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Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans News

Study: El Nino Could Boost Lyme Disease in Western U.S.

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – The big shifts in rain and warmth caused by El Nino and La Nina conditions may boost Lyme disease and intestinal infections in parts of the United States, a new study suggests. Over four decades, more tick-borne disease in the West and more gastrointestinal disease in the Northeast were tied to the periodic swings in weather conditions, researchers said. They believe the findings provide insight into potential effects of climate change. "There are important links between the environment and infectious disease risk, not only in low-income countries, like places with a lot of malaria, but in high-income countries like the U.S. and Canada, too," said study lead author Dr. David Fisman. He's a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. "Hopefully, people will understand that environmental change can impact their ... Read more

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Drug Duo Cures a Tick-Borne Disease -- in Mice

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – Babesiosis is a sometimes serious illness transmitted to humans by ticks. Now, researchers say a two-drug combo seems to have cured the illness in mice. Babesiosis – transmitted by the same ticks that transmit the bacteria behind Lyme disease – is caused by the B. microti parasite, which can develop resistance to current treatments. "This is the first radical cure against this parasite," said lead researcher Choukri Ben Mamoun. He's an associate professor of infectious diseases at Yale University, in New Haven, Conn. People infected with the babesiosis parasite sometimes have no symptoms. However, in other cases they can develop symptoms that range from mild and flu-like, to severe and life-threatening. Babesiosis is becoming more common in the United States, the researchers noted, and is more widespread in the Northeast and northern Midwest. The Yale team said ... Read more

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7 Ways to Give Ticks the Slip

Posted 22 May 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, May 22, 2016 – While only a few tick species infect people with diseases, the rising popularity of many outdoor activities and the spread of residential developments has upped the odds that one of those creepy parasites might latch on to you. "Luckily, ticks don't fly, jump or fall from the sky," vector-borne disease expert Stephen Wikel said. He's a professor emeritus of medical sciences at Quinnipiac University's Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine, in North Haven, Conn. "They generally move from grass to a living host, and crawl upwards, looking for a warm, moist area to feed. Ticks also have incredible anti-detection defenses. For example, their saliva is loaded with antihistamines, anticoagulants and other inhibitors that prevent wound healing, and dampen pain and itch responses; unfed nymphs are so small, they can be mistaken for freckles," he said. So, how can you ... Read more

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Study: Longer-Term Antibiotics Won't Ease 'Chronic Lyme Disease'

Posted 31 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 30, 2016 – People with persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease are unlikely to find relief from longer-term antibiotic therapy, according to a new Dutch study. Although antibiotics are the correct therapy to treat Lyme disease when it is diagnosed early, longer-term use appears ineffective against the symptoms linked to the tick-borne illness and may carry the risk of side effects, the researchers said. "Most patients with Lyme disease are cured after initial antibiotic therapy. But, up to 20 percent of patients report persistent symptoms, such as muscular or joint pain, fatigue or concentration problems, despite initial antibiotic therapy," said study senior researcher Dr. Bart-Jan Kullberg. He is a professor of infectious diseases at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Treating these patients with longer courses of antibiotics has ... Read more

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New Lyme Disease Bacteria Discovered in Upper Midwest: CDC

Posted 9 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 – A new Lyme disease-causing bacteria has been identified in the United States, and it may bring even worse symptoms, health officials said. Borrelia burgdorferi was the only bacteria species believed to cause Lyme disease in North America – until this new discovery, the researchers said. The newly-identified bacteria, called Borrelia mayonii, appears closely related to B. burgdorferi, say a team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This discovery adds another important piece of information to the complex picture of tick-borne diseases in the United States," CDC microbiologist Jeannine Petersen said in an agency news release. The first indication there might be a new species of Lyme disease-causing bacteria was unusual lab test results from six samples from people suspected to have the illness. Further genetic testing at the CDC and the Mayo ... Read more

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Studying Tick Biology With Lyme Prevention in Mind

Posted 9 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 – Scientists who sequenced the genome, or genetic composition, of the Lyme disease-transmitting deer tick hope the achievement will lead to new ways to control the blood-sucking parasites. The decade-long effort involved an international team of 93 scientists from 46 institutions. "The genome provides a foundation for a whole new era in tick research," project leader Catherine Hill, a professor of medical entomology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., said in a university news release. "Now that we've cracked the tick's code, we can begin to design strategies to control ticks, to understand how they transmit disease and to interfere with that process," she said. The deer tick, also called the black-legged tick, is the first tick species to have its genome sequenced, the researchers said. The findings were published Feb. 9 in the journal Nature ... Read more

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Lyme-Causing Ticks Expand Their Range in U.S.

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 18, 2016 – Ticks that transmit Lyme disease are now found in nearly half of all counties in the United States, a much broader swath than was seen in the late 1990s, researchers report. The findings show "that the distribution of Lyme disease vectors has changed substantially over the last nearly two decades and highlights areas where risk for human exposure to ticks has changed during that time," said study author Dr. Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease – transmitted by black-legged and western black-legged ticks often called deer ticks – can cause symptoms such as fever, headache and fatigue. It is often mistaken for the flu. Knowing where these ticks are found can help doctors make a correct diagnosis of Lyme disease, experts said. Researchers analyzed available data and found black-legged ticks ... Read more

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Lyme Disease in U.S. Is Under-Reported, CDC Says

Posted 12 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2015 – Lyme disease may be grossly under-reported in the United States. Government researchers say the tick-borne infection affects about 10 times as many Americans as previously indicated by confirmed case reports. About 329,000 cases of Lyme disease occur every year, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in their analysis of a nationwide health insurance claims database for 2005 through 2010. That's much higher than the 30,000 confirmed and probable Lyme cases reported to the CDC in 2010. But it tracks fairly well with a previous CDC estimate of about 300,000 Lyme disease cases annually, said lead author Dr. Christina Nelson, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC's division of vector-borne disease. "We've always had the understanding that cases are under-reported, so we always knew that surveillance doesn't capture every case," ... Read more

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Another Tick-Borne Illness Documented in Northeast

Posted 8 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 – The same ticks that spread Lyme disease may also carry a rarer bacteria that's causing serious illness in the northeastern United States. Like Lyme disease, Borrelia miyamotoi disease causes flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, chills and muscle pain. But at its most severe, it can lead to a serious brain infection – meningoencephalitis, researchers say. And nearly one-quarter of patients treated for the disease require hospitalization, a new study suggests. "This is an emerging infection and a lot of people and doctors have not heard about it," said lead researcher Dr. Philip Molloy, medical director of Imugen Inc., a Norwood, Mass.-based company that develops blood tests for tick-borne diseases. Imugen funded the new study. Fortunately, B. miyamotoi disease (BMD) can be treated with the same antibiotics used to treat Lyme disease, experts said. How many ... Read more

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