Know Your Co-Infections

What are co-infections?  Scientists recognize more than a dozen tick borne diseases and new ones are still being discovered. One tick may carry more than one disease, so sometimes people get more than one co-infection from the bite of a single tick.

Co-infections are opportunistic infections caused by pathogens, particularly opportunistic pathogens (those that take advantage of certain situations), such as bacterial, viral, fungal or protozoan infections that usually do not cause disease in a healthy host. A compromised immune system, however, presents an “opportunity” for the pathogen to infect the host rendering them very ill. Normally where there is Lyme, there are co-infections which makes treatment that more difficult.
Some of the most common “co-infections” carried are Babesia, Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. However, there are more. Each of these co-infections will require a different treatment if they are to be eradicated. 
New organisms are being discovered in ticks all the time, such as toxoplasmosis, giardia, roundworms, tapeworms, thread worms,amoebas, clostridia, the herpes virus family, parvovirus B 19, leptospirosis,chronic strep infections, molds and fungi, active measles (in the small intestine), Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Human Herpes Virus #6 (HHV6). Some of these infections may have been already present prior to being infected with Lyme. Each add to the complication of Lyme disease. Since few MD’s are not literate in Lyme or other zoonotic infections they will fail to recognize symptoms as a specific co-infection, as well as Lyme itself.Co-infections are not all the same in each person. Some Lyme infected people may not have any coinfections at all and then others may have many.

Chlamydophila Pneumoniae

Bacteria:Gram-negative obligate, intracellular bacterium associated with a wide variety of acute and chronic diseases.
Transmission:via respiratory droplets
Incubation: 7-21 days
Found: worldwide
Rash: noSymptoms onset: 
Some may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms and therefore goes untreated, later becoming chronic.

  • Malaise
  • fatigue
  • lack of appetite
  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • hoarse voice
  • cough lasting many weeks (yellow or green mucus)
  • difficulty breathing
  • may have runny nose
  • and rapid breathing.
  • Some people have chest pain, often sharp, when taking a breath or coughing.
  • A severe sinusitis

Diagnosis:  
The commonly used serologic criteria used to evaluate C pneumoniae pneumonia are an IgM titer exceeding 1:16 or a 4-fold increase in the immunoglobulin G (IgG) titer by microimmunofluorescence (MIF). (Note: A complement-fixing [CF] test cross-reacts with C psittaci.) However, serologic testing is poorly standardized and studies have shown poor reproducibility. In addition, the presence of a single elevated IgG titer may not be reliable, because elderly patients can have persistently elevated IgG titers due to repeated infections.

The absence of detectable antibodies several weeks after the onset of infection does not exclude a diagnosis of acute C pneumoniae pneumonia, because the IgM antibody response may take as long as 6 weeks, and the IgG antibody response may take as long as 8 weeks to appear in primary infections.

In some laboratories, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay with pharyngeal swab, bronchoalveolar lavage, sputum, or tissue can be used to seek C pneumoniae –specific DNA. This is the most promising rapid test but remains experimental.

The FilmArray Respiratory Panel is a multiplex PCR that detects common respiratory viruses in nasopharyngeal specimens. In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the addition of 2 corona viruses and 3 bacteria to the Panel, including Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Bordetella pertussis, and Mycoplasma pneumonia. The FilmArray Panel can now detect 17 viruses and 3 bacteria from a single sample. Reported sensitivity and specificity were both 100% for Chlamydophila pneumoniae but fewer than 10 positive samples were available for analysis.

In one study, the accuracy of PCR was compared with that of MIF IgM during an outbreak of C pneumoniae. PCR was less sensitive (68% vs 79%, respectively) but more specific than MIF IgM (93% vs 86%, respectively).

Cell culture with oropharyngeal swabs is probably the best test to detect C pneumoniae, but it requires specialized culture techniques and is performed only in research laboratories.

The white blood cell count is usually not elevated in C pneumoniae infection. Alkaline phosphate levels may be elevated.

Treatment:  
Antibiotics and more

**Inappropriate antibiotic treatment may lead to chronic Chlamydia Pneumoniae**

C pneumoniae produces similar clinical symptoms to mycoplasma pneumoniae and respiratory viruses. There are reports linking C pneumoniae to myocardial and endocardial disease.

 

Tickborne Relapsing Fever

Bacteria: Borrelia turicatae Borrelia hermsii (spirochete’s)
Transmission:Ticks It can be transmitted from human to human by the body louse.
Where: Southern British Columbia and western United States and Mexico.Symptoms:
First stage – Flu like symptoms; Shaking chills, and abdominal complaints, joint and muscle pain, weakness, stiff neck, cough, rapid pulse.
Tickborne Relapsing Fever is characterized by cycles of high fever and shortly thereafter body temperature falls dramatically.

Second stage- Drenching sweats. Severe drops in blood pressure can occur. Often accompanied by fatigue, malaise headache, myalgias, arthralgias, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, conjunctivitis and dry cough.
Complications can occur such as myocarditis, meningitis, cranial neuropathies (especially facial palsy) seizures,bleeding, unsteadiness, pneumonia and even coma. Liver and spleen may be affected. It can also cause spontaneous abortion, premature birth or neonatal death.

Diagnosis:
The organisms are best detected in blood obtained while a person is febrile. With subsequent febrile episodes, the number of circulating spirochetes decreases, making it harder to detect spirochetes on a peripheral blood smear. Even during the initial episode spirochetes will only be seen 70% of the time.

