20% of tick carry a serious disease. In almost 40% of affected patients no typical symptoms appear. An undiagnosed disease progresses into further stages, which are challenging in terms of symptoms and treatment.
When bitten by a tick, the human is at risk of disease transmission from the infected tick into their body.
If the tick is infected, there is an approximately 30% risk of transmission of the disease to the human. The duration of the tick attachment is of course very important - the sooner the tick is removed, the lower the risk of disease transmission, but the transmission cannot be ruled out even in short-term tick attachment.
For transfer of tick-borne encephalitis, the required attachment time is significantly shorter than that for borreliosis and other bacterial infections.
The amount of bacteria or viruses present in the tick does not play a major role because other factors such as the condition of the persons immune system and their current fitness are important variables.
For succesfull treatment a timely and accurate diagnosis is essential. Tick infectivity testing will allow for a fast asessment of infection risk and subsequent application of preventative measures to avoid disease development.
Preventive vaccination only exists only against tick-borne encephalitis.
We use a special PCR method that reliably detects all clinically relevant strains of Borrelia (able to cause disease), including newly discovered infectious strains (Borrelia bavariensis, B. valaisiana, B. spielmanii and B. myiamotoi). If a tick is found to be infected, immediate administration of a short-term preventative treatment can counter the development of the disease. If antibiotic treatment is not applied, we recommend at least a later check for antibodies in the blood. Antibodies in the blood can be detected after 4-6 weeks from the tick bite (attachment). During that time, however, the infection in the body is so widespread that at least three weeks of antibiotic treatment are necessary, and treatment may not always be successful - the disease thus progresses into the next, difficult to treat, stages.
The biggest dangers of borreliosis are its complicated diagnosis and the risk of permanent consequences. It is also the most widespread tick-borne infection - see our tick infectivity testing overview.
The importance of the tick infection confirmation is the fact that, ifhealth issues develop after a tick bite, doctors first check the blood for antibodies against borrelia. If we know that the tick is positive for ehrlichia, it is possible to perform an appropriate diagnosis and apply the correct treatment in time, since different antibiotics are used for the treatment of ehrlichiosis and borreliosis respectively.
Analysis of tick infectivity in combination with the asessment of clinical symptoms is therefore very important for a correct diagnosis and administration of an effective treatment plan.
In case of a positive finding of tick infection, we recommend reducing stress and physical strain, and supporting the body's defenseive ability by getting adequate vitamins and support. In the majority of cases, the immune system will eliminate the infection.
The detection of tick-borne encephalitis virus in ticks facilitates a timely diagnosis in the case of disease manifestation.
Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, Tularemia
In case of a positive finding of one of these infections in a tick, any symptoms of the disease should be consulted with a physician. The results of tick infectivity testing will facilitate an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment initiation.
Babesiosis is often occurs concurrently with Borreliosis, which causes a complicated course of disease progression. See below.
A tick may be a carrier of more than one serious disease. Coinfection usually results in a more intensive acute phase of the disease, with a higher amount of less frequently observed symptoms. Due to a problematic diagnosis, the convalescence phase becomes longer. Coinfection is often discovered only after the patient does not respond to treatment and it becomes clear that the symptoms are caused by another pathogen.
Concurrent occurence of more than one pathogen in a tick is not uncommon - see the review here.