Jeremy Murphree

  • Morgellons False Facts, How to Recognize Misinformation This article looks at Morgellons false facts and describes how to recognize them. Morgellons Disease is a mysterious medical condition that has been the subject of much controversy and misinformation. The disease is characterized by skin lesions and fibers that protrude from the skin, leading many to believe that it is caused by an infection or parasites. Fortunately, numerous studies suggest that the cause of Morgellons Disease is likely Lyme disease. However, these studies have neither been universally accepted or officially recognized leading to a wide variety of false facts about Morgellons circulating on the internet. From conspiracy theories about alien origins to false claims about cures, there are countless pieces of misinformation out there that can lead people down a dangerous path. In this article, we will explore what Morgellons Disease really is and what kind of false information is out there so you can make sure you don’t fall for any myths about this mysterious condition. Claim: “Morgellons Is Contagious” Despite false information circulating on the internet, Morgellons is not contagious. Even though there is still much to learn about Morgellons, it has been established that it cannot be passed on from one person to another. This will hopefully bring some comfort to those who are scared of the possibility of transmitting this condition to their beloved family and friends. On the other hand, Lyme disease, which is linked to Morgellons, is known to be an infectious agent, and there is viable evidence that it may be sexually transmissible. Unfortunately, many medical conditions can be passed on from one generation to the next. For patients living with a genetic condition, this can cause an immense amount of anxiety and fear of passing the condition onto their loved ones. Thankfully, modern advances in medicine are providing relief to these patients. Genetic testing and gene therapy have opened up new possibilities in the fight against hereditary disease. It may even be possible one day to use these methods to reduce the risk of passing on Morgellons to future generations. Morgellons appears to have a genetic component and scientists are working to identify the specific traits that predispose people to developing this condition. This could potentially result in more effective treatments and earlier diagnoses, which in turn would help reduce the stigma and disfigurement patients endure while seeking answers about their condition. Claim: “Morgellons Fibers Move” Photo by Pixabay on There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that these fibers move. In fact, research has shown that the fibers are actually malformed hairs, the same kind that grow on your head, arms, and legs. Our hair usually stays where it is and if it ever moved on its own, we’d be absolutely frightened. Morgellons fibers don’t have muscles to contract and are not worms or man-made fabrics. Evidence suggests that Morgellons fibers can be found within the layers of skin tissues, where they are confined in place. Claim: “You Can Feel Morgellons Fibers Stinging” The claim that “you can feel Morgellons fibers stinging” is a controversial one. While some people with the condition report feeling sensations from the fibers, medical research has not been able to confirm whether or not these sensations are real or just a product of the patient’s misperceptions. Morgellons is an unusual condition that has been linked to various forms of misinformation and poor self-diagnosis. While some patients may experience sensations such as formication (the feeling of skin crawling), it is unclear if these are caused by the presence of Morgellons fibers or by nerve damage caused by other factors like infection with Lyme disease. Claim: “Morgellons Patients Shed So Many Fibers They Pollute Their Homes” One of the most widely spread misconceptions is that patients with Morgellons shed so many fibers they pollute their homes. The truth is that while some people with Morgellons do shed fibers, they are not like dust particles or other kinds of household dirt. These fibers are unique to Morgellons and must be identified through microscopic examination. Therefore, it is inaccurate to claim that Morgellons patients shed so many fibers they pollute their homes. Another widely spread misconception is that Morgellons patients are delusional or paranoid about cleaning their homes. The truth is that a lot of Morgellons patients take precautions to avoid spreading particles throughout their home for fear of triggering a similar reaction with other people. In addition, many people with Morgellons have had an exposure which they strongly believed preceded the onset of symptoms, so it would be incorrect to claim that they are delusional or paranoid about their health when they are simply trying to rationalize their circumstances. Claim: “Morgellons Is Caused by Fungus” Photo by Egor Kamelev on The claim that Morgellons is caused by fungus is one that has been made for many years. Unfortunately, this claim is based on misleading information and has been disproved by multiple scientific studies. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that Morgellons is associated with any type of fungus; however, there is some evidence that fungus may help alleviate Morgellons’ symptoms. Claim: “Morgellons Is Not Real” The claim that Morgellons is not real and is actually delusional in nature is the most damaging on this list. This claim can be made in two ways: First, Morgellons is a self-diagnosis provided by sufferers of the condition who see themselves as victims and are convinced it’s real; or second, mainstream medicine does not recognize Morgellons as a legitimate diagnosis and therefore makes it impossible for sufferers to receive treatment. The first position, where those affected by the condition see themselves as victims, leaves most people with this opinion with little evidence to go on but instinctive reactions in response to verbal testimony from people who also believe they have Morgellons. It exposes patients to misinformation, and they generally develop a strong distrust for the medical community. Second, due to a lack of acknowledgement from mainstream medicine, people suffering from Morgellons are unable to get the treatment they need. The lack of recognition from traditional medical practitioners for Morgellons is deeply worrying, especially when compared to the more accepted acknowledgement of Lyme disease in recent years. How to Identify Morgellons False Facts Morgellons false facts can be found everywhere, from online forums to medical journals. It is important to be able to recognize false facts about this condition in order to make informed decisions. Before exploring any source, make sure that you look into scientific documents first. Authentic scientific literature about Morgellons will generally attest to the relation between it and Lyme disease. Misinformation is often centered around this particular relationship so it’s important to confirm its accuracy. Sometimes, those who are either not familiar with Lyme disease or don’t believe in its association with Morgellons will spread false information to fill the gaps in their understanding. Everything from “Morgellons is caused by a fungus” to “Morgellons is not real” is evidence of miRead more

