Thursday, October 31, 2013

Efficacy of azithromycin cream for prophylaxis of Lyme

I thought this was interesting. I had actually thought about this over the years, because of the shape of the bull's-eye rash. I assume that because Lyme spirochetes can live in the skin, that the rash is just the result of the spirochetes invading the skin and disseminating outward, which would create a circular shape.  (Bold emphasis below, added.). -Bob

Efficacy of an experimental azithromycin cream for prophylaxis of tick-transmitted Lyme disease spirochete infection in a murine model.

Joseph Piesman, Andrias Hojgaard, Amy J. Ullmann and Marc C. Dolan
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, online ahead of print 28 October 2013.


As an alternative to oral prophylaxis for the prevention of tick transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, we tested antibiotic cream prophylactic formulations in a murine model of spirochete infection. A 4% preparation of doxycycline cream afforded no protection, but a single application of 4% azithromycin cream was 100% protective when applied directly to the tick bite site at the time of tick removal.

Indeed, the azithromycin cream was 100% effective when applied up to 3 days after tick removal and protected 74% of mice exposed to tick bite when applied up to 2 weeks after tick removal. Azithromycin cream was also protective when applied at a site distal to the tick-bite-site, suggesting it was having a systemic effect in addition to a local transdermal effect. Mice that were protected from tick-transmitted infection did not seroconvert and did not infect larval ticks on xenodiagnosis.

Azithromycin cream formulations appear to hold promise for Lyme disease prophylaxis.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How a tick bites -- Creepy alert!


Just in time for Halloween — a video made by researchers shows how ticks that carry Lyme disease cut into skin and hang on for days.

Dr. Eva Sapi Receives ATF Microscope from Lyme patients

The microscope you helped buy is now on the job 

Sapi takes delivery of ATF microscope--biofilms watch out!
In May, the Lyme community helped us raise $150,000 to purchase a cutting-edge, high-powered microscope for Lyme researcher Dr. Eva Sapi. Enough to buy this important piece of equipment and fund her first project with it, investigating Lyme biofilms. (Details here.)

At the recent San Diego Lymewalk, Lorraine Johnson presented Dr. Sapi with a symbolic check. And this week, the microscope itself was delivered to her lab. This video explains more.
2013 LymeDisease org grant to Dr  Eva Sapi
2013 LymeDisease org grant to Dr Eva Sapi

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Endocrine Disruptor list from EWG

I like this group. Just last week I used their sunblock app in my iPad to help me purchase a safe sunblock. I could look up the quality and safety of sunblock products while standing there in the health-food store. Pretty cool. They had one that topped the EWG list, so I bought it, trusting that I was getting a non-carcinogenic product. 

Here's a new list from them, about sources of dangerous chemicals that can mess up our endocrine systems. 


EWG Logo
Check out EWG and KAB's Dirty Dozen endocrine disruptors!We know that dangerous chemicals like hormone disruptors are found in many products.

That's why EWG has partnered with the Keep A Breast Foundation to develop our latest report for Breast Cancer Awareness Month - the Dirty Dozen list of endocrine disruptors.

There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another - and so much more.

The EWG/KAB Dirty Dozen list includes BPA, phthalates and other endocrine disruptors that are widespread in consumer products such as plastic containers, food cans and fragrances. The list also includes common contaminants that many people don't realize can be hormone disruptors, not only those familiar toxins - arsenic, mercury and lead - but other, less familiar chemicals such as glycol ethers and perfluorinated chemicals. The guide is intended for consumers of all ages, particularly young people who are most at risk from these dangerous substances.

EWG researchers compiled the new Dirty Dozen list by scouring scientific literature and identifying the most hazardous and widely-used hormone-disrupting chemicals that pollute the environment and ultimately our bodies. These substances are frequently found in food, water and consumer products. Studies have linked them to a wide array of health problems, including cancer, birth defects, lowered sperm count, lowered IQ, obesity and thyroid disease.

This is a must-see list of chemicals to avoid - check it out today!
Click here to see 12 of the worst hormone disruptors, how they do their dirty deeds, and some tips on how to avoid them.
EWG and partners like KAB work hard to make sure you have the information you need to live greener and healthier. We hope you learn something new from the endocrine disruptor Dirty Dozen.


