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The latest in medical research, news and commentaries, from New Haven and around the world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lyme disease may not be all ticks are spreading

Lyme disease is fraught with controversy, largely because of the apparent chronic condition some sufferers experience long after antibiotics should have killed the bacterium that causes it.

Now, Yale School of Public Health researchers are investigating whether a second disease, caused by another bacterium common in Russia, is being spread by deer ticks. It has similar symptoms and has been found in ticks in this country, but the question is whether it spreads to humans.

Fortunately, the same antibiotics, including doxycycline, that kills the Lyme bug also kill this one. But it would be good to know if there is a second disease out there, to make sure the best treatments are used.

Dr. Peter Krause, one of the researchers, says there is no evidence that this bacterium, Borrelia miyamotoi, is the source of the chronic form of Lyme.

Read my full story.

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