Insights into Borrelia Miyamotoi: New CME Course from Dr. Shannon Delaney

In Invisible’s latest CME, titled “Borrelia miyamotoi Serology in a Clinical Population With Persistent Symptoms and Suspected Tick-Borne Illness,” medical professionals will be provided with important clinical knowledge about Borrelia miyamotoi. Taught by Dr. Shannon Delaney, a Columbia-trained psychiatrist, the course draws from her extensive experience and recent publication on this topic.

We asked Dr. Delaney to answer key questions about her study on Borellia miyamotoi. Read on to learn more!

Dr. Delaney, could you briefly explain what Borrelia miyamotoi is?

Dr. Delaney: Borrelia miyamotoi is a spirochetal bacterium causing relapsing fever, first identified in Japan in 1994. It’s transmitted by Ixodes ticks, the same vectors for Lyme disease. Clinically, it’s similar to Lyme disease but has distinct differences, like the absence of the erythema migrans rash common in Lyme disease.

What motivated you to conduct this study?

Dr. Delaney: Our goal was to investigate the prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in patients with persistent symptoms often linked to tick-borne diseases. There was a lack of substantial research in this area, and we aimed to fill that gap.

Can you describe the study’s design and methodology?

Dr. Delaney: We examined 82 patients from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and screened for Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies. Our methods included comprehensive assessments, serologic testing, and various questionnaires. The serology was based on the GlpQ gene of B. miyamotoi.

What were the key findings of your study?

Dr. Delaney: A significant finding was that 26% of our patients tested positive for B. miyamotoi. This is higher than previous reports in the literature. We also noticed that B. miyamotoi-positive patients reported more sleepiness and pain compared to those with Lyme disease.

Were there any surprising aspects in your research?

Dr. Delaney: The high seropositivity rate was indeed surprising. It suggests that B. miyamotoi might be more common than previously thought, especially in patients with symptoms suggestive of tick-borne diseases.

How does B. miyamotoi transmission differ from Lyme disease?

Dr. Delaney: Unlike B. burgdorferiB. miyamotoi can be transmitted directly from adult ticks to their offspring, meaning even larval ticks can be infectious. Plus, B. miyamotoi transmission to humans can occur quicker, within 24 hours of tick attachment.

What implications do your study’s findings have for public health?

Dr. Delaney: Our study highlights the need for increased awareness and testing for B. miyamotoi, particularly in patients presenting with multisystem symptoms similar to Lyme disease. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent prolonged symptoms.

In this new Invisible CME, Dr. Delaney teaches learners about B. miyamotoi and findings from this recent study. Her course opens new pathways in understanding and managing tick-borne diseases, particularly Borrelia miyamotoi. The findings underscore the importance of considering B. miyamotoi in differential diagnoses for Lyme-like symptoms and the need for broader public health strategies to address tick-borne diseases.

Watch the Course Here.

The Invisible Education Initiative, funded by the Montecalvo Foundation, provides free, accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses that focus on vector-borne and environmental illness within a One Health framework. These courses are available to clinicians and the public. To donate to this initiative and to learn about Invisible International, please go here.