When you get bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease, the microbes travel through your blood and will or can spread to your heart, joins and nervous system. But, they have discovered how these bacteria move inside your blood to spread to your organs has remained a complete mystery, until recently. A new study shows that these bacteria latch on the inside of your blood vessel walls and move inside the vessels all while fighting forces of your flowing bloodstream.
They have also found ways that researchers may target the way the interactions between the bacteria itself and blood vessels are in order, to be able to slow it down or prevent it from spreading. “Investigating the interactions is really important so we understand how it spreads through the body so we can develop something to block it.” Tara Moriarty of University of Toronto had said in a statement.
The researchers developed a flow chamber in the study that stimulated the human vessels. This system allowed the researchers and scientists to mimic and track how the Lyme disease bacteria also known as borrelia burgdorferi, interacts with the blood vessels. The scientists and researchers have found that borrelia burgdorferi moves inside the blood vessels is like a human on monkey bars. The lyme disease bacteria bonds with the vessel wall and moves by transferring force but never really detaching from the wall. The bacteria slows down each time they form a new bond and quicken when the bond is broken which helps them get to the next bond.
This is very similar to the way that the human cells called leukocytes move inside human vessels, the study has shown. They have found that the protein in the bacteria called BBK32, helps stabilize and strengthen the bond between the blood vessel wall and the bacteria. There are drugs that targer BBK32 and help prevent the spread of B. burgdorferi to the heart, joints and nervous system but researchers are still testing it.