Heather White
Executive Director, Environmental Working Group

The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect public health and the environment. The EWG Action Fund, a separate sister organization of EWG, is a legislative advocacy organization that promotes healthy and sustainable policies.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Have Antibiotics Lost Effectiveness?

We've reached the end of antibiotics': Top CDC expert declares that 'miracle drugs' that have saved millions are no match against 'superbugs' because people have overmedicated themselves. 

A high-ranking official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared in an interview with PBS that the age of antibiotics has come to an end.

'For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about "The end of antibiotics, question mark?"' said Dr Arjun Srinivasan. 'Well, now I would say you can change the title to "The end of antibiotics, period."'

What will this mean for long-term Tick-Borne Diease patients?

Non-viable Borrelia burgdorferi induce inflammatory mediators and apoptosis in human oligodendrocytes

This study is pretty interesting and a bit unsettling, but I guess the findings are not exactly news, if you consider the reasons for a Herxheimer reaction while/after taking abx to 'kill the bugs.' It's known that neurotoxins can be created as the critters die off, which is why many LLMDs prefer a slow approach particularly in patients who have detox pathway challenges. Another reason we should all tank up on our antioxidants and nutrients that support the liver and kidneys.  -Bob

2013 Oct 21. pii: S0304-3940(13)00936-1. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.10.032. [Epub ahead of print]

Parthasarathy G, Fevrier HB, Philipp MT.


Division of Bacteriology and Parasitology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703, Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA-7043,USA.


In previous studies, exposure to live Borrelia burgdorferi was shown to induce inflammation and apoptosis of human oligodendrocytes. In this study we assessed the ability of non-viable bacteria (heat killed or sonicated) to induce inflammatory mediators and cell death. Both heat-killed and sonicated bacteria induced release of CCL2, IL-6, and CXCL8 from oligodendrocytes in a dose dependent manner. In addition, non-viable B. burgdorferi also induced cell death as evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) and another cell viability assay. These results suggest that spirochetal residues left after bacterial demise, due to treatment or otherwise, may continue to be pathogenic to the central nervous system.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

To see the article abstract and related links:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Lyme Article in Journal of Neuroinflammation

This just in! 

Great article on results from the primate Lyme study. Shows effects of Bb on cytokines and the resultant damage to ganglia, etc.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Signs of Chronic Lyme Disease

Dear readers,

I know I've been posting some pretty heavy articles lately, such as the one about autopsies. But there is some good news, too. I've figured out that it's pretty easy to diagnose late-stage Lyme disease, even without expensive tests. Well, I had a little help from another lay researcher:


Study: Good night's sleep cleans out gunk in brain

Friday, October 18, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CA -- When we sleep, our brains get rid of gunk that builds up while we're awake, suggests a study that may provide new clues to treat Alzheimer's disease and other disorders.

This cleaning was detected in the brains of sleeping mice, but scientists said there's reason to think it happens in people too.

If so, the finding may mean that for people with dementia and other mind disorders, "sleep would perhaps be even more important in slowing the progression of further damage," Dr. Clete Kushida, medical director of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, said in an email.

Kushida did not participate in the study, which appears in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

People who don't get enough shut-eye have trouble learning and making decisions, and are slower to react. But despite decades of research, scientists can't agree on the basic purpose of sleep. Reasons range from processing memory, saving energy to regulating the body.

The latest work, led by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center, adds fresh evidence to a long-standing view: When we close our eyes, our brains go on a cleaning spree.

Read the rest....

Copyright ©2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lyme autopsies rarely performed

Noted Lyme pathologist Dr. Alan MacDonald made a comment today about Lyme caused deaths. I thought it was worth repeating.

Death Certificate wordings are usually worthless (medically and scientifically). "Cardiopulmonary arrest" leads the list of all death certificate causes of death. We all die of "cardiopulmonary arrest." That diagnosis is the fast-and-dirty wording for most death certifictions. It is un-challengeable.

The actual anatomic diseases are only uncovered by carefully-performed autopsies. Autopsies may also be done in haste by autopsy assistants with only brief,
"cameo" appearances by the supervising pathologist in the autopsy suite.

