Tick Borne Infections AKA Co-Infections

Lyme Disease is not the only infection that is passed by a tick bite. These other diseases have become known as “co-infections.” They are a mix of infections, viruses and parasites.

Here is a chart that shows which ticks pass which infections. Below the chart are the symptoms for each co infection.

Babesia

Babesia is a protozoan spread by ticks, blood transfusion, and in utero. There are 13 known forms but our current blood testing only looks for two of them.

Symptoms

  • Air hunger
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fevers
  • Headache
  • Hemolysis
  • Imbalance
  • Encephalopathy
  • Shaking chills
  • Night Sweats

Learn More about Babesia Here

Bartonella

Bartonella is a bacteria spread by bites from infected ticks and in utero and by dust mites.

Symptoms

  • stretch mark-like rash
  • Bartonella Rash
  • abnormal liver enzymes
  • encephalopathy
  • endocarditis
  • flu-like malaise
  • headache
  • hemolysis with anemia
  • hepatomegaly
  • high fever
  • immune deficiency
  • jaundice
  • lymphadenopathy
  • myalgias
  • myocarditis
  • papular or angiomatous rash
  • somnolence
  • sore throat
  • splenomegaly
  • weakened immune response

Learn more about Bartonella Here

Borrelia Mayonii

So far B. mayonii has been found in the upper Midwestern United States in ticks. It has been identified in deer ticks collected in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Symptoms 

  • fever
  • nausea
    neck pain
  • vomiting
  • spotty rashes
  • higher concentration of bacteria in the blood

 

Borrelia miyamotoi

What is Borrelia miyamotoi?

Borrelia miyamotoi is a species of spiral-shaped bacteria that is closely related to the bacteria that cause tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF). It is related to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. First identified in 1995 in ticks from Japan, B. miyamotoi has since been detected in two species of North American ticks, deer tick and the western black-legged tick.

Symptoms 

  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • body and joint pain
  • fatigue
  • rarely a rash
  • leukopenia
  • thrombocytopenia
  • elevated aminotransferase levels

Bourbon Virus

Bourbon virus belongs to a group of viruses called thogotoviruses.  So far research has shown it is transmitted through tick and other insect bites. Most of the cases of Bourbon Virus have been in the Midwest. Ticks spread and with global warming and their travel on birds and rodents will continue to spread. So far there have been cases in Missouri and Kansas.

Symptoms

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • rash
  • headache
  • body aches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • low blood counts for cells that fight infection and help prevent bleeding

Colorado Tick Fever

Colorado tick fever is an acute viral infection spread by the bite of the Dermacentor andersoni wood tick.

Symptoms

  • fever
  • headache
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • light sensitivity
  • myalgias
  • malaise
  • fatigue
  • malaise
  • nausea
  • pneumonitis myocarditis
  • hepatitis

Tests

  • Complement fixation antibody test
  • Immunofluorescence antibody test
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Creatine kinase.
  • Liver function tests

 Learn More about Colorado Tick Fever Here

Ehrlichia

Ehrlichiosis is an infectious disease transmitted by the bite of a tick. It is caused by bacteria that belong to the family called Rickettsiae.

Symptoms

  • elevated liver enzymes
  • headaches
  • myalgias
  • ongoing fatigue
  • persistent leukopenia
  • thrombocytopenia

Learn More about Erlichiosis Here 

Heartland Virus

Heartland virus belongs to a family of viruses called Phleboviruses.

Most phleboviruses that cause people to become sick are passed through the bite of a mosquito, tick, or sandfly. Lone Star ticks are thought to be the main vector.

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach ache
  • low numbers of cells that fight infection and that help blood clot
    ( leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and mildly to moderately elevated liver transaminases)

Lyme Disease (Borrelia burgdorferi)

Spread primarily though the bite of infected ticks that live on a wide range of mammalian species; secondary human-to-human transmission through semen, breast milk, and in utero.

