Archive for the ‘mosquitoes’ Category

Lost Link – ALS & Lyme

https://huib.me/en/blog/item/92-the-lost-link-between-als-and-lyme-disease  by Huib Kraaijeveld, October 2017

The lost link between ALS and Lyme disease

Knowledge about emergent diseases normally increases over time. Lyme Disease seems to be an exception to this rule. Claims that governments and scientists made around 1990, seem to have been forgotten. This article explores the lost link between ALS and Lyme. ALS is also known as Motor Neurone Disorder (MND) or as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the famous Yankee baseball player who died from it in the 1940’s. It is still claimed there is no known cause nor cure for it. 

 

A few weeks ago I visited a friend to admire her new house. She wasn’t as happy as I’d expected. She told me that a good friend of hers (46) was just diagnosed with ALS. ALS is considered a progressive and lethal disease, without a known cure for it.

Two months earlier, her friend had sudden deterioration of her memory, impairment of cognitive function and lost the use of the muscles in one arm. I’m not medically trained myself, but found this to be a peculiar combination of symptoms for ‘ALS’.

Some clinical tests for other illnesses were checked off, no blood work was done and she was basically sent home to write her will and say goodbye to her young child and husband. Memory loss and the sudden inability to think straight were not included in the diagnosis process.

My friend asked me for some sources about a potential link between Lyme and ALS. I’d like to share these sources with you as well in this current article, as a timely example how knowledge can somehow be ‘forgotten’.

Media coverage

There is a specific reason to write this article now. This week, on October 18, a highly disputed broadcast by Zembla International called ‘deceit or Borrelia‘ seems to be repeated on Dutch TV.

It attacked a specialized German lab, using the edited stories of Danish Lyme patients, who could not get help in their own country.

The patients did not give their consent for the broadcast, and when they realized where the broadcast was heading, they found that they were unable to withdraw their cooperation. This led to a ‘counter’ documentary of their own making, which you can see below.

Tabitha, the first lady who you can see in this documentary, was also told that she would live another six months at most and should say goodbye to her young daughter. Her diagnosis was also ALS.

She found that Lyme was likely the cause of her deterioration in health, got treated for it and stopped the progression of the ‘ALS’. She’s still alive now, although hardly after the damage the original documentary had done to her care plan.

Differential diagnosis

A differential diagnosis is what specialists call ‘detective work’. Clinicians look for symptomatic and laboratory clues, have hunches, order testing and perform exams, and then rule diagnoses in or out, especially when one or more illnesses have similar symptoms or even lab findings.

Part of that detective work is simply doing diagnostics by way of treatment. If a patient does not respond to a treatment for a specific disease, too bad, but then you can exclude it. But if they do, great news! Wouldn’t you think, in case of a lethal condition?

Allan Sheppard’ story, which was featured by the BBC, tells another tale. After the UK medical system NHS kept him in Intensive Care for two years with alleged ‘ALS’ and refusing his daughter to get a Lyme test from another specialized German lab, he is now improving while being treated for Lyme. Despite the UK government trying to stop her.

The story of Eivind Markhus is even more sinister. After he was told he would die from ALS, he had an American lab test his blood and found Lyme to be the real cause of his problems. He also improved after initial treatment and the progression of his ALS symptoms stopped.

Yet instead of spending 150,000 dollar on Lyme treatments, he spent that amount on legal cases, because his Norwegian government forbade him to get treated. He lost both the lawsuit and his life.

Recently, a male Dutch ALS patient (34, with three little children), who had been previously tested – with the standard unreliable serological test – for Lyme in a so-called (ALS) ’Expert Center’, had to learn from a chronic Lyme patient and a Lyme Literate US doctor how to improve the diagnostics.

By buying antibiotics online in New Zealand and taking them for a few days, his body started to produce antibodies for Lyme. So suddenly the test was positive in another (Lyme) ‘Expert Center’, where they apparently don’t know how to do this.

He is now crowdfunding to undergo an experimental treatment, which his insurance refuses to cover as it is not considered ‘evidence based’.

The story of Dr. Martz, who is featured in the award-winning documentary ‘Under Our Skin’ is the icing on the cake. He was told he would die of ALS as well, but found out by coincidence that he actually had Lyme and a co-infection, was treated for both of them and recovered so much he could give lectures in 2011.

Ice buckets

A relationship between ALS / MND and Lyme makes sense, looking at the findings of the 1990 research that was published in the article ‘Immunological Reactivity against in Borrelia burgdorferi in Patients with Motor Neuron Disease’ by Halperin et al.

This study showed that in almost 50% of the 19 people diagnosed with ALS, Lyme was the cause. Once treated, several of these patients improved. In that same year, 1990, the CDC published its first definition about Lyme and described the complex, systemic, multi-symptom and sometimes devastating chronic disease experienced by many Lyme patients – then and still today.

