New species of bacteria causes Lyme disease in humans, scientists warn

A new species of bacteria has been found to cause Lyme disease in humans, scientists have warned.

It was previously thought that only one bacteria, called Borrelia burgdorferi, caused the disease.

That bacteria is known to be transmitted through bites from the blacklegged ‘deer tick.’

Yet, a recently emerged bacteria, called Borrelia mayonii, has been found to also cause the disease.

Dr Jeannie Petersen, microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said: ‘This discovery adds another important piece of information to the complex picture of tickborne diseases in the United States.’

A bacteria - called Borrelia burgdorferi - that is transmitted through ticks (pictured) is known to cause Lyme disease. Now, a newly emerged tickborne bacteria - called Borrelia mayonii - has also been found to cause the disease. It brings additional symptoms, such as nausea and vomitting, but responds to the same antibiotics

A bacteria – called Borrelia burgdorferi – that is transmitted through ticks (pictured) is known to cause Lyme disease. Now, a newly emerged tickborne bacteria – called Borrelia mayonii – has also been found to cause the disease. It brings additional symptoms, such as nausea and vomitting, but responds to the same antibiotics

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster, her daughter, model Bella Hadid and son Anwar, pictured with sister Gigi (left), all suffer Lyme disease

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster, her daughter, model Bella Hadid and son Anwar, pictured with sister Gigi (left), all suffer Lyme disease

An estimated 300,000 cases of Lyme diseases are diagnosed annually, according to the CDC.

In most cases the disease is not fatal – and most patients can recover fully after a few weeks of oral antibiotics.

Borrelia mayonii was discovered after scientists studied blood samples of patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, each of whom were suspected of having Lyme disease between 2012 and 2014.

The blood samples from six out of 9,000 patients showed ‘unusual results’.

Those results prompted further study – which is how Borrelia mayonii was discovered.

The new bacteria is similar to Borrelia burgdorferi, for both strains initially cause the fever, headache, rash and neck pain – as well as arthritis later on – associated with Lyme disease.

But unlike Borrelia burgdorferi, the new bacteria triggers more severe symptoms, as well.

Patients infected with the newly discovered bacteria also suffer from nausea, vomiting and widespread rash.

In addition,Borrelia mayonii leads to a higher concentration of bacteria in the blood.

The newly discovered bacteria has only been detected in the upper Midwest region of the US so far.

But, so far, scientists say Borrelia mayonni and Borrelia burgdorferi seem to respond to the same treatments.

The patients in the sample group who were infected with the new bacteria were successfully treated with the same antibiotics as those infected with Borrelia burgdorferi.