Treatment:
Antibiotics. If untreated, the cycle usually reoccurs to as much as 10 cycles.

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBEV)

Virus: RNA virus known simply, as “tick-borne encephalitis virus,” or TBEV. The virus belongs to the genus Flavivirus, which contains several dozen human pathogens, including the causative agents of Yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis and Powassan fever. (The term “flavivirus” is Latin for “yellow virus”; Yellow fever was so named because of its propensity to turn its victims yellow with jaundice.) Flaviviruses are (mostly) spherical, symmetrical, linear and single stranded.
Transmission:Transmitted to humans by the bite of infected arthropods, primarily mosquitoes and ticks.
TBEV has three subtypes:
Western European subtype (formerly Central European encephalitis virus, CEEV; principal tick vector: Ixodes ricinus);
Siberian subtype (formerly West Siberian virus; principal tick vector: Ixodes persulcatus);
Far Eastern subtype (formerly Russian Spring Summer encephalitis virus, RSSEV; principal tick vector: Ixodes persulcatus). The reference strain is the Sofjin strain.Ticks act as both the vector and reservoir for TBEV. The main hosts are small rodents, with humans being accidental hosts. Large animals are feeding hosts for the ticks, but do not play a role in maintenance of the virus. The virus can chronically infect ticks and is transmitted both transtadially (from larva to nymph to adult ticks) and transovarially (from adult female tick through eggs). TBEV cases occur during the highest period of tick activity (between April and November), when humans are infected in rural areas through tick bites. Infection also may follow consumption of raw milk from goats, sheep, or cows. Transmission from an infected mother to fetus has occurred.

Symptoms: 
The incubation period of TBEV is usually between 7 and 14 days and is asymptomatic. Shorter incubation times have been reported after milk-borne exposure. A characteristic biphasic febrile illness follows, with an initial phase that lasts 2 to 4 days and corresponds to the viremic phase. It is non-specific with symptoms that may include fever, malaise, anorexia, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and/or vomiting. After about 8 days of remission, the second phase of the disease occurs in 20% to 30% of patients and involves the central nervous system with symptoms of meningitis (e.g., fever, headache, and a stiff neck) or encephalitis (e.g., drowsiness, confusion, sensory disturbances, and/or motor abnormalities such as paralysis) or meningoencephalitis. In contrast to RSSE, TBEV is more severe in adults than in children.

During the first phase of the disease, the most common laboratory abnormalities are a low white blood cell count (leukopenia) and a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). Liver enzymes in the serum may also be mildly elevated. After the onset of neurologic disease during the second phase, an increase in the number of white blood cells in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is usually found. Virus can be isolated from the blood during the first phase of the disease. Specific diagnosis usually depends on detection of specific IgM in either blood or CSF, usually appearing later, during the second phase of the disease.

The range of clinical manifestations can be observed following infection by either sub-type of TBEV viruses Biphasic symptomatology (fever then neurological disorders) is frequent after infection by the European TBEV subtype. Infections by the Far-eastern TBEV subtype are in general more severe and the case-fatality rate is higher. The Siberian subtype could be responsible for chronic TBEV.

Treatment:There is no specific drug therapy for TBE. Meningitis, encephalitis, or meningoencephalitis require hospitalization and supportive care based on syndrome severity. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids, may be considered under specific circumstances for symptomatic relief. Intubation and ventilatory support may be necessary.
There is no specific drug therapy for TBEV.

Tick Paralysis

Certain ticks secrete a neurotoxin. During the ticks blood meal it is released into the body. This toxin causes a progressive paralysis, starting in the feet and legs. The victim may feel listless and not well. Reflexes in affected areas are reduced or absent. Sometimes numbness and tingling in the face and limbs. The removal of the tick reverses the paralysis. If not removed the paralysis ascends and affects respiratory muscles. The paralysis ascends to the trunk, arms, and head within hours and may lead to respiratory failure and death. The disease can present as acute ataxia without muscle weakness.

Tick paralysis is believed to be due to toxins found in the tick’s saliva that enter the bloodstream while the tick is feeding. The two ticks most commonly associated with North American tick paralysis are the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis); however, 43 tick species have been implicated in human disease around the world. In Australia, tick paralysis is caused by the tick Ixodes holocyclus. Prior to 1989, 20 fatal cases were reported in Australia.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis is based on symptoms and upon finding an embedded tick, usually on the scalp.
In the absence of a tick, the differential diagnosis includes Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Treatment:
Removal of the embedded tick usually results in resolution of symptoms within several hours to days. If the tick is not removed, the toxin can be fatal, with reported mortality rates of 10–12 percent, usually due to respiratory paralysis. The tick is best removed by grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling in a firm steady manner.

STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness)

Also known as Masters’ disease
Bacteria:  Borrelia lonestari
Transmission: Lone Star tick
Incubation: unknown
Found: Great Lakes area, Southeastern and south-central United States
Rash: Bull’s-eye rash usually appearing within seven days of a  B.lonestari tick bite. (but not as common as thought)

Symptoms onset:
Resembles influenza, with fatigue. Mild and indistinguishable from those of early Lyme disease.
Sometimes fever (is not characteristic), headache, stiff neck, muscle pains, joint pain, mild symptoms of fatigue.
Diagnosis: 
In the absence of a known etiological agent, it is impossible to develop serologic tests for STARI. Thus, the diagnosis of STARI is clinical and based primarily on the existence of the typical rash, ideally after a known Lone Star  tick bite.