Did anyone ever do a follow-up on this promising research? No. It was simply hidden away and Halperin chose to become a co-author of the 2006 IDSA Lyme Guidelines instead, which maintain that ‘Lyme is a mild disease that is hard to get, easy to treat and hardly ever becomes a chronic condition’. Any possible connection with ALS or any other of the serious and previously acknowledged debilitating or even deadly conditions was no longer mentioned. Any long-term health issues are reasoned away, using semantics rather than ‘evidence based’ science.

These 2006 IDSA Lyme Guidelines have become worldwide policy, even though they were removed from the National Guidelines Clearinghouse and named as a case of bad ‘evidence based’ guidelines by the Institute of Medicine in 2011. To this day, both the CDC and WHO wholeheartedly support them, regardless of the hundreds of scientific publications that dispute them.

Today, 27 years after the Halperin study, people with ALS are routinely not (properly) tested nor treated for Lyme. Instead, friends and families are encouraged to empty ice buckets over each other’s heads to collect money for new research for a new cure for ALS.

The patient stories mentioned above will simply be discarded as ‘anecdotical’ by both mainstream scientists, doctors and policymakers. So will the fact that Lou Gehrig actually owned a house in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Yet, if these stories are not shared anyway, the knowledge in them will be lost and so is hope for other people like Eivind, Allan, Tabitha, my friend’s friend and their children.

Choices of media channels such as the BBC or Zembla are decisive which knowledge is made available to the public. I asked the editors of Zembla to reconsider broadcasting it again, but have not yet received a reply.

An intellectual ice bucket

Most of these diagnoses are simply words on a form, which either best fit the symptoms or simply fit the codes of the insurances. Almost all of them are based on clinical diagnoses only and can mean a life-sentence to the patients.

Yet they need to prove with 100% certainty that Lyme is the actual cause? How can they do so, with blood tests that produce over 500 times more false negatives than the current HIV tests? Even the ‘experts’ now state that they should no longer be used

The intellectual ice-bucket is that one disease (causative agent) can show up as many different ‘disease images’, fooling doctors, patients, immune systems and statistics alike. Although it happened before in history, with Syphilis, many people seem to find this idea hard to grasp.

In this current article I only used ALS, which is considered a lethal and incurable disease to all afflicted, as an example to open up your imagination. Yet I could have also used any of the other 364 known potential misdiagnoses of Lyme as well.

Odds are about 100% that you personally know people who suffer from several of these illnesses, as the list includes MS, Parkinson, Alzheimer, ME, Fibromyalgia, ADHD and so on.

This is why I wrote my book for people like my friend, as it’s much easier for her to see the scope and possibilities than for the people like her friend, who are disabled and so frightened that will tend to believe their medical ‘death sentence’.

Is Lyme always the cause? Most likely not, as with anything in life, but without a 100% reliable test we will never know for sure in how many cases it is. Can it be? Of course it can, in the current climate of ‘lost knowledge’. Here are just a few more examples.

In 1988, the Canadian Department of Health reported several cases of congenital Lyme infection. In 2017: silence.

In 2012, the WHO stated in an instruction about blood donation (p.84) that Lyme Borrelia infection can “occur after the bite of a tick, mosquito or horsefly and can survive blood storage temperatures“.

Did you know? Does your doctor? Not if they don’t stumble upon it in their private lives, as retired MD Dr. Al Miller did. He recently discovered his daughter-in-law (43) was wrongly diagnosed with – again – ALS and that her health improved, after she was (properly) tested and treated for Lyme. Dr. Miller has become very vocal about it.

Change?

Using normal human, scientific or professional logic does not really help to understand the current bias against Lyme as a potential cause for many different illnesses. It simply does not fit the current model.

So change will not come from ‘above’. Throughout history, it never has, because ‘above’ has no interests in changing a status quo. Both the CDC and the WHO are political organizations.

The main insight you may need to fully understand why a severe and widespread disease – or rather pandemic – is so systematically ignored, downplayed or simply denied to exist in the first place, is to appreciate what it means that Lyme is called a ‘political disease’.

This quote might give you a hint: “a patient cured is a customer lost”. That is why a paradigm shift entails more than just ‘finding a cure for ALS’ (or those 364 other diseases) and emptying a next bucket of ice cubes; no matter how well-intended the gesture is.

References

Neurodegenerative and Fatiguing Illnesses, Infections and Mitochondrial Dysfunction: Use of Natural Supplements to Improve Mitochondrial Function. Garth L. Nicolson, Robert Settineri and Rita R. Ellithorpe. Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2014; 4(1):23-65 (page 23 of 65)

Lyme disease-induced polyradiculopathy mimicking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Burakgazi AZ1. Int J Neurosci. 2014 Nov;124(11):859-62. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2013.879582. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

Chronic or Late Lyme Neuroborreliosis: Analysis of Evidence Compared to Chronic or Late NeurosyphilisJudith Miklossy. The Open Neurology Journal. 2012; 6: 146–157.

