Risky business: linking Toxoplasma gondii infection and entrepreneurship behaviours across individuals and countries
Stefanie K. Johnson, Markus A. Fitza, Daniel A. Lerner, Dana M. Calhoun, Marissa A. Beldon, Elsa T. Chan, Pieter T. J. Johnson
Published 25 July 2018.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0822
Disciplines such as business and economics often rely on the assumption of rationality when explaining complex human behaviours. However, growing evidence suggests that behaviour may concurrently be influenced by infectious microorganisms. The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii infects an estimated 2 billion people worldwide and has been linked to behavioural alterations in humans and other vertebrates. Here we integrate primary data from college students and business professionals with national-level information on cultural attitudes towards business to test the hypothesis that T. gondii infection influences individual- as well as societal-scale entrepreneurship activities. Using a saliva-based assay, we found that students (n = 1495) who tested IgG positive for T. gondii exposure were 1.4× more likely to major in business and 1.7× more likely to have an emphasis in ‘management and entrepreneurship’ over other business-related emphases. Among professionals attending entrepreneurship events, T. gondii-positive individuals were 1.8× more likely to have started their own business compared with other attendees (n = 197). Finally, after synthesizing and combining country-level databases on T. gondii infection from the past 25 years with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor of entrepreneurial activity, we found that infection prevalence was a consistent, positive predictor of entrepreneurial activity and intentions at the national scale, regardless of whether previously identified economic covariates were included. Nations with higher infection also had a lower fraction of respondents citing ‘fear of failure’ in inhibiting new business ventures. While correlational, these results highlight the linkage between parasitic infection and complex human behaviours, including those relevant to business, entrepreneurship and economic productivity.
I’ve always been fascinated with parasites. Call me crazy – maybe I have them….
The take home here is that parasites can affect behavior. This is important for Lyme/MSIDS patients to know as a tick’s gut is a literal garbage can full of bizarre and complex creatures that feast on the human body, wreaking all manner of havoc.
In Lyme circles, it won’t take long before you hear patients stating that they aren’t feeling well and then within the same breath, state it’s due to a full-moon.
For a number of reasons, Lyme/MSIDS patients can be coinfected with T. gondii.While food, congenital, blood transfusions, and organ transplants are the common route of transmission, sexual transmission is theorized. Also, people can get it from cleaning a cat’s litterbox and then not washing their hands well. If you go to the following link, you will read of a case of a person with Lyme and Toxoplasmosis: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/05/21/toxoplasmosis/This article will also reveal T. gondii is responsible for about 1/5 of schizophrenia cases. Women carrying IgG antibodies when giving birth have a greater risk for self-harm. The article also gives testing and treatment options.
Parasite patients often express the psyche of the parasites – sticky, clingy, impossible to tolerate – but a wonderful human being is behind all of that.
We are all a composite of many personalities. Chronic infections outnumber our own cells by 10:1. We are 90% “other” and 10% “us”. Our consciousness is a composite of 90% microbes and 10% us.
Our thinking, feeling, creativity, and expression are 90% from the microbes within us. Patients often think, crave, and behave as if they are the parasite.
Our thinking is shaded by the microbes thinking through us. The food choices, behavioral choices, and who we like is the thinking of the microbes within us expressing themselves.
Patients will reject all treatments that affect the issue that requires treating.
Patients will not guide themselves to health when the microbes have taken over.
With this information in mind, it’s quite clear how Lyme/MSIDS is such a complex disease as many are dealing not only with Lyme but other coinfections including parasites which are either directly transmitted by a tick or activated due to a dysfunctional immune system.
Brazil: Santa Maria reports 569 confirmed cases of toxoplasmosis, of which 50 are pregnant women
June 19, 2018
By Marcos Vinicius Malveira de Lima
The number of confirmed cases of toxoplasmosis in Santa Maria, in the Central Region of Rio Grande do Sul, rose to 569, according to a report released Monday (June / 2018) by the municipal and state health departments. According to the document, of the confirmed cases, 50 are pregnant women. The previous bulletin, released on June 8 , reported 510 cases.
According to the new report, 312 suspected cases of the disease are under investigation. A press conference was held this afternoon to discuss the issue. At the time, the Ministry of Health announced that analyzes and cross-checks of data collected during the first stage of field research are done.
For one month, health workers applied more than 230 questionnaires to people with toxoplasmosis and other residents without the disease. The main objectives are to identify the probable source that gave rise to the outbreak and to ensure that the persons who have been diagnosed have adequate care and treatment. There is no prediction as to when the results of this work will be released.
While the cause of the outbreak is not discovered, the orientation continues to be boiling the water before drinking, avoiding raw or undercooked meat and having enough hygiene in the preparation of food.
The Federal Public Prosecutor filed a lawsuit to ensure the transfer of the drugs for treatment. During the press conference, the agency and the state assured that there are medicines for another three months, considering loans of medicines that came from other cities, such as São Paulo. In addition, a new tender for drug purchases is also planned.
Data from last report
– 1,430 reported cases
– 1,103 suspects, of which 569 confirmed, 222 discarded and 312 under investigation
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/05/21/toxoplasmosis/ Please know there is evidence of coinfection of Toxoplasmosis with Lyme Disease. As Toxoplasmosis is significant in people who are immuno-suppressed, Lyme Disease will trigger a previous asymptomatic case. While undercooked food, unsanitary conditions, and cats are normally blamed, sexual transmission has been theorized.
Czech scientist believes that 75% of schizophrenia is associated with infections, with Toxo a significant portion.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295012.php?trendmd-shared=0Medical News Today reported on a study claiming the parasite is responsible for around a fifth of schizophrenia cases. Now, new research by Johns Hopkins provides further evidence of this association after reviewing two previous studies which identified a link between cat ownership in childhood and development of schizophrenia and other mental disorders later in life and then comparing them with the results of a 1982 National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) questionnaire. The questionnaire revealed that around 50% of individuals who had a cat as a family pet during childhood were diagnosed with schizophrenia or other mental illnesses later in life, compared with 42% who did not have a cat during childhood.
T. gondii may be the culprit.
Researchers at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands conducted a meta-analysis of more than 50 studies that established a link between T. gondii and increased risk of schizophrenia. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247346.php Women carrying IgG antibodies to Toxo when giving birth have a higher risk of self-harm or suicide later on, especially if antibody levels are high.
See first link for treatments. If you are a Lyme/MSIDS patient and have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and have similar symptoms, please discuss the possibility of Toxoplasmosis with your practitioner.
Epstein-Barr Virus: A Key Player in Chronic Illness
by Dr. Bill Rawls
So, you’re experiencing symptoms of tiredness, achiness, sore throat, and possibly swollen lymph nodes and low-grade fever that just won’t go away.
You’ve Googled your symptoms, and mononucleosis pops up as a likely possibility. But if you’re well beyond college age, mononucleosis isn’t very common.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and even Lyme disease are other possibilities you might have entertained, especially if you have symptoms beyond those mentioned above. But then you came across something called reactivated Epstein-Barr virus, which fits your symptoms to a tee.
If you are aware that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the cause of mononucleosis, you may be wondering: What’s the difference between chronic reactivated EBV and mononucleosis? And beyond that, what makes chronic reactivated EBV chronic — and how does it play into other chronic illnesses?
To find out, read on to learn more about this complex and convoluted microbe called Epstein-Barr virus and what can make it a long-term troublemaker.
Almost Everyone Has EBV
Let’s start with the fact that EBV is much more common than you might imagine: >95% of world’s population has been infected with it.
Another interesting fact is that it’s a herpes-type virus. Yep, you read that right: EBV is a close relative of genital herpes. Known technically as Human Herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), it’s #4 on the list of nine different herpes-type viruses that can infect humans.
Herpesviruses are composed of strands of DNA inside an envelope. After initial infection, they stay dormant in tissues indefinitely, but can reactivate if immune system functions become depressed.
In other words, if you’ve ever been infected with a herpesvirus like EBV, you will always carry it in your tissues.
EBV Can Spread Like Wildfire
The majority of people become infected with EBV as infants or young children. The virus spreads primarily by oral route via saliva. To enter the body, it infects mucous membranes lining the mouth, throat, and stomach. From there, the virus infects B cells, the type of white blood cell that produces antibodies. It also infects T cells and natural killer cells, but to a lesser extent. Infected white blood cells transport EBV throughout the body.
In this active phase, called the lytic phase, the virus takes over the machinery of infected cells to generate new viruses. This is when people are most symptomatic and contagious.
The virus spreads remarkably easily, especially in children. It is most typically spread by people who are infectious, but don’t know it — daycare workers, babysitters, grandmothers with big wet kisses. Following that, infected children rapidly pass it along to other children.
Which is a really good thing — because if you get it as an infant or young child (remember to thank your grandmother), you typically don’t get very sick at all. In fact, it’s unlikely that you would even remember the infection.
It’s only if you don’t get EBV at a young age and then get exposed later in life when your immune system is suppressed that you’re at risk for developing the form of EBV called mononucleosis.
Known as kissing disease, infectious mononucleosis (IM) is spread by intimate contact with someone shedding the virus. It typically occurs in young adults who haven’t been exposed early in life. It usually catches the person off guard when immune system functions are depressed, such as during the stress of high school or college.
Compared to EBV occurring in childhood, IM is much more severe: Common symptoms include sore throat, fever, severe fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. It can drag on for months and be quite debilitating.25
Whether the initial encounter with EBV occurs as an innocuous infection as a child or as debilitating mononucleosis as a young adult, the host’s immune system eventually gains ground and the infection is contained.
The virus, however, is not eradicated. It persists inside memory B cells, a type of white blood cell that retains “memory” of an infection for future reference — except in this case, the cells are sabotaged into storing the actual virus. Memory B cells infected with EBV accumulate in lymphoid tissue and nerve tissue, and stay there for a lifetime.
This dormant state is referred to as the latent phase.9, 6, 12, 23Traditionally, people in the latent phase weren’t considered noninfectious. But with all the daycare workers, teachers, grandmas, and college students actively shedding the virus without knowing it, it’s become clear that someone can be very infectious without being ill. In fact, recent evidence supports that people often actively shed virus from tonsillar tissues without having significant symptoms.23
Either way, whether EBV is completely dormant or infectious without symptoms, the virus generally doesn’t cause any significant problems as long as immune system functions are robust. You can carry it for a whole lifetime and not know it — as most people do.
However, allow the immune system to become disrupted — by stress, poor diet, and other key factors I’ll explore below — and EBV can reactivate, causing symptoms similar to the mononucleosis, but much worse.4
Reactivated EBV Can Become Chronic
Chronic reactivated EBV is like mononucleosis from hell.
Symptoms of reactivated EBV include severe chronic fatigue, chronic achiness, chronic sore throat and irritation of mucous membranes, swollen lymph nodes, and a range of debilitating neurological symptoms. Symptoms can wax and wane for years. Severe cases can include evidence of liver dysfunction, immune suppression, and anemia.1
The most plausible explanation for why chronic reactivated EBV is so severe and unrelenting is that it’s not just EBV that’s at play.
This is where things get both interesting and complicated.
People often carry other herpesviruses in addition to EBV. The list includes Herpes simplex types 1 and 2 (oral and genital herpes), varicella-zoster virus (causing both chickenpox and shingles), cytomegalovirus (CMV), HHV-6 types a and b, HHV-7, and HHV-8.
Though they are all related, each of these viruses infects the body in a different way — therefore they cause slightly different symptom profiles. In important ways, they are all are remarkably common:
They stay dormant in tissues and can be reactivated just like EBV.
If disruption of a person’s immune functions allows reactivation of multiple herpesviruses at once, symptoms can be severe and highly variable.
But that isn’t the end of the story.
Many people with chronic Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome are found to have reactivation of EBV, along with other herpesviruses and a list of other microbes including Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Chlamydia, and new microbes added to the list every day.
This strongly suggests that reactivation of EBV is likely not EBV alone.
The Connections Between EBV and Chronic Illnesses Are Many
Scientists are just beginning to explore the link between chronic EBV and other chronic illnesses, but one of the most well-researched is EBV’s relationship with multiple sclerosis (MS). Many studies have defined a variety of different mechanisms by which the virus could initiate and perpetuate MS — not enough to define EBV as the sole cause of MS, but highly suggestive that it does play a role in the illness.10
Similarly, studies have shown high viral loads of active EBV in a high proportion of patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and autoimmune thyroiditis.14 Again, a strong link, but not enough to suggest absolute cause of EBV alone.
And that’s not the end of the multi-microbe connections.
Recent evidence has suggested that EBV and HHV-6a might together play a role in MS.29 MS has also been linked to a variety of different microbes including, but not limited to, Chlamydia pneumoniae,35, 37 Mycoplasma sp., Spherula insularis, and paramyxovirus.14, 36
Autoimmune diseases have also been linked to a variety of microbes, including EBV, but also additional herpesviruses; other viruses including Parvovirus; a protozoan called Toxoplasmosis; and bacteria including Mycoplasma, Yersinia, and others commonly associated with chronic Lyme disease.14
They infect white blood cells and are carried throughout the body, especially to areas of inflammation.
They can persist in a dormant state.
They are master manipulators of the immune system.
They can exist in healthy people without causing illness.
They are present in all populations of the world.
The deeper you dig, the more connections you find between chronic illnesses and stealth microbes. But after a while, you begin to appreciate that it’s not as much the microbes causing problems as it is disruption of the host’s immune functions that allows those microbes to flourish.
In other words, a person could be harboring a variety of stealth microbes — EBV, CMV, HHV-7, Borrelia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, and others — and not be ill as long as their immune system functions are robust.
Let immune system functions falter, however, and like a pot boiling over on the stove, the microbes erupt and cause illness.
Chronic Immune Dysfunction Is Triggered by the Perfect Storm
My experience taught me that the microbes are always there — I had likely harbored mine since childhood. It’s not until a perfect storm of factors comes together to disrupt immune functions that a person becomes ill. For me, that perfect storm was caused primarily by years of chronic sleep deprivation associated with every-other-night obstetrics on-call-duty and eating a poor diet on the run, but there were other minor stress factors as well.
As I shifted my practice toward caring for individuals with chronic illness, I began to see similar patterns in my patients — not necessarily the same stress factors that I had experienced, but stress factors that disrupt immune functions just the same. I began cataloging them and, interestingly, I reached a limit of just 7 categories of stress factors that are associated with chronic illness.
As astounding as it may sound, I came to the conclusion that the causes of all chronic illnesses can be traced back to these 7 factors that I came to call System Disruptors. I’ve been testing this theory for more than 10 years and always find it to be reliable. I’ve also discovered solid scientific support for my theory.
The 7 System Disruptors are:
1. Poor diet. We live in a world saturated with artificially manipulated foods. Regular consumption of these foods disrupts all systems of the body.
2. Toxins. The modern world is saturated with artificial toxins. Toxins disrupt all healing systems of the body.
3. Emotional stress. Continually running from the proverbial tiger inhibits digestion, suppresses immune function, disrupts sleep, and sets the stage for chronic illness.
4. Physical stress. Cumulative trauma, excessive heat or cold causes damage to the body, but living a sedentary life can be just as harmful.
5. Oxidative stress. Every cell in the body is continually generating free radicals as a byproduct of energy production. Free radicals damage internal components of cells. Inflammation is also a type of free radical damage.
6. Artificial radiation. Normal background radiation from the sun, solar system, and the earth itself are now amplified sources of radiation that saturate the modern world.
7. Microbes. The effects from this system disruptor set the stage for chronic illness.
For every patient with chronic illness, I can always trace back to a perfect storm of factors that came together to cause the person’s illness. What type of chronic illness they ended up with depends on three factors:
The person’s genetics — which determines risk, but not whether an illness will occur
The variety of different low-grade stealth pathogens the person has collected through life
How System Disruptors contribute to immune dysfunction, which allows low grade pathogens with stealthy characteristics to flourish and upset the balance of the microbiome and homeostasis in the body
Diagnosing and Treating Chronic EBV Isn’t Black and White
To help identify chronic EBV, start by trying to rule out infectious mononucleosis. By definition, IM is an acute infection with EBV alone, and there are antiviral agents (such as acyclovir, ganciclovir, and vidarabine) that work extremely well for IM and other acute infections of herpes-type viruses, so it’s worth doing testing to define IM over reactivated EBV.
Testing for IM looks for antibodies to the virus; the presence of different types of antibodies can distinguish between IM and reactivated EBV. But testing for IM isn’t always straight-forward — mononucleosis-like syndromes can also occur with other herpesviruses (CMV, HHV-6), other viruses (typically adenoviruses), and a protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii.26 In other words, many different viruses can cause viral syndromes similar to EBV.
If you have all the symptoms of chronic reactivated EBV, then the likelihood of EBV being present is quite high, along with other microbes.
As for treating chronic reactivated EBV, because there are antiviral agents that work well for IM, you might expect that chronic EBV would also respond to antivirals.
Unfortunately, antivirals don’t work for chronic EBV.
Scientists have sorted out the technical reason for this. Antiviral agents work by blocking DNA polymerase, an enzyme the virus uses to replicate inside cells. Latent or chronic EBV infection, however, does not require DNA polymerase for the virus to replicate — therefore, current antiviral agents are ineffective against chronic EBV infection.1
Other conventional therapies, including steroid therapy (prednisone) and immunosuppressive drugs, have been used to treat chronic EBV infection, but success has been limited.1These therapies can inhibit the destructive processes of a disrupted immune function, but they have no capacity to restore normal immune function.
Lots of researchers are also looking at vaccines against EBV. The problem is that characteristics of the virus vary greatly across different geographical areas, making it difficult to create a single vaccine.8
Other methods of eradicating EBV being contemplated by conventional medical science include: B-cell depletion with monoclonal antibodies (targeting EBV-infected B cells with immunoglobulins) and new types of antiviral drugs.11, 16, 20
Focusing all efforts on eradicating EBV, however, is short-sighted. The bottom line: The underlying problem is chronic immune dysfunction, and you will not start getting well until normal immune system functions are restored.
There’s A More Practical Approach to Regaining Wellness
Remember, EBV doesn’t cause problems unless immune system functions have been disrupted.1, 14, 20, 23 Therefore, any solution must address restoring normal immune system functions in order to suppress whatever microbes may be present and flourishing.
First and foremost is minimizing the 7 System Disruptors. Following an optimal diet and making some lifestyle modifications to promote a healing environment in the body is essential for overcoming chronic EBV or any other chronic illness.
Modern herbal therapy should be the cornerstone of any restorative approach. Herbal extracts have incredible abilities, including:
Reducing destructive inflammation
Enhancing natural killer cells and other aspects of the immune system necessary to control microbes like EBV
Balancing hormone systems in the body that have been disrupted by chronic illness
Suppressing stealth microbes directly to restore balance in the microbiome
While many herbs have been found to suppress EBV, EBV is rarely found in isolation — chronic immune dysfunction always allows a variety of low-grade stealth pathogens to flourish. Therefore, a comprehensive regimen of herbal extracts is necessary.
Some effective herbal extracts for restoring immune function, balancing the microbiome, and suppressing viruses such as EBV include:
Generally most people will respond to restorative solutions alone. Drug therapy is only necessary if severe or extreme illness is not responding to the restorative therapies. It is, however, important to maintain an ongoing working relationship with your medical provider during your entire recovery.
Ultimately, all of this is great news for those with chronic reactivated EBV: It means the power to take back control of your health and feel better is in your hands. By learning how to limit the System Disruptors in your life, you’ll start to strengthen your immune function so you can live in harmony with microbes like EBV.
The Sleeping Giant – Tips to Treat Reactivation of Epstein-Barr Virus
Jill C. Carnahan, MD
Did you know, you probably have virus lurking in the shadows? It’s called the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and an estimated 90 percent of us have it. Fortunately, for most of us it lies dormant, like a sleeping giant. Only when something triggers a reactivation of EBV does this virus rear its ugly head.
Epstein-Barr virus is part of the herpes family and also known as human herpesvirus 4. Usually passed through saliva, EBV is the cause of infectious mononucleosis – also known as “mono” or “kissing disease.” Typically, teenagers come down with this condition and first notice there’s a problem when they experience extreme fatigue. Interestingly, extreme fatigue can also cause a reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus.
Though there are many conditions where EBV is the cause or a trigger, extreme fatigue is a unifying symptom that occurs in most cases. Symptoms of an active Epstein-Barr virus, include:
Autoimmune conditions are caused when an overactive immune system begins attacking healthy tissue. We are learning more and more, what often sets off the immune system response in the first place can be a variety of infections, including EBV.
CD8+T cells are types of white blood cells your body uses to keep the EBV virus in check. When there’s an impairment or a deficiency of these cells, the EBV virus is free to run rampant. The amount of CD8+T cells you have can be negatively impacted by age, estrogen levels, and vitamin D deficiency, certain medications and treatments, and poor immune system function. This is important because autoimmunity is on the rise and we need a better understanding of its underlying causes.
So, what can be done to treat Epstein-Barr? If it’s so common, surely there’s a simple explanation or cure? Actually, the best way to tackle Epstein-Barr is similar to how we deal with an imbalance of gut microbes – manipulate the environment so balance is restored. The most important thing I find is to support the natural immunity and decrease exposures to environmental toxins and other infections. Let’s take a closer look.
Treating the Epstein Barr Virus
There is no known cure for the Epstein-Barr virus, and therefore treatments should focus on returning the creature back to it’s sleeping or dormant state. So, in order to treat EBV the approach needs to focus on getting the virus back in check, not killing it. This means manipulating the condition of your body – the environment where the Epstein-Barr virus lives.
When I discover a patient of mine has Epstein-Barr virus, here are the things I consider:
Clean diet and proper nutrition – This reduces inflammation and immune system burden. We eliminate gluten, dairy, allergens, and start a plant-based Paleo diet. Sugar is one of the most powerful immunosuppressives so that must be eliminated at all costs.
Heal the gut – Healing the gut is a priority for anyone dealing with EBV. Toxins can leak through damaged gastrointestinal lining and cause the immune system to overreact. This process is also known as endotoxemia, driven by LPS.
Eliminate any infections – Check for any coexisting infections and work to treat these. I often think of it as “infectious burden” and work to decrease the load on the immune system.
Reduce toxic burden – We are bombarded by tens of thousands of chemicals everyday, find out how to Reduce Your Daily Toxin Exposure. It is critical also to decrease total toxic load by eliminating any toxic exposures.
Optimize detox pathways – This includes supporting the liver, kidneys, and colon and may be supported by various nutritional supplements and other homeopathic drainage remedies.
Improving sleep habits – This is essential because so many repairing and detoxification processes occur during the deepest stages of sleep. I advise no less than 8 hours per night or as much sleep as required to wake up refreshed without an alarm clock.
Reduce stress – Stress is a major cause of immune system dysfunction, it could even be what awakened your EBV in the first place. You must work to reduce stress – your health depends on it. Try prayer, meditation or spending time in nature. Self care must be a priority.
Herbal supplements – Herbs such as Ashwagandha, licorice, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, ginseng, and holy basil may be used for immune system support and for their antiviral and adaptogenic properties.
Supplements – I use these for suppressing EBV reactivation
Monolauren: 1800 mg twice daily
Olive Leaf: 1000-1500 mg twice daily
L-Lysine: 1000-1500 mg twice daily
Cat’s Claw tincture: 30-60 drops twice daily
When viruses diminish due to these treatments it isn’t because any of these things attack the virus, but instead they help put your body in a state that isn’t ideal for the virus to reproduce. Hopefully, this strengthens your immune system and returns this typically harmless virus back to it’s benign state.
Other more extreme therapies have have been tried in a few cases, with some success and include:
Antiviral medication, Acyclovir or valcyclovir
Immune cell therapy when used in a person after a transplant.
Though I prefer to offer solutions to health conditions, I want to briefly touch on some treatments of EBV are not effective because there’s a lot of misunderstanding surrounding this virus. In general, the follow treatments only temporarily stop symptoms and only in some people:
Antiviral therapy such as ganciclovir and vidarabine.
Immunosuppressive agents such as cyclosporine and corticosteroids.
Immunomodulatory therapy such as interferon alpha and interferon gamma.
Cytotoxic chemotherapy such as anthracyclines, etoposide, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone.
Infusions of cytotoxic T and lymphokine-activated lymphocytes.
This isn’t to suggest that your doctor shouldn’t temporarily recommend some of these, however, none of these are by any means a cure for Epstein-Barr virus and you should proceed with extreme caution.
Find a Functional Medicine Doctor with Experience in Epstein-Barr Treatments
The science surrounding the Epstein-Barr virus is developing daily. If you think you might have a condition due to EBV, it’s important to find a doctor who’s experienced in conditions related to the reactivation of this virus. If you need help finding a functional medicine doctor, I’ve made a helpful guide to get you started – How to Choose a Good Integrative and Functional Medicine Doctor.
The Epstein-Barr virus is a significant condition I wish more people knew about – Share this article to spread awareness of this sleeping giant.
Being in Wisconsin, an epicenter for Lyme, our LLMD is also who we take our children to – just in case, God forbid, they should become infected. Our LLMD believes, as Dr. Rawls, that immunoconfusion, or a perfect storm of events overwhelming the immune system, is behind many chronic diseases. Retraining the immune system to recognize friend vs foe is behind LDA/LDI treatment and can often help many chronic conditions. It certainly has helped my daughter, who is also hypothyroid, hypoglycemic, and suffers from severe endometriosis. EBV nearly destroyed her liver.
I can attest to having to learn the importance of diet, hormones, stress, environmental toxins, and microbes. It is crucial to find a practitioner(s) who is versed in this approach to tease out your imbalances through proper testing and clinical diagnosis. As with Lyme, much testing isn’t helpful and requires an experienced eye and listening ear to help you uncover your personal pitfalls. Most doctors are not trained in hormone therapy and with the chemically laden environment we live in, this is most unfortunate as many suffer from serious hormonal imbalances and mineral/vitamin deficiencies. Doctors are taught to fear hormones when they are naturally occurring substances in the body that often need supplementing due to environmental factors. I’m of course advocating for bioidential hormones – as close to nature as possible; however, for those of you suffering with endometriosis that makes your life unbearable, please read this unique approach which gave my daughter her life back: https://www.theendocure.com/
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SOUTH KINGSTOWN — A family-owned pharmacy in this seaside town recently began dispensing antibiotics to people without prescriptions to reduce the risk of developing Lyme disease.
Green Line Apothecary announced in late June that it is offering the single 200-mg prophylactic dose of doxycycline to adults within 72 hours of a deer tick bite if they meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s criteria for infection risk.
Proponents of the program — reportedly the first of its kind in the country — say it serves an important public health need by expanding timely access to treatment that could prevent more people from developing the potentially debilitating disease. And they hope it will become a national model.
But experts caution that expanding access to antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease may do more harm than good. Most people who will get the preventative treatment, they say, would likely never have developed Lyme disease. For those who are infected, some doctors worry a prophylactic dose may not be enough to prevent the patient from getting sick. And misuse or overuse of antibiotics can contribute to another major public health problem: antibiotic resistance.
The pharmacy program follows passage of legislation by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 2016 that expands pharmacists’ role to include initiation of drug therapies under so-called collaborative practice agreements.
The state health department’s approval of the Green Line program comes amid growing public concern over Lyme disease, which each year is diagnosed in roughly 30,000 people in the country, 95 percent of them in 14 states including Rhode Island, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2015, Rhode Island reported 904 diagnosed cases of Lyme disease, the 11th-highest rate in the country, according to the CDC.
“As a state we are always looking at ways to be proactive in reducing the incidence of Lyme disease,″ said Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, the state health director who, on June 12, signed a two-year collaborative practice agreement with Green Line. The pharmacy program, she said, is “one of those approaches.”
“Everybody knows someone who has been impacted by Lyme,” said Anita N. Jacobson, a pharmacist and clinical associate professor at the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy.
Christina Procaccianti, a pharmacist and Green Line’s owner, is one of those people. The vintage-style pharmacy and soda fountain opened in 2016 on Main Street in Wakefield.
Procaccianti, 34, contracted Lyme disease in 2011, while she was pregnant. After an eight-week course of antibiotics, she said, she made a full recovery and delivered a healthy baby girl. “I know how awful Lyme is,” she said.
“If we can prevent it for anybody,” she said, the effort will be a success.
The program kicked off June 22 with a poster display, informational fliers and offers of free “Lime Rickey’s for Lyme Disease.”
Peter Schunke was among the first to seek treatment. That morning, his wife, Elizabeth, had plucked a “pin-top size” tick from his back left shoulder. Schunke, 72, had contracted Lyme disease years ago, so he and his wife headed to the pharmacy.
They hadn’t saved the tick. Procaccianti, the pharmacist and owner, showed Peter Schunke a chart with different types and sizes of ticks for identification. Then she asked him a series of questions. He signed consent forms, handed her his insurance card and walked out with two 100-mg doxycycline pills.
Later, Elizabeth and Peter Schunke said the tick looked like the smallest of the four pictured on a poster displayed at the pharmacy.
“I’m pretty sure it was not engorged,” Peter said, “because it was so tiny.”
The smallest on the poster — the tick larvae — would not meet the CDC guidelines for treatment.
If he had pointed to the tick larvae “we wouldn’t have given [doxycycline] to him,″ Procaccianti, the pharmacist said. “He pointed to a tick that we positively identify as fitting the criteria. … Every single checkpoint on his questionnaire is checked off.”
She added: “The problem with these deer ticks is that they’re so micro tiny that an engorged tick may not even look engorged.”
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected deer ticks, also known as blacklegged ticks.
Early signs and symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue and, in some cases, a characteristic red rash, often shaped like a ring, called erythema migrans. But about 20 percent to 30 percent of those infected with Lyme disease never develop the telltale rash. Later symptoms can include severe headaches, neck stiffness, arthritis, joint pain, facial palsy and problems with short-term memory, among others.
Though the Infectious Disease Society of America “does not generally recommend” antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease even after a deer tick bite, in highly endemic areas, such as Rhode Island, a 200-mg dose of doxycycline “may be offered to adult patients” who meet their criteria, the CDC website states. (The CDC has separate criteria and dosages for children 8 years or older.)
“We don’t recommend it but we offer it,″ said Dr. Timothy P. Flanigan, medical director of The Lifespan Lyme Disease Center at Newport Hospital.
The treatment’s effectiveness, he said, is based primarily on a single study. “It’s not wonderful evidence, but it is partial evidence,” he said. “Patients deserve to know the pros and cons and we let patients know that, and we let them make a decision.”
If someone gets bitten by a deer tick on a Friday afternoon or a weekend, Flanigan said, they may not be able to get an appointment to see their doctor within the critical 72-hour window. And the program could reduce costly emergency department visits.
“I think this is a good use of a pharmacy-based clinic,” Flanigan said.
The largeststudy of doxycycline as a prophylactic treatment to prevent Lyme disease was published in 2001 in The New England Journal of Medicine. Led by Dr. Robert B. Nadelman, an infectious disease specialist, researchers found that among the subjects treated with doxycycline within 72 hours of a deer tick bite, only one developed the erythema migrans rash at the site of the deer tick bite compared with eight who received a placebo.
The Nadelman study concluded that a single 200-mg dose of doxycycline — twice the average daily dose to prevent malaria — given within 72 hours after a deer tick bite can prevent the development of Lyme disease.
The prophylactic doxycycline treatment, the study concluded, could reduce the risk of developing Lyme disease by 87 percent.
To be eligible for the treatment, however, the CDC requires the tick be positively identified as a deer tick and have been attached for 36 hours, “based on the degree of engorgement.”
If every person treated meets all of the CDC criteria, Jacobson said, statistically they would only need to treat 11 people in order to prevent one case of Lyme disease.
But that’s a big “if.” Can patients be expected to properly identify the offending insect from a tick-photo lineup? And how would they know if it had been attached for 36 hours?
Outside of a research study, the conditions to determine whether all of those seeking the prophylactic treatment qualify are “almost non-existent,” said Dr. Rade B. Vukmir, a spokesman for The American College of Emergency Physicians.
Ticks which can transmit Lyme disease are about the size of a poppy seed. They’re so small that “people almost never see the tick,″ Vukmir said. “And the ticks they do see are typically not deer ticks.″
Vukmir practices medicine in Pennsylvania, which, in 2015, the CDC reports had the highest-rate of Lyme disease cases in the country.
Even in areas that are endemic for Lyme disease, he said, the likelihood of a tick bite transmitting the infection is so low — between 3 percent and 5 percent — that about 50 people would need to be treated with the prophylactic antibiotic to prevent one person from developing the disease. “You’re treating a lot of people without any benefit.”
And overuse of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance. At least 2 million people in the U.S. each year become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of those infections, according to the CDC.
“If you’re that one person who benefited, you’d say absolutely that’s important to me,″ Vukmir said. ”[But] from the public health level there would really not be any way to justify that treatment.”
Laboratory tests have demonstrated that the antibiotics doxycycline and amoxicillin also “can induce a persistent form of the bacteria that are more tolerant to treatment,″ Dr. Ying Zhang, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
It’s also not known whether a 200-mg dose of doxycycline is always enough to prevent Lyme disease, Zhang said. So someone may still become infected and get sick, he said, but the antibiotic could cause their blood to test negative for Lyme, making diagnosis more difficult.
Concerns about the pharmacy-based program recently prompted Rhode Island’s health director to take another look at the guidelines.
Last week, Alexander-Scott said she was considering modifying the collaborative practice agreement to require people seeking treatment at Green Line to bring in the tick or a photo of it to improve proper identification. Over the next two years, she said, state health officials will “collect and analyze data to see if this is a good way to address our challenges and diseases in our state.”
URI’s Jacobson, a past-president of the Rhode Island Pharmacists Association who led the effort to permit pharmacists to initiate drug treatments, said Green Line’s pharmacists are following the CDC protocol “to the letter.”
“If anything, I think we are improving antibiotic usage,” Jacobson said, “because the other way is you just call the doctor and say, ‘I got bitten by a tick.’ If it’s a Friday night and it’s an on-call doctor, what do they do?”
The doctor, she said, might just call in a prescription.
As of Friday, Green Line had treated 31 people and declined to treat another 27, most because the 72-hour window had already past, Procaccianti said. The pharmacy also last week began requiring that people bring in the tick or a photo of it to be eligible for treatment, she said.
“We don’t want to unnecessarily give anybody an antibiotic,” she said, “so we’re really being very careful making sure everybody meets the criteria.”
Dr. Fredric J. Silverblatt, an infectious disease specialist and head of South County Hospital’s Lyme clinic, is the prescribing physician for the Green Line program.
Silverblatt, who lives in a wooded area, said he has contracted Lyme disease “three, four times.” The last time, he developed encephalitis, a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the brain, and was hospitalized for several weeks. He now keeps a bottle of doxycycline in his medicine cabinet.
“If I pull a tick off,” he said, “I will take 200 milligrams.”
He said he offers the same prophylactic treatment to some of his patients.
Clinical studies published to date show “no evidence” that anyone treated prophylactically with doxycycline has developed Lyme disease six months to three years after treatment, Silverblatt said, and “that’s comforting.”
However, he said, overuse of antibiotics remains “a valid concern.”
“The chance that a person who has been bitten by a tick will actually get Lyme disease is between 3 percent and 5 percent,″ he said. “So the question can be raised: Is this really worthwhile?”
That depends, he reasoned, if you’re one of the “unlucky 5 percent.”
— Wear long pants and tuck pant legs into socks
— Spray clothing, shoes and camping gear with the insecticide permethrin, which kills ticks on contact.
— Check your entire body thoroughly for ticks, especially the back of your knees, waistband, armpits or any other constricted places.
— Use sticky duct tape to remove tick larvae from you or your dog before they bite.
— If you find an attached tick, remove it immediately. Once attached, ticks do not wash off in the shower.
How to remove an attached tick:
— Using fine-tipped tweezers grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
— Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin.
— Clean bite area, hands and tweezers with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
— To save the tick for identification, place it in a sealed bag or wrap it in scotch tape.
— Take a photo of the tick and send it online to TickSpotters.
— Testing of individual ticks generally is not useful, the CDC states, because even if the test shows that the tick contained disease-causing organisms, that does not necessarily mean that you have been infected.
— If you develop symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
Source: CDC; tickencounter.org
This article reminds me of Bull Sharks which can’t see worth a crap so they hunt in shallow murky waters inadvertently biting people they mistakenly think are food.
2) Zhang’s comment about doxy throwing borrelia into a more persistent form (round body forms) is something the CDC/NIH/IDSA isn’t acknowledging at all. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21753890# I guess since a researcher outside The Cabal discovered this – it is tossed out like yesterday’s garbage.
The bull sharks continue to swim in murky waters – blind as bats.
3) Once a person takes antibiotics, LD may not be picked up on future testing. This will definitely present problems.
4) The EM rash is a poor indicator of Lyme Disease. Just how poor?
5) The “two magic pills approach” gives patients and doctors a false sense of security.
6) The whole “tick of a certain size,” and “72 hours” is more murkiness. WHY? https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/04/14/transmission-time-for-lymemsids-infection/ People have jumped right to 3rd stage Lyme (is in the central nervous system)within hours. “Ticks of a certain size” omits the fact that ticks often partially feed, drop off, and then have pathogens already in their salivary glands allowing a much quicker transmission time – regardless of size.
The Bull sharks continue to want to simplify this.