"The Horrors of Mycoplasma"
written by Jenna
The first and seemingly worst information you
received was a diagnosis for Lyme disease, and then you have more bad news regarding the horrible co-infections of
Babesia or Bartonella or Ehrlichia - or perhaps all three in addition to Lyme.
Now, as blood tests keep coming back from the
labs with Mycoplasma listed as another infection you think, "Oh, that can't be so bad..." But as the facts mount,
there are some interesting correlations between Lyme and Mycoplasma except that it would appear that
Mycoplasma is far more contagious!
Perhaps you have heard about the Gulf War
Syndrome...well, once again, it appears that the world of conventional medicine has swept a deadly a frightening
infection under the proverbial rug.
And yet I have to wonder if IDSA would be
denying the existence of mycoplasma too if one of their own hadn't blown the whistle in the first place!
The information trail started with Garth and
Nancy Nicolson. Their daughter returned from the Gulf War with an unexplained illness. She was unable to continue
her studies at college, and moved back home. Soon after, her parents both became ill with the same
Medical tests revealed nothing
abnormal, but they all continued to
worsen. Fortunately for them, however, the Nicolson’s were molecular pathologists with an entire research
laboratory at their disposal. The Nicolson’s drew blood and tissue samples from themselves and their daughter, and
set the research team, to work.
Garth Nicolson Ph.D. is a professor and
former chairman of the Department of Tumor Biology at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,
Houston, TX. He is also a professor of Internal Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of
Texas Medical School.
He has published over 500 scientific and
medical papers, has edited 14 books, he is the current editor of two scientific and medical journals. Dr. Nicolson
has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in cell microbiology, is among the 100 most cited researchers in the world,
and sits on the board of the American Association of Cancer Research.
Nancy Nicolson, Ph.D. is president of the
Rhodon Foundation for Biomedical Research. She, also, has published numerous scientific papers and was a professor
in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.
What they found was a living Mycoplasma
In order to find this organism, they had to
break open the leukocytes (white blood cells), and perform a specific test called a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
of the DNA of the organism. Nancy also perfected another test, called Gene Tracking, which confirms the PCR
To gather more information, they then started
testing other Gulf War Illness (GWI) patients. What they found was that approximately 50% were positive for the
The Nicolson’s then researched treatment
options and found a number of antibiotics that were effective against the organism. After a lengthy course of
antibiotics, they recovered. But, the word was out, and requests for testing of GWI patients kept coming in to the
lab. They were inundated!
As their evidence mounted, they published
their data and testified before the President’s Panel on Gulf War Illnesses.
Then the connection was made by the
government of the similarities between GWI and CFIDS. By this time, the Nicolson’s lab was already running
tests of those with CFIDS---with the same results-- approximately 50% positive!
Garth and Nancy Nicolson even wrote an
article for the CFIDS Chronicle outlining the diagnosis and treatment of GWI/CFIDS.
But, the politics of medicine and research
slowed the gears of progress. Garth and Nancy had to relocate their non-profit lab (The Institute for Molecular
Medicine), first to Irvine, CA, then to Huntington Beach, CA.
They have had difficulty finding funding for
the Mycoplasma research. For their research to continue with CFIDS testing, they need a new grant. In the meantime,
they have formed a non-profit organization and take tax deductible donations.
Presently, one can become a "Friend of the
Institute" and have the various tests done at The Institute for Molecular Biology lab, as well as, participate in
the research (see Mycoplasma Resource List for full instructions).
They only recently opened a private
laboratory, International Molecular Diagnostics, that can run a variety of tests and does third-party billing of
insurance for part of the cost of the tests.
Those of us who have tested positive and have
begun treatment with the antibiotics recommended by the Nicolson’s have had tremendous success. Some of these
people have been ill with CFS/FMS/MCS for 15-20 years. But, they are feeling better for the first time since
Some have even returned to work. Many have
completed several months of antibiotics, and several have been taking them continuously for 4-5 years. Since most
of us in the CFS/FMS/MCS community have been ill with this organism for a lot longer than the GWI patients do, it
may take longer to successfully treat the infection.
Mycoplasmas are the smallest and simplest
For years those in the CFS/FMS/MCS community
have been watching the reports of Gulf War Illness (GWI) knowing, instinctively, that we all had something in
common. Not only do we all have common symptoms, but we may also be infected with common pathogenic organisms. That
pathogen is a Mycoplasma.
Various pathogenic strains have been
identified including the fermentans (incognitus), penetrans, genitalium, hominis, and pneumoniae. And, we may be
infected with several of these strains at one time. Following is a simple overview of the information I have
gathered about this Mycoplasma pathogen and how it affects us.
They are not new. They were discovered over
100 years ago and evolved from bacteria. The "garden variety" mycoplasma is not usually associated with severe
However, sometime over the past 30 years, the
organism has been altered to become more lethal. The Mycoplasmas found by the Nicolson’s, in their lab, contain
unusual gene sequences that were probably inserted into the Mycoplasma by a specific laboratory
This discovery has led them to conclude that
the new forms of mycoplasma were specifically engineered for germ warfare!
In it’s laboratory evolution, the Mycoplasmas
have became more invasive, more difficult to find, and capable of causing severe diseases in humans. Diseases, like
Gulf War Illness, CFS, FMS, MCS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lyme Disease and AIDS, for instance.