Dr. Richard Horowitz has a section in his second book ‘How Can I Get Better?‘ (page 282) where he says “Yet, if Lyme disease, co infections and environmental toxins are the sole causes of ALS, I would expect to see even more of these patients coming in with the disease.

Huib Kraaijeveld

Author of ‘Shifting the Lyme Paradigm‘, chairman of the On Lyme Foundation and founding member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Health Equity in ICD

____________

**Comment**

Bravo Huib!

Dr. Miller:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/05/11/dr-al-miller-lyme-disease-series/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/13/dr-miller-a-new-perspective-on-lyme-disease/

Second Jamestown Canyon Virus Case in New Hampshire

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/new-hampshire-reports-2nd-jamestown-canyon-virus-case-27643/  Sept. 2017

New Hampshire health officials have recorded the second human Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) case of the year in an adult from Goffstown. This follows a case confirmed in mid-August in Hanover.

Image/Elionas
Image/Elionas

It is likely that this case was acquired in New Hampshire, but due to recent travel, location of exposure is not certain.

“As we head into the fall, it’s important for people to remember that mosquito-borne diseases like Jamestown Canyon Virus are still a risk in New Hampshire,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “We want residents and visitors to continue to enjoy the outdoors, but they should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites as long as mosquitoes are still around.”

LISTEN: Powassan virus: The spread is inevitable

Until the second hard frost of the season, residents and visitors to New Hampshire should continue to protect themselves and their family members from mosquito-borne diseases by using an effective mosquito repellant that contains 30% DEET, wearing long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and removing standing water from around your home so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed. Repellents with picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products also provide protection against mosquito bites. A hard frost is defined as two consecutive hours of temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Related: Iowa reports 1st West Nile virus death of 2017

Initially described in the early 1970s, JCV is a mosquito-borne pathogen that circulates widely in North America primarily between deer and a variety of mosquito species, but it can also infect humans. Reports of JCV in humans are rare (Since 2000, more than 50 cases of JCV have been identified nationally. The cases have primarily been in the Midwest and Northeast) and most reported illnesses caused by Jamestown Canyon virus have been mild, but moderate-to-severe central nervous system involvement has been reported.

 

Wolbachia – The Next Frankenstein?

Transmission electron micrograph of Wolachia within an insect cell

Credit:  Public Library of Science/Scott O’Neill

The latest in the effort for world domination over bugs and the diseases they carry is Wolbachia, a Gram-negative bacterium of the family Rickettsiales first found in 1924 and in 60% of all the insects, including some mosquitoes, crustaceans, and nematodes (worms). For those that like numbers, that’s over 1 million species of insects and other invertebrates. It is one of the most infectious bacterial genera on earth and was largely unknown until the 90’s due to its evasion tactics. It’s favorite hosts are filarial nematodes and arthropods.

Wolachia obtains nutrients through symbiotic relationships with its host. In arthropods it affects reproductive abilities by male killing, parthenogenesis, cytoplasmic incompatibility and feminization. However, if Wolbachia is removed from nematodes, the worms become infertile or die. These abilities are what make it so appealing for insect controlcytoplasmic incompatibility, which essentially means it results in sperm and eggs being unable to form viable offering.

http://www.slideserve.com/babu/wolbachia  (Nifty slide show here)

It also makes it appealing for use in human diseases such as elephantiasis and River Blindness caused by filarial nematodes, which are treated with antibiotics (doxycycline) targeting Wolbachia which in turn negatively impacts the worms. Traditional treatment for lymphatic Filariasis is Ivermectin but they also use chemotherapy to disrupt the interactions between Wolbachia and nematodes. This anti-Wolbachia strategy is a game-changer for treating onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316120451.htm

Lyme/MSIDS patients often have nematode involvement.

https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Wolbachiahttps://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emerging-diseases/200902/tick-menagerie-lyme-isnt-the-only-disease-you-can-get-tick  Both Willy Burgdorfer, the discoverer of the Lyme bacterium, as well as Richard Ostfeld, an animal ecologist found nematode worms in ticks. Since then, some provocative research involving nematodes, Lyme/MSIDS, dementia, and Alzheimer’s has been done.

