Archive for the ‘Rickettsia’ Category

Study Shows Lyme/MSIDS Patients Infected With Many Pathogens and Explains Why We Are So Sick

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-34393-9?fbclid=IwAR3k-zPy2rJu8OuFl3HHqJ0twLPJvQrxiIUALUs0T-BuuJ50_1VQVwcflIQ (Please see comment at end of article)

Evaluating polymicrobial immune responses in patients suffering from tick-borne diseases

Kunal Garg, Leena Meriläinen, Ole Franz, Heidi Pirttinen, Marco Quevedo-Diaz, Stephen Croucher & Leona Gilbert
Scientific Reportsvolume 8, Article number: 15932 (2018)   https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-34393-9

Abstract
There is insufficient evidence to support screening of various tick-borne diseases (TBD) related microbes alongside Borrelia in patients suffering from TBD. To evaluate the involvement of multiple microbial immune responses in patients experiencing TBD we utilized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Four hundred and thirty-two human serum samples organized into seven categories followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention two-tier Lyme disease (LD) diagnosis guidelines and Infectious Disease Society of America guidelines for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. All patient categories were tested for their immunoglobulin M (IgM) and G (IgG) responses against 20 microbes associated with TBD. Our findings recognize that microbial infections in patients suffering from TBDs do not follow the one microbe, one disease Germ Theory as 65% of the TBD patients produce immune responses to various microbes. We have established a causal association between TBD patients and TBD associated co-infections and essential opportunistic microbes following Bradford Hill’s criteria. This study indicated an 85% probability that a randomly selected TBD patient will respond to Borrelia and other related TBD microbes rather than to Borrelia alone.

A paradigm shift is required in current healthcare policies to diagnose TBD so that patients can get tested and treated even for opportunistic infections.
Please see link for full article.  Snippets below:

Introduction
Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) have become a global public health challenge and will affect over 35% of the global population by 20501. The most common tick-borne bacteria are from the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) group. However, ticks can also transmit co-infections like Babesia spp.2, Bartonella spp.3, Brucella spp.4,5,6,7,8, Ehrlichia spp.9, Rickettsia spp.10,11, and tick-borne encephalitis virus12,13,14. In Europe and North America, 4–60% of patients with Lyme disease (LD) were co-infected with Babesia, Anaplasma, or Rickettsia11,15,16. Evidence from mouse and human studies indicate that pathogenesis by various tick-borne associated microbes15,16,17 may cause immune dysfunction and alter, enhance the severity, or suppress the course of infection due to the increased microbial burden18,19,20,21,22. As a consequence of extensive exposure to tick-borne infections15,16,17, patients may develop a weakened immune system22,23, and present evidence of opportunistic infections such as Chlamydia spp.24,25,26,27, Coxsackievirus28, Cytomegalovirus29, Epstein-Barr virus27,29, Human parvovirus B1924, and Mycoplasma spp.30,31. In addition to tick-borne co-infections and non-tick-borne opportunistic infections, pleomorphic Borrelia persistent forms may induce distinct immune responses in patients by having different antigenic properties compared to typical spirochetes32,33,34,35. Nonetheless, current LD diagnostic tools do not include Borrelia persistent forms, tick-borne co-infections, and non-tick-borne opportunistic infections.

The two-tier guidelines36,37,38 for diagnosing LD by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been challenged due to the omission of co-infections and non-tick-borne opportunistic infections crucial for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment39,40. Emerging diagnostic solutions have demonstrated the usefulness of multiplex assays to test for LD and tick-borne co-infections41,42. However, these new technologies do not address seroprevalence of non-tick-borne opportunistic infections in patients suffering from TBD and they are limited to certain co-infections41,42. Non-tick-borne opportunistic microbes can manifest an array of symptoms24,29 concerning the heart, kidney, musculoskeletal, and the central nervous system as seen in patients with Lyme related carditis43, nephritis44, arthritis45, and neuropathy46, respectively. Therefore, Chlamydia spp., Coxsackievirus, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, Human parvovirus B19, Mycoplasma spp., and other non-tick-borne opportunistic microbes play an important role in the differential diagnosis of LD24,29. As the current knowledge regarding non-tick-borne opportunistic microbes is limited to their use in differential diagnosis of LD, it is unclear if LD patients can present both tick-borne co-infections and non-tick-borne opportunistic infections simultaneously.

For the first time, we evaluate the involvement of Borrelia spirochetes, Borrelia persistent forms, tick-borne co-infections, and non-tick-borne opportunistic microbes together in patients suffering from different stages of TBD. To highlight the need for multiplex TBD assays in clinical laboratories, we utilized the Bradford Hill’s causal inference criteria47 to elucidate the likelihood and plausibility of TBD patients responding to multiple microbes rather than one microbe. The goal of this study is to advocate screening for various TBD microbes including non-tick-borne opportunistic microbes to decrease the rate of misdiagnosed or undiagnosed48 cases thereby increasing the health-related quality of life for the patients39, and ultimately influencing new treatment protocol for TBDs.