Stage 1

Early localized infection (The first month)  

Bull’s eye rash (erythema migrans) The rash is usually circular and has a fading spot in the center. Less then half the people infected will develop a rash.Note: Some people will never have any symptoms in this stage.
Flu like symptoms (Usually the first symptoms)
Fever
Headache
Stiff neck
Muscle and joint pain S
Swollen lymph nodes
Fatigue

Stage 2

Early disseminated infection (1 to 4 months)

If Lyme disease is not detected and treated while early symptoms are present, the infection may disseminate and affect the skin, joints, organs, nervous system, and heart.
Extreme fatigue
Rashes
Migrating pain (pain that changes locations and comes and goes)
Weakness and/or numbness in the arms or legs.
Twitching muscles
Severe and recurring headaches
Fainting or vaso vagal attacks
Poor memory and concentration problems
Irritability Vision problem
Internal buzzing feeling
Heart palpitations
Panic Attacks
Mood disorders

Stage 3

Late disseminated Lyme  

Swelling and pain in the joints
Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Severe fatigue
Insomnia
Bells Palsy (partial paralysis of the face)
Getting lost in familiar places
Problems speaking,
Word retrieval problems,
Word block
Migrating pain and symptoms
Heart damage
Pericarditis
Meningitis
Depression
Panic Attacks
Bladder problems
Tinnitus, ear ringing or feeling of fullness
Poor balance
Shortness of breath
Rib and sternum soreness
Fevers/sweats
Vertigo
Upset stomach and GI problems
Burning and stabbing pains

Mycoplasma Fermentans

The most common of the Lyme Co-infection is Mycoplasma Fermentans. It is the smallest of bacteria’s and has the ability to enter any cell and alter itself, changing its cellular makeup with every cell division. It invades all systems of the human body.

Symptoms

  • flu-like aches and pains
  • cramps and spasms night sweats
  • intermittent fevers
  • memory loss
  • depression
  • irritability
  • loss of concentration
  • nervousness
  • anxiety
  • gastrointestinal
  • problems
  • nausea

Mycoplasmas are a heterogeneous group of the smallest organisms capable of self-replication. They can cause a wide variety of diseases in animals. Some mycoplasmas cause respiratory or urogenital diseases in humans. Mycoplasmas often chronically colonize our respiratory and urogenital tracts without apparent clinical significance.

To read more about Mycoplasma please visit:

Q Fever

Q fever is a bacterial infection that can affect the lungs, liver, heart, and other parts of the body. People usually get infected with Q fever by breathing in contaminated droplets released by infected animals. Drinking raw milk has also caused infection in rare cases. Chronic Q fever requires long-term treatment with antibiotics.

Symptoms

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Malaise
  • Nausea
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Cough

Q fever is found around the world and is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. The bacteria affects sheep, goats, cattle, dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and ticks, as well as some other animals. Infected animals shed this bacteria in:

  • Birth products
  • Feces
  • Milk
  • Urine

 Learn more about Q Fever Here

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. The bacterium is spread to humans through the bite of infected ticks, and so the disease is most common in months where ticks are active, such as summer. Rocky Mountains occurs throughout most of the U.S. Most cases require hospitalization, and severe cases require intensive care. The disease is diagnosed by finding high titers of antibodies in the blood or by seeing the organism under a microscope in specially stained skin biopsies. The treatment of choice is the antibiotic doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox). Prompt treatment improves survival and reduces complications.

Symptoms

  • high fever
  • severe headache
  • chills fatigue and muscle pain/achiness
  • myalgias nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • gastrointestinal problems (10% will produce stools positive for occult blood)
  • light intolerance
  • dizzyness

 Learn More about Rocky Moutain Spotted Fever Here

STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness)

Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI), also known as Masters disease, occurs after the bite of the lone star tick. The disease is thought to be caused by the bacterium Borrelia lonestari.Early STARI symptoms are similar to symptoms of early Lyme disease. A skin lesion that looks like a Lyme disease bull’s eye rash appears at the site of the tick bite. Treatment with an antibiotic regimen similar to that used for LD helps resolve STARI.Symtpoms Fever Headache Lesion at bite site

Parts of this list were taken from Short Co-Infection Symptoms List

To learn more about co-infections go to: Lyme Disease Co-infections

Learn More about STARI Here

Tick Paralysis

Tick paralysis is the only tick-borne disease that is not caused by an infectious organism. The illness is caused by a neurotoxin produced in the tick’s salivary gland. The tick incoculates the host with a toxin from tick salivary glands during a blood meal. The toxin causes symptoms within a week beginning with weakness in both legs that progresses to paralysis. 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.