There appear to be some very subtle differences between Lyme and STARI rashes. STARI lesions are smaller on average and less variable in shape than those of Lyme disease, and also tend to have more central clearing – ironically, making them more likely to consistently resemble the iconic “bull’s eye” rash of Lyme disease than Lyme rashes themselves. Another difference in rash presentation is that secondary (multiple) lesions tend to be less common in STARI than in Lyme disease. In general, however, it is almost never possible to distinguish between Lyme and STARI rashes on the basis of appearance alone.

Although PCR tests have been developed to probe for B. lonestari DNA in tissue or blood samples, they are not commercially available and are of limited usefulness in any case as long as doubts remain about B. lonestari’s role in the etiology of STARI.

Treatment: Antibiotics

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Also called “tick typhus,” “Tobia fever” (Colombia), “São Paulo fever” or “febre maculosa” (Brazil), and “fiebre manchada” (Mexico).

Bacteria: Rickettsiarickettsii (Rickettsiae occupy a position between bacteria and viruses. They can only survive inside cells)
Incubation:   2-14 days
Found in:  Alberta,British Columbia ,North, central, and south america, Europe, Carribean, asia, middle East, Africa,and Oceania.
Transmission:  Spread by dog ticks and deer ticks. -Dermacentor variabilis, Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and Amblyomma cajennense.

The organism: They infect endothelial cells lining the small blood vessels and smooth muscles that control the constriction of the blood vessel. They set off an immune reaction in the blood vessel causing the vessel to swell and become leaky.
Symptoms onset: Untreated, it can sometimes be a fatal disease. After two to fourteen days, most infected people suffer from fever (can be very high), nausea and loss of appetite, headache, achiness,  sore muscles.

Petechial rash comes about a week after flu like symptoms begin. A classic symptom is a rash (small, bright red spots) on the palms and soles of the feet, and most people will develop a rash which may begin around the wrists and ankles, but it sometimes starts on the trunk, yet fewer than half of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever infected people will have that.

Untreated, half will develop permanent neurological problems. There are reports of infection simply from contact with an infected tick, therefore if you handle a tick while removing it, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly to minimize your risk of infection with Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Complications can affect any system.

Untreated, half will develop permanent neurological problems 

Bronchopneumonia
Congestive heart failure
Multi-organ failure
Deafness
Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC)
Myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle)
Endocarditis (inflammation of heart lining)
Glomerulonephritis (inflammation of kidney

Diagnosis:
Like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a clinical diagnosis, which means that it is up to your MD to evaluate your signs and symptoms to determine if you have the disease. Early blood tests are not accurate.
Treatment
Medical (Doxycycline or chloramphenicol) or nathropathic, Herbs, RIFE or other

 

Q Fever

Bacteria: Coxiella burnetii – Infects the macrophages. (Rickettsiae occupy a position between bacteria and viruses. They can only survive inside cells)
Transmission: Carried by cattle, sheep, cats, and goats. The organisms persist in contaminated soil. Possibly drinking  an infected animal’s non-pasteurized milk and ticks may also infect humans.
Incubation: 2-6 weeks
Found: worldwide and infection is common in ranchers, veterinarians, abattoir workers and others associated with cattle and livestock. Rash: NoneSymptoms onset: After an incubation a flu-like illness commences. Shivering, anorexia,nausea and diarrhea.
a severe headache, sore throat, neck stiffness. Few experience meningitis, encephalitis. Some develop abnormal liver function that can develop granulomatous hepatitis.
Some experience Myocarditis (inflammation of the muscular walls of the heart) may include palpitations,
malaise, joint/muscle pains, confusion, peripheral neuropathy, non-productive cough, chest pain or shortness of breath, pneumonia. Can vary from a trivial febrile illness to a full-blown pneumonia. Symptoms similar to those of Lyme disease.
Most people with acute Q fever recover, even without treatment, but, a chronic form of the disease can develop anywhere from one to twenty years after initial exposure.

Treatment:
Antibiotics (Doxycycline, cloramphenicol ) and other.

 

Powassan virus

Bacteria:POW virus- Flaviviridae-an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus.
Transmission:Ticks and mosquitoes.  Ixodes cookei, I. marxi, I. spinipalpus and Dermacentor andersoni.
Incubation: 15 minutes. If meningitis develops it will be in approximately three weeks.
Found: In across Canada, much of USA, Mexico, southeastern Siberia, northeast of Vladivostok, Russia (in mosquitoes)
Rash: NonePowassan Virus Disease takes the form of infection and inflammation of the brain (encephalitis and meningitis).

Symptoms: Flu-like , vomiting, headache, stiff neck, aches in muscles or joints, weakness, fatigue, severe headache, altered consciousness, confusion or agitation, personality changes, seizures, loss of sensation or paralysis in certain areas of the body, muscle weakness, hallucinations, double vision, perception of foul smells, problems with speech or hearing, loss of consciousness.

Infants and young children may also include:
Bulging in the soft spots (fontanels) of the skull in infants, nausea and vomiting, body stiffness, constant, inconsolable crying, crying that worsens when the child is picked up, poor feeding.

Diagnoses: Blood test
Treatment: Specific medications by physician or medical provider.

