Louse-borne relapsing fever borreliae are transmissible in an 'invisible' form ..
- which possibly also may apply to other spirochetes?
The paradox: that an infectious agent, which relies mainly on transmission from one mammalian host to the next via a bloodsucking vector, but only rarely can be found visible in blood in its spirochetal form, can be explained by the socalled equally virulent 'invisible stage' desbribed by the authors below. This 'invisible stage' possibly corresponds to the L-form / cystic 'granule' form of the spirochetes as described by several authors:
The granule / cyst / L-form must be perfect for passive transportation in a moving fluid like blood - while the spirochetal form must be perfect for screwing itself into dense tissues like sinew ?
The time in 'invisible stage is apparently concurrent with the apyretic period as described by the authors below and is of mean 8-10 days duration for relapsing fever borreliae.
This corresponds very well to Brorson's much more recent observation that young cysts of Borrelia burgdorferi takes about 9 days to revert to its spirochetal form, while older cysts take longer about 4 weeks
The implication of this is first of all that we need to look for the L-form of borreliae in blood instead of the spirochetal form.
As the spirochetaemia phase is known to correspond to the pyrexic phase, the immune system obviously reacts strongly to the spirochetal surface antigens, while it reacts much less to the L-form's surface antigens - thus the L-form probably do not contain all the same surface antigens as the spirochetal form does ?...
and from the pictures and investigations done on the spheroblast L-form / cyst form - it seems obvious that the L-form does not contain any flagella, hence do not stimulate formation of flagella-antibodies, so this may possibly be one of many explanations why exactly this antibody very often declines in Late borreliosis despite culture or PCR-proven persistent borreliosis ?
I asked LymeRICK friends just a few months ago: "Which antigens does the L-form contain then - how can we find out?
- because when we know which antigen the L-form expresses we can hopefully develop a staining method to directly visualize the L-forms in blood ?
and perhaps we can also create an ELISA-test that look for antibodies towards L-form surface-antigens, that possibly will be better for cases of chronic Lyme disease than the ELISA for flagella-antibodies.
Now - just a few months later this has indeed been done by Bowen Research and Training Institute, which have developed a DIRECT flourescent antibody staining technic for the L-forms of Borrelia burgdorferi, see Bowen RTI:
A danish patient with a classic history of antibiotic responsive remitting-relapsing persistent Lyme borreliosis since 1996, has just tested positive on the Bowen test for Borrelia burgdorferi L-forms, babesia and smear also 'suggest' morulae of HME.
She was previously seropositive for Borrelia flagella-antibodies, but only for IgM-antibodies, while today she is SERONEGATIVE for both borrelial flagella IgM and IgG !!
See last picture in: Spirochetal-cysts.htm
This result gave basis for doing a pilot-study on danish patients with similar history.
That cysts of Borrelia garinii is INFECTIVE has been shown by Gruntar et al. summer 2001, see last reference below !!!!!
Marie Kroun, MD
April 2001, revised March 2002, revised july 2006, UTF-8 corrected 2016/08
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Spirilles de la fievre recurrente sont-ils virulent aux phases
successives de leur evolution chez le pou? Demonstration de leur
virulence á un stade
Nicolle C, Blanc G. Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., clviii, pp. 1815-1817, 1914 #14_01 RF virulence invisible.tif#
Authors herein describe transmission of relapsing fever agent by lice, that occur at a time, when no spirochetes are present in the louse i.e. transmission occur at an 'invisible stage. Later spirochetes appear.
Excerpts: Les rèsultats positifs de nos expèriences prouvent la virulence du pou à la periode qui prècède immèdiatement la rèapparition des spirilles, c'est-à-dire à un stade invisible de l'èvolution de ceux-ci. 1'er au 4'e jour du repas infectant (rèactif singe): ni spirilles visibles, ni virulence
5'e, 6'e jours (reactif singe): spirilles encore invisible, virulence.
7'e au 9'e jour (rèactif homme): spirilles fins, virulence
10e jour et suivant (rèactif singe): spirilles adultes, non-virulence. Nous rappelons que, passè le 19'e jour, il n'est plus rencontre de spirilles chez le pou.