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Hope for Persistent Lyme Symptoms with New Antibiotic Cocktail

If only it was as simple as a Band-Aid to rid the body of Lyme disease. The perception is that a dose of antibiotics will be the end all, cure all of Lyme. However, it all depends on the severity of the disease and the length the patient has had the disease.

Persistent symptoms – which are seen in ten to twenty percent of Lyme patients – are not cured by the current Lyme antibiotic treatment. A new study, recently published March 28, 2019 in Discovery Medicine, suggests that “persister” Lyme bacteria were resistant to standard single-antibiotic Lyme treatments currently used to treat Lyme patients.

The study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that a slow-growing variant form of Lyme bacteria caused severe symptoms in a mouse model.

For their study, the scientists isolated slow-growth forms of the Lyme bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. They found that, compared to normal fast-growth forms, the slow-growing forms caused more severe arthritis-like symptoms and resisted standard antibiotic treatment in test tube as well as in a mouse model. The scientists found that a combination of three antibiotics--daptomycin, doxycycline and ceftriaxone –cleared the Lyme infection in the study mice. The scientists now hope to test the combination in people with persistent Lyme disease.

In Canada the struggle continues to be about the knowledge of Lyme disease. In a report published by the Government of Canada published May 30, 2017 they talk about their efforts to prevent and control Lyme disease and how they are working with a variety of stakeholders. They also say, “…more can and should be done.”

Image - Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

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