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Lyme disease: Single tick bite can pack double pathogen punch

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Ecoclimber, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. Ecoclimber

    Ecoclimber Senior Member

    Summertime and for those ME/CFS patients who can still do a bit of exercise outside and for the Lyme disease patients as well, the research below is interesting and is a warning to be aware and pass the word around especially to those who are immune compromised.

    Many blacklegged ticks infected with Lyme disease and babesiosis

    Millbrook, N.Y. – People who get bitten by a blacklegged tick have a higher-than-expected chance of being exposed to more than one pathogen at the same time.

    The new research, published online today in the journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by scientists at Bard College, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

    "We found that ticks are almost twice as likely to be infected with two pathogens—the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and the protozoan that causes babesiosis—than we would have expected," said Felicia Keesing, a professor of biology at Bard College, Adjunct Scientist at the Cary Institute, and co-author of the paper. "That means health care providers and the public need to be particularly alert to the possibility of multiple infections coming from the same tick bite...

    ...Not only was co-infection with the agents of Lyme disease and babesiosis greater than expected, but rates of triple infection with the agents of Lyme, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis were about twice as likely as expected.

    "People in tick-infested parts of the United States such as the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest, are vulnerable to being exposed to two or three diseases from a single tick bite," said Keesing. "And, of course, that risk increases when they're bitten by more than one tick."

    Not to freek anyone out but Click on the link for more info:

    Scientific article in PLOS ONE below:
    Co-Infection of Blacklegged Ticks with Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi Is Higher than Expected and Acquired from Small Mammal Hosts

    Michelle H. Hersh mail, Richard S. Ostfeld, Diana J. McHenry, Michael Tibbetts, Jesse L. Brunner, Mary E. Killilea, Kathleen LoGiudice, Kenneth A. Schmidt, Felicia Keesing
    Published: June 18, 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099348

    Humans in the northeastern and midwestern United States are at increasing risk of acquiring tickborne diseases – not only Lyme disease, but also two emerging diseases, human granulocytic anaplasmosis and human babesiosis.

    Co-infection with two or more of these pathogens can increase the severity of health impacts. The risk of co-infection is intensified by the ecology of these three diseases because all three pathogens (Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti) are transmitted by the same vector, blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), and are carried by many of the same reservoir hosts.

    The risk of exposure to multiple pathogens from a single tick bite and the sources of co-infected ticks are not well understood.

    In this study, we quantify the risk of co-infection by measuring infection prevalence in 4,368 questing nymphs throughout an endemic region for all three diseases (Dutchess County, NY) to determine if co-infections occur at frequencies other than predicted by independent assortment of pathogens.

    Further, we identify sources of co-infection by quantifying rates of co-infection on 3,275 larval ticks fed on known hosts. We find significant deviations of levels of co-infection in questing nymphs, most notably 83% more co-infection with Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi than predicted by chance alone.

    Further, this pattern of increased co-infection was observed in larval ticks that fed on small mammal hosts, but not on meso-mammal, sciurid, or avian hosts. Co-infections involving A. phagocytophilum were less common, and fewer co-infections of A. phagocytophilum and B. microti than predicted by chance were observed in both questing nymphs and larvae fed on small mammals.

    Medical practitioners should be aware of the elevated risk of B. microti/B. burgdorferi co-infection.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  2. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    This really makes me wonder about the diagnostic acuity of the clinical eyeball, which typically dismisses such possibilities as psychological problems without detailed laboratory investigations.
    Ecoclimber likes this.
  3. Ecoclimber

    Ecoclimber Senior Member

    Then again, those that believe an organic eitology, the quality of lab tests can vary from lab to lab which can result in a false-negative on lab reports. This is why researchers only use specific labs for patient clinical trials. So true, the 'clinical eyeball' often fail to test for other co-infections.

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