Scientists have found an illness similar to Lyme which is resistant to many antibiotics. The unnamed disease is carried by the bacteria Borrelia miyamotoi which has been found to be present in 3 out of 954 ticks in southern England. While there are no reports of illness in the UK, there have been 18 diagnoses in the United States in 2013.
There is concern that this unnamed illness could be mistaken for the flu or viruses as it causes relapsing fevers. If people do not receive prompt treatment symptoms become far more serious and pervasive.
Borrelia miyamotoi was identified 20 years ago in Japan but was not known to cause disease until 2011 when Durland Fish, Emeritus Professor at Yale School of Public Health said, “We stumbled across it at our laboratory in our colony of ticks. We reported it, but we could not get any funding. I happened to be at a conference in Cyprus where there were posters about an infection in Russia. I met the guy who was dealing with it and we exchanged notes.” He is hopeful a new antibiotic will be found for the disease.
Doctors have successfully treated the Borrelia miyamotoi illness with stronger varieties of antibiotics.