Archive for the ‘Anaplasmosis’ Category

TBD Serochip Will Identify Six Tick Borne Pathogens


First Multiplex Test for Tick-Borne Diseases


A new blood test called the Tick-Borne Disease Serochip (TBD Serochip) promises to revolutionize the diagnosis of tick-borne disease by offering a single test to identify and distinguish between Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen responsible for Lyme disease, and seven other tick-borne pathogens. Led by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the research team reports details on the new test in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

The researchers—who also include scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Roche Sequencing Solutions, Farmingdale State College, and Stony Brook University—sought to improve on existing tests for tick-borne diseases (TBDs), which have limited diagnostic accuracy and cannot test for more than one infection simultaneously. Currently, diagnosis of Lyme disease, the most common TBD, requires two separate tests. This cumbersome approach also relies on subjective criteria for the interpretation of results, and accurately identifies fewer than 40 percent of patients with early disease and results in false positives 28 percent of the time. The accuracy of the method used to diagnose TBDs Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia varies widely among testing laboratories. And for other tick-borne agents, specific blood tests are not yet available, or in the case of the potentially deadly Powassan virus or Heartland virus, are only performed in specialized laboratories.

“The number of Americans diagnosed with tick-borne disease is steadily increasing as tick populations have expanded geographically,” says Rafal Tokarz, PhD. “Each year, approximately 3 million clinical specimens are tested for TBDs in the U.S. Nonetheless, the true incidence of TBDs is likely greatly underestimated, as patients with presumed TBDs are rarely tested for the full range of tick-borne agents, and only a fraction of positive cases are properly reported,” adds Nischay Mishra, PhD. Co-lead authors Tokarz and Mishra are associate research scientists in the Center for Infection and Immunity.

The TBD Serochip can simultaneously test for the presence of antibodies in blood to more than 170,000 individual protein fragments. Version 1.0 can identify exposure to eight tick-borne pathogens present in the U.S., including Anaplasma phagocytophilum (agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis), Babesia microti (babesiosis), Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Borrelia miyamotoi, Ehrlichia chaffeensis (human monocytic ehrlichiosis), Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever), Heartland virus and Powassan virus. The researchers also included Long Island tick rhabdovirus, a novel virus they recently discovered in Amblyomma americanum ticks. As new tick-borne infectious agents are discovered, the TBD-Serochip will be modified to target them—a process the researchers say can be done in less than four weeks.

The TBD Serochip is also able to identify whether an individual is infected with more than one tick-borne pathogen. Individual ticks are frequently infected with more than one agent; Ixodes scapularis ticks alone can transmit at least five human pathogens. Evidence of exposure to other tick-borne pathogens in patients with Lyme disease has been well documented. In the new paper, the researchers report finding antibodies to another agent in 26 percent of blood specimens from patients with TBD.

In addition to its utility as a diagnostic platform, the TBD Serochip also provides a powerful research tool for studies of TBDs. The technology can be employed to discriminate individual antibody responses in patients with TBD and thus examine the interplay of TBD agents on disease manifestation and progression. It can also be used to assess the impact of genetic diversity of tick-borne pathogens on the host immune response.

“Diagnosing tick-borne illness is a difficult journey for patients, delaying effecting treatment,” says senior author W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of CII and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “The TBD Serochip promises to make diagnosis far easier, offering a single, accurate test for eight different TBDs. Early detection of infection enables rapid and appropriate treatment.”

Co-authors include Thomas Briese, Teresa Tagliafierro, Stephen Sameroff, Adrian Caciula, Lokendrasingh Chauhan, of CII; Jigar Patel and Eric Sullivan of Roche Sequencing Solutions, Madison, WI; Azad Gucwa of Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale, NY; Brian Fallon of Columbia University; Marc Golightly of Stony Brook University; Claudia Molins and Martin Schriefer of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Adriana Marques of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

This study was funded through grants from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (AI109761). The content of study does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government. CII has filed an invention report and provisional patent application for the technology.

Multiflora Rose Invasion Amplifies Prevalence of Lyme Disease Pathogen but Not Necessarily Lyme Disease Risk

Multiflora rose invasion amplifies prevalence of Lyme disease pathogen, but not necessarily Lyme disease risk.

Adalsteinsson SA, et al. Parasit Vectors. 2018.


