Chlamydia pneumoniae—The Heart Attack Germ!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by darude, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. darude

    darude New Member

    WHAT IS THE HEART ATTACK GERM?

    Over the past several years, numerous scientific studies have shown that people infected by a several common germs are at a significantly increased risk for stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems, including the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
    Most strokes and heart attacks are associated with atherosclerosis, the disease that deposits cholesterol plaque inside the arteries of the heart and brain. Until recently, the cause of atherosclerosis was a mystery. But new advances in technology have identified inflammation within the artery as the source of plaque build-up. Often, this inflammation is caused by germs that infect the arteries of the heart and brain.

    Although several cardiovascular germs have been identified, most of the research has centered on the Heart Attack Germ, Chlamydia pneumoniae—a type of bacteria that is the chief suspect behind many strokes and heart attacks. Here's how the Heart Attack Germ does its dirty work:

    Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria enter the body through the mouth and nose, infecting the lungs and causing respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Chlamydia pneumoniae is a very common germ—nearly everyone at some point in his life becomes infected by it. Usually, the initial infection is so mild that the victim never even knows that he's picked up the germ.
    To cure the infection, the body uses immune cells in the lungs, which surround the germs, swallow them whole, and kill them. But the Heart Attack Germ is difficult to kill and may actually live and multiply inside immune cells. That's why most Chlamydia pneumoniae infections last a long time—the body is never able to completely eliminate the germ.
    Immune cells exit the lungs, carrying the living Chlamydia germs through the bloodstream and into the arteries of the heart and brain. Once inside an artery, the germs multiply, damaging the artery wall and creating long-term infection and inflammation. This constant, low level of infection and inflammation produces no obvious symptoms. The victim is sick, but he doesn't know it ... yet.

    Since cholesterol plaque is naturally drawn to the site of inflammation, long-term infection and inflammation continually draws cholesterol plaque to the artery over an extended period of time. As the years pass by, layer after layer of plaque is deposited in the artery. These layers build into mounds of cholesterol that clog the artery, creating the symptoms of cardiovascular disease and the sudden occlusions that trigger most strokes and heart attacks.




  2. Wasabi

    Wasabi New Member

    I've previously posted several posts about Chlamydia pneumoniae, the treatment, etc. If you're interested, please click on my profile and look back through my posts.

    In short, my FM specialist reports that the majority of his patients respond to treatment for Chlamydia pneumoniae. It seems to be one of the chronic infections that can trigger FM/CFS. I'm currently undergoing treatment for it, and it has made a huge difference in my progress.

    My doctor's protocol is similar to the FFC's, and so I imagine they treat for it too.
  3. tansy

    tansy New Member

    in many patients with these DDs; my ME, CFS and borreliosis/lyme specialist is finding it in some of his patients too. He will offer Tx even when there's an equivical test result. It can be treated with ABx (using some of those also recommended for lyme disease) or plant based antimicrobials. One apparently effective Tx is aspirin, white willow is considered even better.

    This pathogen is being found in some PWMS too.

    Pat Palmer's daughter had CPn, she felt the ABx didn't help much but her daughter got well on alternatives including olive leaf extract.

    Stress can lower the IS sufficiently to allow CPn to multiply rapidly, another good reason for finding an effective means of stress management.

    Enzymes can help break down plaque as well as fibrin.

    Tansy[This Message was Edited on 12/21/2005]
  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I read recently that they have found bacteria that is normally found in the mouth in atherosclerotic plaque in blood vessels...

    I'm guessing there's probably even more than those 2...

    all the best,
    Victoria
    [This Message was Edited on 12/21/2005]
  5. darude

    darude New Member

    Pneumonia before I cam down with this. There is more to this article on treatment with antibiotics etc. I just have to find it.
  6. darude

    darude New Member

    for those that missed this
  7. tansy

    tansy New Member

    is being used for MS, ME/CFIDS and FM using a combination of ABx.

    From the library here

    "Breaking Research Reveals Common Bacterium Chlamydia Pneumoniae may be Culprit in CFIDS, FMS and MS"

    You may not have heard much about the common bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae, pronounced "Kluh-MID-ee-uh New-MOAN-eye-A." Compared to its notorious sexually transmitted relative, Chlamydia trachomatis, it is an obscure pathogen. But some of the world's leading infectious disease specialists and microbiologists suspect that C. pneumoniae may be involved in some of the most baffling chronic diseases of our time.

    In fact, mounting evidence suggests that C. pneumonia may be a major villain in heart disease. Spread through coughs and sneezes, the bacterium causes a flu-like respiratory condition that sometimes progresses to pneumonia... and perhaps other illnesses.

    "The question is," says Charles Stratton, M.D., director of the microbiology laboratory at Vanderbilt University In Nashville, Tennessee, "has Chlamydia pneumoniae caused just a respiratory tract infection, or has it also contributed to other problems such as atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or even Gulf War syndrome?"

    Regarding CFIDS patients, investigators at Vanderbilt have treated a handful of them and discovered anomalies in their immunoglobulin, indicating low levels or absence of immunoglobulin G to C. pneumoniae. "The current interpretation is immune tolerance secondary to antigen overload," says Dr. Stratton. While Dr. Stratton says that some CFIDS patients have improved and even reversed symptoms by taking standard anti-chlamydial antibiotic therapy over a nine-month period, he stresses that, "We do not know if antibiotic therapies will help all CFIDS patients because we do not know if all CFIDS patients are infected with C. pneumoniae.

    "Until recognized experts such as Dr. Nancy Klimas at the University of Miami, or Dr. Bell at Harvard University Medical School or Dr. Peterson in Incline Village, Nevada, look at a large group of people with Chronic fatigue, such as a few thousand, medicine cannot begin to understand whether and how this bug is causing problems."

    At this point in time, Dr. Stratton's antibiotic therapies for CFIDS constitute proprietary, confidential information. He has published articles in the medical literature, however, such as in February,1998 Issue of NEUROLOGY, which describes a successful course of treatment for MS associated with C. pneumoniae. This involved intravenous methylprednisone and Beta interferon lb with 8 million units (Betaseron 1B) subcutaneously. The immunosuppressive regimen also included plasmapheresis and azathloprine, plus cyclophosphamide. In addition, anti-chlamydial agents ofloxacin, rifampin, metronidazole and co-trimoxazole were used.

    Although CFIDS is recognized by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers For Disease Control as a complex disorder, Dr. Stratton notes that, "The true incidence is probably grossly underestimated by governmental agencies." The hallmarks of CFIDS include the following symptoms: persistent, disabling fatigue that causes a substantial reduction in activity level and recurrent infections and sleep disturbances. In addition, significant neurocognitive dysfunction or "brain fog," flu-like episodes, muscle pain and weakness and low-grade fever plague the CFIDS patient.

    Those with CFIDS who wish to investigate their C. pneumoniae status should ask their physicians for a serologic blood test for the bacteria, which measures the presence of antibodies against the bug. There are many laboratories in the U.S. that test for this pathogen, Dr. Stratton notes, including Vanderbilt University's molecular Pathology laboratory. To obtain a Request for Research Blood Tests form for C. pneumoniae from Vanderbilt, along with instructions on how to send a blood sample there, telephone (615) 343-9144 or (615) 343-4739. You may also fax the Vanderbilt Clinical Labs Office at (615) 343- 8420. Another laboratory specializing in C. pneumoniae testing is ImmunoSciences Inc. in Beverly Hills, Ca. at 1-800-950- 4686 or (310) 667-1077.

    Everyone, Dr. Stratton notes, probably gets C. pneumoniae once in their lifetime. "You can get this bacterial infection as early as age four," he says. "By the age of twenty, half the people in the population have had it, and by the age of eighty, almost everyone has had it."

    Although Stratton and his Vanderbilt colleagues, such as Charles Mitchell, M.D., have been investigating C. pneumoniae for a few years and have published in medical journals like NERUOLOGY, "...the research journey is just beginning," says Dr. Stratton.

    The bacterial bug first came to international attention in 1988, when Finnish doctors at Helsinki Center Hospital published a pair of studies in which C. pneumoniae played a starring role. The first reported that two thousand people with coronary artery disease were more likely than healthy control subjects to have antibodies to C. pneumoniae in their blood.

    The second study discovered remarkably high antibody levels in the blood of two thousand heart attack victims. Most physicians and researchers figured the Finnish reports were due to coincidence. But Dr. Thomas Grayston, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington, believing otherwise, launched his own study. Grayston documented a coronary artery disease pattern in Seattle patients that matched the one described in the Finnish report. Eight research teams in five countries have since confirmed it.

    Many in the medical community still view the correlation between cardiovascular disease and C. pneumoniae with equal parts interest and skepticism. But Dr. Stratton notes that a similar situation prevailed in the early 1980s, when evidence suggesting that bacteria caused peptic ulcers started appearing in medical journals. "Critics maintained that certain ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, too much alcohol or excess stomach acid," says Peter Wolfe, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and chief of the division of medicine at Century City Hospital in Los Angeles, Ca. That is until Australian scientist Barry Marshall played guinea pig for his bacterial theory and downed a shot containing the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori. Days later, Marshall developed a full-blown ulcer which he soon cured with antibiotics and an antacid, thereby upgrading ulcer treatment for millions and earning his place in medical history.

    According to Dr. Stratton, "We're looking at Chlamydia pneumoniae for many reasons, including the fact that research suggests that it can enter the walls of various blood vessels and linger for years, fueling the inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes. Many people have found it in coronary artery disease. But is it just an innocent bystander at the scene of the crime, or does it play an active role? That's what our research is exploring."

    In addition, although there are four villas of Chlamydia currently recognized (the aforementioned Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae as well as Chlamydia psittaci, and Chlamydia pecorum), researchers may very well discover more. "It's likely that there are going to be more species," Dr. Stratton ventures. "Remember that 50% of the species were discovered in the last ten years, so it seems likely that we'll be learning a lot about new pathogens in the near future."

    To appreciate the challenges that researchers face in culturing C. pneumoniae and/or creating cocktail therapies to eradicate this pathogen, it should be noted that, "Chlamydia pneumoniae is very devious and uses other cells to multiply," says Dr. Wolfe. "It is notoriously difficult to culture in the laboratory... culturing it may take several weeks."

    The good news is that Dr. Stratton and other researchers have developed sophisticated testing and culturing methods for this bacterium. Along with his colleague, Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Stratton happens to be an equity holder in Marlin Technologies, Inc., which is researching and developing anti-chlamydial cocktail therapies in pre-clinical treatment experiments. (Although these cocktails are not yet commercially available, Healthwatch will provide updates on the formulation and clinical trial results of these preparations and their FDA approval processes.)
  8. tansy

    tansy New Member

    You can read about David Wheldon's protocol at http://www.davidwheldon.co.uk/ms-treatment.html

    My specialist uses the ABx combos from the Wheldon and Stratton protocols for some of his ME, CFS, and lyme disease patients if they have CPn.

    Tansy[This Message was Edited on 12/22/2005]
  9. tansy

    tansy New Member

    the Stratton article I posted is in the library here at Immune Support so you can check the date. There are message boards where the Stratton protocol is discussed and at least one I know of that's dedicated to treating the chronic form of CPn.

    love, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 12/22/2005]
  10. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    Petalinthewind, I saw where you said that you were diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurys.

    They now can treat some of those without surgery.

    A radiologist routes a device up from the groin, into the abdominal aorta and then opens a stent, similar to what they do in the heart.

    There are some which cannot be treated in this manner, however, according to where they are located.

    I was a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for a quarter of a century and for a long time of that I specialized in Open Heart and Cardiovascular Surgery, including Abdominal Aneurysms and Thoracic.

    Let me give you this advice. THERE IS A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE IN THE SKILL LEVEL AND THE ABILITIES OF DOCTORS.

    ASK MANY, MANY QUESTIONS, INCLUDING THEIR MORTALITY AND MORBIDITY RATE, HOW MANY THEY HAVE DONE, HOW MANY THEY DO A WEEK, A MONTH, A YEAR. THE HOSPITAL MAKES A TON OF DIFFERENCE AS WELL.

    IT IS WELL WORTH IT TO GO TO A CENTER OF EXCELLENCE WHERE THEY DO MANY, MANY OF THESE EVERY YEAR AND USUALLY ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS. DON'T TAKE THE FIRST OPINION. GET A SECOND, IF YOU CAN, AND LOOK FOR THE BEST IN YOUR AREA.

  11. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    I had the worst strep throat infection of all in August 1999. I had to miss the first couple of days of my new teaching job.
    I had not been able to swallow my own saliva! The doctor gave me some liquid Lortab which did work but it put me over the moon.
    He also was very concerned about the germ which was the C. pneu. that was exposed when he did the culture. I had two mega shots and was ordered to bed and did not leave there for four days.
    I learned then what C. pneu. was about.