The carelessness with certifications on death certificates is used to the advantage of the IDSA and CDC statisticians to "prove" that fatalities do not happen in Chronic Lyme borreliosis.(sic)

Lyme-focused autopsy studies are just not available to most persons. It is very time consuming (for no monetary reimbursement to the pathologist).

So, a labor of love is called for to properly perform an autopsy in which the spirochete is the actual "agent of death"

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Better diagnostic tools would aid Lyme disease fight

Poughkeepsie Journal opinion piece June 28, 2013 Online extra: 

"Better diagnostic tools would aid Lyme disease fight"

By Nevena Zubcevik, a resident physician at Harvard Medical School/Partners Healthcare and a member of the advisory board at the Neuromuscular Infections Fund.

Excerpt from the article: ...According to a recent study by Steere et al, we are able to identify only 11 percent of infected individuals who present with erythema migrans in the first six weeks of infection utilizing the current two tiered test. If the C6 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay is utilized, the success rate raises to 19 percent. That is, 81 percent of the cases of acute illness could be missed [2, table 1].

We must educate the physicians about the above fact. It is crucial physicians are acutely aware of the fact we miss most cases of infection in the initial phase. This should also be followed by a recommendation that a person with a tick bite or without a tick bite and with any physiologic symptom of this infection in an endemic area should be aggressively treated without awaiting positive testing or new symptoms. The risk of neurological, cardiac and musculoskeletal injury is too high to wait. ...We have to devise better antibiotic regimens which will treat late-previously untreated Borrelia infection and the possible co-infections. In vitro studies show three types of the spirochetal existence - extracellular, intracellular and cystic form, as well as bio-film presence [5, 6]. These factors might play a significant role in antibiotic effectiveness. In vivo study on Rhesus monkeys supports the persistence of the spirochetal organism in late Borreliosis after the individuals were treated with long courses of both Ceftriaxone and Doxycycline [7]. Studies in mice reveal infectious spirochete activity in spite of lengthy antibiotic treatments [9]. Persistence and latency of Treponema as in syphilis, the sister spirochete, should be a good example of what we can expect from Borrelia [5]. We do not know whether the organism is capable of dormancy, as is the Treponema. If it is, then we could suspect that in situations of depressed immune system as in pregnancy, post-surgery or other high-stress events, the patient's infection could relapse. We do not have adequate tests to identify whether this exists, but if it does, we need to be aware to provide adequate antimicrobial treatment for our patients.  


Monday, October 14, 2013

A few Tick-Borne Disease links of interest

Below is a potpourri of other issues of pathobiology in TBD's, human and otherwise. (Courtesy Dr. Alan MacDonald)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Yet Another Tick-Borne Disease...

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013 4:30 am

When my dog and I walk along the Snake River during the warm seasons of the year, we can both come home with a tick or two. I’m used to feeling those little legs on my skin or scalp and picking off the critters. If I’m lucky, I get to them before they attach and start sucking my blood. Because I’ve been doing this all my life, I don’t get stressed out about ticks, but I do know they can carry certain diseases.

Recently the Shots website of National Public Radio reported that scientists have made an advance about an unusual illness that befell two farmers in Missouri in 2009. The men came down with bad fevers, nausea and diarrhea. They were sick enough they sought medical attention, and it was discovered the platelet counts in their blood had dropped significantly.

At first, they were treated with antibiotics for some sort of bacterial infection. But the treatments didn’t help. A doctor at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Missouri then sent samples of the farmers’ blood to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When the samples were analyzed, medical researchers turned up a new virus, not one previously known to science. They named it the Heartland virus.

Happily, the sick men ultimately got better, their bodies beating back the infection that had made them so ill. But the question remained: How were they exposed to the virus? The basic clues were that the two men worked outdoors, were in the same state and had been bitten by ticks before coming down sick.

Federal researchers have now figured out how the virus was transmitted to the men. In 2012 they collected some 50,000 ticks (what a job!), including taking some ticks off dogs and horses at the farms of the men who had become ill. Analyzing the ticks, they have found the Heartland virus.
“It’s the first time anyone has found (the virus) in the wild, in the environment,” said researcher Harry Savage to Shots. “It means the virus is yet another tick-borne disease in the U.S.”
The 'Lone Star' tick

The Heartland virus has so far been detected in only one kind of tick, a species called the lone star tick. (The bug isn’t named for Texas, but for a little white dot that adults carry on their backs.) And only the juvenile ticks called nymphs have been shown to carry the virus. About 1 in 500 of the nymphs has the virus.