BACKGROUND: Forests in urban landscapes differ from their rural counterparts in ways that may alter vector-borne disease dynamics. In urban forest fragments, tick-borne pathogen prevalence is not well characterized; mitigating disease risk in densely-populated urban landscapes requires understanding ecological factors that affect pathogen prevalence. We trapped blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) nymphs in urban forest fragments on the East Coast of the United States and used multiplex real-time PCR assays to quantify the prevalence of four zoonotic, tick-borne pathogens. We used Bayesian logistic regression and WAIC model selection to understand how vegetation, habitat, and landscape features of urban forests relate to the prevalence of B. burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease) among blacklegged ticks.

RESULTS: In the 258 nymphs tested, we detected Borrelia burgdorferi (11.2% of ticks), Borrelia miyamotoi (0.8%) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum (1.9%), but we did not find Babesia microti (0%). Ticks collected from forests invaded by non-native multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) had greater B. burgdorferi infection rates (mean = 15.9%) than ticks collected from uninvaded forests (mean = 7.9%). Overall, B. burgdorferi prevalence among ticks was positively related to habitat features (e.g. coarse woody debris and total understory cover) favorable for competent reservoir host species.

CONCLUSIONS: Understory structure provided by non-native, invasive shrubs appears to aggregate ticks and reservoir hosts, increasing opportunities for pathogen transmission. However, when we consider pathogen prevalence among nymphs in context with relative abundance of questing nymphs, invasive plants do not necessarily increase disease risk. Although pathogen prevalence is greater among ticks in invaded forests, the probability of encountering an infected tick remains greater in uninvaded forests characterized by thick litter layers, sparse understories, and relatively greater questing tick abundance in urban landscapes.


The title makes me chuckle.  It’s like saying, “There’s a bus coming your direction but it may not hit you.”  

What I say, “Move now!”

More on Ticks & vegetation: Work by others has shown invasives such as honeysuckle (lone star), Japanese Barberry (I. scapulars), and unpublished data on Buckthorn (I. scapulars) are related to tick abundance.






Blacklegged Tick – Increasing Public Health Concern

  • The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is becoming more widespread in the eastern United States.
  • The number of I. scapularis-borne microorganisms recognized to be pathogenic in humans is increasing.
  • The incidence of I. scapularis-borne disease cases continues to increase.

The geographic distribution of human cases of I. scapularis-borne diseases is expanding.

There is a critical need for control approaches with proven capacity to reverse the growing public health problem imposed by I. scapularis.

In the United States, the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is a vector of seven human pathogens, including those causing Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi disease, Powassan virus disease, and ehrlichiosis associated with Ehrlichia muris eauclarensis.

In addition to an accelerated rate of discovery of I. scapularis-borne pathogens over the past two decades, the geographic range of the tick, and incidence and range of I. scapularis-borne disease cases, have increased. Despite knowledge of when and where humans are most at risk of exposure to infected ticks, control of I. scapularis-borne diseases remains a challenge. Human vaccines are not available, and we lack solid evidence for other prevention and control methods to reduce human disease. The way forward is discussed.



Hopefully this memo is getting out to practitioners so that long-gone are the days where a patient is told, “It can’t be Lyme because there isn’t any Lyme here.”

Feel free to copy this article and show it to health practitioners.  They NEED to know what we all have known for decades.

See the blue link in the beginning of the article for graphs and images.  For some reason I wasn’t able to upload them here.  Again, all data needs to be viewed with skepticism for a myriad of reasons, the main one being that everything regarding TBI’s is underreported and even the CDC acknowledges this – which demonstrates how severe the problem truly is.

Promising research testing for ALL bacteria in ticks:

We need to know:

Bb Persistence, if it’s a STD, it can be spread congenitally, via breast milk, urine and body fluids, other possible vectors such as mosquitoes and spiders, how to kill these suckers without killing ourselves and pets, and many other issues that have either been ignored completely or the science is so old is has dust on it.


Presentation on Wisconsin Tick Control- Dr. Paskewitz

Approx. 38 Min.  Jan 16, 2018

Public Tick IPM Working Group: Dr. Paskewitz presentation on the Upper Midwest

She states we have at least a three fold increase of tick borne disease in Wisconsin since the 1990’s.  Anaplasmosis has increased as well.
She also states hardly anything has been done about tick control in Wisconsin and that they must rely on East Coast tick control research – which is unfortunate as there may be significant differences in a host of issues.
Work by others has shown invasives such as honeysuckle (lone star), Japanese Barberry (I. scapulars),
and unpublished data on Buckthorn (I. scapulars) are related to tick abundance.  
Tick tubes have shown conflicting results.

