OK so i have had a bit of a breakthrough and wanted to update you.
i was watching after watching this excellent video by Galaxy labs with Ed Breischwedts and Dr M
“Understanding Bartonella – Edited” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njywmmpjiku
half way through - ( 45mins 30s ) Dr M put up this stained blood smear slide from a bartonella patient - and described the clumped together collection of RBC all with pale vacuoles inside them, in roughly ring shaped formations around the inner edge and all stuck together with a sticky v faintly stained biofilm or fibrin material.
link to a snapshot of the slide here: https://ibb.co/kcpxg4k
and i am thinking - "that looks very familiar ......."
I had seen exactly this formation in one of my own stained slides – but had dismissed it as some kind of artefact of the smear and staining process because
• I wasn’t expecting to see clumps of cells with bart in them – as was told to expect only the odd infected cell here and there - not many of them clumped together
• Was looking for stained items - whereas these are clear vacuoles with no stain
• I hadn’t noticed the very faintly stained biofilm in my slides but on closer inspection I think it is there - and in any case something must be holding all these red blood cells with vacuoles inside them together or they would have dispersed through the blood stream.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an image saved of the wide view that was exactly like the above – but do have the following images where the rings of pale vacuoles inside the cells can be very clearly seen and suggestion of cytoplasm around the red blood cell can be seen as a fuzzy clear zone around each RBC that is approx 1/5th of a RBC width.
link to an annotated version pointing these features out can be found here: https://ibb.co/zzgqqzn
I feel this is the clearest evidence yet of a bart infection – characterised by clumps of rbc all with clear vacuoles in clear ring formations around the inner edge of the rbc and stuck together biofilm type material.
i think this new manifestation of bart - described by the foremost Bart clinician - but not mentioned in the Schaller book - gives us a new and useful target for Bart diagnosis by DIY microscopy and given that its so unmistakable - make home microscopy of much higher diagnostic value than we thought.
( final note to help manage expectations - i think i had looked at around 12 slides before seeing this so - you may also need to look at 10-20 - so don't expect the first one you look at to show up with this)