Lyme disease is often spoken of as a standalone illness, the only source of a person’s infection. However, this disease is actually associated with a number of other tick-borne infections, which are called “co-infections”.

When a person is infected with Lyme via a tick bite, there is also a good chance that the bug will also transmit one or more co-infections. And, these simultaneous infections will:

  • The type of symptoms the patient exhibits
  • The progression and/or severity of the individual’s illness

The coinfections most frequently associated with Lyme are:

  • Bartonella
  • Babesia
  • Ehrlichia
  • Mycoplasma
  • Anaplasma
  • Powassan Virus

While any one of the above infections can cause a serious, complicated illness, some of them can be even more dangerous when grouped with other co-infections – regardless of whether the infections resulted from the same tick bite or different tick bites. This type of grouping is often referred to as a “complex”.

A patient dealing with a Lyme (or tick-borne) complex could exhibit symptoms that are typical of a single infection; symptoms that are uniquely caused by two or more infections working together; or a combination of both types of symptoms – which could indicate both a profound suppression of the immune system, and that the infections are widespread throughout the body.

For a referenced paper on the basics of Lyme disease and its associated co-infections, visit our Lyme Basics For Professionals page.