Eastern tick-borne Rickettsiosis

Also know as: North Asian tick-borne rickettsiosis, Queensland tick typhus, African tick typhus, and Mediterranean spotted fever (boutonneuse fever).
Rickettsia species: are carried by many ticks, fleas, and lice, and cause diseases in humans such as typhus, rickettsialpox, Boutonneuse fever, African tick bite fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Flinders Island spotted fever and Queensland tick typhus (Australian Tick Typhus)
Bacteria: Rickettsia is a genus of non-motile, Gram-negative, non-sporeforming, highly pleomorphic bacteria that can present as cocci (0.1 µm in diameter), rods (1–4 µm long) or thread-like (10 µm long). Transmission: ixodid ticks. Rhipicephalus sanguineus dog tick.

Incubation: 5 to 7 days
Found: worldwide
Rash: Skin lesion satellite adenopathy, and an erythematous maculopapular rash.
Symptoms: Resembles that of spotted fever.
Eye problems, headache, vasculitis, fever, malaise, enlarged lymph nodes. With the onset of fever, a small button like ulcer 2 to 5 mm in diameter with a black center appears on about the 4th day of fever, a red maculopapular rash appears on the forearms and extends to most of the body, including the palms and soles. Fever lasts into the 2nd week.
Diagnoses: Blood Test
Treatment: antibiotics, RIFE, Herbs, other

Colorado Tick Fever

Also known as Mountain tick fever; Mountain fever; American mountain fever

Bacteria:  A virus carried by tick
Transmission:  Rocky Mountain wood ticks
Incubation:  4 to 20 days.
Found:   In the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the western Black Hills through the Rocky Mountains to the West Coast states of North America.

Rash:  (rare) a faint rash
Symptoms onset: sweating, chills, sometimes also nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
light sensitive, severe headache, stiff neck (rare), meningitis or encephalitis (or both) within a week of illness onset. (rare), myocarditis or hepatitis,sudden high fever, weaknesss, muscle and joint pain.
Occasional cases  may develop pneumonia & fatigue.

These symptoms last a few days, disappear then return for a few more days. For some, later, a single recurrence of fever will occur. Colorado tick fever lasts about one week but may linger for weeks to months.

Complications include: aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, and hemorrhagic fever.
Diagnoses: Blood test
Treatment:  Removal of complete tick. Colorado tick fever usually goes away by itself and is not dangerous. When complications arise treatment for those symptoms will be required.

 

Brucellosis- Brucella

Also known as Bang’s disease, Crimean fever, Gibraltar fever, Malta fever, Maltese fever, Mediterranean fever, Rock fever, or Undulant fever.
Brucella B abortus accounts for the largest number of human cases of Brucellosis. B suis ranks second, and B. melitensis. B. canis is a rare infection.
Brucella bacteria:  Small, gram-negative, non-spore-forming, non-motile, rod shaped coccobacillus bacteria that lives within the macrophage cells, thus having the mechanisms to elude the immune system defenses.
The organism   normally enters through the mucous membranes of the throat from where it migrates to the regional lymph nodes. Here it multiplies before being released into the bloodstream from where it enters and resides in the Macrophage System. It invades multiple organs including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, reproductive, urinary nervous systems digestive system, skeletal, pulmonary. It is a multi-systemic infection.

Transmission: 
1. Infected blood sucking insects, such as ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and other parasites also transmit the infection to humans by bite and regurgitation.
2. Handling infected animals or being in contact with animal fluids; urine, fluids of their eyes, wounds drainage from abscesses and genitals. The bacteria are able to penetrate open cuts or abrasions in the skin.
3. Inhalation from air born contaminants (primarily from occupational exposure meat-processing and livestock industries)
4. Contact with infected animal feces
5. Ingesting the contaminated meat, unpasteurized milk, and soft cheeses.
6. Transmission from infected human to human by sexual contact or from mother to child may occur through breast milk.

Incubation:  From a few days to a few months. During incubation the organism reside in the lymph nodes.
Found:   Worldwide
Rash:   Less then 6% develop a maculopapular rash
Symptoms Onset: There may be an absence of symptoms or flu-like symptoms. Chills, loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, headache, toxins in the blood, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen,
fatigue,(High fever spiking every afternoon. Fever rises and falls in waves), sweats with perspiration (often with characteristic smell likened to wet hay), swollen lymph nodes, weakness,joint pain, body aches, migratory muscle and joint pains, back pain, irritability, depression, dizziness, chest pain, cough, difficulty breathing,

Symptoms may disappear for weeks or months and then return. 

Diagnosis: 
General physical examination usually returns “normal”…nothing wrong with you.
Regular blood tests have a high level of inaccuracy as the Brucella lives within the cells.
The Western blot Test detects the presence of antibodies against a microorganism. This test is done by specialized labs.
** Brucella is often misdiagnosed as Leptospirosis, Behçet’s syndrome, Lyme disease, Syphilis, Relapsing fever, Tuberculosis and more.

Treatment: 
Onset: Requires antibiotic therapy for 4–8 weeks and repeated if it relapses. Bed rest is also imperative. E.G.- A combination of minocycline and streptomycin, herbs, RIFE, other.