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.

Please be aware that you dog can get this too. http://www.nutrecareblog.com/2011/05/tick-paralysis

 Learn More about Tick Paralysis Here

Tickborne Relapsing Fever

Relapsing fever is an infection caused by the bites of lice or soft-bodied ticks. Tick-borne relapsing fever is found primarily in Africa, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Asia, and certain areas in the Western U.S. and Canada. Most people who are infected get sick around within a couple weeks of the bite.

Symptoms may include a sudden fever, chills, headaches, and muscle or joint aches, and nausea; a rash may also occur. These symptoms continue for 2-9 days, then disappear. This cycle may continue for several weeks if the person is not treated.

Relapsing Fever is easily treated with 1-2 weeks of antibiotics. Most people improve within 24 hours of starting antibiotics.

 Learn More about Tick Borne Relapsing Fever Here

Tularemia

Tularemia is an infection common in wild rodents and can be passed to humans through contact with infected animal tissues or by ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes. Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. F. tularensis tularensis which is found in lagomorphs in North America, is highly virulent in humans and domestic rabbits.

Humans can get the disease through:

  • A bite from an infected tick, horsefly, or mosquito
  • Breathing in infected dirt or plant material
  • Direct contact, through a break in the skin, with an infected animal or its dead body (most often a rabbit, muskrat, beaver, or squirrel)
  • Eating infected meat (rare)

Symptoms

  • high fever
  • swollen glands
  • chills, headache
  • extreme fatigue
  • muscle aches
  • joint pain
  • dry cough
  • progressive weakness
  • fever
  • exhaustion
  • weight loss
  • nausea, vomiting. diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • intestinal ulcerations
  • inflamed eyes often with a discharge
  • sore throat, mouth sores

The drug of choice is streptomycin. Tularemia may also be treated with gentamicin for ten days, tetracycline-class drugs such as doxycycline for two to three weeks.

 Learn more about Tularemia Here

 

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5 thoughts on “Tick Borne Infections AKA Co-Infections”

  1. I am curious where you found the information that dust mites are a vector for Bartonella. I recently spent time in a house with an attic infested with raccoons, located 10 miles from Plum Island, NY. Now, I have some symptoms for acute Bartonella (my immune system is already compromised by other TBI’s). Tick transmission would be unlikely this time of year with snow on the ground. However, in a drafty old house with wild animals nesting in it, some sort of mite seems like a very good possibility.

    1. Here are some articles that include information about Bartonella and dust mites.

      1. Unraveling the Mystery of Bartonellosis http://www.townsendletter.com/July2015/bartonellosis0715.html
      2. Bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA in house dust mite cultures.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16337462
      3. Bartonella quintana detection in Demodex from erythematotelangiectatic rosacea patients https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971214016063
      4 Bartonella-like bacteria carried by domestic mite species http://www.topix.com/forum/health/scabies/TAV7DDN96CDRORSRD/bartonella-like-bacteria-carried-by-domestic-mite-

      There are many more you can find too just by googling it.

      I wish you the best and hope you find some answers. It is a wive’s tale that you can only get Lyme disease in the spring or summer.. You can get it all year long. I chat with the workers from the Tick Check Lab and they get ticks all year long for testing. And like you said, small mammals can carry these ticks anywhre and everywhere. . So it’s good you are looking into this further. I hope you can find your answers and get the help you need to get on to healing. <3

      Lisa

  2. How many borrellia tests kits are there in the world . I live in Australia and l see that they have been changing there kit reguim so it make me think that if you live in our country of Australia who don’t have their own test kits created because we are behind the world of borrellia reasearch in this country,it would seem that’s why doctors and infectious disease proffessors would have no idea of what is happening her in the Bacteria world God help us get this ball rolling

    1. I am so sorry for what you are going through Tony. My good friend is also from Perth and we work together a lot on Lyme projects so I know its so bad there. I hope one day it is a different story for you. <3

  3. I have a brain lesion from scar tissue but I have been to Vermont and my brother goes to northern Minnesota yearly for a week. Lately after a immediate care visit for what I thought was a UTI..No bacteria was identified, only red and white blood cells. I got a shot of Rocephin and a 5 day Z pack. I can barely see the screen today and I ache is difficult to hit the keys with the tremors.

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