Benjamin J. Luft

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Over 80% of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States occur in coastal regions of northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. The genetic structure of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and its main tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) was studied concurrently and comparatively by sampling natural populations of I. scapularis ticks along the(More)
BACKGROUND Approximately 40,000 rescue and recovery workers were exposed to caustic dust and toxic pollutants following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC). These workers included traditional first responders, such as firefighters and police, and a diverse population of construction, utility, and public sector workers. METHODS To(More)
OspA (outer surface protein A) is an abundant immunogenic lipoprotein of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The crystal structure of a soluble recombinant form of OspA was solved in a complex with the Fab fragment of mouse monoclonal antibody 184.1 and refined to a resolution of 1.9 A. OspA has a repetitive antiparallel beta topology with an(More)
Lyme disease begins at the site of a tick bite, producing a primary infection with spread of the organism to secondary sites occurring early in the course of infection. A major outer surface protein expressed by the spirochete early in infection is outer surface protein C (OspC). In Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, OspC is highly variable. Based on(More)
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne human illness in North America. In order to understand the molecular pathogenesis, natural diversity, population structure and epizootic spread of the North American Lyme agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, a much better understanding of the natural diversity of its genome will be required. Towards this end(More)
Borrelia burgdorferi is a causative agent of Lyme disease in North America and Eurasia. The first complete genome sequence of B. burgdorferi strain 31, available for more than a decade, has assisted research on the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Because a single genome sequence is not sufficient to understand the relationship between genotypic and geographic(More)
23 patients with clinically active late Lyme disease were randomly assigned to intravenous treatment with either penicillin or ceftriaxone. Of the 10 treated with penicillin, 5 were judged treatment failures; of the 13 who received ceftriaxone, only 1 did not respond. An additional 31 patients were subsequently treated with ceftriaxone 4 g/day (n = 17) or 2(More)
We evaluated 85 patients with serologic evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Manifestations included encephalopathy (41), neuropathy (27), meningitis (2), multiple sclerosis (MS) (6), and psychiatric disorders (3). We performed lumbar punctures in 53, brain MRI in 33, and evoked potentials (EPs) in 33. Only patients with an MS-like illness had(More)
BACKGROUND The World Trade Center (WTC) attacks exposed thousands of workers to hazardous environmental conditions and psychological trauma. In 2002, to assess the health of these workers, Congress directed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to establish the WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program. This program has established a(More)