Coinfections by Multiple Pathogens
Coinfections are characterized by the simultaneous infection by multiple pathogens. The current news describes a recent “Tripledemic” where Influenza, COVID-19, and RSV have converged in single hosts. I decided to search the literature on the “tripledemic”, however, there are many potential mold co-infections that occur with other microorganisms as well. Influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19 are all infectious diseases that can cause respiratory illness. Influenza and RSV are common viruses that can cause respiratory infections, particularly in young children, older adults, and people with underlying health conditions. COVID-19 is a more recent virus that has emerged to become a pandemic, affecting people all over the world.
These articles are researched and written to provide helpful information to anyone with a debilitating chronic illness. In most traditional medical practices, mold falls in a blind spot.
- Mold can cause severe illness or death, caused by toxins, biological and chemical pollutants.
- Today’s healthcare system processes are not designed or equipped to diagnose and treat environmental illness.
- Recent awareness of environmental illness has been magnified due to the severity of Covid pandemic.
- There are thousands of molecules, derived from chemicals or microbes, that are poorly understood, untested, or unrecgonized.
Symptoms of all these respiratory infections can include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, body aches, and fatigue. While most people recover from these infections without serious complications, some individuals, particularly those with underlying health conditions, may experience severe symptoms and may require hospitalization. Coinfections by multiple pathogens increases hospitalization rates.
To date, medical literature has not become established with the current “tripledemic”; but it is worth investigating how other viruses coinfect to see what we can do in preparation for any possibilities and pandemics in the future. I believe mold sensitive individuals can be better prepared on safety precautions and what to look for so that any mold sensitivities are taken into consideration when seeking medical help.
Coinfections with influenza are rarely diagnosed unless a patient is in serious condition or exhibits unknown symptoms in a hospital. The main reason for this is that a physician usually stops testing when they receive a positive for a single strain of influenza. Thus, if a patient test positive for Influenza A, they will not likely test for Influenza B since treatment is the same. The same goes for COVID. Flurona, is a new word or expression recently coined to mean the coinfection of influenza and Covid (Corona virus).
Flurona is a new word or expression recently coined to mean the coinfection of influenza and Covid.
It is important to discuss the possibility of coinfections with your physician. Otherwise, you may be treated for one virus without contemplation of multiple viruses at work. Physicians have old and new diagnostics that are available to test across multiple viruses. Coinfections by multiple pathogens is becoming more common.
Public Health and the Diagnosis of Fungal Infection
Fungal infections are not common diagnoses unless they are obvious. The CDC outlines the patients that are susceptible to fungal infections without acknowledging mold sensitivity or the impact of the environment on chronic diseases. They outline:
- People living with HIV/AIDS
- Organ transplant patients
- Cancer patients
- Hospitalized patients
- Stem cell transplant patients
- People taking medications that weaken the immune system
The CDC defines public outbreaks when “two or more people get sick from contact with the same source, sometimes at the same time or place”. When this happens, they have a branch that investigates. CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch works closely with federal, state, and local public health agencies and other partners. Together, they collect different types of data to find the source of the outbreak:
- Epidemiologic data to answer questions such as “Who got sick?” “When?” and “Where?”
- Patient samples such as blood or tissue are tested in a laboratory to find out which fungus is causing the illnesses.
- Environmental samples can help health officials determine if fungi in the environment match the patient samples, providing clues about where they might have gotten infected.
Unfortunately, the resources to investigate every water damaged home where “two or more people get sick” for communities or homes that are water damaged does not exist. The burden lies with the patients.
CDC does provide limited information for healthcare professionals, primarily focusing on common mold infections such as candidiasis and aspergillosis that have clear and obvious symptoms and diagnostics. They do not address the pandemic of allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic molds that occur in water damaged homes, poorly ventilated buildings, or of storm destruction from communities hit by natural disasters. In almost all flooding situations, large populations are exposed to numerous dangerous bacteria and fungi present in dirty water that can impact human health.
Similar to today’s crises, Public Health has limited resources to address all of the needs of a community for an infectious outbreak.
Coinfections Understood Today
Over the past few decades, coinfections have not been commonly researched. As a result, there are very few publications that investigate the physiology and pathology of coinfections and are published in peer review journals. Coinfections can be more complex to diagnose and treat than single infections, as they may involve multiple pathogens and can have overlapping symptoms. It’s important to seek medical care if you think you may have a co-infection, as untreated infections can lead to serious complications. Coinfections are characterized by the simultaneous infection by multiple pathogens. This can include viral, fungal, and bacterial infection.
Chronic sinusitis is one of the most obvious fungal/bacterial coinfection candidates. Often, a patient can have what presents to physicians as a bacterial infection treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics will also kill the “good” bacteria that maintains balance in the microbiome. This often results in a fungal infection. In the end, fungal and bacterial sinusitis cycle with each other.