  • Jeremy Murphree wrote a new post 1 week ago

    Exploring the Possibilities of Fungus as a Treatment for Morgellons Disease Morgellons Disease is a rare disorder that results in fibers appearing in the skin and can cause extreme itching, sores, and terrible lesions. Morgellons is believed to be caused by Lyme Disease. While there is no known cure for this mysterious affliction, recent research suggests that fungus may play a role in the treatment and healing of Lyme Disease directly. In this article, we will explore how fungus could help provide relief for the many patients enduring Morgellons Disease. Exploring How Fungi May Help with Inflammation Morgellons patients can exhibit a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms, which are generally caused by infectious disease-induced inflammation. Consequently, medications like antidepressants and mood stabilizers tend to be ineffective in alleviating these symptoms. Antibiotics are usually successful in treating infections, however sometimes patients may develop a resistance to antimicrobials and relapses occur. Neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with Lyme disease, also known as neuroborreliosis, can be severe and resistant to treatment. A recent case study however has uncovered a potential new way to treat neuroborreliosis – through the use of small doses of psilocybin, or “micro dosing”. Micro dosing is the act of taking a minimal amount of a substance to create subtle yet profound effects. Previous studies have shown that psilocybin is a powerful serotonergic and anti-inflammatory agent, indicating potential therapeutic benefits for those struggling with mental illness due to inflammation. A recent case study features a 70-year-old male with Lyme disease who suffered from treatment-resistant depression and anxiety. The patient self-medicated with psilocybin at dosages ranging from 100 – 125 mg every three days, and was found to have significant improvement in symptoms, including ease of thought processing, mood stabilization, and improved sleep quality. Psilocybin is best known for its hallucinatory properties. In the case study however, hallucinations or psychedelic effects were not reported during his treatment – which suggests that psilocybin dosage may have a more direct effect on neuropsychiatric effects than previously understood. Could Micro-dosing Fungus Heal Morgellons Sores? Photo by Ameruverse Digital Marketing Media on Many skin conditions are associated with inflammation and how the immune system responds to it. Increases in these inflammatory mediators have been observed in Morgellons patients, suggesting that management of the immune response may hold some promise in healing the associated skin lesions. Recently, research has demonstrated that magic mushrooms suppress immune-mediated inflammatory responses. The research proposed that these effects were caused by processes that inhibited the pro-inflammatory agents like COX-2 and cytokines, which have been implicated in several skin conditions including cancer. Subsequent research confirmed that when applied with human macrophages in-vitro, psilocybin demonstrates compelling anti-inflammatory properties. Numerous scientific and clinical studies over the years have demonstrated the health benefits of various kinds of fungus. A comprehensive review of medicinal mushrooms by renowned mycologist Christopher Hobbs, PhD, has accounted for more than one hundred such studies on the topic. Mushrooms have earned a place of respect in both traditional herbalism and modern science which speaks volumes about their healing potential. Should You Take Magic Mushrooms or Other Fungus for Morgellons? Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Psilocybin, commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms”, is a psychoactive substance that has the potential to cause intense negative reactions shortly after ingestion. Because of the gap between consuming and the onset of the resulting effects, some people accidentally consume more psilocybin than necessary to micro dose. Consuming potentially harmful substances without understanding their consequences can be dangerous. The effect of taking too many magic mushrooms can feel like experiencing a rollercoaster ride going over 700 miles per hour with no way of slowing down or stopping – for hours. Being aware of the risks associated with “tripping” is essential before consuming psilocybin. Micro-dosing is a popular solution among many individuals, including the featured case-study subject, due to the potential positive effects mentioned previously. But while one person experienced positive results taking magic mushrooms, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to recommend ingesting them for medical use, specifically for treating Morgellons. Aside from magic mushrooms, various non-psychogenic species of fungus can be applied directly on the skin to potentially enhance its overall health. Research has found that using mushrooms topically provides a multitude of benefits; from hydrating the skin and promoting wound healing, to acting as a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging agent, as well as reducing redness, soothing the skin, nourishing it and giving it an overall brighter appearance. It’s essential to educate yourself about the components of any therapies, and toRead more

  • The Connection Between Lyme Disease and Morgellons: Exploring the Link and How to Treat It What is Morgellons and How Does it Relate to Lyme Disease? Morgellons is a mysterious skin condition that has been increasingly reported in recent years. While most theories about the cause of this condition remain largely unaccepted, many experts now believe it may actually be linked to Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection spread by ticks and possibly sexual transmission. Symptoms of Morgellons include itching and crawling sensations on the skin, but more specifically – fiber-like filaments emerging from lesions or sores. Exploring the Connection between Lyme Disease and Morgellons There is growing evidence that suggests a possible link between Lyme Disease and Morgellons. Recent research has confirmed that Morgellons fibers test positive for antibodies related to Lyme disease, and other spirochetal infections as well. This has led many to believe Morgellons symptoms specifically are related to Lyme disease. Classification and Staging of Morgellons Disease: Lessons from Syphilis – PMC ( Previous exhaustive research has shown that almost every other possible cause had been investigated and ruled out. The researchers undertaking the study of the relationship between Morgellons and Lyme disease faced several issues throughout their investigation, but their efforts have revealed Morgellons is not connected to the various topics causing contention among people – putting the issue to rest. Fiber analysis Histological studies have shown that filaments in MD tissue are not textile fibers, but are biofilaments produced by human epithelial cells and stemming from deeper epidermal layers, upper dermal layers, and the root sheath of hair follicles (Figure 1).7,82,83 MD cutaneous filaments are predominantly composed of keratin and collagen, as determined by histological studies, and appear to be produced by activated keratinocytes and fibroblasts.82,83 The base of filament attachment to epithelial cells demonstrates nucleation that is continuous with that of surrounding epithelial cells, indicating that the filaments are of human cellular origin (Figure 2).83 Histochemical staining of skin sections containing embedded filaments with Congo red resulted in apple-green birefringence suggestive of an amyloid component, although this remains to be confirmed using more specific methodologies.7 Calcofluor-white staining of skin sections with embedded filaments was negative, and thus MD filaments do not have any cellulose content from plant fibers, such as cotton, or chitin from fungal cells or insect exoskeletons.7 Several independent studies have shown that blue MD fibers were human hairs or hairlike extrusions and that blue coloration resulted from melanin pigmentation (Figure 3). Blue textile fibers are colored by dyes, not by blue melanin pigmentation; therefore, it is not possible that blue MD fibers are textile in origin. MD filaments are hairlike extrusions, and some MD fibers are very fine human hairs.7,82,83 The coloration of blue fibers was shown to result from melanin pigmentation, which was demonstrated by positive histochemical staining with Fontana Masson. A confirmatory study performed at a laboratory specializing in biofibers and coloration established that embedded blue fibers in MD dermatological specimens were human hairs. SEM of blue MD fibers shows cuticular scaling consistent with human hairs, and transmission electron microscopy shows darkly stained, disorganized melanosomes consistent with human hairs.7,83 Microspectrophotometry reflectance of blue fibers is consistent with that of pigmented tissues, and Raman spectroscopy results in relevant peaks corresponding to carbamate compounds and melanin aromatic rings (MD Shawkey, University of Akron, personal communication, 2013).7 An investigation concluded that fibers were not self-implanted, due to the fact that they were deeply embedded in skin in a manner that a patient would not be able to achieve (MD Shawkey, University of Akron, personal communication, 2013). History of Morgellons disease: from delusion to definition – PMC ( Diagnosing Lyme Disease & Morgellons Lyme disease is a serious illness that requires accurate testing and diagnosis. Testing for Lyme disease is contentious, and diagnosing Morgellons can mean different things to different practitioners. An experienced Lyme disease specialist can be consulted in order to accurately identify, diagnose and treat Morgellons. This can help reduce the unnecessary complexities associated with the Morgellons experience including stigma and marginalization. It’s important to understand that while Morgellons specifically seems to be associated with Lyme disease and other spirochetal infections, patients may often present with a variety of maladies including fungal infections, parasitic infestations, sexually transmissible diseases, mold exposure, and more. These are often regarded as “co-infections” and may contribute to treatment resistance targeting Lyme disease specifically. A whole life approach may be required when addressing the potential for various complications. Keeping an open mind and securing a team of professionals that are dedicated to your best interest may be the best way to address Morgellons. Treatment for Lyme Disease & Morgellons Syndrome Lyme disease is a debilitating affliction that can cause a variety of symptoms, including joint pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment, and supposedly Morgellons. Thankfully, there are therapies available to help treat the illnesses of Lyme disease effectively. TreatmRead more

