The Biology of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, simply stated, is a multi-systemic bacterial infection spread primarily through the bite of an infected tick. But there is nothing simple about this virulent organism.  It’s official name is Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), and it was initially classified with protozoa because it is so unique. Borrelia possesses the largest number of DNA replicators making it amongst the most complex bacteria in the world.

The “morphic” enigma.

This informational video is a 3d animation describing how Lyme disease works inside your body. The presentation was produced by Envita Medical Center (I have no financial interest in promoting their procedures and do not have any information or testimonials on their treatment.  However, they have produced a number of excellent videos that can be viewed at

To review, Borrelia burgdorferi is a spiral-shaped “spirochete’ when it enters the human blood stream, and uses that active form to quickly disperse throughout the body and the “tunnel” into soft tissue. This “smart” bacteria will quickly and easily change it’s genetic structure into two other cell forms: the “L” form and the “cyst” form; and will link up in different combinations of the three forms.

Some of the more frightening aspects of Lyme disease are:

  • Increasing evidence that the bacteria is spread by biting insects other than ticks
  • Increasing evidence that the bacteria can be transmitted sexually

But perhaps the most frightening aspect of Lyme disease is the intelligent survival nature of the bacteria: 

  • It immediately adjusts its DNA to evade the immune system of its new host.
  • It can “encyst” within one minute when endangered making it impervious to antibiotics, freezing and thawing.
  • In lab studies, the spirochete removed from the test subject was genetically different from the spirochete that had been initially injected
  • It can burrow into any tissue, even blood cells to avoid detection, but most commonly bile and other harmless microbes or parasites
  • It rapidly crosses the blood-brain barrier and wreaks havoc with the central nervous system and glandular functions (see Lyme Symptom List)

This video is amazing documentation filmed by Dr. Alan MacDonald showing spirochetes entering and leaving a biofilm and explaining the phenomena.

Exciting Research happening in 2014:

Dr. John Aucott of Johns Hopkins, who is identifying early Lyme disease serum markers to help develop tests that will work during the first month of infection.

Dr. Ben Luft of Stony Brook, who is working to identify which Lyme strains are the most virulent in different geographic regions, because our current FDA-approved Lyme tests only look for one of 120 known strains, and testing the viability of a new vaccine.

Dr. Eva Sapi of the University of New Haven, who has proven the role of biofilms in allowing Borrelia to create persistent illness in vitro, is now testing her theory in the human body.

Dr. Karen Newell of Texas A, who is working on a novel genomic strategy for overriding Lyme’s ability to disrupt the immune system.

Dr. Brian Fallon of Columbia University, who is developing new criteria for diagnosing late Lyme.

Dr. Cheryl Koopman of Stanford University, who is working to define symptom clusters to aid in the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

**Watch Columbia University’s power-point presentation at: m8770/2003/infectious%20diseases.ppt

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