Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Bbsl Infected Ticks in Canadian Songbirds

Far-Reaching Dispersal of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato-Infected Blacklegged Ticks by Migratory Songbirds in Canada.

Scott JD, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2018.


Lyme disease has been documented in northern areas of Canada, but the source of the etiological bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) has been in doubt. We collected 87 ticks from 44 songbirds during 2017, and 24 (39%) of 62 nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, were positive for Bbsl. We provide the first report of Bbsl-infected, songbird-transported I. scapularis in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; Newfoundland and Labrador; north-central Manitoba, and Alberta. Notably, we report the northernmost account of Bbsl-infected ticks parasitizing a bird in Canada. DNA extraction, PCR amplification, and DNA sequencing reveal that these Bbsl amplicons belong to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (Bbss), which is pathogenic to humans. Based on our findings, health-care providers should be aware that migratory songbirds widely disperse B. burgdorferi-infected I. scapularis in Canada’s North, and local residents do not have to visit an endemic area to contract Lyme disease.



Second posting today of infected ticks being in places they supposedly shouldn’t be.  I think we need to truly accept the fact Lyme/MSIDS is everywhere.  Make sure you spread the word to medical practitioners, your family and friends – and frankly anyone who will listen.  Infected ticks found in unlikely places including beaches.

Increasing Bbss in Tennessee Ticks

Increasing Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto-Infected Blacklegged Ticks in Tennessee Valley, Tennessee, USA.

Hickling GJ, et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018.


In 2017, we surveyed forests in the upper Tennessee Valley, Tennessee, USA. We found Ixodes scapularis ticks established in 23 of 26 counties, 4 of which had Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto-infected ticks. Public health officials should be vigilant for increasing Lyme disease incidence in this region.



Another study showing infected ticks in places most don’t suspect and the importance of spreading the word.  I pray long gone are the days when a doc stares at a CDC map and announces it can’t be Lyme because it doesn’t exist in their state.  Infected ticks are virtually everywhere. 


Acute Abdominal Pain Caused by Neuroborreliosis

Acute abdominal pain caused by neuroborreliosis

Dobbe ASM, et al. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2018.


BACKGROUND: Lyme disease is a multisystem disease which can present itself in several ways. When the nervous system is involved, it is called Lyme neuroborreliosis. Both central and peripheral nervous systems can be affected.

CASE DESCRIPTION: A 39-year-old man visited the emergency department multiple times with severe abdominal-pain attacks with motoric unrest. Extensive diagnostic work-up was done, which was initially inconclusive. Lyme neuroborreliosis was suspected when he developed a facial-nerve palsy during admission; the abdominal pain was thought to be caused by thoracic radiculoneuropathy. Serologic testing for antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi was positive, confirming the diagnosis. The patient was treated with intravenous ceftriaxone.

CONCLUSION: This case shows abdominal pain being caused by radiculoneuropathy at thoracic level, an uncommon presentation of Lyme neuroborreliosis. Often, this diagnosis is only made when neurological paralysis occurs. Information regarding skin lesions or a recent tick bite can lead to earlier recognition of the diagnosis.



Key statement:  “Often this diagnosis is only made when neurological paralysis occurs.”

How often does that happen?

So all the other sorry suckers who don’t get neurological paralysis won’t be diagnosed.  See why they call this “uncommon” or “rare?”

Until clinicians learn and study the widely variable symptoms and pretty much keep Lyme/MSIDS in the back of their minds at all times, it’s Russian Roulette out here regarding diagnosis.  You may win or you may get the bullet.

I wish I could even count the Lyme/MSIDS patients with “severe abdominal-pain” and “unrest!”  Let’s just say there’s a lot of them!

Radiculonerophathy is when Lyme (borrelia) infects a spinal nerve root and in this patient’s case it was in the thoracic region which gave him abdominal pain.  It all depends upon what nerves are affected.  It could be anywhere.  Extrapolate this throughout the entire spine and you begin to see why thousands of patients are slipping through the cracks.

Under “Neurologic involvement,”   “Acute radiculoneuritis is reported in 50-85% of cases. Acute onset of motor deficits, severe radicular pain, and sensory loss are commonly seen after 2-4 weeks of infection. Multifocal asymmetric weakness is a common presentation. Although the presentation of inflammatory radiculoneuropathy is often indistinguishable from that of spinal-root compression, involvement of multiple dermatomes in the thorax and a lack of a precipitating injury can aid in diagnosis.”

