<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1538973079464292&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Blog Subscribe

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy to Clipboard
Significant research by Dr. Jacob E. Lemieux explores the genetic variations of Lyme disease bacteria, exploring why some strains are more harmful than others.

Jacob E. Lemieux, MD, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School) recently published a paper in PLoS Pathogens titled “Genome sequencing of human Borrelia burgdorferi isolates reveals linked blocks of accessory genome elements located on plasmids and associated with human dissemination”.

In this seminal study researchers investigated the genetic variations in different strains of the bacterium B. burgdorferi, which is associated with Lyme disease. They analyzed the genomes of 299 isolates from patients with Lyme disease and discovered that a specific group of Lyme bacteria possessed distinct genetic features that were associated with higher rates of dissemination in the human body.

According to Timothy Sellati, PhD (CSO, Global Lyme Alliance) “The importance of these findings cannot be understated as they answer a long-standing question about why some strains of Lyme bacteria are associated with a worse course of disease than others?  Dr. Lemieux and colleagues have provided evidence that the reason is because expression of a particular variant of outer surface protein A on the Lyme bacteria confers an ability to migrate away more rapidly from the site of a tick bite, thus avoiding host defenses in the skin.” Dr. Sellati also says that “This research establishes a foundation for future investigations that aim to connect the genetic makeup of the bacterium to the diverse clinical manifestations of Lyme disease in humans.


Subscribe to newsletter