Archive for the ‘Testing’ Category

Co-infections in Persons With Early Lyme Disease

. 2019 Apr; 25(4): 748–752.
PMCID: PMC6433014
PMID: 30882316

Co-infections in Persons with Early Lyme Disease, New York, USA


In certain regions of New York state, USA, Ixodes scapularis ticks can potentially transmit 4 pathogens in addition to Borrelia burgdorferi: Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Borrelia miyamotoi, and the deer tick virus subtype of Powassan virus. In a prospective study, we systematically evaluated 52 adult patients with erythema migrans, the most common clinical manifestation of B. burgdorferi infection (Lyme disease), who had not received treatment for Lyme disease. We used serologic testing to evaluate these patients for evidence of co-infection with any of the 4 other tickborne pathogens. Evidence of co-infection was found for B. microti only; 4–6 patients were co-infected with Babesia microti. Nearly 90% of the patients evaluated had no evidence of co-infection. Our finding of B. microti co-infection documents the increasing clinical relevance of this emerging infection.



Sigh…..where to even begin


  • They used serologic testing. Research has proven this form of testing is abysmal:  Key quote: “These serologic tests cannot distinguish active infection, past infection, or reinfection.”In plain English, these tests don’t show squat. While this study in the link was for Lyme testing, I assure you, serologic testing for coinfections is just as abysmal. All of these coinfections are stealthy and persistent. They purposely don’t hang out in the blood & they’ve developed strategies to avoid the immune system as well as treatment.
  • The fact they only found 1 coinfection isn’t a shocker. Some of the sickest patients NEVER test positive because of dysfunctional immune systems. I’m not sure when they are ever going to think of using a provoking agent to stir the pathogens up, kill them, and then get the dead pieces and parts into the blood where this abysmal testing for antibodies can be picked up, but I’m not going to hold my breath. This study seriously makes me want to bang my head against the wall. They’ve learned nothing and continue to do the same exact things.
  • The only thing they got right was the, increasing clinical relevance of this emerging infection,” but I’ve got news for them: this is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • They need to get Dr. Breitshwerdt in on these studies and allow him to test the patients for Bartonella using the tests he’s developed.  They also need to use provoking agents and then test, or use direct testing, and to drop the EM rash criteria like a bad habit.






Why Blood Tests Don’t Always Work For Chronic Lyme Disease

Slightly edited for length.  Comments follow.

Why Blood Tests Don’t Always Work For Chronic Lyme Disease

As most doctors and patients know, Lyme disease is a tricky thing to diagnose conclusively. Chances are that many patients didn’t just walk into a doctor’s office and get diagnosed with the disorder; they more than likely went through a number of different diagnoses before their doctors settled on Lyme. Unfortunately, there are many cases that don’t even make it to a successful diagnosis. This is due to combined problems of doctors not being fully literate when it comes to Lyme, compounded by the fact that many Lyme symptoms mimic the symptoms of other degenerative diseases, such as MS and fibromyalgia. As a result, many cases go undetected and misdiagnosed by medical professionals, to the extent that the cases of Lyme reported across any given year are expected to be drastically underestimated. A method does exist for the definitive detection of Lyme, but unfortunately these blood tests don’t always work for chronic Lyme disease.

The test is often relied upon by doctors as a foolproof diagnostic device. It’s known as the ELISpot, and measures the amount of borrelia bacteria present in the patient’s system on a cellular level, which is the key bacteria that produces Lyme. However, while this may sound good in theory, its effectiveness gets called into question when you consider the effects of chronic Lyme disease. The bacteria are certainly a big part of it at the start, in what’s known as the acute phase. Early-stage symptoms consist of flu-like symptoms and a distinctive rash known as a bullseye rash, which forms in about 50% of cases. At this point, the borrelia bacteria is very present in the system, and the symptoms are caused by the body attempting to mount some defence against the foreign invasion.

The ELISPot diagnostic method detects borrelia bacteria present in a patient’s system on a cellular level during the stages of acute Lyme disease.

