Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. This disease can be transmitted to humans in three ways. They include:
- bite from an infected deer tick
- from the mother to the fetus via the placenta
- sexual intercourse
The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted to humans via tiny black-legged ticks. This disease is spread through the bite of an infected tick. These ticks can attach to any part of the body, but most commonly attached to the groin, armpits, and scalp.
When the bacteria is transmitted by a deer tick, it can transmit co-infections as well. The co-infections of Lyme disease include Babesia, Ehrlichia, and Bartonella with secondary infections from Mycoplasma, Candida, and Cytomegalovirus species.
Lyme Disease and Spirochetes
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete. It releases a neurotoxin called bacterial lipoproteins. These bacterial lipoproteins hold responsibility for the symptoms such as memory problems, burning pain, and numbness. Spirochetes move in a corkscrew motion digging itself into the deeper tissues and organs of the body.
The dendritic cells play an important function in our immune system. It identifies the antigens found on these spirochetes and presents them to the immune system. The dendritic cells are basically sending a message to the immune system saying that a foreign particle has entered our body. There are cells called as T helper cells that identify the antigens presented by the dendritic cells and picks them up to pass the message to another part of the immune system called the killer T cells. The killer T cells will then hunt down the spirochetes and kill them.
While all this is going on, the spirochetes bury themselves into the tissues and organs, and as they do this, they release thousands of its antigens to the surface of the tissues and organs. The killer T cells identify the antigens found on the surface of the healthy tissues and organs and begin to destroy them. They cannot distinguish between the spirochetes and the healthy tissue. As a result, an inflammation of the healthy tissues and organs takes place.
The spirochetes also continue to release bacterial lipoproteins that will go and attack the nervous system. Both the central and peripheral nervous system get affected.
This is how Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease in a healthy individual. Sometimes, it is hard to treat the infection because these spirochetes hide behind areas that are not under the surveillance of our immune system, such as deep scar tissues. This way, the spirochetes escape the immune system and continue to multiply producing signs and symptoms.