Chronic Lyme disease has frustrated doctors and patients alike for years. The severe, lingering symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, or cognitive difficulties, have disrupted patients’ lives and treatments have been elusive.

But what if there was a way to prevent acute Lyme disease from progressing to the longer-term version?

That’s the premise that has driven Kim Lewis’ research. And now, the university distinguished professor of biology and director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern says he has found a targeted treatment for acute Lyme disease that could do just that. (See link for article)

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Important points:

  • Doxycycline, the antibiotic commonly used to treat Lyme disease is a broad spectrum antibiotic that kills indiscriminately, wiping out ones beneficial to health
  • Lewis found in previous research that chronic Lyme patients have a gut microbiome distinct from healthy individuals
  • Hygromycin A, found in soil, was discovered in 1953 but was dismissed as ineffective
  • It appears to be potent against spirochetes
  • Lewis’s team is also studying whether Hygromycin A can treat other spirochetal diseases like syphilis