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Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 29;8(1):15932. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34393-9.

Evaluating polymicrobial immune responses in patients suffering from tick-borne diseases.

Author information

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, NanoScience Center, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.
2
Te?ted Ltd, Mattilaniemi 6-8, Jyväskylä, Finland.
3
Institute of Virology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
4
School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.
5
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, NanoScience Center, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. leona.k.gilbert@jyu.fi.
6
Te?ted Ltd, Mattilaniemi 6-8, Jyväskylä, Finland. leona.k.gilbert@jyu.fi.

Abstract

There is insufficient evidence to support screening of various tick-borne diseases (TBD) related microbes alongside Borrelia in patients suffering from TBD. To evaluate the involvement of multiple microbial immune responses in patients experiencing TBD we utilized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Four hundred and thirty-two human serum samples organized into seven categories followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention two-tier Lyme disease (LD) diagnosis guidelines and Infectious Disease Society of America guidelines for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. All patient categories were tested for their immunoglobulin M (IgM) and G (IgG) responses against 20 microbes associated with TBD. Our findings recognize that microbial infections in patients suffering from TBDs do not follow the one microbe, one disease Germ Theory as 65% of the TBD patients produce immune responses to various microbes. We have established a causal association between TBD patients and TBD associated co-infections and essential opportunistic microbes following Bradford Hill's criteria. This study indicated an 85% probability that a randomly selected TBD patient will respond to Borrelia and other related TBD microbes rather than to Borrelia alone. A paradigm shift is required in current healthcare policies to diagnose TBD so that patients can get tested and treated even for opportunistic infections.

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