Canine Filamentous Dermatitis Associated with Borrelia Infection
Background: Although canine clinical manifestations of Lyme disease vary widely, cutaneous manifestations are not well documented in dogs. In contrast, a variety of cutaneous manifestations are reported in human Lyme disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. A recently recognized dermopathy associated with tickborne illness known as Morgellons disease is characterized by brightly-colored filamentous inclusions and projections detected in ulcerative lesions and under unbroken skin.Recent studies have demonstrated that the dermal filaments are collagen and keratin biofibers produced by epithelial cells in response to spirochetal infection. We now describe a similar filamentous dermatitis in canine Lyme disease. Methods and Results: Nine dogs were found to have cutaneous ulcerative lesions containing embedded or projecting dermal filaments. Spirochetes characterized as Borrelia spp. were detected in skin tissue by culture, histology, immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gene sequencing performed at five independent laboratories. Borrelia DNA was detected either directly from skin specimens or from cultures inoculated with skin specimens taken from the nine canine study subjects. Amplicon sequences from two canine samples matched gene sequences for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. PCR amplification failed to detect spirochetes in dermatological specimens from four healthy asymptomatic dogs. Conclusions: Our study provides evidence that a filamentous dermatitis analogous to Morgellons disease may be a manifestation of Lyme disease in domestic dogs.
“Similar skin lesions have previously been reported in bovine digital dermatitis, an infectious disease of cattle.
Most of the owners of the study dogs were healthy and were not familiar with Morgellons disease or Lyme disease; however, two of the owners also had Morgellons disease. “In those cases, we do not have evidence of contact transmission from human to animal or animal to human,” says Dr. Stricker, “it may be that both owner and dog were exposed to the same disease vector.”
“The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained,” said Ms. Middelveen. “We need to learn much more about this mysterious skin condition.”
About the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation:
The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation based in Austin, TX, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to advocacy and philanthropy in the battle against Morgellons. Director, Cindy Casey-Holman, RN, leads the foundation, named for her husband, Charles E. Holman, a pioneer in the fight against MD. The CEHMDF is the recognized authority and primary funding source for Morgellons Disease medical-scientific research. There are neither grants, nor any other public or private funding to support research for Morgellons. Donations are tax deductible in the US. To learn more about Morgellons disease go to http://www.MorgellonsDisease.org“.
For more information on Morgellons: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/06/17/morgellons-believe-it/