Rickettsia conorii (Boutonneuse fever)

Bacteria:  R conorii. A Rickettsiae that occupy a position between bacteria and viruses. They can only survive inside cells
Transmission:  Rhipicephalus sanguineus (dog tick) Hyalomma species in Cyprus.
Incubation:  4-15 days
Found:   Mediterranean countries & worldwideRash:  The rash is spotty and blotchy and may persist for 2-3 weeks. It appears on days 3-5 of illness, spreading from the extremities to the trunk, neck, face, palms and soles within 36 hours, most commonly on the lower limbs. In some people a dry scab known as a tache noire (eschar) develops at the site of the tick bite. Papulovesicular(Africa)
Symptoms onset: Fever 39-41°C with a skin rash appearing in two to six days. Headache, malaise, lymph, glands swollen, aching muscles,joints or both. Some have the rash, but not all.
Boutonneuse fever complications are more common in persons with an underlying disease or in elderly persons
Complications include: Thrombocytopenia, Renal failure, Hyponatremia, Hypocalcemia or Hypoxemia.

If left untreated, symptoms can include:

  • Purpuric rash
  • Lung problems
  • Heart problems
  • Jaundice
  • Muscular and bone aches
  • Meningitis
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Inflammation
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Enlarged blood vessels in eyes
  • Swelling of testicles
  • enlarged liver
  • enlarged spleen
  • Meningism- neck stiffness, intolerance of bright light, headache.

Diagnoses: Clinical in early stages. Blood test to detect the presence of antibodies to rickettsial antigens
Treatment: Doxycycline, cloramphenicol,for two to four weeks. RIFE, other

Borrelia miyamotoi

Bacteria: B.miyamotoi a spirochete genus Borrelia comprises three major groups of species.1 The first group includes several agents of relapsing fever (RF), such as B. duttonii and B. hermsii.
Transmission: Ticks-Ixodes species – I. scapularis,I rhipicephalus, I. ricinus,I. pacificus, I. persulcatus, I. ricinus and in all tick species that transmit Lyme disease.Sometimes it is found in the infected tick alone and sometimes with the Bb. 

Incubation: Unknown
Found: Asia, Europe, North America, Russia.

Rash: (rare) erythema migrans
Symptoms onset:
Flu-like symptoms; chills, vomiting, headache, fever.Later it produces symptoms of relapsing fever. Relapses an average of 2 days to 2 weeks. Can cause myalgia & fatigue
Infection can cause some similar symptoms of acute Lyme disease.

Diagnoses: blood test for
Treatment: Antibiotics, RIFE, energy medicines, herbs

Anaplasmosis- Anasplasma

(previously known as HGA human granulocytic anaplasmosis)
Bacteria: Anaplasma phagocytophilum. A Rickettsiae that occupy a position between bacteria and viruses. It can only survive inside cells
Transmission:  Ixodes ticks
Incubation:  5-21 days
Found:   Europe and North America
Rash:   Rarely. When it occurs it is red, flat or raised, pustular (pus-filled blister), or papular. More often individual,localised, and may represent tick bite lesions.Symptoms onset:
May be symptom-free or have only very mild symptoms. Those of poor immunity may have it severe.
Flu like: Fever, fatigue, chills, severe headaches, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

If left untreated:

  • Sharp, knife-like, and often behind the eyes type of headache.
  • Bleeding easily,kidney, heart, lung, organ problems
  • Inflammation, Fungal infections
  • muscle pain
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Respiratory problems
  • Lingering symptoms after treatment may be caused from the after effects of complications.

Diagnosis:  Three tests can be performed to determine an A. phagocytophilum infection:Indirect immunofluorescence assay is the principal test used to detect infection. The acute and convalescent phase serum samples can be evaluated to look for a four-fold change in antibody titer to A. phagocytophilum.
Intracellular Inclusions (morulae) are visualized in granulocytes on Wright- or Giemsa- stained blood smears.
Polymerase chain reaction assays are used to detect A. phagocytophilum DNA.

Treatment:  E.G. Antibiotic (Tetracycline) RIFE, Herbs, other

Babesiosis (Babesia)

Babesiosis is a vector-borne malaria-like parasitic disease caused by protozoan parasites. Babesiosis is an infection of rodents, cattle, wild animals and man and is spread by the bites of ticks.

Babesial parasites reproduce in red blood cells, forming cross-shaped inclusions (rarely seen). There are over a hundred different Babesia species. It can also be transmitted by blood transfusion.

(There are over 17 different subspecies of Babesia. e.g. B.microti, B.divergens, Babesia MO1 and Babesia-WA1,  B.venatorum, B. Duncani,  B bovis in Europe

 

Ehrlichia (ehrlichiosis)

Ehrlichia (ehrlichiosis)There are two kinds of ehrlichiosis, both of which are caused by tick-borne rickettsial parasites called Ehrlichia that infect different kinds of white blood cells. In HME (human monocytic ehrlichiosis), they infect (monocytes) white blood cells. Monocyte is a type of leukocyte, part of the human body’s immune system.

In HGE (human granulocytic ehrlichiosis), they infect granulocytes, a category of white blood cells characterised by the presence of granules in their cytoplasm.
HGE was renamed anaplasmosis in 2003. Ticks carry many Ehrlichia-like parasites that have not been identified yet.

Ehrlichiosis- ehrlichia (Human monocytic ehrlichiosis) (Also known as Rickettsia ruminantium, Ehrlichia ruminantium)

Bacteria: Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii.A Rickettsiae that occupy a position between bacteria and viruses. They can only survive inside cells.  Infection of white blood cells.

Transmission: Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick)

Incubation: 5 to 21 days

Found: North America, Europe and Africa

Rash:  Appears from day 0 to 13. Not everyone gets the rash. The rash is more common in children than adults.It takes various forms. Described as red, petechial (small red or purple spots due to bleeding into the skin), macular (flat discolourations), and papular (small lumps). Less commonly, lesions are described as nodular (larger solid bumps),blistering,purpuric,vasculitic, mottled, blotchy, crusted, or ulcerated. May display multiple types of lesions. When severe there is a widespread rash over the body (except for soles and palms) and a scaly shedding of the skin.

