cells, plasma cells, and macrophages. There was increased IgG and IgM in the heart independent of immunosuppression. The B-cell chemokine BLC was significantly increased in IS-NHPs. There was increased deposition of the complement membrane attack complex (MAC) in TISP and IS-NHPs. The spirochetal load was very high in all BbN40-inoculated IS-NHPs but minimal if any in IC or TISP NHPs. Double-immunostaining revealed that many spirochetes in the heart of BbN40-IS NHPs had MAC on their membranes. We conclude that carditis in NHPs infected with B. burgdorferi is frequent and can persist for years but is mild unless they are immunosupressed.

PMID: 15448708 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Lab Invest. 2004 ;84:1439-50.

These primates inoculated with the Lyme bacteria had routine heart problems.

A Sample Human Study

G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2011 Mar;12(3):214-6.

[Complete atrioventricular block as the first clinical manifestation of a tick bite (Lyme disease)].

Bacino L, Gazzarata M, Siri G, et al


A 52-year-old male patient presented to the emergency department because of malaise and frequent dizziness. The ECG revealed high-grade atrioventricular block that required placement of a temporary pacemaker. There were no other abnormalities in physical and echocardiographic examination, and coronary angiography excluded the presence of coronary artery disease. IgM and IgG antibodies against Borrelia were positive, and antibiotic therapy with ceftriaxone at the dose of 2 g/die for 15 days resulted in rapid regression of atrioventricular block. Seven-day ECG recording immediately after discharge and 24h ECG monitoring at 40 days confirmed the total disappearance of atrioventricular block. This represents a case of atrioventricular block as the first manifestation of Borrelia infection (Lyme disease). A prompt diagnosis and antibiotic therapy usually result in complete resolution of atrioventricular block without the need for a permanent pacemaker.

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