Archive for the ‘Mycoplasma’ Category

When Lyme Hurts Your Heart: Warning Signs & Solutions

When Lyme Hurts Your Heart: Warning Signs + Solutions

When Lyme Hurts Your Heart: Warning Signs + Solutions

by Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio
Posted 3/8/19

Ryan Stewart, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in Virginia, developed a strange set of symptoms in 2009 that baffled one doctor after another. Included among those symptoms were a racing heartbeat following minimal physical exertion, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

“It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest,” she explains.

Over the next 10 years, Stewart’s symptoms waxed and waned. Some days, they would let up; other days, a sudden episode of rapid heartbeats or dizziness would frighten her — sending her to the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.

Unfortunately, she always left those healthcare facilities without answers. Though Stewart believed her symptoms stemmed from her heart, repeated electrocardiograms (EKG), a cardiac MRI, and a couple week-long stints of wearing heart monitors all came back as normal.

“They could never catch a cardiac episode,” she says.

Determined to live a normal life, Stewart continued her work as an SLP and began planning a family with her husband. After a series of fertility treatments, she became pregnant only to suffer a miscarriage in the early weeks — a devastating loss, she says.

Shortly after the miscarriage, a new group of debilitating symptoms emerged, which included crushing fatigue, heaviness and weakness throughout her whole body, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), numbness, and tingling. By now, it was 2013, and at the recommendation of a family friend, Stewart rallied the strength to see another doctor — a Lyme-literate one, though she didn’t realize it at the time.

This appointment, however, was different than the previous ones, and she received some surprising, but much-needed news: Stewart had Lyme disease, along with Babesia, Bartonella, and a high Epstein-Barr viral load.

“Lyme wasn’t even on my radar!” she recalls.

Simply having these diagnoses was a relief, but it wasn’t enough to solve the issues affecting her cardiovascular system.

“I have a heart arrhythmia, which was finally diagnosed in 2016,” she says. “And now I had a feeling in my heart and chest that I had never had before. My heartbeat had no rhythm, and it was fluttering.”

Stewart likens the feeling she experienced in her chest to a switchboard in which electrical lights pop up in many different directions, one right after the other.

“I knew this was a new symptom, and I had to go to the ER,” says Stewart. “They discovered I had ventricular tachycardia, and gave me a diagnosis of idiopathic ventricular tachycardia. ‘Idiopathic’ meaning they didn’t know what the cause was.”

Since then, Stewart has tried numerous ways to address her symptoms. Her current treatment involves using beta blockers; she tried antiarrhythmic drugs, but the side effects were intolerable. She’s currently pursuing treatment for Lyme disease, too, and she’s investigating herbal therapies, stress reduction, and other lifestyle modifications in the hopes of improving her overall health.

Stewart’s story highlights some of the signs and symptoms associated with Lyme disease and the cardiovascular manifestations of the illness. To date, there’s no absolute consensus on the prevalence of cardiac involvement in people with Lyme disease. But new research suggests heart symptoms may be present in 0.4% to 10% of Lyme disease cases, according to a 2019 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

To understand what happens to a heart impacted by Lyme, it helps to first know how a healthy heart functions.

An Overview of the Cardiovascular System

In a healthy person, the heart pumps blood like a well-oiled machine, which delivers critical nutrients and oxygen to every cell, tissue, and organ in the body, and it removes carbon dioxide and other waste products from those tissues. Blood flows in the same direction throughout the body — arteries carry oxygenated blood away from your heart, and veins return oxygen-poor blood back to the heart.

The average heart is larger than the size of an adult fist, and it’s the hardest working muscle in the body, pumping approximately 115,000 times a day. Here are some important points to remember about the heart:

  • It consists of four chambers, including two atria and two ventricles.
  • There are two atria, known as the right and left atrium. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from a large vein called the vena cava; the left atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the lungs.
  • The ventricles’ job is to collect and expel blood that comes from the atria. The right ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood into the vascular tree of the lungs where it receives oxygen. Then, the left ventricle pumps the oxygen-rich blood back to the tissues of the body.
  • The upper wall of the right atrium houses a cluster of cells known as the sinoatrial node (SA node). The SA node is referred to as the “heart’s natural pacemaker,” because it produces the electrical activity that’s responsible for the rate and rhythm of your heartbeat.

Your heart and your circulatory system, which contain a vast network of blood vessels that circulate blood through your body and return it to the heart, function as one unit known as the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system has such an expansive network of blood vessels that if they were laid out from end to end, they would cover roughly 60,000 miles — that’s enough to go around the globe more than two times.

When Lyme Disease Enters the Picture

Like many other Lyme experts and patients, Dr. Bill Rawls, Medical Director of Vital Plan, believes many more than one in 10 people with Lyme disease may have some degree of heart issues. The symptomatology can vary from person to person, and exist on a spectrum of mild to severe.

The likely bacterial and viral culprits causing cardiovascular symptoms include Borrelia (the primary bacteria implicated in Lyme), Bartonella, Mycoplasma, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and probably many others. These stealth microbes enter the body and spread throughout the tissues by various mechanisms. They have one goal: Survival, notes Dr. Rawls. And they migrate or set up camp anywhere they can in the body, including the heart.

“There’s a growing body of evidence showing that we have microbes throughout our body and brain, including on heart valves,” says Dr. Rawls. “Often, I think these microbes are present without causing harm. They stay dormant in tissues until a disruption in the immune system occurs and depresses it, allowing the microbes to flourish.”

When stealth pathogens thrive, they can alter the electrical signaling to the heart, affecting the heartbeat or causing irritation to the heart itself.

“In a healthy heart, the SA node starts an electrical wave that spreads from cell to cell throughout the heart — the electrical impulses are such that the valves are opening and closing in proper order, or in other words, the heart is beating correctly,” explains Dr. Rawls. “But if another area of the heart gets irritated or inflamed by an infection or stealth pathogen, it may fire first and overwhelm the SA node, disrupting the heart’s regular impulses.”

The result: The heart beats irregularly, and the contraction becomes less efficient at pumping blood.

Additionally, an abnormal heart rate isn’t the only way microbes can affect the heart. As the pathogens disseminate throughout the organ and further irritate the heart muscle, the heart can become oxygen-deprived, leading to angina (chest pain), heart attack, shortness of breath, and more.

Signs That Lyme is At Play in the Heart

For most people with Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, we become accustomed to symptoms that fluctuate from one day to the next. We’re so used to it, in fact, that we often adopt a wait-and-see approach to the newest symptom du jour.

But there are times when our bodies give us warning signs — red-flag symptoms that we should get checked out as soon as possible, even if going to the doctor seems uneventful or inconvenient. The primary symptoms to seek medical attention for include irregular heartbeats that aren’t going away, persistent chest pain, or shortness of breath associated with exertion, says Dr. Rawls.

