Breakthrough paves way for new Lyme disease treatment

A Virginia Tech biochemist has discovered the cellular component that contributes to Lyme arthritis, a debilitating and extremely painful condition that is the most common late stage symptom of Lyme disease, a press release said.

According to the release from Virginia Tech, the biochemist, Brandon Jutras, found that as the Lyme-causing bacteria borrelia burgdorferi multiplies, it sheds a cellular component called peptidoglycan that elicits a unique inflammatory response in the body.

“This discovery will help researchers improve diagnostic tests and may lead to new treatment options for patients suffering with Lyme arthritis,” said Jutras, lead author on the study. “This is an important finding and we think that it has major implications for many manifestations of Lyme disease, not just Lyme arthritis.”

Lyme disease is the most reported vector-borne disease in the country, and in Virginia reports have increased by more than 6,000 percent in the last fifteen years. The Centers for Disease Control, estimates that approximately 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually in the United States. Scientists predict that the number of people who become infected Lyme will increase as our climate continues to change.

Jutras — an assistant professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an affiliated faculty member of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute — and his collaborators recently published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to the release, the PNAS paper was four years in the making, and Jutras began this research during his post-doctoral fellowship in the lab of Christine Jacobs-Wagner, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor at Yale University.

“Nowadays nothing significant in science is accomplished without collaboration,” said Jutras. Co-authors on this paper ranged from bench scientists to medical doctors and practicing physicians. Dr. Allen Steere, a Harvard doctor who originally identified Lyme disease in the 1970s, assisted Jutras with his research and provided access to patient samples.

The research could provide a new way to diagnose Lyme disease and Lyme arthritis for patients with vague symptoms based on the presence of the cellular component called peptidoglycan in synovial fluid.

Read: Every spot in Virginia is a hotspot for ticks

The press release said, the team found peptidoglycan is a major contributor to Lyme arthritis in late-stage Lyme disease patients. Peptidoglycan is an essential component of bacterial cell walls. All bacteria have some form of peptidoglycan, but the form found in the bacteria that causes Lyme, borrelia burgdorferi, has a unique chemical structure. When the bacteria multiply, they shed peptidoglycan into the extracellular environment, because its genome does not have the appropriate proteins to recycle it back into the cell.

“We can actually detect peptidoglycan in the synovial fluid of the affected, inflamed joints of patients that have all the symptoms of Lyme arthritis but no longer have an obvious, active infection,” said Jutras in the release.

Peptidoglycan elicits an inflammatory response and the molecule persists in the synovial fluid, which means that our bodies continue to respond, without mounting a counter response.

Receptors in our immune system sense bacterial products and, depending on the individual’s genetic predispositions, may determine how strongly a patient’s body reacts to peptidoglycan.

The next phase of Jutras’ work is to use methods to destroy the peptidoglycan, or intervene to prevent a response, which could get rid of Lyme disease symptoms. According to the release, Jutras predicts that with either therapy patients would start recovering sooner.

Breakthrough paves way for new Lyme disease treatment, as discussed in this video provided by Virginia Tech. Video provided by Virginia Tech, Staunton News Leader

Clinical samples included in this study were obtained from patients that had confirmed cases of Lyme disease under the guidelines of the CDC, but virtually all did not respond to oral and/or intravenous antibiotic treatment, the release said. The presence of peptidoglycan in these patients’ synovial fluids may explain why some people experience symptoms of late stage Lyme disease in the absence of an obvious infection. In this case, the usual antibiotic treatments for Lyme disease would no longer be helpful, but this discovery might provide avenues for new treatments, the press release said.

Members of the Jacobs-Wagner lab purified the peptidoglycan and removed all other bacterial components and asked: is peptidoglycan all on its own capable of causing arthritis in a mouse model?

According to the release, within 24 hours post-injection, mice presented with dramatic joint inflammation, indicating that peptidoglycan can cause arthritis.

Jutras is continuing his research at Virginia Tech on peptidoglycan by more thoroughly studying its chemical composition to determine how it is able to persist in the human body. This will also help further the understanding of how this bacterial product contributes to other manifestations of Lyme disease.

“We are interested in understanding everything associated with how patients respond, how we can prevent that response, and how we could possibly intervene with blocking therapies or therapies that eliminate the molecule entirely,” Jutras said.

This article brings up more questions than answers.
1) Were these patients used for this study truly treated appropriately to begin with?  For example, was the mono-therapy of doxycycline only used for a short period of time?  This treatment has been shown again and again to have treatment failures from the beginning of time. For examples of effective treatment:  In a nutshell, effective treatment takes into account pleomorphism, polymmcrobialism, and biofilm. Doxy alone will not do these things.
2) Would an anti-peptidoglycan treatment only be a bandaid covering up a systemic infection? Everything I know about borrelia would answer a resounding “yes,” to this question.  While that may not be a bad thing, we must be honest about what the treatment’s really doing as well as the fact borrelia can persist in the human body, something The Cabal isn’t admitting at this point. Again, we truly need to end this Lyme War and according to microbiologist Tom Grier, that isn’t going to happen until post mortem studies are completed: Isn’t it a bit ironic that The Cabal is just fine with creating a patentable drug but NOT fine with doing the proper science that would put all of this to rest?
3) Bandaids on symptoms are used all the time to lesson pain and other symptoms; however, they shouldn’t be used at the expense of true, effective treatment for a systemic infection that’s relapsing in nature. In the case of Lyme disease, that would simply mean long-term antimicrobials. While I do not know the study parameters used here my guess would be the treatment that “didn’t work” was the mono-therapy of doxycycline which certainly doesn’t work for many coinfections such as Babesia, as well as the fact Eva Sapi has shown it to push the spirochete into the noncell wall form invitro:
Just this year another study was done about it by Caskey et al.:

Treatment failures were found in Lyme arthritic patients who were treated with intramuscular (IM) benzathine penicillin following steroids. [3]

In another study, two patients were ill for 3 years and one patient for 6 years despite receiving intravenous (IV) ceftriaxone. The authors explained, “Patients unresponsive to ceftriaxone were more likely to have received corticosteroid treatment.” Dattwyler et al. from Stony Brook Medical Center found an “association of steroid use with an increased failure rate or worsening of disease is understandable in view of the well-known effects of these agents on the inflammatory and immune responses.”

Dattwyler advised against the use of steroids in Lyme disease patients based on these two studies. “In view of the strong association between the use of steroids and the lack of response to antibiotic therapy, we believe that glucocorticoids should not be used in the treatment of Lyme borreliosis.” [2]

This article highlights yet again the importance of needing the right research to be done. The Cabal continues full-steam ahead doing research built upon false premises that could hurt patients in the end.


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