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Infections

When it comes to health, chronic infections are often a missing link. Most practitioners assume infections only impact someone in an acute, not long-term chronic fashion.

At our clinic, we see patients who have gone to other Functional Medical providers and they have received fantastic care with detailed testing; however, they still are not recovering or even declining in health. More often than not, the missed causes are viruses, bacteria, spirochetes (tick borne illness) parasites and or fungal infections.  Infections can hide and simmer under the surface causing chronic health issues for many years, even decades. As you will see below, research indicates the most common trigger of an autoimmune disease are infections.

What symptoms are common with chronic infections:

  • Fatigue
  • Systemic pain, joint pain muscle spasms and muscle aches
  • Nerve disorders such as neuropathy
  • Headaches and or migraines
  • Temperature control issues
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Sweating attacks
  • Vision changes
  • Skin rashes
  • Digestive symptoms
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Depression and or anxiety
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Insomnia

How are Infections linked to Autoimmune disorders?

An autoimmune disorder is often triggered by infections, chemicals and or food sensitivities. To read more on autoimmunity click here. Infections can cause autoimmunity by either mimicry or cross reactivity where they “look” similar to human tissues and the immune system cannot identify the difference, ultimately triggering the attack on tissue.  The other theorized way autoimmune disorders can be triggered by infections is when a parasite, fungus, and or bacteria attach to tissue protein creating a new “compound”.  The immune system does not like anything that is not expected to be in your body, and when it does daily ‘checks’, it will recognize this new compound as a foreign article. Unfortunately, part of the new compound is your own tissue, and when the immune system attacks this compound, it is also attacking your tissue, often resulting in autoimmunity.

What common infections should be tested for & what conditions are they linked to?

 

  • Porphyromonas gingivalis:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to P. gingivalis indicates the patient has increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular autoimmunity. Periodontitis is a dysbiotic inflammatory disease induced by an oral pathogen and is associated with an adverse impact on systemic health.  P. gingivalis plays a role in upper gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and in colon disorders and is commonly associated with periodontitis.1,2 P. gingivalis may also contribute to extra-intestinal tissue disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”2

  • Streptococcus mutans:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to S. mutans indicates the patient may have increased risk of autoimmune cardiovascular disorders.  Inflammatory cytokines lead to
autoimmunity as seen in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and autoimmune cardiovascular disorders.”

  • Helicobacter pylori: 

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to H. pylori indicates the patient has increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, rheumatic diseases, thyroid autoimmunity and lupus. Two major groups of H. pylori have been classified.3  Systemic inflammation caused by H. pylori can
lead to extra-intestinal autoimmunity effecting heart, pancreas and thyroid tissues.” 3-5

  • Campylobacter jejuni:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to C. jejuni indicates the patient may have increased risk of bowel disorders, neurological disorders and
arthritis. Extraintestinal manifestations of C. jejuni infection are rare and may include meningitis, endocarditis, septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, neonatal sepsis1 and even Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)6,7 or Miller Fisher syndrome.3 Molecular mimicry between microbial antigens and human tissue and in this particular case, between C. jejuni and
ganglioside, serve as the causative mechanism for GBS.” 8

  • Yersinia enterocolitica:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Y. enterocolitica indicates the patient has increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders, eye inflammation, thyroid autoimmunity, reactive arthritis. Due to cross-reactivity or molecular mimicry with human tissues, Y. enterocolitica may play a role in some arthritic and thyroid disorders. Indeed IgG antibodies to Y. enterocolitica were significantly higher in patients with Graves’ disease and patient with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.”9

  • Clostridium difficile:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to C. difficile indicates the patient has increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders including irritable
bowels, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Studies have shown an increase in the prevalence and severity of C. difficile infection among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients
and patients with IBD are more likely to have serum antibodies to C. difficile toxin B.10

  • Candida albicans:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to C. albicans indicates the patient has increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders and multiple extraintestinal autoimmunities. C. albicans is present in the oral cavity of up to 75% of the population.13,14  The potential for systemic Candida to ignite autoimmunity is high due to the homology between the fungus and multiple human tissues.11 When a comparison of anti-Candida IgG antibodies in healthy controls versus patients with autoimmune reactivitty was conducted, only 10% of healthy controls showed elevation in C. albicans antibody, while C. albicans antibodies were present in 60% of tissue antibody positive individuals.12 Candida infection is also considered a trigger of Celiac disease.”