The most obvious coinfections that have sufficient epidemiology data are HIV and Hepatitis viruses. HIV (discovered in early 1980s) evolves into AIDS which attacks the entire immune system and results in hospitalization. Other serious infections, such as Hepatitis B &C, are screened and appear often as coinfections. About 40% of patients with HIV are co-infected with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). For coinfection conditions, the symptoms and disease courses are usually more complex and serious than a single viral infection case. Although “super” or coinfections can make the disease more severe and its progression faster, there is also the possibility that one of the agents, such as HCV, could help promote the clearings of the other virus, such as Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), from the body. HCV could also take over the position of HBV and become the major virus to cause persistent chronic infection.
There are a Handful of Well-Recognized Coinfections by Multiple pathogens
- Influenza is commonly co-infected with common bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, accounted for over one third of all observed coinfections. During the Spanish Flu and Swine Flu, it was estimated that over 50% of patients died from secondary bacterial infections, even in hospital care.
- There are patients that are infected with both Influenza viruses, A&B.
- People can be co-infected with both gonorrhea and syphilis. Those infections aren’t necessarily related to each other. Instead, they’re both related to similar types of activity. In addition, it is not uncommon for the Herpes Virus to coinfect these patients.
- Lyme disease is perhaps the most understood disease where the coinfection possibilities, such as Epstein Barr Virus, are well documented given physician’s ability to rule out coinfections during treatment. Lyme disease is also known to be continuously exacerbated by coinfection with mold.
- There have been clusters of death by an adenovirus where toxic mold was discovered in the dorms of university students.
Mold Illness and Coinfections
The most important element to keep in mind is that if you are mold sensitive, your immune system is likely active and compromised. The active immune system can make a person more vulnerable to be infected by a virus and impact your body’s ability to fight the virus. Alternatively, having a virus can make you more sensitive to mold and become more symptomatic. There are some viral co-infections that are observed by physicians; however, there is little medical literature on the topic. Coinfections are characterized by the simultaneous infection by multiple pathogens. Coinfections with Cytomegaly, Lyme, Epstein Barr, Herpes, and other viruses seem to play a role in the chronic nature of mold illness.
Avoiding Mold and Other Microbial Pathogens
Maintaining a mold and other microbe free home is essential to healing and preventing illness. Mold test plates that culture the microorganisms are well suited to test for multiple microorganisms. ImmunoLytics DIY Mold Test Kits offer easy-to-use plates and swabs that can be sent into the lab for fungi identification.
I prefer mold microbial maintenance using a natural antimicrobial fog, hot or cold, throughout my home regularly. The fog will help bio-balance the environment to help keep air and surface microbes to a minimum. Bio-Balance Home Fogging Solutions can provide peace of mind while neutralizing odors caused by bacteria and mold. The elimination of putrid and musty smells without chemical fragrances to mask odors can provide peace of mind that the microbial presence has diminished.
Another important element to fogging is the ability to reach all surfaces. BioBalance Home Mister will aerosolize Bio-Balance Maintenance Solution into microscopic particles as small as 25 microns. These droplets will reach all surfaces, including corners and crevices to reach all the surface microbes in the home. The droplets will evaporate quickly. The Home Maintenance Mister is lightweight and easy-to-use. You can fog an entire home in 10-20 minutes, depending on square footage. The Bio-Balance Fog Kit, a hot fogging solution, is more comprehensive. The hot fog will penetrate all areas in the home for a more complete reach covering all surfaces including inside cabinets, drawers, and all belongings. It is a safe botanical blend of citrus seed extracts that is not harmful for humans or pets.
CitriSafe offers a variety of Remedy Products to practice good home mold hygiene:
- Remedy Multi-purpose Mold Treatment Spray for all surfaces and misting areas.
- Remedy Laundry Detergent to remove mold and debris from clothing, towels and linens.
- BioBalance HavenClean to used with cleaning equipment for the deep cleaning of carpets and furniture.
- CDC website. Fungal Diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/
- Klein, Eili, et. al. “The frequency of influenza and bacterial coinfection: a systematic review and meta‐analysis”. Influenza and other respiratory illnesses. June 24, 2016
- Boske, Elizabeth PhD, MPH, CHES. The Difference Between Secondary Infection and Co-Infection
- Holcombe, Madeline, “University of Maryland freshman dies from adenovirus-related illness” CNN.com. November 21, 2018
- Gregianini TS, et al. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2019. Flu virus coinfection occurs more often than previously thought
Cesar Collado is a former pharmaceutical R&D senior executive, venture capitalist, and seasoned strategy consultant in biotechnology and technology industries in general. He currently works as an advisor to multiple technology start-ups and advises several companies with technology solutions, including companies that provide healthcare and other services for environmental illness.
Cesar worked with MicroBalance Health Products from 2014-2019, where he had responsibility for strategy, revenues, marketing, and finance, as well as, writing all original content for the company’s newsletters during his tenure. Cesar is passionate about awareness and treatment of environmental illness as a significant, unmet and misdiagnosed, medical need. He has partnered with Integrative Physicians, Bau-Biologists, Environmental Inspectors, Mold Remediators, HVAC IAQ Specialists, and other professionals to generate educational materials for the environmentally ill. Cesar currently writes original content for ImmunoLytics, Bio-Balance, and CitriSafe: Protocols and Products for a Healthy Life.