In recent years tick-borne diseases have become a very serious problem. The most common of these infections are borreliosis (Lyme disease) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Lately there is growing incidence of Bartonella, Babesia, Anaplasma and Brucella co-infections. The similarity between the symptoms of tick-borne diseases and other pathologies causes serious diagnostic issues.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 216 patients aged 18-55, who presented to the outpatient clinic for tick-borne diseases in the years 2014-2016, were enrolled in the study. The patients had been diagnosed with Lyme disease and co-infections. The principal diagnostic tests to confirm the infections included ELISA, Western-Blot and circulating immune complexes (CIC).
RESULTS: In the group of 216 patients, 162 presented with otolaryngological symptoms. The most common complaint was tinnitus (76,5%) accompanied by vertigo and dizziness (53,7%), headache (39%), unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (16,7%). The patients also had tick-borne coinfections, among them the most common was Bartonella henselae (33,4%) and Bartonella quintana (13%).
CONCLUSIONS: Otolaryngological symptoms are a common manifestation of tick-borne diseases. They are most frequently observed in Lyme disease and Bartonella spp. infections. The symptoms in the head and neck region are usually occur in chronic Lyme disease with predominant IgG antibodies nad VlsE antigen.