Archive for the ‘Bartonella’ Category

Bartonella With Dr. Brian Plante, ND

Why You Should Listen

In this episode, you will learn about the vector-borne infection Bartonella.

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About My Guest

My guest for this episode is Dr. Brian Plante. Brian Plante, ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor with extensive training in integrative healthcare approaches. He specializes in working with patients suffering from complex immune dysfunction such as Lyme disease, chronic viral infections, environmental toxicity (such as from mold and heavy metals), autoimmune disease, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Additionally, Dr. Plante helps patients recover from functional gastrointestinal conditions, adrenal and thyroid disorders, and neuropsychiatric disorders. With each patient Dr. Plante meets, he conducts a comprehensive evaluation in order to get a complete picture and then creates individualized treatment plans to address that patient’s specific concerns. Dr. Plante is a graduate of the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, as well as a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). He believes that one integral step in helping patients heal from complex chronic illness is by empowering them with knowledge and understanding. He facilitates this by patiently taking however much time is needed to investigate a patient’s symptoms and concerns thoroughly. Through compassionate listening, thoughtful instruction, and a steadfast commitment to helping patients experience lasting, positive change, Dr. Plante can combat the frustration patients often experience in their struggle to find answers. His goal with every patient with whom he interacts is to provide support and guidance in their journey toward achieving optimal health.

Key Takeaways

  • What symptoms provide clues for the potential of Bartonella?
  • Could Bartonella be an explanation for many neuropsychiatric conditions?
  • Might Bartonella play a role in SIBO?
  • What are the vectors through which Bartonella may be acquired?
  • What labs are useful for exploring the potential presence of Bartonella?
  • How often does mold exposure play a role in Bartonella patients?
  • Can Bartonella be a trigger for MCAS?
  • Can Bartonella be a driver of autoimmunity and immune dysregulation?
  • Might Bartonella play a role in hypermobility syndromes and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
  • What role does Bartonella play in Morgellons?
  • What is the foundation for treating Bartonella?
  • What modalities can be helpful for terrain optimization?
  • What role do nutritional IVs play in Bartonella treatment?
  • Are antibiotics necessary in treating Bartonella?
  • What herbs may be helpful for addressing Bartonella?
  • How might oxidative therapies such as ozone, EBOO, and ozone plasmapheresis be used?
  • How often do biofilms need to be addressed?
  • What antimicrobial and immune-modulating peptides have a role?
  • Can Bartonella be fully eradicated?
  • Once a patient has recovered, can treatment be stopped? Or is there a maintenance strategy for longer-term support?

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See top link for transcript.

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How to Treat Persister Lyme & Bartonella

How to Treat Persister Lyme & Bartonella

By Dr. Marty Ross

Persister Lyme in a Lyme disease treatment image from Marty Ross MD

I provide a large part of the information in this article in A Lyme Disease Antibiotic Guide and in Kills Bartonella: A Brief Guide. I am including this information as a stand-alone article on persisters for those looking for information just on this topic and additional persister treatment options from those I lay out in the Lyme and Bartonella articles.

Marty Ross MD

About Persister Lyme & Bartonella

There are many reasons Lyme and Bartonella are hard to treat. One reason is persister Lyme and Bartonella germs ignore standard antibiotics. Based on numerous laboratory experiments since 2015, the Lyme germ is shown to have a growth state and a hibernating – non-growing state. These hibernators are called persisters. They do not respond to regular prescription antibiotics – although they do seem to respond to many herbal antibiotics that we use.

More recently – experiments starting in late 2019 from Ying Zhang, MD and his colleagues, show that Bartonella also has persister forms.  (See link for article)


SUMMARY of treatments Dr. Ross uses for Lyme and/or Bartonella persisters:

  • Disulfiram
  • Methylene Blue
  • Cefuroxime plus Clarithromycin plus Nitazonxanide
  • Oregano, Cinnamon, and Clove oils
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Cat’s claw
  • Azlocillin

I highly recommend reading Ross’ entire article as there are many nuances within it including Dr. Burrascano‘s use of cycling.  He and numerous patients achieved remission using this approach and current research appears to support the practice.  Not only is cycling effective, it gives the body, particularly the gut, a much needed break from harsh antibiotics.

