Friday, February 13, 2009

the wacky world of lyme

From ScienceDaily: Scientists Identify Potential Key To Lyme Disease

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have noted that the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorfei, is especially dependent on getting manganese from its host to establish infection, as opposed to iron like most pathogens. They then identified the specific enzyme that captures manganese for the bacteria. When they engineered a strain of B. burgdorfei lacking that protein and introduced it to mice, the bacteria wasn't able to infect.

I don't know if I would find this interesting except that I had Lyme a few years ago. It's fairly common where I live. My father and one of my sisters had it, too. I missed the telltale "bull's-eye" rash and must have thought I had the flu if I ever had the fever and malaise; when I was diagnosed and treated it was all extreme fatigue, joint pain, headaches, "Lyme fog," depression, mild hallucinations, and alternating insomnia and hypersomnia. It's a crazy, crazy disease. I would kind of suggest, you know, not getting it.

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