However, cardiac issues may not always be so apparent, because the symptoms can range from mild to more severe, or they can be easily confused with other causes. Other signs to be aware of include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pressure or tightness in the chest
  • Pain radiating to the neck or down the arm
  • Heart palpitations
  • Cold sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting

Let’s look at three conditions that can be caused when Lyme, coinfections, or other stealth pathogens affect the heart, including the most well-known one called Lyme carditis.

1. Lyme Carditis

Most people with Lyme are aware that Lyme carditis (LC), which causes inflammation in the heart, is the most serious cardiac manifestation of Lyme disease. Symptoms may develop and progress rapidly, even as quickly as one week after the bite of an infected tick.

No parts of the heart are off limits to these insidious microbes. They can affect the heart’s muscle tissues (myocardium), the membrane that encases the heart (pericardium), the tissues that line its chambers (endocardium), the valves, the aorta, and sometimes a combination of the different parts of the heart.

An inflamed heart impacts the way the SA node operates the heart’s electrical system. It tends to slow the heart down due to a condition known as a heart block, or atrioventricular block (AV block), which varies in severity from first-degree to third-degree.

  • In first-degree heart block, the electrical impulses reach the ventricles — the bottom chambers of the heart — at a slower than normal pace.
  • The condition can progress to a second-degree heart block, where the heart produces electrical signals, but they only partially reach the ventricles. In some cases, they don’t reach it at all.
  • In a third-degree or complete heart block, the electrical signals are completely obstructed from reaching the ventricles. One sign of complete heart block is a pulse of less than 60 that doesn’t increase with exertion, and intolerance to exertion.

When the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently, it can’t provide the body with adequate, oxygenated blood. If caught early, a heart block can often be resolved with antibiotics and occasionally, the use of a temporary pacemaker to maintain the electrical activity of the heart. If not swiftly and adequately treated, the result could be the placement of a permanent pacemaker or sudden cardiac death (SCD).

Generally, most cases of Lyme carditis occur during June through December, according to an article in the journal Circulation, and it seems to occur slightly more in males than in females. Additionally, LC is more likely to be found in individuals who fall into the age groups of 5 to 14 and 44 to 59 years of age.

At the present time, researchers are unsure of whether an underlying cardiac condition poses an increased risk of developing LC compared to those in the general population who contract Lyme disease.

2. Myocardial Infarction

A myocardial infarction (MI) is commonly known as a heart attack. It happens when a part of the heart is unable to receive oxygen due to a blockage in the coronary artery, which causes damage to the heart muscle. The journal, Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, lists it as another possible cardiac manifestation of Lyme disease. However, it’s difficult to know how common heart attacks are among Lyme patients, especially since many cases of the illness are misdiagnosed in both the acute and chronic stages of the disease.

3. Heart Arrhythmias

An abnormal heartbeat where the heart is beating too slowly, too rapidly, or irregularly is categorized as an arrhythmia. There are several types of arrhythmias. For instance, when the heart beats too slowly, it’s called bradycardia; when it beats too quickly, it’s referred to as tachycardia.

Some arrhythmias may be benign or harmless. But others, such as the type experienced by Stewart, can bring about a distressing set of symptoms. Because arrhythmias can have the potential to be life-threatening, you should be persistent about visiting your doctor and getting a proper diagnosis.

When diagnosing Lyme-related cardiac conditions, there are a battery tests your doctor might want you to undergo, such as those that Stewart was required to do. Common testing methods may include blood work, an EKG, an echocardiogram, a cardiac MRI, wearing various heart monitors, and more. And, like Stewart’s case, testing doesn’t always capture problems on the first go-around, so it might take multiple efforts to get the right diagnosis.

Could other conditions impact cardiac function as a result of Lyme disease, too? Probably: medical literature names coronary artery aneurysms, QT-interval prolongation, and congestive heart failure (CHF) among other reported heart manifestations.

However, very few statistics, if any, exist regarding the prevalence of these conditions among Lyme patients. The medical community still has a lot to learn about the way Lyme disease, co-infections, and other microbes impact the heart.

How to Improve Heart Health

“Anytime you have something irregular with the heart, you should have someone check it out,” advises Dr. Rawls. “The threshold for being evaluated for heart symptoms should be pretty low.”

In other words, if your heart feels off — you’re experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat, or something else — get to a doctor as soon as possible.

While testing can help pinpoint what’s going on, it may not always be spot on the first time you’re evaluated, and you might need to be persistent in pursuing a diagnosis. From one patient to another, Stewart says,

“When it comes to something serious like your heart, don’t stop searching for answers. Trust your instincts, and don’t ignore it.”

Once you know what you’re dealing with, you and your doctor can establish a plan of care, which may include antibiotics, particularly in the acute stages of Lyme disease. Other drug therapies include beta blockers and antiarrhythmic drugs, which might be necessary to stabilize your heart rate and prevent abnormal rhythms. However, those drugs can come with a long list of side effects, and the length of time you could be required to take them will differ from physician to physician and the severity of your illness.

Some people may need to have a temporary pacemaker implanted into the heart to regulate heart rhythms. Additionally, another treatment you may hear mentioned is a catheter ablation for arrhythmias. This procedure destroys the abnormal cells in the heart that are misfiring. Fortunately, neither of these procedures are needed very often.

It’s important to note that lifestyle modifications and herbal interventions can also play a critical role in managing cardiac symptoms and helping the heart heal. Because herbs have a normalizing effect on the body and a low chance of toxicity, they can be used in conjunction with many medication regimens.

“Herbs may allow a person the ability to take less medication and reduce the side effects of drugs. I think it’s important for people to note that herbs are restorative to the body and support healing,” says Dr. Rawls.

But of course, making the decision to take any natural regimen should be in partnership with your healthcare provider. Here are some of the herbs Dr. Rawls recommends:

1. To improve the heart’s electrical rhythms and the strength of its contractions, and to enhance blood flow:

2. To increase oxygenation of the tissues in the body and bolster the immune system:

3. To help decrease your microbial load:

4. For additional support:

  • Magnesium, a mineral that helps the heart maintain a steady heartbeat
  • CoQ10, a powerful antioxidant
  • Krill oil or fish oil, potent anti-inflammatories

Words of Encouragement

Why do some people have heart issues with Lyme disease and others don’t? Dr. Rawls postulates that some of us may have a genetic predisposition or a certain spectrum of microbes that, when combined with lifestyle factors like high stress levels, poor diet, a toxic environment, and inactivity, makes us more vulnerable to cardiovascular involvement.

Also, “It depends on immune system functions,” Dr. Rawls says. “Some combinations of these factors may be more concerning than others, and that’s a part of the puzzle that we don’t know yet.”