  • The LivLyme Summit: What You Need to Know About the Annual Conference This year, the LivLyme annual medical and scientific Lyme Disease Summit once again brought together a range of talented and seasoned professionals to discuss the latest developments in the fight against Lyme disease. The summit featured experts from various disciplines, including medical doctors, epidemiologists, public health officials, and researchers who have dedicated themselves to finding solutions for chronic Lyme disease. With a wealth of knowledge and experience on hand, attendees were able to learn more about this growing health concern while also gaining valuable insight into what can be done to address it. Overview of What Happened at this years’ LivLyme Summit Lyme disease is a serious health issue that affects millions of people around the world. This year’s LivLyme summit brought together a wide range of experts and professionals to discuss the latest treatments, diagnostics, and research related to Lyme disease. The conference was attended by doctors, specialists, researchers, and other medical professionals who shared their knowledge and expertise on the subject. It was an invaluable opportunity to learn more about this debilitating illness from those who understand it best. During the summit, journalist Kris Newby gave a presentation on the weaponization of ticks and the audience was shown a trailer of the movie Bitten based on her hit book. Kris Newby is an expert in this field and her research has been instrumental in understanding how ticks can be used as bioweapons. Her presentation was absolutely captivating and so educational, giving us a deeper understanding of this intriguing subject! Who Else Presented at the 2023 LivLyme Summit? This year’s summit on Lyme disease was a star-studded event that brought together some of the world’s leading Lyme specialists and doctors. Attendees were treated to presentations from a range of experts, all of whom shared their knowledge and wisdom on the subject. Here, the summit’s presenters shared their best advice on how to heal Lyme disease, and how to handle the ongoing struggle of treatment resistance. Olivia Goodreau Dr. Peter Searson Dr. Alan MacDonald Dr. Edward Breitschwerdt Dr. Scott Commins Dr. John Aucott Sue Faber Dr. Monica Embers Dr. Alfred Miller Dr. Timothy Haystead Dr. Brian Fallon Dr. Susanna Visser Dr. Richard Horowitz Dr. Robert Bransfield Dr. Aydogan Ozcan Kris Newby Dr. Eva Sapi Dr. Kristen Honey & Kathleen Carroll Dr. Niel Nathan Dr. Adrian Baranchuk Who Should Attend the LivLyme Summit? The LivLyme Summit is a unique event that brings together health care professionals, patients with Lyme Disease, and their families. Through engaging workshops, presentations, and panel discussions, attendees will gain valuable insight into the latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease. Attendees can expect to gain invaluable knowledge from leading experts in the field as well as networking opportunities wRead more

  • Jeremy Murphree wrote a new post 10 months ago

    New Morgellons Case-Report Leaves More Questions Than Answers New Morgellons case-report. In this report a 45-year-old man presented to the emergency room after overdosing on Benadryl. The man was complaining about burning, and little barbs that appeared in his skin as worms or cocoons which he could express (expel). The physician thought the man may have Morgellons and referred him to psychiatry. Psychiatry reported the man was not suicidal and the following week the man met with Dermatology who performed a skin biopsy and PCR analysis for Lyme disease. With no significant findings the man was placed on 1mg Risperidone from which he began feeling better. The man requested a family meeting to discuss diagnosis and treatment at home, then was discharged from the hospital. Follow up for one year was not noted, potentially because the man sought help from Psychiatry outside of the hospital system to which he was admitted after overdosing. Several concerns I had about this paper are: Fiber analysis was not performedSyphilis was not considered in the differential, and neither was TBRFThe patient seems to have been introduced to the term Morgellons through the attending physician and not social mediaHow the attending physician thought of Morgellons is not explainedThe CDC study is referenced despite its’ demonstrated flaws like of the 115 patients cited only 12 had fiber specimens collectedHistological examinations of those 12 patients were insignificant though 43% of samples were considered to include “superficial skin” and not solely cotton cellulose though the study authors concede they likely introduced contaminants during the specimen collection process while this paper states that all specimens were cottonAll 12 patients in the CDC study had a positive or equivocal Lyme ELISA while none had a positive WB though none were tested for TBRF or syphilis. It seems clear the physicians the man saw as detailed in this case-study are not familiar with a majority of the research available about Morgellons disease, and the authors of this report chose to include only one research paper about the infectious nature of Morgellons before forming their conclusions. Because this man did not follow up with a hospital psychiatrist, it is impossible to tell if his condition was remediated or if he continued suffering further debilitation after a series of unreliable interpretations based on limited knowledge. Morgellons patients are often tested for Lyme Disease, however infectious cases of syphilis and TBRF are significantly far less ruled out whenever this strange skin condition presents. The first step needs to determine whether delusion exists or not. A delusion is defined as a firmly, but false belief held with strong conviction and contrary to the superior evidence. It is distinct from beliefs based on an unusual perception, such as formication. The beliefs that patients hold could be delusion, true observations, or overvalued ideas. This must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The presentation of a specimen is not a delusional behavior. Patients with DI/MD with animate or inanimate objects can exist, but the belief of cutaneous fibers may or may not be delusional. A physician is required to perform fiber analysis to identify the nature of fibers. If fibers are present and biofilaments of human origin, then they are a true observation. It is also possible that patients might observe fibers and mistake them for worms in which case the idea of infestation could be an overvalued idea. Real infestation with arthropods such as mites can also occur. Additionally, some patients could have lesions with adhering textile fibers that are accidental contaminants and could mistakenly believe that they have MD, in which case they do not have a delusional belief, but a mistaken belief. In summary, if a physician cannot differentiate between true observations, delusions, and overvalued ideas, they should not immediately make a diagnosis of delusional mental illness.The next procedure would be screening the causes of the symptoms. If a delusional belief is present, then various medical conditions need to be ruled out, including psychiatric disorders (eg, schizophrenia and depression), neurological illnesses (eg, dementia), metabolic illnesses (eg, diabetes), vitamin deficiencies, substance intoxication, tumor, dermatological illnesses (eg, pruritus senilis), and infection. History taking, physical examination, laboratory tests, and even skin biopsy should be carried out. The diagnosis of DI could be classified as primary and secondary. If there are cutaneous fibers present and the belief is not delusional, the underlying cause of the symptoms, such as potential infection, should be examined. A diagnosis of MD is more convincing when spirochetal infection is identified. If a patient has delusional beliefs and has cutaneous fibers, then testing of an underlying infection that can result in neuropathy is needed.Reframing delusional infestation: perspectives on unresolved puzzles | PRBM ( Cureus | Morgellons Disease Treated as a Psychosomatic ConditionA Critique of the CDC Morgellons Study: Marianne Middleveen, MDES – YouTubeWhat is Morgellons Disease? Morgellons Disease FAQ ( of Morgellons disease: from delusion to definition – PMC ( and Staging of Morgellons Disease: Lessons from Syphilis – PMC ( of tick-borne infection in Morgellons disease patients by serological and molecular techniques – PMC ( disease: a filamentous borrelialRead more

