Saturday, 28 August 2010


Once the Borrelia Lyme bacteria enter the blood stream of a human, it is immediately susceptible to attack.

An immediate cellular response of neutrophils and macrophage will try and digest the bacteria, and also present markers for the bacteria to lymphocytes that will over the course of several weeks begin to turn out killer T-cells and B-cells that produce specific antibodies.

The first mechanism to survive is to leave the blood stream!

Borrelia can do this by either entering the blood vessel cells called endothelial cells, or transiting the blood-vessel through gaps it creates, and entering other tissues.

If the bacteria do this quickly enough, not enough bacteria will be present to cause an immune response. In other words, it tricks the immune system into thinking that there is no active persistent infection.

If the infection load in the blood is too low, the immune response is muted. But the bacteria can persist in low numbers in other tissues.

Often the first tissues the bacteria find themselves in; is back in the skin usually at the tick-bite-site.

The cellular response to attack the bacteria that is literally swimming through the skin cells, causes the redness, and the appearance of the rash.

Over time parts of the rash fade as the immune response lessens as the bacteria move away from ground-zero.

Another place Borrelia burgdorferi can hide is in the skin. We have seen in culture that fibroblast skin cells can safely harbor the bacteria, and prevent powerful drugs like IV ceftriaxone at high concentrations to have almost no lethal effect on the sequestered bacteria.

If we can’t kill the bacteria in in-vitro skin studies, why would we think we have any better luck in a living human when there are even better places to hide?

Georgilis K, Peacocke M, and Klempner MS. Fibroblasts protect the Lyme Disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi from ceftriaxone in vitro. J. Infect Dis. 1992;166:440-444

It isn’t what we don’t know about Lyme disease that is causing patients to suffer. It is what we have known and chosen to ignore that is slowly killing patients by diminishing their quality of life until they have nothing left to fight with.

Once the bacteria enter the blood stream, with every beat of the heart the bacteria are dispersed throughout the body. These motile leech-like creatures use their ability to swim and their ability to attach to cells to their advantage to survive.

The above is a short extract from Lyme on the Brain (Part 3-A)
Lecture Notes of Tom Grier

The whole article can be found on Madison area support group here

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