Co-infections of Lyme Disease


Babesiosis is a Malaria-like illness caused by a parasite, Babesia microti, B. duncani, B. divergens, MO-1.  
It is sometimes fatal in the elderly or those with no spleen.  Babesiosis may be more severe in patients with co-existing Lyme disease.
Symptoms include: fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, sweats and anemia.
Tests for Babesiosis: blood smears, IFA (IgG & IgM), FISH (Flourescent in-situ Hybridization) and PCR may be ordered.*

* These tests were developed & performance characteristics determined by independent labs. They have not been cleared or approved by the FDA; however, the FDA has determined such clearance is not necessary. They are designd for clinical purposes and should not be regarded as investigational or for research.  
Treatment is often atovaquone with azithromycin or clindamycin and oral quinine.  Treatments vary, examples provided as information only.
Ticks that transmit Babesiosis include; Ixodes Scapularis (also called black legged tick or deer tick) and Ixodes Pacificus (western black legged tick) both of which also transmit Lyme disease.  Multiple infections may be transmitted from the bite of the same tick.
Babesiosis has also been transmitted in humans through blood transfusions. 


Bartonellosis is a disease caused by several Bartonella species transmitted either by a flea or a tick bite, cat scratch or lice. (Bartonella Henselae and/or perhaps other spp.)
When tick-borne, symptoms includes visual problems, headaches, significant lymph node enlargement, resistant neurological deficits and the new onset of a seizure disorder.
Diagnosis is based on acute and convalescent antibody titers (IFA) and/or positive PCR analysis.

Treatment may be combination macrolides, TCNs, rifamycin, (also possible Bactrim or fluoroquinolones). Treatments vary, examples provided as information only. 
Ticks that transmit Bartonella include Ixodes Scapularis (also called the black legged tick or deer tick) and Ixodes Pacificus (western black legged tick), both of which also transmit Lyme disease.  More than one co-infection can be transmitted from the same tick bite.


 Scientists used to separate ehrlichiosis into two entities caused by the bacterium Ehrlichia: Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME) and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE).  After futher study, they determined that HGE is actually caused by a bacterium, Anaplasma phagacytophilum.  HME is caused by a bacterium, Ehrlichia chaffeensis.

Symptoms of ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis include: fever, malaise, headaches, chills, severe muscle aches, vomiting, anemia, lung infection, decreased white blood cells and platelets, elevated liver enzymes, seizures, encephalopathy, meningitis, confusion, ataxia and cranial nerve palsy. Co-infection with Lyme can cause more severe symptoms. Death can result.
Treatment is with doxycycline. 
Ticks that transmit anaplasmosis include Ixodes scapularis (deer tick or black legged tick) and Ixodes pacificus (western black legged tick).
Ticks that transmit ehrlichiosis (HME) include Amblyomma americanum (lone star) and Dermacentor variabilis (American dog).  Ixodes scapularis (deer tick or black legged tick) and Ixodes pacificus (western black legged tick) ticks have been shown to carry the ehrlichiosis bacterium, but to date, transmission is still in question.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii.  
Symptoms include headaches, myalgia, and a characteristic rash* usually beginning on wrists, ankles, palms and soles.  *RMSF rash photo courtsey of Ed Masters, MD. 
Treatment is usually tetracycline.
Ticks that transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever include Amblyomma americanum (lone star), Dermacentor variabilis (American dog) and Dermacentor andersoni (wood tick).
 For Further Information on the Full List of Co-infections please visit these sites: