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Borrelia burgdorferi in Argentina: Scientific publications part I

Jan 28, 2022

Author: Monica Carugatti

 

In this entry I am going to cite the scientific and journalistic publications made in Argentina in relation to BB from the first that I have a record in 1988 to 2002. My objective is to demonstrate the existence of a serious debate in relation to the presence of the bacterium in Argentine ticks and their contagion in humans. And to record that despite the overwhelming evidence of the potential danger of the spread of the disease in society, the corresponding procedures for the search for the vector, the cultivation of the bacteria from humans and the opening of valid lines of research were not followed. Preventive campaigns were not even started.

 

1988 – Borrelia in ticks in dogs – Rosario
Mazzonelli, J; Hutter, E.; Brihuega, B; Laballen, H. (1988). ” Lyme borreliosis: serological survey in Lyme borreliosis: serological survey in dogs”  Proceeding of the Annual Associación Argentina Veterinária Diagnostic Laboratory, 4a, Tandil, Argentina. : Prevalence in dogs around the city of Rosario: of the dogs were positive for Lyme disease

3 – Anti-borrelia antibody in farmers with arthritis – BrandsenStanchi* (1993) “Lyme disease: antibodies against Borrelia Burgdorferi in farm workers in Argentina” Rev Saude Publica 1993 Aug;27(4):305-7 -Pubmed 8209163: NO*Faculty of Veterinary Sciences National University of La Plata.

Abstract:
Lyme Disease is a tick-borne (especially by Ixodes ticks) immune-mediated inflammatory disorder caused by a newly recognized spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Indirect fluorescent antibody (IF) staining methods and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay are frequently relied upon to confirm Lyme borreliosis infections. Although serologic testing for antibodies has limitations, it is still the only practical means of confirming B. burgdorferi infections. Because we have no previous report of Lyme disease in human inhabitants in Argentina, a study was designed as a seroepidemiological investigation of the immune response to B. burgdorferi in farm workers of Argentina with arthritis symptoms. Three out of 28 will be positive Serum #1 was positive for Immunoglobulin G at dilution 1:320, serum #5 and #9 both to dilution 1:160; while for Immunoglobulin M all (#1, 5 and 9) were positive at low dilution (1:40) using IF. The results showed that antibodies against B. burgdorferi are present in an Argentine population. Thus caution should be exercised in the clinical interpretation of arthritis until the presence of B. burgdorferi be confirmed by culture in specific media.

1999 – Detection of BB with molecular method – Rosario

Campodónico M, Fay M, Alvarez G, et al., Search for Lyme Disease in Argentina. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato detection using a Nested PCR Approach”-  Poster C-470.
CTSP-National University of Rosario, Rosario, Argentina. Session 282/C. Diagnostic Bacteriology II: Molecular-Based Detection and Identification Methods, Abstract C-473, June 3, 1999, ASM 99th General Meeting, Chicago

2000 – Patients with atypical depression who present symptoms of Lyme.
Hector R. Battaglia, MD; Guido Alvarez, MD; Augusto Mercau, MD; Marcelo Fay, MD; and Martin Campodonico. (2000) “Psychiatric Symptomatology Associated with Presumptive Lyme Disease: Clinical Evidence.” Journal of Spirochetal and Tick-Borne Diseases. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2000. pgs. 22-25.

43 patients with atypical depression, 7 experienced panic attacks and all considered hypochondriacal patients, they were selected from the psychiatric office for having associated multisystemic polysymptomtology according to that of Lyme disease. The selected patients had lived or frequently visited areas at risk for zoonosis, been bitten by ticks, had a history of skin injuries or dermatosis compatible with erythema migrans (EM), and had positive IgG and IgM serology for Borrelia burgdorferi Combination therapy with specific antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease and specific psychotropics was indicated.

Psychopharmacological therapy included a first 90-day period with monnaminoxidase inhibitors followed by later periods with state-of-the-art tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants and serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors. Psychopathologies, as well as multisystemic polysymptomatology, diminished and even disappeared after the combination treatment. We conclude that an infectious disease whose closest definition could be Lyme disease produced the psychiatric symptoms described in this manuscript. Isolation of the causative agent remains.

This investigation was cited by La Nación on 05-24-2000 “An evil with a thousand faces”

2002 – Complaint about the decision to ignore the 1997 report on patients infected by Tick Meningopolyneuritis – Rosario
Clarifications on Lyme DiseaseTick ​​Meningopolyneuritis, Lyme Borrelliasis, ICD-9-695.9, 716.59 –  Ecological Environment Edition 83 / March – April 2002.
*Member of the MAE Academic Councilefmarco@fullzero.com.ar

Article exerpt:
In Argentina, the first two registered cases of this disease occurred in March 1997 in : At the home of the two infected patients, at the suggestion of the undersigned, only Rhipicephalus sanguineus could be collected in various stages, as ectoparasites of dogs from that home.At the request of the Health and Environmental Sanitation authorities of the Municipality of Rosario, I sent a report – given my experience on the subject in the US – proposing the hypothesis that the vectors in our country were other Ixodidae, and due to their finding at home, the suspicion that the Dog Tick was our vector However, the specimens they sent me were dead, so the presence of B. burgdorferi could not be investigated in them.

In addition, I proposed a serious line of action to better understand this disease, its reservoirs and vectors, since in Argentina there are many representatives of the Ixodes genusI do not rule out that any of them may not be imputed as a vector.The curious thing – as a funny anecdote, since to consider it in another way would be to give it a value that it does not have – in a journal (the same one to which in 1997 I sent what I believe to be the first serious report on this disease to its director, when everyone in Rosario was perplexed by this pathology) now a couple of “experts” appear talking very happily about the subject and I find out, with surprise, that in Argentina the vectors are horseflies, scorpions, wasps and “water kissing bugs” (?) without explaining how they reached those conclusions or clarify the taxa, neither specific nor generic; they also name the “genus of ticks” without, of course, identifying which ones.