  • Rotavirus:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Rotavirus indicates the patient has increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders, type 1 diabetes, eye autoimmunity.” 15

  • Entamoeba histolytica:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to E. histolytica indicates the patient has increased risk of skeletal and neurological disorders.”

  • Giardia lamblia:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to G. lamblia indicates the patient has increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders including intestinal permeability and autoimmunity against gastrointestinal tract tissues. Clinical features may range from diarrhea to constipation, nausea, headache, and flatulence. Published case reports and epidemiologic studies have associated giardiasis with the development of allergies,16 reactive arthritis,17 chronic enteric disorders,18,19 and chronic fatigue.18 Furthermore, recurrent Giardiasis may mimic the symptoms of Celiac disease and may simulate clinical and histological picture of active Celiac disease, therefore, patients with persistent giardiasis and failure to thrive should be tested for possible Celiac disease.”20

  • Cryptosporidium parvum:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Cryptosporidium indicates the patient has increased risk of colon autoimmunity, Celiac disease and nonceliac gluten sensitivity.  Autoantigen remodeling by the parasite is an additional mechanism by which Cryptosporidium can induce autoimmunity.22 Human tropomyosin-5, which is over-expressed at the site of C. parvum infection was shown to be an autoantigen capable of inducing a significant B- and T-cell immune response in ulcerative colitis.”21

  • Blastocystis hominis:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to B. hominis indicates the patient has increased risk of irritable bowel disorders and subsequent fibromyalgia.” 23

  • Human HSP-60 + Chlamydia HSP-60:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to HSP60 + C.Hsp60 indicates the patient has increased risk of multiple autoimmunities including arthritis, lupus, gastrointestinal disorders, lung disorders, heart autoimmunity, and neuroautoimmunity.” 24-26

  • Chlamydias:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Chlamydias indicates the patient has increased risk of neuroautoimmunities, systemic inflammation, autoimmune cardiovascular disorders, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, or Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome.” 27,28

  • Streptozymes:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Streptozymes indicates the patient has increased risk of neurological disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS),
rheumatic heart disorders and reactive arthritis.” 29,30

  • Streptococcal M Protein:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Streptococcal M Protein indicates the patient has increased risk of neurological disorders including, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS), rheumatic heart disorders and reactive arthritis. Antigenic similarity between strep M proteins with heart α-myosin and the resulting antibody and T-cell-mediated immune responses is responsible for injury to the heart valves. The stimulation of inflammation cascades and molecular mimicry between streptococcal M protein and human tissue antigens are not the only mechanisms for the induction of autoimmunity.” 31-33

  • Mycoplasmas: 

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Mycoplasmas indicates the patient has increased risk of lupus, arthritis and anti-phospholipid syndrome.” 34-37

  • Acinetobacter:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Acinetobacter indicates the patient may have increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).  Evidence of sinusitis in MS patients indicate that Acinetobacter is one of the major causative agents of MS and measurement of Acinetobacter IgG antibodies could be used as a marker of disease activity.38 The measurement of IgG antibody against Acinetobacter as well as neural antigens such, as myelin basic protein and neurofilaments, was recommended, by study authors, for the identification of possible MS.39 It starts with a sinus infection, which leads to the formation of antibodies against the enzymes released by the bacteria. Then autoreactive antigens breach the blood-brain barrier, where Acinetobacter IgG can bind to myelin and other neurological tissues. At this time, antigen-antibody complexes are formed and inflammatory molecules are released, which leads to MS.”

  • Klebsiella:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Klebsiella indicates the patient has increased risk of joint, skeletal and eye autoimmunities. Klebsiella spp. are among the most common causes of a variety of community-acquired and hospital-acquired infections. K. oxytoca has been found in patients with septicemia, bacteremia, septic arthritis, soft tissue infections, cholecystitis, urinary tract infections, colic and Celiac disease.” 40

  • Mycobacterium avium: 

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to M. avium indicates the patient has increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders, thyroid autoimmunity, type 1 diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Whether inhaled or ingested, M. avium is taken up primarily into macrophages, where they can reside, undetected by the immune system, for many years in a latent stage.41 A physical stressor can release the M. avium and clinical manifestations can emerge.41 M. avium can grow on tap water pipes, and plastic water bottles.32 M. avium has been found in the drinking water of the United States,14 as high as 700,000 or 7 x 105 organisms per liter of water. By drinking two liters of water per day, after a little over two months, an individual could have ingested pathogenic levels of microorganisms. Pierce2 concluded that M. avium antigens are the cause of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in addition to other autoimmune diseases such as type-1 diabetes, thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis.”

