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Skin photos should be accompanied with lab test results or case history validating Bartonella diagnosis
on March 26, 2013
Dr. James Schaller has performed the often thankless job of alerting the American public to the reality of the near epidemic prevalence of Babesia and Bartonella. A Columbia University study revealed Bartonella was the most common infection found in ticks. "A 2004 PCR analysis of I. Scapularis ticks in New Jersey discovered that a higher percentage of ticks were infected with B. henselae than any of these other pathogens."
As Dr. Schaller explains, existing available Bartonella testing is mostly inadequate for this bacterial infection which is highly immune suppressive. Most labs only test for two of at least thirty known Bartonella species and Bartonella bacteria are frequently shielded from the immune system, by biofilms. Indirect immune markers, such as IL 1 beta and IL 6, hormones such as MSH or VIP, inflammatory markers, such as C3a, C4a and MMP help point diagnosis more toward Bartonella or co-occuring infections, including Borrelia, Babesia and Ehrlichia.
Unfortunately, many of the dermatological photos could also be caused by dermographia, due to allergies or excess histamine production.
This book would be much more useful, if thorough case histories, including all of the test results, Fry smears and responses to treatment, used to diagnose and distinguish Bartonella, from other co-infections or excess histamine, were provided.
I am not second guessing the Bartonella diagnosis or Dr. Schaller's integrity. The Bartonella diagnosis is a complex difficult one to make, since so many other possibilities need to be eliminated.
Dr. Schaller should be commended for his willingness to continue treating other Physician's treatment failures, his persistence and dedication to advancing understanding of tick borne disease testing and treatment and his determination to not give up on difficult patients.
I hope Dr. Schaller's new book on biofilms might fill in some of the blanks that this book did not.