An estimated 476,000 Americans are infected each year with Lyme disease, a condition causing a wide range of symptoms that include fever, rash, and joint pain, as well as effects on the central nervous system and heart. Though it’s common knowledge that Borrelia burgdorferi—the bacteria that causes the disease—enters the body through the bite of an infected deer tick, how the bacteria manages to migrate from that bite into a person’s bloodstream has not been clearly understood.
Johns Hopkins engineers may have found the answer. Using a custom designed three-dimensional tissue-engineered model, they learned that B. burgdorferi uses tenacious trial-and-error movements to find and slip through tiny openings called junctions in the lining of blood vessels near the original bite site. This allows them to hitch a ride on the bloodstream throughout the body, potentially infecting other tissue and organs. Their results appear today in Advanced Science.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2022-12-lyme-disease-infects-body.html