I don’t think 50-80% of cases is rare, do you?

BTW:  please keep in mind a person can jump throughout the 3 stages of Lyme at at time.  So this idea you have to be infected for weeks to have radiculoneuritis is asinine an unscientific.  Quit saying it.

To understand the Lyme (borrelia) organism better:

Co-Infection Patterns in Wisconsin Black Legged Ticks Show Associations Between Viral, Eukaryotic & Bacterial Microorganisms

Co-Infection Patterns in Individual Ixodes scapularis Ticks Reveal Associations between Viral, Eukaryotic and Bacterial Microorganisms.

Cross ST, et al. Viruses. 2018.


Ixodes scapularis ticks harbor a variety of microorganisms, including eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses. Some of these can be transmitted to and cause disease in humans and other vertebrates. Others are not pathogenic, but may impact the ability of the tick to harbor and transmit pathogens. A growing number of studies have examined the influence of bacteria on tick vector competence but the influence of the tick virome remains less clear, despite a surge in the discovery of tick-associated viruses.

In this study, we performed shotgun RNA sequencing on 112 individual adult I. scapularis collected in Wisconsin, USA. We characterized the abundance, prevalence and co-infection rates of viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic microorganisms.

We identified pairs of tick-infecting microorganisms whose observed co-infection rates were higher or lower than would be expected, or whose RNA levels were positively correlated in co-infected ticks. Many of these co-occurrence and correlation relationships involved two bunyaviruses, South Bay virus and blacklegged tick phlebovirus-1. These viruses were also the most prevalent microorganisms in the ticks we sampled, and had the highest average RNA levels.

Evidence of associations between microbes included a positive correlation between RNA levels of South Bay virus and Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent. These findings contribute to the rationale for experimental studies on the impact of viruses on tick biology and vector competence.


**Eukaryotes are protozoans or parasites which includes worms (nematodes/helminths)**

Mainstream medicine has yet to take into account the synergistic effect of all of the pathogens found within a tick upon human suffering.  So far they continue to believe this is a one pathogen/one disease/one drug paradigm, hence the mono-therapy of doxycycline as their answer to this 21st century plague.

Until this changes, we are doomed.

MyLymeData2018 Conference Presentation – Lorraine Johnson

  Approx 30 Min.

LYMEPOLICYWONK: Presentation at MyLymeData2018

Wondering if medical marijuana is effective at controlling the pain associated with Lyme disease? How other patients are treating their fatigue and insomnia? Which treatments have the most side effects?

Watch the presentation from MyLymeData2018 conference to find out.

With over 11,000 participants enrolled, the MyLymeData project is already giving us the answers to the fundamental questions that sick patients want to know. It collects information about the actual experience of Lyme patients–their symptoms, their treatments, what has helped and what hasn’t. This helps researchers target what’s most important–and helps us all learn from each other.

If you are already a member of MyLymeData, we thank you for your continued partnership. If you have Lyme or have had it at any time in the past, please join and help us communicate to academic researchers, scientists and policy makers. We look forward to continuing this vital research.

Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA, is the Chief Executive Officer of You can contact her at On Twitter, follow her @lymepolicywonk. If you have not signed up for our patient-centered big data project, MyLymeData, please register now.


If you haven’t joined MyLymeData, I encourage you to do so.  The information gathered is the first of its kind and is often the ONLY information gathered on those affected chronically/persistently.  You can also access direct information on the most effective treatments according to patients.  

If you want to skip to the latest info go to 15:20.  Johnson admits that the patient group is by and large those chronically affected.

For example, 60% who took the survey were diagnosed with a coinfection.

Girl on a Public Health Mission

Girl on a public health mission

School’s youngest donor supports Lyme research

Olivia Goodreau and Dr Ying Zhang

Olivia Goodreau presents Dr. Ying Zhang with a $25,000 grant from her LivLyme Foundation

Budding scientist. Social entrepreneur. Lyme disease patient. Philanthropist. App developer. The youngest donor in Bloomberg School history. At age 13, Olivia Goodreau is all these things and more.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, as many as 350,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with Lyme disease, a vector-borne illness spread by ticks. When Olivia was six, she contracted Lyme disease but her family did not see the tick, nor did she develop the characteristic bullseye rash. As a second-grader, she began experiencing body aches, brain fog, headaches, a hand tremor, and blackouts. Her teacher and parents grew increasingly concerned and she soon could barely get out of bed.

