Archive for the ‘Anaplasmosis’ Category

Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia odocoilei, Babesia sp., Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, and Hepatozoon canis in Ixodes scapularis Ticks Collected in Eastern Canada

Scott et al. 2021, 5 pathogens-1

Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia odocoilei, Babesia sp., Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato, and Hepatozoon canis in Ixodes scapularis Ticks Collected in Eastern Canada

John D. Scott 1,* and Risa R. Pesapane 2,3
Received: 27 August 2021
Accepted: 21 September 2021
Published: 1 October 2021


Tick-borne pathogens cause infectious diseases that inflict much societal and financial hardship worldwide. Blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, are primary vectors of several epizootic and
zoonotic pathogens. The aim sets forth the pathogens and their prevalence. In Ontario and Quebec,
113 I. scapularis ticks were collected from songbirds, mammals, including humans, and by flagging.
PCR and DNA sequencing detected five different microorganisms:

  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum,1 (0.9%)
  • Babesia odocoilei, 17 (15.3%)
  • Babesia microti-like sp., 1 (0.9%)
  • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl), 29 (26.1%)
  • Hepatozoon canis, 1 (0.9%)

Five coinfections of Bbsl and Babesia odocoilei occurred. Notably, H. canis was documented for the first time in Canada and, at the same time, demonstrates the first transstadial passage of H. canis in I. scapularis. Transstadial passage of Bbsl and B. odocoilei was also witnessed. A novel undescribed piroplasm (Babesia microti-like) was detected. An established population of I. scapularis ticks was detected at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. Because songbirds widely disperse I. scapularis larvae and nymphs, exposure in an endemic area is not required to contract tick-borne zoonoses. Based on the diversity of zoonotic pathogens in I. scapularis ticks, clinicians need to be aware that people who are bitten by I. scapularis ticks may require select antimicrobial regimens.

Single Tick Bite Leads to 3 Diseases in Elderly Woman

Single tick bite leads to 3 diseases in elderly woman

Health aid helping old woman in bed who had a tick bite and Lyme disease.

In their article “Triple Tick Attack,” doctors describe the case of a 74-year-old woman living in Connecticut who developed three tick-borne diseases as the result of a single tick bite. While Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness, ticks can transmit other bacterium, causing various “co-infections,” which can be difficult to diagnose.

The woman was an avid gardener, who had a history of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and high blood pressure. She was admitted to the hospital with dyspnea, fatigue, and a cough productive of yellowish mucoid sputum.

The patient also had significant altered mental status, pallor, and peripheral edema. A lung examination revealed bibasilar crackles, Kumar explains. [1]

She was treated empirically for community-acquired pneumonia, and was prescribed ceftriaxone and azithromycin.

The woman no history of a rash or tick bite. However, lab tests later revealed the presence of 3 tick-borne pathogens.

“We present a case of triple infection with babesiosis, Lyme disease, and anaplasmosis treated with antibiotics and red blood cell (RBC) exchange (erythrocytapheresis).”¹

1) Babesia − This tick-borne disease is caused by a tiny parasite that infects the red blood cells.

“A peripheral blood smear revealed the presence of intracytoplasmic parasites consistent with Babesia,” writes Kumar. Consequently, the woman was started on azithromycin and atovaquone.

Further testing revealed that she had severe babesiosis. Her parasitic load was so high (9.04%) that she required a red blood cell (RBC) exchange (erythrocytapheresis).

Repeat testing, however, found the parasitic load remained high (6.54%), which required a second round of RBC exchange.

“Antimicrobials were changed to clindamycin, quinine, and doxycycline for a total of 14 days,” writes Kumar.

2) Borrelia burgdorferi − The bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Serologic tests were positive. The patient was prescribed doxycycline.

3) Anaplasma − The bacteria that causes anaplasmosis, formerly known as human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE). The patient’s anaplasma titers were positive.

“Patients presenting with an atypical clinical picture of a single pathogen or a lack of improvement with antibiotics after 48 hours require further testing for the presence of other infections,” the authors suggest. “A delay in the diagnosis can lead to an increased risk of complications and disease duration.”

In another case report, Grant and colleagues describe a 70-year-old man who presented to the emergency room with “fevers, ankle edema and nausea following a presumed insect bite on his ankle 1 month prior.”²

Test results revealed the man was positive for Lyme disease, Babesia microti, and Anaplasmosis.

His symptoms resolved completely following treatment with doxycycline, atovaquone and azithromycin.

The authors suggest, “Co-infection with Lyme disease and another tick-borne illness is common, and testing for co-infection should be performed in patients with >24 hours of symptoms despite appropriate treatment, as well as unexplained laboratory abnormalities.”

Tick-borne Diseases in the Time of COVID

My Turn: Tick-borne diseases in the time of COVID


Published: 8/18/2021

In early July, I was hoping my husband Brian, who was feeling uncharacteristically under the weather, would bounce back to his hardy self soon, so we could rent an AirBnB on a lake or a beach for a few days.

By the end of the month, I just wanted him to get better.

We were increasingly anxious to find out what was causing his pillow-soaking sweats, violent chills, head and neck aches and extreme fatigue as one week, then a second, and half of the third week went by. Despite two visits to an urgent care clinic, a diagnosis of cellulitis and an antibiotic, he was getting worse. An emergency room doctor at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, for whom we are deeply, deeply grateful, eventually identified the culprit. But it was a confounding journey leading up to the revelation. Living in the shadow of COVID, as we all are, didn’t help.

The idea that Brian could be one of the unlucky minority of the fully vaccinated to get a breakthrough infection was always on his mind. He had had three COVID tests which all proved negative — a relief on the one hand, he said, but a little bittersweet, because if he had COVID, at least we would know what was wrong with him. (See link for article)



This article is important for numerous reasons.

