This disease, popularly known as 'Morgellons' and recently recognized by the CDC as 'Unexplained Dermopathy' is a medical mystery. It is controversially considered to be a manifestation of Lyme Disease and potentially tick-passed Agrobacterium, and otherwise misdiagnosed by doctors as Delusional Parasitosis, Somatizaton Disorder, or Neurodermatits, usually by doctors that have no business, or training, to be giving out psychiatric diagnoses. The agrobacterium angle is particullarly oddball given that the bacteria are used for gene-transforming plants (as in GMO crops); they normally cause "crown-gall" tumors in plants. The new Stricker/Savely Morgellons article alludes to a new field of bacteriology, xenobacteriology -- "the novel concept of a plant bacterium infecting humans."
Regarding the parasitic nature of Morgellons, Stricker/Savely state:
The tropical dermatoses are pruritic skin disorders caused by parasitic infections, including flariasis, oncchocerciasis and cutaneous lara migrans [30-32]. These dermatoses are prevalent in the tropics, and the skin lesions are associated with eosinophilia, lymphatic obstruction (filariasis), subcutaneous nodules (onchocerciasis) or serpiginous skin lesions (larva migrans). The causative nematode is detected in skin biopsy samples. by contrast, tropical travel and eosinophilia are not commonly reported in Morgellons patients and nematodes have not been identified in skin biopsy samples from these individuals. However, the tropical dermatoses may respond to treatment with antiparasitic medications such as ivermectin and thiabendazole [30-32] and antiparasitic therapy may be useful in treating Morgellons disease.
In contrast to this position, recent leaks in advance of the publication of a medical paper by Dr. Harvey of the Morgellons Research Foundation indicate a combination of bacterial and parasitic diseases. Dr. Harvey finds that this syndrome is not a new disease, it is a combination of bacterial -- actinomycosis -- and parasitic -- onchocerciacis -- diseases. He is also reporting Dracunculus insignis, the guinea-worm, as being present in some patients.
In either case, these papers, and about four others in major journals clearly state theat Morgellons is clinically distinct from it's usual psychiatric misdiagnosis. A real physical malady that bears far more investigation than the pathetic Kaiser study that the CDC has just announced. The CDC and Kaiser have colluded to conduct a repeat of "the tuskegee syphillis experiments" for the age of HMO's. Fortunately doctors like Stricker/Savely and Harvey are going forward, and their results will be ignored by HMO's like Kaiser, just like Kaiser continues to ignore the epidemic of Lyme disease. That's why the CDC had Kaiser do the study... so they could craft their own solution to ensure highest patient suffering, and lowest HMO costs. This way they wouldn't need to ignore an external medical opinion, like they already do for Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, MS, ALS, Alzheimer's, etc. They can craft their own medical opinion, and set medical policy for the nation, based on their own greed and profit motives. (This is the "science" that privatization brings!)
In either case, the recent papers on Morgellons should be an wake-up call for doctors to begin acting like they have some semblance of ethics. Doctors should begin treating this disease with the urgency and appropriate care associated with any serious infection -- the current approach of claiming psychosomatic or delusional etiology is both dangerous to the lives of patients and the underwriting of their care-providers.
The following provides details on the upcoming Dr. Harvey publication:
Re: Dr. Harvey' Latest MRF Announcement
It looks like morgwatch was not lying after all and MRF pages were
temporarily changed by the same author - Dr. Harvey, it seems.
Actinomyces were traditionally treated with penicillin, but also
erythromycin and clindamycin. Recently I saw Rocephin (2 gm IV for 12
weeks) used for a very heavy infection.
As for "anti-helmenthic" antibiotics, I believe he means ivermectin andYou can see that info on morgwatch:
albendazole. There is not much there for humans out there. Interesting
that zoonotic means aquired from animals. The nematodes he lists are
parasites of horses and catle, where resistance is widespread, which
explains why these "anti-helmenthics" are not that effective in usual
small doses and short therapy.
Sent: Wednesday, October 3, 2007 9:30:54 AM
Subject: Re: Treatment for Morgellons Disease
Julie, we are moving closer to understanding the mechanism of this illness and have almost completed the defining paper for submission to a medical journal for review. Early in 2007, we did a detailed study of
25 consecutive presumed Morgellons patients here, collecting over 407 parameters on each, from laboratory values, to physical exam findings,
to detailed medical history. All parameters were mathematically collated to give us a first "look" at a Morgellons "average". As the illness began with Ms Leitao's search for a name for her son's illness based solely on filaments she saw, all registrants have been purely self-diagnosed...again mainly based on the appearance of skin filaments, then later movement sensation.
