Co - Infections

Coinfection by ticks: More the rule than the exception.

Before entering this section, we would like to clarify that, in this chapter, everything written corresponds to extracts from medical/scientific studies published in scientific journals. The texts in quotation marks are the translation of these extracts with their corresponding links. 

The texts without quotation marks serve as an introduction to the mentioned extracts. The description of each co-infection is a summary of what has been said in several studies.

ALCE cannot and does not want to provide medical knowledge. It presents the most recent knowledge and research available and always referenced to medical/scientific publications.


As we explained in “Lyme in detail”, it is very common that Lyme patients have been infected with other pathogens that can be carried by ticks.

These other infections are called co-infections, a term that does not convince most specialists but, for lack of another one, is still used.

These co-infections deserve a separate chapter because of the variety of pathogens and the possible combinations between them and the complexity that all this entails both in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease.

Below we excerpt a few paragraphs from scientific studies dealing with this aspect of Lyme disease.

“Our results showed that co-infection occurred in nearly half of the infected ticks, and that the ticks could be infected with up to five pathogens.”

“Evidence of Bartonella sp. in scavenging adult and nymphal ixodes ricinus ticks from France and co-infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Babesia sp.”

“Babesia and Anaplasma can be transmitted within an hour.”

“Lyme disease and human granulocytic anaplasmosis co-infection: impact of case definition on co-infection rates and disease severity.”

“Whether different treatments are necessary when multiple pathogens coexist in the same patients, and whether simultaneous multiple co-infections change the accuracy of diagnoses for one or both infections, is poorly understood. The peer-reviewed literature suggests that, co-infection of a patient with Babesia and Borrelia or with Ehrlichia, Anaplasma and Borrelia results in increased symptoms and longer disease duration. Knowledge of how simultaneous co-infections may affect morbidity and mortality is crucial to improve treatment.”

 “…. co-infection by some or all of these microbes can make it difficult to diagnose Lyme disease. Being infected by more than one microbe can also affect how the immune system responds to Borrelia burgdorferi.”

“An issue of current concern, is polymicrobial infection and the increasing number of reported cases of co-infections in patients with critical illness. Although B. burgdorferi continues to be the most common tick-bite transmitted pathogen, co-infections with strains of Ehrlichia, Bartonella and Babesia are increasingly reported in patients with Lyme disease, particularly in those with chronic disease. Recent studies suggest that Lyme disease is more severe and resistant to treatment in co-infected patients, so concurrent detection and treatment of co-infections is mandatory.”

“Many studies have found ticks infected with two or more of these pathogens and this increased pathogen load can produce more serious symptoms and post-treatment sequelae.”

“Co-infections can exacerbate Lyme disease through modulation of the immune system and are considered the main cause of resistance to therapy. The importance of co-infections in the disease process, i.e., their pathogenicity compared to Lyme disease, has not been clarified. In cases of double or multiple infections, it is difficult to determine which infection predominates in the pathological process. There are significant overlaps between the clinical symptoms caused by co-infections and Lyme disease. Consequently, it may be difficult to unequivocally assign disease manifestations to existing infections. Difficulties in diagnosing Lyme disease and co-infections always refer to chronic Lyme disease.”

“In fact, human co-infections involving various combinations of these pathogens are common, and some tend to be particularly severe. Diagnostic procedures and clinical management of the resulting disease syndrome become complex because of the diversity of pathogens involved and the unusual diversity and duration of symptoms.”



It is difficult to diagnose, it does not produce any specific symptoms. The onset of anaplasmosis usually begins one week after a tick bite. It can be resolved with antibiotics by prompt administration of antibiotics just after the bite.

Definitive diagnosis is by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or immunostaining methods.

Unfortunately a cured late anaplasmosis leaves sequelae.

It can produce:

High fever accompanied by severe headaches (like stabbing), flu-like symptomatology, muscle aches and fatigue.


Definitive diagnosis is by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or immunostaining methods.

It can produce:

Severe neurological manifestations (migraines, encephalopathies, radiculitis, myelitis etc.).


Ophthalmological problems (neuroretinitis and loss of vision, sensitivity to light, etc.).

Sarcoidosis-like picture associated with erythematous and painful nodules.

Arthritis, osteolytic lesions.

Lymphatic pathology.

A characteristic manifestation is the striae that are very often confused with the striae associated with weight loss.

Pharyngeal plaques, pain in the soles of the feet, VEGF (+), behavioral disturbances, depression, agitation.


In most cases of infection it is asymptomatic but, under conditions of reduced immunity, it may take the form of an acute infection. Infected individuals may develop asymptomatic pneumonia without auscultatory changes and therefore often go unnoticed.

May be behind autoimmune reactions.

May produce:

Fatigue, joint pain, cognitive difficulties and headaches. It has also been shown to cause autoimmune reactions. Seems responsible for persistence of symptoms even after prolonged periods of antibiotic treatment.