For more on Paskewitz:

More on Wisconsin Ticks and Tick borne illnesses:

More on Ticks:




Nearly 30% of Ticks on Italian Dogs Found to be infected with Tick-borne Pathogens

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

Molecular Survey on Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilumBorrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and Babesia spp. in Ixodes ricinus Ticks Infesting Dogs in Central Italy

Morganti Giulia, Gavaudan Stefano, Canonico Cristina, Ravagnan Silvia, Olivieri Emanuela, Diaferia Manuela, Marenzoni Maria Luisa, Antognoni Maria Teresa, Capelli Gioia, Silaghi Cornelia, and Veronesi Fabrizia.

Online Ahead of Print: October 12, 2017


Dogs are a common feeding hosts for Ixodes ricinus and may act as reservoir hosts for zoonotic tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) and as carriers of infected ticks into human settings. The aim of this work was to evaluate the presence of several selected TBPs of significant public health concern by molecular methods in I. ricinus recovered from dogs living in urban and suburban settings in central Italy.

A total of 212 I. ricinus specimens were collected from the coat of domestic dogs. DNA was extracted from each specimen individually and tested for Rickettsia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Babesia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, using real-time and conventional PCR protocols, followed by sequencing.

Sixty-one ticks (28.8%) tested positive for TBPs; 57 samples were infected by one pathogen, while four showed coinfections. Rickettsia spp. was detected in 39 specimens (18.4%), of which 32 were identified as Rickettsia monacensis and seven as Rickettsia helvetica. Twenty-two samples (10.4%) tested positive for A. phagocytophilum; Borrelia lusitaniae and Borrelia afzelii were detected in two specimens and one specimen, respectively. One tick (0.5%) was found to be positive for Babesia venatorum (EU1).

Our findings reveal the significant exposure of dogs to TBPs of public health concern and provide data on the role of dogs in the circulation of I. ricinus-borne pathogens in central Italy.


For more:

Anaplasmosis Nightmare,519151  Jeffrey L. Diamond: My tick bite nightmare: Part 1, September 12, 2017 

RICHMOND — Anaplasmosis. What in God’s name is Anaplasmosis? Until I was stricken, I had never heard of this sometimes deadly tick-borne disease. Sure, everybody knows about Lyme disease, but few of us know anything about the other dozen or so tick-borne infections including Anaplasmosis.

Since 1999, the Center for Disease Control has tracked tens of thousands of cases fueling concern that it’s snowballing into a nationwide epidemic. Anaplasmosis is caused by a bacterium called Anaplasma phagocytophilum that’s carried by a blacklegged tick. The onset of symptoms usually takes a little over a week. Some people weather the infection without ever being diagnosed only suffering cold or flu-like symptoms. Others are diagnosed from a blood test and are placed on a regimen of doxycyline and never think twice about it.

But five percent of us suffer far more dangerous symptoms requiring hospitalization. And about one percent die from Anaplasmosis within a month. I was one of those five percent who landed in the hospital and probably would have died from the disease without the quick thinking of my primary care physician.

My nightmare began sometime in late May — though I have no memory of being bitten and never found the tick. I live on a mountain in Richmond surrounded by dense forest and thick underbrush. I love taking long walks through the woods and often spend hours on my back porch with a cup of coffee engrossed in a good book.

It was Saturday, June 3, when my first symptoms appeared. My wife, Amy, and I were at my granddaughter’s sixth birthday in Brooklyn, N.Y. I developed a mild headache and didn’t think much about it nor the fact that my breathing was labored. I suffer from chronic asthma, so I used my emergency inhaler to control the wheezing.

After the party, I drove home in a fog, my chest growing tighter, my breathing getting worse. After a late dinner I sat down in our library to watch a baseball game, but I couldn’t follow the action or understand the announcer.

Trip to the ER

So I made my way to our bedroom, the room spinning, the furniture appearing to move as I stripped off my clothes. I slept fitfully for a few hours before waking, my head pounding, my body shaking. I remember stumbling out of bed and walking directly into the wall.

Amy awoke and flipped on a lamp then asked me what was wrong. Blinded by the light, I told her I wasn’t feeling well then headed to the bathroom where I took two Motrin, splashed water on my face, and staggered back to bed.

I slept fitfully until 9 a.m., when I got up in a pool of sweat, my headache worse. I remember grabbing onto the furniture so I wouldn’t fall as I looked for a digital thermometer. That’s when I discovered I had a fever of a 101, so I took two more Motrin and slept another four hours, before Amy came into the bedroom and handed me a cup of coffee. Feeling weaker, I remember looking into her eyes and saying that I needed to go to the emergency room.