The summary data was extremely revealing, and briefly, showed us consistent abnormalities in immune function, chronic systemic inflammation, multi-system involvement...and perhaps what is turning out to be most important, the presence in all of actual parasites. By August 2007, we had micrographs of at least two genera and several species. The latter are so similar that we needed help in answering the question: exactly what species are they, as this impacts treatment significantly. As I speak, we have assembled a group of scientists at a state university laboratory with equipment capable of giving us the answer. In the group are three veterinarians, a parasitologist, a mycologist, an FBI trained forensics Nurse Practitioner, a PhD invertebrate zoologist, a psychiatrist experienced in infectious causes of behavioral change...and me. Hopefully, they will close the loop for us in the next few months.
Meanwhile, we knew enough months ago to resolve the illness in most,
with two caveats. (1) Close to 90% get 90% well if we use intravenous antibiotics strictly tailored for one bacterium for several months. Hundreds have done this safely. The same antibiotics given orally take about 8 months. (2) With the finding of the most common parasite species, the use of one of two nti-helmenthic antibiotics will resolve many symptoms, especially the skin manifestation in days...but only in about half. Knowing the species in each individual may resolve this.
All that said, treatment has to be guided carefully with regular testing of liver, kidney and marrow effects. A clinician must have extensive experience to avoid the errors we made. As we are licensed physicians, it is not permissible for us to write treatment protocols on line. This isn't done for control, but for patient safety and steering to a good outcome.
FYI, this phenomenon in NOT chronic Lyme disease, it's not Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and we are now certain it is NOT Delusions of
Parasitosis. The latter in fact, will be the thrust of the paper: the DOP label has resulted in inappropriate and incomplete treatment of countless people who never recovered. Once the final DNA sequencing is done and the paper completed, it will be published with treatment protocol(s) for all clinicians world wide to use. Meanwhile, as both primary organisms create brain limbic system abnormalities, we now understand that the delusional component of the illness is real in many affected (but far from all), so correct psychotropic medication can help that component even if treated purely independently. Nearly half the Morgellons are bipolar, but became so AFTER the parasite infection began. Others have formal diagnoses of extreme OCD or ADD/ADHD. The prevalence in children is no different from adults, and there appear to be no gender or race differences.
We know that effective treatment can be obtained in Colorado from physicians who worked with us in Colorado Springs. Otherwise the globe is literally full of practitioners offering cures without factual basis. Our task is now focused: to complete and write the defining paper and provide the answer to everybody.
Our best to all of you, Julie. For any additional correspondence, please use my MRF email address. Thanks.
William Harvey, MD, MS, MPH Board Chairman, MRF
http://morgellons.org/newsletters.htm "October 2007 Newsletter" cross-correlates all this information to make it pretty clear this is the real-deal according to the Morgellons Research Foundation:
The Chairman of the MRF, Dr. William Harvey, has been working with veterinarians, a parasitologist, a mycologist, an FBI trained forensics Nurse Practitioner, a PhD invertebrate zoologist, and a psychiatrist experienced in infectious causes of behavioral change to try to understand the mechanism of this illness. Dr. Harvey is developing a paper on his findings for submission to a medical journal.
Early in 2007, he did a detailed study of 25 Morgellons patients, collecting over 407 parameters on each, from laboratory values, to physical exam findings, to detailed medical history. All parameters were mathematically collated to provide a first "look" at a Morgellons "average."
The preliminary findings revealed consistent abnormalities in immune function, chronic systemic inflammation, multi-system involvement, and the presence of parasites. Whether the parasites are causing the disease or whether they are the byproduct of a weakened immune system is unknown at this time.
This work is ongoing, and we will continue to update you on its progress.
An earlier Dr. Harvey response to three scientifically fraudulent articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that confuse Morgellons with Delusional Parasitosis describes some laboratory tests that the idiot dermatologist malpractitioners Koblenzer/Koo/Murase should have performed before misdiagnosing their Morgellons patients with Delusional Parasitosis and prescribing exremely dangerous, and potentially deadly psychotropics like Orap and Zyprexa.
All we had to do on encountering our first patient with DP was to examine the lesions with a child's portable microscope, query the patient about other signs and symptoms, then use current laboratory tests to characterize all distressing symptoms. Next was to examine others with the same signs, particularly babies, and scrutinize similar lesions unreachable by infant hands.
To anyone willing to look and listen, all patients with Morgellons carry elevated laboratory proinflammatory markers, elevated insulin levels, and verifiable serologic evidence of 3 bacterial pathogens. They also show easily found physical markers such as peripheral neuropathy, delayed capillary refill, abnormal Romberg’s sign, decreased body temperature, and tachycardia. Most importantly they will improve, and most recover on antibiotics directed at the above pathogens.
http://morgellons.org/faq.htm is more specific about the "3 bacterial pathogens" mentioned by Dr. Harvey above:
Most Morgellons patients, if found positive for Chlamydophila pneumonia, a Babesia species or a Borrelia species pathogenic to humans and given appropriate antibiotics long enough, resolve most symptoms. Research and clinical experience are still too early, and numbers treated too few as yet, to know whether present treatment success will mean total, once-and-for-all cure. Many Morgellons patients are improving significantly.
