Archive for the ‘research’ Category

IPAK Model of Autism Spectrum Causality

“Personal Communication, Dr. J. Lyons-Weiler, The Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge”


Relapsing Fever Found at Popular Recreation Site in CA Ticks

2018 Dec 4. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjy213. [Epub ahead of print]

Borrelia parkeri in Ornithodoros parkeri (Ixodida: Argasidae) Collected Using Compact Dry Ice Traps in Madera County, California.


Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) is a potentially serious vector-borne disease endemic to the western United States. Vector surveillance is compromised by the nidicolous life history of the three Ornithodoros species that transmit TBRF to people in this region. Large-scale stationary trapping methods were developed to survey a wide geographical range of Ornithodoros spp. which are known to vector relapsing fever Borrelia spp. in California. Ninety-six Ornithodoros parkeri were collected from four locations in the foothills of Fresno and Madera Counties. Two of these O. parkeri nymphs were PCR positive for Borrelia parkeri, and their collection at a popular recreation site increases the public health concern.


More on Relapsing Fever:

Transverse Myelitis & Guillain-Barre Associated with Bartonella

Transverse Myelitis and Guillain-Barré Syndrome Associated with Cat-Scratch Disease, Texas, USA, 2011

Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Sep; 24(9): 1754–1755.


We describe a case of coexisting transverse myelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) related to infection with Bartonella henselae proteobacterium and review similar serology-proven cases. B. henselae infection might be emerging as a cause of myelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome and should be considered as an etiologic factor in patients with such clinical presentations.



This case study is of a previously healthy 10 year old girl who presented with lower extremity weakness, abdominal pain, vomiting, urinary retention, lymphadenopathy, headache, neck pain, lower back pain, burning in wrists, knees, ankles, and feet, and increases sensitivity to pain in her legs.

She had evidence of myelitis, brain lesions, and peripheral nerve involvement.

They administered rifampin and doxycycline for a possible CSD (Cat Scratch Disease) diagnosis but had to discontinue rifampin due to rising liver enzyme levels.  She was then given IV immunoglobulin for possible GBS (Guillain Barre Syndrome) and showed tremendous improvement with resolution of urinary retention and decrease in pain & weakness.  Four months later she had only residual sensory deficits.

According to the study, by 1971, 40 cases of Bartonella with neurological complications occurred with 90% involving encephalitis with a few myelopathy.  Other CSD associated myelitis cases and other GBS-associated Bartonella cases have been reported.

Key quote:

Studies of the efficacy of treatments for CSD-associated neurologic manifestations are lacking, and thus, the optimal regimen and duration of therapy are unknown. However, we suggest that clinicians consider CSD early in disease courses involving neurologic complications; the possibility of GBS, myelitis, or both in the setting of possible CSD should prompt clinicians to initiate antimicrobial treatment early and consider steroid or intravenous immunoglobulin therapy to prevent progression of disease.

For Lyme/MSIDS patients with these presentations, steroids would be counter-indicated due to the immune suppression which would enhance pathogen involvement:

“It is interesting to note that in dogs who had Lyme disease, injections of dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, enabled Borrelia burgdorferi to be cultured from blood drawn on the following day.”

This was done by Dr. Elizabeth Burgess at the University of Wisconsin. This suggests that the steroid suppresses a mechanism for keeping the bacteria out of the circulatory system, since ordinarily it is difficult to grow the Lyme organism from the blood. Entrance of the bacteria into the bloodstream can allow seeding of other organs.

“In conclusion, the decision to use the steroids in a Lyme patient must be given considerable thought and the possible benefits must be weighed against the risks. I would not use steroids unless the patient was also on antibiotics.

Please keep in mind the difference between catabolic (break down) steroids and anabolic (build up) steroids.





Bartonella Presenting with Lymphadenopathy

Cat-Scratch Disease in an AIDS Patient Presenting with Generalized Lymphadenopathy: An Unusual Presentation with Delayed Diagnosis.

Mantis J, et al. Am J Case Rep. 2018.


BACKGROUND Bartonella infection is the causative organism of cat-scratch disease (CSD), which typically presents with self-limited localized lymphadenopathy. In HIV-infected patients, Bartonella infection can cause systemic illnesses with significant morbidity and mortality manifesting as bacillary angiomatosis (BA), hepatic peliosis, splenitis, bacteremic febrile illness, and other organ involvement. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no reports of HIV-infected patients presenting with generalized lymphadenopathy caused by Bartonella infection. We report an unusual case of CSD presenting with generalized lymphadenopathy in an AIDS patient with advanced immunosuppression.

CASE REPORT A 44-year-old woman with AIDS, advanced immunosuppression, and intermittent adherence to antiretroviral therapy and medical care, presented with cough and increased generalized tender lymphadenopathy. A lymph node biopsy 1 year earlier was non-diagnostic for tuberculosis, fungal infection, and lymphoproliferative disorders. She remained with generalized lymphadenopathy. A repeat biopsy with the addition of Warthin-Starry silver staining suggested the diagnosis of cat-scratch lymphadenitis. She responded well to a long course of azithromycin antibiotic therapy, with the resolution of lymphadenopathy. CONCLUSIONS Cat-scratch disease may present with prolonged generalized lymphadenopathy, an unusual presentation in HIV patients with advanced immunosuppression. Awareness of the possibility of CSD in a similar clinical scenario may prompt early recognition and management of this disease.



While this case study is on an HIV-infected patient, those infected with Lyme/MSIDS can have similar presentations with systemic illness, and significant morbidity and mortality due to the immunosuppressive nature of tick borne infections (TBI’s).

Both my husband and I had Bartonella yet no lymph-node involvement.  This checklist outlines most of the most prevalent symptoms & we had many:  (Checklist within link along with other symptoms and cases)

Notice that treatment was a “long course” of antibiotics that for some reason is acceptable for an immunosuppressed HIV patient but NOT an immunosuppressed Lyme/MSIDS patient.  It’s a head scratcher for sure.

Congenital transmission is highly likely:


High Prevalence, Diversity, & Coinfection of Bartonella in Saudi Arabian Gerbils

Molecular assessment of Bartonella in Gerbillus nanus from Saudi Arabia reveals high levels of prevalence, diversity and co-infection.

Kleynhans DJ, et al. Infect Genet Evol. 2018.


Bartonellae bacteria are associated with several re-emerging human diseases. These vector-borne pathogens have a global distribution, yet data on Bartonella prevalence and diversity in the Arabian Peninsula are limited. In this study we assessed the Bartonella infection status of the Baluchistan gerbil (Gerbillus nanus), a species associated with pastoral communities throughout the Middle East region, using a multi-gene PCR screening approach.

The results demonstrated that 94 (68.1%) of the 138 gerbils trapped on a monthly basis, over a period of one year, were PCR-positive. Sequencing of the gltA gene region confirmed the presence of four discrete Bartonella lineages (I-IV) and high levels of co-infection (33.0%). Each of the four lineages, varied in overall abundance (7.5%-47.9%) and had discernible seasonal peaks. Bartonella status was significantly correlated with ectoparasite presence, but not with sex, nor with season. Statistical analyses further revealed that co-infected individuals had a significantly higher relative body condition. Multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) performed with a concatenated dataset of three genetic loci (gltA, nuoG, and rpoB), 1452 nucleotides (nt) in length confirmed that lineage IV, which occurred in 24 PCR-positive animals (25.5%), is most closely related to zoonotic B. elizabethae. The remaining three lineages (I-III) formed a monophyletic clade which, on the basis of gltA was shown to contain bartonellae from diverse Gerbillinae species from the Middle East, suggestive of a gerbil-associated species complex in this region. Lineage I was identical to a Candidatus B. sanaae strain identified previously in Bushy-tailed jirds (Sekeetamys calurus) from Egypt, wherease MLSA indicate that lineages II and III are novel. The high levels of infection and co-infection, together with the presence of multiple Bartonella lineages indicate that Gerbillus nanus is likely a natural reservoir of Bartonella in the Arabian Peninsula.



Bartonella is highly prevalent in Lyme/MSIDS patients, yet, mainstream medicine isn’t even looking at it.  If they do look at it they make the mistake of downplaying its significance.  This article is yet another example of its proliferation and presence.  Ticks are also ectoparasites yet many deny its ability to transmit Bartonella.  This issue needs to be resolved; however, since so many Lyme/MSIDS patients have it, it’s either transmitted directly from ticks OR the tick bite and subsequent immune suppression causes asymptomatic cases to reactivate.  Either way, it is an important issue.  Fifteen species of gram-negative aerobic Bartonella are known to infect humans; however Dr. Ricardo Maggi’s statement is quite telling, “This case reinforces the hypothesis that any Bartonella species can cause human infection.”  If you suspect Bartonella, print off and fill out this checklist.  While the symptoms are many and varied, my husband had unexplained and sudden anxiety, irritability, rage, sudden knee-jerk reactions, skin tags & severe itching, and we both felt as if someone beat the bottoms of our feet with a hammer.  Proper treatment ameliorated all of these symptoms.