“If you were looking for Lyme in Connecticut, there would be more ticks infected,” Savage said. “But for a virus, (1 in 500) is a substantial number.”

The lone star tick is found in the lower Midwest, the Southeast and along the coast of New York and New England. The Heartland virus gives people living in those regions another reason to check themselves when they come in from the outdoors during the warm seasons of the year.

Happy tick hunting, everyone!

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. 


Edwin Masters practiced medicine in Missouri and discovered that Lyme Disease
existed in Missouri. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention steadfastly opposed
his views. After Dr. Masters died, the CDC renamed the Missouri illnesses STARI (Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness). It is also known as Masters disease. [For whatever reason, STARI is not a reportable illness to the CDC. - Bob]

The Wiki article here states that the symptoms of STARI are generally believed to be less severe than in Lyme. [Perhaps that is why it is not a reportable disease. -Bob]

The CDC has declared Missouri, as well as in all states south of the Mason Dixon Line,as non-endemic for Lyme/Borreliosis. [Go figure. ILADS claims all 48 contiguous US states are endemic- Bob]
Respectfully submitted,
Alan b. MacDonald MD, FCAP FASCP October 13,2013

Disease precautions for hunters

This paper is intended to be a general guide about diseases that hunters and their hunting dogs may encounter. Links to additional information have been provided where appropriate. Hunters should always consult their physician if they are concerned they have been exposed to a disease or are showing symptoms of illness. If there are any concerns that your hunting dog or any other companion animal may have contracted any of these diseases, please contact your veterinarian.

Window Into The Brain Reveals Deadly Secrets

The research article below is from 2009. Even though it's sort of old, it raises an interesting question about possible constriction of capillaries in the brain in Lyme disease. The topic is cerebral malaria.

Often, upon awakening in the morning, I feel that my brain has gone sort of off-line and feels miserable. It's a kind of malaise that I wish I could describe, but basically it is so terrible that it defies description. The closest I can come is to say I feel like I've been poisoned. Having never been poisoned (officially), I have no idea what that feels like. I'm just guessing. This poisoned feeling can also happen at other times when I take serious deep rest, such as (sometimes) after a meditation, or after a nap.

I have theorized that unless I'm moving around, bloodflow shuts down a bit, in the brain. This may also explain why I feel better when on an inversion table, or doing inverted yoga postures, swimming, deep breathing, etc. I do carry a gene called Leiden Factor 5, which increases my clotting potential and can contribute to what my doctor calls "sticky blood." So it's possible that a blood thinner may be in order for me. I'm taking Boluoke, AKA lumbrokinease, because it's a natural blood thinner, made from earthworms (yuk). Here's a short definition from Wikipedia:

Lumbrokinase is a fibrinolytic enzyme[1] present in the earthworm Lumbricus bimastus.[2] It has been investigated as an experimental antithrombotic agent.[3

One of the side effects of Lyme disease (some say this is a sign of Bartonella more than of Lyme) is strange changes in the skin. I'm developing more and more spider veins in my legs almost overnight. Also a kind of transparency and parchment-like look to the skin on my backs of my hands.

Is my brain short of oxygen at night? I do have moderate apnea, but I address that with a kind of retainer I wear on my teeth at night. (See previous posts about my apnea -- just search my blog using the Search tool in the right margin.) But when I measure oxygen saturation on my finger overnight it seems to be fine (always in the high 90s with an occasional dip into the 80s). But since I am measuring oxygen concentration on a finger, that doesn't say much about oxygen saturation in my brain.

My brain SPECT scans have been normal, with no particular indications of the typical hypo-perfusion seen in Lyme patients. However, my MRIs have shown signs of some past ischemia in the form of small plaques -- about half a dozen of them so far -- that the radiologists have interpreted as being from lack of oxygen perfusion, such as in TIA's (Temporary Ischemic Attacks). Many Lyme patients have hypoperfusion of the brain, which is the reason SPECT scans can be used as a Lyme diagnostic tool.

