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Dr Cameron encourages new patients to request testing for the three most common Lyme disease co-infections: Babesiosis and Erlichiosis (HME or HCE), parasitic infections, and Bartonellosis, an infection caused by bacteria called Bartonella.
Symptoms and treatment of Lyme co-infections are as complex as Lyme itself.
Similar to the difficulty with Lyme diagnosis and treatment, Dr Cameron points out that the symptoms of these Lyme co-infections are also nonspecific, such as fever, chills, headache and malaise, and the diagnostic procedures often rely on a series of negative tests, since the parasites and bacteria that cause the infections are detectable in the bloodstream for only a short period of time.
"This is why it is so critical for patients to have a co-infection workup completed at the time of their initial diagnosis, when the likelihood of an accurate diagnosis is at its highest," Dr. Cameron said.