Do reactivated infections produce IgM or IgG antibodies?

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Kaitlan
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Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/1/2018 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Would the immune system produce IgG or IgM antibodies to reactivated infections?

Am I understanding correctly that IgM antibodies are produced when an infection (antigen) is brand new, and has never been encountered before by the immune system? And that IgGs are produced once the immune system has a "memory of" and recognizes an infection?

If this is the case, when an old infection is reactivated it wouldn't produce IgM antibodies. Just more IgG antibodies, right?

I've heard that
IgMs=active infection
IgGs= old infection (not active)

But from some reading it seems more like
Elevated IgM= brand new infection
IgG= old infection
Elevated IgG= reactivated old infection

I'm not sure if I'm understanding this right and would love to know how others understand it.

Girlie
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Date Joined May 2014
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   Posted 2/1/2018 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
LLMD Dr. J. has mentioned that IgM could be reactivation.

Here's what he wrote:

"In virtually all infections, the IgM class of antibody (immunoglobulin) appears first and therefore represents a marker for an early infection. In most immune models, the IgM antibody gives way to the well-known IgG antibody class, usually regarded as the major enduring antibody response in chronic infectious diseases or other immune models. In almost all infection models, after just a few weeks, the IgM antibody level wanes to the point of being non-detectable and does not recur. However, a confounding fact in Bb infections is that the IgM antibody may persist for years, a very unusual situation in most disease states. Logically, one would have to conclude that this reflects an ongoing reactivation or persisting and continually renewing infectious state of Bb infection. Most active diagnostic laboratories involved with LD tend to agree with this notion. "


Many of us have IgM positive on the Lyme WB - and it's not a 'new' infection....mine was 14 months old.


jemsekspecialty.com/laboratory-testing-for-lyme-disease/
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
Disc. biaxin added Buhner bart herbs Dec/14;Jan/15 pulsing Tinda (w/ Ceftin);
Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi

Kaitlan
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Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/1/2018 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
-Girlie
I've read that the reason elevated IgMs reappear in some infections is because of antigen variation, when the pathogens antigen, that tells the immune system what it is, changes slightly therefore you immune system sees it as new and produces IgMs to it. This makes perfect sense.

What I don't understand is, if the normal model (excluding antigen variation cases) shows that IgMs are produced when it's a brand new infection, why do most doctors only look for elevated IgMs to confirm reactivated infections. If it's a reactivated infection it's an old infections that your immune system already knows about, it wouldn't produce IgMs to it but IgGs. Yet most doctors say that elevated IgGs just mean past, not active infection.

Kaitlan
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Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/1/2018 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope I'm explaining what I'm trying to say well, it's kind of difficult. I was IgM positive too, definitely not a new infection. But if I understand correctly Lyme is different in the prolonged production of IgMs because of antigen variation. I don't understand why doctors look for IgMs to confirm reactivated infections for things like EBV.

Post Edited (Kaitlan) : 2/1/2018 8:52:39 PM (GMT-7)


k07
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Date Joined Sep 2015
Total Posts : 2502
   Posted 2/2/2018 6:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I think docs have a lot to learn about immune system. Another thought would be the test itself (if low specificity) is picking up on other bacteria so that could be why we get confused results. That is just my personal idea.

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/2/2018 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Anybody out there have a good understanding on what kind of antibodies are made when an old infection is reactivated? The immune system wouldn't make IgMs because it's not the first time the immune system is encountering the antigen, right?

Traveler
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 2/2/2018 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
One of the problems that occur to confuse the issue is that with Borrelia, it changes it's outer surface proteins constantly, to help evade the immune system.


Borrelia is not like other organisms, and so those doctors that insist on trying to evaluate Lyme by the standards of other infections will not be accurate.
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New set of infections 8/2014 - still treating.
Come visit me: dogwoodtraditionals.freeforums.net/

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/2/2018 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
- traveler
I'm not asking about borrelia or other pathogens that have antigen variation. These infections constantly change their antigen presentation so they're always appearing new to the immune system.

I'm just trying to understand why doctors look for elevated IgMs to confirm reactivated infections (excluding things like borrelia that have antigen variation). If I understand correctly IgMs wouldn't be made for old infections that are reactivated because the immune system is already familiar with the antigen.

