Earlier this week, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and health officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, reported the discovery of a new species of bacteria (Borrelia mayonii) that causes Lyme disease in people. Read more HERE

Today, the CDC released the following images of the newly discovered spirochete.


Under a magnification of 400X, these photomicrographs depicts a number of live, newly-discovered. Borrelia mayonii spirochetes, that were in a modified liquid culture of Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly (BSK) medium, while being viewed using a dark field microscopy technique. Note the characteristic corkscrew shape of the bacterial spirochetes, and the 20µm measurement mark indicating the approximate size of these organisms. This image was one of a number of screengrabs, taken from videos created while using a Zeiss Imager.AI microscope, to which a Canon Vixia G20 camcorder had been attached by way of a Martin Microscope MM99-58 adapter.

These Borrelia mayonii bacteria, were extracted from an isolate, which was obtained by culturing the blood of a patient with active bacteremia. B. mayonii had probably been transmitted to the patient by way of the bite of an infected deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. This is the same tick responsible for transmitting Borrelia burgdorferi, known to cause Lyme disease.

Content providers: CDC – Bacterial Diseases Branch, Fort Collins, CO

Photography: Adam Replogle