Results
Positive IgM and IgG responses by CDC defined acute, CDC late, CDC negative, PTLDS immunocompromised, and unspecific patients to 20 microbes associated with TBD (Fig. 1) were utilized to evaluate polymicrobial infections (Figs 2–4). Patient categories included CDC acute (n = 43), CDC late (n = 43), CDC negative (n = 46), PTLDS (n = 31), immunocompromised (n = 61), unspecific (n = 31), and healthy (n = 177).

Polymicrobial infections are present at all stages of tick-borne diseases.

Microbes include Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto persistent form, Borrelia afzelii persistent form, Borrelia garinii persistent form, Babesia microti, Bartonella henselae, Brucella abortus, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Rickettsia akari, Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), Chlamydia pneumoniae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma fermentans, and Human parvovirus B19 (HB19V).

In Fig. 2A, 51% and 65% of patients had IgM and IgG responses to more than one microbe, whereas 9% and 16% of patients had IgM and IgG responses to only one microbe, respectively. Immune responses to Borrelia persistent forms (all three species) for IgM and IgG were 5–10% higher compared to Borrelia spirochetes in all three species (Fig. 2B). Interestingly, the probability that a randomly selected patient will respond to Borrelia persistent forms rather than the Borrelia spirochetes (Fig. S2) is 80% (d = 1.2) for IgM and 68% for IgG (d = 0.7). Figure 2A and B indicated that IgM and IgG responses by patients from different stages of TBDs are not limited to only Borrelia spirochetes.

In Fig. 3 sub-inlets, more than 50% of the patients reacted to only the individual Borrelia strains suggesting that Borrelia antigens are not cross-reactive. If patients were cross-reacting among antigens, a larger percentage of the patients would be seen with the combination of all three species (Fig. S2). These results provide evidence to suggest that the inclusion of different Borrelia species and their morphologies in current LD diagnostic tools will improve its efficiency.

Discussions
The study outcome indicated that polymicrobial infections existed at all stages of TBD with IgM and IgG responses to several microbes (Fig. 2). Results presented in this study propose that infections in patients suffering from TBDs do not obey the one microbe one disease Germ Theory. Based on these results and substantial literature11,15,16,17,27,49,50,51 on polymicrobial infections in TBD patients, we examined the probability of a causal relationship between TBD patients and polymicrobial infections following Hill’s nine criteria47.

An average effect size of d = 1.5 for IgM and IgG (Fig. 4A) responses is considered very large52. According to common language effect size statistics53, d = 1.5 indicates 85% probability that a randomly selected patient will respond to Borrelia and other TBD microbes rather than to only Borrelia. Reports from countries such as Australia27, Germany49, Netherlands11, Sweden50, the United Kingdom51, the USA15,16, and others indicate that 4% to 60% of patients suffer from LD and other microbes such as Babesia microti and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). However, previous findings11,15,16,27,49,50,51 are limited to co-infections (i.e., Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, or Rickettsia species) in patients experiencing a particular stage of LD (such as Erythema migrans). In contrast, a broader spectrum of persistent, co-infections, and opportunistic infections associated with diverse stages of TBD patients have been demonstrated in this study (Fig. 2). From a clinical standpoint, the likelihood for IgM and IgG immune responses by TBD patients to the Borrelia spirochetes versus the Borrelia persistent forms, and responses to just Borrelia versus Borrelia with many other TBD microbes has been quantified for the first time (Fig. S2).

Borrelia pathogenesis could predispose individuals to polymicrobial infections because it can suppress, subvert, or modulate the host’s immune system18,19,20,21,22 to create a niche for colonization by other microbes54. Evidence in animals55 and humans11,15,16,27,49,50,51 frequently indicate co-existence of Borrelia with other TBD associated infections. Interestingly, IgM and IgG immune levels by patients to multiple forms of Borrelia resulted in immune responses to 14 other TBD microbes (Fig. 4B). In contrast, patient responses to either form of Borrelia (spirochetes or persistent forms) resulted in reactions to an average of 8 other TBD microbes (Fig. 4B). Reaction to two forms of Borrelia reflected an increase in disease severity indicating biological gradient for causation as required by Hill’s criteria47.

Multiple microbial infections in TBD patients seem plausible because ticks can carry more than eight different microbes depending on tick species and geography56,57. Moreover, Qiu and colleagues reported the presence of at least 18 bacterial genera shared among three different tick species and up to 127 bacterial genera in Ixodes persulcatus58. Interestingly, research indicates Chlamydia-like organism in Ixodes ricinus ticks and human skin59 that may explain immune responses to Chlamydia spp., seen in this study (Fig. 2). Additionally, prevalence of TBD associated co-infections such as B. abortus, E. chaffeensis, and opportunistic microbes such as C. pneumoniae, C. trachomatis, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and M. pneumoniae have been recorded in the general population of Europe and the USA (Table S2). However, true incidence of these microbes is likely to be higher considering underreporting due to asymptomatic infections and differences in diagnostic practices and surveillance systems across Europe and in the USA. More importantly, clinical evidence for multiple microbes has been reported in humans11,15,16,27,49,50,51, and livestock55 to mention the least. Our findings regarding the presence of polymicrobial infections at all stages of TBD further supports the causal relationship between TBD patients and polymicrobial infections (Fig. 2). Various microbial infections in TBD patients have been linked to the reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and increased disease severity39.