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The Bartonella Discovery Program

http://  Approx. 2 Min

Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) Chief Scientific Officer, Timothy Sellati, PhD

Learn about an exciting research project that Global Lyme Alliance is fundraising for. It will uncover the “stealth” pathogen known as Bartonella that many Americans may carry. This study can help children, parents, and grandparents who suffer from psychiatric & neurological problems, among other physical illnesses. Learn more and donate at

Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) has launched a crowdfunding campaign in honor of Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May. GLA will use this campaign to bring attention to another debilitating illness that also affects many people with Lyme disease. The study will look at hidden bacteria known as Bartonella, a vector-borne pathogen that many Americans may carry. Bartonella can cause Bartonellosis, an infectious disease that can affect the brain, eyes, heart, and other organs. Bartonellosis can cause depression, anxiety, OCD, and encephalitis (which can result in seizures and coma). 

Like Lyme disease, Bartonellosis is increasing in prevalence and can also go undiagnosed due to lack of awareness. Current antibiotic therapy for complicated Bartonellosis does not always eradicate the disease, and patients continue to suffer. The Bartonella Discovery Program is a project designed to help achieve the following:

  • To identify how Bartonella species interact with a patient’s immune cells, and how the intracellular, extracellular and biofilm lifestyles of Bartonella influence antibiotic susceptibility
  • To lay the foundation for drug discovery efforts to find antibiotic options that are more effective in killing and clearing these bacteria from patients
  • To use cutting edge tools to look for the bacteria in kids and young adults who suffer from an acute neuropsychological condition called PANS, and in older adults with dementia.

 “The importance of this study cannot be overstated because of the severe neuroinflammation and neuropsychiatric disorders some patients can suffer when infected with Bartonella bacteria,” says GLA’s Chief Scientific Officer Tim Sellati, PhD.

The U.S.-focused study is multinational and multi-site at premier academic institutions using top Bartonella and biofilm experts. Associate Professor Monica Embers, PhD, a microbiologist and immunologist at the Tulane National Primate Research Center who has studied the persistence of tick-borne infectious diseases despite antibiotic therapy, is The Bartonella Discovery Program Director. When asked about the impact this program could have on patients,

Dr. Embers said, “With this project, we aim to use sensitive detection methods to directly find the bacteria in patients who are suffering from clinical disease consistent with Bartonellosis.   This could tremendously impact patients who suffer from chronic disease that has been difficult to diagnose because if we can reliably detect the bacteria, it would offer direct evidence to support the diagnosis.”

Learn more and donate by clicking the link button below.

“Ehrlichia,” Rhapsody in Discomfort #6

TOUCHED BY LYME: “Ehrlichia,” Rhapsody in Discomfort #6

April 11, 2022

Dan Flanagan is a professional violinist and composer based in Northern California. He takes pleasure in creating music for solo violins and small ensembles. He often pairs his compositions with paintings from artists who inspire him—sort of a multi-media artistic approach, if you will.

I haven’t met him. But in the introduction to the following YouTube video, Dan comes across like a playful guy with an impish sense of humor.

Yet beneath the surface, there is much more to his story.

Dan has made his way in the music world despite severe muscle, joint and nerve pain—and other unpleasant realities—that have plagued him since the age of 12.

Finally, a diagnosis

Five years ago, at 37, after years of seeking out different doctors in search of relief from his agony, he was finally diagnosed with Borrelia (Lyme), Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, relapsing fever, and Epstein-Barr virus. (He does not recall ever being bitten by a tick.) Since the diagnosis, he’s undergone a wide variety of treatments that so far haven’t achieved the level of healing he has long sought.

“While it’s possible that these things have helped a little or at least slowed down the progression, I’m still miserable,” he says.

Physically playing the violin is a struggle for Dan, because of stiff muscles and other symptoms. But he says that music is what keeps him going, his raison d’etre, what gives meaning to his life. So, he carries on.

Putting pain to music

In the spirit of focusing on what he loves to do, Dan recently composed a short piece of music entitled “Ehrlichia,” Rhapsody in Discomfort #6.