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/06/03/borrelia-hiding-in-worms-causing-chronic-brain-diseases/https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/08/09/dr-paul-duray-research-fellowship-foundation-some-great-research-being-done-on-lyme-disease/https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/07/10/greg-lee-excellent-article-on-strategies-for-neurological-lyme/https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2015/10/18/psychiatric-lymemsids/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-a-tiny-bacterium-called-wolbachia-could-defeat-dengue/  Yet, according to many, Wolbachia is the next eradicator of Dengue Fever and possibly Malaria, chikungunya, and yellow fever because it stops the virus from replicating inside mosquitoes that transmit the diseases. The approach is also believed to have potential for other vector-borne diseases like sleeping sickness transmitted by the tsetse fly.  Evidently, Wolbachia does not infect the Aedes aegypti mosquito naturally, so researchers have been infecting mosquitoes in the lab and releasing them into the wild since 2011. The article states it hopes that the method works and expects infection rates in people to drop and hopes that the mosquitoes will pass the bacterium to their offspring, despite it disappearing after a generation or two of breeding and needing to “condition” the microbes to get them used to living in mosquitoes before injecting them. They also state Wolbachia is “largely benign for mosquitoes and the environment,” and “To humans, Wolbachia poses no apparent threat.” Their work has shown that the bacterium resides only within the cells of insects and other arthropods. They also state that tests on spiders and geckos that have eaten Wolbachia mosquitoes are just fine and show no symptoms. An independent risk assessment by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organizatioin (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, concluded that, “Release of Wolbachia mosquitoes would have negligible risk to people and the environment.”

Interestingly, trials are underway in Vietnam, Indonesia, and now Brazil.

They state that scaling up operations to rear enough Wolbachia mosquitoes is too labor-intensive and in Cairns they are going to put Wolbachia mosquito eggs right into the environment. Evidently, other researchers are wanting to release genetically modified (GMO) mosquitoes that carry a lethal gene, and they’ve done it, and it’s causing an uproar:   http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/9/genetically-modifiedmosquitoessetoffuproarinfloridakeys.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-25-googles-sister-company-releasing-20-million-mosquitoes-infected-with-fertility-destroying-bacteria-depopulation-experiment.html  As of July 14, 2017, Google’s bio-lab, Verily Life Sciences,  started releasing Wolbachia laced mosquitoes in California as part of project, Debug Fresno to reduce the mosquito population.

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/research-exposes-new-health-risks-genetically-modified-mosquitoes-and-salmon  Numerous studies show unexpected insertions and deletions which can translate into possible toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and other changes.  Science can not predict the real-life consequences on global pattens of gene function.

So, why question the use of Wolbachia as a bio-control?

For Lyme/MSIDS patients, 3 words: worms and inflammation.

Dogs treated for heart worm (D. immitis) have trouble due to the heart worm medication causing Wolbachia to be released into the blood and tissues causing severe Inflammation in pulmonary artery endothelium which may form thrombi and interstitial inflammation. Wolbachia also activates pro inflammatory cytokines. Pets treated with tetracycline a month prior to heart worm treatment will kill some D. immitis as well as suppress worm production. When given after heart worm medication, it may decrease the inflammation from Wolbachia kill off.
http://www.critterology.com/articles/wolbachia-and-their-role-heartworm-disease-and-treatment

The words worms and inflammation should cause every Lyme/MSIDS patient to pause. Many of us are put on expensive anthelmintics like albendazole, ivermectin, Pin X, and praziquantel to get rid of worms and are told to avoid anything causing inflammation due to the fact we have enough of it already. We go on special anti-inflammatory diets and take systemic enzymes and herbs to try and lower inflammation.   https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/04/22/systemic-enzymes/

Seems to me, many MSIDS/LYME patients when treated with anthelmintics, will have Wolbachia released into their blood and tissues causing wide spread inflammation, similarly to dogs.

And that’s not all.

According to a study by Penn State, mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia are more likely to become infected with West Nile – which will then be transmitted to humans.“This is the first study to demonstrate that Wolbachia can enhance a human pathogen in a mosquito, one researcher said. “The results suggest that caution should be used when releasing Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes into nature to control vector-borne diseases of humans.” “Multiple studies suggest that Wolbachia may enhance some Plasmodium parasites in mosquitoes, thus increasing the frequency of malaria transmission to rodents and birds,” he said.  The study states that caution should be used when releasing Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes into nature. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710141628.htm

So besides very probable wide spread inflammation, and that other diseases may become more prevalent due to Wolbachia laced mosquitoes, studies show Wolbachia enhances Malaria in mosquitos. Lyme/MSIDS patients are often co-infected with Babesia, a malarial-like parasite that requires similar treatment and has been found to make Lyme (borrelia) much worse. It is my contention that the reason many are not getting well is they are not being treated for the numerous co-infections.  Some Lyme/MSIDS patients have Malaria and Lyme.

Regardless of what the CDC states, all the doxycycline in the world is not going to cure this complicated and complex illness.