Chlamydia can generate biofilm as does Borrelia b. Exacerbates Lyme symptoms. May produce:

Cough, mild sore throat. Linked to oligoarthritis and may exacerbate Lyme symptoms.


It can produce:

Nonspecific symptoms similar to flu-like infections, endocarditis, elevated transaminases.


Symptoms appear one to four weeks after the tick bite. They may last for a while, gradually fade and reappear.

It can also be contracted through a blood transfusion.

It shares symptoms with malaria such as excessive sweating.

It can cause:

Nonspecific symptomatology with malaise and weakness that is accompanied by fever, chills and excessive sweating. A typical symptom is “shortness of breath”. This parasite increases all typical Lyme symptoms: fatigue, joint pain, paraesthesias, headaches and cognitive dysfunctions. It also aggravates psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and behavioural disturbances.

In addition, due to an unbalanced immune system or bacterial load, viral infections can be reactivated and cause symptoms. Epstein-Barr and the herpes family such as Cytomegalovirus are frequently reactivated.

Video by Debra Rice for Lyme Disease Awareness Month, May 2019.

“A microbiologist did a live blood cell test on me. The work of a specialised lab confirmed the findings, with positive results for Borrelia burgdorferi: Lyme disease (CDC+Western Blot), Bartonella hensalae, Babesia microti and Babesia Duncani.”

“You will see the biofilm of the 3 forms of Borrelia in Lyme disease, plus Bartonella and Babesia to the end. Live blood cell analysis.”

Translation of the texts of the video by oden of the images:

1- This is what healthy blood looks like.

2- Red blood cells that do not overlap or stick together, and are uniform in color, size and shape. Without the presence of bacteria, parasites or unwanted masses flowing.

3- And now… look at what ticks can cause. Live blood cell analysis. Phase contrast microscopy, 5,000x magnification.

4- I was infected with Borrelia (Lyme) at age 11 and Babesia and Bartonella at age 25.

I was misdiagnosed until age 34.

The following is my blood at age 44.

5- This shows what is in a drop of my blood, after 10 years of oral and intravenous antibiotics, antiparasitics, antivirals and many other treatments.

6- Bartonella: can cause fatigue, tremors, headaches, enlarged lymph nodes, impaired balance, stretch marks on the skin, tender soles of the feet, blurred vision, neuropathy, memory loss, bone pain, rabies, heart problems, depression and much more.

7- Bartonella bacteria can live in red blood cells, safe from the immune system and antibiotics.

8- Above: healthy red blood cell. Below: Bartonella inside a red blood cell.

9- Babesia: can cause fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, excessive sweating, insomnia, shortness of breath, joint pain, easy bruising, nausea, anemia, heart problems, anxiety, sensitivity to light, “OCD”, depression and more.

10- Babesia parasites invade red blood cells, sometimes attacking the cell and destroying others.

11- Babesia still inside a red blood cell it destroyed.

12- Babesia inside a red blood cell that has enlarged and deformed.

13- It can cause fever, headache, erythema migrans or others, fatigue, muscle, joint and bone pain, memory loss, stiff neck, brain fog, neuropathy, heart problems, Bell’s palsy, dizziness, reduced impulse control, rapid mood swings, depression and much more.

14- The bacteria that causes Lyme comes in 3 different forms depending on the situation and environment.

1. Spirochete form.

2. Cell wall deficient form.

3. Cystic form.

15- A spirochete can penetrate into the brain, heart, muscle, eyes, cartilage, bone, etc.

It transforms into a cell wall-deficient bacterium or cyst when it senses a threat, such as a neutrophil (white blood cell that is the first line of defense of the immune system).

16- top left: spirochete transforms into a cell wall-deficient form.

center: spirochete

bottom left: Borrelia, cell wall deficient form.

bottom right: neutrophil (white blood cell).

17- The cell wall deficient form of Lyme and the cystic form are invisible to the immune system, unaffected by antibiotics, and do not revert to the spirochete form until the threats are gone.

They also generate biofilm and hide in it.

18- Biofilm:

Sticky, slimy colony of microbes, protected from the immune system and antibiotics. Microbes work together to survive and replicate.

Biofilm contains mainly bacteria, but can harbor protozoa, viruses, molds, metals and toxins.

19- Biofilm. Deficient cell wall form (moving gray spots and fat worms).

20- Biofilm. Cystic forms (immobile globules).

21- Biofilm. Spirochetal form (like a thin worm).

22- This is what chronic Lyme and co-infections can look like.

This is what a tick bite can do.

23- Biofilm contains any combination of bacteria, protozoa, viruses, yeast, molds, metals and toxins.

24- Educate, advocate, but above all …. protect yourself and your loved ones.

Translated with (free version)


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