Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted to humans through the bite of a deer tick, and can lead to the debilitating disease that most commonly is associated with arthritis, but can also cause heart and neurological problems.
Dr. Tim Sellati is the Chief Scientific Officer at the Global Lyme Alliance (GLA). GLA is dedicated to development of more effective diagnostics and treatments of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
Dr. Sellati talks about how people can avoid Lyme Disease, what typically happens when someone is infected with Borrelia burdorferi, how the immune response against the bacteria is the cause of disease symptoms, why people in the Northeast U.S. are more likely to get Lyme Disease, whether tick eradication is a possibility for the elimination of Lyme, how the internet can spread misinformation that inhibits the control of this disease, and what the likely prospects are for a Lyme Disease vaccine.
The microCase for listeners to solve is about Wandering River Spirit, a young hippie who comes down with a potentially debilitating disease while trying to volunteer with a global health charity.