Lyme disease: a treatment to eradicate the bacteria on the right track?

Hope for patients? As Lyme disease continues to strike more and more people each year, US researchers may be on the trail of an effective treatment to eradicate it.

As a reminder, Lyme borreliosis is a disease transmitted by a tick bite. These insects can indeed pass a bacterium, the spirochete Borrelia. While in most cases it is not severe and can be treated quickly, some patients continue to have long-term symptoms, including rheumatism and inflammation.

The scientific community is competing on the subject over whether it is a chronic form of Lyme disease, which is not recognized today, or disorders which are consequences of the disease, but that are not directly caused by the bacteria.

Anyway, American researchers at the University of Northeastern believe they can now solve the problem by preventing these long symptoms from developing. While searching for microorganisms effective against a predominant strain of Borrelia in the United States, they discovered a substance that could completely eradicate the disease: a microbial produced by another bacterium, hygromycin A. This was discovered in 1953, but was little studied due to low efficacy against the bacteria then tested.

In results published on Cell, the researchers assure that the infection is quickly eliminated by the substance, and all without side effects. “Even at very high doses, hygromycin A shows no signs of toxicity, which suggests that this compound is safe,” abounds for Futura Sciences Kim Lewis, one of the authors of the post. But in addition to simple treatment, scientists explain that one possibility would be to put bait treated with the substance in sensitive areas to prevent diseases upstream. A technique that must however be tested, since it could also lead to resistance to antibiotics.

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