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Volume: 6
Issue: 02
Date: 18-Feb-98


Table of Contents:

I.    AP: 1999 may be year of high Lyme disease risk in Northeast
II.   J CLIN MICROBIOL: First isolation and cultivation of Borrelia
      burgdorferi sensu lato from Missouri.
III.  CLIN DIAGN LAB IMMUNOL: Heat shock protein 70 of the agent of
      human granulocytic ehrlichiosis binds to Borrelia burgdorferi
      antibodies.
IV.   EMERG INFECT DIS: Prevalence of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes
      scapularis in a Rural New Jersey County.
V.    DTSCH MED WOCHENSCHR: Meningitis after acute Borrelia burgdorferi
      infection in HIV infection.
VI.    ABOUT THE LYMENET NEWSLETTER


Newsletter:

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                   Volume 6 / Number 02 / 18-FEB-98
                                INDEX


I.    AP: 1999 may be year of high Lyme disease risk in Northeast
II.   J CLIN MICROBIOL: First isolation and cultivation of Borrelia
     burgdorferi sensu lato from Missouri.
III.  CLIN DIAGN LAB IMMUNOL: Heat shock protein 70 of the agent of
     human granulocytic ehrlichiosis binds to Borrelia burgdorferi
     antibodies.
IV.   EMERG INFECT DIS: Prevalence of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes
     scapularis in a Rural New Jersey County.
V.    DTSCH MED WOCHENSCHR: Meningitis after acute Borrelia burgdorferi
     infection in HIV infection.
VI.    ABOUT THE LYMENET NEWSLETTER



=====*=====


I.    AP: 1999 may be year of high Lyme disease risk in Northeast
-----------------------------------------------------------------
By PAUL RECER AP Science Writer
DATE: 13-FEB-1998


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A big acorn crop last fall could mean a major
outbreak of Lyme disease next year, according to a study that linked
acorns, mice and deer to the number of ticks that carry the Lyme
disease parasite.


Based on the study, researchers at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies
in Millbrook, N.Y., say that 1999 may see a dramatic upswing in the
number of Lyme disease cases among people who visit the oak forests
of the Northeast.


"We had a bumper crop of acorns this year, so in 1999, two years
after the event, we should also have a bumper year for Lyme disease,"
said Clive G. Jones, a researcher at the Institute of Ecosystem
Studies in Millbrook, N.Y.  "1999 should be a year of high risk for
Lyme disease."


A report on the Lyme disease study will be published Friday in the
journal Science.


Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium carried by ticks.  The ticks
normally live on mice and deer, but they can bite humans.  Lyme disease
first causes a mild rash, but left untreated can damage the heart and
nervous system and cause a type of arthritis.  Connecticut and Rhode
Island usually report the most cases per capita.  The national rate
for Lyme disease is 6.2 cases per 100,000 people, compared with nearly
95 cases per 100,000 in Connecticut, and nearly 54 cases per 100,000
in Rhode Island.


Jones, along with researchers at the University of Connecticut, Storrs,
and Oregon State University, Corvallis, found that the number of mice,
the number of ticks, the deer population and even the number of gypsy
moths are linked directly to the production of acorns in the oak
forest.  "When you get a lot of acorns, you get a lot of white-footed
mice," said Jones.


Jones said that in years following a big acorn crop, the number of tick
larvae are eight times greater than in years following a poor acorn
crop. Additionally, he said, there are about 40 percent more ticks on
each mouse.


The researchers tested the effect of acorns by manipulating the
population of mice and the availability of acorns in forest plots along
the Hudson River. Jones said the work, extended over several seasons,
proved the theory that mice and tick populations rise and fall based on
the availability of acorns.


For instance, he said, a large crop of acorns occurred in 1994. Two
years later, 1996, was the record year for Lyme disease, said Jones.


[...]

Jones said no practicable way exists to lower the risk of Lyme disease
by manipulating the natural population swings of mice and ticks.
He said this could disrupt other natural cycles in the forest.


Instead, he said, it may be possible eventually to post warnings about
the level of Lyme disease risk based on the population of mice.



=====*=====


II.   J CLIN MICROBIOL: First isolation and cultivation of Borrelia
     burgdorferi sensu lato from Missouri.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Oliver JH Jr, Kollars TM Jr, Chandler FW Jr, James AM,
        Masters EJ, Lane RS, Huey LO
ORGANIZATION: Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, Georgia
             Southern University, Statesboro 30460-8056, USA.
             JOliver@gasou.edu
REFERENCE: J Clin Microbiol 1998 Jan;36(1):1-5
ABSRACT:


