The ongoing controversy about Lyme disease in the South came a step closer to resolution today when Dr. Kerry Clark, University of N. Florida published his study entitled Lyme Borreliosis in Human Patients in Florida and Georgia, USA in the International Journal of Medical Science.LDA provided a grant for the study. The purpose of the study is to determine the cause of illness in patients in Florida and Georgia with suspected Lyme disease based on EM-like skin lesions and/or symptoms consistent with early localized or late disseminated Lyme borreliosis. Using PCRs developed specifically for Lyme group Borrelia spp., followed by DNA sequencing for confirmation, Clark et al identified Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in samples of blood and skin and also in lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) removed from patients who live in or were exposed to ticks in Florida or Georgia. This is the study that presents combined PCR and DNA sequence evidence of infection with Lyme Borrelia spp. in human patients in the southern U.S., and that demonstrates that several B. burgdorferi sensu lato species may be associated with Lyme disease-like signs and symptoms in southern states.
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