Olivia experienced firsthand the difficulty of getting an accurate Lyme disease diagnosis. After visiting more than 50 doctors over 18 months and enduring a barrage of tests, she was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease and put on antibiotics. But the delay in treatment meant that, until a cure is discovered, Olivia will never be completely free of Lyme disease.

Fast Olivia facts:

  • She loves art.
  • She misses 38 school days each year because of Lyme, but she’s still a great student.
  • She takes 86 pills a day to control Lyme disease and its symptoms.
  • She’d love to enroll and do Lyme research at one of universities where her LivLyme Foundation has made a grant.
  • The first and second LivLyme Gala events in 2017 and 2018 have raised more than $500,000 to support Lyme disease research and assist pediatric patients with the costs of treatment.
  • In December 2017, Olivia spoke to the US Department of Health and Human Services Working Group on Tickborne Diseases.
  • In February 2018, Olivia launched the TickTrack app to educate users and enable them to report and track ticks using geolocation. TickTrack is now available globally in multiple languages, and Olivia will share the data collected with scientists.

Liv in the Lymelight

As Olivia and her parents began to meet more other children with Lyme, she learned that many families couldn’t afford their medications. Others were living in their car so their child could see a doctor and get the necessary drugs. Olivia was deeply moved and wanted to do something to help.

At age 11, Olivia’s involvement with Lyme awareness activities quickly escalated from doing the Lyme Challenge to starting a Facebook page called Olivia and Lyme to speaking to 300 medical professionals at the invitation of Lyme specialist and advocate Dr. Richard Horowitz.

Philanthropic footsteps

Olivia’s mother, Holiday Goodreau, says that she and her husband “have raised our kids to be very giving and get involved and do things for others,” including taking an active role in the family’s philanthropy to support early childhood learning and end homelessness in Colorado.

While helping her mother set tables before a fundraising gala, Olivia said, “Mom, you do all this great stuff for other people, I want to do something for Lyme disease. It will be called the LivLyme Foundation, because my name is Liv and I’m living with Lyme.” That was in January 2017.

Olivia identified her philanthropic goals: raise $10,000 to help children afford treatment and to support research for a cure. The first LiveLyme Gala raked in more than 20 times that modest goal.

When Olivia’s mother heard that Olivia had invited Dr. Horowitz to speak at her gala, “My jaw dropped, because we hadn’t talked about it or planned anything. So we got the foundation started and vowed to do it right, not just as a little side hobby.

Within three hours after the LiveLyme Foundation website went live, the first grant application was submitted.

“It was powerful and humbling,” Holiday remembers, “to read through the applications from 49 families in 22 states. Every family is struggling to help their child.”

Researching the researchers

Olivia and Dr Zhang in lab

To decide which scientists she wanted to support, Olivia scoured the web and found the very best researchers who were on a path to make progress against Lyme disease. She chose Lyme specialists at three universities, including Ying Zhang, MD, PhD in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, who is pursuing new treatments, vaccines, and diagnostic tests for Lyme disease.

In partnership with the Global Lyme Alliance, the LivLyme Foundation is supporting Dr. Zhang’s evaluation of the activity of essential oils and how they can enhance the power of antibiotics against Borrelia persisters and biofilms.

Olivia’s research didn’t stop at her computer screen. In November 2017, she visited Dr. Zhang’s lab at the Bloomberg School to witness the science of Lyme disease first hand.

“It was amazing, like something out of a movie!” she exclaimed. “I definitely want to come back. The coolest thing I got to see was the Lyme bacteria under the microscope.”

Olivia described Dr. Zhang as “super kind. We even Skyped!” He was a special guest at the April 2018 LivLyme Gala.

Many patients are suffering from post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or PTLDS, a poorly understood condition with no cure.  The support from the LivLyme Foundation will help us move closer to a cure.

—Ying Zhang, MD, PhD

When asked why she thinks people should give to support Lyme disease research, Olivia replied, “Everything helps! Your gift could mean that a child who has been suffering could feel much better.” We couldn’t have said it better.

Please join us in supporting the Bloomberg School’s new initiative to establish a Lyme Disease and Tick Institute dedicated to developing better methods to diagnose, cure and block transmission of Lyme disease.

