spread of Borrelia burgdorferi into mammal tissues:
Pubmed search for:
few selected citations:
AN, Steere AC, Brownstein DG.
Infection in rabbits
with the Lyme disease spirochete.
Yale J Biol Med. 1984 Jul-Aug;57(4):613-6.
within two weeks
SW, Moody KD, Terwilliger
GA, Jacoby RO, Steere AC.
An animal model for
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1988;539:264-73.
” Spirochetes were
isolated from blood, liver, kidney, spleen, brain, and joints of
Arthritis, associated with the presence of spirochetes, developed in
multiple joints by day 14
and persisted through
day 90 after inoculation.”
SE, Swaminathan B, Moore P, Broome CV, Parvin
survival in experimentally infected human blood processed for
J Infect Dis. 1990 Aug;162(2):557-9.
isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi from blood raises the possibility of
bloodborne transmission of Lyme borreliosis through transfusions.
assess this possibility, the ability of B. burgdorferi to survive in
human blood processed for transfusion was studied. Human blood was
inoculated with B. burgdorferi type strain B-31 (ATCC 35210) at 0.2,
20, or 2000 viable cells/ml, processed by conventional blood banking
procedures, stored at 4 degrees C, and cultured for B. burgdorferi at
12, 23, 36, and 48 days of storage.
After processing, most B.
burgdorferi were found in the packed
At inoculum levels of 20 or 2000 viable cells/ml, B. burgdorferi
survived in processed blood through 48 days of storage at 4 degrees C.
burgdorferi was isolated from packed cells after 36 days of storage at
4 degrees C even when the initial inoculum level was as low as 0.2
The data demonstrate that B. burgdorferi can
survive the blood processing procedures normally applied to transfused
blood in the USA.
Since hematogenous spread of the spirochete
seems to occur early in the illness, primarily in symptomatic patients,
the risk of transfusion-associated Lyme disease may be small.
the possibility of survival of B. burgdorferi under blood banking
conditions warrants a heightened awareness of this potential problem.
clinical similarities of human spirochetal diseases.
Rev Infect Dis. 1989 Sep-Oct;11 Suppl 6:S1460-9.
Luft BJ, Steinman CR, Neimark HC, Muralidhar
B, Rush T, Finkel MF, Kunkel M, Dattwyler RJ.
disease, first identified in 1975, is the most recently recognized of
the seven human spirochetal diseases; the evolving clinical picture of
Lyme disease indicates it shares many features with the other diseases.
These similarities are striking in view of the diverse epidemiology
of the seven diseases, which are caused by Treponema species (spread by
human-to-human contact) or Leptospira or Borrelia species (zoonoses).
These similarities include the following:
(1) skin or mucous membrane as portal of entry;
(2) spirochetemia early in the course of
disease, with wide dissemination through tissue and body fluid
(3) one or more subsequent stages of disease, often with intervening latent
Lyme disease shares with
many spirochetal diseases a tropism for skin and neurologic
manifestations, whereas chronic
arthritis is unique to Lyme disease
similarities and dissimilarities offer opportunities to discover which
properties unique to the pathogenic spirochetes are responsible for
clinical manifestations and suggest that certain clinical features of
patients with spirochetal diseases other than Lyme disease may someday
be recognized in patients with Lyme disease.
Invasion of the
central nervous system by Borrelia burgdorferi in acute disseminated
JAMA 1992 Mar 11; 267(10):
determine central nervous system (CNS) involvement in acutely
disseminated Borrelia burgdorferi infection by measurement of
borrelia-specific DNA using the polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) assay
and to compare the results of this with standard serological tests.
DESIGN--Prospective study with laboratory investigators blinded to
SETTING--Multicenter office practice with a central
fluid (CSF) was collected
from 12 patients with acute disseminated Lyme borreliosis with less
than 2 weeks of active disease. The normal control
specimens came from
16 patients whose CSF samples had been sent to the clinical laboratory
for tests unrelated to the present study.
MEASURES--Clinical evidence of disease and laboratory abnormalities.
of the 12 patients (four of six with multiple areas of
erythema migrans and four of six with cranial neuritis without erythema
migrans) had B burgdorferi-specific DNA in their CSF.
Among the 12
patients studied, nine had acute cranial neuritis and six had multiple
erythema migrans lesions.
Just four of
the eight who were found to have
spirochetal DNA in their CSF had complaints suggestive of CNS
In three of
the PCR-positive CSF samples, no other
abnormalities were noted. None of 16 samples from controls
positive in the PCR assay.
burgdorferi can invade the CNS
early in the course of infection.
should be given
to choosing antibiotics that achieve adequate CSF levels in patients
with disseminated infection.