Lastly, with Brazil’s recent explosion of microcephaly, the introduction of yet another man-made intervention (Wolbachia laced mosquitos) should be considered in evaluating potential causes and cofactors. And while the CDC is bound and determined to blame the benign virus, Zika, there are numerous other factors that few are considering – as well as the synergistic effect of all the variables combined. Microcephaly could very well be a perfect storm of events.
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/12/21/how-zika-got-the-blame/https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/04/health-policy-recap/https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/08/fixation-on-zikapolio/

I hate bugs as much as the next person, but careful long-term studies of Wolbachia are required here.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20394659  “Despite the intimate association of B. burgdorferi and I. scapularis, the population structure, evolutionary history, and historical biogeography of the pathogen are all contrary to its arthropod vector.

In short, borrelia (as well as numerous pathogens associated with Lyme/MSIDS), is a smart survivor.

While borrelia have been around forever with 300 strains and counting worldwide, epidemics, such as what happened with Lyme Disease in Connecticut are not caused by genetics but by environmental toxins – in this case, bacteria, viruses, funguses, and stuff not even named yet.

Circling back to Wolbachia.

Hopefully it is evident that many man-made interventions have been introduced into the environment causing important health ramifications: Wolbachia laced mosquitoes and eggs, GMO mosquitoes including CRISPR, and in the case of Zika in Brazil, whole-cell pertussis vaccinations (DTap) for pregnant women up to 20 days prior to expected date of birth, a pyriproxyfen based pesticide applied by the State in Brazil on drinking water, as well as aerial sprays of the insect growth regulators Altosid and VectoBac (Aquabac, Teknar, and LarvX, along with 25 other Bti products registered for use in the U.S.) in New York (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx) to combat Zika. “We feel it’s critical that the scientific community consider the potential hazards of all off-target mutations caused by CRISPR, including single nucleotide mutations and mutations in non-coding regions of the genome … Researchers who aren’t using whole genome sequencing to find off-target effects may be missing potentially important mutations. Even a single nucleotide change can have a huge impact.”  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/13/crispr-gene-editing-dangers.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art3&utm_campaign=20170613Z1_UCM&et_cid=DM147520&et_rid=2042753642

All of this is big, BIG business.

Is the introduction of Wolbachia another puzzle piece in the perfect storm of events causing or exacerbating human health issues?

The jury’s still out, but it’s not looking good – particularly for the chronically ill.

Ocular Bartonellosis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5318637/
J Trop Med. 2017; 2017: 7946123.
Published online 2017 Feb 7. doi:  10.1155/2017/7946123
PMCID: PMC5318637

Clinical Profile and Visual Outcome of Ocular Bartonellosis in Malaysia
Chai Lee Tan, Lai Chan Fhun,  Evelyn Li Min Tai, Nor Hasnida Abdul Gani, Julieana Muhammed, Tengku Norina Tuan Jaafar, Liza Sharmini Ahmad Tajudin, and Wan-Hazabbah Wan Hitam 

Abstract

Background. Ocular bartonellosis can present in various ways, with variable visual outcome. There is limited data on ocular bartonellosis in Malaysia. Objective. We aim to describe the clinical presentation and visual outcome of ocular bartonellosis in Malaysia. Materials and Methods. This was a retrospective review of patients treated for ocular bartonellosis in two ophthalmology centers in Malaysia between January 2013 and December 2015. The diagnosis was based on clinical features, supported by a positive Bartonella spp. serology. Results. Of the 19 patients in our series, females were predominant (63.2%). The mean age was 29.3 years. The majority (63.2%) had unilateral involvement. Five patients (26.3%) had a history of contact with cats. Neuroretinitis was the most common presentation (62.5%). Azithromycin was the antibiotic of choice (42.1%). Concurrent systemic corticosteroids were used in approximately 60% of cases. The presenting visual acuity was worse than 6/18 in approximately 60% of eyes; on final review, 76.9% of eyes had a visual acuity better than 6/18. Conclusion. Ocular bartonellosis tends to present with neuroretinitis. Azithromycin is a viable option for treatment. Systemic corticosteroids may be considered in those with poor visual acuity on presentation.

In the results section we learn that 19 patients with ocular bartonellosis were followed from 3-68 weeks. Neuroretinitis is an inflammation of the neural retina and optic nerve which can be caused by viruses, autoimmune disease, or bacteria including: syphilis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, toxoplasmosis, toxocariasis, histoplasmosis, leptospirosis, and Lyme Disease. Tuberculosis and Tularemia can also present similarly. The most common ocular complaint was blurred vision with around 60% reporting headaches as their initial symptom.

We also learn that the treatment of choice was Azithromycin followed by Doxycyline, ciprofloxacin, ceftazidime, and cotrimoxazole, with 60% receiving systemic corticosteroid therapy. The discussion section states that the treatment of Bartonellosis is still controversial and that they had to resort of isolated case reports for information.

http://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/eyeforum/cases/36-CatScratchBartonella.htm In this case study a 44 year old woman had non-specific blurriness of vision in her left eye. After they went through about every other possibility, they asked about pets at which she showed multiple cat scratches on her arms.