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/2/2018 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm trying to understand why elevated IgGs don't matter and why they look for IgMs to confirm reactivated infections such as EBV, etc.

Girlie
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Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 32625
   Posted 2/2/2018 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Kaitlan said...
- traveler
I'm not asking about borrelia or other pathogens that have antigen variation. These infections constantly change their antigen presentation so they're always appearing new to the immune system.

I'm just trying to understand why doctors look for elevated IgMs to confirm reactivated infections (excluding things like borrelia that have antigen variation). If I understand correctly IgMs wouldn't be made for old infections that are reactivated because the immune system is already familiar with the antigen.


Kaitlan - Which infections (other than borrelia and those with antigen variations) are you referring to - that show IgM for older infection - is it just EBV?
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
Disc. biaxin added Buhner bart herbs Dec/14;Jan/15 pulsing Tinda (w/ Ceftin);
Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/2/2018 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Girlie
As far as I know EBV wouldn't show IgMs for older infection, even if it has reactivated, because the immune system is already familiar with it. That's why I'm wondering why doctors look for IgMs to confirm reactivation.

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/2/2018 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I have extremely elevated IgG to EBV, yet doctors say it's only a past infection because my IgMs are normal. Why are they looking for IgMs for reactivated infections? If it's an old infection that's reactivated then the immune system is already familiar with it and wouldn't make IgMs. (If I understand correctly)

Girlie
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 32625
   Posted 2/2/2018 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, Kaitlan - I don't know the answer to your question.


I didn't know that Dr.'s are looking for IgM positive for reactivated infections.


Take a look at the Labcorp table at the bottom of the page. It shows for reactivated EBV - it can be a + or - for IgM.
Show this to your Dr.


/www.labcorp.com/test-menu/24771/epstein-barr-virus-ebv-acute-infection-antibodies-profile#

I didn't read the entire page - maybe there's an explanation?
Moderator, Lyme Forum
Symp started April/2013; Buhner's Lyme May 15-July24/14; Igenex pos. July 3/14
Doxy: July 4-Aug.24/14;Zithro July26-Aug24/14; Amox + Proben. Aug. 29/14;
added biaxin Sept. 26/14
Disc. amox,added Ceftin Nov. 20th.;
Disc. biaxin added Buhner bart herbs Dec/14;Jan/15 pulsing Tinda (w/ Ceftin);
Abx/herb break Apr-July/15; July-mino; Aug. added Rif;
Nov./15 mino - to biaxi

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/2/2018 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
-Girlie

Thanks, that table is helpful and confirms what I was thinking. I'm not the only one who has been told by their doctor that elevated IgG only signifies past, inactive infection if IgMs are normal. I just don't understand why they think that in the first place.

greatguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 2/2/2018 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
They are trained that way + they don't want to expand their knowledge + even if they did, a lot of these so called doctors wouldn't take responsibility to treat your IgG Bartonella Henselae infection and no IgM. It happened to a friend of mine, who only had IgG to Bart and no IgM. The regular ID doctor said that it means he only has antibodies to bart and that he beat it, but the guy had stretch marks and was symptomatic.

So the question is, does IgG mean past infection or chronic infection? That is for doctor's choice. My friend is a good example of this dilemma and he definitely needed treatment, so IgG in my opinion means chronic infection, but only for bacterias, viruses aren't treatable and actually aren't the reason for most of lyme victims and co's problems.

Traveler
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 2/3/2018 1:32 PM (GMT -6)   
While I do agree with most of what Greatguy said, I do disagree with "viruses aren't treatable and actually aren't the reason for most of lyme victims and co's problems."

Actually, viruses are treated all the time, with anti-virals and we do need to treat viruses. For example, EBV left untreated can go on to cause all kinds of cancers and more. So to ignore these very viable and nasty viral issues, it's best to be evaluated and get treatment for viruses as well.

We often see high levels of viral infections with these tick-borne infections, that's because the immune system can't keep them in check, or prevent us from getting them once the immune system is compromised by Lyme and company.

