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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Bb an infectious agent with potential to cause T cell lymphoma?

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Author Topic: Bb an infectious agent with potential to cause T cell lymphoma?
Neil M Martin
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 2357

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Shortly after my LD dx I was dxd with mycosis fungoides (MF), a T-cell lymphoma that affects the skin. In appearance MF resembles a skin disorder that Bb can cause, acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (sp).

New research in Europe seems to confirm the Bb-MF link.

Exp Mol Pathol. 2010 Aug;89(1):46-50. Epub 2010 May 12.

Evidence of multiple infectious agents in mycosis fungoides lesions.

Bonin S, Tothova SM, Barbazza R, Brunetti D, Stanta G, Trevisan G.
ACADEM Department, Unit of Dermatology,
University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.

The etiology of mycosis fungoides (MF) remains to be determined. Several studies have proposed a viral etiology with controversial results. In this case-control study we investigated the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the debated presence of Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus I (HTLV-I) sequences, by polymerase chain reaction on nucleic acid extracts from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded skin biopsies. Moreover, by a multivariate approach we analyzed in the same case-control study also the contribution of two previously examined pathogens: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb).

Significant differences in the frequency of infectious agents in cases and controls were detected for Bb, HTLV-I and EBV. In MF patients we found the concurrent presence of two or three of these pathogen sequences in 21 out of 83 cases, but only in 1 out of 83 healthy controls. Our results suggest that the persistence of multiple infectious agents may cause a long-term antigenic stimulation contributing to the malignant transformation of T lymphocytes, especially when associated with HTLV-I like sequences. However, these infectious agents do not seem to have effects on disease progression.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PMID: 20470773 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Posts: 697 | From Tucson, AZ USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Honored Contributor (10K+ posts)
Member # 5829

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Hey Neil! Long time no see!

Glad you found that "connection" and shared it. Hope yours is under control?

I looked it up due to the ACA connection and found two distinctly different photos, making it confusing.

Any thoughts why they are so different? Is one more accurate than the other in connection to ACA?


[Big Grin]


Posts: 20353 | From The Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Frequent Contributor (5K+ posts)
Member # 81

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Article connecting Bb with lymphoma:

Lyme disease may increase the risk of cancer

Lyme disease increases the risk of contracting a rare but difficult to treat
form of lymph node cancer, mantelcellymfom. It is clear from a large
Danish-Swedish study, published in the online edition of the respected trade
journal Blood.

"Our results provide support for Lyme infection may contribute to the emergence
of mantelcellymfom," said Professor Bengt Glimelius at the Academic Hospital
cancer clinic in Uppsala.

He is one of the researchers behind the study, which was made in the light of
several previous reports of a possible relationship between Lyme infection and
lymph node cancer. In particular, DNA from Lyme bacteria found inside cancer
cells in the skin of some patients with lymph node cancer.

The new study includes more than 3000 Danish and Swedish patients with various
forms of lymphoma and a similar number of healthy comparison individuals of the
same age.
All underwent an extensive telephone interview in which they were asked
questions including the previous tick bites and Lyme infections.
Blood samples to detect antibodies to Lyme bacteria were taken from about half
of both groups. Such antibodies are a type of indication of a previous or
current Lyme infection.

To have been tick-bitten was common both among patients and among comparison
subjects. In both groups reported more than 40 percent said they had a tick
As for the presence of antibodies against Borrelia in the blood there was no
safe distinction between patients with lymphoma and healthy individuals in the
comparison group.
In contrast, Lyme infection more than three times more common among patients
with mantelcellymfom than in the control group. Nearly one in seven patients
with this form of lymphoma, but was only one 33rd person in the control group
had a Lyme infection.

"This indicates that the Lyme infection is a risk factor that may underlie some
cases of mantelcellymfom. This must be confirmed in further studies," says Bengt

Previously known as MALT lymphoma of the stomach and the eye associated with
infection caused by Helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia species Chlamydia psittai.
Both types of lymphoma are often treated successfully with antibiotics.
"In my opinion it is more questionable whether antibiotics can act as
mantelcellymfom treatment of patients with Lyme disease. With mantelcellymfom
patients have cancer cells with many more genetic mutations than in MALT
lymphoma of the stomach or eye," says Bengt Glimelius.

While he hopes that continued research will provide more detailed knowledge of
the relationship between Lyme and mantelcellymfom.
"Knowledge about the mechanisms behind this relationship will hopefully give
suggestions for new ways to treat mantelcellymfom. There is currently no cure
for this cancer, which has a worse prognosis than other malignant lymphomas,"
says Bengt Glimelius.

Published in Uppsala daily newspaper.

Posts: 8430 | From Not available | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Neil M Martin
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 2357

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Hi. Thanks for the welcome-back. Your photos don't look like mine. MF & ACA photos have lots of rash/lesion/tumor themes -- what we might expect from "the great imitator?"


Posts: 697 | From Tucson, AZ USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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