An association between multiple infections and TBD patients relates well to other diseases such as periodontal, and respiratory tract diseases. Oral cavities may contain viruses and 500 different bacterial species60. Our findings demonstrate that TBD patients may suffer from multiple bacterial and viral infections (Fig. 4). In respiratory tract diseases, influenza virus can stimulate immunosuppression and predispose patients to bacterial infections causing an increase in disease severity61. Likewise, Borrelia can induce immunosuppression that may predispose patients to other microbial infections causing an increase in disease severity.

Traditionally, positive IgM immune reaction implies an acute infection, and IgG response portrays a dissemination, persistent or memory immunity due to past infections. Depending on when TBD patients seek medical advice, the level of anti-Borrelia antibodies can greatly vary as an Erythema migrans (EM) develops and may present with IgM, IgG, collective IgM/IgG, or IgA62. This study recommends both IgM and IgG in diagnosing TBD (Figs 5 and S4–S6) as unconventional antibody profiles have been portrayed in TBD patients. Presence of long-term IgM and IgG antibodies have been reported in LD patients that were tested by the CDC two-tier system. In 2001, Kalish and colleagues reported anti-Borrelia IgM or IgG persistence in patients that suffered from LD 10–20 years ago63. Similarly, Hilton and co-workers recorded persistent anti-Borrelia IgM response in 97% of late LD patients that were considered cured following an antibiotic treatment64.

Similar events of persistent IgM and IgG antibody reactions were demonstrated in patients treated for Borrelia arthritis and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans65, chronic cutaneous borreliosis66, and Lyme neuroborreliosis67. A clear phenomenon of immune dysfunction is occurring, which might account for the disparities in LD patient’s antibody profiles and persistence. Borrelia suppresses the immune system by inhibition of antigen-induced lymphocyte proliferation18, reducing Langerhans cells by downregulation of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules on these cells19, stimulating the production of interleukin-10 and anti-inflammatory immunosuppressive cytokine20, and causing disparity in regulation and secretion of cytokines21. Other studies have demonstrated low production or subversion of specific anti-Borrelia antibodies in patients with immune deficiency status22.

In the USA alone, the economic healthcare burden for patients suffering from LD and ongoing symptoms is estimated to be $1.3 billion per year69. Additionally, 83% of all TBD diagnostic tests performed by the commercial laboratories in the USA accounted for only LD70. Globally, the commercial laboratories’ ability to diagnose LD has increased by merely 4% (weighted mean for ELISA sensitivity 62.3%) in the last 20 years71. This study provides evidence regarding polymicrobial infections in patients suffering from different stages of TBDs. Literature analyses and results from this study followed Hill’s criteria indicating a causal association between TBD patients and polymicrobial infections. Also, the study outcomes indicate that patients may not adhere to traditional IgM and IgG responses.

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**Comment**

For the first time, Garg et al. show a 85% probability for multiple infections including not only tick-borne pathogens but also opportunistic microbes such as EBV and other viruses.

I’m thankful they included Bartonella as that one is often omitted but definitely a player.  I’m also thankful for the mention of viruses as they too are in the mix.  The mention of the persister form must be recognized as well as many out there deny its existence.

Key Quote:  Our findings recognize that microbial infections in patients suffering from TBDs do not follow the one microbe, one disease Germ Theory as 65% of the TBD patients produce immune responses to various microbes.”

But there is another important point.

According to this review, 83% of all commercial tests focus only on Lyme (borrelia), despite the fact we are infected with more than one microbe.  The review also states it takes 11 different visits to 11 different doctors, utilizing 11 different tests to be properly diagnosed.  https://www.news-medical.net/news/20181101/Tick-borne-disease-is-multiple-microbial-in-nature.aspx?

This is huge.  Please spread the word.

 

Tick, Flea, & Louse-Borne Diseases of Public Health & Veterinary Significance in Nigeria

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6136614/

Tick, Flea, and Louse-Borne Diseases of Public Health and Veterinary Significance in Nigeria

Abstract

Mosquito-borne diseases are common high-impact diseases in tropical and subtropical areas. However, other non-mosquito vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) may share their geographic distribution, seasonality, and clinical manifestations, thereby contributing their share to the morbidity and mortality caused by febrile illnesses in these regions. The purpose of this work was to collect and review existing information and identify knowledge gaps about tick, flea-, and louse-borne diseases of veterinary and public health significance in Nigeria. Full-length articles about VBPs were reviewed and relevant information about the vectors, their hosts, geographic distribution, seasonality, and association(s) with human or veterinary diseases was extracted. Specific laboratory tools used for detection and identification of VBPs in Nigeria were also identified. A total of 62 original publications were examined. Substantial information about the prevalence and impacts of ticks and fleas on pet and service dogs (18 articles), and livestock animals (23 articles) were available; however, information about their association with and potential for causing human illnesses was largely absent despite the zoonotic nature of many of these peri-domestic veterinary diseases.

