Special Issue "Lyme Disease and Related Tickborne Infections"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Raphael B. Stricker

Union Square Medical Associates, San Francisco, CA, United States
Website | E-Mail
Interests: tickborne diseases; immunodeficiency diseases; immunological infertility

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Lyme disease and associated tickborne infections constitute the fastest-growing epidemic in the world today. Furthermore, the discovery of new species of Borrelia has complicated the clinical picture of these diseases. The Special Issue will focus on epidemiologic, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of tickborne diseases, including Lyme disease, Relapsing Fever Borrelia, and various tickborne coinfections including Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, Rickettsia and tickborne viruses. New approaches for vaccines against tickborne diseases are also open for discussion.

Dr. Raphael B. Stricker
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Lyme disease
  • Relapsing Fever Borrelia
  • Babesia
  • Anaplasma
  • Ehrlichia
  • Bartonella
  • Rickettsia
  • tickborne viruses
  • vaccines

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Mixed Borrelia burgdorferi and Helicobacter pylori Biofilms in Morgellons Disease Dermatological Specimens
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Background: Morgellons disease (MD) is a dermopathy that is associated with tick-borne illness. It is characterized by spontaneously developing skin lesions containing embedded or projecting filaments, and patients may also experience symptoms resembling those of Lyme disease (LD) including musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiovascular [...] Read more.
Background: Morgellons disease (MD) is a dermopathy that is associated with tick-borne illness. It is characterized by spontaneously developing skin lesions containing embedded or projecting filaments, and patients may also experience symptoms resembling those of Lyme disease (LD) including musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiovascular manifestations. Various species of Borrelia and co-infecting pathogens have been detected in body fluids and tissue specimens from MD patients. We sought to investigate the coexistence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) and Helicobacter pylori (Hp) in skin specimens from MD subjects, and to characterize their association with mixed amyloid biofilm development. Methods: Testing for Bb and Hp was performed on dermatological specimens from 14 MD patients using tissue culture, immunohistochemical (IHC) staining, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and confocal microscopy. Markers for amyloid and biofilm formation were investigated using histochemical and IHC staining. Results: Bb and Hp were detected in dermatological tissue taken from MD lesions. Bb and Hp tended to co-localize in foci within the epithelial tissue. Skin sections exhibiting foci of co-infecting Bb and Hp contained amyloid markers including β-amyloid protein, thioflavin and phosphorylated tau. The biofilm marker alginate was also found in the sections. Conclusions: Mixed Bb and Hp biofilms containing β-amyloid and phosphorylated tau may play a role in the evolution of MD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lyme Disease and Related Tickborne Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Factors of Lyme Disease: An Intersection of Environmental Ecology and Systems Science
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract
Lyme disease (LD) cases have been on the rise throughout the United States, costing the healthcare system up to $1.3 billion per year, and making LD one of the greatest threats to public health. Factors influencing the number of LD cases range from [...] Read more.
Lyme disease (LD) cases have been on the rise throughout the United States, costing the healthcare system up to $1.3 billion per year, and making LD one of the greatest threats to public health. Factors influencing the number of LD cases range from environmental to system-level variables, but little is known about the influence of vegetation (canopy, understory, and ground cover) and human behavioral risk on LD cases and exposure to infected ticks. We determined the influence of various risk factors on the risk of exposure to infected ticks on 22 different walkways using multinomial logistic regression. The model classifies the walkways into high-risk and low-risk categories with 90% accuracy, in which the understory, human risk, and number of rodents are significant indicators. These factors should be managed to control the risk of transmission of LD to humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lyme Disease and Related Tickborne Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Presence of Babesia odocoilei and Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto in a Tick and Dual Parasitism of Amblyomma inornatum and Ixodes scapularis on a Bird in Canada
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
Wild birds transport ticks into Canada that harbor a diversity of zoonotic pathogens. However, medical practitioners often question how these zoonotic pathogens are present in their locality. In this study, we provide the first report of an Amblyomma inornatum tick cofeeding with a [...] Read more.
Wild birds transport ticks into Canada that harbor a diversity of zoonotic pathogens. However, medical practitioners often question how these zoonotic pathogens are present in their locality. In this study, we provide the first report of an Amblyomma inornatum tick cofeeding with a blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, which parasitized a Veery, Catharus fuscescens—a neotropical songbird. Using the flagellin (flaB) gene of the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and the 18S rRNA gene of the Babesia piroplasm, a malaria-like microorganism, we detected Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Babesia odocoilei, respectively, in an I. scapularis nymph. After the molt, these ticks can bite humans. Furthermore, this is the first documentation of B. odocoilei in a tick parasitizing a bird. Our findings substantiate the fact that migratory songbirds transport neotropical ticks long distances, and import them into Canada during northward spring migration. Health care practitioners need to be aware that migratory songbirds transport pathogen-laden ticks into Canada annually, and pose an unforeseen health risk to Canadians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lyme Disease and Related Tickborne Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Extensive Distribution of the Lyme Disease Bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, in Multiple Tick Species Parasitizing Avian and Mammalian Hosts across Canada
Healthcare 2018, 6(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6040131
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
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Abstract
Lyme disease, caused by the spirochetal bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), is typically transmitted by hard-bodied ticks (Acari: Ixodidae). Whenever this tick-borne zoonosis is mentioned in medical clinics and emergency rooms, it sparks a firestorm of controversy. Denial often sets in, and [...] Read more.
Lyme disease, caused by the spirochetal bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), is typically transmitted by hard-bodied ticks (Acari: Ixodidae). Whenever this tick-borne zoonosis is mentioned in medical clinics and emergency rooms, it sparks a firestorm of controversy. Denial often sets in, and healthcare practitioners dismiss the fact that this pathogenic spirochetosis is present in their area. For distribution of Bbsl across Canada, we conducted a 4-year, tick–host study (2013–2016), and collected ticks from avian and mammalian hosts from Atlantic Canada to the West Coast. Overall, 1265 ticks representing 27 tick species belonging to four genera were collected. Of the 18 tick species tested, 15 species (83%) were positive for Bbsl and, of these infected ticks, 6 species bite humans. Overall, 13 of 18 tick species tested are human-biting ticks. Our data suggest that a 6-tick, enzootic maintenance cycle of Bbsl is present in southwestern B.C., and five of these tick species bite humans. Biogeographically, the groundhog tick, Ixodes cookei, has extended its home range from central and eastern Canada to southwestern British Columbia (B.C.). We posit that the Fox Sparrow, Passerella iliaca, is a reservoir-competent host for Bbsl. The Bay-breasted Warbler, Setophaga castanea, and the Tennessee Warbler, Vermivora peregrina, are new host records for the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. We provide the first report of a Bbsl-positive Amblyomma longirostre larva parasitizing a bird; this bird parasitism suggests that a Willow Flycatcher is a competent reservoir of Bbsl. Our findings show that Bbsl is present in all provinces, and that multiple tick species are implicated in the enzootic maintenance cycle of this pathogen. Ultimately, Bbsl poses a serious public health contagion Canada-wide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lyme Disease and Related Tickborne Infections)
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