Question about mycoplasma IgG level

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DrNicolson, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. DrNicolson

    DrNicolson New Member

    Question about mycoplasma IgG level

    I have been treated with antibiotics for the mycoplasma M. Pneumoniae for the last two years. My IgG is higher now than when I started treatment. My original test showed very high IgG although the IgM was in the normal range. My CFS doctor feels a high IgG is significant but my Lyme doctor does not. Do you feel a high mycoplasma IgG needs to be treated?


    Since M. pneumoniae is an intracellular infection, meaning that it hides inside cells where it cannot stimulate much of an immune response. When an immune response is detected, especially in high titers, it usually means that the infection is active and some microorganism is being released from cells. Borrelia is more often found in blood than Mycoplasma, possibly because it is more often released from cells, and its antigens are apparently more immunogenic and produce a stronger immune response, so it is easier to detect.

  2. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    I wonder what this means for someone who shows active mycoplasma even when their Lyme doesn't show up in bloodtests anymore?
  3. DrNicolson

    DrNicolson New Member

    It could mean that Lyme co-infections, such as Mycoplasma species, the most common Lyme co-infection, still persists and must be treated, even if Borrelia b. has been suppressed.
  4. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    Thank you for your response.

    What if my Lyme symptoms (4-week flares with fever, etc.) are much more prominent than the M. pneumoniae symptoms, and yet my Lyme tests remain negative, while the M. pneumoniae has come back positive?

    It makes me question if Borrelia really is "more often found in the blood" than mycoplasma species, if I have blatant Lyme symptoms even with a negative result, and yet little mycoplasma symptoms with a positive result.

    This seems almost the reverse of what you're telling us? Granted, I do have a classic case of M.E. that could make a mockery of what should "normally" happen...

    Could this possibly be because I've had Lyme disease for three years, while the mycoplasma exposure is much more recent, from just a year ago...?

    In general, your information has made me question how significant the mycoplasma infection may be in my overall state of (very poor) health, if you say it's actually harder to detect, and yet mine still showed up, even after being on Doxycycline for one month at the time of co-infection testing.
  5. DrNicolson

    DrNicolson New Member

    It is difficult to distinguish Lyme Borrelia from Lyme Mycoplasma n terms of signs/symptoms and their severity. Both of these intracellular bacterial infections are commonly found in the same Lyme patients where they stimulate release of ROS, cytokines, etc. and both release toxins, interfere with cellular metabolism, steal needed metabolites from cells and reduce mitochondrial function by damaging their membranes. They both also invade peripheral and central nerves where they cause havoc, and can cause nerve cell death.

    Both of these infections are also commonly found in the same ticks, but Mycoplasma spp. has the additional problem of being an airborne as well as an insect-borne infection. Since they are both slow-growing intracellular infections, they usually don't show up immediately after infection (in terms of testing or symptoms). And in some patients, they may not show up at all, if their immune systems can suppress the microorganisms before they disperse and invade tissues.

    The possible reason that a short-term treatment of Abx resulted in a positive blood test is that such treatments increase the temporary release of microorganisms from cells. We actually suggest to some patients who have all the symptoms but keep coming up negative in blood tests to start first with a short period of Abx treatment (7-10 days) to "shock" the infection, because this can cause increased release from cells into the lymph and blood where the mcroorganism is quickly picked up by leukocytes (phagocytic white blood cells). Often patients with negative blood tests come up positive with the Abx "shock" approach.

    However, long-term treatment with Abx should eventually suppress the blood levels of microorganism in most patients, whereas the tissue levels go down more slowly. Unfortunately, not all patients respond positively to Abx treatment, and we don't know why this happens, but it could have something to do with penetration of the Abx into tissues where the microorganisms hide, the slow-growing, low metabolic rates of the microorganisms, their innate insensitivity to most Abx and the resistance of resting forms ("persistent forms") to Abx treatments.

    Finally, you could certainly have experienced a 'super infection' by airborne Mycoplasma long after your Lyme Borrelia exposure. Unfortunately, these types of infections tend to suppress the immune system, making such super infections more likely productive. Some think that microorganisms like Mycoplasma spp. are very common and can be found in oral and other peripheral locations. This may be true, at least for the non-pathogenic forms, but they do not seem to cause systemic symptoms until they penetrate into tissues and organs. I would also not rule out other types of 'super infections' from fungus, viruses, etc. that can complicate the diagnosis and treatment.
  6. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    I have reason to believe I obtained my mycoplasma infection from airborne sources: Four people in my house had walking pneumonia about a year ago. I was "relieved" when I never caught it.....but apparently I did, and just didn't have the usual acute immune response like everyone else, as you mentioned might happen. It was around that same time I acquired a bartonella infection via cat, and shortly after became very, very ill, from some combination of the two, I now suspect. A case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time? Very complicated picture, indeed!

    Thank you very much for those explanations. I understand better and I'm sure it has helped others understand, as well.

  7. DrNicolson

    DrNicolson New Member

    A further explanation of this is that patients with severe signs/symptoms almost always if not always have multiple infections (bacterial, viral, fungal). We published a study on this in a European pathology journal showing that the number of different infections detected could be statistically correlated to the severity of multiple signs and symptoms in 200 CFS patients. That is, the more infections that you have, the more severe your symptoms.

    This might explain your situation where 1 or even 2 infections may not have yielded much in terms of symptoms, but as you acquired additional infections your immune system could have been over stressed, releasing higher levels of cytokines, etc. resulting in additional signs/symptoms of increased severity.

    Ref: Nicolson GL, Gan R, Haier J. Multiple co-infections (mycoplasma, Chlamydia, human herpesvirus-6) in blood of chronic fatigue syndrome patients: association with signs and symptoms. Acta Pathol Microbiol Immunol Scand 2003; 111: 557-566.

  8. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    Ah, thank you for that. And I completely agree!

    For example, when I had "only" acquired Lyme disease three years ago, I started experiencing a worsening, but it was more of a gradual decline. But once Mycoplasma and then Bartonella got added to the mix, I plummeted; became bedbound in a matter of months. And they still won't go away.

    I did improve a lot with antibiotics, but have had to stop, as I'm struggling to get adequate treatment for the bacterial infections without also developing a fungal candida problem, which I fear might just throw me overboard, at this point. I'd imagine it's a common dilemma; one must choose the lesser of two evils. Also doing immune system tests to see exactly WHAT is wrong, and if any solution found there might help me better tolerate my antibiotic treatments. Until then, I do herbals.

    I'd still like to think with the right treatment, this can be turned around somehow.

    I hope all of these answered questions can help others understand, AND if anyone wants to read the full abstract for the research paper the Doctor referenced, it is here:
  9. DrNicolson

    DrNicolson New Member

    More information on treatment alternatives, or more appropriately, treatment considerations can be found on our website,, under the Treatment Considerations section and downloaded. There is especially one doc under Publications that is titled "Treatment Considerations when....", and there is even a publication on diet.

    The publication mentioned above in APMIS can be downloaded from the Fatiguing Illness Research section of the website as a PDF doc.

    Prof. Nicolson