Laboratory results showed:
*White blood cell count: 18,200 with left shift (12,194 segmented neutrophils and 3276 bands)
*Bartonella Henselae IgG 1:1024 (strongly positive)

According to this study, a literature review suggested that a one month course of doxycycline or erythromycin (with or without rifampin) is adequate to treat the organism and hasten recovery. They chose a one month course of doxycycline 100 mg twice daily. The patient returned for follow-up appointments one and two months after this initial diagnosis. Vision improved to 20/60 in the affected eye, improving visual fields, decreased optic disc edema, and resolving sub-retinal fluid.

The case study also states that diagnosis officially requires 3 out of 4 criteria:
• Lymphadenopathy in the absence of other reason (can be missed because it is not present yet or subclinical)
• Positive Bartonella H. titer or skin test
• Known cat contact, preferably with pustule or papule at the site
• Lymph node biopsy with bacilli present, necrosis

They admit this woman met only 2 of the criteria. They also state it is well documented patients will almost always get better on their own but that hundreds of reports give various treatment regimens including doxycycline, erythromycin, rifampin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, later addition of steroid drop, and many others.

The unfortunate thing about both of these reports is they make Bartonellosis out to be a benign pathogen, which for Lyme/MSIDS patients couldn’t be further from the truth.

As to the criteria to diagnose:

Thankfully, this woman didn’t present with swollen lymph nodes so they had to find a reason and state it was either subclinical or hadn’t presented yet.

*Hardly anyone I know with Bartonella has swollen lymph nodes.

*The testing for Lyme and every coinfection, including Bartonella, is abysmal.

*They emphasize the cat’s role but don’t even mention ticks, mites, biting flies, other arachnids, sand flies, mosquitoes, fleas and flea feces, the human body louse, potentially from needles and syringes in the drug addicted, as well as bites and scratches from other reservoir hosts.

*As to node biopsy, even this NIH study shows a lack of specificity and lack of typical micro abscesses in almost half of the cases and may mimic other lymphadenopathies.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26551620

*https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/22/3/15-0269_article This CDC article states that Bartonella spp. may be the cause of unclear and undiagnosed chronic illness in humans previously bitten by ticks.

*They also fail to mention there are 15 species and counting of Bartonella known to infect humans and that Dr. Ricardo Maggi states, “This case reinforces the hypothesis that any Bartonella species can cause human infection.”
http://townsendletter.com/July2015/bartonellosis0715_3.html  Besides the cat (including bobcats, mountain lions, and other large cats), rats, dogs, rabbits, deer, cattle, small woodland animals, rodents, coyotes, foxes, and elk were found to harbor Bart.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88941/ The question really should be, “What doesn’t carry Bartonella?”

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/01/03/bartonella-treatment/  Here, Dr. Mozayeni states about 60% of Lyme patients tested positive for Bartonella and that it is one of the major coinfections. This link also has treatments, explanation of Bartonella including what it does and how it can present, along with a link for a checklist you can print out and take to your doctor to discuss.

I appreciate Dr. Breitschwert’s and Dorsey Kordick’s comment in the concluding remarks,

“Not too long ago, many were taught during microbiology courses (or medical school training) that blood is generally a sterile medium. Increasingly, this assertion must be qualified with regard to Bartonella spp. as well as other intracellular pathogens that have coevolved with humans and animals to persist in circulating blood cells such as erythrocytes or macrophages for months to years and perhaps longer.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88941/

I wish more researchers were this transparent, then perhaps patients would be taken more seriously.   And, don’t kid yourself, Bartonella is a formidable foe to the immunocompromised.

UWM – Center of Excellence Vector Borne Diseases

http://news.wisc.edu/cdc-awards-10-million-for-insect-borne-disease-center/

University of Madison-Wisconsin News

MADISON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $10 million to a consortium of Midwestern universities to establish a new research and training program to stem the spread of disease carried by vectors like ticks and mosquitoes.

The Upper Midwestern Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseaseshttp://grantome.com/grant/NIH/U01-CK000505-01 which will be led by University of Wisconsin–Madison medical entomologists Lyric Bartholomay and Susan Paskewitz, is aimed at elevating the understanding of vector borne diseases and improving public health response to diseases like Zika, West Nile and Lyme disease.

Part of a larger push by CDC to buttress the nation’s public health infrastructure to thwart vector borne diseases, including emerging diseases like Zika and West Nile, the new center will involve scientists – public health entomologists, epidemiologists, virologists and vector control experts – from UW–Madison, the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan and the Minnesota Department of Health.

