Journal Article

Coexposure to <i>Borrelia burgdorferi</i> and <i>Babesia microti</i> Does Not Worsen the Long-Term Outcome of Lyme Disease

Thomas J. Wang, Matthew H. Liang, Oliver Sangha, Charlotte B. Phillips, Robert A. Lew, Elizabeth A. Wright, Victor Berardi, Anne H. Fossel and Nancy A. Shadick

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue 5, pages 1149-1154
Published in print November 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Coexposure to Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti Does Not Worsen the Long-Term Outcome of Lyme Disease

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Previous studies suggest that concurrent Lyme disease and babesiosis produce a more sever illness than either disease alone. The majority of babesiosis infections, however, are subclinical. Our objective was to characterize on the basis of a total-population survey of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, whether coexposure to Lyme disease and babesiosis causes more severe illness or poorer long-term outcomes than Lyme disease alone. In this retrospective cohort study, residents indicating a history of Lyme disease were compared with randomly selected population controls on a standardized medical history, blinded physical examination, and serological studies for Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti. Serological evidence of exposure to babesiosis was not associated with increased severity of acute Lyme disease. The groups did not differ with regard to the prevalence of constitutional, musculoskeletal, or neurological symptoms a mean of 6 years after acute Lyme disease. Prior Lyme disease and serological exposure to B. microti are not associated with poorer long-term outcomes or more persistent symptoms Lyme disease alone.

Journal Article.  3911 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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