Dr Stephen Fry, doctor & microbiologist, has been running his own microbiology lab where he examines high powered views of biofilms in atherosclerotic plaque material obtained from surgical specimens. The biofilms are colonized by multiple bacterial, fungal & protozoal organisms identified by DNA & RNA sequencing.
He is leaving his practice to continue his research in the lab. Hopefully, he will help more people in the long run. Dr Fry recently co-authored another paper in PubMed, cited in previous post. Here's another link:
"Evidence for polymicrobial communities in explanted vascular filters and atheroma debris"www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S089085081730035X?via%
Also, it bears repeating the below from Huffington Post. These are excerpts from the Dana Parish interview with Dr Spector, 2/2016.
"Lyme: The Infectious Disease Equivalent of Cancer, Says Top Duke Oncologist"
Dr. Neil Spector, whose long-undiagnosed Lyme Disease resulted in irreversible heart failure and ultimately, a heart transplant. Dr. Spector, author of Gone in a Heartbeat: "A Physician’s Search for True Healing," is the Sandra Coates Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. As the Director of Developmental Therapeutics at the Duke Cancer Institute, he’s a leader in applying translational research to the clinical development of molecularly targeted personalized cancer therapies.
How many doctors did you see before you found your Lyme-literate doctor?
I had about
five ER visits with my heart issues. I saw a cardiologist and my internist, who is very caring and really tried to help. Then I went to a rheumatologist who ran a whole auto-immune panel—Lupus, Sjogren’s, you name it.
Did the Rheumatologist test you for Lyme?
"No, he didn’t."
Wow, that’s mind-blowing.
How many [Lyme tests] did you have until it came back positive?
"I had three at a major lab that were considered negative. Then I found a great ILADS doctor from North Jersey and she ordered the fourth test and sent it to a lab called IGeneX. That test was positive."
Do you feel that ruling out Lyme should be imperative before diagnosing a patient with an auto-immune disease like MS, Fibromyalgia, or Rheumatoid Arthritis?
"Absolutely! And Alzheimer’s. Something has to trigger an autoimmune disease. It doesn’t matter if this occurs in one percent or seventy-eight percent of the patient population—to allow people to go down a path of progressive neurodegeneration when they could be treated is unconscionable."
You have famously compared cancer to Lyme. What are their similarities?
"To me, Lyme is the infectious disease equivalent of cancer. We don’t talk about
cancer as just one disease anymore, and we should stop talking about
Lyme this way. There are so many strains and co-infections. When you’re bitten by a tick, you can get five or ten different infections at the same time.
I also find it ludicrous to call all tick-borne disease, Lyme Disease. In breast cancer, we don’t just say, “You have breast cancer,” because that simply doesn’t mean anything anymore. The language is important because it has a bearing on treatment.
It seems like oncologists would have the right kind of thinking to unravel some of these mysteries."
What other areas of medicine should we be pooling from?
"I would start with cancer biologists and basic immunologists. They figured out the immune system is not recognizing tumor cells and killing them because these cells have hijacked and usurped a normal response in the body that shuts down the immune system to their advantage. Once this was discovered, we saw a transformational change in the treatment of cancer where people with metastatic melanoma are now going into remission and living years cancer-free, whereas it was a death sentence 5 years ago.
You have to ask yourself, if you have this persistent inflammation from Lyme that isn’t eradicated, is this putting the brakes on the immune system."
What do you make of the fact that animal studies in this field are virtually ignored, when they are given so much credence in other areas of medicine?
"If we threw out animal studies in cancer, we’d be nowhere. So I don’t quite understand the distinction here. If we say we see persistent infections in dogs, and we also see the same in humans, what’s the relationship there? It seems scientifically ignorant that in the other ninety-nine percent of science, outside of Lyme, people are very willing to accept data that comes from animals. Not as the Holy Grail, but it does provide valuable information. It helps you to figure out what to more insightfully study in humans.
A lot of existing Lyme research has involved population studies using western blots, which are lousy, antiquated tests. And that’s what a lot of “name” researchers consider valuable! It’s not valuable research in my mind or in the minds of a lot of scientists. When I speak to eminent cancer biologists or world-class immunologists, they don’t get why people are hanging on to 1950s research.
Thankfully, there are scientists from outside the Lyme field who have gotten into it because they see a tremendous need. They are lending remarkable insight that will lead to the next breakthrough. The more people we bring in who haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid, the faster we’ll turn this around."www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-parish/lyme-the-infectious-disea_b_9243460.html