A New Tick Bacteria Infection Found in the Netherlands

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A report from AMC (Academisch Medisch Centrum) in Amsterdam on Friday reveals that for the first time in the Netherlands, a patient has been treated for an infection caused by bacterium Borrelia miyamotoi following a tick bite.

André Karwath/wikimedia.org

So far, the distinct bacteria had never been known to make people sick in Netherlands.

The patient, who recently had been treated for cancer, was suffering from a variety of neurological symptoms, including memory problems and irregular gait. '' After the treatment, the patient is restoring his condition,'' said Joppe Hovius , AMC internist –infectiologist on Friday.

In The United States, there was also a patient who was treated for similar symptoms.

 

Inadequate Immune System

The patient treated by AMC is said to have a weakened immune system, probably following the cancer treatment he received earlier. He turned out to be infected by Borrelia miyamotoi, according to nu.nl.

A lot of factors can be the cause of weakened immune system such as illness, medications, and the removal of certain body organ like spleen. In this case, the risk of developing infection or meningitis following a tick bite may increase.

Fever and flu-like symptoms may appear in people with a normal immune system after an infection caused by the tick bite.

 

Lyme Disease

Most people who get sick after a tick bite turn out to be infected by Borrelia burgdorferibacterie, the causative agent of Lyme disease. The recovery following the infection of this bacterium may take a long time.

A research by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu / RIVM) shows that the new bacterium is found in 4% of ticks in the Netherlands. The Lyme causing bacteria are  found in 22% of the symptoms occur in the Dutch people.

A report on the treatment of the patient with the Borrelia miyamotoi infection will be published today in a scientific journal, The Lancet.

The researchers are still developing a way to detect the presence of the bacterium, nu.nl reports.

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