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Volume: 6
Issue: 06
Date: 12-Jun-98


Table of Contents:

I.    LYMENET: $100 million Lyme bill moving forward in US Congress
II.   MED VET ENTOMOL: Isolation of the spirochaete Borrelia afzelii
      from the mosquito Aedes vexans in the Czech Republic.
III.  MET VED ENTOMOL: Distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.
      spirochaete DNA in British ticks (Argasidae and Ixodidae) since
      the 19th century, assessed by PCR.
IV.   ZH MIKROBIOL EPIDEMIOL IMMUNOBIOL: The reservoir hosts and
      vectors of Borrelia--the causative organisms of ixodid
      tick-borne borrelioses in Russia.
V.    J CLIN MICROBIOL: Impact of strain heterogeneity on Lyme
      disease serology in Europe: comparison of enzyme-linked
      immunosorbent assays using different species of Borrelia
      burgdorferi sensu lato.
VI.   ABOUT THE LYMENET NEWSLETTER


Newsletter:

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                   Volume 6 / Number 06 / 12-JUN-98
                                INDEX


I.    LYMENET: $100 million Lyme bill moving forward in US Congress
II.   MED VET ENTOMOL: Isolation of the spirochaete Borrelia afzelii
     from the mosquito Aedes vexans in the Czech Republic.
III.  MET VED ENTOMOL: Distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.
     spirochaete DNA in British ticks (Argasidae and Ixodidae) since
     the 19th century, assessed by PCR.
IV.   ZH MIKROBIOL EPIDEMIOL IMMUNOBIOL: The reservoir hosts and
     vectors of Borrelia--the causative organisms of ixodid
     tick-borne borrelioses in Russia.
V.    J CLIN MICROBIOL: Impact of strain heterogeneity on Lyme
     disease serology in Europe: comparison of enzyme-linked
     immunosorbent assays using different species of Borrelia
     burgdorferi sensu lato.
VI.   ABOUT THE LYMENET NEWSLETTER



=====*=====


I.    LYMENET: $100 million Lyme bill moving forward in US Congress
-------------------------------------------------------------------
BYLINE: By Marc C. Gabriel <a229@Lehigh.edu>
DATE: June 10, 1998
 
A $100 million, 5 year Lyme disease appropriation bill is slowly
moving through the United States Congress, making it the single
largest allocation of resources ever targeted towards this emerging
disease.  The bill, sponsored by New Jersey Representative Chris
Smith (4th district), specifically aims to improve diagnostics,
surveillance, and physician awareness.

Smith has been working on Lyme issues for several years with the US
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of
Health, and Lyme groups.  One group involved for the past 7 years
and instrumental in shaping the bill is the Lyme Disease Association
of New Jersey.  

"Congressman Chris Smith deserves much thanks from the Lyme community
for his willingness to go to bat for us," said Pat Smith, President
of the LDANJ. "Talk is cheap, and we have had plenty of that over the

years.  Actions speak louder than words."

The bill, HR 3795, seeks to fund research into issues that have
divided experts for years, often pitting government official against
clinician and patient. "The bill is needed because the government has
chosen not to acknowledge the growing problem of Lyme," Pat Smith
said.  "A perfect example of that is the CDC's surveillance-only
definition of Lyme which is continuously used as diagnostic
criteria.  The CDC is certainly aware of this misuse of the definition
but does little or nothing publicly to correct it."  Many experts
believe only 10% of the current case load is reflected in current
CDC numbers.  Even in the official statistics, 1998 provisional figures
indicate an increase of over 20% over the past year for the week
ending May 24.


The bill allocates $100 million of new money over 5 years for Lyme
disease and prioritizes the usage: an accurate diagnostic indicator,
an improved surveillance and reporting system, and physician
knowledge.  A task force would be established with representatives
from all of these sectors.  The task force would provide advice
to the secretaries of Health and Human Services and Department of
Defense concerning priorities and distribution of monies.


"To support the bill, individuals should immediately contact their
elected federal representatives." Pat Smith said. "Urge them to
support the immediate release of HR 3795 from committee and to vote
for its passage.  This is a nationwide bill affecting all Lyme
sufferers.  We must all unite to get this bill passed."  


HR 3795 is co-sponsored by James H. Maloney (Connecticut, 5th
district), Michael Pappas (New Jersey, 12th district), Sam
Gejdenson (Connecticut, 2nd district), Christopher Shays (Connecticut,
4th district), Frank Wolf  (Virginia, 10th district), Frank LoBiondo
(New Jersey, 2nd district), Jo Ann Emerson (Missouri, 8th district),
and Jim Saxton, (New Jersey, 3d district).


House members can be found on the web at:

                  http://www.house.gov/MemberWWW.html

The bill's status and full text can be found at:  

             http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c105:h.r.3795:


=====*=====


II.   MED VET ENTOMOL: Isolation of the spirochaete Borrelia afzelii
     from the mosquito Aedes vexans in the Czech Republic.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Halouzka J, Postic D, Hubalek Z
ORGANIZATION: Institute of Landscape Ecology, Academy of Sciences of
             the Czech Republic.
REFERENCE: Med Vet Entomol 1998 Jan;12(1):103-5
ABSTRACT:


During the years 1993-1995, a total of 3580 culicine mosquitoes of
six species were collected in South Moravia, Czech Republic, and
examined by dark-field microscopy for the presence of borreliae.
Females of Aedes cantans, Ae. sticticus, Ae. vexans, Culex pipiens
and Cx pipiens biotype molestus (but not Ae. geniculatus or Culiseta
annulata) harboured spirochaetes, the frequencies ranging from 0.7%
to 7.8%. One isolate (BR-53) from Ae. vexans was identified as
Borrelia afzelii genospecies. The potential role of mosquitoes in the
epidemiology of Lyme borreliosis should be investigated.



