14 months ago, a 47 year old male first consulted with me. His illness started after a physical injury sustained working in his garden. He first developed low back pain -- diagnosed as a strain. He went on to develop knee pain, fevers to 102, a red streaky rash on his abdomen, sweating and color changes in his fingers. He went to the ER: he had been ill for 3 weeks. A two tier, CDC surveillance test was positive for Lyme. He was treated with 3 weeks of Doxycyline and felt better. His past medical history is positive for Chrohn's disease.
Three month later he developed recurrent, progressive symptoms -- muscle pain -- increasing joint pain -- profound fatigue, and, drenching night sweats. New neurological symptoms appeared: numbness and tingling, memory loss and cognitive dysfunction.
He presented to me for further care. A 13 band WB showed 3/3 IgM bands. Non diagnostic Bb IgG WB bands were present. He was seronegative for Babesia microti/duncani. He was treated for chronic Lyme disease and Babesiosis, diagnosed clinically.
After many months of antibiotic therapy his disease is in remission, still on antibiotics.
Additional data: C6 peptide ELISA had been 6.41 initially and is n0w 2.3. C4a levels have been elevated. CD 57 levels have been normal. A wet mount showed no bacteria.
His previously active inflammatory bowel disease is now quiescent. A recent colonoscopy was normal.
Three weeks of Doxy for acute Lyme failed. This may be more frequent that commonly held. It has been suggested by some that this is due to co-infections. I am not sure. The average person, with an intact immune system, should be able to throw off both Babesia and Bartonella.
Perhaps in some cases, Lyme is able to sequester itself quickly. Other explanations may be offered. Perhaps in some, already-infected asymptomatic patients, clinical Lyme is triggered by a new infection. The other possibility is a bit more frightening. Perhaps strains of Lyme are now resistance to Doxy. This could explain some Doxy failures with response to other treatments, such as Amox/Biaxin. This patient did respond to Doxy at first. But, partial resistance is know to occur with other bacteria. This is all thinking out loud conjecture.
Lyme disease is associated with a multitude of autoimmune diseases. Crohn's and ulcerative colitis are both autoimmune diseases. Coincidence?