Here’s how he explains it:

“Ehrlichia” is written in Rondo form. The repeated Rondo theme, representing the disease traveling through the body, is a fast moving, feverish collection of scales in C minor.

Each digression represents a different symptom experienced by the victim, and each return of the Rondo theme mutates as the disease develops.

Traditional harmonies, tonal clusters, and extended techniques combine to create feelings of discomfort, exhaustion, confusion, fear, and hope. Indeed, toward the end of the piece, the violin represents the attack of antibiotics with piercing and relentless C major chords, followed by temporary calm.

Beginning with a pizzicato tick bite, “Ehrlichia” brings the listener through the tribulations of a Lyme disease patient, ending with joyous relief and tranquility… followed by relapse.

With the aid of a financial grant from IntermusicSF, an arts advocacy organization, Dan has created a video of his three-person ensemble performing this work. He has made it available for all to see.

In the video above, Dan is playing with his friends Paul and Vicky Ehrlich. Amused that their last name closely resembles one of his infections, he chose the title “Ehrlichia” for this piece of music. Their ensemble goes by the name “Trio Solano.”

The video also features a painting that Dan commissioned from East Coast artist Nancy Schroeder, who also has Lyme disease and co-infections (including Ehrlichia).

At the end of the video, he includes information about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, with URLs for more information.

“Ehrlichia,” Rhapsody in Discomfort #6 is a remarkable piece of music and the video is beautifully shot and edited. However, the musicians sit in a grassy meadow. I must admit, I found myself nervously hoping they were all wearing permethrin-treated clothing, with bug repellent on their bare skin!

I emailed Dan to ask him about it—and he assured me, the three took proper precautions to protect themselves from ticks. Whew! Good to know.

The Bow and the Brush

He continues to work on the music that sustains him. He will make his Carnegie Hall debut with “The Bow and the Brush,” a solo violin recital on October 3. Every piece on the program will be a world premiere, commissioned or composed by Dan, with images of the art projected during the performance.

The West Coast Premiere of “The Bow and the Brush” will take place at UC Berkeley on October 16. Learn more about Dan’s work and his upcoming performances at his website.

Photo credit: Russ Gold

Click here to learn how to protect yourself from ticks

TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland,’s Vice-president and Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at



Yes, it definitely makes my skin crawl and fantastically represents Lyme/MSIDS audibly.

My first concern was about the musicians sitting in grassy woods….glad they took precautions as that would have seriously impeded my ability to listen!

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Treating Bartonella Cleared Most of My Son’s Symptoms of Autism

Treating Bartonella cleared most of my son’s symptoms of autism

By Debbie Kimberg

April 8, 2022

For years, I had no idea that I was infected with Lyme disease and related illnesses. There was nothing obvious, like pain or chronic fatigue. Instead, my symptoms were mild and crept up on me insidiously over my lifetime: anxiety, social anxiety, irritability, then migraines, thyroiditis, a little neuropathy in my fingertips and arthritis in my knuckles.

Little did I know that I had stealth infections that I would unsuspectingly transmit to my three sons during my pregnancies. This is known as congenital Lyme disease.

My three boys all exhibited very different presentations. When my oldest son was in preschool, he was charming, driven and precocious. But he was also oppositional, had excessive tantrums, trouble with transitions, picky eating, and was hypersensitive to seams in socks and sunlight.

My middle son was your typical child with ADHD. He was your happy-go-lucky kid in constant motion, hopping or running from place to place. In school, he had difficulty concentrating and with executive function. By middle school, he developed anxiety and a few panic attacks. Then in college, he suffered from multiple bouts of severe depression and chronic fatigue.

However, it was my youngest son, Sammy, who got the shortest end of the stick. He had issues from day one. His first year of development was mostly on track, but as the years progressed, he developed autism spectrum disorder (ASD), multiple vocal and movement tics, ADHD, learning disabilities, low reading comprehension, baby talk, age regression, bedwetting, antisocial behavior, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and OCD.