A round of antibiotics will usually stop the infection in its tracks if it’s caught early and identified correctly as Lyme. However, if the infection is given a chance to further infect the system, then the results can be devastating for patients. It is not that hard for the infection to develop to its full-blown chronic stage, as once the flu-like symptoms and rash subside, the Lyme infection can lay dormant for weeks, months or even years, making it easy for the patient to write off their bout of illness as a simple case of the flu. When it inevitably does reemerge, it presents with a completely different set of symptoms than the primary iteration. This is because the bacteria have had a chance to become fully entrenched in the body, and the immune system has gone into overdrive. Many of the symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, including joint pain and constant fatigue, are a result of an overactive immune system, which perpetuates inflammation responses all over the body.

Once the specific effect of chronic Lyme disease is understood, it becomes easy to see why the ELISpot blood test doesn’t always return a positive result, even if the patient is suffering from Lyme. The test only registers the presence of the borrelia bacteria, and does not take inflammation into account. Each case of Lyme is different, and dependent on the patient’s reaction to the initial infection. Therefore, if the patient is suffering more from the infection effects, then the ELISpot will likely come back positive, and treatment can begin. If, however, the level of bacteria is low but the level of inflammation is high, the ELISpot might well come back negative, leading doctors to assume there’s no trace of Lyme, resulting in misdiagnosis and further debilitation for the patient down the road.

If the level of bacteria in a blood sample is low but the level of inflammation is high, the ELISpot might well come back with a false-negative, often resulting in misdiagnosis.

Diagnosing chronic Lyme disease correctly is absolutely key to treating it effectively. The inflammation symptoms are important for both patients and doctors alike to understand, as they hold the key to a proper diagnostic plan and subsequent treatment path. It should also be noted that blood tests can fail if initiated too early in the disease’s lifecycle, as the disease hasn’t had a chance to fully register in the body’s system yet. The CDC cautions that test results can be misrepresented in the first four to six weeks after infection, making it tough for doctors to diagnose the flu-like symptoms as Lyme in the absence of a specific test. In the acute stages of the infection, the bullseye rash is the single best indicator we have; if that’s present, there’s little doubt the patient has Lyme, and treatment can begin right away.

The latter stages of Lyme are where things get complicated. Luckily, there are plenty of doctors out there who are fully Lyme-literate, and can get their patients the treatment they need. Although the nuances of this debilitating disease are tricky to navigate, with the right information, tests and doctors alike to understand, as they hold the key to a proper diagnostic plan and subsequent treatment path.

Although the nuances of this debilitating disease are tricky to navigate, with the right information, tests and treatments, we can effectively fight back against it.



The title of this should be, “Why Blood Tests Hardly Ever Work for Chronic Lyme Disease.”

There is NO foolproof diagnostic device or test for this, but there IS a validated questionnaire that doctors should be utilizing:

Questionnaire here:  Print & fill this out, and take to your doctor.  Educate them about this.

Diagnosis for Lyme/MSIDS has always been and continues to be a clinical diagnosis.  Period.

I remember a conversation I had with Dr. Hoffman, probably the most experienced LLMD in all of Wisconsin, who treated this before it had a name.  He told me that the sickest patients NEVER test positive.  Chew on that one for a while.

The EM rash IS diagnostic for Lyme and treatment should be given, but please know the percentages used on people getting the rash are falsely skewed, with far less getting it than is touted:  In fact the percentages range from 25%-80% –

Hardly a sure thing

Testing the blood for borrelia has been proven to be abysmal – pretty much at every stage.  The window is so small that only a handful of those infected are getting positives, despite the CDC worrying about false negatives.  Trust me, there’s few false negatives. As Dr. McDonald aptly states:

“If false results are to be feared, it is the false negative result which holds the greatest peril for the patient.” –Alan McDonald, Pathologist

If you study the organism for 1 minute, it’s clear that it is a stealth organism that shape-shifts to avoid the immune system. It also doesn’t hang out in the blood for long. It prefers the brain, spine, synovial fluid, and your organs – places that are hard for treatment to reach, your immune system to access and certainly for blood testing to pick up.