For those who do face the daily stress of dealing with Lyme disease and cardiac symptoms, it can be overwhelming and scary at times — it’s easy to feel like the illness has stolen precious parts of your life, and coping can be a struggle. For them, Stewart offers these hard-earned words of encouragement:

“Try as hard as you can not to lose yourself in your diagnosis,” she says amid her own personal struggles. “Surround yourself with the things that you love and try to do one thing daily. You can still do things, but you may have to adapt them. There’s always another way to pursue your dreams — I believe you can still achieve them.”

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

1. Arrhythmia. Medline Plus website.
2. Basic Anatomy of the Heart. Johns Hopkins Medicine website.,P00192
3. Pinto DS. Cardiac manifestations of Lyme disease. The Medical Clinics of North America. 2002 Mar;86(2):285-96. doi: 10.1016/S0025-7125(03)00087-7
4. Heart Chambers. Medline Plus website.
5. Fish AE, Pride YB, Pinto DS. Lyme carditis. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2008 Jun; 22(2): 275-88, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2007.12.008
6. Jackson JW, Sparer T. There Is Always Another Way! Cytomegalovirus’ Multifaceted Dissemination Schemes. Viruses. 2018 Jul; 10(7): 383. doi: 10.3390/v10070383
7. Krause PJ, Bockenstedt LK. Lyme Disease and the Heart. Circulation. 2013;127:e451–e454. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.101485
8. Scheffold N, Herkommer B, Kandolf R, May AE. Lyme Carditis—Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2015 Mar; 112(12): 202–208. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2015.0202
9. Yeung C, Baranchuk A. Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Carditis: JACC Review Topic of the Week. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2019 Feb 19; 73(6): 717-726. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.11.035
Great article on heart involvement with Lyme/MSIDS, which is far more common than acknowledged.






Gestational Lyme & Other Tick-borne Diseases – Dr. Jones

Dr. Charles Ray Jones – Rock Star

FB_IMG_1541741969447From left, Sherry Sievewright, Wisconsin Lyme Network, Dr. Charles Ray Jones, Alicia Cashman, Madison Lyme Support Group

Dr. Charles Ray Jones specializes in treating Lyme/MSIDS patients.  He has treated over 12,000 children with Lyme/MSIDS, and spoke recently at the Chicago ILADS convention.

Here is the executive summary of his presentation:

  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) can be transmitted via ticks, gestationally, breast milk, and semen (yes, that means sexually).  While there isn’t a large NIH double-blind study, clinically LLMD’s are finding infected couples.  For more data on animals:  (Scroll down to info on sexual transmission)


  • Gustafason & Burgess demonstrated gestational Bb infection in dogs.  Of the inoculated bitches, 80% became infected who then birthed mostly infected pups.1


  • A retrospective study showed 480 children with gestational Lyme/MSIDS. Diagnosis was based on clinical physical and history. 3


  • About 10% of Dr. Jones’ patients are infected gestationally.


  • Two cases of in vitro fertilization caused embryonic infection.


  • Mothers not treated resulted in 50% gestational transmission compared to mothers treated with 1 antibiotic resulting in a 25% transmission.  70% of infected mothers reported a difficult pregnancy.  ALL children improved with appropriate antibiotic treatment.  


  • Antibiotic treatment for Pregnant mothers:
  1. Amoxil 1000mg every 8 hours
  2. Ceftin 500 mg every 12 hours
  3. Omnicef 300 mg-600mg twice daily
  4. Mepron 750mg twice daily
  5. Zithromax 500mg twice daily
  • Other options for those who can not tolerate oral antibiotics:
  1. Bicillin 1.2 million units IM 1-3 times weekly
  2. Ceftiaxone 2 gms IV daily
  3. Cefotaxime 6 gms daily either continuous infusions or 2gms IV every 8 hours
  • Top 6 gestational Lyme symptoms:
  1. 90% low muscle tone (delays in motor skills, excess flexibility, drooling)
  2. 80% irritability (impulsive, risky behavior, interrupts, anger/mood swings)
  3. 72% fatigue
  4. 69% pain
  5. 60% low grade fevers with pale skin & dark circles under eyes
  6. 50% painful joints with stiffness & decreased range of motion
  • Coinfection rate found in study.3
  1. 30% Bartonella
  2. 20% Babesia
  3. 7% Strep
  4. 6% Ehrlichiosis
  5. 5% Leptospirosis
  • Male Child Case Study Findings.  Daily fevers between 101-102 degrees with severe joint pain, could not process stimuli, and poor muscle control.  Mother was infected with Bb during pregnancy and child had numerous tick bites.  Was initially diagnosed with a virus and was told he’d “grow out of it.”  Grandparents in desperation hired a priest to exorcise him.  Within 3 months of a clinical diagnosis of Bb (Western Blot positive) and multiple TBI’s (Babesia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma) and appropriate antibiotic treatment, he was doing well in school & athletics, and improved on all perimeters.  Treatment is ongoing.


  • Gestational treatment options:
  1. Combination of penicillin, cephalosporins, macrocodes, atovaquone (tetracycline, doxycyline & minocycline not usually used in those under 8) 


  • A 1995 study by Gardner showed 15% abnormal babies in treated mothers vs 67% of abnormal babies in mothers not treated.4


  • A 1989 study by MacDonald showed the following Lyme infection outcomes during pregnancy.5
  1. prematurity
  2. fluid in the brain
  3. blindness
  4. Sudden infant death syndrome
  5. blood infection
  6. Fetal death
  7. cardiovascular system anomalies
  8. growth retardation
  9. respiratory distress
  10. excess of bilirubin in the blood


  1. Gustafson, J.M., E.C Burgess, et al.(1993). “Intrauterine transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi in dogs. “Am J Vet Res 54(6): 882-890
  2.  Xiao, J., et al. 2011. “How Different Strains of Parasite Infection Affect Behavior Differently”. Infection and Immunity. March 2011 . Quoted in science daily, March 22, 2011.
  3.  Jones, Charles Ray, Smith, Harold, Gibb, Edina and Johnson, Lorraine JD, MBA, “Gestational Lyme Disease Case Studies of 102 Live Births, Lyme Times, 2005”. 
  4. Gardner, T. (1995). Lyme disease. Infectious disease of the fetus and newborn infant. J. S Remington and J.O Klein. Philadelphia, Saunders. Chapter 11:447- 528. 
  5. MacDonald, A.B. (1989) “Gestational Lyme Borreliosis. Implications for the fetus. “Rheum Dis Clin North Amer 15(4): 657-677. 
  6. Goldenberg, R.L and C. Thompson (2003) “The infectious origin of stillbirth”. Am J Obstet Gynecol 189(#): 861-873.


More on Pregnancy with Lyme/MSIDS:  (Great videos here)  Great read on Lyme/MSIDS in children.  “Rationale for Prolonged Antibiotic Therapy in Treating Lyme Disease.”  By Charles Ray Jones, M.D.

