Education and Information

Envita's movie about Lyme Disease 




Tick-borne diseases can have many symptoms and attack many body systems at once. The symptoms often move around the body. Since many different kinds of organisms can be present in the blood and body fluids, it explains why there is a cluster of many symptoms. Several diseases can be present at the same time.

For a colorful review of symptoms, click here

For Dr. Burrascano's list of symptom of Lyme Disease and other Tick-borne diseases in a chart pdf format, click here, and turn to page 9-10.


A Short List of Tick-borne Co-Infections and their Symptoms

    Compiled By: Melanie Reber

Explanation: Protozoa that invade, infect, and kill the red blood cells
Symptoms: Fatigue, night sweats, fever, chills, weakness, weight loss, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, cough, shortness of breath, headache, neck and back stiffness, dark urine or blood in urine
Treatment: Atovaquone (Mepron) plus Azithromycin (Zithromax), Clindamycin and oral Quinine
Other: Alternative treatment may include Riamet or Artemisinin
Explanation: Bartonella spp. bacterium
Symptoms: Fever, chills, headache and severe pain in the tibia, weight loss, sore throat, papular or angiomatous rash
Treatment: Erythromycin, plus a Fluoroquinolone or Rifampin
Ehrlichiosis (HGE and HME)
Explanation: Rickettsiae that infect the white blood cells
Symptoms: Anemia, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, rigors, gastrointestinal symptoms, anorexia, fatigue
Treatment: Doxycycline, Rifampin
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Explanation: Rickettsia rickettsii parasite that invades the cells lining the heart and blood vessels
Symptoms: High fever, severe headache (especially behind the eyes), maculopapular skin rash
Treatment: Tetracycline, Doxycycline, or Chloramphenicol
Colorado Tick Fever
Explanation: Reovirus that lodges inside the cells
Symptoms: High fever, chills, severe muscle aches, back pain, headache (especially behind the eyes), light sensitivities, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Treatment: No antiviral therapy is available
Other: Aspirin
Relapsing Fever
Explanation: Borrelia hermsii spirochete
Symptoms: High fever, sudden chills, eye inflammation, coughing, jaundice, petechial rash
Treatment: Tetracycline, Doxycycline, or Chloramphenicol
Explanation: Francisella tularensis bacterium
Symptoms: Painful and swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, fatigue
Treatment: Tetracycline, Chloramphenicol
Powassan encephalitis
Explanation: Flavivirus that invades and infects the brain
Symptoms: Fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, light sensitivity, muscle weakness, seizures, paralysis, brain inflammation
Treatment: No effective treatment
Tick Paralysis
Explanation: A toxic reaction to saliva from female ticks
Symptoms: Paralysis begins in legs and spreads throughout the body within hours
Treatment: Recovery is rapid following the removal of the tick
Explanation: A genus of small bacteria which lack cell walls. M. fermentans, M. pneumoniae, M. penetrans, M. hominis and M. genetalium
Symptoms: Fatigue, headaches, muscle pain and soreness, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, joint pain and soreness, lymph node pain, cognitive problems, depression, breathing problems and other signs and symptoms
Treatment: Slow-growing mycoplasmal infections are not rapidly susceptible to antibiotics. Doxycycline, Minocycline, Ciprofloxacin, Azithromycin, and Clarithromycin may be used.


XMRV is now thought to be a result of laboratory contamination from mouse cells or DNA. XMRV (Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus) is a retrovirus. The virus can also be carried in the mouse's blood, and as ticks suck in a blood meal, the virus is ingested from the mouse's blood and then vomited into a human being that has a tick attachment that has fed on a mouse.

The Eight Types of Human Herpes Viruses are listed below: for more info Click Here

Human simplex virus type 1 (HSV1)

Human simplex virus type 2 (HSV2)

Varicella-zoster virus (HHV-3)

Epstein-Barr virus (HHV-4)

Cytomegalovirus (HHV-5)

Human herpes virus 6 and 7 (HHV-6 and HHV-7)

Human herpes Virus 8 (HHV-8)


Associated Lyme Disease and other diseases carried by Ticks


STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness)

  • The condition has been associated with a spirochete that has been isolated from skin lesions of patients and from ticks. Based on DNA analysis, it is not the same species as the spirochete that causes Lyme disease. Relatively little is known about STARI, which is apparent by the qualified details below.Vectors of Borrelia lonestari is the Amblyomma americanum, the Lone Star tick. This is frequently found in Missouri and Kansas, and was identified by Dr. Masters in Missouri.

