It is rare that a Lyme disease patient will not also have co-infections. Since Lyme disease is usually transmitted by ticks, it is common to become infected with other tick-borne illnesses. There are also other infections that may persist due to a weakened immune system or antibiotic treatment. If Lyme disease is passed in Utero or sexually, there is the chance of other STDs and infections being present as well. For specific symptoms, go to the Symptoms page. Testing for many of these co-infections is often unreliable. Clinical diagnosis is necessary.
Candida is not a tick-borne disease, but should be considered a co-infection or secondary infection as it often exists as a systemic fungal infection in Lyme patients, has very similar symptoms, and can be fatal.
For more information, go here: Candida and Lyme
Cause: Overgrowth of fungus that exists in all human digestive systems and is usually kept in check by our natural good bacteria balance. Overgrowth occurs with antibiotic use and high sugar diets.
Transmission: Naturally occurring, in utero and sexually
Testing: Serology (Blood antibody test) and Complete Profile Stool Analysis
Treatment: Antifungal, usually Diflucan (Fluconozole), and strict low-glycemic diet.
Anaplasmosis (HGE: Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis) is a Rickettesial infection that invades and infects the white blood cells (granulocytes).
Cause: Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria
Transmission: Western Black-legged tick and Deer tick
Testing: Clinical, Serology, PCR, blood smears.
Treatment: Antibiotic, usually Doxycycline or Rifampin. .
Babesiosis (Piroplasmosis) is a malaria-like single-celled, or protozoan, parasite that infects the red blood cells. They live and divide within red blood cells, destroying the cells and causing anemia. Most have no symptoms. 1-6 weeks if they do appear.
Cause: Babesia microti parasite (and up to 2 dozen Piroplasm forms)
Transmission: Deer tick, Pacific Coast tick, Black-legged tick
Testing: Clinical, Serology, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Enhanced Smear, Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization Assay (FISH)
Treatment: Anti-malarial in combination with antibiotics, usually Mepron and Zithromax.
Bartonella-like Organism (similar to Cat Scratch Disease) is a bacteria made up of gram-negative cells in chains. Multiply in red blood cells and reproduce by binary fission.
Cause: Bacteria of family Bartonellaceae
Transmission: Ticks, (standard Bartonella from Cats, Fleas, and body lice)
Testing: Clinical, Serology, PCR, and tissue biopsy
Treatment: Antibiotics, usually Levofloxacin (Erythromycin, Doxycycline, and Rifampin for standard Bartonella infection, may not work for tick-borne)
Colorado Tick Fever
Colorado Tick Fever is a viral infection that infects hematopoietic cells, particularly erythrocytes
Transmission: Rocky Mountain Wood tick
Treatment: No antiviral therapy is available. Aspirin is recommended.
Erlichiosis (HME: Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis) is a Rickettesial infection that invades and infects the white blood cells (monocytes).
Cause: Ehrlichia phagocytophilum bacteria
Transmission: Deer tick, Pacific Coast tick, Black legged tick, American Dog tick, Lone-Star tick
Testing: Clinical, Serology, PCR, Blood smears
Treatment: Antibiotic, usually Doxycycline or Rifampin.
Human Parasites are parasitic infections that affect 8 out of 10 Americans. These types are generally not tick-borne, but share many common symptoms and can hinder Lyme treatment if not addressed. For more information, go to the Heavy Metals & Parasites page.
Cause: Nematode, Cestoda, Trematode (Common names: Roundworm, Pinworm, Schistosome fluke, Hookworm, Beef worm, Pork worm, Tapeworm, and many more.)
Transmission: usually food and water ingestion.
Testing: Stool sample, X-rays
Treatment: Parasite and/or Colon cleanse.
Mycoplasma is a genus of small bacteria which lack cell walls. Likes to live on surface cells, particularly in the respiratory tract. Invade human cells and disrupt the immune system.
Cause: M. fermentans, M. genetalium, M. hominis, M. pheumoniae, M. penetrans, M. pirum, and M. salivarium bacterium
Treatment: Antibiotic, usually Doxycycline
Q Fever is a bacterial infection that can affect the lungs, liver, heart, and other parts of the body.
Cause: Coxiella burnetti bacteria
Transmission: Carried by cattle, sheep, and goats. Can be transmitted by contact with milk, urine, feces, vaginal mucus, or semen of infected animals; by inhalation of endospores from barnyard dust contaminated by infected dried placental material or excrement; or by ingesting infected unpasteurized milk or dairy products. Also transmitted by ticks: Brown Dog tick, Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, Lone Star Tick.
Treatment: Antibiotic, usually Doxycycline
Relapsing Fever is a spirochetal infection with repeated episodes of fever.
Cause: Borrelia hermsii spirochete
Transmission: Louse or Relapsing Fever Tick
Treatment: Antibiotic, usually Tetracycline, Doxycycline, or Cholramphenicol
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a bacteria that invades the cells lining the heart and blood vessels.
Cause: Rickettsia ricketsii bacterium
Transmission: American Dog Tick, Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
Testing: Clinical and blood.
Treatment: Antibiotic, usually Doxycycline or Rifampin
Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE) is a flavivirus that invades and infects the brain.
Cause: Tick-borne Encephalitis virus (TBEV) Flaviviridae family. There are several sub-species of this virus including Powassan (POW), European or Western, Siberian, and Far Eastern.
Transmission: Small rodents are carriers. Ticks are the main vector for transmission.
Testing: Blood in first stage
Treatment: No effective treatment available
Tick Paralysis is a toxic reaction to saliva from female ticks. Paralysis begins in legs and spreads throughout the body within hours.
Cause: Saliva from tick bite
Transmission: Female tick: American Dog Tick, Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, Lone Star Tick
Testing: None, tick is attached.
Treatment: Recovery is rapid following removal of tick
Tularemia is a bacterial infection.
Cause: Francisella tularensis bacterium
Transmission: Small mammals such as rabbits, rodents, hares, and the bugs that feed on these animals are known carriers. Transmission is by biting flies, ticks, or infected bugs, handling infected animal tissue or fluids, eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and inhalation from handling infected soils and materials.
Testing: Serology or Sputum (Saliva or mucus)
Treatment: Antibiotic, usually Doxycycline, Ciprofloxacin, or Chloramphenicol. (Fluorinated Quinilones)
Lyme disease rarely shows up alone.