Ixodes ticks may carry more than Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease. Currently, investigations are ongoing regarding what other organisms ticks carry. These studies need to be conducted in different geographic areas, as co-infections vary widely depending upon environmental factors. Once new organisms are identified within a tick, then the next question is whether these organisms inside the ticks are transmitted to humans upon a tick feeding. Tranmission does not necessarily mean that the agent will cause human disease. In other words, just because an organism has been found inside ticks, that does not mean that this bacterial or viral organism is capable of causing human disease.
Certain organisms within ticks however are known to cause human disease. In this section, these diseases will be described with references provided for further study. Enhanced alertness to the possibility of co-infection in a patient presenting with Lyme disease is essential to optimal care of patients with tick-borne diseases.
| Top |