A key objective of the new center, says Bartholomay, a professor of pathobiological sciences in the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, is to foster collaboration not only between university experts, but also with public health organizations at the local, state and federal levels. The goal, she explains, is to boost surveillance, prevention and response against the backdrop of a trend toward the emergence of new diseases and old diseases – like Zika and West Nile – in regions far from their places of origin.

The Midwest, according to Paskewitz and Bartholomay, is a “national hotspot for disease emergence and endemic transmission of vector borne disease.”

“There is a trend toward new emerging disease,” says Paskewitz, who chairs UW–Madison’s entomology department. “We’re seeing invasions of new species and pathogens. It is these new things moving around.”

The deer tick is one of the most important disease vectors in Wisconsin and will be under the microscope as a new center for vector borne disease takes shape at UW–Madison.

For example, not only are new tick species such as the lone star tick showing up in places like Wisconsin, places where they didn’t live before, but they are carrying a wider variety of disease. When Paskewitz joined the UW–Madison faculty in 1991, Lyme disease was the only known tick-borne disease endemic to Wisconsin. Today, she says there are at least half a dozen diseases that can be transmitted by the blood-sucking arachnids found in the Badger State.

There are likely a number of reasons why new vector borne diseases are on the rise in the Midwest. Changes to the landscape such as deforestation and urbanization, shifts in animal populations such as white-tailed deer, and changes in climate all are likely contributors, according to the Wisconsin scientists. Another possibility, says Paskewitz, is that scientists are simply getting better at finding new invasive species of mosquitoes and ticks and their bacterial and viral pathogens.

The new CDC-supported center will have three primary objectives:

*Grow the cadre of public health entomologists. Increased opportunities for graduate training in the field, and a new certificate program that will equip students to better identify vectors, conduct disease surveillance and use the appropriate tools to reduce insect populations.
*Create a network of scientists, mosquito control, and public health experts and officials at the local and state levels to better coordinate and facilitate surveillance and response to outbreaks of disease.
*Conduct research to improve and devise new methods to predict disease emergence and outbreaks as well as to optimize surveillance networks and pathogen detection. Research will also focus on evaluating and improving methods for controlling disease vectors like mosquitoes and ticks, with the ultimate goal of reducing human risk and exposure.
“Our vision is to provide training at all levels, including the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels,” says Bartholomay. “We hope we can provide a conduit of really well trained people who will be positioned to respond to outbreaks.”

The certificate program and training opportunities will be available at all of the partner institutions.

Research, say Paskewitz and Bartholomay, will be essential, as changing environmental conditions allow vectors and the diseases they carry to exploit new geographic regions and susceptible human and animal populations. “We don’t want to look for only what we expect,” explains Bartholomay. “We want to look for new diseases and understand the threats they pose.”

UW-Madison, she adds, is well positioned to do this through existing faculty, staff and technical resources, such as next-generation gene sequencing technologies that can be used to identify viral and bacterial pathogens associated with ticks and mosquitoes.

The new center will also have an outreach component. The idea, say Bartholomay and Paskewitz, will be to give the public access to region-specific information about tick and mosquito activity, ways to accurately identify vectors, and information about the pathogens transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes.

***If you are from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, or Minnesota, please call and make sure that a preponderance of this money is going into tick research.  When I spoke at the Wisconsin capital a year ago at the Evidence Based Health Policy Project:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/04/health-policy-recap/ (please read), I spent considerable time discussing the plight of Lyme patients. That we are co-infected with numerous pathogens which make our cases far more complex than most realize. I spoke of borrelia, alone, and that it is pleomorphic with three shapes it can change into at will and that proper treatment needs to address this complexity and that 21 days of doxycycline, the current CDC standard of care is like throwing sand into the ocean. I spoke of 3 generations of Wisconsinites living under the same roof – all infected with MSIDS (multi systemic infectious disease syndrome). I explained that the myth that Lyme (borrelia) only causes a little joint pain and fatigue needs to be dispelled and that there is significant cognitive and psychological impairment with some suffering with severe anxiety, rage, confusion, depression, and memory loss.

I made it clear that Wisconsin should be focusing on ticks and the diseases they carry – NOT ZIKA, which according to Susan Paskewitz, Professor and Researcher, Medical Entomology Laboratory, UW Madison, Northern mosquitos can not even carry Zika. They have found some West Nile in mosquitos here.

 

 

 

Nootkatone

  (Approx 1.5 min)  Published on Aug 14, 2016
Explains potential for nootkatone to one day play a role in the fight against Lyme disease, as well as zika, chikungunya, dengue and West Nile viruses.

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/18/135468567/repelling-bugs-with-the-essence-of-grapefruit

The CDC is working on a natural insect repellent made from a chemical called nootkatone, which is found in Alaska yellow cedar trees and citrus fruit, and is nongreasy, dries quickly, and supposedly smells good.

It works against mosquitos, ticks, bed bugs, head lice and possibly other insects.