Maybe this article points to something that may be a causative factor Lyme brain fog, headaches, even neurological issues such as the dying off of parts of the brain. In my case, the substantia nigra. The article below is about cerebral malaria but maybe Lyme and its coinfections use a similar mechanism that kills off parts of the brain.


Cerebral Malaria:

Main Category: Tropical Diseases
Also Included In: Neurology / Neuroscience; Eye Health / Blindness; Pediatrics / Children's Health
Article source: Medical News Today
Article Date: 15 Jan 2009 - 6:00 PDT

Looking at the retina in the eyes of patients with cerebral malaria has provided scientists with a vital insight into why malaria infection in the brain is so deadly. In a study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Fight for Sight and published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, researchers in Malawi have shown for the first time in patients that the build-up of infected blood cells in the narrow blood vessels of the brain leads to a potentially lethal lack of oxygen to the brain.

Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers, killing over a million people every year, mainly children and pregnant women in Africa, and adults in South-east Asia. Malaria parasites enter the bloodstream from bites by infected mosquitoes and live in red blood cells, making them stick to the inside of narrow blood vessels and causing blockages. Most deaths occur as a result of cerebral malaria, where red blood cells infected by malaria parasites build up into the brain, leading to coma and convulsions and, if not treated swiftly, death.

Scientists have known for some time that cerebral malaria is accompanied by changes in the retina, known as malarial retinopathy which can be seen by examining the eye. Because the retina can be considered as an extension of the central nervous system, it has been used previously as a "window into the brain", allowing for swifter diagnosis of cerebral malaria. However, until now it was not clearly understood why the disease should be so deadly.

In new research, Dr Nick Beare of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, together with colleagues at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, examined the retinas of 34 children admitted to the hospital with cerebral malaria. They used a technique known as fluorescein angiography, which involves injecting a special dye into the arm intravenously and photographing its passage through the blood vessels of the retina . It is used to identify fluid leakage or blockages in the small blood vessels at the back of the eye.

More than four in five of the children examined by Dr Beare and colleagues were found to have impaired blood flow in the blood vessels of their eyes. Three-quarters had whitening to areas of the retina where blood did not appear to reach, implying that the parasites were disrupting the supply of oxygen and nutrients.

"We have previously used the retina to accurately diagnose severe malaria, but now this window into the brain has opened up our knowledge of what makes cerebral malaria so deadly," says Dr Beare. "This is the first study to clearly show...

See full story online:

Source: Craig Brierley
Wellcome Trust

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.
Visit their tropical diseases section for the latest news on this subject.

Alzheimer's breakthrough hailed as 'turning point'

The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the "turning point" in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients.

But scientists say a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases. In tests on mice, the Medical Research Council showed all brain cell death from prion disease could be prevented.
Prof Roger Morris, from King's College London, said: "This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer's disease."
He told the BBC a cure for Alzheimer's was not imminent but: "I'm very excited, it's the first proof in any living animal that you can delay neurodegeneration.
"The world won't change tomorrow, but this is a landmark study."
Cells starve
The research team at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, based at the University of Leicester, focused on the natural defense mechanisms built into brain cells.

When a virus hijacks a brain cell it leads to a build-up of viral proteins. Cells respond by shutting down nearly all protein production in order to halt the virus's spread.

Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery

Here's an article with some great suggestions about non-Pharma exercises and approaches to healing from PD:

Parkinson's Recipe for Recovery®

My goal with this entry is to cover in detail what I did to recover. Please note: I did not take any medications, nor did I take herbal supplements, herbal formulas, or Ayurvedic formulas. My recovery was predicated on a combination of soul, mind and body healing. As you know, I am not a doctor, and I do not recommend that you do anything that I did to recover without first receiving approval from your doctor(s), and from your religious and spiritual advisors. That being said, I am going to begin with my philosophy of Parkinson's Disease so you can understand why I feel I got it and how I approached getting rid of it. Without this background, much of what I did will make no sense to you.

For about a decade prior to getting Parkinson's, I had been studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and other forms of holistic healing. I concluded that there are underlying factors (genetics, heavy metals, environmental toxins, etc.) that make a person susceptible to getting Parkinson's. However, the three main causes that bring Parkinson's to the surface as diagnosable symptoms are:

See the rest of the story and recipe:'s-my-recipe-for-recovery/