Wednesday, 6 March 2013


A simple method for the detection of live Borrelia spirochaetes in human blood using classical microscopy techniques
Ivar Mysterud, Morten Motzfeldt Laane


We have developed a simple method for the detection of live spirochaete stages in blood of patients where chronic borreliosis is suspected. Classic techniques involving phase-contrast and fluorescence microscopy are used. The method is also quite sensitive for detecting other bacteria, protists, fungi and other organisms present in blood samples. It is also useful for monitoring the effects of various antibiotics during treatment. We also present a simple hypothesis for explaining the confusion generated through the interpretation of possible stages of Borrelia seen in human blood. We hypothesize that these various stages in the blood stream are derived from secondarily infected tissues and biofilms in the body with low oxygen concentrations. Motile stages transform rapidly into cysts or sometimes penetrate other blood cells including red blood cells (RBCs). The latter are ideal hiding places for less motile stages that take advantage of the host’s RBCs blebbing-system. Less motile, morphologically different stages may be passively ejected in the blood plasma from the blebbing RBCs, more or less coated with the host’s membrane proteins which prevents detection by immunological methods.

The above is published in Biological and Biomedical reports link here from the link there is access to a free PDF for the full paper.

It makes very interesting and exciting reading.

The many references just illustrate how many other researchers have gone before using similar techniques of finding Borrelia in patients. There are some useful links to some of their papers, reports and video's such as this from M.M. Laane

Just two extracts from this important paper.

'The many difficulties in diagnosing Borrelia structures in human RBC-samples raise some rather gloomy perspectives for the much used medical practice of blood transfusion. We therefore stress that it is urgent to seriously evaluate the substantial potential for acquiring chronic borreliosis after blood transfusions [25], [26], because the usual methods for detecting Borrelia in many cases appears inadequate.'

'We think it might be of value and assist in the difficult diagnostic work of the disease and help out patients that suffer from chronic health problems without having got a proper diagnosis. We urge that extensive research might be carried out regarding the ecology, life cycle and evolutionary adaptive strategies of this species.'


  1. Lyme disease is really detrimental for a person having this one will feel weaker and weaker each day as the bacteria evolves and will continuously destroy our immune system. Do you think having an arganine in your blood would have prevented this kind of disease? Will turn the table around or it will just be another ineffective solution?

  2. Were you the Joanne interviewed for the video BADA has on its page for tick prevention week? If so, I thought you did a really good job, it is so hard to describe it to people sometimes. Well done for increasing awareness!

  3. Hi Out of the Lyme Light - yes it was me and yes it is very hard to know what to say or should I say what not to say - the video was about raising awareness of tickbites - so I had to try to choose my words appropriately hence the hesitancy, as you know only too well we could all talk for hours on this subject - just such a pity the doctors that could help us don't bother to do their research before denying this disease. Well actually I have been lucky with my local doctor she has been supportive but I have seen several Consultants who haven't a clue and don't want to know, so much easier to pass the buck.

    BADA did an excellent job with Dr Logan and also Environmental Health Officer from Guildford Borough Council