  • Jeremy Murphree wrote a new post 1 year ago

    Quality of Life and Morgellons, Treatment Considerations with Dr. Steven Feldman At 12PM EST on 2/22/2022 Dr. Steven Feldman returned to Morgellons Discussion and Microscopy Videos to answer several questions and review the literature with us. “Chronic skin diseases have a huge impact on patients’ lives. We can help make great improvements in our patients’ lives, if they will use the medicine we prescribe. That’s a big if. Dr. Steven Feldman has opened our understanding of adherence issues in the treatment of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and acne. He is author of over 700 MEDLINE-referenced publications and serves as editor of the Journal of Dermatological Treatment. Dr. Feldman is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. He is professor of dermatology, pathology and public health sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina. He earned his M.D. and PhD degrees from Duke University in Durham, NC, and then completed a dermatology residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his dermatopathology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston.” What is #Psoriasis and does it involve skin lesions and foot blisters?What is the treatment for Psoriasis, is there a vaccine or a cure?A recent research paper suggests environmental contamination may result in worsening Psoriasis symptoms, is this true and should patients be concerned? you ever seen a #Morgellons patient who you knew has psoriasis, or another skin condition instead?In a recently published research paper that you co-authored, it recommends #antipsychotics as the first line treatment for MD. What is the primary concern of a physician for diagnosing antipsychotics for Morgellons patients? people bring their Dermatologist a box of skin artifacts and have it mean something which can be addressed other than DOP? (Duke University in collaboration with Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College Tropical Parasitology: Protozoans, Worms, Vectors and Human Diseases there any conditions where it would be reasonable for a patient to pick at their skin, like warts, blisters, or pimples?Are there instances where people who think they have Morgellons wouldn’t need antipsychotics? Full article: Advances in and hope for the treatment of parasitosis (, Morgellons disease etiology and therapeutic approach: a systematic review ( online information play a role in the patients you see who might need antipsychotics?Can CBD be a substitute for antipsychotic medications, and are there any skin conditions do you feel could be treated or managed with cannabis as a first-line treatment? ( your state passed a medical marijuana law, would you be open to writing recommendations for your patients?A recent article on Dermatology Advisor suggests there may be a “real Morgellons” condition that involves human biofilaments. Is this paper substantial to validate a real Morgellons condition in your opinion? (Lyme Disease May Be Associated With Genital Lesions and Morgellons Disease – Dermatology Advisor) is the most common reason for skin disorders?Are there any known skin conditions that result in fuzzy sores?You mentioned in Skin Deep that one of the symptoms being shared looks like warts, what was going through your mind when you saw them? the physician observes filaments, as in this recent case-study, what in your opinion are they looking at? you feel testing patients for Lyme, Relapsing Fever, and Syphilis may help improve the patient relationship or exacerbate if all the tests are negative?Do you ever have to have a patient on long-term antibiotics, are intramuscular or intravenous antibiotics ever required in Dermatology?What do you think about the new artificial intelligence program which can diagnose skin conditions from images, are you concerned about job security? are peptides, and are there any FDA approved peptide therapies? do you feel about the potential role of Gamification towards patient compliance? steroids or hormones ever help Dermatology patients?Do you ever have to refer a patient out for more serious treatment, like surgery? What skin conditions would result in that scenario?What causes the skin to age, and can it be regenRead more