It is already an approved food additive and is classified as “Generally Considered Safe.”

It kills insects in 15 seconds by blocking receptors on insects’ nerve cells for a neurotransmitter called octopamine, which makes the insects hyperactive. Although humans don’t have octopamine receptors, scientists don’t yet know whether there’s any cross-reaction between nootkatone and adrenaline receptors.

Marc Dolan of the CDC’s vector-borne infectious diseases laboratory in Fort Collins, CO states:

“Tests so far indicate that nootkatone is highly effective as an environmental insecticide, and not just against mosquitoes. “A single application of a 2 percent solution of nootkatone will control ticks for up to 42 days at greater than 97 percent efficacy.” 

It breaks down quickly and doesn’t create a lot of soil or groundwater contamination or have a great impact on other insects such as butterflies and bees.

The CDC owns patents on nootkatone and has licensed them to two companies, one to develop a repellent, the other to work on insecticides, but it is expensive — $4,000 per kilogram for highly purified food-grade product.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imG0kIX-eLc&feature=youtu.be  View video footage of an untreated finger exposed to ticks vs a finger treated with nootkatone, See more at: http://www.evolva.com/products/nootkatone/#sthash.EQwxPIx7.dpuf

Evolva received approval from the EPA for the classification of biochemical pesticide active ingredient (a subcategory of biopesticide) in early 2015.  This classification allows for a potentially expedited process for registration of nootkatone for use against pests. It will take an estimated 2-3 years of regulatory work to get nootkatone approved as an insect and tick repellent in the USA.

How Zika Got the Blame

http://www.thevaccinereaction.org/2016/12/cdcs-rasmussen-paper-on-zika-and-microcephaly-poor-case-for-smoking-gun/ Article in link by Marco Caceres.

In early 2016, the CDC began to suspect a link between Zika and Microcephaly due to two placenta samples of babies who sadly died, but they admitted that additional studies with lab testing that may take years to complete was needed. As of April 1, 2016, the CDC, NIH, PAHO, and WHO, all agreed there was insufficient evidence to state that Zika causes Microcephaly.

Magically, in two weeks time, after numerous papers were published stating that large prospective studies following pregnant women infected with Zika were needed, they made an about face and stated emphatically that the existing evidence was now sufficient to state Zika causes microcephaly.

What happened in two weeks?

Were hundreds of thousands of hours spent in the lab testing women and babies?

No.

Here’s what happened.

They took one paper (Rasmussen, Jamieson, Honein & Petersen) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr1604338?query=featured_home&  and plopped it into a scientific formula called Shepard’s criteria which was developed by a pediatrician in 1994. Ironically, even Dr. Petersen, the director of the CDC’s division of vector-forne diseases, and one of the four authors in the paper initially denied a causal link.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that all the authors are CDC employees?

What is Shepherd’s criteria? Glad you asked.

1) Proven exposure to the agent at one or more critical times during prenatal development.
2) Consistent findings by two or more high-quality epidemiological studies, with control of confounding factors, sufficient numbers, exclusion of positive and negative bias factors, prospective studies if possible, and relative risk of six or more.
3) Careful delineation of clinical cases; a specific defect or syndrome, if present, is very helpful.
4) Rare environmental exposure that is associated with rare defect.
5) Teratogenicity in experimental animals important but not essential.
6) Association should make biologic sense.
7) Proof in an experimental system that the agent acts in an unaltered state.

The researchers agreed that only 1, 3, and 4 of the criteria had been met.

There have been numerous Brazilian studies and reports questioning their conclusion.
http://www.thevaccinereaction.org/2016/09/cdc-bets-farm-on-zika-based-on-conclusion-of-rasmussen-jamieson-honein-petersen-paper/

The Author of the opinion piece asks some important questions: should criteria from twenty years ago be used to prove causality when numerous other factors have been proven to cause birth defects, and why should a historically harmless virus become abruptly virulent?

I’d like to add to the list of questions: why is the CDC hellbent on whooping Zika up into a national health crisis when we have plenty that are far more prevalent (Lyme Disease/MSIDS, opioid addiction, and antibiotic resistant bacteria, for a start). How can the CDC on one hand determine causality from two fetal samples when there are literally scores of studies – many animal – that show borrelia persistence despite antibiotic therapy? Why are ancient studies on everything from possible vectors/reservoirs to transmission times, to diagnostic myths such as mandatory EM rashes held in sacred honor and used to continually refute any information to the contrary?

And when are scientists finally going to admit they are often being used to further agendas that are neither impartial nor transparent?

For more on Zika:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/08/fixation-on-zikapolio/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/07/17/zika-in-the-land-of-oz/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/26/zika-puzzling-scientists/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/04/health-policy-recap/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/04/08/zika-ebola-zombies-and-the-cdc/