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total number of tick-borne illnesses?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by jess100, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. jess100

    jess100 Senior Member

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    HI
    Does anyone know the total number of tick-borne illnesses discovered to date? Does 11 seem about right? It seems like research is uncovering new ones all the time (or I'm just finding out about them)

    I hear a lot of people say they have an LLMD but does that imply the MD know about the other illnesses?
    I read a website today-Columbia's Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center-that seemed honest about the limitations of testing for these-and there are many limitations.
    So that raises a few questions for me:
    1-Is it possible many of us have a yet to be discovered tick-borne illness? (several were previously only in animals and are now affecting humans)
    2-Is it possible many of us have an identified illness but had inaccurate testing (or a false positive) ?
    OR
    3- do many of you think something else altogether is making you sick?

    What are the thoughts about this?
     
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  2. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    It's hard to answer that question for several reasons:

    --We discover new diseases all the time.
    --Some diseases might be carried by ticks but are usually carried by something else.
    --Some diseases are carried by some species of tick but not others. Not all ticks are created equal.

    I think the total is greater than 11 if you include all the human tick-borne diseases in the world. (Really a guess on my part.)

    I don't think I was ever bitten by a tick and I don't have symptoms that could be explained by any other disease I know of.
     
  3. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
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  4. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    There are probably at least 11 Bartonella species affecting humans, let alone all the other tick-borne pathogens. And each one of those Bartonella may have different impacts on patients.

    The immunologist I saw yesterday is convinced that what I and my family has is an illness caused by an infection of some kind and the arthropod borne illnesses are prime contenders given I've tested positive to Rickettsias and our dogs had Ehrlichia (in SE Asia). So I have renewed enthusiasm for this possibility.

    The following documents are interesting:


    (Long presentation on Bartonellas by a well-respected vet; you can start at the 9 minute mark without missing much. This has video already been included in a thread here on PR, but worth bumping up for wider viewing I think. In one case, a family was sick with Bartonella, thought to have been contracted via the bite of spiders that had been feeding on infected woodlice. There's so much to be learned about these pathogens.)

    And this one is a study on the incidence of rickettsias in healthy and CFS populations in Australia.
    http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/qjmed/101/4/269.full.pdf
    Past rickettsia infections were much more common in the CFS sample populations and there was some recovery of rickettsial DNA from patients. The question as to whether the rickettsial infection causes the CFS or if having CFS makes you more likely to get a rickettsial illness is discussed but remains unresolved.

    @minkeygirl
    mmm, sounds delicious. is that like a lemon tart?
     
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  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    @jess100 - yes to all three of your questions. We need better science. So long as much of what is happening is still a mystery then patients and society will not be served properly.

    To inaccurate testing I want to add that its very common for doctors to misunderstand obscure tests, or tests which do not have a long history of extensive research behind them. That is many of them.
     
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  6. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Hey Hutan, I also fell ill in South-East Asia, although I have tested negative for exclusively TBIs so far. Did you look into the Yersinia thing?

    PS. If I was marking your comments, you would get a big tick for your Lyme joke.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
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  7. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    @Hutan Damn autocorrect! Check out my edit.
     
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  8. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    Hi @msf. Getting tested for Yersinia is on my list of things to do (literally) but I haven't achieved it yet. Where were you in SE Asia prior to becoming ill? (sorry if you have said before)

    Regarding TBI's, testing for e.g. rickettsias has the complexities of testing for lyme. I tested positive to rickettsias when the testing was done through a specialist reputable lab (Australian Rickettsial Reference lab) because teh request came from a public hospital clinic. On a retest authorised by my GP, the sample was analysed by a general lab by mistake and they just did a IgM test, which I tested negative to. So, if I had not been able to access the specialist lab first, I would probably have assumed that I didn't have an issue with rickettsias.

    That Bartonella video has some nice slides showing how difficult testing is for these organisms.
     
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  9. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Hi Hutan, I was in Vietnam.

    Yes, I am aware that these infections are hard to detect, but as a patient of KDM I have had most of the available tests done.
     
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