Left-Behind Bacteria Bits May Extend Lyme Disease Symptoms

Left-Behind Bacteria Bits May Extend Lyme Disease Symptoms

Certain individuals who suffer from Lyme disease experience symptoms even after being treated with antibiotics. A new study suggests that the reason behind this may be leftover bacteria fragments responsible for causing Lyme disease. In addition, research indicates that these leftovers cause severe neurological and musculoskeletal inflammation than living bacteria.

Most patients with Lyme disease are given antibiotics that they should administer orally over two to four weeks. This therapy works for most patients, but some may experience symptoms for many months after the treatment. Some of the symptoms include mental dysfunction, particularly thinking problems, and pain that affects the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. The research team believes they identified the reason behind this.

After antibiotics destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there are left-behind bacteria bits responsible for neuroinflammation. The study’s primary author, Dr. Geetha Parthasarathy, believes that inflammation in the nervous system is the root cause of a significant number of nervous system disorders.

In line with the research, about one-third of people living with Lyme disease experience post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome after some time. The PET brain scans of patients with this syndrome have shown signs of glial activation several months after being treated, which indicates ongoing inflammation in the nervous system.

For the purpose of this study, the research team investigated the impact of the bacteria responsible for developing Lyme disease called B. burgdorferi. More particularly, the researchers examined the impact of these leftovers. According to the results, the glial inflammation in the frontal cortex and dorsal root ganglia was more evident than in monkeys exposed to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Furthermore, this type of inflammation was more common in the frontal lobe than in the spinal ganglion. The team has shown that the leftovers of B. burgdorferi caused neuronal cell death.

There is a need for future research that will focus on ineffective clearance on left-behind bacteria bits and finding new ways to get rid of inflammations.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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