Senior author and researcher Tara Moriarty, assistant professor at the Faculty of Dentistry and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, has not only discovered live-imaging where the team has watched borrelia in the blood stream use ‘catch bonds’ and ‘tethers’, to survive being swept away with the force of blood, they have also found bone loss in mice directly correlated to the bacterial load of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) found in the bones.  It also took only four weeks to advance to Osteopenia – a condition that leads to osteoporosis.  They also found that while Otzi the ice-man did not die from complications from Bb, these same researchers feel he might have suffered bone loss as a result of having Lyme Disease.  

“Bone pain has been reported since Lyme disease has been studied, but it’s not something that has been investigated,” said Tara Moriarty.

The findings suggest that it may be wise to monitor bone loss in patients with Lyme Disease.

“We need to know how long the osteopenia lasts after bacterial infection, and whether it progresses to osteoporosis,” added Moriarty.


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