Recent publications that employed molecular methods of detection demonstrated the occurrence of several classic (Ehrlichia canis, Rickettsia africae, Bartonella sp.) and emerging human pathogens (R. aeschlimannii, Neoehrlichia mikurensis) in ticks and fleas. However, information about other pathogens often found in association with ticks (R. conorii) and fleas (R. typhi, R. felis) across the African continent was lacking. Records of louse-borne epidemic typhus in Nigeria date to 1947; however, its current status is not known. This review provides an essential baseline summary of the current knowledge in Nigeria of non-mosquito VBPs, and should stimulate improvements in the surveillance of the veterinary and human diseases they cause in Nigeria. Due to increasing recognition of these diseases in other African countries, veterinary and public health professionals in Nigeria should expand the list of possible diseases considered in patients presenting with fever of unknown etiology.

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**Comment**

I find it increasingly interesting that everyone’s picking up Bartonella, yet it’s hardly on the radar here despite thousands of Lyme/MSIDS patients having symptoms of it.  Bartonella is a tough pathogen & can be the guy behind so many psychiatric issues as well as heart issues.

We need to know for certain ticks can transmit it because if they don’t, either the tick bite itself is reactivating a latent infection or we are coming by it another way.  One thing’s for certain:  it needs to be dealt with on the research front as well as on the medical front.

For more on Bartonella:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/01/03/bartonella-treatment/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/02/1st-documented-case-of-girl-with-blood-stream-infection-with-bartonella-with-coinfection-of-another-bartonella-strain/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/02/bartonella-found-in-deer-flies-deer-moose/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/28/bartonella-infective-endocarditis-with-dissemination-a-case-report-literature-review/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/08/09/a-bartonella-story/

For a great read on how those working with animals are especially vulnerable to Bartonella:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/20/humana-bartonellosis-perspectives-of-a-veterinary-internist/

Excerpt:

 

Due to extensive contact with a spectrum of animal species, veterinary professionals appear to have an occupational risk of infection because of frequent exposure to Bartonella spp., therefore these individuals should exercise increased precautions to avoid arthropod bites, arthropod feces (i.e. fleas and lice), animal bites or scratches and direct contact with bodily fluids from sick animals. As Bartonella spp. have been isolated from cat, dog or human blood, cerebrospinal fluid, joint fluid,aqueous fluid, seroma fluid and from pleural, pericardial and abdominal effusions, a substantial number of diagnostic biological samples collected on a daily basis in veterinary practices could contain viable bacteria.
The increasing number of defined Bartonella spp., in conjunction with the high level of bacteremia found in reservoir adapted hosts, which represent the veterinary patient population, ensures that all veterinary professionals will experience frequent and repeated exposure to animals harboring these bacteria. Therefore, personal protective equipment, frequent hand washing and avoiding cuts and needle sticks have become more important as our knowledge of this genus has improved and various modes of transmission have been defined.
Physicians should be educated as to the large number of Bartonella spp. in nature, the extensive spectrum of animal reservoir hosts, the diversity of confirmed and potential arthropod vectors, current limitations associated with diagnosis and treatment efficacy, and the ecological and evolving medical complexity of these highly evolved intravascular, endotheliotropic bacteria.

Study Finds Q Fever & Rickettsia (Typhus) in Australian Ticks and People

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/30270855/

Ixodes holocyclus Tick-Transmitted Human Pathogens in North-Eastern New South Wales, Australia.

Graves SR, et al. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2016.

Abstract

A group of 14 persons who live in an area of Australia endemic for the Australian paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus, and who were involved in regularly collecting and handling these ticks, was examined for antibodies to tick-transmitted bacterial pathogens.

Five (36%) had antibodies to Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever and three (21%) had antibodies to spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae (Rickettsia spp). None had antibodies to Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Orientia, or Borrelia (Lymedisease) suggesting that they had not been exposed to these bacteria.

A total of 149 I. holocyclus ticks were examined for the citrate synthase (gltA) gene of the SFG rickettsiae and the com1 gene of C. burnetii; 23 (15.4%) ticks were positive for Rickettsia spp. and 8 (5.6%) positive for Coxiella spp. Sequencing of fragments of the gltA gene and the 17 kDa antigen gene from a selection of the ticks showed 99% and 100% homology, respectively, to Rickettsia australis, the bacterium causing Queenslandtick typhus.

Thus, it appears that persons bitten by I. holocyclus in NE NSW, Australia have an approximate one in six risk of being infected with R. australis. Risks of Q fever were also high in this region but this may have been due to exposure by aerosol from the environment rather than by tick bite. A subset of 74 I. holocyclus ticks were further examined for DNA from Borrelia spp., Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. but none was positive. Some of these recognised human bacterial pathogens associated with ticks may not be present in this Australian tick species from northeastern New South Wales.