The earlier form of Mycoplasma was studied by
Dr. Shyh Lo, formerly of Tanox Biosystems, a spin-off biotechnology company from the Baylor College of Medicine,
but now affiliated with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington D.C. Dr. Lo has been credited with
discovering the new pathogenic form of Mycoplasmas, and he currently holds several patents on methods for special
handling of the organisms for study and development.
In one of his patents (in 1991), Dr. Lo lists
the following diseases that are caused by Mycoplasma: HIV infection, AIDS, Aids Related Complex (ARC), Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Wegener’s Disease, Sarcoidosis, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Kibuchi’s Disease,
Alzheimer’s Disease, and Lupus.
In addition, Baseman and Tully have reviewed
the literature on the role of Mycoplasmal infections in human disease and have concluded that they are important
factors or co-factors in a variety of chronic illnesses.
Unlike bacteria, the Mycoplasma has no cell
wall. This enables it to invade tissue cells, incorporating the cell's nutrients, and using the cell to replicate
itself (much like a retrovirus).
When the Mycoplasma breaks out of the cell,
it takes a piece of the host cell membrane with it. When the immune system attacks the Mycoplasma, it also gets
"turned on" to attacking the host cell.
In this way, an autoimmune condition can
Autoimmune conditions associated with
Mycoplasmas include arthritis, Fibromyalgia, myositis, thyroid dysfunction (Hashimoto’s or Grave’s Diseases), and
adrenal dysfunction, signs and symptoms of Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Lyme,and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The Mycoplasma organism has the capacity to
invade cells, tissues and blood, producing systemic infections in numerous organ systems.
According to Dr. Nicholson, it can penetrate
the central and peripheral nervous system. Because it has the ability to damage the immune system by invading the
natural killer cells (NK cells) of the lymphocytes, it weakens them, reduces their numbers, and renders them
susceptible to viral infections, such as Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV6), HHV7 or HHV8. It may also explain some
of the environmentally sensitive responses that are seen with CFIDS and MCS.
Mycoplasma infection can trigger inflammatory
cytokine over-production that is commonly seen in CFS/FMS. With the induction of CD-4+ helper cells of the immune
system, an over production of cytokines such as Interleukin-1, Interleukin-6 and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
These elevated cytokines have been implicated
in the development of many of the CFS/FMS symptoms, including neurological involvement. They can have
specific or nonspecific stimulatory or suppressive effects on lymphocytes, as measured by B and T cell
In addition, the Mycoplasma infection has
immune-modulating effects, activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This can cause a cascade of limbic
system symptoms characteristic of CFS/FMS.
The Mycoplasma is a slow-growing,
stealth-type organism that can cause the patient to be very ill. It activates the immune system, then can
successfully hide from it within the host immune cells.
It can then circulate throughout the body and
go wherever a white blood cell can go. It can cause infection deep within any or all organs. It can even cross the
blood/brain barrier and cause brain and spinal infection. It has also been known to cross the placental barrier to
an unborn fetus.
Unless the white blood cell is split open and
examined for the evidence of the live organism, it can go undetected for years. Because the organism resides deep
within the cells, conventional antibody tests may be relatively useless.
The splitting open (fraction) of leukocytes
(white blood cells) from a fresh blood sample, with a forensic PCR test is the most accurate way to detect the
presence of active infection with a live pathogen. Further gene-tracking techniques perfected by the Nicolson’s are
even more accurate.
Although the researchers have not clearly
established how contagious the Mycoplasmas are, they have made some estimates from the data they have
The Mycoplasma organism has been found in the
blood and body fluids, spinal fluid, bone marrow, urine, and in the lungs, nose and mouth. The Mycoplasma is
reported to be able to survive for two hours outside the body.
Of those with Gulf War Illness, 50% of their
spouses have contracted the disease and 100% of their children. Several babies have also been known to be born with
the disease. Some sort of chemical exposure or immune distress (i.e., auto accident, surgery, cancer) appears to
pre-date the onset of illness.
Of those with CFS, FMS, and MCS, numerous
friends and spouses have the illness, as well as close relatives. So, from the anecdotal reports, it would appear
that Mycoplasma is contagious after both casual and intimate contact.
This means that the organism may possibly be
passed to another through sputum (coughing droplets that contain the organism), saliva, sexual secretions, blood,
and urine. The disease is also developing in family pets.
If one tests positive for any of the Mycoplasmas,
in order to safeguard those with whom you have close contact, it would be prudent to do the following: Wash your
hands a lot, never share your food or drink with another, wash eating utensils with extremely hot water, keep your
hands away from your face, avoid closed-air spaces where air is re-circulated (i.e., offices, airplanes), and use
protective sexual practices.
With such a horrifying and difficult to
diagnose germ descending on our population, it is no wonder that mainstream medical practitioners prefer to
diagnose those who suffer with symptoms indicative of Mycoplasma with Fibromyalgia. Time is limited in
most clinics and staff support is usually cut to the very bones to save costs. Besides, most
people don’t understand that Fibromyalgia is not really a disease at all but a description of symptoms.
So the suffering patient that is sent home
with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and typically some pain relievers and anti-depressants…they are supposed to accept
a diagnosis of being ill with something doctors don’t have a clue what causes it or how to get rid of
it. The mystery diagnosis makes everyone happy except for the patient who could be spreading
Mycoplasma to everyone in his or her family and friends.
The time is coming when patients will not
accept such treatment, and will insist on more testing to find the parasite, bacteria or virus that is taking their
One can only hope that day will come