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Saturday, September 19, 2009


As I have said in the past, this BLOG and others are a venue for putting ideas and experiences into the blogosphere for others to consider. My posts have covered many areas of agreement and controvery: mostly controvery. In my mind this is a major the role of this tool. Of course I have meant it to be informative. I learned much from my father. He frequently said outrageous things for the purpose of prodding others into a lively debate: The devil's advocate. If I have "criticized" other LLMDs it must be seen within this context. Please remember that just because something is in writing does not mean it is true.

This war over Lyme disease has been fomenting long before I came into the picture.

A belief in even the possibility of chronic Lyme disease would next exist except for the pioneering work of many who have bravely challenged the establishment, putting their careers and reputations on the line.

I have never intended to impeach the reputations of Burrascano, Jemsek, Jones, Stricker, Singleton, Fry or countless other physicians or scientist involved in this field over a period of 3 decades.

I personally do not know many of the great physicians and scientist involved in this field.
Many of my comments are based on information obtained only indirectly.

I have worked alone in my small corner of the world. By luck alone my office is a stone throw away from Clongen lab: I now have a colleague who helps me contemplate some of the mysteries associated with this illness.

Many clinicians have developed ideas and therapies which have been EFFECTIVE, even though the exact mechanisms were not fully understood by the clinicians at the time. Unable to get attention from mainstream medicine/science many "LLMDs" have functioned independently without the benefit of consultation with others. For example, the small round gram negative bacteria swarming in the blood of so many patients may be the labaoratory equivalent of the BLO described by Dr. Burasccano. The diagnosis was made strictly on clinical grounds. It was Fry labs who first put a face on this organism, giving it a name.

I have tried to the best of my ability to confine many comments to that which I believe has a factual basis supported by evidence of some kind. Much I have written has been editorial: opinion and conjecture; and I hope this has been made clear along the bumpy road.

Lyme disease is now Lyme-Borreliosis-Complex. It is a new and emerging disease. Much remains enigmatic. In essence all I have done is thow my hat into the ring.

I appreciate positive AND negative comments posted here. We are all learning and I suspect we will continue to do so for years to come.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Antibiotic resistance: Wet mounts re-visited: IV Flagyl

The Bb genome has apparently been sequenced at the Craig Ventnor Institute in Rockville, MD.
The project took an extraordinary amount of time. The genetic structure of Bb unexpectedly complex.

Resistance: It is hard to know if Lyme spirochetes are resistant to antibiotics or not. There is no way to culture the bacteria and test for this. It is known that in vitro (in the test tube) a germ may appear resistant to an antibiotic, but when the antibiotic is administered at super high doses it is able to kill the organism. This begs the question: Do some patients only respond to Rocephin when it is administered at high doses for prolonged periods of time?

Recently, a patient of mine who appeared to have intractable Lyme neuroborreliosis--having failed Rocephin and Zithromax was admitted to a local hospital for pneumonia. In the hospital she was given an intravenous antibiotic called Zosyn. Zosyn is a third generation penicillin with an additional ingredient to protect from the effects of penicillin resistance. Within just a few days the patient had a response which was nothing short of miraculous.

Unfortunately, The only IV antibiotic on the IDSA list is Rocephin. The LLMD list of intravenous therapies for Lyme is expanded, but still limited. Perhaps in jurisdictions which give LLMDs more latitude--- (Connecticut, Rhode Island and California), other IV therapies should be tried.

The incredible wet mount exam: Numerous blood wet mounts of tick borne disease patients have now been studied. Four results have been found repeatedly.

1) Small motile gram negative bacteria, outside the cells are seen frequently. These unknowns may be the BLO, Bartonella like organisms described by other physicians. These bacteria respond to treatment with Bactrim, quinolones like Cipro, Rifampin and other similar drugs.
2) Crescent shaped organisms. These organisms do resemble Toxoplasmosis, which they are not. The seem to respond to therapy based on Malarone.
3) Elongated, larger structures are frequently seen. Very strange. These are thought to be parasites, worms--microfilaria like. These entities seem to respond to Tindamax based regimens. It has been suggested that Ivermectin may be effective but I have little experience here.
4) This is the finding which intrigues me the most at this time. White blood cells are observed with swarms of intracellular organisms. This resembles Ehrlichia or related organisms--but no positive ID has been made. It may be that Zithromax and Rifampin are effective here. I have just begun to do before and after analyses.

In many patients with neuroborreliosis syndromes the contribution of the BLO is very significant and must be considered. I apologize for old entries in which I questioned this issue.
One problem is that many non ill patients also show swarming gram negative bacteria in the blood as seen in some healthy controls. Here, clinical judgement rules the day.

Revisiting an old patient. Two years ago a patient with terrible neuroborreliosis was succesfully treated with a combination of first IV Rocephin followed by the addition of IV Zithromax and finally IV Flagyl. According to his recollections it was the IV Flagyl which helped him dramatically improve. Both oral Flagyl and oral Tindamax had not been helpful. This patient stabilized on long term oral antibiotics. After some time he was "lost to follow up." He stopped all antibiotics.

He has now returned with a full relapse of florid neuroborreliosis. He has been treated the same way. Rocephin during the entire course--Zithromax adding for a second phase of the course --and finally IV Flagyl added to the mix. He has improved with the first two drugs but is only 60% better after three and on half months. Today I ordered the Flagyl. He told me: " Doc, now I am going to turn the corner." I hope so. I have seen this result in other patients as well. The Flagyl is administered as a once daily dose of 500mg.