While there is inflammation, the jury’s still out on what is causing what, with plenty of scientific evidence (700 peer-reviewed articles) to show persistent/active infection – not just inflammation:

So the fact that blood testing won’t pick up an infection is not solely due to everyone having an inflammatory response. It can also include the fact there is ACTIVE/PERSISTENT infection that is buried in the body far away from the blood.

For a great read on Lyme testing:

And then there’s the issue of coinfections, all requiring different testing – ALL of it just as poor.

Lastly, all of this points to something quite sinister. Why have authorities controlled testing for Lyme and insisted on using blood serology when it is so abysmal?  Going down that rabbit hole reveals an entire ugly, dark saga of fraud & collusion, with patents on testing & vaccines owned by the very authorities making all the rules. ConflictReport (A lengthy expose on all the dirty deeds done dirt cheap)

There is a current lawsuit due to the suppression of microscopy (direct testing) which is far more accurate:

This article also reveals how Lida Mattman’s Gold Standard Culture Method has disappeared thanks to this concerted suppression on microscopy.

Things desperately need to change in Lyme-land.



New Health Center Opens For People With Tick-Borne Diseases in Pennsylvania  News Video in Link

New Health Center Opens for People with Tick-Borne Diseases

African Tick Found on Untraveled U.K. Horse

2019 Apr;10(3):704-708. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2019.03.003. Epub 2019 Mar 9.

Hyalomma rufipes on an untraveled horse: Is this the first evidence of Hyalomma nymphs successfully moulting in the United Kingdom?


During September 2018, a tick was submitted to Public Health England’s Tick Surveillance Scheme for identification. The tick was sent from a veterinarian who removed it from a horse in Dorset, England, with no history of overseas travel. The tick was identified as a male Hyalomma rufipes using morphological and molecular methods and then tested for a range of tick-borne pathogens including;

  • Alkhurma virus
  • Anaplasma
  • Babesia
  • Bhanja virus
  • Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever virus
  • Rickettsia
  • Theileria

The tick tested positive for Rickettsia aeschlimannii, a spotted fever group rickettsia linked to a number of human cases in Africa and Europe.

This is the first time H. rufipes has been reported in the United Kingdom (UK), and the lack of travel by the horse (or any in-contact horses) suggests that this could also be the first evidence of successful moulting of a Hyalomma nymph in the UK. It is postulated that the tick was imported into the UK on a migratory bird as an engorged nymph which was able to complete its moult to the adult stage and find a host.

This highlights that passive tick surveillance remains an important method for the detection of unusual species that may present a threat to public health in the UK. Horses are important hosts of Hyalomma sp. adults in their native range, therefore, further surveillance studies should be conducted to check horses for ticks in the months following spring bird migration; when imported nymphs may have had time to drop off their avian host and moult to adults. The potential human and animal health risks of such events occurring more regularly are discussed.


A ProMED-mail post

A tick capable of carrying a host of killer illnesses has been found in the UK for the very 1st time, health officials have revealed.

The _Hyalomma rufipes_ tick – a small blood-sucking arachnid – is usually confined to Africa, Asia and parts of southern Europe. But Public Health England [PHE] has now revealed one of the ticks, 10 times larger than others, was discovered in Dorset last year [2018]. The creature itself wasn’t found to be carrying the deadly Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHF).

The disturbing find, which could ‘present a threat to public health in the UK’, has been documented in the journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases.

A vet at The Barn Equine Surgery in Wimborne removed the tick from a horse last September [2018]. They then sent it to PHE’s tick surveillance team. Writing in the journal, the PHE team said: ‘This is the first time _Hyalomma rufipes_ has been reported in the United Kingdom. ‘The lack of travel by the horse – or any in-contact horses – suggests that this could also be the 1st evidence of successful moulting of a _Hyalomma_ nymph in the UK.’

The team of researchers who found the tick was led by Kayleigh Hansford, of PHE’s medical entomology and zoonoses ecology group.

Writing in the journal, they said it is suspected the tick hitched a ride on a migratory bird before landing in the UK. Neither the infested horse, nor other horses in the stable had travelled anywhere and no further ticks were detected on any of the horses. It is thought the tick travelled on a swallow because they are known to nest in the stables of horses and migrate from Africa to the UK for summer.

