WHY IS LYME DISEASE SO DIFFICULT TO DETECT?
Borrelia burgdorferi is characterized by its massive length (about 10 times longer than E.coli), high motility using up to 10 flagella to speed through bodily fluids, ability to survive outside of the bloodstream because it does not require iron, and a spiral shape that penetrates human tissue like a corkscrew to enter the bloodstream. Unlike other sepsis infections, Borrelia does not remain in the blood for a long time. Borrelia pursue collagen-rich tissue for nutrients and reproduction including ligaments, tendons, bone, brain, eye, and scar tissue. Borrelia attach themselves to deep-seated tissue and subsequently transform from spirochetes into round body shapes to protect themselves from the immune system and antibiotics, [1-4] as done by C. jejuni and H. pylori. Borrelia further produces a biofilm as an additional protective layer which can also house other gram negative bacteria such as Chlamydia, as well as heavy metals. The presence of Borrelia in biofilms have been found in virtually every organ in some dissected Lyme disease patients and fetuses including people who tested negative for Lyme disease antibodies.[2,3] Borrelia attack their human hosts by depleting collagen which Borrelia uses for nutrition, by producing a lipopolysaccharide Lipid A endotoxin that can cause a massive inflammatory response, and by generating toxic acetaldehyde as done by Candida. An inflammatory response is caused by the presence of Borrelia or its constituents such as OspA from a spike in die offs and is referred to as a Lyme disease flare or Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (Herx). Borrelia may revert back from round body to their initial spirochete shape to pursue new sites for collagen. As with other persistent bacteria Borrelia can live in their human hosts in a latent condition for years and re-activate when triggered, as with C.difficile and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Chronic Lyme disease can be associated with Borrelia reactivation and flares. Other tickborne pathogens are increasing transmitted with Borrelia including bacteria (Bartonella, Rickettsia, Mycoplasma), protozoa (Babesia), and viruses (Powassan) which can require different treatment to resolve and different tests to detect.