  1. Not everything is COVID
  2. I find it interesting that these symptoms all cropped up after he’d been “fully vaccinated” for COVID. Vaccines purposely lower the immune system so that it then mounts an immune response to whatever is injected into the body. This vaccination chain of events has reactivated latent tick-borne infections in people.  
  3. Having swollen and red toes, elevated liver enzymes, and erratic temperature fluctuations are all fairly hallmark symptoms of tick-borne illness.
  4. Cellulitis is a common misdiagnosis.
  5. The doctor thankfully recognized the symptoms and commented that they had seen a lot of tick-borne diseases – not just Lyme at the hospital this summer.
  6. Blood tests revealed the patient had Babesia, Anaplasmosis, and Lyme disease. This guy was lucky and won the jack-pot.  Patients are often seronegative due to abysmal testing and never get diagnosed.
  7. This man needs lengthy follow-up as all of these infections are notoriously persistent.

With Three Invasive Tick Species Thriving in Connecticut, State Scientist Warns of Major Public Health Hazard

With three invasive tick species thriving in Connecticut, state scientist warns of major public health hazard

Stratford, Ct. - 08/13/2021 - Dr. Goudarz Molaei, with Connecticut's Agricultural Experiment Station, searches for ticks trapped on a canvas dragged through shoreline vegetation. Photograph by Mark Mirko |
Stratford, Ct. – 08/13/2021 – Dr. Goudarz Molaei, with Connecticut’s Agricultural Experiment Station, searches for ticks trapped on a canvas dragged through shoreline vegetation. Photograph by Mark Mirko | (Mark Mirko/The Hartford Courant)

State scientist Goudarz Molaei pulled a square of cloth through brush and grass on the Stratford coast recently, then stopped and pointed to a crawling smear of larvae on the white fabric.

The tiny arachnids were either Gulf Coast or lone star ticks, two of three invasive species, along with the Asian long-horned tick, that have recently established footholds in Connecticut.

First seen only in pockets near the coast, the blood-sucking, disease-carrying ticks have spread into other parts of the state. Compared with past years, many more worried residents and visitors have submitted ticks to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, mostly deer ticks that may carry Lyme disease, Molaei said. The tally so far in 2021 is 4,700 tick submissions to the testing laboratory, compared with a total annual average of 3,000 submissions.

Milder winters and warmer temperatures overall are helping the ticks survive and thrive in Connecticut.

“This is going to be a major public health concern in the near future, if it is not already,” Molaei said.  (See link for article)



Important takeaways:

  • Previously only .2% of submitted ticks were lone star ticks which increased to 4.2% this year. They transmit ehrlichiosis, STARI, spotted fever rickettsiosis, tularemia, Alpha-gal allergy, and Heartland and Bourbon Viruses.
  • The researcher states that it’s a matter of time before the entire state of Connecticut will be infested with Asian long-horned tick – the tick that can reproduce by cloning. It is supposedly less attracted to human skin but can spread diseases that make both animals and humans seriously ill.
  • The Gulf Coast tick overwintered successfully in Connecticut but currently is limited to coastal areas.  Thirty percent tested there were infected with rickettsiosis, which is similar to but less serious than Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • The deer tick, or blacklegged tick transmits Lyme disease and is active any time temperatures are above freezing.  All life stages bite humans.
  • The following percentages of ticks were sent to the Experiment Station this year:
    • 72.8% deer ticks (32% were positive for Lyme, 10% for Babesia, 4% for Anaplasmosis – and 2% tested positive for at least 2 disease agents concurrently)
    • 23.1% American dog ticks
    • the rest were lone star ticks

US Health Officials Warn a Lesser-Known Tick-Borne Infection is On The Up

US Health Officials Warn A Lesser-Known Tick-Borne Infection Is On The Up

By Tom Hale

07 JUL 2021

A little-known and rare tick-borne disease is on the rise in the US. Known as anaplasmosis, the bacterial disease is spread to people by tick bites, primarily from the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus), two species associated with the better-known infection of Lyme disease. 

Health officials in New York’s Onondaga County recently reported an unexpected case of anaplasmosis in Central New York. They also explained that recent years have seen an uptick (excuse the pun) of cases of this once-rare disease in the area. While a total of three cases were reported in Onondaga County from 2015 to 2020, there have been six reported cases so far this year. 

“In New York state, the disease is spread by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), which is the same type of tick that typically spreads Lyme disease,” Dr Indu Gupta, health commissioner of Onondaga County, said in a statement. “If we are diligent in practicing the same prevention measures we’ve learned to prevent Lyme disease, we are protecting ourselves from other tickborne diseases including anaplasmosis.” 

(See link for article)



The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests a similar rise of anaplasmosis is being seen across the country.

The article states that if you see a rash, get to your doctor.  (Many never get a rash and are still infected)

I would state get to your doctor for ANY known tick-bite and request prophylactic treatment.

It is widely known and accepted that prompt diagnosis and treatment is crucial and if treatment is delayed, Anaplasmosis can cause severe illness involving:

  • respiratory failure
  • bleeding problems
  • organ failure
  • death

Treatment for Anaplasmosis is doxycycline which has the advantage of treating numerous tick borne illnesses such as:

  • Lyme (borrelia)
  • Ehrlichia, Anaplasma
  • Q Fever
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

ILADS states the downside is that Doxy causes significant sun sensitization, can be hard on the stomach, and the usual dosing may not reach therapeutic levels. 

Recent data suggests that treatment may not clear organisms in animals.