Co-Infections

A huge body of research and clinical experiences demonstrated the nearly universal phenomenon in chronic Lyme patients of co-infection with multiple tick-borne pathogens. Ticks may contain and transmit a multitude of potential pathogens. In early infections, before extensive damage to the immune system has occurred, if the germ load of the co-infections is low, and the Lyme is treated, many of the other tick transmitted microbes can be contained and eliminated by the immune system. However, in the chronic patient, because the inhibited defences, the individual components of the co-infection are now active enough so that they too add of features of the illness and must be treated. (Burrascano, J, Jr M.D. 2008)

These co-infections create additional symptoms and additional burden for the body’s defences (the immune system) to bear. When the body has to deal with multiple infections (that is, Lyme plus a co-infection(s)), it is more likely that the body systems will be unable to handle any of these infections adequately. (Singleton, 2008). It is not surprising therefore that damage to virtually all bodily systems can result. Studies have shown that co-infection results in more sever clinical presentation, with more organ damage and the pathogens become more difficult to eradicate In addition, it is known that certain co-infections, are immunosuppressive as is Lyme Borreliosis.

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References

Burrascano Jr. M.D., D. (2008). Advanced Topics in Lyme Diease. 16th Ed.
McFadzeab, N. and Burrascano, J. (2012) The beginner’s guide to lyme disease. South Lake Tahoe, Calif: BioMed Publishing Group.

Singleton K. (2008). The Lyme Disease Solution. Charleston, SC: BookSurge.