For more information, please contact Heath Elliott, Associate Dean for External Affairs, at 410‑955‑5194.


For more on Dr. Zhang’s work:




Can These Essential Oils Help Lyme Patients Overcome Chronic Candida?

Can These Essential Oils Help Lyme Disease Patients Overcome Chronic Candida Infections?

By Greg Lee Published on


photo credit:

For people diagnosed with Lyme disease that have persistent Candida infections

Have you ever been frustrated by a really slow computer? A month ago, I was making a video and it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to edit the final version. The computer was being choked by a group of programs called “Bloatware.” These programs ate up huge amounts of disk space and processing which turned my computer into a slow moving tortoise.

How is Bloatware that slows down your computer similar to recurring Candida infections in people also diagnosed with Lyme disease?

Just like Bloatware, Candida can slow you down by eating up your valuable energy and increasing inflammation

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Candida lives on the skin and in the digestive tract without normally causing symptoms. Candida can cause local infections in the mouth, throat, esophagus and in the vagina. Candida can also cause systemic infections which affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body1. Symptoms found in persistent Candida infections can include leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome2, chronic fatigue3, arthritis4, clinical depression5, cerebral abscesses6, neck stiffness, seizures7, fever, chills, weakness, and death8. An immune system weakened by Lyme disease may make people more vulnerable to Candida infections.

Lyme disease patients may be more susceptible to recurring Candida infections 

A Lyme disease infection may weaken the immune system and make people more susceptible to opportunistic Candida infections9. Also, many Lyme patients receive prolonged antibiotic therapy which can kill off healthy gut microbes and can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut and Candida overgrowth10. Another theory for chronic Candida in Lyme patients is an inability to produce the necessary inflammatory compounds for eliminating yeast infections.

Chronic Candida infection patients may not be able to produce important anti-fungal inflammatory compounds

In a UK study on chronic Candida infection patients, Interleukin-2 (IL-2), Interleukin-12 (IL-12) production was significantly lower and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) production was much higher11. The study indicates that Candida patients over produce IL-6 which can lead to decreased IL-12. Lower IL-12 is correlated with the inability to clear fungal infections. Patients with gastrointestinal Candida have higher levels of Interleukin-17 (IL-17) which promotes fungal colonization12. Not only Candida, but also Lyme infections can lead to excess inflammation production.

Excess inflammatory compounds may also prevent clearing of Lyme as well as Candida

Increased IL-6 leading to decreased levels of IL-12 may enable Lyme and Candida infections to persist. In neurological Lyme patients, higher levels of inflammatory compounds including IL-6, IL-2, Interleukin-5 (IL-5), Interleukin-10 (IL-10), and CXCL13 were found in spinal fluid13. In a Borrelia infected mice study, decreased IL-12 lead to decreased arthritis and increased levels of Lyme disease in tissues14. In another study, increased IL-17 led to the development of destructive arthritis in mice infected with Borrelia15. Drug resistant strains of Candida may also lead to persistent yeast infections in Lyme patients.

Candida can persist despite multiple anti-fungal medications

In the US and Canada, multi-drug resistant strains of Candida have been found in immune compromised patients16. Candida can also produce a protective slime called a “biofilm” which may make infections up to 1000x more drug resistant17. As a result of resistant and biofilm forms of Candida, Lyme patients undergoing antibiotic therapy may experience recurring Candida infections.

Are there natural remedies that can help to reduce recurring symptoms by targeting antibiotic resistant and biofilm forms of Candida?

Fortunately, there are five essential oils that have been effective against drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida

In a multiple studies, essential oils were effective at inhibiting drug resistant forms of Candida than anti-fungal medications. Other essential oils were highly effective at reducing Candida biofilms. Many of these essential oils have been used safely for years in our food supply18 and to help patients with Candida and Lyme disease to reduce relapsing symptoms. Microparticle “liposome” essential oils have greater penetration into organs and tissues in animal and lab studies19.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #1: Clove Bud

Clove bud essential oil demonstrated considerable anti-fungal properties against Fluconazole-resistant strains of Candida in one lab study20. In another study, clove bud exhibited anti-biofilm activity against Candida species biofilms21. In another lab study, clove bud inhibited IL-6, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), and IL-1022.