  • Symptoms are similar to the initial flu-like symptoms of Lyme disease.
  • Reddish "bulls eye" rash at site of tick bite, indistinguishable from a Lyme disease EM lesion.

    Catscratch disease

    (CSD), also known as catscratch fever or subacute regional lymphadenitis, is a bacterial infection affecting lymph nodes that drain the sites of inoculation. Bartonella henselae, a gram-negative rod, is considered the principal etiologic agent.

  • A small percentage of immunocompetent patients develop severe systemic disease or other atypical manifestations. These may include oculoglandular syndrome, encephalitis, neuroretinitis, pneumonia, osteomyelitis, erythema nodosum, arthralgia, arthritis, and thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Infection of immunocompromised patients with the same organism leads to a very different disease, bacillary angiomatosis-peliosis. This disease is characterized by angioproliferative lesions resembling those of Kaposi sarcoma in the skin, liver, spleen, bone, and other organs.
  • It is necessary to diagnose CSD in a patient with lymphadenopathy to differentiate this benign process from a neoplastic process.

    Tick-Borne Rickettsioses

    Tick-borne rickettsioses are caused by obligate intracellular bacteria belonging to the spotted fever group (SFG) of the genus Rickettsia within the family Rickettsiaceae in the order Rickettsiales (276). These zoonoses are among the oldest known vector-borne diseases.

    In fact, many of the rickettsiae we now identify as human pathogens were first identified in ticks several years or even decades before a conclusive association with human disease was demonstrated, including 7 of the 11 species or subspecies of tick-borne SFG rickettsiae confirmed as pathogens since 1984. Tick-borne rickettsial diseases, including Flinders Island spotted fever, Japanese spotted fever, and Astrakhan fever. These include infections caused by R. sibirica subsp. mongolitimonae, R. slovaca, R. aeschlimannii, and R. heilongjiangensis. Increasing reports of imported African tick bite fever among travelers. Other infections include: tick-borne rickettsial diseases, including Flinders Island spotted fever, Japanese spotted fever, and Astrakhan fever, Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever)

    Myriad applied and basic research questions remain in the study of spotted fever rickettsiae and the diseases that these agents cause. A sampling of unresolved issues include the need for reliable, early diagnostic tests; development of serological assays that discriminate among various SFG rickettsial infections and provide an agent-specific diagnosis; better characterization of the natural histories of newly recognized SFG rickettsial pathogens; elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms (including rickettsial reactivation in the tick, the role and effect of tick saliva on the early infection, and the identification of rickettsial virulence genes); and prospective active surveillance studies that better the magnitude and distribution of various spotted fever rickettsioses. 

    Borreliosis (Lyme Disease: Click Here)

    The molecular adaptations required by pathogenic spirochetes for efficient transmission by obligate, blood-feeding ticks are largely unknown. In the new era of genomics, the complete DNA sequence of two spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi and Treponema pallidum, have been determined (1,2). As additional genome sequences become available for other pathogenic and free-living spirochetes, comparisons of their genomes may elucidate genes that are unique to those species of spirochetes associated with ticks. This information, along with an increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by tick-borne spirochetes to adapt for transmission by their tick vectors, may lead to unique disease prevention strategies.

    The genus Borrelia currently contains 37 species of spirochetes, many of which cause diseases in humans and domestic animals (Table) (3). Except for Borrelia recurrentis (which causes louse-borne relapsing fever and is transmitted by the human body louse), all known species are transmitted by ticks (4). Two groups of spirochetes stand out among these tick-borne species because of their prevalence as human pathogens: Lyme disease spirochetes, transmitted by the relatively slow-feeding ixodid (hard) ticks of the genus Ixodes, and relapsing fever spirochetes, transmitted by the fast-feeding argasid (soft) ticks of the genus Ornithodoros (Figure 1). Major observations in recent years have increased our understanding of how one species in each group adapts while infecting ticks. B. burgdorferi, a causative agent of Lyme disease, and B. hermsii, a causative agent of tick-borne relapsing fever, have received the most attention. We describe how these two species of Borrelia change their outer surface during their alternating infections in ticks and mammals, which in turn suggests biological functions for a few surface-exposed lipoproteins. The dynamics of infection of these two bacteria in strikingly different types of ticks provide examples of possible adaptations for their transmission.


