Virginia Tech researcher finds cellular cause of Lyme arthritis, could lead to treatment
A Virginia Tech biochemist’s discovery of a cellular cause for Lyme disease aches and pains is opening a window that could lead to prevention.
Lyme arthritis, a painful condition that is a late-stage symptom of the disease, is caused in part by a cellular molecule called peptidoglycan shed by Lyme-causing bacteria, according to a study published Monday by Brandon Jutras.
Lyme is a bacterial disease first discovered in 1975 in New England and has since spread across the country. In its early stages it causes flu-like symptoms, although sometimes conditions like Lyme arthritis persist.
Diagnosing Lyme arthritis has been difficult in the past. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, effects from the disease will often linger without the presence of Lyme disease bacterium after it was treated with antibiotics.
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