The UK climate, known to be getting warmer, is thought to be a major limiting factor for the survival of _Hyalomma rufipes_. However, the unusually warm weather experienced during the summer of 2018 may have been a factor for helping it moult – become an adult.

Currently, the ticks are found in Greece, Northern China, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen and Oman.

The World Health Organization last year [2018] named CCHF as one of 10 pathogens that pose the most ‘urgent’ threat to humanity.

Figures show the virus – most often spread through tick bites – kills around 40% of humans that it strikes. The horrific illness is said to manifest ‘abruptly’, with initial symptoms including fever, backache, headache, dizziness and sore eyes.

[Byline: Stephen Matthews]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[Not mentioned in detail in the above report, the PHE team, using morphological and molecular methods, then tested for a range of tick-borne pathogens including: Alkhurma virus, Anaplasma, Babesia, Bhanja virus, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever virus, Rickettsia and Theileria. The tick tested positive for _Rickettsia aeschlimannii_, a spotted fever group rickettsia linked to a number of human cases in Africa and Europe.

The critical question is if this is a single tick transported into Dorset, or represents one tick of a local breeding population. Transportation of a single tick by a migrating bird is a reasonable possibility. Immature (nymph) _Hyalomma_ usually feed on birds, rodents, and hares. Nymphs are often transported from one place to another by migrating birds. For example, a migrating bird carrying a CCH virus-infected _Hyalomma marginatum_ nymph can introduce the virus into new localities and infect humans and domestic livestock (Larry S.Roberts, 2009). Continued surveillance in the area where the single tick was found, as well as generally in the UK over the spring and summer months, would be prudent.


Latent Lyme Disease Resulting in Chronic Arthritis & Early Career Termination in a U.S. Army Officer

Latent Lyme Disease Resulting in Chronic Arthritis and Early Career Termination in a United States Army Officer.

Weiss T, et al. Mil Med. 2019.


Lyme disease is a continuing threat to military personnel operating in arboriferous and mountainous environments. Here we present the case of a 24-year-old Second Lieutenant, a recent graduate from the United States Military Academy, with a history of Lyme disease who developed recurrent knee effusions following surgery to correct a hip impingement. Although gonococcal arthritis was initially suspected from preliminary laboratory results, a comprehensive evaluation contradicted this diagnosis.

Despite antibiotic therapy, aspiration of the effusions, and steroid treatment to control inflammation, the condition of the patient deteriorated to the point where he was found to be unfit for duty and subsequently discharged from active military service. This case illustrates the profound effect that latent Lyme disease can have on the quality of life and the career of an active duty military member. It highlights the need for increased surveillance for Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) in military training areas and for the early and aggressive diagnosis and treatment of military personnel who present with the symptoms of acute Lyme disease.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2019.

Our military has been in ‘harms way’ for decades. Glad this case study was made.  I have military friends who receive training in Northern Wisconsin. They sleep outside and literally pick thousands of ticks off their bodies. I can only imagine the high numbers of soldiers with similar stories not being counted or recognized.
After congressional investigation, he was finally discharged from the Air Force after 14 years of highly recognized and awarded military service that ended in shame because doctors did not understand Lyme disease.  Attorneys laughed and joked as they decided he was no longer fit for duty and discharged him from the Air Force without benefits, pay, or health insurance. He was essentially dumped on the streets homeless, disabled, and unable to work, with a wife and a child to provide for.
Three decades later, the VA still cannot diagnose Lyme disease based upon symptoms.
The VA did not recognize Lyme disease until the mid-1990s. That means that veterans who had Lyme disease before then were misdiagnosed and some are perhaps homeless and disabled.  According to Sims the government is no wiser today than before they recognized Lyme disease.
The real problem is:
military and VA healthcare systems follow CDC two-tier tests Lyme disease guidelines that capture less than 10% of Lyme disease cases nationwide.
Over 90% of Lyme disease cases are diagnosed and treated by a minority of doctors who specialize in Lyme disease and tick-borne disease and understand CDC guidelines are fatally flawed.
He also states that according to many medical experts, the largest cause of death from Lyme disease is suicide.
Soldiers are also forced to get vaccines and many are injured by them:
Ticks are found:


Rocks and picnic benches:

Caves:, and



In the South:, and, and

Southern Hemisphere:


And everywhere else…..