I don’t remember the 20-minute drive to Berkshire Medical Center, but I do remember needing Amy’s help to walk into the hospital. The next five hours were dreamlike as a parade of people examined me. A nurse drew blood and whisked it off to the lab. Another nurse took my blood pressure, checked my pulse and oxygen levels and my temperature which was just over 100. Then an ER doctor listened to my labored breathing through a stethoscope. I couldn’t focus on her questions, so Amy took over and explained my symptoms and that I suffered from asthma, the doctor ordering a chest x-ray to see if I had pneumonia and a nasal swab to check if I had the flu.

Hours passed as I lay on a gurney in a deathlike sleep wondering what was wrong, before the doctor told us there was no bacterial infection. But she said my blood test showed a low platelet count and an elevated D-Dimer, so she ordered a CAT SCAN to check for blood clots in my lungs. But the CAT SCAN, like the chest X-ray, was negative, and after five hours of waiting, we were told I probably had a virus that would run its course in a couple of days, and that she was sending me home without an antibiotic.

I was too sick to argue, but Amy protested that I needed to be hospitalized for more testing, that I was sicker than she’d ever seen me. But the doctor just repeated there was no reason to keep me overnight. Did she make a mistake? In my view, the answer is yes.

But even more confounding, I was never tested for a tick-borne disease even though my symptoms were classic and the problem is epidemic in the Berkshires.  I asked a BMC spokesperson why this isn’t a standard test, but to date I’ve received no answer.

If my emergency room doctor had only acted on these basic warning signs, I might have avoided the medical crisis that was soon to follow.,519235  Jeffrey L. Diamond: My tick bite nightmare: Part 2, September 13, 2017 

RICHMOND — My battle with the tick-borne disease, Anaplasmosis, is a warning for all of us here in the Berkshires. Unlike Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis often strikes with crippling speed, and if not treated quickly, can snowball out of control.

That’s what happened to me when I came down with the infection this spring. I pick up my story after being sent home undiagnosed from the emergency room at Berkshire Medical Center on June 4.

My condition continued to deteriorate the next day, the pounding in my head intensifying, my breathing more labored, my temperature soaring to 103. That’s when my wife, Amy, made an appointment with my primary care physician, Dr. Karen Prestwood.

As we left our home in Richmond on Tuesday, June 6, I could barely stand. I have vague memories of stumbling into the doctor’s office and of Dr. Prestwood sitting at the computer reviewing the test results from my visit to the emergency room two days before.

After noting the timeline of my symptoms, she told us I might be suffering from a tick-borne disease — the first time a doctor had raised that possibility. So she ordered a blood test to confirm her suspicion and placed me on doxycyline, a decision that probably saved my life.

The following day, June 7, was a nightmare. My mind, ravaged by the high fever, was delusional, spiraling from one hallucination to the next. Amy moved me down to the guest bedroom on the first floor worried I could no longer manage the steps. I spent most of the day sleeping, waking at 2 a.m. Thursday morning needing to use the bathroom. I remember climbing out of bed, the room spinning, then wobbling across the floor and into the bathroom. That’s when I fell for the first time, landing in the bathtub.

I remember calling Amy for help, but she was upstairs and couldn’t hear me. I began coughing uncontrollably, my lungs burning as I steadied myself against a wall, climbed out of the tub, and headed to the toilet. That’s when a

new dangerous symptom reared its ugly head. Even with my bladder about to burst, I could only pass a trickle of urine.

Later that day, June 8, my fever climbed to 103.5 and my lungs began filling with fluid. Amy placed a call to my pulmonologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who asked me if I was strong enough to make the trip to Boston so he could examine me, but I was so incoherent, he stopped me mid-sentence and told me to head straight back to the emergency room.

New crisis point

So we made our second trip to Berkshire Medical Center, Dr. Prestwood calling ahead to tell them to expect me. I was processed immediately and taken to an exam room. A nurse hooked me up to an IV, took my vitals, then drew blood. I remember being in a daze and desperately needing to urinate. The nurse gave me a urinal, but all I passed was a stream of blood. I had reached a new crisis point. My renal system was hemorrhaging.

I remember Amy racing out of the room for help and returning a few minutes later with the doctor. He immediately ordered a catheter to empty my bladder and said I was going into kidney failure — though he still had no idea why I was sick. He decided to continue the doxycyline treatments ordered by Dr. Prestwood for a possible tick bite infection as he awaited the results of her blood test — still not back from the lab after three days — and admitted me to the hospital for observation.

It wasn’t until the next morning, Friday, June 9, almost a week after I first got sick, that the attending doctor in the hospital confirmed what Dr. Prestwood had suspected, that I was suffering from Anaplasmosis. Finally, I knew what was wrong with me.

