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HOW TO GET AN ACCURATE POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION

(PCR) BLOOD TEST for MYCOPLASMAL and OTHER INFECTIONS

August 2003 Sean A. Dudley & Leslee M. Dudley

Mycoplasmal infections are found in patients with: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Gulf War Illness, Lyme Disease, AIDS, Autoimmune diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Leukemia and  other diseases.

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME & FIBROMYALGIA

The top three pathogens that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients test positive for on PCR blood tests:

  • Mycoplasma fermentans,

  • HHV-6a and

  • Chlamydia pneumoniae

Others pathogens found individually or in combination with the other infections are:

  • Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus

  • Mycoplasma fermentans strains

  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae

  • Mycoplasma hominis

  • Mycoplasma genitalium

  • Mycoplasma penetrans

  • Ureaplasma urealyticum

Reactivated Viruses:

  • Epstein Bar Virus,

  • Cytomegalovirus and

  • HHV6a

TYPES OF MYCOPLASMA TESTS

  1. MOST ACCURATE of the PCR blood tests is the original, standard individual test for a specific species.  It has an accuracy rate of 95%.

  2. "Multiplex" ("3 in 1" or "4 in 1") multi-species Mycoplasma PCR blood tests are less expensive but their accuracy has not yet been established.

  3. Antibody Test - least accurate of the blood tests, it is not as accurate as PCR.  People generally only make antibodies to Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus when they are near death.  However, people make antibodies to the other mycoplasma species more readily.

  4. Culture - Mycoplasmas are rarely successfully cultured, as they require specialized culture mediums and weeks of careful laboratory work.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Do not perform the General (or Family) Mycoplasma species screening test.  It is not as accurate as hoped. This test should never be used by physicians as a screening test for mycoplasmal infections in patients.

  • Have the blood drawn at the testing lab. If that is impractical, the second best solution is to have the blood delivered to the lab within 24 hours. If a sample of blood containing mycoplasmas is left at room temperature, within 24 hours half the mycoplasmas are dead and within 72 hours all are dead. Once dead, they disintegrate and the specific genetic sequences needed to be found for PCR amplification will have vanished. 

  • Have the blood sample drawn later in the day if you are shipping overnight.  This shortens the hours before the sample is processed.

  • Also, have the blood drawn early in the week, rather than on a Friday, so that the sample arrives on a day when the lab is open, rather than sitting unprocessed over the weekend.

  • Ship blood samples with blue ice, keeping the sample at a refrigerated temperature. Place some packing material between the blood sample and the blue ice to prevent the blood sample from touching the blue ice. This avoids freezing of the blood sample, which causes coagulation, ruining the sample for testing.

  • Do not take any antibiotics at least one month or more before a PCR blood test. The antibiotics will remove most of the infection from the blood, preventing an accurate result. This restriction also applies to natural products that kill mycoplasmas, such as colloidal silver, flax seed oil and fish oils.

  • Do not take vitamins, herbs or supplements that  boost the immune system and might reduce the mycoplasma count. Examples would be Vitamin C, IP6, immune boosters, garlic, transfer factor, olive leaf extract, etc. Unfortunately,  no research exists to guide patients on how long they should avoid these products before drawing blood.

  • The best time to have blood drawn is when the patient is symptomatic.

  • Mycoplasmas can become dormant from time to time, so if a patient is feeling well it might not be the best time to test.

  • If patients receive a negative result, but are still symptomatic, they should be retested. Review our suggestions for how and when to be tested to see if they were followed. Discuss the merits of retesting with your physician.

  • Patients should be tested before beginning antibiotic treatment.

  • However, some patients start antibiotics before being tested as an experiment to see if they will show improvement. Then, to avoid a relapse, they refuse to stop using antibiotics before taking a PCR test. Unfortunately, once they start antibiotics, they risk getting a false PCR result.  Even if the patient stops taking antibiotics for one to several months, there is no guarantee that the PCR test will then find mycoplasmas in their blood stream. This leaves patients unsure of their infection(s) and they may not be taking the most effective antibiotic(s). Also, without a positive test result, physicians are reluctant to prescribe long term antibiotic treatment.

  • For patients already on antibiotics, there may be an alternative to PCR;  Antibody Tests. Though traditional antibody tests are generally not as accurate as PCR, detection may be possible if a patient has developed antibodies to mycoplasmas.  Test accuracy  increases the longer the patient has been on antibiotics.

AIDS ASSOCIATED MYCOPLASMAS

  • Mycoplasma penetrans

  • Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus

  • Mycoplasma fermentans strains

  • Mycoplasma pirum

  • Ureaplasma urealyticum

  • Mycoplasma hominis   

  • Mycoplasma genitalium

  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae

LYME DISEASE (CHRONIC LYME DISEASE, NEW LYME DISEASE, MONTANA LYME DISEASE)

 

If bitten by ticks or fleas carrying Borrelia burgdorferi you can develop traditional Lyme Disease, which is self-limiting and carried by a deer tick. Our experience with patients suggests that if the tick or flea also carries co-infections, such as Babesiosis or especially Mycoplasmas, you may develop "Chronic Lyme Disease" also known as "New Lyme Disease" as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Autoimmune Diseases.

"Montana Lyme Disease" symptoms are similar to Lyme Disease. However, it is caused by a Lyme disease-like agent that has adapted to the Rocky Mountain wood ticks found in Montana and the Western United States.

Spirochetes (Borrelia bacteria), three types:

  • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (USA, UK, Europe)

  • Borrelia garinii (UK, Europe)

  • Borrelia afzelii. (UK, Europe)

"Chronic Lyme Disease" is a combination of the Borellia-pathogen and one or more of the following co-infections:

Relapsing Fever caused by the spirochetes:

  • Borrelia hermsii

  • Borrelia turicatae

Mycoplasmas:

  • Mycoplasma fermentans

  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae

  • Chlamydia pneumoniae

Rickettsial Diseases:

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

  • Coxiella burnetti (Q-Fever and "Post-Q Fever Fatigue Syndrome")

  • Colorado Tick Fever

  • Eastern tick-borne Rickettsiosis

  • Rickettsialpox

  • Tularemia (rabbit fever)

  • Ehrlichiosis (caused by Ehrlichia, a rickettsia-like bacteria)

  • Anaplasmas (related to the genera Rickettsia and Ehrlichia)

Babesiosis:

  • Babesia microti

  • Babesia WA-1

Hepatitis-C

Bartonellosis:

  • Bartonella henselae (cat scratch fever)

  • Bartonella quintana (trench fever)

Viral Meningitis

 

 

 

 

August 2003 Sean A.& Leslee M. Dudley,Mycoplasma Registry for Gulf War Illness & Chronic Fatigue Syn-dro-me. Content of Mycoplasma Registry Reports, brochures, booklets and forms is the intellectual property of Mycoplasma Registry. Any copying, republication or redistribution of the content of Mycoplasma Registry Reports, brochures, booklets and forms is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mycoplasma Registry.

Printed versions of the brochure "How to Get an Accurate PCR Blood Test for Mycoplasmal & Other Infections" , with an updated list of laboratories, are available upon request.  We are an unincorporated nonprofit association, California Reg. No. 6679.  To cover our expenses and to continue our work and research, donations would be greatly appreciated.  Please make checks payable to:  Mycoplasma Registry.

 

MYCOPLASMA REGISTRY - Sean & Leslee Dudley

303 47th Street, J10, San Diego, California 92102-5961

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