Humana Bartonellosis: Perspectives of a Veterinary Internist


Edward B. Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM
Chief Scientific Officer, Galaxy Diagnostics, Inc.
Professor, Internal Medicine, NCSU, Raleigh, NC
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center
Bartonella species are fastidious gram-negative bacteria that are highly adapted to a mammalian reservoir host and within which the bacteria usually cause a long-lasting intraerythrocytic bacteremia.  1-3  These facts are of particular importance to veterinarians and physicians, as an increasing number of animal reservoir hosts have been identified for various Bartonella species. Among numerous other examples, Bartonella henselae has co-evolved with cats, Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii has co-evolved with dogs and wild canines, and Bartonella bovid has co-evolved with cattle.  1-2  Importantly, the list of reservoir-adapted Bartonella species, including a large number of rodent species that might serve as “pocket pets,” continues to grow exponentially, as new Bartonella spp. are discovered. Prior to 1990, there were only two named Bartonella species, whereas there are now at least 24 named and numerous unnamed or candidatus species, based upon deposited Gen Bank sequences or preliminary reports, respectively, seventeen Bartonella spp. including B.alsatica, B. bacilliformis, B. clarridgeiae, B. doshiae, B. elizabethae, B. grahamii, B. henselae (Houston 1 and San Antonio 2 strains), B. koehlerae, B. melophagi, B. quintana, B. rochalimaea, B. tamiae, B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (Genotypes I, II and III), and B. washoensis have been associated with an expanding spectrum of human diseases.
Epidemiological evidence and experimental flea transmission studies support an important role for fleas in the transmission of B. henselae, B. clarridgeae and most likely B. koehlerae among cats. 1  Three other Bartonella species, B. bovid, B. quintana and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii have been isolated from cat blood, but the modes of transmission and the reservoir potential of these species in felids has not been definitively established. Recently, we isolated Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii from a cat with recurrent osteomyelitis spanning an eighteen month time period. 2  Thus, cats can maintain a chronic bacteremia with at least six Bartonella spp., of which five are known zoonotic pathogens.  1-3 In addition to fleas, an increasing number of arthropod vectors, including biting flies, keds, lice, sandflys and ticks have been implicated in the transmission of Bartonella species. Although there is clinical and epidemiological evidence to support tick transmission of B. vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii to dogs and coyotes, the mode of transmission of this Bartonella subsp. to cats and dogs has not been determined. Recent evidence supports tick transmission of B. henselae by Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus. Considering the diversity of Bartonella species and subspecies, the large number of reservoir hosts and the spectrum of arthropod vectors, the clinical and diagnostic challenges posed by Bartonella transmission in nature may be much more complex than is currently appreciated in human and veterinary medicine.
In the natural reservoir host, such as a cat or rodent, chronic bacteremia with a Bartonella species can frequently be detected by blood cultre or PCR in outwardly healthy individuals.  1-3  In contrast, the diagnostic detection of a Bartonella spp. in a non-reservoir adapted host, such as a dog, horse or human patient, can be extremely difficult. Most, although not all diseases caused by Bartonella spp. occur in accidental hosts and these organisms are being increasingly implicated as a cause of zoonotic infections.  4-8  It is important to recognize that strains of a Bartonella sp. vary in their virulence. Therefore, highly pathogenic strains of B. henselae, for which the cat is the primary reservoir, can induce granulomatous myocarditis in cats, presumably following flea transmission.  Until recently, mechanisms that facilitate persistent Bartonella bacteremia in mammals were not well understood. Recent reports have identified an intra-endothelial, as well as intra-erythrocytic localization for these bacteria, which represents a unique strategy for bacterial persistence. Non-hemolytic intracellular colonization of erythrocytes in conjunction with the ability to invade and replicate within endothelial cells would preserve the organisms for efficient vector transmission, protect Bartonella from the host immune response, and potentially contribute to decreased antimicrobial efficacy. Although the clinical implications are not understood, other in vitro studies indicate that Bartonella spp. can infect dendritic cells, microglial cells, monocytes and CD34+ bone marrow progenitor cells.
For over a century regional lymphadenopathy has been associated with animal contact, particularly cat scratches. Over the years, numerous microorganisms were implicated as the cause of CSD. In 1992, Regnery and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control, identified seroreactivity to B. henselae antigens in 88% of 41 human patients with suspected CSD compared to 3% of controls.  Subsequently, additional support for B. henselae as the predominant cause of CSD was provided when Bartonella DNA was amplified from lymph node samples of 21 of 25 (84%) patients with suspected
CSD, using a polymerase chain reaction assay. A similar study from Sweden identified B. henselae DNA, but failed to identify A. felis DNA, in a large number of patients with suspected CSD. Prior to the
recognition of B. henselae as the cause of CSD, Afipia felis, named for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, was considered the sole cause of CSD. Subsequently, we blood cultured B. henselae or B. clarridgeae
from 17 of 19 cats owned by 14 patients with CSD, which indicated that bacteremia is a frequent occurrence in cats that transmit B. henselae
to a human being. 1-2
Historically, atypical manifestations of CSD have included tonsillitis, encephalitis, cerebral arteritis, transverse myelitis, granulomatous hepatitis and/or splenitis, osteolysis, pneumonia, pleural effusion, and thrombocytopenic purpura. With the advent of specific diagnostic techniques, (culture, serology, and PCR), there has been a dramatic increase in reports describing human patients with “atypical” manifestations of CSD. Osteomyelitis, granulomatous hepatitis and granulomatous splenitis have been increasingly recognized in children infected with B. henselae, who frequently lack the classical lymphadenopathy of CSD. Previously, Bartonella infection would not have been considered a likely differential diagnosis by the physician in patients lacking a history of lymphadenopathy or animal contact. As evidenced by reports in the past four years, the spectrum of human disease associated with the genus Bartonella continues to expand, requiring periodic reassessment as new information becomes available. On a comparative medical (“One Health”) basis, our research group has documented many of the same CSD atypical manifestations in cats or dogs, including encephalitis, transverse myelitis, granulomatous hepatitis, osteolysis, pleural effusion, and thrombocytopenic purpura. In this context, a highly prevalent, naturally-occurring human disease (CSD) can be used as a “model” to determine the potential behavior of these bacteria in companion animal patients.
Because cat scratch disease generally denotes a self-limiting illness characterized by fever and lymphadenopathy and because the recognized spectrum of human disease manifestations associated with Bartonella infections (which may not include fever or lymphadenopathy) has expanded considerably in recent years, it is becoming obvious that the designation CSD lacks clinical, microbiologic and zoonotic utility. Although cats are a major reservoir for B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae, and B. koehlerae, some patients deny the possibility of a cat scratch or bite wound, or indicate no contact with cats. Transmission from environmental sources, various arthropod vectors, perinatally or by other animal hosts is probable and the more inclusive term bartonellosis may facilitate enhanced future understanding of diseases caused by members of the genus Bartonella. As physicians have been taught that CSD is self-limiting, there is an ongoing lack of appreciation that B. henselae can cause chronic, asymptomatic or intermittently symptomatic illness, accompanied by persistent bacteremia in people. In this context, the documentation of chronic, relapsing bacteremia in cats, dogs and other animal species provides a “model” for better understanding human bartonellosis.