FYI -- some other interesting links:
The role of Chlamydia Pneumoniae (what Dr. Harvey calls "chlamydophila pneumoniae" above) in Morgellons disease: http://morgellonstreatmentsteps.com/Morgellons_Medical_informat.html#correct_treatment
Information on Chlamydia Pneumoniae treatment: http://cpnhelp.org
http://www.drugs.com/vet/twin-pen.html -- useful for both Lyme and Actinomycosis??Bicillin L-A vs Placebo for the Treatment of Chronic, Plaque-Type Psoriasis Unresponsive to Topical Medications
Please consider this recent article on onchocerciasis for further diagnostic and treatment guidelines, either for morgellons itself, or as a differential diagnosis: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/resolve?id=doi:10.1086/509325
Udall, Don N. Recent Updates on Onchocerciasis: Diagnosis and Treatment.Clinical Infectious Diseases, volume 44 (2007), pages 53–60
The above summarizes recent findings that co-administered antibiotics act as "birth control" for microfiliaria, reducing the overall parasite load. Such "tetracycline" class antibiotics, usually doxycycline, is suggested for co-administration with a microfiliaricide, usually ivermectin, fenbendazole, oxybendazole, moxidectin, levamisole, DEC, etc. I believe new WHO guidelines for treatment specifically recommend co-administering antibiotics.
The describes the problems in treatment associated with this disease -- most of the medicines available for humans don't work completely. Furthermore, the parts about this disease occuring in Africa and South/Central America clearly are outdated -- If morgellons.org has registered more than 10,000 USA sufferers, and the CDC has taken more local complaints on this disease than any other in recent history... and it's actually oncho, howcome we keep hearing bullshit about bird-flu on the news from the CDC??
But hey, the US government barely admits to global warming, and certainly is doing it's damndest to 9/11&Katrina the upcoming epidemic of insect-transmitted diseases, such as the "Morgellons Syndrome" and "Lyme" and "West Nile" and ... maybe you oughtta start voting for people that actually care about the fundamental role of government, instead of those seeking to make it ineffective and progressively weaken it until you can "drown it in a bathtub." Because drowning the nation's public health is truly thowing out the baby with the bathwater...
Biting insects and the diseases they vector... no problem!
PS: there's already been longtime claims that Morgellons is due to microfiliaria. Furthermore, I'd found enough evidence to have my own working hypothesis that Oncho is involved, even though oncho "doesn't happen in the US". For example, the following was contained in my letter to CDC/Kaiser:
According to Dr. George Schwartz, author of "Lisa's Disease, Fiber Disease, Also known as Morgellon's disease: Origins, staging, clinical course, treatment, case histories, decontamination of house--much more" -- testing for microfiliaria should be done via microscopic examination of a peripheral blood smear.Posted by Niels P. Mayer in Medicine at 20071007 Comments
My own research indicates that "ONCHOCERCA VOLVULUS" and it's Blackfly vector may be present in areas considered Morgellons endemic and may be a significant aspect of morgellons etiology. In Florida, this is backed up by Trish Springstead, RN, who appeared on a recent Florida News segment on "Body Bugs" ( http://www1.wsvn.com/features/articles/investigations/MI46364 --> "watch the video" link). In California, Morgellons endemic areas such as Los Angeles county have had longstanding problems with blackfly: http://www.lawestvector.org/black_flies.htm
Although it is repeatedly claimed that onchocerca volvulus is not found in the USA, there are scattered reports in the medical literature indicating otherwise. Furthermore, the presence of Morgellons in Blackfly endemic areas of the United States, indicates that these claims need to be updated for the 21st century.
Thus in addition to standard peripheral blood smears for microfiliaria, blood collection should occur through a "bloodless skin snip" as suggested by http://www.mssushi.com/stuff/medschool/notes/micro/other/GKHelminths.doc . That document also suggests "microfiliaria migrate through dermal lesions" therefore the skin snip and blood collection should probably occur from a morgellons lesion and not uninfected skin.
There is also a Lyme connection to Microfiliaria. After all Dr. Burgdorfer discovered borrelia by accident while investigating microfiliaria in ticks:A microfilaria of exceptional size from the ixodid tick, Ixodes dammini, from Shelter Island, New York Beaver, P. C.; Burgdorfer, W. 1984 Journal of Parasitology 70(6):963-966For more info, see http://lymebusters.proboards39.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=rash&thread=1186564783
Thirty or more microfilariae 0.70-1.32 mm in length were recovered from the haemocoel of an unengorged adult tick, Ixodes dammini, that was collected from vegetation on Shelter Island, New York, USA. Among approximately 500 I. dammini collected from the same area only ne other was similarly infected. Outstanding features, in addition to size, were absence of a cephalic space and the presence of nuclei in 2 or 3 rregular rows extending to the end of a bluntly rounded tail. The microfilariae apparently were ingested in a blood meal that was taken when the ticks were larvae or nymphs, and had persisted alive without development.
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