I thought this was just our life. Every family has their problems. Lots of kids have ADHD or ASD. It runs in families, right? My mild issues were under control. I didn’t think there was a single root cause to all of our problems.

Brain on Fire

Then I read Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan. The author developed an infection that caused severe psychiatric and physical symptoms.

Inspired by the book, I made an appointment with a doctor of functional medicine to evaluate Sammy and give another opinion about his symptoms.  Sammy was 10 years old. After our intake interview, the doctor diagnosed him with Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS). He had a majority of the symptoms, 29 in all:

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Vocal tics: squealing, grunting, stammering, throat clearing
  • Movement tics: a neck roll that first appeared at 6 months old, facial grimace, bending, swaying, spinning, hand flapping when excited, running at inappropriate times
  • Baby talk
  • Age regression
  • ASD
  • ADHD
  • Learning disabilities, low reading comprehension
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Depression
  • Antisocial (i.e. addicted to electronics, stayed in room, spoke quietly)
  • Bedwetting
  • Dysgraphia
  • Picky eating
  • Dilated eyes
  • Balance issues
  • Gluten and dairy sensitivity

Furthermore, his titers for strep and coxsackie virus were also sky high.

Lyme disease and co-infections

After six months on different antibiotics with little improvement, our doctor ran IGeneX tests on Sammy, his two older brothers, and me, for Lyme disease and co-infections. The results were confusing.

Two boys showed positive for Borrelia burgdorferi; Sammy and I had three indeterminant bands. Sammy was IGG positive for Babesia microti and only my middle son was positive for Bartonella henselae. In time, it was determined that all four of us were positive for the trifecta of tick-borne diseases—Borrelia, Babesia, and Bartonella.

I’ve heard that symptoms of congenital Lyme disease often show in children by age four. This is what we experienced with all three of my boys, though their presentations were vastly different.

An array of treatments–little progress

Once we had the diagnosis of Lyme disease and co-infections, we were optimistic that Sammy would quickly see improvements with treatment. Instead, we found ourselves traversing from doctor to doctor searching for a treatment that would help.

Over a period of five years, Sammy saw ten doctors in all and tried an array of antibiotics, herbals, homeopathics, supplements, and detoxes indicated for Lyme disease or PANS, with little progress.

Because Sammy was slightly better on the treatments versus nothing, we maintained a flicker of hope that eventually we would find a treatment that would work. In some cases, we abandoned certain treatments because his oppositional behavior became intense and untenable.


With little progress after five years, we were excited when our neurologist got monthly high dose intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) approved by our insurance company. We had high hopes for the treatment.

The first five days after his initial treatment were tough. Like with many other treatments, Sammy became even more oppositional and impossible to deal with. Then, suddenly, as if a light switch had turned on, everything changed. Sammy became happy, social, and agreeable. His many tics were much better.

And, after years of poor memory, suddenly he could remember things! Like what he ate at his friend’s house for dinner and the names of all the kids who’d been with him. Since Sammy hit his teen years, he rarely spoke and only about a few topics obsessively such as when he was going to eat dairy and gluten again or wanting to play electronics all night. Now, he was much more neurotypical!

But the improvements were short-lived, typically lasting for only two weeks after each month’s infusion. And each month, the insurance company fought to discontinue the expensive treatment.

Delayed IVIG infusions wreaked havoc on Sammy’s behavior, causing him to devolve into depressive, oppositional episodes. After five treatments, our insurance company denied additional coverage. Despite such great improvements, Sammy was in the worst straits we had experienced.

What next?

We weren’t sure where to turn. With Sammy’s repeated attempts to run-away to ‘live with the beggars’ because our family rules were unbearable, we tried to check him into the psychiatric ward of a local children’s hospital. When the ER psychiatrist refused to admit him, we began searching for a long-term residential facility to keep him safe. My husband and I were heartbroken. How could our son see such dramatic improvements with IVIG, then so quickly become depressed and intolerant of everything around him?

After losing all hope from the failed IVIG treatment, our functional medicine doctor asked if we’d like to try disulfiram, a drug recently found to show great promise in treating Lyme and Babesia. She wasn’t aware of any other children who had tried it and expected Sammy would be one of the first.