  • Letter to Psychiatrists and Dermatologists regarding Morgellons Disease For Morgellons Disease Awareness Month 2022, we have prepared this letter which can be mailed to your local Dermatologists and Psychiatrists regarding patients concerned about “Morgellons”. Dear Dr. _______,My name is _________________, and I am a “Real Morgellons” patient/advocate. At this point you may be wondering why I feel there is any difference between “Morgellons” and “Real Morgellons”? Fortunately for both of us there is peer-reviewed research we can turn to for answers instead of relying on my subjective interpretation. Please excuse me if you are already aware of this research. “There is significant overlap in the array of symptoms that may accompany LD (Lyme disease), MD (Morgellons disease), and mental illness, thus complicating the diagnosis. In theory, patients who do not have MD but who are delusional could think they have MD if they have had exposure to the topic through the Internet or other means.7,87 To complicate the diagnosis further, MD patients may exhibit neuropsychiatric symptoms, and many have psychiatric diagnoses, such as bipolar disorder, attention-deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.1,7,81 Therefore, many MD patients may have psychiatric comorbidities, and in some cases, patients have been misdiagnosed with a psychiatric illness that they do not have.7 Some MD patients may have false beliefs that are not delusional in origin. Lack of scientific knowledge can cause patients to misinterpret symptoms, such as the presence of filaments and sensations of formication as worms, arthropods, or other infestations. In addition, MD lesions are sticky and arthropods or artifacts can adhere to exudate, and patients may incorrectly believe these external factors are associated with the dermopathy.7,87″History of Morgellons disease: from delusion to definition – PMC ( “The first step needs to determine whether delusion exists or not. A delusion is defined as a firmly, but false belief held with strong conviction and contrary to the superior evidence. It is distinct from beliefs based on an unusual perception, such as formication. The beliefs that patients hold could be delusion, true observations, or overvalued ideas. This must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The presentation of a specimen is not a delusional behavior. Patients with DI/MD with animate or inanimate objects can exist, but the belief of cutaneous fibers may or may not be delusional. A physician is required to perform fiber analysis to identify the nature of fibers. If fibers are present and biofilaments of human origin, then they are a true observation. It is also possible that patients might observe fibers and mistake them for worms in which case the idea of infestation could be an overvalued idea. Real infestation with arthropods such as mites can also occur. Additionally, some patients could have lesions with adhering textile fibers that are accidental contaminants and could mistakenly believe that they have MD, in which case they do not have a delusional belief, but a mistaken belief. In summary, if a physician cannot differentiate between true observations, delusions, and overvalued ideas, they should not immediately make a diagnosis of delusional mental illness.” Reframing delusional infestation: perspectives on unresolved puzzles – PMC ( Clearly, the two previous passages infer that some patients can in fact become confused and mistakenly believe they have Morgellons disease. I’m sure you’ve probably seen many people who, because of exposure to the topic through the internet or other means, have become convinced that they have MD. Since you are not an Infectious Disease doctor or a Lyme disease specialist who would prescribe antibiotic therapies, that any individuals with “Morgellons” that you may have “cured” with psychotropic medication may have only mistakenly believed they had Morgellons. Of course, Lyme disease doesn’t simply resolve on its own and requires appropriate antibiotic therapies. You may be thinking to yourself that Lyme disease is rare in my region. Consider this paper from 2000 regarding the prevalence of Lyme disease in South Carolina. “Based on serologic evidence that 38% of the P. gossypinusmice from South Carolina that were tested had antibodies to B. burgdorferi (21), the cultivation of 146 isolates ofB. burgdorferi sensu lato from birds, rodents, and ticks from seven geographic sites within five counties in South Carolina (including Charleston County) (12, 25); J. H. Oliver, Jr., unpublished data), the widespread distribution of I. scapularis in South Carolina (10, 11, 18, 26) and its proclivity to feed on various vertebrates (18, 20) (including humans [13]), the reports of physician-diagnosed LD in the state (34, 35), and the characterization of 28 isolates as B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in this study, we conclude that B. burgdorferi is cycling enzootically in the state and speculate that humans are probably being infected with the spirochete.” Isolation, Cultivation, and Characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi from Rodents and Ticks in the Charleston Area of South Carolina | Journal of Clinical Microbiology ( Consider also that there is potentially another infectious disease which can result in the Morgellons condition. “Although we have not detected T. pallidum in any MD subjects to date, given that there is a historical association with T. pallidum infection in comparable cases, it is reasonable to hypothesize that T. pallidum could be an etiologic factor in a subset of MD patients.” Classification and Staging of Morgellons Disease: Lessons from Syphilis – PMC ( I’m certain you’re aware of the mental compromise patients could experience if exposed to this notoriously destructive disease. “His mental status examination revealed increased psychomotor activity, irritable affect, delusion of infidelity and persecution, impaired judgment, and poor insight.” Syphilis presenting as late-onset psychosis : Indian Journal of Psychiatry ( I would hope you are aware of the current resurgence of this old foe as well. Why Syphilis Rates Are Rising – The Atlantic Thank you for making time to review my email, and please consider this information about “Real Morgellons” and the potential that patients you see concerned about “Morgellons” may either  A) Really Have Morgellons  or  B) Mistakenly Believe They Have Morgellons In either case, I challenge you to consider that in the face of this scientific evidence that every patient deserves to have Morgellons disease thoroughly ruled out before attempting any treatment which may either prolong the infectious process or result in a negative consequence and erosion of patient trust. “It has been well documented in numerous published medical studies of Borrelia’s ability to cause many recognized personality disorders and forms of depression; such as anxiety, depression, confusion, aggressive behaviour, mild to moderate cognitive deficits, fatigue, memory loss, and irritability. As such, the American Psychiatric Associations recommends that specialist doctors and councillors alike should seek to rule out Borreliosis as a possible differential diagnosis before commencing with any form of psychological intervention.” Borreliosis (Lyme Disease) and its known involvement in Mental Health – Morgellons Survey I hope you will consider this evidence when a patient visits your practice concerned about “Morgellons”, and I look forwRead more

  • Babies Are Dying of Syphilis. It’s 100% Preventable. This story was originally published by ProPublicaProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winningRead more

  • New Antibiotic Could Rid Earth Of Lyme Disease and Chronic Syphilis For Good A potential new antibiotic is making headlines this week as it harbors the promise to eradicate spirochetal disease, not only in people, but in animals as well. The upside? It doesn’t negatively affect native microbiomes. History of Hygromycin Hygromycin A was previously studied as an agent against swine dysentery in the 1980s. Hygromycin, epihygromycin and a mixture thereof have potent inhibitory activity against Treponema hyodysenteriae and are useful for treatment of swine dysentery.Use of hygromycin and epihygromycin in the treatment of swine dysentery – Patent EP-0213692-B1 – PubChem ( Better Vaccines Because Hygromycin is so ineffective at killing other species of bacteria, it was employed in vaccine research for both existing and emerging diseases. The Hygromycin resistance marker has evolved into a common tool of the researchers available resources. The hygromycin resistance vector was used to overexpress superoxide dismutase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in M. vaccae in a form suitable for detailed structural analysis. The potential use of this approach for generation of novel recombinant mycobacterial vaccines is discussed.Transformation of mycobacterial species using hygromycin resistance as selectable marker | Microbiology Society ( Best For Syphilis? The latest research demonstrates that Hygromycin A may have best success against syphilis, an exciting prospect considering the resurgence in contemporary times. “In our study, we find that hygromycin A has the highest activity against Treponema pallidum, the causative agent of syphilis, with a MIC of 0.03 μg/mL.” Human Trials FlightPath, an American company, has filed for permission to begin human trials of Hygromycin-A in people. If information about public participation of a drug trial for this exciting new antibiotic surfaces, we’ll notify you through our social media outlets. ForRead more

  • Five Year Morgellons Survey Preliminary Results Include Almost Six Hundred Entries Morgellons Survey is proud to present preliminary results of its almost five year long scientific survey. The survey will close on December 23, 2021 after five years from initially posting and preceding peer-review. We have removed the 250 entry monthly limit for the next four weeks! If you would like to participate please do so before December 21st and preferably within the next month. Most preliminary results below are adjusted to remove all multiple entries. If the same email address submitted multiple times only the latest entry is counted. Any requests to remove specific entries have been completed. Unadjusted adds +40 entries with the majority (+36) being double entries (twice). Morgellons Survey Preliminary Results Again, the last day to submit your entry for this Morgellons Survey will be December 23 2021. Afterwards this data will be submitted for scientific peer-review and ultimately published in a prestigious scientific journal. Please consider donating to help us continue towards this effort of scientific legitimization. Your continued support and contributions help keep us online and motivated towards achieving real world results for a serious and often debilitating, contestedRead more

