Tick-Borne Co-Infections are the Rule, Not the Exception The recognition of tick-borne pathogens that are responsible for human illness is accelerating.

By Lonnie Marcum

W hile Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the United States, many other bacteria, parasites, and viruses can also be transmitted by ticks.

These are generally referred to as “co-infections” of Lyme, since people often have them at the same time as Lyme disease. While U.S. cases of Lyme disease are estimated to be over 300,000 per year, no one really knows the incidence of co-infections.

In a LymeDisease.org survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease, more than half reported laboratory-confirmed co-infections, with 30% having two or more. According to Dr. Richard Horowitz, “The existence of these co-infections explains why some people with Lyme remain chronically ill even after treatment.”

The most common co-infections reported with Lyme disease are Babesia (32%), Bartonella (28%), and rickettsial illnesses (26%). Rickettsial illnesses include ehrlichiosis (15%), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (6%), and anaplasmosis (5%)……… Join or login below to continue reading.

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