Symptoms: Appear from a week to a month after infection.
May be symptom-free or have only very mild symptoms.Those with impaired immunity may experience more severe symptoms.

Others may experience these symptoms  

  • flu like
  • chills
  • upset stomach,  no appetite
  • headache
  • Sometimes cough,sore throat, swollen glands
  • sometimes anemia.
  • Blood count abnormalities such as low white cell count and low platelet count may occur.
  • High fever
  • general achiness of muscles and joints
  • Sometimes confusion
  • fatigue
  • Children may also suffer from swelling of the hands and feet, fever, fatigue, chills, severe headaches, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Diagnoses: Blood test
Treatment: Antibiotic (Tetracycline) RIFE, Herbs, other
Untreated, the disease can sometimes be fatal in a few weeks, especially in children.

Bartonella (Bartonellosis)

Bartonella are bacteria that live inside cells; they can infect humans, mammals, and a wide range of wild animals. Not all Bartonella species cause disease in humans. Bartonella henselae causes an important emerging infection first reported in 1990 and described as a new species in 1992. It is mainly carried by cats and causes cat-scratch disease, endocarditis, and several other serious diseases in humans. Bartonella bacteria are known to be carried by fleas, body lice and ticks.B. alsatica, B. bacilliformis (Oroya fever), B. elizabethae, B. grahamii, B.Henselae,  B. melophagi, B.quintana, B. schoenbuchensis, B. tamia, B. taylorii, B. vinsonii, B. vinsonii subsp. arupensis, B. washoensis and more recently B. rocha-limaea , B. koehlerae

Bartonella Bacteria: A small, Gram-negative aerobic bacilli having the ability to infect the red blood cells, endothelial cells that line the blood vessels of the entire circulatory system. It can also reside in the tissues and bone marrow and the immune system cells (macrophages). The immune system is unable to detect the bacteria that are within the cells.

Transmissions: Most commonly passed to humans by fleas, body lice, and ticks, also moles,etc. See different Bartonellas following or research.

Incubations: Average 3 days to 4 weeks after exposure symptoms begin to occur.

Found: World wide

Rash: Stretch mark rash, streaks.

Symptoms onset: Flu like

Test: There are blood tests, though often inaccurate.  Testing can be done at Labcorp, Clongen and IgeneX. Muscle testing can be done if a person suspects the infection so they can start eradicating the bacteria with alternatives immediately.

Treatment: Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, and rifampin.  RIFE and other alternatives.**Bartonella is commonly treated with antibiotics including rifampin and azithromyacin, herbs, energy medicines, RIFE. Treatment may take up to one year or more with antibiotics, RIFE and other to completely eliminate the disease.

Basic Symptoms  of Human Bartonella Infections:
(Note:Symptoms vary depending on the Bartonella strain and immune suppression)

Lymph  Nodes: Swelling of the lymph nodes.

Eyes: 

  • Chronic red inflamed “pink eyes” (conjunctivitis)
  • Break in the outer layer of the cornea
  • Inflammation of the optic nerve and retina
  • Lesions in the eye
  • Inflammation of the retina of the eye
  • Inflammation to the vitreous and peripheral retina
  • Inflammations of tissues around the eye
  • Angiomatous lesions
  • Retinal detachment
  • Edema in the nerve layer of the retina
  • Inflammation of the neural retina and optic nerve
  • White retinal lesions
  • Inflammation of the jelly in the in the uvea layer
  • Blurred vision from light
  • Cotton wool spot
  • Edema  that creates pressure on the optic nerve
  • serious retinal detachment
  • Macular star(sudden visual loss, swelling of the optic disk, peripapillary and macular exudates that may occur in a star pattern, and cells in the vitreous.)
  • Papillary defects causing interferance of central vision
  • (neuroretinitis) inflammation of the neural retina and optic nerve
  • Decreased vision
  • Small whitish lesions in the retina or connective tissue between white of the eye and retina.
  • Choroidal infiltrates, blurry vision,and blocked blood vessels in the eye.

Neurological:

  • Seizures with brain malfunctions(status epilepticus)
  • Continuous seizures and coma
  • Neuroretinitis(inflammation in brain
  • Aseptic meningitis(layers lining brain inflammed)
  • Transverse myelitis(inflammed spinal cord)
  • Radiculitis(inflamed spinal nerve roots)
  • Cerebral arteritis(inflammation of small and medium-sized arteries in the brain
  • Acute hemiplegia (Paralysis)
  • Dementia epilepticus lasting several hours or even days with combative behaviour following
  • Prolonged fever (of more than 4 weeks duration)not exceeding 39ºC associated with malaise, listlessness, and anorexia.

Cardiovascular:

  • Bartonella endocarditis ( inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves-left sided valve being the most common)
  • Persistent fever
  • Petechiae and purpura
  • Enlargement of the spleen(under the lower left ribs)that may cause left shoulder pain
  • Digital clubbing
  • Sometimes Glomerulonephritis (part of kidneys that helps filter waste and fluids from the blood malfunction.
  • Sometimes Hepatosplenic (liver or spleen)abscesses.