Endocarditis can be induced by a spectrum of Bartonella species in dogs and human patients and is the best example of documented disease causation for this genus. Historically, Bartonella species have been a cause of culture-negative endocarditis in people and dogs because the diagnostic methods used by microbiology laboratories were not adequate to isolate these bacteria. Now, by using
specialized techniques, a spectrum of Bartonella species have been identified in research and diagnostic laboratories in different parts of the world—in heart valves or in blood cultures from dogs
and people with endocarditis. 3  It is important for physicians and veterinarians to recognize that some of these Bartonella species are found in the blood of cats, dogs, rats, ground squirrels, and rabbits.
Because conventional microbiological techniques lack sensitivity, bartonellosis is usually diagnosed by PCR amplification of organism specific DNA sequences and/or through serological testing. Recently, the development of a more sensitive isolation approach, using BAPGM (Bartonella alpha Proteobacteria growth medium) followed by PCR has greatly facilitated the molecular detection or isolation of Bartonella species from the blood of sick or healthy animals, including cats, dogs, horses and human beings. Most importantly, the use of this enrichment growth medium prior to PCR testing has allowed our research group to confirm that immunocompetent human patients, in particular veterinarians and veterinary technicians, can have chronic intravascular infections with Bartonella spp. 4-5 Information relative to this EnrichmentPCRTM testing platform for animal and human patients is available at
It is increasingly clear that no single diagnostic strategy will confirm infection with a Bartonella sp. in the immunocompetent patient population.  As described in studies from our NCSU laboratory, B. henselae, B. koehlerae and B. vinsonii subsp berkhoffii seroreactivity was found in only 58.6% of the patients in which Bartonella spp. infection was confirmed by EnrichmentPCR TM and sequencing. Therefore, Bartonella serology lacks sensitivity and can only be used to implicate prior exposure to a Bartonella sp. Even when serum from cat scratch disease patients, which is caused by B. henselae, is used in various diagnostic laboratories for IFA testing, test sensitivities have ranged from 14 to 100%.
Previously, we described B. quintana bacteremia in a woman who was tested following the development of an infected cat bite lesion involving the hand. 6  Two months later, the feral cat that had
induced the bite wound was captured and was also shown to be B. quintana bacteremic. In a cumulative study involving 392 patients with occupational animal contact or extensive arthropod exposure 31.9% were bacteremic with one or more Bartonella spp., when blood, serum and BAPGM enrichment culture PCR results were combined. Although this high prevalence of bacteremia is biased by testing at risk, sick individuals, it clearly demonstrates that intravascular infection with Bartonella sp. is much more common in immunocompetent patients, than was previously suspected. By IFA testing, only 75 out of 128 (58.6%) PCR positive patients were seroreactive to a panel consisting of five Bartonella sp. test antigens.
In a recent study, Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, Bartonella henselae or DNA of both organisms were amplified and sequenced from blood, BAPGM enrichment blood cultures or autopsy tissues from four family members. 7  Historical and microbiological results derived from this family support human perinatal transmission of Bartonella species. To date, there have been a limited number of studies that address the potential impact of intravascular infection with a Bartonella sp. on reproductive performance, however, studies involving experimentally-infected cats, rodents and naturally-infected cows with various Bartonella sp. have identified decreased reproductive performance involving both males and females. The parents of these children had attempted to conceive children for several years prior to resorting to in vitro fertilization.
We have also described a veterinarian, who experienced a needle stick while obtaining a fine needle aspiration sample from a cutaneous histiocytic neoplasm. 8  Subsequently symptoms, including headaches, fatigue and intermittent paresthesias (numbness) developed. This patient seroconverted to B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotypes I and III and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype I DNA was amplified and sequenced from sequentially obtained blood samples, whereas genotype III DNA was amplified from the cytological specimen. All symptoms resolved following antibiotic treatment.
It is increasingly evident that dogs can serve as a source for human infection with B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype II was amplified and sequenced from
a liver biopsy from a patient with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (soft tissue tumor considered a vascular cancer), after which the organism was isolated by BAPGM blood culture. 9  The unique capability of Bartonella to invade and induce long lasting intraerythrocytic and intraendothelial infections, in conjunction with the ability of at least three Bartonella spp. (Bh, Bq, and B. bacilliformi) to induce VEGF-mediated vasoproliferative disease in immunocompromised or immunocompetent individuals suggests that these novel emerging bacterial pathogens might contribute to the development of vascular tumors.
Bartonella koehlerae bacteremia was documented in eight immunocompetent patients by PCR amplification and DNA sequencing, either prior to or after BAPGM enrichment blood culture.10  Presenting symptoms most often included fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, headache, memory loss, and muscle pain. Four patients were also infected with Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype II. Bartonella koehlerae antibodies were not detected (titers<1:16) in 30 healthy human control sera, whereas five of eight patient samples had B. koehlerae antibody titers of 1:64 or greater. Studies are needed to determine if B. koehlerae is a cause or cofactor in the development of arthritis, peripheral neuropathies or tachyarrhythmias in human patients. Co-infection with B. henselae and two hemotropic Mycoplasma variants resembling Mycoplasma obis were also found in the blood of a veterinarian with a historical diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. 11
Due to extensive contact with a spectrum of animal species, veterinary professionals appear to have an occupational risk of infection because of frequent exposure to Bartonella spp., therefore these individuals should exercise increased precautions to avoid arthropod bites, arthropod feces (i.e. fleas and lice), animal bites or scratches and direct contact with bodily fluids from sick animals. As Bartonella spp. have been isolated from cat, dog or human blood, cerebrospinal fluid, joint fluid,aqueous fluid, seroma fluid and from pleural, pericardial and abdominal effusions, a substantial number of diagnostic biological samples collected on a daily basis in veterinary practices could contain viable bacteria.
The increasing number of defined Bartonella spp., in conjunction with the high level of bacteremia found in reservoir adapted hosts, which represent the veterinary patient population, ensures that all veterinary professionals will experience frequent and repeated exposure to animals harboring these bacteria. Therefore, personal protective equipment, frequent hand washing and avoiding cuts and needle sticks have become more important as our knowledge of this genus has improved and various modes of transmission have been defined.
Physicians should be educated as to the large number of Bartonella spp. in nature, the extensive spectrum of animal reservoir hosts, the diversity of confirmed and potential arthropod vectors, current limitations associated with diagnosis and treatment efficacy, and the ecological and evolving medical complexity of these highly evolved intravascular, endotheliotropic bacteria.
1  Chomel BB, et al. Vet Res 2009;40:29.
2  Breitschwerdt EB, et al. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 2010; 20:8.
3  Chomel BB, et al. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2009;1166:120.
4  Breitschwerdt EB, et al. J Clin Microbiol 2008;46:2856.
5  Breitschwerdt EB, et al. Parasit Vectors 2010;3:29.
6  Breitschwerdt EB, et al. J Clin Microbiol 2007;45:270.
7  Breitschwerdt EB, et al. J Clin Microbiol 2010;48:2289.
8  Oliveira AM et al. J Vet Intern Med 2010;24:1229.
9  Breitschwerdt EB, et al. J Clin Microbio 2009;47:1957.
10 Breitschwerdt EB, et al. Parasit Vectors 2010;3:76.
11 Sykes JE, et al. J Clin Microbiol 2010;48:3782.

Tularemia: Hunting Dogs as Possible Vectors

Tularemia: Hunting dogs as possible vectors for the infectious disease 

Press Release

January 20, 2018

Tularemia is an infectious bacterial disease that is life-threatening for rodents, rabbits and hares, but which can also infect humans and dogs. While contact with contaminated blood or meat makes hunters a high-risk group, the frequency of infections among hunting dogs has not been much studied. Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna have now confirmed a relevant prevalence of infections in Austrian hunting dogs following a serological study in which seven percent of the animals tested positive. This could lead to more intense debate as to whether the often asymptomatic animals represent an additional risk of infection for people.

The frequence of Dogs infected with Tularemia pathogens is higher than previously thought. (Photo: Elli Winter/
The frequence of Dogs infected with Tularemia pathogens is higher than previously thought. (Photo: Elli Winter/

Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is an infectious disease that is usually lethal for wild animals such as rabbits, hares and rodents. As a zoonotic disease, however, it also represents a serious health risk for people. Tularemia is caused by various subtypes of the pathogenic bacteria Francisella tularensis, which can be transmitted by biting and stinging insects or directly through contaminated hay, infected blood and other fluids. The raw meat of diseased animals is also associated with a high risk of transmission of the pathogens, which can infect dogs as well as other animals.

Austrian hunting dogs infected more frequently than previously thought

Without secondary disease, however, dogs usually exhibit no or only few symptoms and tend to have a high natural resistance to low levels of the bacteria. As a result, little attention has been paid to dogs in scientific study. Nevertheless, there are theories that canines may act as interim hosts and a further source of infections. Like hunters, dogs can come into direct contact with infected animals (e.g. when retrieving the game). The prevalence of infections among these animals is therefore an important question to be answered.

Scientists from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at Vetmeduni Vienna for the first time investigated blood samples from 80 Austrian hunting dogs from rural areas known to be endemic for tularemia.

“After two independent analyses, five dogs clearly tested positive,” says first author Annika Posautz.

The study thus showed that dogs in those areas of Austria in which rabbit fever is endemic, i.e. in which it regularly occurs, show a more frequent rate of infection.

Risk of transmission from infected dogs possible, but not confirmed

“The frequency of about seven percent shows that hunting dogs can also become infected regularly. As vectors of the disease, even without symptoms, the animals must also be considered unexpected carriers,” Posautz adds.

Clear scientific evidence is still missing, however, the researchers say. Other factors, such as age – young dogs could come into more frequent contact with game for training purposes – or the question whether dogs represent a potential source of infection for people, must be addressed in future studies.

The blood samples were tested using two different agglutination tests to detect antigens on the surface of the bacteria or antibodies produced by the immune system. “Agglutination works by specifically clumping these proteins to make them visible under the microscope. In the case of suspected tularemia, more than one of these tests is necessary due to the possibility of cross-reactivity with other pathogens. If all tests are positive, the disease can be confirmed without a doubt. This was the case with five animals,” the researcher says.





I purposely left the “related” section at the bottom as a clear reminder that Tularemia has been bioweaponized.  This isn’t theoretical, it’s fact.

For more:

Tularemia, brucella, certain Rickettsia’s, numerous viruses, some chlamydia’s, and of course mycoplasma have all been weaponized.

Regarding the weaponization of tick pathogens:

Some state Lyme (borrelia) has also been bioweaponized:

For a lengthy but informative read on the Lyme-Biowarfare connections: CitizensAlert_Bob13 (Scroll to page 44 to see an executive summary. Please notice the names of Steere, Barbour, Shapiro, Klempner, and Wormser, the first four are affiliated with the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). Wormser, lead author of the fraudulent Lyme treatment guidelines, lectures as an expert on biowarefare agents and treatments).

Everyone keeps yammering about climate change despite the fact ticks are extremely ecoadaptive but nobody is talking about ticks tweaked in a lab with bioweaponized pathogens.

Can These Essential Oils Help Lyme Patients Overcome Chronic Candida?

Can These Essential Oils Help Lyme Disease Patients Overcome Chronic Candida Infections?

By Greg Lee Published on


photo credit:

For people diagnosed with Lyme disease that have persistent Candida infections

Have you ever been frustrated by a really slow computer? A month ago, I was making a video and it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to edit the final version. The computer was being choked by a group of programs called “Bloatware.” These programs ate up huge amounts of disk space and processing which turned my computer into a slow moving tortoise.

How is Bloatware that slows down your computer similar to recurring Candida infections in people also diagnosed with Lyme disease?

Just like Bloatware, Candida can slow you down by eating up your valuable energy and increasing inflammation

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Candida lives on the skin and in the digestive tract without normally causing symptoms. Candida can cause local infections in the mouth, throat, esophagus and in the vagina. Candida can also cause systemic infections which affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body1. Symptoms found in persistent Candida infections can include leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome2, chronic fatigue3, arthritis4, clinical depression5, cerebral abscesses6, neck stiffness, seizures7, fever, chills, weakness, and death8. An immune system weakened by Lyme disease may make people more vulnerable to Candida infections.

Lyme disease patients may be more susceptible to recurring Candida infections 

A Lyme disease infection may weaken the immune system and make people more susceptible to opportunistic Candida infections9. Also, many Lyme patients receive prolonged antibiotic therapy which can kill off healthy gut microbes and can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut and Candida overgrowth10. Another theory for chronic Candida in Lyme patients is an inability to produce the necessary inflammatory compounds for eliminating yeast infections.

Chronic Candida infection patients may not be able to produce important anti-fungal inflammatory compounds

In a UK study on chronic Candida infection patients, Interleukin-2 (IL-2), Interleukin-12 (IL-12) production was significantly lower and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) production was much higher11. The study indicates that Candida patients over produce IL-6 which can lead to decreased IL-12. Lower IL-12 is correlated with the inability to clear fungal infections. Patients with gastrointestinal Candida have higher levels of Interleukin-17 (IL-17) which promotes fungal colonization12. Not only Candida, but also Lyme infections can lead to excess inflammation production.

