Yale scientists have linked an unexplained febrile disease – first thought of as lymes disease – to a bacteria, Borrelia miyamotoi carried by the common deer tick.
Even though the symptoms are similar to lymes disease, the Borrelia miyamotoi bacteria will not show up on tests for lymes disease.
In addition to usual lymes disease symptoms such as; fatigue, stiff neck, and joint pain “patients also may experience other symptoms, such as relapsing fever,” said lead author Dr. Peter Krause, senior research scientist at the School of Public Health and primary author of the study.
Although this new, yet to be named disease, is different from lymes disease, the same antibiotic treatment works for both — according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 17th 2013.
“Researchers found positive results for the new infection in 21 percent of 14 patients with unexplained summertime febrile illness, 3 percent of 273 patients with Lyme disease or suspected Lyme disease, and 1 percent of 584 healthy people living in areas where Lyme disease is endemic.” Source: Yale News
This Borellia miyatomoi bacteria resides in 2% of ticks who carry lymes disease. What makes this study unique, according to Dr. Durland Fish, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, is that “This is the first time we have found an infectious organism carried by ticks before we have recognized the disease in humans.”