_____________________

**Comments**

Folks in Australia have been fighting the denial of authorities for decades regarding Lyme Disease:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/21/our-battle-ongoing-lyme-disease-in-australia/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/11/03/ld-not-in-australia-here-we-go-again/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/03/aussie-widow-of-lyme-disease-victim-to-sue-nsw-health/  A SYDNEY woman launches a class action against NSW Health after autopsy results showed her husband was riddled with Lyme in his liver, heart, kidney, and lungs.  He was only 44 years old and was bitten by a tick while filming a TV show in Sydney.

Now how in the world did that happen?

While they still deny Lyme (borrelia) this recent study definitively shows a number of pathogens in Australian ticks and humans including Rickettsia (more commonly known as Tick & arthropod TyphusQueensland typhus or Rickettsia australis), as well as Q Fever.

Tick Typhus is similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but deemed not as severe.  Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Red lump at tick bite site
  • Ulceration at tick bite site
  • Black scab at tick bite site
  • Enlarged local lymph nodes
  • Forearm red rash
  • Red body rash
  • Palm rash
  • Rash on soles of feet

Doxycycline is the front-line drug for typhus and broad-spectrum antibiotics aren’t helpful.

Fact sheet on typhus:  https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/typhus.PDF  The perps are typically lice, fleas, mites, and ticks.

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/19/monster-ticks-found-in-germany-threaten-europe-with-deadly-disease-crimean-congo-fever/  In this article, they found a tropical form of tick typhus in tropical ticks found in Germany. Typhus is making a comeback, particularly in the southern U.S. Migrating birds are transporting ticks as well as the diseases they carry worldwide 

Fact sheet on Q Fever: http://www.stopticks.org/ticks/qfever.asp

Caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii, it can cause pneumonia and hepatitis (liver inflammation) in its early stage, and infection of the heart valves (endocarditis) in its chronic stage.  Perps are the Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguine us), Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americium).

https://coloradoticks.org/tick-borne-diseases/q-fever/  This article states it’s usually a mild disease with flu-like symptoms but sometimes it can resurface years later.  This more deadly, chronic form, of Q fever can damage heart, liver, brain and lungs. C. burnetii is highly infectious. Humans that are susceptible to this disease can be infected by a single organism. It is considered a significant threat for bio warfare and is classified as a Category B agent of bioterrorism.

The severity and combination of signs and symptoms vary greatly. About half the people infected with Q fever will get sick. Symptoms include:

  • High fever (up to 105°F)
  • Fatigue
  • Severe headache
  • General malaise
  • Myalgia
  • Chills or sweats
  • Non-productive cough
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain

Doxycycline is also the front-line drug for this with quinolone antibiotics as an alternative.

Add the Ixodes holocyclus tick to this list as well.

And before you think it can only ever be in Australia, this article in the 2013 issue of the Australian Veterinary Journal shows the likelihood of a population of Ixodes holocyclus breeding outside their common range.  https://conference.ava.com.au/13097.

Well there goes the neighborhood.

Here’s a nifty chart:  https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-basics/co-infections/other-co-infections/ (Please remember this is constantly changing)

Screen-Shot-2014-08-26-at-5.27.54-PM

If there’s one think I know for sure, it’s that nothing about ticks and the diseases they carry is sure.

They are finding tropical ticks in Germany (where they shouldn’t be) https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/19/monster-ticks-found-in-germany-threaten-europe-with-deadly-disease-crimean-congo-fever/ and they are finding Asian ticks in the U.S. (where they shouldn’t be) https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/03/1st-person-bitten-by-east-asian-longhorned-tick/.

When is the CDC going to get the memo and scrap the tick maps?

 

 

 

 

Galaxy Awarded Grant to Develop Bartonella Testing in Endocarditis Patients

https://www.galaxydx.com/uncategorized/galaxy-diagnostics-awarded-phase-i-sbir-grant/#/

September 20th, 2018

Grant will support development of advanced molecular diagnostics for confirmation of Bartonella spp. infection in endocarditis patients

RTP, N.C.- Galaxy Diagnostics, an infectious disease diagnostics company specializing in flea and tick-borne disease testing, is pleased to announce the award of Phase I grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) under the Small Business Innovation Research Program. This grant funding will support development of advanced molecular diagnostics for confirmation of Bartonella spp. infection in patients with endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart valves and chambers). This marks the second federal grant ever awarded for non-HIV research on Bartonella spp, including B henselae, the key agent causing cat scratch disease.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding from the NIH/NHLBI to support the development of better molecular diagnostics for Bartonella research and clinical use,” said Amanda Elam, President/CEO of Galaxy Diagnostics. “These bacteria were only recently discovered and have been recognized as one of the most important genuses of bacteria in emerging infectious disease today. Better diagnostic tests will allow clinicians and researchers to clarify the clinical importance of these pathogens for diseases affecting the joints, heart, eyes, and nervous system in people with healthy immune systems.” The current diagnostic challenge with this emerging pathogen is that recommended testing is not sensitive enough, often leading to false negatives. Jen Miller, Director of Research and Development at Galaxy Diagnostics, stated that, “Development of this rapid, highly sensitive and specific bartonellosis clinical diagnostic tool will result in an actionable, cost-effective assay for physicians.”  