=====*=====


III.  MET VED ENTOMOL: Distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.
     spirochaete DNA in British ticks (Argasidae and Ixodidae) since
     the 19th century, assessed by PCR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Hubbard MJ, Baker AS, Cann KJ
ORGANIZATION: Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Department
             of Biochemistry, London, U.K.
REFERENCE: Med Vet Entomol 1998 Jan;12(1):89-97
ABSTRACT:


The distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the Lyme
borreliosis agent, was surveyed in British ticks in the collection
of the Natural History Museum, London. Alcohol-preserved specimens of
eight species of ticks known to attack humans were studied: Ixodes
ricinus, I. hexagonus, I. uriae, I. trianguliceps, Dermacentor
reticulatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and
Argas vespertilionis. The sample comprised all life stages and
originated from a wide range of host species, collection dates
(1896-1994) and geographical localities in England, Scotland and
Wales. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. DNA, detected by a polymerase chain
reaction that targeted the outer surface protein A gene, was found in
all eight species. The overall proportion of PCR-positive specimens
ranged from 7.8% for I. hexagonus (mostly from mustelids and hedgehogs)
to 98.3% for I. uriae (mostly from seabirds). Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.
DNA was found for the first time in the bat parasite A.
vespertilionis (85.3%). The spirochaete is newly recorded in British

populations of I. trianguliceps (97.4%, mostly from voles, mice and
shrews), D. reticulatus (12.5% from dog and man) and R. sanguineus
(30% from dogs and human dwellings). Of the four tick species with
larvae available for testing, examples of I. ricinus, I. uriae and A.
vespertilionis were PCR positive, as were significantly more nymphs
than adults of I. ricinus, I. hexagonus and A. vespertilionis.
Analyses showed that B. burgdorferi s.l. has been consistently present
in British tick populations since at least 1897. Ticks positive for
B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA were collected in all months of the year,
throughout Britain, and were found on a wide range of mammal and
bird species.  PCR positivity does not prove vector or reservoir
competence, but the use of archived material has demonstrated an
extensive range of host-tick relationships involving B. burgdorferi
s.l. in Britain for > 100 years.



=====*=====


IV.   ZH MIKROBIOL EPIDEMIOL IMMUNOBIOL: The reservoir hosts and
     vectors of Borrelia--the causative organisms of ixodid
     tick-borne borrelioses in Russia.
----------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Korenberg EI, Gorelova NB, Postic D, Kovalevskii IuV
        Baranton G, Vorob'eva NN
ORGANIZATION: Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and
             Microbiology, Moscow, Russia.
REFERENCE: Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1997 Nov-Dec;(6):36-8
ABSTRACT: 327 Borrelia isolates from ixodid ticks of 3 species from 12
major administrative territories of Russia (from Leningrad Province in
the west to Sakhalin Province in the east), as well as from forest
myomorph rodents of 6 species and from skin biopsies of borreliosis
patents, were identified by the PRC and RFLP methods. B. afzelii,
B. garinii and B. garinii NT29 were shown to be widespread in Russia.
No other Borrelia genospecies were found. The main vectors of B.
afzelii and B. garinii were ixodid ticks Ixodes persulcatus and I.

ricinus and their main reservoir hosts were forest myomorph rodents.
In natural foci Borrelia mixed infection was observed among reservoir
hosts and vectors. This determines the possibility and considerable
probability of human infection caused by several Borrelia genospecies
simultaneously.



=====*=====


V.    J CLIN MICROBIOL: Impact of strain heterogeneity on Lyme
     disease serology in Europe: comparison of enzyme-linked
     immunosorbent assays using different species of Borrelia
     burgdorferi sensu lato.
--------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Hauser U, Krahl H, Peters H, Fingerle V, Wilske B
ORGANIZATION: Max von Pettenkofer-Institut fur Hygiene und
             Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-
             Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany.
             hauser@m3401.mpk.med.uni-muenchen.de
REFERENCE: J Clin Microbiol 1998 Feb;36(2):427-36
ABSTRACT:


For the standardization of serological tests for Lyme borreliosis
(LB) in Europe, the influence of the heterogeneity of Borrelia
burgdorferi sensu lato must be assessed in detail. For this study
four immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent
assays (ELISAs) with octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside extracts of strains
PKo (Borrelia afzelii), PBi (Borrelia garinii), and PKa2 and B31 (both
B. burgdorferi sensu stricto) were compared. Strains PKo, PBi, and
PKa2 at the passages used for antigen preparations abundantly
expressed outer surface protein C (OspC), whereas strain B31 at the
passage used for antigen preparation did not express OspC. Sera (all
from Germany) from 222 patients with clinically defined LB of all
stages, 133 blood donors, and 458 forest workers were tested. None of
the forest workers had symptoms consistent with LB at the time that
the samples were collected. For IgM tests, receiver operating
characteristic curves demonstrated that discrimination between sera
from patients and blood donors was best with strain PKo and worst with

strain B31. The discriminatory abilities of the four IgG ELISAs were
similar in a diagnostically reasonable specificity range (90 to 100%).
More than 20% of the sera from forest workers reacted strongly in the
PKo IgG ELISA (optical density value, >1.5; other assays, less than
8%). Western blots of the sera with the most discrepant ELISA results
revealed almost exclusive reactivity with p17. This highly immunogenic
antigen is only expressed by strain PKo. This observation might be
important for the development of assays enabling discrimination
between asymptomatic or previous infection and active disease.



=====*=====


VI.   ABOUT THE LYMENET NEWSLETTER
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         The Lyme Disease Network of New Jersey
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