as background - i think they have known for a long time in broad terms what the outer membranes of spirochetes in lyme disease are made from
mainly peptidoglycans ( compounds made from a mix of proteins and sugars )
these have been studied and things like western blots, ELISA, IFA's etc use parts of them as the antigens to bind antibodies to
peptidoglycans are interesting and very relevant to us Lyme patients as they are known to be many times more stimulating and reactive to human immune systems - compared to say lipopolysaccharides ( compounds made from mainly fats and sugars ) that gram negative bacteria's cell walls are made from - and what our immune systems are more used to dealing with.
this is in fact the man reason why so few Lyme spirochetes in absolute numbers terms can cause such widespread damage in Lyme disease.
even the fragments left when borrelia spirochetes are killed remain extremely immunoreactive - and there are some newer studies showing these fragments remain in tissues promoting inflammation a long time after the spirochete itself is killed.
interestingly - its known from some of Rajedas's work that some antibiotics cause differing effects on spirochetes as they kill them - in terms of what happens to the body of the spirochete. some agents cause the spirochete to simply die in place and shrivel up then get engulfed by macrophages - and some cause all these peptidoglycans in its membrane to break up into many many fragments and disperse. disulfiram is one of the later group - which may explain the very severe herx like reactions its known for. there was some talk of trying to develop more effective abx in the former category.
so this study is looking at the next layer down at what the actual individual building blocks of the peptidoglycans that form the outer membrane of the spirochete are actually made from - what proteins and what sugars - and it is one of these sugars it is focussed on.
basically the tick makes a sugar that is also found in the arthropod it is associated with.
this should be no great surprise - as the spirochete makes all of its components from the materials around it and most of the time it is in arthropods - which have lots of chitinous material in them - ie in their exoskeleton - so after millennia the spirochete is found to be using some similar sugars in making its own body.
just thought it might be helpful to add some context around the subject.
as to Willie B's and research into biological warfare. its quite well documented that the USA and other countries were looking into this. anthrax, bubonic plague and some tick borne illnesses were experimented with in terms of trying to establish if it would be viable to drop these things onto enemy territories and incapacitate their troops. that much is real. Most developed countries were doing this research as there was a very real fear that in the post cold war era - their potential enemies would be doing it - so they had to to keep up and also know how to defend against it.
however, beyond that is the realm of the conspiracy theories that have sprung up since the 1960's and 70s ( note around the same timing as Lyme disease was "discovered" -
note there were social experiments around that time by counter culture intellectuals that tried to prove a point by deliberately starting outrageous conspiracy theories in an attempt illustrate how susceptible the public were to propaganda. They picked far fetched stories, but ones that tapped into peoples pre-existing fears. However the intellectuals underestimated how strong these fears were the experiments backfired, as, rather than seeing how absurd these stories were and how potent mass media was when abused - large proportions of the population believed the stories picked them up and spread them further and a new era of conspiracy theories was born that survives to this day.
in fact borrelia burgdorferi DNA has been found in Egyptian mummies from over 3000years ago - in the corpse of a prehistoric man from over 4000years ago and i think in arthropods preserved in amber from way way back before that. https://www.livescience.com/46007-lyme-disease-ancient-amber-tick.html
The disease it causes in man was well documented in Europe as a tick bite associated syndrome of fever, radiculitis and encephalitis - called Bannwarth's syndrome over a century ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/lymphocytic_meningoradiculitis#
i understand the feeling that everyone is out to get us - when we have lyme - but there is ample evidence it is an ancient organism and not a modern disease invented by man.