  • Aspergillus: 

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Aspergillus indicates the patient has increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, a variety of autoimmunities including neuroautoimmunity. The genus Aspergillus, which includes nearly identified 200 species, including fumigatus, niger and flavus, has a tremendous impact on public health both beneficially, in numerous industrial applications, and negatively, as a pathogen. The most common mode of invasion is via inhalation. Molds, through the production of enzymes such as serine chymotrypsin-like proteinase, cleaves lungs and gut barrier proteins and then finds their way into the blood. In the blood, immune system reaction against them results in the release of proinflammatory cytokines and the production of antibody against mold antigens. The molds and their mycotoxins, enzymes and proinflammatory cytokines alter the blood brain barrier function and allow for the entry of autoreactive T-helper 1 (Th1), Th17 and antibodies into the nervous system causing damage to microglia, astrocytes and neurons, which leads to the neuroautoimmunity commonly seen in patients exposed to molds.” 43-44

  • Penicillium:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Penicillium indicates the patient has increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, a variety of autoimmunities including neuroautoimmunity. The most common mode of invasion is via inhalation. Due to their small size, Penicillium spores rest in the lower lung. These spores and their products can induce significant immunomodulatory responses in lung cells and inflammation in animal models of lung disease.” 45

  • Stachybotrys chartarum (Black mold):

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Stachybotrys indicates the patient has increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, a variety of autoimmunities including neuroautoimmunity. Although exposure to S. chartarum is often associated with indoor air, however, it is important to note that
rural air can harbor S. chartarum. 46

  • Citrullinated EBV:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Citrullinated EBV indicates the patient has increased risk of a variety of autoimmunities including joint, lupus, neurological, thyroid, and liver, and type 1 diabetes and multiple food immune reactivity. Rheumatoid arthritis patients appear to have elevated antibody levels to EBV, yet the mechanism linking EBV pathogenesis in RA has not been elucidated. Patients with CIDP show impaired B cell expression of the inhibitory Fc-γ receptor (FcγRIIB), which alters the state of EBV persistence, leading to increased viral replication and antiviral immune responses. Epidemiological studies suggest that childhood EBV exposure is an important determinant of MS risk.” 47-56

  • Hepatitis C virus:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Hepatitis C-specific peptide, which cross-reacts with liver tissues, indicates the patient has increased riskof liver autoimmunity. Chronic HCV infection is known to induce autoimmune reactions and can be associated with Sjögren’s Syndrome and autoimmune thyroid disorders.” 57

  • Cytomegalovirus:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Cytomegalovirus indicates the patient has increased risk of type 1 diabetes, arthritis, lupus and neurological disorders. CMV establishes a lifelong latent infection following primary infection and, in some hosts, can periodically reactivate with shedding of infectious virus. Due to its potential for cross-reactivity with heart myosin and nervous system myelin, patients at risk for coronary disorders and/or demyelinating disorders, should be screened and treated for CMV antibodies. 58-63

  • Human Herpesvirus-6:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Human Herpesvirus-6 indicates the patient has increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus, and autoimmunities of the nervous system, joints and thyroid. Most humans acquire HHV-6 during early childhood and after initial infection, the virus latently remains in the host. Depending on a person’s genetic susceptibility, a persistent HHV-6 infection may lead to neurological autoimmunity via a cascade of events that starts with elevated HHV-6 IgG and release of proinflammatory cytokines, which opens the blood-brain barrier allowing HHV-6 IgG to react to neurons and cause the release of myelin. 64

  • Borrelia burgdorferi:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to B. burgdorferi indicates the patient has increased risk of Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis, Lyme neuroborreliosis, blood-brain barrier damage and neurological disorders.  In some untreated cases, symptoms of pathogenic invasion have involved neurologic, cardiac, or articular complications. Early spirochete dissemination mainly affects the nervous system and can present as meningitis and cranial neuritis predominantly in children, while some patients experience heart disorders such as atrioventricular blockade, myopericarditis and cardiomyopathy, and more common in the US than Europe, the musculoskeletal system can be involved resulting in arthritidis. Borrelia pathogenesis can break the blood brain barrier, which allows invasion of the central nervous system, resulting in neuroborreliosis.” 65-70

