We are all aware with antibiotics from our childhood. Whenever we used to get infected by a bacterial infection, our parents or guardians used to take us to the doctor and then we had to follow a 4 to 5 day course of antibiotics to resolve the problem. However, you should make a mistake of considering Lyme disease just like any other infection. If you fail to visit a doctor early or if the doctor fails to diagnose Lyme disease, then in later stages, even several weeks of antibiotics might fail to eliminate the infection.
The Lyme spirochete can spread easily, if not diagnosed and treated early. Later, it will go into hiding in your body, resulting in numerous health problems for months or even years. There’s lots of confusion and myths related to Lyme disease.
- The Infection Begins With An Unusual Bacterium
In your body, any organ or system can get affected by Lyme disease, which includes heart, joints, muscles, brain and nervous system. A corkscrew shaped spirochete which is known as Borrelia burgdorferi is the reason behind the majority of Lyme disease cases around the globe.
This bacterium has developed a unique way to evade the human immune system and starts evading right from the moment the bite occurs. It has learned to survive in the human body and sometimes even heavy doses of medicines fail to generate results against the bacteria.
- A Deceitful Attack
The skin is punctured by the tick and its saliva covers the bacteria while it’s entering the human body, protecting it from the immune system. The human immune system can fail to generate antibodies to fight the bacteria, even weeks after a tick bite occurs. So, this implies that because the body has failed to identify the infection, when you visit the doctor to get the Western blot test, you may receive negative results.
- An Elusive Shape
A Lyme disease bacterium has a unique inner structure known as a flagellum excites the body’s immune system. Even when the body can see the bacterium, it fails to attack it, and starts an inflammatory response which damages tissues instead of killing the harmful organism.
- Ability To Change Shape
The bacterium can change its shape by altering the proteins present on its outer cell wall, and this helps to hide it from the immune system. Lyme bacteria become hidden from the immune system with the ability to change its outer-cell-wall proteins.
- The Attack By Immune System Fails
The body sends immune cells to fight the disguised bacteria which wreak havoc in places like brain, skin, nerves and joints. The bacterium continues to evade the immune system by changing its outer-cell-wall proteins.
Final Thoughts: The unique abilities of the Lyme bacteria make this disease hard to diagnose, which results in late response and treatment. Get yourself checked immediately, if you think you’re developing symptoms similar to Lyme disease.