  • If it looks like syphilis… If it looks like syphilis, and acts like syphilis, it must be Lyme disease. In this episode, we look at the new research which demonstrates Lyme disease in a Morgellons patient, and question if molecular testing for syphilis wouldn’t also be appropriate.  Morgellons Petition to the CDC Ofshane – Road Tripzzz Study Cements Link Between Protean Morgellons Lesions and Lyme Disease. New Morgellons Research History of Morgellons disease: from delusion to definition Clinical evaluation of Morgellons disease in a cohort of North American patients Dermatological and Genital Manifestations of Lyme Disease Including Morgellons Disease An Update on the Global Epidemiology of Syphilis How Syphilis Came Roaring Back New CDC statistics: nearly half a million people diagnosed with Lyme disease annually False positive lyme serology due to syphilis: Report of 6 cases and review of the literature Cross-reactivity between Lyme and syphilis screening assays: Lyme disease does not cause false-positive syphilis screens Treponema denticola infection is not a cause of false positive Treponema pallidum serology Rapid Plasma Reagin Breanna Lum; Shane R. Sergent. Removal of bovine digital dermatitis-associated treponemes from hoof knives after foot-trimming: a disinfection field study Fluorescence in situ hybridization for the identification of TreponemaRead more

  • Jeremy Murphree wrote a new post 2 years ago

    Morgellons Science, Response to the Opposition Morgellons disease is a polarized topic in the medical community with two opposing points of view that are incompatible. The prevailing point of view is that MD is a psychiatric disorder with a delusional etiology. The minority emerging point of view is based on recent clinical, molecular and histopathological evidence that challenges the prevailing view and suggests an infectious etiology for Morgellons disease. When challenging a prevailing well-established point of view, new evidence will always be met with opposition, skepticism and sometimes outright hostility. Evidence supporting the hypothesis that Morgellons disease is an infectious process is published in many reputable, PubMed-indexed medical journals, including but not limited to: the International Journal of General Medicine, Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, BMC Dermatology, F1000 Research, Healthcare (Basel), Dermatology Reports, and Psychosomatics. Stricker, Middelveen and Fessler are not alone in supporting this point of view. They do not work in isolation, but collaborate with other laboratories. The evidence supporting an infectious process includes experiments performed in at least 12 different institutions that include universities, commercial laboratories or clinical practices, located in 4 different countries and include a diverse group of independent individuals. Resultant peer-reviewed papers, many of which are primary research, have repeatedly demonstrated an association between MD and spirochetal infection (predominantly Borrelia species) that is statistically significant. Evidence includes serological, histopathological and molecular evidence showing Borrelia exposure and/or infection in MD patients. Furthermore, Borrelia species have been cultured and genetically characterized from skin and other clinical specimens taken from Morgellons disease subjects, and culture is the ultimate proof of active infection. To date, Borrelia DNA has been detected in skin specimens taken from Morgellons subjects by at least seven independent laboratories and that fact is available by reading published papers available through a PubMed search. Collaborative studies that included Stricker, Middelveen and/or Fessler as author, in which Borrelia DNA was detected in specimens taken from Morgellons patients, were performed by four independent laboratories (University of New Haven, West Haven, CT; Australian Biologics, Sydney, NSW, Australia, IGeneX Reference Laboratories, Milpitas, CA, and UC -Irvine, Irvine, CA). As indicated in presentations made at Charles E Holman Foundation conferences, two additional laboratories, Mt Allison University in Sackville, NB, Canada, and Oklahoma State University, have also detected Borrelia DNA in MD skin cultures/and or skin specimens. Showing causation is not straightforward. There is no perfect method for demonstrating disease causation. Various proposed methods for demonstrating causation are not checklists that must be met. However, the more criteria are met, the more likely a causal relationship is to exist. Correlation is the first step in showing causation. Currently there is more than a mere correlation shown between MD and Borrelia. Many of the criteria in Koch’s postulates, the Bradford Hill criteria for causation, and the criteria listed by Fredricks and Relman have been met. [1-3] The evidence that Borrelia infection is associated with MD has never been disproven by the opposition in peer-reviewed literature. If those holding the majority point of view feel that there is sufficient evidence to show an infectious etiology for Morgellons disease is wrong then they should challenge the evidence with published, peer-reviewed rebuttal. In contrast, a 2018 review paper by Middelveen et al. published in a reputable PubMed-indexed medical journal [4] provides a detailed evaluation of the evidence supporting both points of view, and addresses significant flaws in the papers that support the point of view that MD is a purely delusional disorder. In contrast, the majority who hold the prevailing point of view have failed to identify specific flaws in the data or methods used by Stricker, Middelveen, Fessler, and their other collaborators, but instead have relied on personal attacks and their own preconceived point of view. At the very least, the emerging body of evidence that concludes an infectious process causes Morgellons disease clearly demonstrates that society is dealing with an unexplored and poorly defined chronic bacterial infection that has affected individuals around the world and needs to be recognized so that steps can be taken to improve quality of life and to lessen if not alleviate the burden of this challenging illness. Attempts to shut down open debate and discussion in medicine stifle medical science. If not for open debate we would still believe in the miasma theory of disease, steadfastly believing that infectious diseases, such as cholera, syphilis, chlamydia, or even the Black Death are noxious forms of “bad air”. Medicine needs to evolve and challenging prevailing thought through open debate is an essential part of that process. References Fedak KM, Bernal A, Capshaw ZA, Gross S. Applying the Bradford Hill criteria in the 21st century: how data integration has changed causal inference in molecular epidemiology. Emerg Themes Epidemiol. 2015;12:14. Published 2015 Sep 30. doi:10.1186/s12982-015-0037-4Fredericks DN, Relman DA. Sequence-based identification of microbial pathogens: a reconsideration of Koch’s postulates. Clinical Microbiology Reviews Jan 1996, 9 (1) 18-33; DOI: 10.1128/CMR.9.1.18 Middelveen MJ, Martinez RM, Fesler MC, Sapi E, Burke J, Shah JS, Nicolaus C, Stricker RB. Classification and Staging of Morgellons Disease: Lessons from Syphilis. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020 Feb 7;13:145-164. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S239840. PMID: 32104041; PMCID: PMC7012249.Middelveen MJ, Fesler MC, Stricker RB. History of Morgellons disease: from delusion to definition. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018 Feb 9;11:71-90. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S152343. PMID: 29467580; PMCID: PMC5811176Middelveen MJ, Stricker RB. Morgellons disease: a filamentous borrelial dermatitisRead more