    Table. Diseases caused by infection with Borrelia species

    DiseaseNo. of speciesArthropod vector

    Lyme disease3a Hard ticks (Ixodes spp.)
    Tick-borne relapsing fever21bSoft ticks (Ornithodoros spp.)
    Avian borreliosis1cSoft ticks (Argas spp.)
    Bovine borreliosis1dHard ticks (Boophilus spp.)
    Louse-borne relapsing fever1eBody louse (Pediculus)

    aBorrelia burgdorferi, B. garinii, and B. afzelii are known human pathogens.
    Some species of Borrelia associated with Ornithodoros ticks are of unknown pathogenicity.
    B. anserina.dB. theileri.
    eB. recurrentis.
    There are 5 subspecies of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease), over 100 strains in the US, and 300 strains worldwide. This diversity is thought to contribute to the antigenic variability of the spirochete and its ability to evade the immune system and antibiotic therapy, leading to chronic infection.

  • Protozoa

     Click here for more information about Protozoa


    Toxoplasma gondii is a species of parasitic protozoa in the genus Toxoplasma. The definitive host of T. gondii is the cat, but the parasite can be carried by many warm-blooded animals (birds[2] or mammals, including humans). Toxoplasmosis, the disease of which T. gondii is the causative agent.

    What are the signs and symptoms of toxoplasmosis?

    Symptoms of the infection vary.

    • Most people who become infected with Toxoplasma gondii are not aware of it.
    • Some people who have toxoplasmosis may feel as if they have the "flu" with swollen lymph glands or muscle aches and pains that last for a month or more.
    • Severe toxoplasmosis, causing damage to the brain, eyes, or other organs, can develop from an acute Toxoplasma infection or one that had occurred earlier in life and is now reactivated. Severe cases are more likely in individuals who have weak immune systems, though occasionally, even persons with healthy immune systems may experience eye damage from toxoplasmosis.
    • Signs and symptoms of ocular toxoplasmosis can include reduced vision, blurred vision, pain (often with bright light), redness of the eye, and sometimes tearing. Ophthalmologists sometimes prescribe medicine to treat active disease. Whether or not medication is recommended depends on the size of the eye lesion, the location, and the characteristics of the lesion (acute active, versus chronic not progressing). An ophthalmologist will provide the best care for ocular toxoplasmosis.
    • Most infants who are infected while still in the womb have no symptoms at birth, but they may develop symptoms later in life. A small percentage of infected newborns have serious eye or brain damage at birth.

    If you have a weakened immune system, ask your doctor about having your blood tested for Toxoplasma.

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum

    It is an intracellular parasite that undergoes development within white blood cells, especially granulocytes.

  • Fever, severe headache, joint pain, and muscle ache, mailaise, chills.
  • 20-30% of patients develop a body rash, but it typically does not the involve the hands and feet.
  • Other symptoms may include confusion, hemorrhages, and renal failure.
  • Infections usually are mild, but severe cases can result in death.

    Babesia is a protozoan parasite of the blood that causes a hemolytic disease known as Babesiosis. There are over 100 species of Babesia identified; however only a handful have been documented as pathogenic in humans.

    Babesia is a protozoan parasite of which Babesia microti and Babesia divergens are the two species to most frequently infect humans. Infections from other species of Babesia have been documented in humans but are not habitually seen. Babesiosis is also known as Piroplasmosis.[4] Due to historical misclassifications, this protozoan was labeled with many names that are no longer used. Common names of the disease include Texas Cattle Fever, Redwater Fever, Tick Fever, and Nantucket Fever.[ 

    Symptoms of Babesiosis

    An incubation period of one week to eight weeks elapses between the tick bite and the onset of Babesia symptoms. Almost everyone who contracts this disease gets flu-like symptoms of fever and chills.