Excess inflammatory compounds may also prevent clearing of Lyme as well as Candida

Increased IL-6 leading to decreased levels of IL-12 may enable Lyme and Candida infections to persist. In neurological Lyme patients, higher levels of inflammatory compounds including IL-6, IL-2, Interleukin-5 (IL-5), Interleukin-10 (IL-10), and CXCL13 were found in spinal fluid13. In a Borrelia infected mice study, decreased IL-12 lead to decreased arthritis and increased levels of Lyme disease in tissues14. In another study, increased IL-17 led to the development of destructive arthritis in mice infected with Borrelia15. Drug resistant strains of Candida may also lead to persistent yeast infections in Lyme patients.

Candida can persist despite multiple anti-fungal medications

In the US and Canada, multi-drug resistant strains of Candida have been found in immune compromised patients16. Candida can also produce a protective slime called a “biofilm” which may make infections up to 1000x more drug resistant17. As a result of resistant and biofilm forms of Candida, Lyme patients undergoing antibiotic therapy may experience recurring Candida infections.

Are there natural remedies that can help to reduce recurring symptoms by targeting antibiotic resistant and biofilm forms of Candida?

Fortunately, there are five essential oils that have been effective against drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida

In a multiple studies, essential oils were effective at inhibiting drug resistant forms of Candida than anti-fungal medications. Other essential oils were highly effective at reducing Candida biofilms. Many of these essential oils have been used safely for years in our food supply18 and to help patients with Candida and Lyme disease to reduce relapsing symptoms. Microparticle “liposome” essential oils have greater penetration into organs and tissues in animal and lab studies19.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #1: Clove Bud

Clove bud essential oil demonstrated considerable anti-fungal properties against Fluconazole-resistant strains of Candida in one lab study20. In another study, clove bud exhibited anti-biofilm activity against Candida species biofilms21. In another lab study, clove bud inhibited IL-6, interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), and IL-1022.

Clove bud essential oil eradicated all Lyme disease persister cells and dissolved biofilms in a lab study23. In multiple animal and lab studies, clove bud oil has also been effective against biofilms produced by Staphylococcus aureus24, E. Coli25, and Aeromonas hydrophila26. In multiple lab studies, clove oil inhibits Salmonella typhimurium, E. coli, B. cereus, Listeria innocua, Morganella morganii, Listeria monocytogenes, Enterobacteriaceae, S. aureus, and Pseudomonas species27. This oil also posses potent anti-fungal properties against Aspergillus flavus28.

Clove bud oil use is cautioned in pregnancy. This oil has anti-coagulant properties and is cautioned with the use of diabetic medications, anticoagulant medications, after major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. It may interact with pethidine, MAOIs or SSRIs. It is also cautioned against using this oil on diseased or damaged, or hypersensitive skin, and with children under 2 years old This oil has US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status29. Similar to clove bud oil, tea tree has excellent anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #2: Tea Tree

In lab studies, tea tree oil inhibited drug resistant Candida strains30 and was effective at inhibiting biofilm growth31. Tea tree oil was also effective against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae32, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its biofilm,33 Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus34, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum35, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma fermentans36, group A streptococcus37, Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum, Pyrenophora graminea38, Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium oxysporum39 in lab and animal studies.

In an endotoxin lab study, tea tree essential oil was effective at lowering inflammatory compounds IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-1040. In another lab study, tea tree oil decreased IL-2 and increased anti-inflammatory compound IL-441. Caution: some cases have been reported where tea tree oil caused allergic dermatitis when placed on the skin42. In five cases, high doses of this oil internally, 0.5-1.0 ml/kg, have produced central nervous system symptoms of loss of coordination, drowsiness, unconsciousness, diarrhea, and abdominal pain43. Just like tea tree, geranium essential oil has multiple anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #3: Geranium

In multiple lab studies, geranium oil inhibited Fluconazole resistant Candida strains44 and inhibited multiple Candida species biofilms45. Geranium oil was also effective at significantly decreasing inflammatory compounds IL-6, IL-10, IL-2 and COX-2 levels when exposed to Candida proteins in another lab study46. In a mouse study, this oil inhibited the degranulation of mast cells47.

The use of geranium oil is cautioned with diabetes medications, drugs metabolized by CYP2B6, and has a low risk of skin sensitization48. Just like geranium, savory reduced resistant forms of Candida.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #4: Savory

Due to their compositional similarity, winter and summer savory essential oils are grouped together here. In one lab study, winter savory essential oil was highly effective at inhibiting drug resistant strains of Candida glabrata49. In another lab study, summer savory essential oil demonstrated substantial anti-fungal activity against Candida albicans and it’s biofilms50.

Since these oils may inhibit blood clotting; use is cautioned with anticoagulant medications, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders. Use is also cautioned with diabetic medications, use on mucous membranes due to a moderate risk of irritation and use on hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin due to a low risk of skin irritation. Use is also cautioned in children under 2 years of age51. Similar to savory, lemon has demonstrated anti-Candida properties.

Anti-Drug Resistant Candida Essential Oil #5: Lemon

In lab studies, lemon essential oil was effective at inhibiting drug-resistant Candida species52. This oil was also 100% effective at reducing a mixed species Candida albicans and E. Coli biofilm53. If applied to the skin, skin must not be exposed to sunlight or sunbed rays for 12 hours54. These essential oils in combination may help to reduce relapsing symptoms caused by drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida in patients with Lyme disease.

Essential oils may help to reduce recurring symptoms caused by antifungal resistant and biofilm forms of Candida

Similar to deleting the Bloatware off your computer to speed it up, a powerful combination of essential oils may help you to overcome energy draining and relapsing symptoms caused by drug resistant and biofilm forms of Candida. Formulating these remedies into microparticle liposomes may enhance the stability and extend the anti-fungal activity of these essential oils. Since these essential oils have cautions and contraindications on their use, work with a Lyme literate essential oil practitioner to develop a proper, safe, and effective strategy for your condition.

“Recitas, author of ‘The Plan,’ calls MSM the wonder supplement for your gut. It can alleviate allergy symptoms, helps with detoxification, eliminates free radicals, and improves cell permeability. She states that with given time, MSM will start to actually repair damage caused by leaky gut – a common problem with Lyme/MSIDS patients. It can also help the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Many Lyme patients struggle with paralysis of the gut where the muscles of the stomach and intestines stop being efficient. MSM helps this muscle tone as well.”














Where Ticks Are and What They Carry – Science Conversation With Dr. Cameron  Approx. 50 Min

Dr. Daniel Cameron, a leading Lyme disease expert, discusses where are the ticks and what are the diseases they carry.



The word is finally getting out.  TICKS ARE EVERYWHERE!


