On the March 19 broadcast of Mayo Clinic Radio, co-hosts Tracy McCray and Tom Shives, M.D., spoke with Bobbi Pritt, M.D., Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory, about a new bacterium that causes Lyme disease and how to protect against it.
Mayo Clinic researchers, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health officials from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, have discovered a new bacterial species that causes Lyme disease in people. The new species has been provisionally named Borrelia mayonii. Prior to this finding, the only species believed to cause Lyme disease in North America was Borrelia burgdorferi.
“Using a laboratory-developed test with a method called ‘melting temperature analysis,’ we detected six specimens that produced a PCR result that was clearly different from B. burgdorferi,” said Dr. Pritt. “Mayo Medical Laboratories has tested more than 100,000 patient samples from all 50 states over the past decade using our PCR assay, but we’ve only recently detected evidence of B. mayonii.”
Listen to the Podcast
To listen to the interview, the radio segment about Dr. Pritt’s blog begins at 29:43 and runs through 38:50. If you have time, the full show begins with sleep medicine specialist Timothy Morgenthaler, M.D., who explains why getting adequate sleep is so important for good health. Infectious disease specialist Stacey Rizza, M.D., also has an update on tuberculosis (TB). March 24 is World TB Day.