Skin

  • Vascular lesions resembling Kaposi’s sarcoma
  • Angiomatous nodules, red papules, pedunculated lesions, or deep subcutaneous masses.
  • Bacillary angiomatosis and Carrion’s disease( see pictures in search engine)
  • Central nervous system
  • Encephalopathy (Misc. brain disorders)
  • Osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone and marrow)
  • Complications: Bartonella species cause long-recognized diseases, such as Carrion’s disease, trench fever, and CSD, bacillary angiomatosis (BA), peliosis hepatis (PH), chronic bacteremia, endocarditis, chronic lymphadenopathy, and neurological disorders.

More symptoms of Untreated Bartonella

Bartonella henselae: (Tick borne bartonella henslae is not the same as “cat scratch disease,” which typically is far less serious and has different symptoms.)

Bacteria: From genus Rochalimeae- B. henselae
Transmission: Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis)
Incubation:  3 t0 10 days
Found: Worldwide
Rash: Most common- elongated with appearance of stretch marks.
Symptoms onset: Flu like
Fatigue,  feverishness, and swollen lymph nodes. Most of the cases show spontaneous recovery without therapy.

Some  develop:

  • Infections of the brain (encephalopathy).
  • Neuroretinitis
  • Retinitis
  • Retinal infiltrates
  • Arterial and vein occlusions.
  • Valve infection (endocarditis).

In the immunocompromised it causes a number of other syndromes- 

  • Bacillary peliosis hepatis (occurs primarily in the liver)
  • Relapsing bacteremia with fever, and endocarditis, bacillary angiomatosis (organisms induce new blood vessel formation (i.e., angiogenesis).
  • These proliferating blood vessels form benign tumor masses.

Diagnoses:  Blood test and clinical.  Few MD’s are familiar with tick borne Bartonella. Tick borne bartonella henslae is not the same as “cat scratch disease,” which typically is far less serious and has different symptoms.

Treatment: Antibiotics, herbs, RIFE, other – for other treatments click here.
When the disease remains untreated it becomes chronic and a mirad of symptoms are manifested from the B. henselae. Here are some symptoms: untreated-Chronic Bartonella

B. quintana(Trench Fever) 
Also called Rickettsia quintana, Rickettsia weigli, Rochalimaea quintana,Bartonella quintana,five-day fever, quintan fever, Wolhinie fever, and “urban trench fever.

Bacteria: 
from genus Rochalimeae- B.Quintana Gram  Negative-Bacillus

Transmission: louse feces and the body lice (Pediculus humanus)

Incubation: 5 to 30 days

Found: World wide

Rash: A maculopapular rash may or may not appear on the trunk that is fleeting.

Symptoms onset: Sudden with high fever, chills,severe headache, back pain. The symptoms may reappear at five day intervals and thus the disease is also called five day fever. The disease may last weeks to months.Bartonella quintana causes a prolonged febrile illness.

Later: Relapsing fevers, muscle aches, pain behind the eyes, severe headache, joint pain, rash, liver and spleen enlargement, and pain in the shins.
Recovery takes a month or more. Relapses are common. It can cause bloodstream infection (bacteremia) associated with nonspecific symptoms or no symptoms.

B.Quintana also has been found responsible for a disease called bacillary angiomatosis in people infected with HIV or the immunocompromised. In this illness, organisms induce new blood vessel formation (i.e., angiogenesis). These proliferating blood vessels form benign tumor masses.  Infection of the heart and great vessels (endocarditis) with blood stream infection and heart valve infection(bacteremia).

Diagnoses: Blood

Treatment: Mild cases resolve without treatment.More severe infections require treatment.
Antibiotics, herbs, RIFE, other. For treatments click here.

B. alsatica:  Was found in one person with endocarditis.

B. bacilliformis: Transmitted by sand fly (Lutzomyia verrucarum)

Found: South America;Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Causes: angiogenesis in previously immunocompetent human hosts. Carrión’s disease or Oroya fever (acute phase of infection) and Verruga peruana or Peruvian wart (chronic phase of infection).The acute phase of the disease is a life threatening disease characterized by massive invasion of bartonella to human red blood cells and consequently an acute hemolysis and fever.

B. clarridgeiae: (Info Unavailable at the time of this post)

B. elizabethae:  from genus Rochalimeae associated with Grahamella in United States.

B. grahamii: from genus Grahamella.  Transmitted by rodent flea Ctenophthalmus nobilis.  Found in Europe.  Was isolated from the eye of a patient with neuroretinitis , uveitis

B. koehlerae: (Info Unavailable at the time of this post)

B.melophagi: Causes muscle fatigue and weakness,  pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart

B. schoenbuchensis: 
Transmitted by deer keds. The bite is barely noticeable and initially leaves little trace. Within 3 days, the site develops into a hard, reddened welt. The accompanying itch is intense and typically lasts 14 to 20 days; occasionally, a pruritic papule may persist even for 1 year

B. rocha-limaea: (Info Unavailable at the time of this post)

B. tamia: Found in Thailand. Maculopapular rash or petechial rash on arms and legs.
Symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • headache
  • myalgia
  • anemia
  • mild liver function abnormalities

B. taylorii: from genus Grahamella. Transmitted by rodent flea Ctenophthalmus nobilis.

B. vinsonii: from genus Rochalimeae. vector voles.
Symptoms:

  • Severe neck pain
  • headaches
  • low-grade fevers
  • general malaise
  • Intermittent weakness of  legs and paresthesias.

