Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lyme Disease Proves Even More Complicated With Associated Co-Infections: Time For Lyme Urges Patients to Request Testing for Three Other Common Tick-Borne Illnesses

Lyme Illness Proves Even Far more Complex With Linked Co-Infections: Time For Lyme Urges Patients to Request Testing for 3 Other Frequent Tick-Borne Illnesses

Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) September 18, 2008

Lyme illness is renowned for its difficulty to diagnose and its challenge to treat. Nevertheless, many patients don't know that a Lyme disease diagnosis also comes with a risk for creating 1 or far more co-infections - tick-borne illnesses that can worsen the severity and/or the duration of Lyme symptoms. What's more, these co-infections ought to be independently diagnosed and treated with entirely various medications and protocols than the main Lyme infection.

"For most patients, the initial Lyme disease diagnosis is overwhelming and the main focus is naturally on treating it efficiently," explains Debbie Siciliano, co-president of Time for Lyme, a Greenwich CT based Lyme illness advocacy and education group. Dr. Daniel Cameron, president of ILADS, a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary medical society, dedicated to the diagnosis and proper treatment of Lyme and its related diseases, adds that "the ticks that transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme illness also carry quite a few other pathogens that can complicate the treatment and management of the main infection and lead to a longer-lasting, a lot more devastating illness." Dr Cameron encourages new patients to request testing for the 3 most widespread Lyme disease co-infections: Babesiosis and Erlichiosis (HME or HCE), both parasitic infections, and Bartonellosis, an infection caused by bacteria known as Bartonella.

Symptoms and treatment of Lyme co-infections are as complicated as Lyme itself Comparable to the difficulty with Lyme diagnosis and treatment, Dr Cameron points out that the symptoms of these Lyme co-infections are also non-particular, such as fever, chills, headache and malaise, and the diagnostic procedures usually rely on a series of negative tests, because the parasites and bacteria that cause the infections are only detectable in the bloodstream for a short period of time. "This is why it is so critical for patients to have a co-infection workup completed at the time of their initial diagnosis, when the likelihood of an accurate diagnosis is at its highest," he notes.

The National Institutes of Health also recognizes the dangers associated with Lyme illness co-infection, noting that co-infections have the possible to make Lyme diagnosis more challenging and to weaken patients' immune systems, compromising their capacity to fight off the initial Lyme infection. In reality, a landmark study* of Lyme co-infections found that patients who had been diagnosed with both Lyme illness and Babesiosis had an average of 3 far more symptoms and an average disease duration that was two weeks longer than those who were diagnosed with Lyme illness alone. Researchers found similar complications amongst patients who were infected with Lyme disease and Erlichiosis.

Time for Lyme and ILADS encourages patients to be conscious of the following details and symptoms for these three most typical tick-borne co-infections, and to discuss testing and treatment protocols with their physicians:

Babesiosis is an infection caused by a parasite that infects red blood cells. Babesia microti is believed to be the most common piroplasm infecting humans, but scientists have identified over twenty piroplasms carried by ticks. Ticks may possibly carry only Babesia or they might be infected with both Babesia and Lyme spirochetes. The very first case of babesiosis was reported in Massachusetts 40 years ago, but cases have been reported all across the U.S., Europe and Asia since then.

Symptoms of babesiosis are comparable to those of Lyme illness but it a lot more typically starts with a high fever and chills. As the infection progresses, patients may develop fatigue, headache, drenching sweats, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. Babesiosis is frequently so mild it is not noticed but can be life-threatening to people with no spleen, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. Complications include extremely low blood pressure, liver difficulties, severe anemia (a breakdown of red blood cells) and kidney failure.

Ehrlichiosis is common in two forms, both of which are caused by tick-borne parasites known as Ehrlichia that infect diverse kinds of white blood cells. In HME (human monocytic ehrlichiosis), they infect monocytes. In HGE (human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, also known as anaplasmosis), they infect granulocytes. Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis share the identical symptoms: sudden high fever, fatigue, muscle aches and headache. The disease can be mild or life-threatening. Severely ill patients can have low white blood cell count, low platelet count, anemia, elevated liver enzymes, kidney failure and respiratory insufficiency.

Successful diagnosis is hard, as only two species of these parasites have been identified and scientists think there may be dozens of other species causing Erlichiosis. Ehrlichia parasites multiply inside host cells, forming big mulberry-shaped clusters known as morulae which doctors can sometimes see on blood smears, but most typically a diagnosis is surmised when patients do not respond nicely to treatment for Lyme disease.

Bartonellosis is identified to be caused by a bacteria carried by fleas, body lice and ticks. Scientists suspect that ticks are a source of infection in some human cases of bartonellosis. Men and women with tick bites and no recognized exposure to cats have acquired the illness. Folks who recall being bitten by ticks have been co-infected with Lyme and Bartonella. Much more investigation wants to be carried out to establish the role of ticks in spreading the disease. Bartonellosis is typically mild but in significant instances it can affect the whole body.

Early signs are fever, fatigue, headache, poor appetite, and an unusual, streaked rash. Swollen glands are typical, especially around the head, neck and arms. Lymph nodes could be enlarged and the throat can be sore. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and tissue biopsy can be utilised to confirm a diagnosis nevertheless they are insensitive, as are regular blood tests.

Lyme disease is one of the fastest-growing chronic diseases in the U.S., with a lot more than 23,000 diagnoses in 2005 - up from just over 8,000 in 1993. The Centers for Illness Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that diagnoses make up just 10% of actual circumstances, suggesting that far more than 230,000 Americans could be infected.

About Time for Lyme

Time For Lyme is an organization dedicated to eliminating the devastating effects of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness. Our mission is to avoid the spread of illness, develop definitive diagnostic tools and powerful remedies, and to ultimately discover a cure for tick-borne illness by supporting study, education, and the acquisition and dissemination of information. In addition, we will continue to act as advocates for Lyme illness sufferers and their families by way of support of legislative reform on the federal, state and local levels. For a lot more information on our organization, please go to http://www.timeforlyme.org.


ILADS http://www.ilads.org is a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary medical society, dedicated to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme and its linked diseases. ILADS promotes understanding of tick-borne diseases by way of investigation and education and strongly supports physicians and other wellness care professionals dedicated to advancing the regular of care for Lyme and its connected diseases.


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