Launched in 2009 to commercialize advanced test methods to support diagnosis of Bartonellosis in animals and people, Galaxy Diagnostics is a spin out from North Carolina State University. The company is currently focused on developing more sensitive diagnostics for a range of flea and tick borne diseases, including Bartonellosis, Lyme Borreliosis (LB), Babesiosis, Rickettsiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Better diagnostic tests for flea- and tick-borne diseases will support more accurate diagnosis and better stewardship of antibiotics in the treatment of animals and people.

About Galaxy Diagnostics Inc.

As a social venture and a One Health company, Galaxy Diagnostics is passionate about protecting the animal-human bond through the surveillance, prevention and clinical management of flea- and tick-borne diseases shared by humans and animals. Not only do we offer the best molecular and serology test options available, but we work with researchers and clinicians to generate new knowledge about emerging infectious diseases such as bartonellosis, borreliosis and other vector-borne diseases. Based on our scientific expertise, we are able to provide counsel to clinicians and researchers dedicated to achieving the most accurate diagnosis possible for their patients. This central goal is reflected in our corporate values and everyday interaction with patients, clinicians and researchers.

Media Contact: James Rebenski

contact@galaxydx.com

 

Monster Ticks Found in Germany Threaten Europe With Deadly Disease – Crimean-Congo Fever

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1004232/disease-Crimean-Congo-fever-germany-monster-tick

MONSTER ticks found in Germany threaten Europe with DEADLY disease Crimean-Congo fever

A MONSTER tick species has found its way to Germany and threatens to spread DEADLY tropical disease Crimean-Congo fever across the whole of Europe.
tick
MONSTER ticks found in Germany threaten Europe with DEADLY disease Crimean-Congo fever (Image: Universitat Hohenheim)

 

Scientists in Germany have discovered a tropical tick which can grow up to an INCH LONG – 10 times bigger than a common tick.

The ticks, known as Hyalomma marginatum have the potential to spread the viral disease Crimean-Congo fever (CCHF).

Symptoms of CCHF include fever, muscle pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and bleeding into the skin. A QUARTER of those contracting Crimean-Congo fever will die.

Researchers have blamed the unusually hot weather over Europe for the cause of the ticks movement northwards as more birds have migrated to Europe following the scorching temperature. (Please see comment at end of article)

Seven of the species were discovered this year – previously there have only been two examples of tropical ticks in Germany, one in 2015 and another in 2017.

Scientists are now concerned that as the warm temperatures continue to become more common in Germany, France and the UK the ticks could settle there and migrate across Europe permanently.

Parasitologist Ute Mackenstedt from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart said: “We assume that we have to reckon with more and more tropical species of ticks in Germany that can settle here due to good weather conditions.”

crimean congo fever

Symptoms of CCHF include fever, muscle pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and bleeding (Image: GETTY)

Dr Lidia Chitimia-Dobler, tick expert at the University of Hohenheim and the Institute for Microbiology (IMB) of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich, said: “Five of the seven ticks we can determine beyond doubt, four are the species Hyalomma marginatum and one of the kind Hyalomma rufipes.

“We did not expect ticks here in Germany at this time.”

Dr Gerhard Dobler, physician and microbiologist at the IMB, added: “In one of the specimens found, we were able to prove the pathogen of a tropical form of tick typhus.

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**Comment**

Please know that independent tick researcher John Scott has shown climate change has nothing to do with tick expansion or the spread of Lyme/MSIDS:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/13/study-shows-lyme-not-propelled-by-climate-change/

Scott shows that migratory birds are serving as transits carrying infected ticks all over the world, even in places where there aren’t any white-footed mice.  He also shows numerous fallacies with the climate models – particularly the fact they don’t include important data.  In the end ticks are marvelous ecoadaptors and research has they can survive the harshest of conditions.  What does affect them is lack of light (photo period).  

https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/crimean-congo/index.html  Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) can be transmitted to humans through infected ticks, animal blood, and infected human blood and/or bodily fluids (so human to human).   CCHF has also been spread in hospitals due to improper sterilization.  Fatality rate in hospitalized patients has ranged from 9-50%.  Being a virus, care is supportive; however, it is sensitive in vitro to ribavirin, an anti-viral drug.  Recovery is slow.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Sudden onset of symptoms
  • headache
  • high fever
  • back pain
  • joint pain
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • red eyes
  • flushed face
  • red throat & petechiae (red spots on palate are common)
  • jaundice
  • mood changes
  • sensory perception
  • severe bruising
  • sever nosebleeds
  • uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites

Please note the last quote of the story – that they proved a tropical form of tick typhus in one of tropical ticks found in Germany.   Typhus, a bacteria, is making a comeback, particularly in the South.  Common in the U.S. in the 40’s, and normally attributed to lice, now it’s been proven to be in a tick.  In other words, another disease and a tick found where they supposedly shouldn’t be.

