Borrelia is the name of the family , where all other members get their DNA from.
As a genus-family it has the highest number of plasmids in any bacteria known so far. Plasmids are phages that are viruses that infect bacteria. It must have a brilliant immune system to keep these phages in its cytoplasm and not die.
It is clever enough to use these plasmids DNA to empower itself that is change its DNA to survive in different environments including the blood, the tick gut and tissues.
The presence of these plasmids also means Borrelia has high mutation rate higher than average bacteria. This means it can fool your immune system very easily. Hide and continue to disseminate in your tissues
Under this family is 3 groups, like 3 subfamilies. These are;
- Relapsing Fever Borrelia
- Reptilian Borrelia
These can and may cause infection in people.
Lyme Borrelia is a member of the B.burgdorferi group. It is a tiny subset, which is endemic in the East Coast of USA.
All 3 groups can produce very similar symptoms, that is non-specific, that is different with each person.
Lyme is a household name in the English speaking world – USA, UK, Australia, Canada etc. In other countries in the world it is not significant.
Epidemiological studies are continuing and each publication discovers more relapsing fever or reptilian Borrelia. Not Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto – Lyme Borrelia. So why in the English speaking world are we pushing for Lyme recognition when non-Lyme Borrelia is more common than Lyme Borrelia?
Relapsing Fever testing.
40% of Lyme Disease tests can produce positive results.
Relapsing Fever Borrelia infection does not sera convert – that is switch from IgM to IgG. So if you have lots of bands on your IgM western blot then you are more likely to have Relapsing Fever Borrelia infection not Lyme Borrelia. This is a scientific fact. (Cutler S , 2015, 2016)
How Does Borrelia manipulate your immune system?
Borrelia blocks the innate immune system, that is blocks your monocytes becoming antigen presenting cells (APC) so the APC cant do their job of present the foreign matter to the acquired immunity – T and B cells.
It also increases inhibitory interleukins like IL10 so body experience very little inflammation in the beginning, a little bit of fatigue etc. At the same time IFN gamma is decreased. This results in your immune system’s ability to fight intracellular bacterial infections being diminished significantly.. At the same time IFN alpha is increased. IFN alpha directs the immune system to fight viral infections. Hence some of you may not get the flu at all. You have good viral immunity but weak bacterial immunity.