  • B. burgdorferi sensu stricto:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to B. burgdorferi indicates the patient has increased risk of Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis, Lyme neuroborreliosis, blood-brain barrier damage and neurological disorders.  In some untreated cases, symptoms of pathogenic invasion have involved neurologic, cardiac, or articular complications. Early spirochete dissemination mainly affects the nervous system and can present as meningitis and cranial neuritis predominantly in children, while some patients experience heart disorders such as atrioventricular blockade, myopericarditis and cardiomyopathy, and more common in the US than Europe, the musculoskeletal system can be involved resulting in arthritidis. Borrelia pathogenesis can break the blood brain barrier, which allows invasion of the central nervous system, resulting in neuroborreliosis.” 65-70

  • B. burgdorferi sensu lato:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to B. burgdorferi indicates the patient has increased risk of Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis, Lyme neuroborreliosis, blood-brain barrier damage and neurological disorders.  In some untreated cases, symptoms of pathogenic invasion have involved neurologic, cardiac, or articular complications. Early spirochete dissemination mainly affects the nervous system and can present as meningitis and cranial neuritis predominantly in children, while some patients experience heart disorders such as atrioventricular blockade, myopericarditis and cardiomyopathy, and more common in the US than Europe, the musculoskeletal system can be involved resulting in arthritidis. Borrelia pathogenesis can break the blood brain barrier, which allows invasion of the central nervous system, resulting in neuroborreliosis.” 65-70

  • B. burgdorferi afzelii:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to B. burgdorferi indicates the patient has increased risk of Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis, Lyme neuroborreliosis, blood-brain barrier damage and neurological disorders.  In some untreated cases, symptoms of pathogenic invasion have involved neurologic, cardiac, or articular complications. Early spirochete dissemination mainly affects the nervous system and can present as meningitis and cranial neuritis predominantly in children, while some patients experience heart disorders such as atrioventricular blockade, myopericarditis and cardiomyopathy, and more common in the US than Europe, the musculoskeletal system can be involved resulting in arthritidis. Borrelia pathogenesis can break the blood brain barrier, which allows invasion of the central nervous system, resulting in neuroborreliosis.” 65-70

  • B. burgdorferi garinii:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to B. burgdorferi indicates the patient has increased risk of Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis, Lyme neuroborreliosis, blood-brain barrier damage and neurological disorders.  In some untreated cases, symptoms of pathogenic invasion have involved neurologic, cardiac, or articular complications. Early spirochete dissemination mainly affects the nervous system and can present as meningitis and cranial neuritis predominantly in children, while some patients experience heart disorders such as atrioventricular blockade, myopericarditis and cardiomyopathy, and more common in the US than Europe, the musculoskeletal system can be involved resulting in arthritidis. Borrelia pathogenesis can break the blood brain barrier, which allows invasion of the central nervous system, resulting in neuroborreliosis.” 65-70

  • Babesia:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Babesia may indicate the patient has increased risk of blood-brain barrier damage, neurological disorders and arthritis. Tick-borne pathogens can have serious, long-lasting effects on the host. Infection with Babesia usually results in a subclinical or mild illness, but the infection can occasionally cause severe illness in immunocompromised patients and persons lacking a spleen.” 70-72

  • Ehrlichia:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Ehrlichia  may indicate the patient has increased risk of blood-brain barrier damage, neurological disorders and arthritis. Tick-borne pathogens can have serious, long-lasting effects on the host. Infections with Ehrlichia targets neutrophils adherent to endothelium in tissues, resulting in subsequent tissue damage and systemic proinflammatory responses.”

  • Bartonella:

According to cyrex laboratories: “The detection of antibodies to Bartonella may indicate the patient has increased risk of blood-brain barrier damage, neurological disorders and arthritis. Tick-borne pathogens can have serious, long-lasting effects on the host. Bartonella infection can present with nonspecific clinical features indicating upper respiratory tract infection or viral
pneumonia. 75-78

Other infections that some patients may need ran: 

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
  • Citrobacter freundii
  • Treponema pallidum
  • Toxoplasma
  • Human T-Lymphotropic virus -I (HTLV-I)
  • Herpes simplex virus 1
  • Herpes simplex virus 2
  • Mycoplasma fermentans
  • Parvovirus
  • Varicella-zoster virus
  • Dengue viruses 1-4
  • Coxsackie virus A & B
  • Colorado tick fever virus
  • Borrelia Lonstari
  • Bartonella quintana
  • Bartonella elizabethae
  • Bartonella bacilliformis
  • Babesia WA-1
  • Adenovirus

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