Rocks and picnic benches:

Caves:, and



In the South:, and, and

Southern Hemisphere:


And everywhere else…..

Remember, there are 300 strains and counting of Borrelia worldwide and 100 strains and counting in the U.S.  Current CDC two-tiered testing tests for ONE strain!  Do the math….

For more:





Heart Problems & Tick Borne Disease

Recently some articles have come out on Heart issues with Tick Borne Disease (TBD).  Most talk about Lyme; however, as you will see – there are many other players.  The Hansa Center in their blog states that a common symptom of chronic Lyme is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS.  POTS can cause headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, fatigue, shaking, fainting, cold or pain in extremities, chest pain, shortness of breath, and even nausea.  Evidently, POTS can be caused by Lyme Endocarditis.

For an excellent read on Lyme Carditis, please see:  In a nutshell, it’s inflammation caused by an infection such as Lyme, viruses, and other pathogens.  This inflammation messes up electrical signal conduction and can cause AV block, a serious oxygen depriving condition, hence all the symptoms listed above.  Lyme Carditis is the more general term but it can be in any part of the heart: myocardium, pericardium, endocardium, cardiac muscle, valves, and aorta.  The good news is it can usually be reversed with appropriate treatment.  Sometimes a pacemaker is also needed.  The article states about 4-10% of people with TBD develop this.

CDC Expert Commentary by Joseph D Forrester, MD, MSc

Forrester states Lyme Carditis is “rare,” but even 4-10% of patients is a chunk of people.  PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM THIS and even the CDC reported 3 cases of sudden cardiac death between Nov 2012 & July 2013 among patients with unrecognized Lyme carditis.  If one person died from Zika there would be a media blitz.  Recently a heart specialist in Ontario is warning doctors to be on the look out for Lyme carditis.  Dr. Baranchuk points out that numerous people with heart symptoms were admitted to the ER two to three times before anyone considered Lyme carditis.  He also states many don’t get the bullseye rash or notice vague symptoms of fever and muscle aches.  CTV News Video

Baranchuk wrote a paper advising doctors to treat young patients with strange heart problems with antibiotics while waiting for results of Lyme blood tests.

He states: “These patients may not require pacemakers to be implanted. They can be treated with IV antibiotics for 10 to 12 days and the electricity of the heart will recover completely forever,” he said.

Interestingly the title of the article by CTV News states, “Rare but serious complication of LD….” and yet they even quote Baranchuk saying,

“We have the suspicion that there are way more cases than are reported, because doctors are failing to report it,” he said.

That’s kind of a big deal.


Then there’s the story of Dr. Neil Spector, an oncologist who rubbed shoulders with experts and the best that medical care can offer and yet, due to doctors with heads in the sand suffered for years with bizarre and frustrating heart symptoms until he nearly crossed over to the other side. (He was told it couldn’t be Lyme as he lived in Florida.  The doctors were happy to diagnose him over the phone but ALL stated unequivocally he did NOT have Lyme!) After a heart transplant, Spector is speaking out about Lyme Disease and has even written the book, Gone in a heartbeat – A Physician’s Search for True Healing.  For a great review of the book:

Lyme and carditis:  Course for doctors to become educated.

But Lyme (Bb) isn’t the only culprit.

Similar to inflammation caused by Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), inflammation can be caused by many bacteria and viruses:

Most common viruses causing carditis:

  • Parvovirus B19
  • Human Herpes Virus 6
  • Enterovirus (Coxsackie Virus)
  • (Research needed.  Tons of viruses involved with TBD)

Most common bacteria causing carditis:

  • Corynebacterium diptheriae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • (Research needed.  Tons of bacteria involved with TBD)

Most common parasites causing carditis:

  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Ehrlichia species
  • Babesia species
  • Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas Disease)
  • Bartonella (My addition due to the following…..)
  • (Research needed.  Tons of parasites involved with TBD)

I added Bartonella to the list due to the following (add it up, it isn’t rare):  Five cases of infective endocarditis associated with Bartonella henselae.  Two cases of Bartonella Carditis. One case. Four cases. 22 cases – 13 that had undetermined Bartonella species.  A total of 6 cases reported in Spain.  Conclusion states it is likely to be underestimated and to suspect it with negative blood cultures, history of chronic alcoholism, the homeless, and those in contact with cats or bitten by fleas or lice, as well as patients with endocarditis and positive serology against Chlamydia spp.  This abstract, written in 2006 wouldn’t have considered that ticks carry a Chlamydia-like organisms (CLO):  These results suggest that CLO DNA is present in human skin; ticks carry CLOs and could potentially transmit CLOs to humans.  Two other studies have come to the same conclusion: that there exists a high prevalence and diversity of Chlamydiales DNA in ticks and the very real possibility of human infection. and
All of this continues to demonstrate why Lyme Disease isn’t typically just Lyme Disease but MSIDS, multi systemic infectious disease syndrome, a literal menagerie of pathogens invading the human host making our cases extremely complex and difficult.

Bartonella and carditis:

Babesia and carditis:

Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Bb and carditis:  Mycoplasma pneumoniae antibody positive patients had significantly higher anti-CS IgM levels. In CABG patients we found a correlation between anti-CS IgG levels and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Borrelia burgdorferi antibody titers. Our results provide the first evidence that natural autoantibodies are present in the PF and they show significant correlation with certain antibacterial antibody titers in a disease specific manner.

Hopefully by now it’s clear that carditis caused by TBD’s is not even close to rare.  It should also be painfully clear that we are truly in the dark ages on this and that much work needs to be done – and quickly.

Ending on a personal note, I had these bizarre heart symptoms early in my journey.  To say they were frightening would be an understatement.  I would wake in the middle of the night with my heart flopping like a fish out of water.  It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and my biceps were often numb.  I gasped for air as well.

Upon my first dose of Mepron, Artemisinin, and an intracellular antibiotic, I felt as if I was having a heart attack.  Thankfully we pulsed the artemisinin as that allowed the frightening herxes to dissipate some.  Due to my response to these drugs my guess is Babesia was the culprit.  We treated Babesia for an entire year as it’s a notoriously persistent pathogen.  It’s important to hit it hard and long as it’s been known to build resistance to drugs.

There has been debate among some as to the effectiveness of Artemisinin and I do feel quality matters.  I’m a huge fan of this kind:  And no, I’m not affiliated with them in any way.  BTW:  We used 500mg morning and night MWF.  It makes your mouth taste metallic.

Do not mess around with heart symptoms.  Be a clanging gong until someone takes you seriously and feel free to copy this article and take it to your doctors.  They need to be educated and We the People are up to bat.

Lastly, please remember all the testing for ALL TBD is horrible.  You need a doctor who will diagnose and treat you clinically.  Your reaction to the medication is important to track as it will alert your doctor to what you are dealing with based on symptoms:

Let’s suffice it to say, heart problems with tick borne illness is NOT rare.