Remember, there are 300 strains and counting of Borrelia worldwide and 100 strains and counting in the U.S.  Current CDC two-tiered testing tests for ONE strain!  Do the math….

Lyme has been found in ALL 50 states and is worldwide:
And remember, Lyme is the rock star we know by name.  There are plenty of other illnesses ticks transmit and it isn’t JUST the black-legged tick.
There’s no such thing as a “safe” tick or an “irrelevant” tick bite.






FREE Tick Testing for Pennsylvanians

Have you been bitten by a tick & Want it Tested?

The Pennsylvania Tick Research Lab can analyze your tick, testing for tick-borne diseases. Order your test online by clicking link above.

If the tick is a deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), the following 4 pathogens are tested for:

  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum (anaplasmosis)
  • Babesia microti (babesiosis)
  • Powassan virus Lineage II (Deer tick virus).

If the tick is a non-deer tick, the following 4 pathogens are tested for:

  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
  • Ehrlichia chaffeensis (ehrlichiosis)
  • Rickettsia general species (RMSF)
  • Francisells tularensis (tularemia)

Out of State residents may also have a basic panel for $50 which includes 3 tests depending upon the tick species, $100 for an advanced panel which includes 6 tests, and $175 for the comprehensive panel which covers all pathogens related to the tick species.

There are options to upgrade to advanced and comprehensive testing panels at discounted rates for Pennsylvanian residents. If you want the advanced/comprehensive testing a check needs to be included with the tick.

Once they receive the tick, test results are obtained within three business days.

Please feel free to email or call 570-422-7892 if you have any questions.



Tick testing is a great service; however, testing isn’t always 100% accurate and it’s also possible to have symptoms before the results come back.

In this case, a little girl couldn’t walk or talk within 4-6 hours of tick attachment: Great video by microbiologist Holly Ahern on transmission times. The longer the tick is attached, the greater the risk, however….

Minimum time required to transmit Lyme disease has never been determined as well as transmission times for many other pathogens. Coinfection is common




Borrelia bissetti Found in Canadian Deer Ticks

Identification of Borrelia bissettii in Ixodes scapularis ticks from New Brunswick, Canada.

Lewis J, et al. Can J Microbiol. 2019.


Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that is emerging in Canada. The disease is caused by spirochetes of the Lyme borreliosis group, which is expanding as new species are discovered. In Canada, Lyme disease risk has so far been assessed primarily by detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. Of Ixodes scapularis ticks collected between 2014 and 2016 in New Brunswick, Canada, 7 were shown to be infected with Borrelia bissettii by nested PCR and sequencing of 5 B. bissettii genes. Since different Borrelia species are associated with different clinical manifestations and are not detected with the same diagnostic tests, the identification of a previously undocumented or underreported pathogenic Borrelia species has important implications for public and veterinary medicine.



Again, the important issue here is that current CDC 2-tiered tests only test for ONE strain of borrelia when there are 300 and counting strains worldwide being transported everywhere by migrating birds, rodents, lizards, and mammals – including humans.

Before you discount Borrelia bissetti as being “somewhere else,” please know it was found in Chicago rodents: These strains are unlike previous Borrelia isolates from NW Illinois and Wisconsin.

This excellent pdf has studies of bissetti in everything from mice to human heart valves: ws-B.Bissettii1  The pdf also makes an excellent point that desperately needs to be addressed:  Borrelia strains sequenced are strains that have been grown in culture medium. What about the diverse strains identified in the Southeastern United States that cannot be cultured? It also gives two studies showing that changing criteria of the Western Blot & mixing borrelia strains increased testing sensitivity.

 Time for the CDC to roll up their sleeves and deal with this. It is way past time.

For more on testing:

Key quote:  

“These serologic tests cannot distinguish active infection, past infection, or reinfection.”

In plain English, these tests don’t show squat.