Yale scientists identify protein that protects against Lyme disease
Yale researchers have discovered a protein that helps protect hosts from infection with the tick-borne spirochete that causes Lyme Disease, a finding that may help diagnose and treat this infection, they report Nov. 11 in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne disease in North America and is transmitted by ticks infected with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The course of the disease varies among individuals, with the majority experiencing mild symptoms easily treated by antibiotics. However, in some cases of untreated Lyme the infection can spread to the heart, joints, nervous system, and other organs.
For the study, the Yale team expressed more than 1,000 human genes in yeast and analyzed their interactions with 36 samples of B. burgdorferi. They found that one protein, Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein 1 (PGLYRP1), acts like an early warning signal to the immune system when exposed to the bacteria. When exposed to the Lyme spirochete, mice lacking PGLYRP1 had much higher levels of B. burgdorferi than mice with the protein and showed signs of immune system dysfunction, the researchers report.
“Stimulating the ability of people to make more of this protein could help fight infection,” said Yale’s Erol Fikrig, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases) and of microbial pathogenesis and co-corresponding author of the study.
Fikrig and his colleagues are also investigating whether people with higher levels of PGLYRP1 may be less susceptible to infection by B. burgdorferi, which would help explain why some infected individuals have better outcomes.
The work was primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Lyme and tick-borne disease research.
A few points:
They state, “The course of the disease varies among individuals, with the majority experiencing mild symptoms easily treated by antibiotics. However, in some cases of untreated Lyme the infection can spread to the heart, joints, nervous system, and other organs.”
OK – this is FALSE.
No, a majority do NOT experience mild symptoms easily treated with antibiotics.
- Current CDC 2-tiered testing is missing 70-86% of cases. They have ZERO idea of prevalence due to all the people being misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Also, even the people who win the testing lotto and manage to test positive are told they have “false positives” and are sent home empty-handed to worsen.
- As to being “easily treated with antibiotics,” how do you explain the 40-60% or more who go on with life-long symptoms? https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/25/medical-stalemate-what-causes-continuing-symptoms-after-lyme-treatment/ and the fact there has been treatment failure in nearly every antibiotics study ever done? https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/22/why-mainstream-lyme-msids-research-remains-in-the-dark-ages/
- They state that only the “untreated Lyme” patients struggle with infection in the heart, joints, CNS, and other organs when this can happen WITH those who are treated as well. In fact, in my experience ALL the patients I deal with have these severe symptoms. ALL!
- While I don’t want to appear to be a stick in the mud, I’m highly skeptical that lacking a certain protein is the sole reason for having lower levels of Bb. I can think of numerous reasons for this – including being infected with numerous pathogens – suppressing the immune system.
- Stay tuned. These studies promise a lot but often deliver little, especially when the premise behind it all is that this complex illness is due to immune dysregulation NOT the underlying persistent infection. Again, in my experience it’s both that are a problem but by treating the underlying infection, the immune dysregulation is also treated.