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):

Bartonella:

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:

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

 

 

Ehrlichia/Anaplasma:

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:

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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