Friday, July 10, 2009

11 Years with Lyme Disease acquired from Australia

Borrelia pics

ELEVEN YEARS have now past since a tick bite in the AUSTRALIAN tropics left me in poor health along with a classic bulls-eye rash internationally indicative of Lyme disease. However the Australian medical community failed to put the pieces together and I was deemed cause and cure unknown, listed as autoimmune, then legally disabled by my 21st Birthday. To mark this my 11th year on the lonely trail of chronic illness and newly learned misdiagnosis, I avow my current understanding of Lyme Diseases which I have been intensely researching for the last 3 months since learning the cause of my infliction.

“Lyme” which is the common term for a Borrellia spirochete bacterial infection, was named after a town in Connecticut in north-eastern USA. This is where a strange arthritis was noted to have inflicted the community during the 70’s. It was found that a number of ticks in the area were infected with this spiral shaped bacteria as frequently depicted, which is a slower replicating cousin of Syphilis, and also resembled African relapsing fever.

In 1982 Willy Burgdorfer, identified one strain of Lyme, it was named Borrellia burgdorferi after his discovery. Since then over 300 species is known word wide, however only 10 species or so have testing much of which is unreliable and more sensitive testing is very expensive. Because the bacteria changes form and is especially capable from hiding from the immune system, it is not unknown for some people who have tested negative on 10 Lyme tests to then show positive.

Mosquitoes, biting flies and various tick species (and other arthropods) have been documented to carry Lyme bacteria (and others disease causing organisms) and likely carry a role in disease transmission to hosts. It is difficult for some labs to culture the bacteria; however an article dated 19 May 2009 titled “UNF professor works to unlock Lyme disease’s mysteries” discusses Prof Kerry Clark from North Florida’s recent techniques used to demonstrate positive Lyme results from previously negative specimens.

Migratory birds, lizards, mammals including humans are some of many animals host this disease life cycle. Some are carriers with no symptoms which is concerning for imported stock into Australia including Deer and Texas Longhorn bullock. The longhorn was notorious in the southern states of USA for infecting other cattle and other animals with Master’s Disease also known as Southern Tick Associated Rash Infection (STARI) in the area and there was even stock route restrictions applied to Texas to try and curve the Lonestar Tick invasion.

Ed Master’s the discoverer fought hard to get Masters Disease/STARI a Borrellia spirochete to also be recognised a new Lyme species (Borrellia lonstarii) to bring to light the magnitude of the epidemic prior to his sad passing away last month. In Feb 2009, an article “Discovery of new Lyme strains invalidates current tests” from

Benjamin Luft, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center, discovered that four highly virulent mutations of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease, may account for the alarming increase in cases for the past 20 years. Luft’s investigation and findings were initially reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

This genetic drift of the organism could explain why current Lyme disease tests, which were defined nearly two decades ago, are missing approximately 75% of the confirmed positive Lyme cases, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study.
Pam Weintraub, author of “Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic,” recently interviewed Luft for the Psychology Today website about his findings:

“What we will find,” says Ben Luft of Stony Brook, “are proteins we never tested for on our ELISAs and Western blots—proteins we were never even aware of. But they will be the critical markers for invasive, infectious Lyme disease. Perhaps people who test negative on the old tests will become positive when we look for the right markers.”

Some viruses including “Sindbis” (which I tested positive for) and also stress from migration has been shown to reactivated Lyme bacteria in many birds that also carry ticks including the Lonestar species. Hosts infected with any of the Borrellia spirochete bacteria have the potential to have their blood, brain, central nervous system and all bodily tissues invaded, just as Syphilis has been documented as being as accomplished in.

Is Lyme also sexually transmitted? This is yet to be determined. There is evidence of Lyme surviving blood transfusion processes, and organ transplants. Lyme has been documented to have been passed congenitally in-utero and via breast-milk from mother to child and has caused foetal death. There is a strong disposition for autoimmune mothers to have children within the autistic spectrum. There are also many cases of autism recovery from long term antibiotic protocols, suggesting a possible infectious causal link to many syndromes, such as autoimmune or degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease. Many trailing Antibiotics have seen improvement in conditions recently.

The bacteria morphs between spiral form (that can cloak itself with your own proteins or create ones that mimic it which may lead to a state of autoimmunity in the body) to an cell wall free state known as L-form (which invades cells) and also a cyst form which continues to replicate while laying dormant.

Cysts around throughout the body as a defence mechanism and have been found in hostile environments such as human saliva. In animal studies, cyst forms have been demonstrated to convert back into spirochetal form when serum favourable to the bacteria was added.

Tick-less transmission has been document in controlled mouse studies, where infection has crossed to non infected mice, though this could have had numerous pathways such as urine, blood, saliva or sexually.

Mice studies have also been conducted where alziemer’s plaques were induced by infecting the mice with borrellia spirochete. There are some pretty convincing scientific studies if you google “lyme alziemer’s disease” that demonstrating the correlation, if you can handle the jargon.

Australia apparently is not an endemic region for Lyme Disease or it’s carrier the American Lonestar tick. Well, I came across a travellers log from Western Australia where the writer documented and photographed a ‘bush tick’ in the area and commented lucky there’s no Lyme in Australia. This drew my attention as it looked identical to the lonestar tick I had been researching about. Not the one with the well known star on its back, but the male version.

Just because there is inadequate vector surveillance, lack of research, and poor laboratory testing procedures, doesn’t mean that it is not a widespread unidentified problem in Australia, just as it is worldwide. It has higher infection rate and severity of disease than AIDS and there is no excuse why there should not be an equally high level of government funding allocated for research and public education for Lyme or as our Health Department calls it “Lyme-Like”.

The Lyme documentary "UNDER OUR SKIN" recently commenced Cinema screenings in America. I would highly recommend gaining access to this video when available.

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