Clove bud essential oil eradicated all Lyme disease persister cells and dissolved biofilms in a lab study23. In multiple animal and lab studies, clove bud oil has also been effective against biofilms produced by Staphylococcus aureus24, E. Coli25, and Aeromonas hydrophila26. In multiple lab studies, clove oil inhibits Salmonella typhimurium, E. coli, B. cereus, Listeria innocua, Morganella morganii, Listeria monocytogenes, Enterobacteriaceae, S. aureus, and Pseudomonas species27. This oil also posses potent anti-fungal properties against Aspergillus flavus28.

Clove bud oil use is cautioned in pregnancy. This oil has anti-coagulant properties and is cautioned with the use of diabetic medications, anticoagulant medications, after major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. It may interact with pethidine, MAOIs or SSRIs. It is also cautioned against using this oil on diseased or damaged, or hypersensitive skin, and with children under 2 years old This oil has US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status29. Similar to clove bud oil, tea tree has excellent anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #2: Tea Tree

In lab studies, tea tree oil inhibited drug resistant Candida strains30 and was effective at inhibiting biofilm growth31. Tea tree oil was also effective against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae32, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its biofilm,33 Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus34, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum35, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma fermentans36, group A streptococcus37, Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum, Pyrenophora graminea38, Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium oxysporum39 in lab and animal studies.

In an endotoxin lab study, tea tree essential oil was effective at lowering inflammatory compounds IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-1040. In another lab study, tea tree oil decreased IL-2 and increased anti-inflammatory compound IL-441. Caution: some cases have been reported where tea tree oil caused allergic dermatitis when placed on the skin42. In five cases, high doses of this oil internally, 0.5-1.0 ml/kg, have produced central nervous system symptoms of loss of coordination, drowsiness, unconsciousness, diarrhea, and abdominal pain43. Just like tea tree, geranium essential oil has multiple anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #3: Geranium

In multiple lab studies, geranium oil inhibited Fluconazole resistant Candida strains44 and inhibited multiple Candida species biofilms45. Geranium oil was also effective at significantly decreasing inflammatory compounds IL-6, IL-10, IL-2 and COX-2 levels when exposed to Candida proteins in another lab study46. In a mouse study, this oil inhibited the degranulation of mast cells47.

The use of geranium oil is cautioned with diabetes medications, drugs metabolized by CYP2B6, and has a low risk of skin sensitization48. Just like geranium, savory reduced resistant forms of Candida.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #4: Savory

Due to their compositional similarity, winter and summer savory essential oils are grouped together here. In one lab study, winter savory essential oil was highly effective at inhibiting drug resistant strains of Candida glabrata49. In another lab study, summer savory essential oil demonstrated substantial anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans and it’s biofilms50.

Since these oils may inhibit blood clotting; use is cautioned with anticoagulant medications, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders. Use is also cautioned with diabetic medications, use on mucous membranes due to a moderate risk of irritation and use on hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin due to a low risk of skin irritation. Use is also cautioned in children under 2 years of age51. Similar to savory, lemon has demonstrated anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #5: Lemon

In lab studies, lemon essential oil was effective at inhibiting drug-resistant Candida species52. This oil was also 100% effective at reducing a mixed species Candida albicans and E. Coli biofilm53. If applied to the skin, skin must not be exposed to sunlight or sunbed rays for 12 hours54. These essential oils in combination may help to reduce relapsing symptoms caused by drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida in patients with Lyme disease.

Essential oils may help to reduce recurring symptoms caused by antifungal resistant and biofilm forms of Candida

Similar to deleting the Bloatware off your computer to speed it up, a powerful combination of essential oils may help you to overcome energy draining and relapsing symptoms caused by drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida. Formulating these remedies into microparticle liposomes may enhance the stability and extend the anti-fungal activity of these essential oils. Since these essential oils have cautions and contraindications on their use, work with a Lyme literate essential oil practitioner to develop a proper, safe, and effective strategy for your condition.

– Greg

“Recitas, author of ‘The Plan,’ calls MSM the wonder supplement for your gut. It can alleviate allergy symptoms, helps with detoxification, eliminates free radicals, and improves cell permeability. She states that with given time, MSM will start to actually repair damage caused by leaky gut – a common problem with Lyme/MSIDS patients. It can also help the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Many Lyme patients struggle with paralysis of the gut where the muscles of the stomach and intestines stop being efficient. MSM helps this muscle tone as well.”