*Updated 18th Jan 2016
A simple method for the detection of live Borrelia spirochaetes in human blood using classical microscopy techniques
Biological and Biomedical Reports, 2013, 3(1), 15-28 Research Article
Morten M. Laane 1, Ivar Mysterud2,*
1 Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway
2 Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Norway
Part of text (see full paper below)
Lyme disease, caused by the spirochaete B.burgdorferi presents unusual problems
regarding both diagnosis and treatment. A tentative diagnosis from microscopic
preparation from many suspected Lyme-diseased human patients has been considered to be quite difficult. Also both detection using DNA techniques and immunological methods often gives false negative results, and/or misdiagnosis. It is further known that the spirochaetes often resist aggressive antibiotic therapy and reappear causing chronic disease, sometimes for many years . The bacterium in blood smears is often only faintly stained with Giemsa-techniques which can lead to false negative results, even in samples where it is known to be present. As a result, substantial evidence has accumulated that numerous patients suffering from chronic borreliosis may not get an adequate diagnosis. Sometimes
severely ill patients with suspected borreliosis get neither prompt nor appropriate medical treatment because of the difficulties associated with diagnosis. Here we present a reliable and very simple procedure for detection of live spirochaetes and cysts in the blood by the use of classic techniques in microscopy. The procedure
might be carried out in almost any laboratory, provided that necessary precautions against infections of staff are excerted.
(some high quality photos & video available in this site, highly recommended!) http://counsellingme.com/microscopy/ExperimentLgfont.html
Plus check out these amazing live videos showing various forms of Lyme disease bacteria, under the microscope!
Biofilm, cysts, spiros (30 mins view of patient’s blood smear):
*Updated 4th Jun 2014
Amazing close up video of borrelia biofilm
Borrelia close up in this dark field microscopy shot
*Updated 11th Feb 2014
See ticks close up & personal! (UK site)
*Updated 16th Aug 2013
Classic microscopy reveals borrelia bacteria
The two scientists are pretty much alone in what they are doing: investigating samples of living blood under the microscope – over time. They have looked at the blood of a large number of people who suspect that they are chronically ill following a tick bite.
“We study the behaviour of the bacteria directly through the microscope. We have taken thousands of pictures, and we film their movement pattern in real time or with a time lapse. This allows us to see how the bacteria enter and leave the blood cells and swim around in the blood plasma. These are powerful methods, but nobody uses them any longer”, says Laane. He himself is regarded as one of the foremost microscopy experts, and he has been studying bacteria for over 50 years.
NB: full paper now available at: http://www.worldwide-lyme-protest.org.uk/downloads/98-446-2-PB.pdf
*Updated 2nd Aug 2012
Pics of the little critters…cysts, spiros, granules & blebs
Plus a mention on persistence..
Under the Microscope
A fascinating look into some of Alan MacDonald’s work (shown on the Documentary Under Our Skin) regarding the various forms of spirochetes and the protective biofilm which can inhibit successful antibiotic treatment:
Includes close up views of the following:
Cell Wall Deficient Type
Spirochetes Unwound Blog Spot
An absolutely amazing website looking up close and personal at spirochetes, Lyme rashes and containing many scientific articles on borrelia. Great for a student studying Lyme.
Identifying tick species by their mouth parts!
The Lyme Bug Life-cycle
Video shows spirochete, dividing spirochetes, biomass & cyst formations (a survival strategy, making it hard to eradicate!)
Gorgeous high-res pictures – not only of Lyme but everything from the brain, blood cells, parasites, bacteria – yummy!
For Lyme (borrelia images) go to Image Search on the site..
Absolutely amazing videos of Lyme spirochetes morphing
Including blebs, cysts, spiros & biomass formations
BORRELIA BURGDORFERI: THE SPIROCHETE AND ITS DETECTION
The spirochete that causes Lyme disease cannot live outside the body of a host. It must live within either a mammal or a tick.
In the mammal’s body, the spirochete is especially adept at binding to connective tissue. If one is doing additional reading on this organism, one will encounter references to the spirochete’s surface proteins called “Osp’s” (“Osp” stands for “outer surface protein”). Different Osp’s are expressed depending on whether the spirochete is attached to the tick midgut (OspA), the mammal’s connective tissue (OspC), or whether the tick is in an early or late stage of mammal infection (Osps E and F respectively). By modifying its Osp’s, the spirochete is able to change its presentation to the mammalian host’s immune system thus escaping immune destruction. In addition to changing Osp’s, the spirochete can change its shape into at least 3 different forms and is able to hide within cellular folds. (The Lyme spirochete is a master of disguise and camouflage.)
This presents an enormous diagnostic challenge: if the host’s immune system can’t even find the organism, how are we supposed to detect it?
Various you-tube clips:
Lyme sprio clips from Dr McDonald’s research – prepare to be eeked!
Video of spriro turning into cyst form for protection against antibiotics
Another good clip: Borellia burgdorferi spirochete in motion
Babs, Myscoplasm & Lyme in blood cells
A look at bacteria under the microscope
*Updated 2nd October 2012
Watch spiros in action