There are even a few viruses that ticks can pass along with the bacterial and other things that they have as well, and some are really quite serious.
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New set of infections 8/2014 - still treating.
Come visit me: dogwoodtraditionals.freeforums.net/

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/3/2018 1:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah active EBV does terrible things like stopping the normal process of apoptosis. Apoptosis is a process by which infected cells self destruct so that we only have healthy, functional immune cells. If you have a bunch of infected, nonfunctional immune cells running around and not being able to do their job then you can't fight off other infections or cancer.

I think EBV is probably one of my biggest challenges, unfortunately no doctors have considered treating it because I only have high IgG antibodies and normal IgM antibodies.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 2/3/2018 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you ever considered treating it yourself? That's what I'm doing and it's really helped. For the most part, I'm just keeping EBV under control by using high dose Lysine, and watching to be sure that I don't get too much arginine in my diet/supplements. There are actually a lot of articles on this, surprisingly.
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New set of infections 8/2014 - still treating.
Come visit me: dogwoodtraditionals.freeforums.net/

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/3/2018 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
-Traveler
I'm probably going to start treating it myself soon and will definitely look into lysine, it's good to hear it's helping you.
I'm just stubborn and want a doctor to admit that elevated IgGs without IgMs doesn't mean nothing lol. I mean why do they test for IgGs anyway if it means nothing regardless of how out of range they are? Why don't they only test IgMs if they believe that's the only way to confirm reactivated infection?

Aerose91
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 2/3/2018 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
All of the infections I've tested positive for- bartonella, EBV, Parvo, HHV6, Mycolpasma, c. Pneumonia have all been igG. I haven't tested positive igM for anything but they're still treating me

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/3/2018 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
-aerose91

That's good to hear. Is that a LLMD?
It seems that many regular doctors have the misconception that elevated IgGs= old, inactive infection And that IgMs= active infection.
When one doctor saw my extremely elevated EBV IgGs he said "wow, you must have had a really bad EBV infection in the past".

Traveler
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 2/3/2018 3:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh, I hear you, loud and clear, Kaitlan!! LOL! I do the same thing!!! I've been known to chase doctors down the hallway if they walk out of the room before I'm done with my questions! Drives me nuts that they think that we just "need to listen quietly and do as we are told" - they make mistakes and get lazy too!!! Besides, I want to know! LOL! Isn't that why they are there? To help us understand?

I only tested positive for Lyme and RMSF, and yet the LLMD I saw in the beginning said I had every tick-borne infection, but would not test positive for all of them because my immune system was too compromised to produce those necessary antibodies.
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New set of infections 8/2014 - still treating.
Come visit me: dogwoodtraditionals.freeforums.net/

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/5/2018 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
-Traveler

I believe I have a suppressed immune system also. Do you know of any tests that can do a good job at checking immune system function?

If you make enough antibodies to test high for things like EBV then is it safe to say the immune system is functioning well? Because if the immune system wasn't functioning well it couldn't make so many antibodies, right? I know that's a broad question and don't expect an exact answer but would love to hear opinions.

Traveler
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 2/6/2018 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
What I understand is not really enough about immune testing - there are some that show low C3 or low C4 immune markers, but not everyone will. Same goes for testing the CD57 - the values don't always line up with the clinical picture. Why? I haven't really figured that out yet, although I believe there may be others that have.

I would suggest that you start a new thread on this, then do your research on the suggestions that are posted.

What I do know is that just because we can test fine for something like EBV doesn't have much bearing on what Lyme does to the immune system for some. I tested with EBV levels off the charts back in 1989, and my markers have always been very high - no matter how sick I was from my other infections. Why is this? I really don't have the answers. Sorry!!! I wish I did though!! I'm definitely curious!
Herb only treatment for Lyme & Bart ended 12/11 - no active symptoms for 2 yrs -Herb only treatment for Babesia ended 12/12
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2977364
Had Lyme, Bart, Babs, RMSF, Ehrlichia, Myco, Anaplasmosis, EBV
New set of infections 8/2014 - still treating.
Come visit me: dogwoodtraditionals.freeforums.net/

Kaitlan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/6/2018 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
-Traveler
Thanks so much for your thoughts.
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