B. vinsonii subsp. arupensis: Found in United States
Symptoms:

  • fever
  • heart valve problems
  • neurological symptoms

B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii: 
Symptoms:

  • progressive weight loss
  • muscle weakness
  • lack of coordination
  • headaches
  • muscle pain
  • insomnia arthralgias
  • profound fatigue, becoming progressively severe. The  pain and stiffness of the joints, muscles, and neck are most severe in the morning improving throughout the day.Progressive difficulty maintaining  balance while standing or ambulating.
  • May cause endocarditis.

B. washoensis:  
(Oropsylla Montana fleas fever)  
Symptoms:

  • meningitis
  • early sepsis
  • chills
  • nausea
  • sometimes vomiting
  • epigastric and lower left side abdominal pain
  • Headache with severe bilateral pain in the frontal and occipital areas.
  • Bilateral joint pain in both upper and lower extremities.
  • Neck stiffness with mild nuchal rigidity.
  • Shortness of breath
  • diarrhea
  • rash
  • Episodes of hypotension; heart rate of 104 beats per minute.Associated with cardiac disease United States.

Chronic Bartonella infection
Bartonella affects the entire body mainly through the vascular system.
When suffering with chronic Bartonella it is well to research the complications of all Bartonella infections to discover if it has not caused another disease.

An ongoing infection of Bartonella, may cause:

  • Low grade fever.
  • Cold extremities.
  • hot flashes
  • Feeling hot to occasional fever
  • short-term memory loss
  • brain fog
  • dementia
  • Loss of jaw bone
  • poor teeth
  • Sudden pain within each tooth or entire jaw bones
  • Gastritis
  • lower abdominal pain
  • gastrointestinal lesions
  • progressive anemia
  • lower abdominal pain
  • GI track disorders
  • weight gain
  • gastrointestinal lesions
  • pain from sound
  • Vision loss
  • intense pressure in the eyes
  • blurred vision
  • light sensitivity
  • eye infections
  • Red eyes
  • intense pressure in/behind eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Other eye disorders
  • Head, neck, face:
  • Sharp frontal or top of head headaches.
  • Lymph nodes that remain enlarged and sore
  • swollen throat
  • Thickened blood
  • vein swelling
  • intravascular disease
  • broken veins
  • protruding veins
  • unexplained bruises
  • spider veins
  • progressive anemia
  • endocarditis
  • edema
  • “bubbles under skin from a vein
  • star spider veins that may appear to be bruising.
  • intravascular disease
  • broken veins
  • edocarditis
  • eratic pulse
  • polyps in/around organ
  • Swelling anywhere on the body.
  • Inflammation in bones of pelvis and spine and head.
  • Inflammation.
  • Swollen glands especially around the head, neck and arms
  • Cold extremities
  • Inflammation in head
  • Inflammation in the bones of the pelvis and spine
  • slow healing
  • non-pitting edema
  • fainting
  • Generalized aches and pains similar to the other tick borne diseases.
  • Bone pain.
  • Joint pain.
  • leg,foot arch, hip, knee, shin,jaw bone, bottom of rib cage pain
  • sore soles
  • burning pains in soles, shins, legs…
  • Unrelenting tingling of feet and legs
  • burning type of shooting pain in the body
  • tender subcutaneous nodules along the extremities and shin bone.
  • Intense spasms at night
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • lack of muscle coordination during voluntary movements and muscle weakness.
  • Intense muscle spasms
  • joint swelling
  • severe agitation
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • easily upset and angry
  • aggressive behavior
  • confusion
  • feeling disconnected
  • overly sensitive or critical
  • sometimes extreme fear and panic
  • morbid thoughts
  • homicidal feelings
  • depression
  • memory loss
  • disorientation
  • brain fog
  • Obsessive/compulsive
  • dementia
  • severe rage
  • severe mood swings
  • anti social behaviour
  • decreased coping
  • irritability
  • all psychiatric disease manifest from inflamed Limbic brain
  • impulsivity
  • violent behavior
  • Combative behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • pain from sound
  • depression
  • seizures
  • tremors
  • muscle weakness
  • tremors
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • numbness or loss of sensation
  • air hunger
  • fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • significant sleep disorders
  • on-going fatigue
  • Skin tenderness
  • hot, red, bluish or scar like elongated rashes and odd rashes, unusual markings, red splotches or slightly raised red points,
  • areas of thickened skin,
  • white/beige dotted skin/chicken wire look,
  • lumps
  • indentations
  • Itching for unknown reason
  • Kidney disorders
  • Neurogenic bladder

Some symptoms tend to come and go as the bacteria cycles, the inflammation in the brain increases, during full moons, sleep deprived, etc.

*** The bacteria blocks the normal immune response by suppressing the NF-kB apoptosis pathway. Disease progression will be accelerated if the host is subsequently infected by an immunesuppressing virus such as Epstein Barr or XMRV and likewise, as the host’s infectious load increases the immune system will be more prone to infection due to the weakening response.

The Bartonella bacteria must be eradicated. Treating only the symptoms does not prevent the Bartonella’s from multiplying. The “disease” only becomes more complicated.

Mickie Stacey is the founder of Stop the Lyme Lies; a patient advocacy and information website for Lyme & MSIDS (Multisystemic Infectious Diseases Syndrome). She holds a BA (Hons) Arts & Humanities degree and is also a qualified Naturopathic Nutritionist. Mickie freelances for several online publications. When she’s not writing she enjoys printmaking and spending time with her family.

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