Researchers Find New Bacteria that Transmits Lyme Disease

A second bacteria that causes Lyme disease carried by the same deer tick has different symptoms than the more common ones sustained by those infected with the disease.

TicksThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic and state health department officials from North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota announced the finding last February. They revealed that the bacteria Borrelia mayonii can cause Lyme disease, which infects more than 200,000 Americans annually. The disease is transmitted by ticks and is most prevalent in the Northeast region of the U.S., although found throughout much of the country.

This new bacteria causes symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headache and fever in the early stages. If treated early enough, those symptoms may disappear. If untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious problems to the nervous system, heart and joints, including being life-threatening.

The new bacteria is, so far, believed to be found only in the three Upper Midwest states. Its symptoms differ than the more commonly known Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria because it does not have the “bull’s eye” rash of the latter. The new bacteria has “diffuse rashes,” however, and is more highly concentrated in the bloodstream.

“This discovery adds another important piece of information to the complex picture of tick-borne diseases in the United States,” CDC microbiologist Dr. Jeannine Petersen said in a press release.


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