Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Version 1 : Received: 7 March 2018 / Approved: 8 March 2018 / Online: 8 March 2018 (07:08:02 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Middelveen, M.J.; Sapi, E.; Burke, J.; Filush, K.R.; Franco, A.; Fesler, M.C.; Stricker, R.B. Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease. Healthcare 2018, 6, 33. Middelveen, M.J.; Sapi, E.; Burke, J.; Filush, K.R.; Franco, A.; Fesler, M.C.; Stricker, R.B. Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease. Healthcare 2018, 6, 33.


Introduction: Lyme disease is a tickborne illness that generates controversy among medical providers and researchers. One of the key topics of debate is the existence of persistent infection with the Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in patients who have been treated with recommended doses of antibiotics yet remain symptomatic. Persistent spirochetal infection despite antibiotic therapy has recently been demonstrated in non-human primates. We present evidence of persistent Borrelia infection despite antibiotic therapy in patients with ongoing Lyme disease symptoms. Materials & Methods: In this pilot study, culture of body fluids and tissues was performed in a randomly selected group of 12 patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms who had been treated or who were being treated with antibiotics. Cultures were also performed on a group of 10 control subjects without Lyme disease. The cultures were subjected to corroborative microscopic, histopathological and molecular testing for Borrelia organisms in four independent laboratories in a blinded manner. Results: Motile spirochetes identified histopathologically as Borrelia were detected in culture specimens, and these spirochetes were genetically identified as Borrelia burgdorferi by three distinct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. Spirochetes identified as Borrelia burgdorferi were cultured from the blood of seven subjects, from the genital secretions of ten subjects, and from a skin lesion of one subject. Cultures from control subjects without Lyme disease were negative for Borrelia using these methods. Conclusions: Using multiple corroborative detection methods, we showed that patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms may have ongoing spirochetal infection despite antibiotic treatment, similar to findings in non-human primates. The optimal treatment for persistent Borrelia infection remains to be determined.


Lyme disease; Borrelia burgdorferi; Tickborne disease; Chronic infection; Spirochete culture


Medicine and Pharmacology, Pathology and Pathobiology

Comments (2)

Comment 1
Received: 10 March 2018
Commenter: Joyce Dahlberg
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Yep this is totally not new just the truth coming out. Please share this to CDC/ISDA as they tend to not want to accept scientific research that proves an ongoing infection. By the way Lyme and mine and many almost all inflammatory diseases are due to staph aureus USA 300 strain. Most likely. 252 and others too. Mycoplasma and chlamydophila C pneumonia (which I have) were found to be bacteria in 1989. To date the smallest bacteria found and this happened by accident. Result # 31 and #34 were both eliminated from consideration under the Lyme testing and ELisa was instituted first to eliminate millions showing lyme infections. Thus leaving others (millions like me) that never had a tick bite to start out with. Don't worry I got infected from a person that came from a very infested area and yes thousands in that area have it too besides lots of ticks. Zika is also a lyme type bacteria, as many get eye infections. Zika vaccine was made public and a little later another fiasco of going ahead with a deadly infection given by the vaccine. See #31 and #34 have fungal protein productions especially #34 as it is a deeper infections that starts a little later and loves the brain and lung. There it remained for my 39 years till the extreme pain started. Had many symptoms especially skin cysts and neurological issues for decades but of course labeled as "watch for factitious disorder" when trying to get help. Never got it either because "it can not exist" those are the daily aches of living. This virulent /lactase pos staph aureus is the cause and is found at an alarming rate , even on top of surfaces, water. Especially still water so that explains the fungal part. What do I know; "all based on symptoms" but the looked at tests were all normal especially the CDC recommended lyme tests. Several years later even with lots of tests showing ongoing infection I continue to be labeled nuts because that is the system to maintain supply of patients that correspond to "we do not know the cause, we need more research/money'. Actually = we need our jobs, you being cured does not matter. Today I saw this "Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible nature unaware that the nature he is destroying is this God he is worshipping" Hubert Reeves. So yes let's keep fracking and bringing this staph aureus bacteria (origin Ecoli) to the surface because the economy is all that matters. Also keep giving antibiotics to animals because the economy matters more. We will than blame humans for using too many antibiotics for the resistance. It sure make sense does it not. Last word # 41 is the tail of the borrela since this mermaid needs a body.
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Comment 2
Received: 16 March 2018
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Looking forward to the final version. A couple of issues:

1. It is not immediately apparent to me what the authors attribute their success in cultivation to. Very few researchers have successfully cultivated Borrelia post-treatment and so a discussion of these contradictory results is important. As it is this paper will probably just elicit more controversy rather than offer resolution.

2. The discussion of persister cells is a mess. A review of L-form biology makes it clear Borrelia round bodies are not L-forms. Nor is there clear meaning in the phrase "cell wall deficient cysts". RB cell envelope is intact and L-forms are known to divide by random budding and scission whereas round-bodies are quiescent. Nor is the term "cyst" appropriate. The phrase "cysts, and the formation of persister cells" is also redundant as they are presumably referring to the same structures. The more appropriate term is "round bodies". I am not aware of any clear research on the role of L-forms in Lyme disease, but regardless the terms "L-form" and "cyst" should not be applied to Borrelia roundbodies and especially shouldn't be applied to each other.

Anyways, good luck on the final submission!
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Comment 3
Received: 2 November 2018
Commenter: W. A. O'Gorman
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: For the attention of Marianne Middelveen.
I am a retired racehorse trainer in England. We had a serious problem among the horses in the 1990s and eventually came up with most of the horses testing positive for Lyme. The vets - and everyone else - were far from convinced, however I assembled everything I could find on the subject and related it to what I observed in these animals. If you would like to see it I could send it to you: it isn't very structured , but you may find it interesting. I gave up training largely due to the fact that we had got into a whirlpool of training stable - breeding farm - training stable and I could no longer get anything like the results that I'd been used to for 15 years previously [ you can see just how good these were bat]. I am wouldn't be surprised if systemic disease were among the most serious - and ignored - medical and veterinary problems: without sounding callous or glib, there seems a great similarity between what I saw in the horses and the autism and attention deficit syndromes in children.

Regards Bill O'Gorman
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