  • Historical Syphilis is Lyme Disease (and TBRF) History of Syphilis An Update on the Global Epidemiology of Syphilis Stages of Syphilis Lyme Disease Mimicking Secondary Syphilis Tick-borne relapsing fever: a fever syndrome mimic Ötzi’s Lyme Disease in Context Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and BiRead more

  • New Study! Classification and Staging of Morgellons Disease The new paper, Classification and Staging of Morgellons Disease: Lessons from Syphilis, introduces a structure for physicians to distinguish the condition in their patient population. …read more on Steemit!— Send in a voice mRead more

  • Special Interview with Lyme Expert, Dr. Robert C. Bransfield On Friday evening, July 31st, we were fortunate to interview prominent psychiatrist Dr. Robert C. Bransfield. Here is the recording of that session. What is the deal with COVID19, should people be wearing masks and how is the situation where you live?Does COVID19 cause psychological manifestations?What is Morgellons Disease?What is the most concerning aspect of Morgellons, in your experience?Why is it hard for many people to accept that infections can result in concerning behavior?How can someone tell if they are suffering psychological issues because of infection or other reasons like emotional trauma?Can specific conditions like bi-polar disorder be caused by infections and what other reasons would someone suffer from BPD?When you suspect Lyme, do you treat the patient or would you refer them out to an infectious disease specialist?How soon do patients see remediation of their condition if the cause is infection and how is their infection typically treated?Can psychotropic drugs be harmful to Lyme patients?Are benzos safe?Can cannabis be used to treat psychological disturbances?What is the association of Lyme disease with violence?Is ADD and ADHD associated with Lyme disease?Is syphilis still a prevalent infection or has Lyme overtaken it in incidence?Is it harder for Lyme patients to cope with emotional distress?How can someone tell if they are neurotic or if that is simply their personality?Can Lyme disease alter a persons personality, dramatically?How important is a support network for recovery, can someone make it without any help?What can Lyme patients do themselves to aid the healing process?Are there markers which indicate nominal behavioral health?How common are hallucinations with Lyme disease and what causes them?Are there sexual behavior implications of Lyme disease?Does Lyme disease promote narcissism, like syphilis is reported to do?DoesRead more

  • Microbiologist Marianne Middelveen LIVE Marianne Middelveen is a microbiologist and a medical mycologist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada currently working in the field of Veterinary Microbiology and specializing in bovine mastitis. She received post-graduate degrees in Microbial and Biochemical Science and in Environmental Science from Georgia State University and University of Calgary, respectively. She has been involved in research projects at the Centro Amazonico para Investigacion y Control de Enfermedades Tropicales, Puerto Ayacucho, Territorio Federal Amazonas (Edo. Amazonas), Venezuela; Instituto de Medicina Tropical, Universidad Central de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela; Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia; Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Gerogia; University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Calgary, Alberta. She became interested in Lyme disease after discovering she had the disease in 2011. As a volunteer, she has been involved in research related to Lyme disease on behalf of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation. 0:00 Live interview with Marianne Middelveen 2:46 What are #Morgellons fibers and how are they made? 3:23 What pathogens are typically involved in Morgellons disease? 4:29 What is a follicular cast and how is that different from a Morgellons fiber? 6:06 Do different pathogens cause follicular casts and Morgellons? 6:55 Is it true that one symptom of Morgellons patients is that their hairs will grow in reverse and how far down do they grow? 12:10 Some Morgellons fibers react to Borrelia staining.15:43 Is it true that some Morgellons patients do not have any sores at all? 18:37 Other species of Borrelia21:12 Is T. Denticola any different from T. Pallidum? 21:49 Do treponemes cross-react with Borrelia? 24:27 Besides PCR and immunostaining do you employ other methods to elicit Borrelia? 27:07 Is Morgellons caused by a fungal infection? 27:47 Is #Lyme disease demonstrated to cause ulcerations like syphilis? 28:38 What has your research shown you about Morgellons in dogs, is it different from what is in people? 32:30 Objectively looking at the research.36:57 A person can have Lyme and syphilis at the same time.40:26 What are the “white worm” “plugs”? 43:30 What is the difference between BDD and Morgellons? 48:04 There were early reports of Morgellons fibers being discovered inside organs, theoretically in light of what we know about Morgellons could such a phenomenon occur? 50:39 Is Morgellons a condition or a disease? 54:32 How does classification and staging work? 56:25 Do physicians have to meet requirements to start using the Morgellons staging and classification system? 57:53 What are biofilms and how are they involved with Morgellons? 1:00:19 The CDC recently updated their website to warn about congenital Lyme transmission, but not regarding sexual transmission. Can Lyme infect patients in the same manner as syphilis? 1:03:14 Does PCR analysis simply amplify which agents you want to be associated with what you are researching, does it give you the easy answer you want? 1:05:11 If you could direct a Morgellons study with unlimited funding, what would you intend to discover? 1:08:37Read more

  • Interview with Skin Deep Star, Dr. Steve Feldman MD, PHD Skin Deep: For acne: topical benzoyl peroxide. Also topical adapalene (brand name is Differin). Psoriasis: American Academy of Dermatology: New Zealand dermatology info: Dr. Score “Thank you for tuning in to #Morgellons Disease Discussion, and Microscopy videos. I’m your host Jeremy Murphree and today we will discuss a variety of skin conditions with a dermatologist who was rated by as the #1 expert in the world on both #psoriasis and #dermatology. He is the founder of the doctor rating website Much of his research is on how well patients use their medication. He was also one of the stars in Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons – Dr. Steve Feldman! Hey Dr. Feldman, how are you doing today?” Why did you start a doctor rating website and what was your experience with it? Can my diet affect how my skin looks and are there better foods to eat and others to avoid? What are the risks of sun exposure, especially on prescription medications? What is psoriasis and what causes it? What got you into research on how well patients take medication? If I have a pimple should I pop it, or see you about it? Are there any treatments that are effective for varicose veins? What is Keratosis Pilaris and how is that condition treated? What is the strangest skin condition you’ve seen? What is the most common fungal infection you treat? The health agencies are sounding the alarm about an uptick in syphilis cases, do you see that translate into more cases walking in to your office? What is a skin condition that is common to the South East, that Southerners should look out for? Is Cannabidiol oil beneficial for skin care? What are the concerns of being on amphetamine prescriptions, when should someone taking them consider coming off? Have you had bad experiences with patients, have you ever felt endangered? Is ringworm an actual worm and if not anti-parasitic medication, how is it treated? Can emotional stress affect how my skin looks? What’s the best therapy for cracked heel? Are there any recommended methods of prevention? Is there any sure way to distinguish between lacerations and ulcerations? Was speaking at the Morgellons conference that was documented in Skin Deep challenging forRead more