JAMA 1992 Aug 19;268(7):872
JAMA. 1992 Aug 19;268(7):872; discussion
873." "order erratum
findings demonstrate that B. burgdorferi can disseminate to CNS very
early in the course of infection with little or no clinical evidence of
CNS involvement. Acute primary and secondary infections due
Treponema pallidum are also associated with a high rate of early
dissemination to the CNS. Although the full range of late CNS
manifestations of Lyme Borreliosis remains controversial and ill
defined, as in syphilis, the presence of CNS infection could have
serious long-term consequences ...........
chronic Lyme arthritis, B. burgdorferi was found in the CSF
patient with relapsing arthritis. This patient had no
of CNS involvement and no intrathecal antibody production.
the possibility that the CNS may act as a sanctuary for B. burgdorferi,
protecting it from the action of systemic antibiotics and immunity and
thereby allowing it to reseed the periphery intermittently. This
finding is especially important when considering the appropriate
treatment of the chronic phase of this disease and whether the use of
oral antibiotics alone, as suggested by some for chronic arthritis, is
Guy E, Zapatero
JM, Peerschke EI, Benach
Vascular clearance of
Borrelia burgdorferi in rats.
Microb Pathog. 1993 Mar;14(3):187-201.
Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, injected
intravenously into rats are cleared
from the vasculature within 1 h of injection.
One low passage isolate showed trafficking
between the circulation and possibly the vessel walls for the first 2 h
All strains used were resistant to the effects of normal and
heat-inactivated rat serum.
During the first 2 h
after injection, B. burgdorferi can be visualized in, and recovered
from, the platelet-rich plasma.
burgdorferi can adhere to both human and rat platelets in in vitro
assays, but an in vivo association with these cells was not apparent.
Similarly, none of the strains of B. burgdorferi used induced platelet
from the circulation into the organs was measured in perfused rats by
polymerase chain reaction and autoradiography and in non-perfused rats
by organ cultures.
organisms invade organs (heart, kidneys, bladder, liver, spleen, brain)
within 1-6 h after injection.
of organs occurred in an apparent random manner; a large amount of
radiolabel but no live organisms was excreted in the urine during the
first 24 h, suggesting degradation of the inoculum.
GP, McKenna D, Carlin J, Nadelman RB, Cavaliere LF, Holmgren D, Byrne
hematogenous dissemination in early Lyme disease.
Ann Intern Med. 2005 May 3;142(9):751-5. Summary
for patients in: Ann
Intern Med. 2005 May 3;142(9):I48.
Bloodstream invasion in Lyme disease has been difficult to study
because until recently blood culture methods were too insensitive to
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical and laboratory features of
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center in Valhalla, New York, 1997 to
PATIENTS: 213 untreated
adults with erythema migrans.
INTERVENTION: Blood culture
for Borrelia burgdorferi.
MEASUREMENTS: Symptom scores and selected laboratory measures.
was found in 93 (43.7%) patients.
Spirochetemic patients were more often symptomatic (89.2% vs. 74.2%; P
= 0.006) and more often had multiple erythema migrans lesions (41.9%
vs. 15.0%; P < 0.001) than patients without spirochetemia.
(22.9%) of the 35 asymptomatic patients with a single skin lesion
nevertheless had a positive blood culture.
Risk for spirochetemia
was present the day the patient noticed the lesion and continued for
more than 2 weeks.
LIMITATIONS: Long-term outcome data were not available.
high rate, early onset, and prolonged duration of risk for
spirochetemia explain why untreated patients with erythema migrans are
at risk for dissemination of B. burgdorferi to anatomic sites beyond
the lesion site. Differences in the strain of the infecting spirochete,
as well as host factors, may be important determinants of hematogenous
“All but 2 of the patients satisfied the
Lyme disease surveillance definition of the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (8); these 2 exceptions had an erythema migrans lesion
less than 5 cm in diameter.
Patients were excluded if they had
received an antimicrobial agent effective for the treatment of Lyme
disease within 2 weeks preceding the study (9).
Nineteen (8.9%) of the patients were included in our previous study
Spirochetemia was not
associated with duration of erythema migrans (P >
0.2) or the size of the
erythema migrans lesion
(P = 0.18), both for the entire study sample (Figure) and separately
for those with a single erythema migrans lesion and those with multiple
lesions. The oldest
lesion associated with spirochetemia was of 33 days’ duration.”
design of this study, enrolling patient already displaying EM, does not
allow any evaluation of the risk of hematogenous spread of Borrelia
occurring BEFORE the development of EM; somebody should try to culture
blood from people having been bitten by a proven Borrelia infected tick!