Five Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolates from Missouri are
described.  This represents the first report and characterization
of such isolates from that state.  The isolates were obtained from
either Ixodes dentatus or Amblyomma americanum ticks that had been
feeding on cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) from a farm in
Bollinger County, Mo., where a human case of Lyme disease had been
reported.  All isolates were screened immunologically by indirect
immunofluorescence by using monoclonal antibodies to B. burgdorferi-
specific outer surface protein A (OspA) (antibodies H3TS and H5332),
B. burgdorferi-specific OspB (antibody H6831), Borrelia (genus)-
specific antiflagellin (antibody H9724), and Borrelia hermsii-
specific antibody (antibody H9826).  Analysis of the isolates also
involved a comparison of their protein profiles by sodium dodecyl
sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.  Finally, the isolates
were analyzed by PCR with six pairs of primers known to amplify
selected DNA target sequences specifically found in the reference

strain B. burgdorferi B-31.  Although some genetic variability was
detected among the five isolates as well as between them and the B-31
strain, enough similarities were found to classify them as B.
burgdorferi sensu lato.



=====*=====


III.  CLIN DIAGN LAB IMMUNOL: Heat shock protein 70 of the agent of
     human granulocytic ehrlichiosis binds to Borrelia burgdorferi
     antibodies.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Ijdo JW, Zhang Y, Anderson ML, Goldberg D, Fikrig E
ORGANIZATION: Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School
             of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-4080, USA.
REFERENCE: Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 1998 Jan;5(1):118-120
ABSRACT:


We describe a patient with human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE), a
diagnosis confirmed by PCR and immunoblot analysis.  Unexpectedly,
immunoglobulin G (IgG) directed towards an 80-kDa ehrlichial antigen
(without detectable IgM) was present in the patient's serum in the
first week of illness.  Lyme disease immunoblots were reactive for IgG
(but not IgM), a result indicative of prior exposure to the Lyme
disease spirochete.  Amino-terminal sequencing revealed that the
80-kDa ehrlichial antigen was an HSP-70 homolog similar to Borrelia
burgdorferi HSP-70.  We conclude that antibodies against B.
burgdorferi HSP-70 may cross-react with the ehrlichial heat shock
protein and that this possibility must be considered when serologic
test results for HGE and Lyme disease are interpreted.



=====*=====


IV.   EMERG INFECT DIS: Prevalence of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes
     scapularis in a Rural New Jersey County.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Varde S, Beckley J, Schwartz I
ORGANIZATION: New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA; and
             Department of Health, County of Hunterdon, Flemington,
             New Jersey, USA
REFERENCE: Emerg Infect Dis 1998 Jan;4(1):97-99
ABSTRACT:


To assess the potential risk for other tick-borne diseases, we
collected 100 adult Ixodes scapularis in Hunterdon County, a rapidly
developing rural county in Lyme disease endemic western New Jersey.  We
tested the ticks by polymerase chain reaction for Borrelia burgdorferi,
Babesia microti, and the rickettsial agent of human granulocytic
ehrlichiosis (HGE).  Fifty-five ticks were infected with at least one
of the three pathogens: 43 with B. burgdorferi, five with B. microti,
and 17 with the HGE agent.  Ten ticks were coinfected with two of the
pathogens.  The results suggest that county residents are at
considerable risk for infection by a tick-borne pathogen after an I.
scapularis bite.



=====*=====


V.    DTSCH MED WOCHENSCHR: Meningitis after acute Borrelia burgdorferi
     infection in HIV infection.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHORS: Dudle G, Opravil M, Luthy R, Weber R
ORGANIZATION: Abteilung Infektionskrankheiten und Spitalhygiene,
             Universitatsspital Zurich.
REFERENCE: Dtsch Med Wochenschr 1997 Sep 26;122(39):1178-1180
ABSTRACT:


HISTORY AND CLINICAL FINDINGS: A 39-year-old HIV positive patient
developed myalgia, headache and cough 4 weeks after a tick bite.  His
temperature was 37.4 degrees C and a circular pale erythema was noted
over the left lower leg.
INVESTIGATIONS: C-reactive protein was raised to 120 mg/l, white blood
cell count was 5860/microliter, CD4-lymphocyte count 250/microliter.
The chest radiogram showed pneumonitic infiltration in the left lower
lobe.  There were IgM antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi.
TREATMENT AND COURSE: Left lower lobe pneumonia and chronic erythema
migrans were diagnosed and he was given oral azithromycin (500 mg on
the first day and 250 mg for 4 days).  The pneumonia cleared up, but
2 weeks later he developed symptoms of meningitis (496 cells per
microliter, 87% lymphocytes, positive Borrelia burgdorferi antibody
titer), which quickly and lastingly responded to ceftriaxon (2 g daily
by brief infusion for 14 days).
CONCLUSION: This immune-compromised HIV-infected patient developed

disseminated borreliosis with CNS involvement 2 weeks after the
occurrence of chronic erythema migrans.  The initial treatment of the
latter with azithromycin was unable to prevent the meningitis.  It
is unlikely that there was a causal connection between the borreliosis
and the pneumonia.



=====*=====


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