Typus is a rickettsial infection with ticks carring numerous species including rickettsia, ehrlichia, and anaplasma.  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is also considered a tick-borne typhus fever.  https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/rocky_mountain_spotted_fever/fact_sheet.htm

Divided into the typhus group and the spotted fever group, disease is transmitted through ectoparasites (fleas, lice, mites, and ticks).  Inhalation and inoculating conjunctiva with infectious material can also cause disease.  The good news for most is that doxycycline is a front-line drug for it.  Broad-spectrum antibiotics aren’t helpful.

 

Tularemia: Hunting Dogs as Possible Vectors

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/tularemia-hunting-dogs-possible-vectors-infectious-disease-59510/

Tularemia: Hunting dogs as possible vectors for the infectious disease 

Press Release

January 20, 2018

Tularemia is an infectious bacterial disease that is life-threatening for rodents, rabbits and hares, but which can also infect humans and dogs. While contact with contaminated blood or meat makes hunters a high-risk group, the frequency of infections among hunting dogs has not been much studied. Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna have now confirmed a relevant prevalence of infections in Austrian hunting dogs following a serological study in which seven percent of the animals tested positive. This could lead to more intense debate as to whether the often asymptomatic animals represent an additional risk of infection for people.

The frequence of Dogs infected with Tularemia pathogens is higher than previously thought. (Photo: Elli Winter/moorhunde.de)
The frequence of Dogs infected with Tularemia pathogens is higher than previously thought. (Photo: Elli Winter/moorhunde.de)

Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is an infectious disease that is usually lethal for wild animals such as rabbits, hares and rodents. As a zoonotic disease, however, it also represents a serious health risk for people. Tularemia is caused by various subtypes of the pathogenic bacteria Francisella tularensis, which can be transmitted by biting and stinging insects or directly through contaminated hay, infected blood and other fluids. The raw meat of diseased animals is also associated with a high risk of transmission of the pathogens, which can infect dogs as well as other animals.

Austrian hunting dogs infected more frequently than previously thought

Without secondary disease, however, dogs usually exhibit no or only few symptoms and tend to have a high natural resistance to low levels of the bacteria. As a result, little attention has been paid to dogs in scientific study. Nevertheless, there are theories that canines may act as interim hosts and a further source of infections. Like hunters, dogs can come into direct contact with infected animals (e.g. when retrieving the game). The prevalence of infections among these animals is therefore an important question to be answered.

Scientists from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at Vetmeduni Vienna for the first time investigated blood samples from 80 Austrian hunting dogs from rural areas known to be endemic for tularemia.

“After two independent analyses, five dogs clearly tested positive,” says first author Annika Posautz.

The study thus showed that dogs in those areas of Austria in which rabbit fever is endemic, i.e. in which it regularly occurs, show a more frequent rate of infection.

Risk of transmission from infected dogs possible, but not confirmed

“The frequency of about seven percent shows that hunting dogs can also become infected regularly. As vectors of the disease, even without symptoms, the animals must also be considered unexpected carriers,” Posautz adds.

Clear scientific evidence is still missing, however, the researchers say. Other factors, such as age – young dogs could come into more frequent contact with game for training purposes – or the question whether dogs represent a potential source of infection for people, must be addressed in future studies.

The blood samples were tested using two different agglutination tests to detect antigens on the surface of the bacteria or antibodies produced by the immune system. “Agglutination works by specifically clumping these proteins to make them visible under the microscope. In the case of suspected tularemia, more than one of these tests is necessary due to the possibility of cross-reactivity with other pathogens. If all tests are positive, the disease can be confirmed without a doubt. This was the case with five animals,” the researcher says.

Related: 

Canna-Pet

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**Comment**

I purposely left the “related” section at the bottom as a clear reminder that Tularemia has been bioweaponized.  This isn’t theoretical, it’s fact.

For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/25/of-rabbits-and-men/

Tularemia, brucella, certain Rickettsia’s, numerous viruses, some chlamydia’s, and of course mycoplasma have all been weaponized.

Regarding the weaponization of tick pathogens: https://www.lymedisease.org/lymepolicywonk-questioning-governments-role-lyme-disease-make-conspiracy-theorist/

Some state Lyme (borrelia) has also been bioweaponized:

For a lengthy but informative read on the Lyme-Biowarfare connections: CitizensAlert_Bob13 (Scroll to page 44 to see an executive summary. Please notice the names of Steere, Barbour, Shapiro, Klempner, and Wormser, the first four are affiliated with the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). Wormser, lead author of the fraudulent Lyme treatment guidelines, lectures as an expert on biowarefare agents and treatments).

Everyone keeps yammering about climate change despite the fact ticks are extremely ecoadaptive but nobody is talking about ticks tweaked in a lab with bioweaponized pathogens.