I spent the next four days in the hospital, my body slowly healing. By late Saturday, June 10, I was breathing better, my kidneys were improving, there was no blood in my urine, and my fever and headache were gone. Then on Monday, June 12, the catheter was removed and my bladder began working on its own. The doxycyline had done its job. Later that day, I was discharged to the Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center where I spent three days building upper body strength and learning to walk again.

Now almost three months after coming down with Anaplasmosis, I’m still suffering lingering side effects. I’m always exhausted, have double vision from a condition called optic neuritis, and face months before I fully recover.

So my experience with this tick bite nightmare is a warning for all of us. Many in the medical community are ill-equipped to deal with the problem, and if my wife hadn’t insisted I see my primary care physician after I was turned away from the emergency room on that first day I was sick, I might have died from the infection.

So the lesson here is simple. We all need to understand the dangers. In the end, it could save your life.

An author, award-winning producer, and director, Jeffrey L. Diamond has 40 years of experience in television news.



A harrowing story for sure.  Please spread the word about all things TBI (tick borne illness).  Mainstream medicine is ill equipped for sure, not recognizing and understanding that a tick’s gut can contain numerous pathogens which complicate our cases exponentially. (There are many more than 6)

 The CDC/IDSA mono therapy of 21 days of doxy only works for acute cases, and sometimes not even then.

Besides numerous pathogens adding to the complexity, the CDC STILL does not recognize Bb (Borrelia burgdorferi – the causative agent of LD) is pleomorphic and shape shifts, requiring various antibiotics to kill each form as well as the role of biofilms, a colony-like form protecting the pathogens, that few antibiotics can penetrate.

More on Anaplasma Treatment:

For more on Lyme treatment:


Start Treatment if TBI’s are Suspected  Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2017 July;84(7):555-567


  • Tickborne illnesses should be considered in patients with known or potential tick exposure presenting with fever or vague constitutional symptoms in tick-endemic regions.
  • Given that tick-bite history is commonly unknown, absence of a known tick bite does not exclude the diagnosis of a tick-borne illness.
  • Starting empiric treatment is usually warranted before the diagnosis of tickborne illness is confirmed.
  • Tick avoidance is the most effective measure for preventing tickborne infections.


The article delineates symptoms, transmission, reservoirs, testing, and treatment of the following TBI’s:  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Rickettsiosis, Ehrlichioses, Babesiosis, Tickborne relapsing fever, Borrelia miyamotoi, Southern Tick-associated Rash illness, Tularemia, and Tickborne viral infections.



I need to address the following statements at the end of the article:

“Knowledge of the geographic locations of potential exposure is paramount to determining which tickborne infections to consider, and the absence of a tick bite history should not exclude the diagnosis in the correct clinical presentation.

Clinicians need to tread carefully here.  Many patients have been denied testing and treatment due to a map.  These maps should be viewed with the same suspicion as the testing.  




Until you tell the fox, squirrel, bird, deer, lizards, and hundreds of other reservoirs to stay put, ticks will be traveling everywhere along with the pathogens they carry.  Since Lyme Disease (borrelia) has been found in every continent except for Antarctia (it will be found there too), you can assume that means ticks are there too.  

I’m glad the authors stated this:

In addition, it is important to recognize the limitations of diagnostic testing for many tickborne infections; empiric treatment is most often warranted before confirming the diagnosis.”132_fail316x316

For those of us in this war, this “empiric treatment” by mainstream medicine is new.  Patient after patient has had to wait for test results before doctors will treat them.  Often, since the testing is so poor, it comes back negative and the patient is sent packing, even if the patient has every symptom in the book.  The next step is for authorities to admit and acknowledge that diagnosis of Tick borne infections is a clinical one.  This means doctors need to learn a whole lot more.  For docs willing to learn, please see:

Even the CDC admits the tests suck: CDC spokesperson at end of video.

Another very important point needs to be made.  The CDC has pushed this one pathogen for one tick mantra for too long.  Many patients are co-infected making cases infinitely more complex and challenging to treat.  Lyme literate doctors trained by ILADS understand this and treat accordingly.  Until mainstream medicine realizes and admits people can have numerous pathogens, and treat for them, people will not get better.  This is why all the doxycycline in the world will not help some patients.


One last point is that mycoplasma, Bartonella, and other pathogens are not included here but are quite common in patients.  Many of these pathogens are persistent and are adept at surviving.  More research needs to be done on these co-infections.

Please see:  If ticks are co-infected, so are patients.