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Thread: Lyme/Borreliosis in Deer Stalkers

  1. #1

    Lyme/Borreliosis in Deer Stalkers

    Lyme/Borreliosis is a zoonotic disease spread by the bite of a tick infected with spirochaetal bacteria Borrelia species (which apart from the normal nucleolar DNA have plasmids . These are separate entities of DNA in the body of the bacteria)

    Ticks have a 3 stage lifecycle over a 3 year period. Eggs hatch into larvae (6 legs) blood meal,nymph (8 legs ) blood meal,adult (8 legs) blood meal egg laying. If at any stage the ticks pick up an infection that line of ticks carry the infection through all stages ( vertical transmission ) blood meals are normally taken from mammals and birds When an infected tick bites a patient, say human a sequence of events takes place.Borrelia species are attached to the tick gut and the blood releases them to move to the salivary glands ( tick moves from ground temperature to body heat ) Simultaneously the outer surface protein changes from OSP A to OSP C. This is the reason the tick must be attached for 36 hours or more Tick saliva is anaesthetic,anticoagulant and contains a protein SALP15 ( homologues in Ixodes ricinus ticks) which coats the bacteria as they pass into the host's body and is disseminated by the blood throughout the body. This protein protects the bacteria from triggering an immediate immune response.This is a SIGNIFICANT FEATURE

    Borreilia bacteria causing disease

    Borrelia burgdorferi ( Bb ).....mainly arthritis
    Borrelia garinii ( Bg )...mainly nervous
    Borrelia afzelii ( Ba )...mainly skin

    newly diagnosed species

    Borrelia valaisiana ( Bv ) ?
    Borrelia spielmanii ( Bs ) ?

    Symptoms of Lyme/Borreliosis

    Stage 1 Early localised disease.

    Symptoms start one to two weeks after the tick bite. Earliest sign is Erythema migrans so-called " bull's eye " rash.A central spot of red which is warm to touch. not raised and non painful, as it progresses outwards centre goes pale.
    This is pathognomonic (definite Lyme /Borreliosis ) Only occurs in 30-80 % of cases.A blood sample at this stage is useless as body immune response delayed ( refer SALP15 ) FALSE NEGATIVE

    Stage 2 Early disseminated Lyme/Borreliosis

    Occurs weeks after the tick bite.
    Flu like symptoms
    Enlarged lymph glands
    Vision changes
    Sore throat
    General malaise
    Rash may appear over the body other than the position of the tick bite

    Neurological signs Numbness, tingling in muscles, Bell's palsy and cardiac disturbance

    Stages 1 and 2 can overlap.

    Stage 3 Late disseminated disease

    Severe headaches
    Arthritis in one or more large joints
    Disturbance of heart rhythm
    Short term memory loss
    Difficulty concentrating
    Mental fogginess
    Problems following conversations
    Numbness in arms,legs,feet


    CLINICAL EM diagnostic
    Blood tests Elisa initial test confirmed by Western blot
    polymerase chain reaction PCR

    As the symptoms are non specific mainly full history and lifestyle assessment is paramount. If in doubt treat.

    Recommended treatment high dose doxycycline. Most effective 200mg twice daily for a month.
    Photosensitisation protect against strong light.No alcohol. Marmite to supplement gut products lost by gut sterilisation

    Criticisms of diagnostic criteria

    Blood samples submitted to laboratory are taken before antibodies develop ( delayed immune response )
    Specific challenging material ( probes ) Bg has 7 different serovariants
    Dedicated protocols: American protocols not appropriate for European diagnoses
    Lyme/Borreliosis is the most common tick borne disease in Europe, must be taken seriously as grossly under diagnosed

    Only in Scotland and Rep of Ireland a notifiable disease not rest of UK

    Reference papers
    Clinical Microbiology Review 2005 July 18 (3) 484-509
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology Dec 1999 vol 37 no 12 4086-4092
    J Clin Micro 2014 Oct 52 (100 3755-3762
    J Clin Micro 2000 June vlo 38 no6 2097-2102
    FEMS Immun Med Microbiology 49 ( 2007 ) 13-21
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 2013 57 93) 333-340

  2. #2
    Examples of Erythema migrans Courtesy of Smith Kline Biologicals

    Last edited by JAYB; 06-06-2016 at 09:36. Reason: Made a sticky

  3. #3
    Grateful thanks from Admin Norman for this useful and valuable post. I have put an announcement up on the Deer Stalking general page drawing attention to your post.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to


  4. #4

    Many thanks for the time & effort you have dedicated to this topic

    It is because people like of you and others on this site that enables us to direct our health professionals to the correct diagnosis & treatment.

    I have taken the liberty of printing off a copy of this topic, just in case I...or my friends need to refer to the same

    Once again many thanks


  5. #5
    very useful; thanks. Lyme is not the only 'nasty' carried by ticks in the UK:

  6. #6
    Wow! great article. Just wondered if this info is available and brought to the attention to all GP's

  7. #7
    Really interesting and useful post for anyone with concerns, since, where else would you get an opinion if most doctors are unable to recognise the condition.
    Good as a 'sticky'.

  8. #8
    One key thing - ticks carry the Boreallis bugs in their guts. Thus if you lift them off the skin, risk of vomiting into you and thus transmitting the disease is low. Trying to remove them with fingers, tweezers, cigarrettes etc causes them to vomit the disease into you.

    Use a tick hook or tick card to lift them off. Buy one and keep it in your wallet.

    And treat your clothing with spray on Permethrin to stop them getting onto you in the first place.

  9. #9
    Thanks very much for this very interesting read. The land i manage isnt usually too bad for ticks but I had four on me after my last trip, im certainley going to be more vigilint from now on.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Heym SR20 View Post
    Use a tick hook or tick card to lift them off. Buy one and keep it in your wallet.
    From the description and images I have seen, a tick's jaws work in such a way that a 'straight pull' will cause them to lock up, thus greatly increasing the likelihood of a body 'squeeze' ... the last thing you want, as Heym says above.

    A tick lasso can go round the body/skin junction and then be twisted - because a tick's jaws can't lock against a twist - and simultaneously pulled away gently but firmly.

    Once it is out in one piece you are free to inflict as much revenge as you like :-)
    Last edited by Old-YOP; 07-06-2016 at 21:11.

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