  • Morgellons Expert Interview, Dr. Ginger Savely Dr. Savely joins us for a special interview about what we now know regarding Morgellons Disease. Have your doctor email Dr. #GingerSavely: Please donate to help fund future #Morgellons research: 1) Could you give us a summary of who you are, how you became involved with Morgellons and how you assist the Charles E. Holman MD Foundation? 2) The CDC recently reported 115,000 new cases of syphilis in the U.S., is Morgellons really syphilis as some may assume? 3) Many patients are very afraid of utilizing antibiotics in their treatment because of the resulting side-effects. Are these potentially damaging side-effects limited to fluoroquinolones, and are there ways to mitigate these reactions? 4) In what ways can Medical Marijuana help Morgellons patients? 5) You state on your website that your patients must cease cigarette smoking before engaging in treatment, can you explain why patients will not improve unless they quit? What about vaping or dipping tobacco? 6) Many people present with what they often describe as “white worms”, “seeds”, “shrimp”, “cocoons” which have been described by researchers as “collagen projections” and “follicular casts”. How do we know these aren’t worms? 7) If digging these artifacts out isn’t responsible what is the appropriate manner of treating them? 8) Is it the case that Morgellons patients develop sores independent of excision, is it true that their skin spontaneously ulcerates? 9) Why do some Morgellons patients shave their heads? 10) Is Morgellons the same thing as Hair Tourniquet syndrome or are the two related? (not asked) 11) How much does stress and trauma really affect Morgellons patients? Can it impair the immune system and make symptoms worse? 12) Patients often become desperate and hopeless after repeated attempts to seek help end in failure and rejection. What can a Morgellons patient do when they feel nobody listens and nobody cares and it’s never going to get any better? Is there a way out of the darkness into a brighter tomorrow? 13) Is misinformation and sensationalism really harmlesRead more

  • Positive Lyme Test Could Mean Syphilis Several peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrate that a positive Lyme test could mean Syphilis instead of, or in addition to, Lyme. False positive Lyme serology due to syphilis: report of 6 cases and review of the literature. A 44-year-old man presented with visual field defects. Ophthalmoscopy revealed papilloedema of the left eye. Neuroborreliosis was suspected and serum was positively being tested using VIDAS* Lyme screen II (bioMerieux Vitek Inc). However, confirmatory testing using the Borrelia VlsE C6 titre was negative. Western Blotting on serum and cerebrospinal fluid could not confirm the possible diagnosis of neuroborreliosis. VDRL and TPPA testing was positive, and finally, the diagnosis of neurosyphilis was established. We subsequently screened our database on patients with positive VIDAS Lyme screening and negative confirmatory testing by Western blot, and found another 5 cases in which Lyme screening was false positive due to cross-reactivity with Treponema pallidum antibodies. Our data show that in patients with positive Lyme screening and negative confirmatory testing, performance of lues serology should be considered. The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Lyme/syphilis survey. Serologic screening of patients for Lyme borreliosis began at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI) in September 1987. This report reviews the data on 641 sera from that date up to January 1, 1990. Initially only immunofluorescent (IFA) IgG and IgM titers were obtained. Because of increasing numbers of borderline and positive IFA tests, a Lyme enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was added in April 1988. Also, because of significant serologic cross reactivity in patients exposed to Treponema pallidum, rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) tests were added to the serologic screening panel. Of all sera tested, 10% showed reactive RPR tests and 22% showed reactive FTA-ABS tests. Lyme IFA IgG titers were greater than or equal to 1:64 in 17% of the sera, and Lyme ELISA tests were greater than 1.25 in 15% of the sera. Our experience agrees with reports that serum RPR or VDRL tests are nonreactive in Lyme borreliosis, and that false positive FTA-ABS tests can occur in Lyme borreliosis. The importance of getting all four tests–RPR, FTA-ABS, Lyme IFA IgG and IgM, and Lyme ELISA–in all patients suspected of spirochetal disease is emphasized. Some research even demonstrates how those with a positive syphilis test actually have Lyme disease instead. [Suspected syphilis during pregnancy due to cross reactions in Borrelia infection]. A weakly positive titre (1:20) in the Treponema pallidum haemagglutination test and a highly positive titre (1:1280) in the fluorescence Treponema antibody absorption test, but negative result for IgM antibodies, were found in the serum of a 23-year-old pregnant woman. The cardiolipin microflocculation test was at first borderline positive, but negative on repeat. In the absence of a history of syphilis tests for Borrelia antibodies were performed. Those for antibodies against B. burgdorferi were highly positive in the ELISA test (550 units), in the indirect Borrelia immunofluorescence test 1:1280 for IgG antibodies and 1:160 for IgM antibodies. In the Borrelia-specific indirect haemagglutination test, which measures both IgG and IgM antibodies, the titres were 1:640 to 1:1280. These results confirmed the presence of an infection with B. burgdorferi and not with Treponema pallidum. It seems as if the tests for each of these infections are all over the map. Cross-reactivity between Lyme and syphilis screening assays: Lyme disease does not cause false-positive syphilis screens. Increased rates of Lyme disease and syphilis in the same geographic area prompted an assessment of screening test cross-reactivity. This study supports the previously described cross-reactivity of Lyme screening among syphilis-positive sera and reports evidence against the possibility of false-positive syphilis screening tests resulting from previous Borrelia burgdorferi infection.Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. VDRL test The screening test is most likely to be positive in the secondary and latent stages of syphilis. This test may give a false-negative result during early- and late-stage syphilis. Resolving the Common Clinical Dilemmas of Syphilis Serologic tests can be negative if they are performed at the stage when lesions are present, and the VDRL test can be negative in patients with late syphilis. Apparently the problem isn’t limited to just syphilis and Lyme either. Cross-reactivity in serological tests for Lyme disease and other spirochetal infections. Serum specimens from 163 persons with Lyme disease, tick-borne or louse-borne relapsing fever, yaws, syphilis, leptospirosis, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever were analyzed to assess the specificity of indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) tests, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and microscopic agglutination (MA) procedures. Strong cross-reactivity occurred when sera from individuals with Lyme disease, tick-borne relapsing fever, and louse-borne relapsing fever were tested against heterologous Borrelia antigens. Antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi bound to Treponema pallidum in immunofluorescence tests for syphilis. Sera from subjects with syphilis cross-reacted in IFA tests and the ELISA for Lyme disease. Immunoglobulin antibodies to Borrelia or Treponema spirochetes, however, did not react with serovars of Leptospira interrogans in MA or IFA tests, and the prevalence of false-positive results in the reciprocal analyses was negligible. A Positive Lyme Test Could Mean Syphilis If you think this is a lot to digest you’re not alone! So where do we go from here? It sRead more

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