Lyme disease: Treatment to eradicate 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 way to an effective treatment to eradicate it.

As a reminder, Lyme borreliosis is a disease transmitted by a tick bite. These insects can actually pass a bacterium, the spirochete Borrelia. While in most cases it is not serious and can be treated quickly, some patients have long-term symptoms, including arthritis and swelling.

The scientific community is competing over the topic of whether this is a chronic form of Lyme disease that is not recognized today, or disorders that result from the disease but are not directly caused by bacteria.

Anyway, American researchers at Northeastern University believe they can now address the problem by preventing these longstanding symptoms from developing. While searching for microorganisms effective against a major strain of Borrelia in the United States, he discovered a substance that could completely eradicate disease: a microbial produced by another bacterium, hygromycin A. It was discovered in 1953, but was little studied because of its scarcity. Then the efficacy against the tested bacteria.

In the results published on Cell, the researchers assured that the infection was quickly eliminated by the substance, and all without any side effects. “Even at very high doses, hygromycin A shows no signs of toxicity, which suggests that this compound is safe”, agrees Futura Sciences Kim Lewis, one of the authors of the publication. But in addition to simple treatments, the scientists point out, one possibility would be to place baits treated with the substance in sensitive areas to prevent diseases upstream. A technique that should, however, be tested, as it can also lead to resistance to antibiotics.

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