Navigation Links
Deer Ticks Carry Yet Another Bacterial Threat
Date:1/16/2013

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- People who go outdoors in several regions of the United States may have something else to worry about. Scientists report that there's another troublesome germ hiding in the deer tick that already harbors the Lyme disease bacterium.

There are indications that the germ infects a few thousand Americans a year, potentially causing flu-like symptoms such as fever. In one newly reported case, a woman with existing medical problems appeared to have brain swelling and dementia caused by an infection.

It is not clear, however, how serious of a threat may be posed by the germ. For the moment, Lyme disease appears to be much more prevalent. And four other germs that affect humans lurk in deer ticks.

Still, scientists say the germ is cause for concern. "This would not be commonly picked up by any of the current tests for Lyme disease," said Victor Berardi, co-author of one of two reports about the germ in the Jan. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The bacterium in question is Borrelia miyamotoi and is found on deer ticks (also known as blacklegged ticks) in parts of the country where Lyme disease is prevalent. In 2011, Russian researchers reported that people there were infected by the bacterium, and the new reports have found that it has infected people in the United States as well.

"We've known about this bacterium for a long time -- at least 10 years," said Sam Telford III, a professor of infectious disease at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., who co-authored the report with Berardi. "It's been under our nose all this time, and a lot of us just ignored it until there was this case report."

For the most part, Lyme disease infections occur in northeastern states, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and northern California. The germs are spread by ticks that bite the skin and remain there for a day or more.

In the U.S. case, an 80-year-old woman who lived on a farm in New Jersey was infected by the Borrelia miyamotoi germ. She suffered from non-Hodgkin lymphoma (which disrupts the immune system) and developed what appeared to be signs of dementia. She recovered after taking penicillin, and scientists later confirmed that she had been infected with the bacterium and may have developed swelling in the brain and brain lining as a result.

Researchers warned that the germ could be responsible for apparent cases of dementia in older people, especially those who suffer from conditions such as AIDS, which weaken the immune system. The germ also appears to cause fever, headache, chills and sweats, among other symptoms.

So how common might infection with the germ be?

Another new report in the journal found signs of B. miyamotoi infection in blood tests taken from people in New York and New England between 1990 and 2010. They were treated with the antibiotics doxycycline and amoxicillin, which are cheap and unlikely to have serious side effects, said lead author Dr. Peter Krause, a senior research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn.

He estimates that 4,000 to 5,000 cases of the disease may appear in the United States each year, compared with 30,000 of Lyme disease.

There is no test for the germ yet, but researchers are working on one. It should cost about $100, said Berardi, who also is an associate director of laboratory science at Imugen, a Norwood, Mass., company that develops medical tests.

More information

For more about Lyme disease, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Victor Berardi, associate director of laboratory science, Imugen, Norwood, Mass.; Sam Telford III, Sc.D., professor of infectious disease, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.; Peter Krause, M.D., senior research scientist, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Conn.; Jan. 17, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Carnivores: Beware of ticks
2. Stop-Smoking Drug Chantix May Carry Heart Risks, FDA Warns
3. Herceptin May Carry Higher Heart Risks for Women Than Thought
4. African Chimps Carry Drug-Resistant, Human-Linked Staph
5. Some Schools Dont Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers
6. People Carrying Guns May Appear Bigger Than They Are
7. Certain Birth Control Pills May Carry Higher Blood Clot Risk: FDA
8. Law Firm of Garcia & Phan Settles Another "Pre-litigation Settlement" for Online Trademark/Copyright Infringement on Behalf of their Client CortiSLIM® International
9. US Drug Watchdog Now Fears Thousands of Senior Citizen Recipients Of A All Metal Hip Implant Are Not Complaining About A Failure Because They Don't Want Another Surgery
10. Climate Change May Bring Another Mosquito-Borne Illness to U.S.
11. Houston, we have another problem
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Deer Ticks Carry Yet Another Bacterial Threat
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet ... product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural ... two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn ... specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand ... all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs ... company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, ... Technologies , Inc. Patients are no longer limited ... ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NAMUR , Belgium , ...  (NYSE MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of ... Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective ... the Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance ... Board, Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Any dentist who has made an implant supported ... Many of them do not even offer this as a ... laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer ... high cost that the majority of today,s patients would not ... Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: