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Friday, May 30, 2008
What is Chamydia pneumonia, CPN, and what does it have to do with Lyme disease?
What I have not yet discussed is the controversial notion that Lyme causes "everything." Well, not everything, that's a slight exaggeration. This version of the Lyme paradigm suggests that chronic fatigue syndrome is really Lyme disease. Fibromyalgia is really Lyme disease. Lyme infection triggers autoimmune disease in persons who are genetically inclined such as MS, Lupus, and Rheumatoid arthritis. And many are convinced that Lyme is the key to Alzheimer's disease. Their are a group of physicians who are doing parallel research. They believe that Chlamydia pneumonia, or CPN, is the cause of everything. This group of devotees believes CPN causes fibromylagia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer's disease and a host of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders. These two infections intersect at the word L-form. Both exist as intracellular organisms called L-forms. CPN has a 3 phase life cycle which is somewhat reminiscent of Lyme. CPN is very hard to kill. Studies show that it takes months or years of combination antibiotic therapy to eliminate this organism. CPN is ubiquitous. It is common respiratory pathogen, not to be confused with its cousin Chlamydia trachomatis, a sexually transmitted pathogen. Most of the research on CPN has been done at The Vanderbuilt School of Medicine. The chief expert in this area is Dr. Charles Stratton. Dr. David Weldon, a researcher and clinician in England has provided compelling evidence showing a link between CPN and MS. He reports anecdotal evidence of his success in treating MS patients. More startling is the work of Dr. Martz, a victim of ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. He was shown to be infected with Lyme. Intravenous treatment with Rocephin caused a remission of his otherwise fatal illness. He has treated both ALS and MS patients for Lyme and met with some success. However, his findings have not yet been published. Protocols for treating CPN include Amoxicillin, Docycyline, Zithromax and Flagyl. Interesting. These are all Lyme drugs. Dr. Stratton has also recommended Rifampin, which at times is very effective as a Lyme therapy. He also recommends INH, an anti-Tuberculosis drug, which most physicians avoid because the risk of liver toxicity is substantial. Many patients evaluated for Lyme have high antibody titers to CPN. Since it is an intracellular germ it is difficult, like Borrelia, to prove it is causing active infection. However laboratory experiments attest to its hardyness and its uncanny ability to defeat both the immune system as well as antibiotics. These two areas of research and treatment have been sparate from one another. Again the commonality is the idea of chronic L-form infection leading to a host of consequences. Patients with a high L-form burden may be more likely to have vitamin D dysfunction with reversal of normal levels, as described by Marshall. The importance of CPN may be that simultaneous infection with Borrelia makes treatment more challenging. It may help direct the choices of antibiotics as well as the likely duration of treatment. CPN is not a Lyme co-infection because it is not tick borne. It may ultimately be of much greater importance than the usual co-infections that are stressed by most "Lyme" doctors. Most "Lyme literate MDs" do not discus CPN. Doctors who specialize in CPN, there are not many of them at this time, seem to be unaware of Lyme literature. I believe the integration of these two areas will eventually lead to newer thinking and treatment for what is becoming rather than just Lyme disease, but the Lyme complex syndrome.