But the “specialists” (excuse the misuse of the term) do not end their errors there: I also learned that this Borrelliosis causes “some cases of Alzheimer’s disease” since “its common pattern is psychiatric symptoms.” Well, after reading that the causal agent “has not been isolated yet” it is time to archive the magazine and think that they have learned little from 1997 until now*.

“*”Lyme disease and ticks” Modified and with additions in Environment and Health Plagues, year lll, No. 12, July 2000, p. 16, Drs. Battaglia, H.; Alvarez, G.; Mercao, A., SOURCE: LA NACIÓN NEWSPAPER, ADRIANA GIANNINI, 2000.

At present (10-2021) there are publications on the existence of BB in horseflies and mosquitoes and that today the existence of BB has been registered in patients with Alzheimer’s (Dr. Mac Donald Studies on brain tissues Blog Dr MacDonald

2003 – Presence of vectors in the area where patients diagnosed with Lyme live – Rosario
Arango, J.; Battaglia*, H.; Alfieri, A.; Seghesso, A.; Lapalma, A.; Zerpa, C.; Piccado, A. (2003) ” Survey of clinical cases of Lyme disease for the detection of risk areas”

*National University of Rosario, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences  Chair of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Health Administration. Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, UNR

Article excerpt
In the city of Rosario, the existence of human cases with a clinical and serological diagnosis of this disease has been reported (1) The Lyme spirochete can be serologically cross-reactive with other borrelia and treponemes, including the one that causes syphilis, but not with leptospira. The international scientific community accepts as sick or infected those who present clinical symptoms prescribed by standards, serology by PCR and a positive response to antibiotic treatment

(2). It is very difficult to isolate it from human patients. The few isolations made in the USA and France have been from blood, chronic erythema and cerebrospinal fluid. It is difficult to visualize in tissue sections. In man it has a very varied symptomatology and difficult serological and confirmatory diagnosis; its treatment is also very complex and not always successful. This is due to characteristics of the agent, such as the ability to mutate, remain viable within macrophages, lymphocytes, endothelial cells, neurons and fibroblasts, which hinders the action of antibiotics and immuno-recognition, it also has L forms that do not contain cell walls, which also limits effective antibiotics. Due to its pathogenicity, it produces severe and disabling injuries.

The investigation of the aspects that make its prevention, such as the availability of a vaccine and the identification of risk factors specific to each ecosystem, such as human behavior and the presence of reservoir rodents and vector ticks, are relevant for its combat. The existence of rodents and vectors in the town of Funes was investigated during the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. neurons and fibroblasts, which hinders the action of antibiotics and immuno-recognition, it also has L-forms that do not contain cell walls, which also limits effective antibiotics. Due to its pathogenicity, it produces severe and disabling injuries. The investigation of the aspects that make its prevention, such as the availability of a vaccine and the identification of risk factors specific to each ecosystem, such as human behavior and the presence of reservoir rodents and vector ticks, are relevant for its combat.

The existence of rodents and vectors in the town of Funes was investigated during the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. neurons and fibroblasts, which hinders the action of antibiotics and immuno-recognition, it also has L-forms that do not contain cell walls, which also limits effective antibiotics. Due to its pathogenicity, it produces severe and disabling injuries. The investigation of the aspects that make its prevention, such as the availability of a vaccine and the identification of risk factors specific to each ecosystem, such as human behavior and the presence of reservoir rodents and vector ticks, are relevant for its combat. The existence of rodents and vectors in the town of Funes was investigated during the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. Due to its pathogenicity, it produces severe and disabling injuries.

The investigation of the aspects that make its prevention, such as the availability of a vaccine and the identification of risk factors specific to each ecosystem, such as human behavior and the presence of reservoir rodents and vector ticks, are relevant for its combat. The existence of rodents and vectors in the town of Funes was investigated during the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. Due to its pathogenicity, it produces severe and disabling injuries. The investigation of the aspects that make its prevention, such as the availability of a vaccine and the identification of risk factors specific to each ecosystem, such as human behavior and the presence of reservoir rodents and vector ticks, are relevant for its combat. The existence of rodents and vectors in the town of Funes was investigated during the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.

The results highlight the presence of Ixodes loricatus (larvae, nymphs and adults) in rodents Akodon azarae and Oligoryzomyz flavescens. The importance of the discovery of I. loricatus lies in the communication of the isolation in Brazil of Borrelia sp (3).Another relevant result for the epidemiology of Lyme disease refers to the capture of cricetidae, which are involved in the transmission of other zoonoses, and the ticks carried by them in a perimeter but urbanized area with permanent residents, which includes public squares equipped with recreational games for children. In order to specify the risk factors linked to the capture area, a survey was designed to collect information through personal interviews arranged by the doctors who treated the cases.

The date of appearance of the first symptoms and residence at that time were taken into account, as well as contact with cats, dogs, farmyard animals, food animals and rodents, occupation, non-professional activities,The results of 8 cases confirmed to have presented the clinical form of the disease and 2 positive contacts by laboratory tests are reported. Exposure history based on retrospective collection suffers from significant underreporting and imprecision. The survey will continue to be perfected to suggest the incorporation of the epidemiological diagnosis in the first consultation.

Conclusions
This article demonstrates the existence of publications, indications to the authorities and a scientific debate that refer to the presence of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Argentina for several decades. Health authorities should have known and acted accordingly long ago.

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