241 results for author: Dr. Daniel Cameron
It has been nearly 40 years since Lyme disease was first identified in a small town in Connecticut. At that time, it was the only tick-borne illness recognized by clinicians. And its symptoms were relatively mild compared to what patients are experiencing today. But over the past two decades, the number of disease-causing agents carried by ticks and the severity of illness that can result has led to calls for more aggressive tick bite prevention efforts and research of co-infections.
"Although rare, sudden cardiac death caused by Lyme disease might be an under-recognized entity," according to researchers who describe their findings from an autopsy study on 5 case patients who died from sudden cardiac death and were found post mortem to have Lyme carditis. The cases are discussed in an article entitled Cardiac Tropism of Borrelia burgdorferi: An Autopsy Study of Sudden Cardiac Death Associated with Lyme Carditis, published in The American Journal of Pathology.
Many individuals with Lyme disease are reassured that the standard 21- to 30-day course of antibiotic therapy is unquestionably an effective treatment in eliminating the infection and that any lingering symptoms are not due to the disease. However, such a broad-based, generalized message only does harm to patients, giving them a false sense of security about a disease that is leaving thousands of individuals chronically ill.
A recent study examined the effectiveness of probiotics in warding off Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) in both children and adults. Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and the number of cases and its level of severity have increased over the past decade, making it a growing healthcare concern.
An adolescent girl is admitted to the emergency room with a new onset of chest and abdominal pains. After treatment is initiated, she develops a heart block. Tests for Lyme disease return positive and she is diagnosed with Lyme disease-associated myocarditis.
A recent study examined a probable case of oral doxycycline inducing pancreatitis in a patient initially treated for Lyme disease. However, there have been only two documented cases of doxycycline causing acute pancreatitis. The authors case report of acute pancreatitis was caused by diabetic ketoacidosis.
Every spring there are renewed concerns over the threat of Lyme disease and how best to prevent tick bites. This year, concerns are even greater after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that blacklegged ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease, are now present in almost half of all U.S. counties.
An ever increasing number of tick-borne diseases are emerging that pose a serious threat to public health, and yet there are no diagnostic tests commercially available to most physicians. Patients with these complex diseases are identified only through tests performed by research laboratories. Individuals who are not accurately diagnosed can develop chronic illnesses.
In the Netherlands, a significant number of patients with Lyme borreliosis do not recall being bitten by a tick. It is estimated that 1.1 million people in the Netherlands are bitten by one or more ticks annually and that larvae are responsible for 1.3% to 4.2% of those tick bites. The authors of a new study suggest that patients who do not report seeing a tick bite may acquire Lyme borreliosis instead from the bite of a larval tick, given that it is minute in size, easy to overlook and has now been shown to transmit the disease.
The spread of both vector-borne diseases and the organisms that transmit them has been making international headlines. The mosquito-borne Zika virus continues to spread throughout the Americas, raising worldwide alarm. In the United States, reports indicate black-legged ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease, are rapidly expanding into new geographic regions of the country.