Dr. Alan MacDonald, MD talks about Lyme.
Why are so many people suffering from Lyme disease and its associated chronic disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and ALS? A new study suggests that just like its spirochete cousin that causes Syphillis, Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted! The study was presented at the annual Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, and an abstract of the research was published in the January issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine.
Medical Daily reports,
The study — presented at the annual Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research — a collaborative effort by an international team of scientists — tested semen samples and vaginal secretions of three groups of patients to investigate whether passing Lyme disease to a partner through unprotected sex is a possibility. The study observed control subjects without evidence of Lyme disease, random subjects who tested positive for Lyme disease, and married heterosexual couples engaging in unprotected sex who tested positive for the disease. The presence of B. burgdorferi and identical strains of the bacterium were of particular interest to the researchers in unprotected sex in spouses.
The control subjects were found to test negative for the bacterium in semen samples or vaginal secretions, as expected by the researchers. The researchers found traces of B. burgdorferi in the vaginal secretions of all women with Lyme disease. In contrast, approximately half of the men with the disease tested positive for the bacterium in semen samples. In addition, one of the heterosexual couples with Lyme disease were found to have identical strains of the bacterium in their genital secretions.
One researcher in the study notes, “There is always some risk of getting Lyme disease from a tick bite in the woods. But there may be a bigger risk of getting Lyme disease in the bedroom.”
“Our findings will change the way Lyme disease is viewed by doctors and patients,” said Marianne Middelveen, lead author of the study. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.” But will this actually change the way Lyme disease is viewed? Or will the money funneled in by insurance companies and vaccine manufacturers continue to blind and corrupt the IDSA board members? When is enough, enough?
The study was a joint effort by a team of scientists which included dermatologists, molecular biologists, microbiologists, internists, and family practitioners. The most revealing aspect of the study, in my opinion, is the fact I mentioned earlier: one of the heterosexual couples with Lyme disease showed identical strains of the Lyme spirochete in their genital secretions. “The presence of the Lyme spirochete in genital secretions and identical strains in married couples strongly suggests that sexual transmission of the disease occurs,” said Dr. Mayne.
Gestational transmission from mother to child
A North Carolina State University researcher has discovered that Bartonella (a common Lyme co-infection) can be passed to unborn babies, causing chronic infections and possibly birth defects. Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt and his research group tested blood and tissue samples taken over a period of years from a mother, father and son who had suffered chronic illnesses for over a decade. Autopsy samples from their daughter–the son’s twin who died shortly after birth–contained DNA evidence of B. henselae and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffi infection, which was also found in the other members of the family. Breitschwerdt’s research appears online in the April 14 Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
You can read a transcript of one of Breitschwerdt’s interviews on Bartonella here.
Multiple strains of Lyme?
In 2002, W.T. Harvey, an MD from Houston began finding large numbers of chronically ill Borrelia burgdorferi PCR- and seropositive patients in the area around his home and practice. Houston, Texas is declared a zoonotically ‘non-endemic’ area, so he set out to understand just how this epidemic was occurring. W.T. Harvey had no competing financial interest (as the CDC and IDSA do) and received no grants when writing his study on Lyme.
“In order to understand this finding prior to sufficient data availability, we chose to examine critically the currently accepted but troublesome ‘Lyme disease’ concepts,” Harvey’s study reads. “Our method was to analyze each foundation ‘Lyme disease’ premise within the context of available medical and veterinary literature, then to reconstruct the disease model consistent with the preponderance of that data. We find the present conceptualization of the illness seriously truncated, with a high likelihood of two distinct but connected forms of human B. burgdorferi infection. The yet-unrecognized form appears to have a broader clinical presentation, wider geographic distribution, and vastly greater prevalence. We conclude that ‘Lyme disease’ currently acknowledges only its zoonosis arm and is a limited conceptualization of afar more pervasive and unrecognized infection state that must be considered a global epidemic.”
Could you have Lyme from your pets?
Suzy Cohen of suzycohen.com is a registered pharmacist and best-selling author. When she graduated from pharmacy school in 1989, she believed that medication was the answer to helping patients get healthy. When that didn’t always work, she began to do some serious research. In one article addressing the truth about Lyme, she writes:
“Most Lyme sufferers have pet cats and dogs, they are not aware that their pets gave it to them. But it happens like this, your pets go out into the yard to do their duty, and ticks jump on them, especially in May and June, their breeding season but any time of the year is possible. Your pet totes these ticks into your house and then you cuddle with your pet. The ticks get on you, and numb your skin. They are teeny tiny, about the size of a poppy seed and you’ll never know you got bit. They like every part of your body, but especially warmer areas, like armpits for example. You may never know. Sometimes the Lyme can happen from a cat scratch or bite. When I ask pet owners about their pets, they go into a bit of denial, because of the great love they have for pets. But you have to realize pets, for as delightful as they are, are tick taxis. If you have Lyme, and get bit again by your pet, you are potentially introducing new coinfections or re-innoculating yourself with more Lyme organisms. It explains why some people just can’t get well, or get setbacks even under treatment.”
Borrelia spirochetes have been found in the urine of infected dogs, among several other animals. Studies on mice have found that the spirochetes in urine remained viable for 18-24 hours and concluded that “Urine may provide a method for contact non-tick transmission of B. burgdorferi in natural rodent populations particularly during periods of nesting and/or breeding.” Evidence for direct contact transmission has been demonstrated in mice. These findings suggest that further research is needed to evaluate alternate methods of Lyme transmission, such as by the urine of infected animals to humans.