The document below was prepared in 1997 by the Canadian Office of Biosafety and it was edited by The Colorado State University Office of Biosafety in 1998. There appears to be a discrepancy in the Lyme disease timeline . Below it states that the Lyme disease spirochete(borrelia burgdorferi) was first identified in 1982 but yet under the section entitled Laboratory Acquired Infections, they tell us that there were 45 reported cases of borrelia burgdorferi acquired in the laboratory with 2 deaths BEFORE 1976. Unless this is a misprint, this document is implying that the infectious agent of Lyme disease was being "worked with" years before it was supposedly identified and named in 1982.
One of the Primary Hazards listed is exposure to infectious aerosols of borrelia burgdorferi. We need to ask ourselves what this statement means. Sneezing is a form of infectious aerosol. Could Lyme disease be passed on to others in this manner?
SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT
NAME: Borrelia burgdorferi
SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Lyme disease, relapsing fever, Erythema
chronicum migrans (ECM) with polyarthritis, Lyme arthritis, Tickborne
CHARACTERISTICS: Spirochete, first identified in 1982.
SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD
PATHOGENICITY: Tickborne zoonotic disease characterized by distinctive skin
lesion (ECM), systematic symptoms, polyarthritis, and neurological and cardiac
involvement; malaise, fatigue, fever, headache, stiff neck, mylagia, migratory
arthralgias or lymphadenopathy lasting several weeks and may precede lesions;
neurological and cardiac abnormalities weeks to months after onset of ECM; chronic
arthritis may develop.
EPIDEMIOLOGY: In USA, endemic foci along east coast, Wisconsin, Minnesota,
California and Oregon-, One endemic area in Southern Ontario; Europe, USSR, and
Australia; cases occur primarily during summer; distribution coincides with
abundance of relevant ticks.
HOST RANGE: Humans, deer, wild rodents.
INFECTIOUS DOSE: Unknown.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION: By exposure to an infected tick.
INCUBATION PERIOD: From 3-32 days after tick exposure.
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COMMUNICABILITY: No evidence of natural transmission from person to person.
SECTION III - DISSEMINATION
RESERVOIR: Deer, wild rodents (mice), ticks through transstadial transmission.
ZOONOSIS: Yes - bite of tick from an infected animal.
VECTORS: Ticks -
Ixodes dammini (eastern and midwestem USA).
Ixodes pacificus (western USA, Europe)
SECTION IV - VIABILITY
DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Sensitive to tetracyclines and penicillin.
SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to 1% sodium
hypochlorite (20% commercial bleach) and 70% ethanol.
PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Sensitive to heat, UV.
SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Infected guinea pig blood - 28 to 35 days at room
temperature, survives for short periods in urine.
SECTION V - MEDICAL
SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for appearance of typical lesions; serological tests show
a rise in antibodies directed against the spirochete.
FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Treatment of ECM stage with tetracycline for adults
and penicillin for children may prevent or lessen the severity of the major late cardiac,
neurologic or arthritic complications, other antibiotic regimes recommended for later
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IMMUNIZATION: None available.
PROPHYLAXIS: None available.
SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS
LABORATORY-AQUIRED INFECTIONS: 45 reported cases up to 1976 with 2
deaths.SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Clinical specimens - blood, cerebrospinal fluid, urine,
skin scrapings, retinal and synovial specimens; naturally or experimentally infected
mammals, their ectoparasites and their infected tissues.
PRIMARY HAZARDS: Accidental parenteral inoculation and exposure to
infectious aerosols.SPECIAL HAZARDS: Ectoparasites (ticks) on laboratory animals.
SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS
CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety Level 2 practices, containment
equipment and facilities for activities involving known or potentially infectious
materials, including necropsy of infected animals.
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves should be worn during
necropsy of infected animals and when contact with infectious materials is
OTHER PRECAUTIONS: None
SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION
SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with
paper towels and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite (20% commercial bleach), starting at
perimeter and working way towards the center of the spill; allow sufficient contact
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time (30 min.) before clean up.
DISPOSAL: Decontaminate before disposal - steam sterilization, chemical
STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labeled.
Date prepared: October 11, 1997 Prepared by- Canadian Office of Biosafety
Information edited by the Colorado State University Office of Biosafety; June 16,
HERBS FOR LYME DISEASE AND GENERAL HEALTH