It seemed like a longshot, but with no other options, what did we have to lose?


The decision changed Sammy’s life. After one dose of disulfiram, Sammy’s oppositional behavior disappeared, his worst symptom at the time. No longer did he badger us for more dairy or gluten, insist on playing games all night, or threaten to run away. Suddenly, he was happy, agreeable, and more social. The overnight improvement of just those few symptoms was a miracle for our family life. We knew we were on the right track!

A few other symptoms improved on disulfiram during the six-month treatment: picky eating, dilated eyes, dysgraphia, most of bedwetting, antisocial behavior, and depression.

Yet, along with those important improvements, other symptoms intensified. These included OCD, age regression, baby talk, vocal and movement tics, brain fog, learning disabilities and ADHD. These symptoms proved annoying, but Sammy was happy and the symptoms were tolerable.

Targeting Bartonella

Despite Sammy’s negative Bartonella test, we suspected it due to his OCD.  We treated it next using an antibiotic protocol that included rifampin/rifabutin, clarithromycin, and minocycline. Again, we saw a major improvement in a very short time.

Suddenly, Sammy’s baby talk, age regression, hyperactivity, and eight vocal and movement tics resolved. These symptoms seemed intrinsically tied as they all cleared almost overnight. Sammy was thrilled when at six weeks into treatment, his gluten and dairy sensitivity resolved. He could eat whatever he wanted again with no worsening behavior! Bartonella treatment also fully cleared his bedwetting. None of our doctors seemed aware that these symptoms were caused by Bartonella. In fact, seventy percent of Sammy’s ASD symptoms appeared to be caused by Bartonella. It was an important discovery.

Good-bye to Special Ed classes

The most notable improvement came after four months of antibiotic treatment for Bartonella. Sammy, who had been in special education since preschool due to learning disabilities and low reading comprehension,  now began doing his homework independently. And his grades moved from low Cs to high As.

Remarkably, on statewide testing, he went from a fifth-grade reading level one year earlier to a tenth-grade level last spring. His IQ rose six points into the average range. And he suddenly passed out of his pragmatic language skills/social skills class, which he had made little progress in throughout his life. (Pragmatic language skills are knowing what to say–and how and when to say it.)

I’m pleased to share that the impossible happened. Last fall, in 11th grade, the school moved Sammy out of special education and into all grade-level classes, an exceptional outcome that was beyond our expectations. It was a first for his high school and an accomplishment that Sammy takes great pride in.

Learning disabilities due to brain fog?

In hindsight, the learning disabilities were caused by severe brain fog. Once the brain fog lifted, his IQ, executive functioning, and learning abilities returned to normal. Unlike what I had been told by many professionals, low executive function was not due to improper development of his frontal lobe. Instead, the AD in ADHD was due to severe brain fog and was treatable.

Furthermore, although Sammy had taken social skills classes every year since kindergarten, he had never shown improvement until he was treated for Borrelia and Bartonella.  Now, on his own accord, Sammy wanted to come out of his room to hang out with the family. Our quiet, reclusive son became the most talkative one at the dinner table, leading family conversations on a host of new topics we had no idea he had knowledge of, like Simon Cowell, Kobe Bryant, and inflation!

Today, Sammy is studying for his ACTs and planning to attend a four-year college. This was unthinkable 18 months ago, when we expected Sammy to need lifetime care and be unable to hold a job.

Sammy is 80% recovered from ASD and is still undergoing treatment to resolve three remaining symptoms out of twenty-nine: OCD, neck roll tic, and social behaviors. Sadly, his social behavior regressed seven months after finishing the six-month disulfiram protocol, so we are retreating the Borrelia and seeing some improvement.

What happened to our son is a medical miracle. I am so grateful to every doctor who helped us.

I have written a memoir that I am working to publish to explain our long, difficult, but ultimately successful journey. Even at 17-years-old, it’s possible to reverse learning disabilities and see a great recovery from ASD!

Debbie Kimberg updates their story on Instagram at @HijackedBrains. She can be contacted at


HALLELUJAH!  This story clearly demonstrates the importance of treatment and the miraculous effects it can have.

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