The Lyme Disease "Rogue's Gallery"

Borrelia bergdorferi takes the rap as the prime cause of Lyme disease, but it seldom works alone. Ticks carry many other pathogens that often co-infect people with Lyme.

Here is a line-up of some of the most common co-pathogens and their clinical characteristics in the context of Borreliosis (Source: James Burrascano, Jr., MD):


BartonellaBartonella henselae• Gradual onset of initial illness, manifesting as occasional night sweats.

• More nervous system, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms than musculoskeletal symptoms. These are usually excitatory and include sudden rage, panic, psychotic and antisocial behavior.
• Gastrointestinal upset
• Sore soles
• Morning fevers and swollen lymph glands
• Elevated levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in some


Babesia_thin_giemsa_tetradTetrad form of Babesia dividing within infected blood cell• Abrupt onset of initial illness, with obvious night sweats.
• Symptoms tend to cycle every few days
• Profound fatigue, global headaches
• “Air hunger,” coughs.
• Hypercoagulability (responsive to heparin)

• Very severe Lyme symptoms and poor response to appropriate therapy




EhrlichiaEhrlichia ewingii morula within human granulocyte. (courtesy KS Hamilton et al. Modern Pathology 2004)• Rapid onset of illness with high fevers and rash suggestive of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
• “Knife-like” headaches situated behind the eyes
• Low white cell counts, elevated liver function tests








Mycoplasma• Gradual onset of initial illness; light sweats; patients feel worse after exercise rather than better
• Major fatigue and profound neurologic dysfunction
• Metabolic dysregulation & extensive immune system damage

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