WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection transmitted through ticks.
WHAT IS VECTOR BORNE?
Lyme disease is also a vector-borne disease.
The term “vector” refers to any arthropod (insect or arachnid) that transmits a disease through feeding activity. Lyme is a "vector-borne disease" because it is transmitted to humans by a blood-sucking arthropod: Ixodes ticks.
WHAT IS ZOONOTIC?
Lyme disease is Zoonotic, meaning that Lyme can be passed between animals and humans.
IS LYME DISEASE A VIRUS?
Lyme Disease is caused by a parasitic bacteria, not a virus.
Bacteria are unicellular microorganisms that can be treated with antibiotics. Viruses, on the other hand, are sub-microscopic particles to which vaccines can often aid in slowing the spread and antiviral medications can slow the reproduction of the virus, but cannot completely stop it.
WHAT BACTERIA CAUSES LYME?
The bacteria that causes Lyme is Borrelia Burgdorefi ("Bb").
WHAT ANIMALS CARRY Bb?
Bb can infect a wide range of animals, but ticks are the only natural agent through which humans can be infected.
B. burgdorferi infects a wide range of vertebrate animals including small mammals, lizards, and birds. Ticks of the genus Ixodes transmit B. burgdorferi between hosts and are the only natural agents through which humans have been shown to become infected
WHAT IS THE TAXONOMIC RANK OF Bb?
B. Burgoderefi is a bacterial species of the Spirochete class and of the genus Borrelia.
- Kingdom: Cellular Organism
- Phylum: Bacteria
- Class: Spriochaetes
- Order: Spirochaetia, which is is divided into three families: Brachyspiraceae, Leptospiraceae, and Spirochaetaceae
- Family: Spirochaetales
- Genus: Borrelia
- Species: Borrelia burgdorferi
Thus, Bb is a highly specialized, spiral shaped, two-membrane bacteria.
WHY IS Bb A SPIROCHETE?
Bacteria in the Spirochete class are defined by their spiral-shaped form and share other defining characteristics.
The term "spirochete" comes from its genus name Spirochaete, which is a modern Latin term derived from the Greek word speira ("a coil" or "spiral") and the Greek word chat ("hair"). This etymology is fitting as spirochetes (and Bb) share a distinctive morphology that includes a spiral-shaped body and flagella (organs of motility) enclosed between the outer and inner membranes.
Simply put, spirochetes look like a piece of uncoiled hair.
WHAT MAKES SPIROCHETES UNIQUE?
Unlike most bacteria, Spirochetes are able to swim in even highly viscous, gel-like mediums, such as connective tissue.
Due to the unique spiral structure of Spirochetes, their motility is different from that of other bacteria. Motility is the ability to move spontaneously and actively.
In particular, spirochetes have a special attribute that sets them apart from most other bacteria: spirochetes are able to swim in a highly viscous, gel-like mediums, such as connective tissue.
WHAT IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM'S REACTION WHEN INFECTED WITH Bb?
The human immune system is meant to protect the body against disease, including bacterial infections. It responds in a specific way to pathogens and displays a long term memory of earlier contacts with the disease agents.
The immune system consists of two functional components:
Non-specific defence (innate or non adaptive immune system)
Specific defence (adaptive immune system)