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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » What if it's NOT Lyme Disease?

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Author Topic: What if it's NOT Lyme Disease?
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What If It's Not Lyme Disease? - Groundbreaking Research May Provide Answers To Why Many Chronic Sufferers Don't Respond To Treatment
Article In

It is common knowledge that Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose and treat, but, according to Eva Sapi, Ph.D., assistant professor of cellular and molecular biology at the University of New Haven-and unbeknownst to the public and even many physicians-the deer ticks so notorious for carrying Lyme disease may often carry other crippling bacteria.

Sapi, an assistant professor of biology and environmental science at the University of New Haven, and several graduate students recently presented research demonstrating that over 84 percent of the ticks they tested were infected by Mycoplasma pathogens, bacteria which can wreak havoc reminiscent of the Borrelia bacterium responsible for Lyme disease. "Doctors are starting to realize that some of the patients who exhibit symptoms of Lyme disease but don't respond to treatment may be infected with a Mycoplasma pathogen," Sapi says. "We now have evidence of the presence of human pathogenic Mycoplasma species in deer ticks."

Sapi presented the research, "Recent Discoveries of Novel Pathogens in Ixodes Ticks in Southern Connecticut," during the national Lyme disease conference at UNH in May, and will submit it for publishing later this month. She notes that other studies have shown that some patients not responding to treatment for Lyme disease have responded to treatment for Mycoplasma. Determined to find the "missing link," Sapi and her cohorts tested 150 deer ticks for Mycoplasm bacteria, with over 84 percent of the ticks exhibiting infection with a single Mycoplasma pathogen. Co-infection rates were also very significant, at 27 percent, and three percent of the ticks were infected with all three Mycoplasma pathogens.

"More comprehensive studies on the transmission of Mycoplasma from ticks to humans need to be carried out to prove whether they are, in fact, transmitted from the ticks to humans," Says Sapi. "But, in the meantime, more doctors should consider testing suspected Lyme disease patients who are not responding well to treatment for Mycoplasma."

A leader in experiential learning, the University of New Haven provides its students with a unique combination of solid liberal arts and real-world, hands-on professional training. A private University founded in 1920, UNH has a full-time undergraduate enrollment of more than 2,400 students-with 70 percent residing on its 80-acre main campus-and a graduate school enrollment that exceeds 1,700. The University offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees and more than 25 graduate degrees through its four colleges, in fields such as sports management, nutrition and dietetics, forensic science, music and sound recording, engineering, computer science, fire science and criminal justice. University of New Haven students study abroad through a variety of distinctive programs.

University of New Haven


Posts: 24 | From NJ USA | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't the tests for mycoplasm just about as flawed as those for Lyme? And isn't the treatment not all that effective either?

Sorry to be negative, but I just can't be happy over this news report. As if things weren't already complicated enough .....

Bea Seibert

Just had an thought -- Where does the IDSA stand on mycoplasm? Do they even believe that can be a chronic long-term infection requiring antibiotics?

Posts: 7306 | From Martinsville,VA,USA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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It's reassuring to see more research being done!!
I'm glad there are researchers out there working on this complicated disease!


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I think the IDSA would say infection is cleared in a short period of time.

I know that my blood work for myco pneumonia , under the IGG it said this test can not determine current vs pas infection, to retest to see if the titre increases or not.

bottom line we need better testing for these bugs.

good article though.

"Say it straight simple and with a smile."

"Thus the task is, not so much to see what no one has seen yet,
But to think what nobody has thought yet, About what everybody sees."


pos babs, bart, igenex WB igm/igg

Posts: 3156 | From Lyme limbo | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Michelle M
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I believe the Arizona lab shows mycoplasma (always suggesting follow up, of course).


Posts: 3193 | From Northern California | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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My daughter's first indication that she had anything wrong with her was from a RA doc three years ago. Mycoplasma Pneumonia.

That didn't show up in the smear Dr. F did.

So, maybe all the zith she is taking took care of it.


Posts: 2903 | From AZ | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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The best test for mycoplasmas are so called PCR tests. More info here:

I think every Lymie should take those tests mentioned on the site. I would if I lived in the States.

Please dont suggest "ask your LLMD" because we dont have them here in this country... [Frown] I just have to count on you fellow patients. [Smile]

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What is the treatment for mycoplasm?
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The following organisms are in the Lyme Disease test kit that Dr. K. uses. Same kit is used by other lyme literate practitioners. These infections may not all show up initially (before treatment) when testing (ART), but eventually show up sometime.

Borrelia b
Bartonella hens

There are some more organisms that are often part of the regular Lyme picture and are also tested, such as TB, but I did not add them here.

Take care.

P.S. I believe there are a couple hundred different forms of mycoplasma. Treatment varies.

Posts: 9834 | From Washington State | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Here's a "guideline for mycoplasm " treatments...very similar to lyme on Kayda's link:;f=1;t=052704

I would be ironic if the "Yale" crowd would embrace a mycoplasm diagnosis but not so much a Bb. But if we could get treatment for this... many of the abx's used to treat mycoplasm would hit the lyme as well. As far as treatment for lyme this has the possiblity of being good news.

If I read the webb page correctly the ABX TX for mycoplasm lasts as long as 9 months vs 1-2 weeks for lyme at best

Thanks for posting [Smile]


Posts: 4432 | From some where over the rainbow | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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