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lyme disease resides in Lymph nodes,.... UC Davis..


Senior Member
here is part of the press release:

Lyme disease bacteria take cover in lymph nodes

The bacteria that cause Lyme disease, one of the most important emerging diseases in the United States, appear to hide out in the lymph nodes, triggering a significant immune response, but one that is not strong enough to rout the infection, report researchers at the University of California, Davis.

Results from this groundbreaking study involving mice may explain why some people experience repeated infections of Lyme disease. The study appears online in the journal Public Library of Science Biology at: http://tinyurl.com/3vs8pm9.

"Our findings suggest for the first time that Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in people, dogs and wildlife, have developed a novel strategy for subverting the immune response of the animals they infect," said Professor Nicole Baumgarth, an authority on immune responses at the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine.

"At first it seems counter intuitive that an infectious organism would choose to migrate to the lymph nodes where it would automatically trigger an immune response in the host animal," Baumgarth said. "But B. burgdorferi have apparently struck an intricate balance that allows the bacteria to both provoke and elude the animal's immune response."

here is where I found the press release..


interesting, eh? ...


Senior Member
Very interesting voner - sounds so familiar with the ups and downs of ME/CFS - ongoing infection(s).


Boswellia for lungs and MC stabllizing
k8518704 USA
very nice, voner. I've been saying through the years that my virus is back. I guess most everybody here has - even if many docs don't believe it.

Here is the actual study, hooray it's full-text at PLoS:

The thing reads like a detective story, yet the ending is not there: are the spirochetes coated by antibodies or not? In the end, it seems to me that hiding in the node cortex might be one of the best places. Here's my analysis, please post any corrections:

Normally bits of antigen might make their way into a node just by flowing downstream through the lymphatic system from the site of infection. Probably more often Professional Antigen Presenting Cells would phagocytose and digest the bacteria, then present peptides on MHC II. The APCs deliberately migrate downstream to one or more nodes. That'd be done by macrophages but probably more so by various types of Dendritic Cells - say Langerhans in the skin or Kuppfer cells in the liver.

But in this study's account, the viable spirochetes make their own way to the node. While in the outer cortex, some parts or whole might get down to where the B-cells are waiting in the node to detect antigen. The matching B-cell gets activated, meaning it proliferates and the clones differentiate to plasma cells, which migrate near to the exit area (the hilum) and start pumping out huge numbers of AntiBodies. The ABs flow out via the efferent vessel, eventually end up in the venous system, spread through the blood circulation, and would have to make a complete round trip before any happen by chance to make it back into that same node. Antibodies can't swim and so they can't go directly back upstream to make the very short trip to where the spirochetes are.

Come to think of it, the ABs would have to leave the blood circulation to get back into the lymphatic system, and would likely need some area of permeable arterioles or capillaries to do that - but without any inflamed area, how would they do that? Is the swollen node actually inflamed, in the sense of is there a lot of histamine and/or bradykinin in the area? I'd guess not, since there apparently aren't many phagocytes et al in the area to be excreting those chemicals.

So, I think it'd be interesting to know how many ABs are ending up being bound to the target spirochetes - where they attract effectors like Killer T cells, which the study says are not in large numbers in the node cortex.

Also, this antibody-dependent method of killing bacteria doesn't AFAIK apply much to attacking cells infected with viruses.

But the principle of a long-lasting infection which not only evades being "cleared" but also achieves a sort of long-term homeostasis still seems to apply. I've always had the innate idea that my immune system was just balancing out the infection, with intermittent flareups, so that it mostly stayed the same. (But thankfully has gotten very gradually better over the past several months.)


Senior Member
Brilliant paper, thanks Voner and Sherlock. It explains a lot; though I wish it suggested a treatment option.


Senior Member
Sth Australia
im so glad to hear that things are moving forward for the lymies.

Last night on one of the Aussie current affair shows, they did a segment on possible lyme disease in people in Australia... a couple of people who say they got it here but our medical authorities deny it's in Australia. Anyway, seems the war is on with a few with possible lyme and our medical authorities.

who knows what is true. I do thou think it is possible that something like that could be being missed here thou one dont here of many at all in Aust. who think they have lyme.

(I dont think its related to my ME but years ago I had a terrible infestation of fleas in my house, one couldnt even sit down to watch tv without being bitten by them.. and in the spot I like to camp in the cave Ive slept in at times, there are ticks. I got a large tick, fortunately it wasnt fat so hadnt bitten me, crawling on my top last time I was there. I also played with a tick which on a lizard as a child).


Senior Member
United States
If we were to take a supplement or have some sort of procedure done to drain the lymphs without killing the Lyme bacteria first, could that cause problems since it would be spreading them to other parts of the body? Or maybe it just disturbs them and the get all riled up. I sort of remember reading something about them being dormant sometimes until they are bothered somehow. Sort of like poking a hornets' nest. Any thoughts? I just bought some cleavers because I read they were supposed to be good for herx, but they're also recommended for lymphs so I wasn't sure if they'd cause problems. I have no idea if anything I suggested is possible which is why I'm hoping someone more knowledgeable can sort out my theories.