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Thursday, May 9, 2013
In the past I talked about mystery bugs -- I know a few things I didn't before. One researcher at NIH, still unpublished, came upon the issue through serendipity. He was looking at some stem cells and found they were "contaminated" with a protozoan. But his samples were not contaminated. The bug was a consistent finding. He then spent a lot of time trying to identify the bug. Its DNA sequencing, not complete, shows something novel. Definitely not Babesia. What is paradgm shattering and probably wont be recognized for decades, is that humans are born with symbiotic organisms. This is something not known to occur in any family of living organism higher than cockroaches! Symbionts are not necessarily bad: in fact they are likely necessary for good health. Symbiotic organisms can be comensual: no harm, no foul. Or they can be mutualistic: you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. They might be pathological, maybe only in immune suppressed or opportunistic scenarios. As it turns out, some observations have been made that the numbers are high is some disease states and low in others. In other words, the bug count is not predictably high in all disease states. The idea of blindly trying to kill all the bugs may be a very bad idea. Mainstream scientist, with electron microscopes and large DNA sequencing labs are onto all this, but not yet talking. It appears Dr. Fry has independently found the same thing. We are born with the organism in our cells, tissues. It appears the same applies to at least one bacteria and one virus. Described as Chinese dolls: the protozoan within human cells, the bacteria within the protozoan and the virus within the bacteria.
This should not be confused with the human microbiome. It is widely reported that our bodies host 10 times more procaryotic/bacterial cells, than eucaryotic/human cells. A huge diversity of bacteria, thought of as our normal "fauna and flora," inhabits our bodies carrying out comensual and mutalistic roles. These bacteria are believed to be acquired after birth and occupy specific niches. Mostly the bacteria are found in the gut, skin and mucous membrane surfaces. They do not live in other compartments considered sterile such as bone marrow elements and blood.
The mystery bugs discussed above are present inside our cells, are apparently passed from mother to fetus inter-utero and are apparently present in large numbers but not previously observed. I have been told these organisms are camouflaged within the nuclei of human cells.
Then there is the issue of mystery bacteria. They don't show up in stains like Bartonella and DNA identification has been elusive. My sense that many of these are symbionts and.they may seen in large numbers in patients whom are ill or immunosuppressed. At least one symbiotic bacteria has been observed, an unknown L-form. These unknowns are not something we need to target per se, but may be seem as a bell-weather, marking the severity of disease.They may not stain because their basic structure is something we do not yet understand: we don't have the right strain. Some bacteria have very unusual structures.
This leads me to the next Blog.