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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Lyme Disease and Mono

 Hopeful110670 - Mon Jan 03, 2005 2:59 pm

Hi There:

I had a question regarding Lyme Disease and also Mono. I had posted in another section regarding all the problems I am currently having. Upon doing some research I have learned alot of my symptoms could possibly be the two above mentioned conditions.

Now to my question, with Lyme Disease, do you necessarily have to have a red irritated area that becomes swollen in order to have been bitten? I understand their is a simple routine blood test that can be preformed to check for it. Could you also give me a general list of symptoms associated with it.

My next question regarding Mono is do you have to necessarily have swollen glands and a fever with this infection? Can you get it again after having it once (10 years ago or more?) I did have this illness already and all that I remember is being extremely tired and having golf ball size neck glands that had become swollen. Is your doctors office able to preform a general blood test or culture for this as well?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my post!
 Hopeful110670 - Tue Jan 04, 2005 3:50 pm

Please if someone could clarify it would be greatly appreciated!
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Tue Jan 04, 2005 8:20 pm


The answer to your first question is YES, but the typical skin lesion may go unnoticed in about 20% of patients.

The first finding is a bite site on the skin which is a flat or slightly raised red rash. This red lesion enlarges progressively within days to form an expanding circular lesion with a distinct red border and partially clearing centre. The centre may become thickened or blistered.

The PCR blood test is the preferred confirmatory laboratory test as it detects the DNA of Borrelia burgdorferi, the organism that causes Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease is a complex illness involving many organs in the body. The symptoms depend on the stage of the disease and some stages overlap.

In Stage 1, the infection is localized to the site of the bite and this is seen as a red, progressively expanding circular lesion as earlier described.

If untreated, the infection is spread through the blood stream to other sites in the body and this is known as Stage 2. Symptoms at this time may include a combination of the following: fever, chills, headaches, weakness, intolerance to light, secondary skin rashes, carditis, meningitis, cranial neuritis, radiculoneuropathy, and migratory pain in joints, tendons, bursae, muscles or bones.

Stage 3 is one of persistent infection and is manifested by
*arthritis of large joints, especially knees
*advanced atrophy of the skin of the upper or lower limbs known in dermatology as Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophicans (ACA). In the endstage of ACA, the skin becomes so atrophic that the superficial veins and subcutaneous tissue become prominent and are easily lifted and pushed into folds.

Your last three questions are in respect of Infectious Mononucleosis. This is an acute illness usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and characterized by fever, malaise, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes (especially in the neck) and an enlarged spleen. So, the answer to the first of three questions is YES, swollen glands and a fever are essential components of this acute infectious disease.

Prior infection with the virus usually provides long-lasting immunity. If the illness was diagnosed 10 years ago by clinical and laboratory findings, it is unlikely to have the disease again.

The MONOSPOT is a simple slide test for Infectious Mononucleosis that can be performed by your doctor and it usually becomes positive within 4 weeks after onset of illness. A more sophisticated and accurate test is the PCR for EBV DNA which can confirm the disease in immunocompromised patients who may not produce a typical antibody response.

I hope this information has been helpful.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine
 Hopeful110670 - Tue Jan 04, 2005 9:07 pm

Thank you very much Doctor, it was extremely helpful and hopefully beneficial to others that may feel they have these illnesses! This website is a gold mine! :D

Have a good night!
 needanswers2 - Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:34 am

Hi there, I have a questions regarding mono and Lyme. My daughter (6yrs old) was diagnosed with Mono but she didn't have typical symptoms except the mountain size glands on her neck and she would get very tired very quickly. They also tested her for Lyme which came back positive but I was told that it could be a false positive due to the fact she was positive for Mono. However, they did decide to treat her for the Lyme. As for now, she is much better then when she initially got sick which was over a month ago however she still has some symptoms that have continued and new symptoms. These include: humming and states it makes her throat feel better, slightly swollen glands, still gets tired with activity, turns pale and states she feels funny but now she has started complaining of also being achy all over. My first question is is there anyway to test or distinguish if she really does have Lyme or if it is a false positive due to the Mono? My second questions is could she have gotten the Lyme first and then with her immune system being down could she have caught Mono?

Thank you,

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