Bird Size & Nest Site Have Biggest Impact on Tick Prevalence & Abundance, Study Says

Life history characteristics of birds influence patterns of tick parasitism

*Brinkerhoff RJ, Dang L, Streby HM, Gimpel M.

Infection Ecology & Epidemiology, 2018 Nov 27;9(1):1547096.
eCollection 2019.


Birds serve as reservoirs for tick-borne pathogens as well as hosts for
multiple tick species of public health relevance. Birds may perpetuate
life cycles of vectors and vector-borne pathogens and disperse disease
vectors over long distances, supplementing populations at range margins
or seeding invading populations beyond the edges of current tick
distributions. Our goal for this study was to identify life history
characteristics of birds that most strongly affect tick parasitism.

*Materials and Methods*

We collected 6203 ticks from 5426 birds from two sites in eastern North
America and used field-derived parasitism data and published literature
to analyze impacts of life history factors on tick parasitism in birds.

*Results and Discussion*

We identified body size and nest site to have the strongest impact on
tick prevalence and abundance in the songbird species included in this
study. Our findings reveal site-independent patterns in tick parasitism
on birds and suggest that physical more than behavioral characteristics
may influence a bird species’ suitability as a host for ticks.


The data and results published here will contribute to a growing body
of literature and information on bird-tick interactions and will help
elucidate patterns of tick and tick-borne pathogen geographic expansion.

*Free, full text*:


More on the role of Birds:  We provide the first report of a Bbsl-positive Amblyomma longirostre larva parasitizing a bird; this bird parasitism suggests that a Willow Flycatcher is a competent reservoir of Bbsl. Our findings show that Bbsl is present in all provinces, and that multiple tick species are implicated in the enzootic maintenance cycle of this pathogen. Ultimately, Bbsl poses a serious public health contagion Canada-wise.


Prozac & Triclosan Can Directly Induce Antibiotic Resistance Studies Say

One of The Most Widely Used Antidepressants Has Just Been Implicated in Breeding Antibiotic Resistance

10 SEP 2018


In recent years, bacteria have been growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics – our strongest weapon against them.

It’s generally thought that it’s the overuse of antibiotics driving this trend, but now it looks like non-antibiotic medications can play a significant role too.

Specifically, as researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland have just discovered, a drug called fluoxetine – a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and the key ingredient in antidepressants such as Prozac and Sarafem.

The researchers embarked on the study to demonstrate that it’s not just antibiotics that are triggering the rise of the superbug.

“Our previous study reported that triclosan, a common ingredient in toothpaste and hand wash can directly induce antibiotic resistance,” said engineer Jianhua Guo of the University’s Advanced Water Management Centre.

“We also wondered whether other non-antibiotic pharmaceuticals such as fluoxetine can directly induce antibiotic resistance.”

The test involved exposing the bacterium Escherichia coli (or E. coli) to different concentrations of fluoxetine, in body-temperature baths that were changed daily for 30 days.

After this, the mutated bacteria were transferred to agar plates that contained an antibiotic. The researchers found that these bacteria had a greatly increased resistance to antibiotics chloramphenicol, amoxicillin and tetracycline – up to 50 million-fold compared to the control.

The stronger the concentration of fluoxetine, the faster the bacteria mutated over time.

And isolated mutant bacteria with a resistance to one of those antibiotics was also found to show multiple resistances against fluoroquinolone, aminoglycoside, β-lactams, tetracycline and chloramphenicol, the researchers found.

According to the researchers, up to 11 percent of the fluoxetine in medication travels through the body unchanged, and enters the environment via the sewer system after the patient urinates it out.

“Fluoxetine is a very persistent and well-documented drug in the wider environment, where strong environmental levels can induce multi-drug resistance,” Guo said.

“This discovery provides strong evidence that fluoxetine directly causes multi-antibiotic resistance via genetic mutation.”

That doesn’t mean that everyone needs to stop taking it immediately; for many people, fluoxetine is a fantastic life-saving medication. However, the study does point to other areas that need to be looked into.

First, it was conducted in the lab. How the drug impacts the microbiome inside the human body is yet to be investigated.

Second, what other non-antibiotic drugs could be having a similar effect?

A 2016 study estimated that by 2050, antibiotic-resistant superbugs will be killing 10 million people per year. So it’s vitally important that we figure this out – and try to find a way to fix it.

“[Fluoxetine] has previously been an invisible factor in the spread of antibiotic resistance,” said researcher Min Jin, “but we should consider this a warning.”

The research has been published in the journal Environment International.