    Nonspecific symptoms include:

    • generalized weakness
    • gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and belly pain
    • headache
    • muscle pain
    • joint pain

    Specific symptoms of babesiosis (as consequences of ruptured red blood cells) include:

    • jaundice
    • dark urine
    • shortness of breath
    • arm and leg pain
    • swollen spleen

    Having an infection that destroys red blood cells does a few particularly damaging things to the body:

    • Babesia leaves the blood with too few red blood cells and therefore decreased oxygen., which red blood cells carry.
    • A burst red blood cell also releases hemoglobin into the blood plasma. Too much hemoglobin floating around causes jaundice, or yellowing of the skin.
    • Broken blood cell fragments can accumulate in the bloodstream faster than the spleen can eliminate them. When cell fragments travel through small blood vessels like capillaries, they can get stuck and block blood flow.
  • Nematodes

    2009-2010: Dr Eva Sapi, from the University of New Haven, Connecticut is doing research on ticks. So far, it appears that she has found worms in 40% of the ticks she has studied.

    In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over a billion people are at risk for parasitic worm infections (filaria). 120 million people are infected with parasites in more than 80 countries (Africa, Asia, Central and South Americas, and the Pacific Islands). Of those infected, 44 million suffer filariasis symptoms.

    Nematodes are parasitic worms which receive nourishment and/or shelter from hosts. There is a theory that nematodes ‘farm’ smaller organisms like the Lyme Borrelia spirochetes, similar to the way we humans farm cows or chickens, feeding and protecting them so we can later eat them. Nematodes may live symbiotically with spirochetes in humans!

    Ticks and other vectors harbor numerous parasites: large ones referred to as worms (filaria) and microscopic bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi and microfilaria. Ticks in Connecticut and New York do carry nematodes according to Doctors Willy Burgdorfer, Eva Sapi, and Richard Ostfeld

    There is a antibody blood serum test available for Strongyloides stercoralis.


    This article is an excerpt from the 2008 Lyme Disease Annual Report.

    "Mold toxins are found in foods such as grains and peanuts. Far more serious are the mold toxins found in buildings with water leaks. Buildings with flat roofs and buildings on a concrete slab at the bottom of a hill are ready-made for mold problems. Mold toxins are the most common of the biotoxins and are responsible for many of the symptoms of Lyme Disease patients.

    When a building has a water leak or water damage that is not immediately corrected, molds such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Chae-tomium are likely to start colonies. The colonies may be visible or they may be hidden in places such as the tops of ceiling tiles or the bottoms of carpets. They send out spores which contain potent nerve toxins or neurotoxins.

    When these spores with their neurotoxins are inhaled, about 76% of the population can make antibodies to the toxins and quickly eliminate them. They may sneeze, have a sore throat or have other minor symptoms, but symptoms are temporary. If they spend several days in a moldy building, they will begin to feel sick, but when they are away for a few days they recover. These same people are also able to eliminate Lyme toxins quickly.

    About 24% of the population have a genetic makeup that makes them unable to produce the needed antibodies. The body simply does not identify the toxins as invaders and it does not eliminate them effectively. The liver can send them to the digestive tract via the bile, but they are quickly reabsorbed back into the blood. The result is that continual or repeated exposures to mold toxins result in an ever increasing amount of these toxins in the body. And if the person has Lyme Disease, Lyme toxins also build up in the body the same way. These are the people that get very sick when they do frequency treatments for Lyme. Frequency treatments for Lyme are not recommended until the toxin issue is addressed."

    There is much more information available, more symptoms to discuss, but basically, people with tick borne diseases must live in a mold-free environment in order to get well. Mold toxins also cause increasing weight gain.


    "The Mystery of Morgellon's Disease, Infection or Delusion?"

    "Morgellons disease is a mysterious skin disorder that was first described more than 300 years ago. The disease is characterized by fiber-like strands extruding from the skin in conjunction with various dermatologic and neuropsychiatric symptoms. In this respect, Morgellons disease resembles and may be confused with delusional parasitosis. the association with Lyme disease and the apparent response to antibacterial therapy suggest that Morgellons disease may be linked to an undefined infectious process. Further clinical and molecular research is needed to unlock the mystery of Morgellons disease." by Virginia R. Savely, Mary M. Leitao, and Raphael B. Stricker. Click here to see the full article.