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/27/tularemia-infected-ticks-found-on-sorrento-valley-trail-in-ca/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/07/hantavirus-tularemia-warnings-issued-in-san-diego-county/

Oklahoma-Ehrlichiosis Central

https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/oklahoma-is-ehrlichiosis-central-and-common-lone-star-ticks-which/article_408eed87-5b3e-5b3e-a829-9d7802ad578b.html

Oklahoma is ‘Ehrlichiosis Central,’ and common lone star ticks, which carry it, are ‘most active’ now

Flu-like illness spread via tick

By Kelly Bostian Tulsa World

July 4, 2018

Oklahoma ticks

The female lone star tick (left) is easily identified by the pronounced white dot or star in the center of her back. The species’ male is on the right. Courtesy/Rick Grantham, OSU

Correction: An infobox with this story contained incorrect numbers for tick-borne illnesses in Tulsa County. It has been corrected.

__________________________________________________________________________

Texas may be the Lone Star State, but late June through August is prime time for the real lone star to shine in Oklahoma — the lone star tick, that is.

Chances are this summer you have heard of someone in your circle of Oklahoma friends — or someone who knows someone — who has come down with ehrlichiosis (sounds like “air-leaky hoses).”

Along with the spotted fevers (rickettsioses), it is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in Oklahoma. It is primarily shared to Oklahomans through the lone star tick (the one with the white spot on its back), and the heat of summer is the time the lone star tick is most active, according to Oklahoma State University entomologist Justin Talley.

“We’ve had two people in our building and some in other departments come down with it recently, as well,” he said. “A lot of ticks are out right now, and it seems to be getting passed around for some reason, but that’s also pretty typical. We’ve always had it here in Oklahoma.”

The flu-like bacterial infection is passed from “reservoir species” such as white-tailed deer and coyotes through the lone star tick to humans.

While northeastern states are the prime areas for Lyme disease, Oklahoma is Ehrlichiosis Central.

“When you look at the Centers for Disease Control data, there are three states that are the hotbed for it: Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas,” Talley said.

It can prove fatal if left untreated, especially for very young or elderly patients. Fatal cases are not limited to but most often hit children younger than 10 and people over 70, Talley said.

“The summer is definitely a problematic time of year. Highest risk is April to October, but we really encourage people to be aware of tick-borne diseases like ehrlichiosis year around and statewide,” said Rachel Clinton, epidemiologist with the state Department of Health Acute Disease Service. “Each year we continue to see a lot of cases statewide.”

Diagnosis of ehrlichiosis can be tricky because people may think they have the flu and may not realize or recall that they were bitten by a tick up to two weeks earlier — especially people who spend a lot of time outdoors for their work or recreation, she said.

“It’s especially important for parents to check children for ticks every day, and if you’re working outdoors in a high-concentration area, you should inspect twice a day,” Clinton said. “Small children need to be looked at closely because they just don’t know they’ve been bitten. The hairline is an especially important place to look.”

Talley said the most important things are awareness, taking steps to prevent bites, and proper removal and documentation after being bitten.

“That’s the biggest thing. The lone star is the most active tick right now, especially east of I-35, Tulsa and southeast. You can go out anywhere and get one on you, even in your backyard,” he said.

Talley advised gentle, slow pulling of the tick straight away from the skin for removal, preferably just with tweezers or fingernails so as not to cause the tick to regurgitate back into the wound.

Tick-removal devices can be good, too;

“just don’t use anything that requires a twisting motion,” he said. “You want to lift it straight up, slowly, so a tool that is like a bottle-opener is OK.”  “Whatever you do, do not put a hot match or anything on the tick,” he said. “Just pull it off.”

The best thing then is to mark a calendar or put a date on a zip-seal bag, drop the tick in the bag and put it in the freezer. That can help with identifying the tick if something arises and, in rare cases, it could help solve a medical mystery.

“You can get the little brown seed tick, too, and it can be just a smaller lone star tick,” he said. “We can tell what it is under a microscope.”

Lone star ticks are not the only ticks in Oklahoma, but they are the ones most commonly associated with ehrlichiosis — as well as tularemia, southern tick-associated rash illness, the rare Heartland virus and the alpha-gal or meat allergy.

Dog ticks are the second most active now. They are most closely associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever but also may be a vector for tularemia.

 

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More on Ehrlichosis:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/09/dogs-ehrlichiosis/

https://www.lymedisease.org/ehrlichiosis-tick-borne-disease-no-one-heard/

More on Tularemia:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/25/of-rabbits-and-men/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/27/tularemia-infected-ticks-found-on-sorrento-valley-trail-in-ca/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/07/hantavirus-tularemia-warnings-issued-in-san-diego-county/

More on RMSF:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/07/10/first-rmsf-death-in-wisconsin/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/12/georgia-mom-warns-others-after-son-contracts-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-after-tick-bite/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/21/mom-got-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-while-picking-pumpkins/

More on Heartland Virus:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/08/02/heartland-virus-in-arkansas/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/11/01/heartland-virus-ravages-mans-body/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/07/01/surveillance-for-heartland-bourbon-viruses-in-eastern-kansas/