267 results for author: Dr. Daniel Cameron
A recent case report published in the British Medical Journal demonstrates the importance of monitoring patients with Lyme disease even after initial treatment, as co-infections can surface at a later stage.
Mononucleosis (EBV) and Lyme disease share similar characteristics, making an accurate diagnosis difficult. Each condition causes non-specific symptoms including fatigue, fever, myalgia, arthritis, headaches, neck soreness and swollen or enlarged lymph nodes. And each greatly impacts children. While mono is a common childhood illness, 25% of all Lyme disease cases in the US involve children.
The prevalence of vector-borne diseases in Europe, including the UK, has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. Today, there are regular outbreaks of West Nile, chikungunya, and dengue viruses. Malaria has returned. The number of Lyme disease cases is rising and tick-borne encephalitis virus is expanding to the northern regions of Europe. Meanwhile, new pathogens continue to be discovered, such as Borrelia miyamotoi and various tick-borne rickettsiae.
Black-legged ticks can carry and transmit multiple pathogens causing a range of different diseases including Lyme disease, Babesia, anaplasmosis, Borrelia miyamotoi, ehrlichiosis and the Powassan virus. In fact, an individual can develop several diseases from just a single tick bite.
“Although abdominal pain is generally not considered a sign of LD [Lyme disease], in this case report we describe a patient with unexplained severe abdominal pain that eventually turned out to be LD due to radiculopathy,” explains Stolk from the Haga Teaching Hospital in the Netherlands. 
A pacemaker implantation is typically an effective treatment for patients with high-degree atrioventricular (AV) block due to Lyme carditis (LC). “However, the AV block in LC may revert back to normal conduction and usually resolves within the ﬁrst 10 days of antibiotic administration,” says Yeung from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.  “If the AV block in LC is indeed transient, then a permanent pacemaker is not indicated.”
Adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD) is an autoimmune condition which can cause symptoms similar to those seen with Lyme disease. In fact, several case reports have shown that Lyme disease can mimic AOSD. But now researchers describe the first known case of Lyme disease triggering AOSD.
This past week, Illinois health officials reported the first case of Heartland virus in their state.
The disease, believed to be spread by the lone star tick, is relatively new. Although it was first identified in 2009 in Missouri, it wasn’t described in the medical literature until 2012, when researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the virus could be “a more common cause of human illness than is currently recognized.” 
Researchers have primarily studied travel-related illnesses in individuals travelling from high-income countries (such as the United States) to low- and middle-income countries. But now as vector-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, become a growing threat in the USA, researchers are switching their attention to the dangers now faced by travelers visiting the States.
Tick-borne pathogens have expanded into new geographical territories across the United States resulting in a greater incidence of tick-related diseases. Gathering data to understand patterns of exposure to tick bites and the risk of disease on a national level is becoming increasingly important. As a result, researchers have teamed up with citizen scientists (members of the public) to help collect samples and data.