Many Lyme disease patients have other chronic infections, which seem to play a significant role in their symptoms. Lyme-specialist doctors believe the existence of co-infections may be the reason why so many Lyme patients are very difficult to cure. The collection of these various infections make up the chronic condition John Caudwell has nicknamed “LymeCo”.
A co-infection survey
Caudwell Lyme Disease is running the first patient survey in the UK, to find out which co-infections Lyme disease patients have been diagnosed with.
Please complete the survey online if you have been diagnosed with Lyme disease and live in the UK.
survey results so far
The survey remains open, and results will be updated as they accumulate. These results are based on the first 200 respondents to the survey.
The survey is so far indicating that 94% of UK patients with Lyme disease have at least one co-infection. Despite this high level, 75% of patients who have responded to the survey so far have reported that they do NOT feel they have been fully assessed or tested for all likely co-infections.
The following co-infections are, so far, appearing to be the most common:
Opportunistic and tick-borne infections
Some of these Lyme disease co-infections are spread by ticks. Others are opportunistic infections, which may be short-lived in the healthy population but which become chronic infections in people already affected by Lyme disease whose immune systems are compromised.
Ticks carry a large variety of bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Many of them are classified as “zoonotic” disease, in other words diseases that affect animals, yet they are able to infect humans as well and they cause similar symptoms to those they cause in animals.
What are the co-infections?
The following is a list of some of the co-infections that may affect UK Lyme disease patients:
Anaplasmosis – Anasplasma
aspergillus niger (mould infection, don’t choose if you have an allergy but not an infection)
Babesiosis – Babesia
Bartonella quintana (Trench Fever)
Chlamydophila Pneumonia (chlamydia pneumonia)
Colorado tick fever
Coxsackie virus A
Coxsackie virus B
Eastern tick-borne Rickettsiosis
Ehrlichiosis – Ehrlichia
Epstein Barr virus
Giardia lamblia (giardiasis)
Herpes Simplex type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2)
Human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) type A or B
Human papilloma virus
Mycoplasmosis- Mycoplasma pneumonia
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Tickborne Relapsing Fever
West Nile virus
For more detailed information on some of the more widespread tick-borne infections, please read the article Other tick-borne infections