27 Apr 2018

off topic: Igenex' new PCR test for Lyme


Hello all,I hope it is ok to ask this here while my qestion is not directly related to Cpn.In the "normal" PCR tests for Lyme here in Germany, my test was negative. A Lyme specialist then referred me to a new PCR test (available since about 6 months) by the lab Igenex in California which seems to be the best Lyme lab in the US. The test is positive.Does anybody know the difference between the "normal" tests and this new one and how reliable it is, i.e. can there be false-positive results (which I believe cannot be the case in PCR tests)?Also, the test was confirmed by a Southern blot..


HI Tony~I can't really answer your question, but I can give you some things to ponder based on what I've read and my own experience.  Obviously, you're trying to find a reason behind your illness, and you want the correct answer.  It is possible to be seronegative PCR for some pathogens (such as Cpn) yet be positive in the tissue via PCR.  So, you can be negative in the blood for a pathogen and still have that pathogen.  Whether or not Igenex has an accurate test is your question.  I don't know.  I've been tested at that lab a lot.  And I've been tested at other labs for Lyme (SUNY Stonybrook, MDL, Focus, ARUP and others).   I get varying results.  Even if I draw blood on the same day and send it to 3 different labs for a WB, different bands will show up at each lab.  Many "mainstream" ID doctors (including the two I see) are skeptical of Igenex's work.  I do know two totally healthy people who sent their blood to Igenex as a test, and their blood came back CDC positive for Lyme (western blot).  They did not have any symptoms of Lyme disease.  I personally, have had more bands show up positive from Stonybrook than Igenex.  Do I have Lyme?  I don't know.  I do have a chronic bacterial infection....whether that is Lyme or Cpn or both no one can say for sure.Do you have Lyme?  Maybe.  You have some results from one lab indicating that you might.  All you can really do is try some antibiotics and see if they help you.   When I take antibiotics, I have a major problem (a herx reaction) that passes in a few days.  Then, after several months I see improvements.   Same with antivirals.This is a trial and error situation.   You may have to see if a trial of antibiotics helps you or not.These doctors attended the ILADS conference recently:  Dr. Armin Schwarzbach and Dr. Carsten Nicolaus, both from Augsburg, Bavaria.  Perhaps they can give you some assistance. Good luck, Timaca

on valtrex 500 mg tid   

Well, let's keep things simple: you CAN NOT test positive if you don't have it, if you test positive that means, it is there... It's that simple... Also, some people can have lyme and be assymptomatic (just like with cpn...), but as soon as there is some big stress, accident, or anything that could lessen the immune system, it can show up...would someone who tests positive for AIDS claim maybe they don't have it?... in any case, I would treat it, and thank god, abx that treat lyme can also terat cpn...

Diagnosed with MS on March 2009, started CAP on Jan 2010. Doxy 200mg- Roxy 300mg- NAC and all major supplements.

Good points above, the question is whether we need to know with certainity, then it is an impossible task. However, the Cpn protocols are good against Borreilia, too. The macrolide/nitroimidazole combo has been shown to be good in vitro (Brorsons), and as far as I understand, the Doxycycline/Roxithromycin combination has the same benefits against Borrelia (targeting the 30s and 50s ribsomal subunits respectively, and by this having a synergistic effect and reducing the risk of resistance). If you have other infections it can be an important consideration as some do not respond to the Cpn CAPs. Targeting the most likely/obvious infections is the most reasonable approach in my view.  What is a "normal" PCR? there are many primers used, targeting different parts. Obviously, it is very difficult to diagnose both Cpn and Borrelia (as well as other chronic infections). This fact also has a part in the many misconceptions about the pervasiveness of chronic infection in chronic disease; too many reserachers, not to mention clinicians, take a negative test as a proof of absence of an infection.   About the issue of "healthy" people being tested positive, this does not necessarily say anything about the test's specificity; many here have reported realising that they had symptoms long before getting "ill", myself included. Stratton discusses this in the case of Cpn and Rifabutin,

Dr. Stratton has been paying close attention to reports of drug trials of Rifabutin, a very potent new anti-chlamydial. Even healthy young volunteers showed lowered white cells and liver problems during the Pfizer trials. Given that Dr. Lee Stewart’s findings that 20-25% of young, healthy blood donors were found to be  flow cytometry positive for Cpn, Dr. Stratton believes that these effects could be not so much side effects of Rifabutin, as it has been currently viewed, but rather a main effect of the drug, that of killing Cpn and resulting death of previously infected cells. In other words, since Cpn infection is ubiquitous and often sub-clinical, and “side” effects from potent antichlamydial agents in so-called “healthy” volunteers are actually main effects--- the subjects were not healthy after all, just not clinically ill.

 In the case of chronic Borreliosis, there is an interesting post/thread on a German forum, many apparently solid arguments are presented, e g a study is cited where within eight years, all seropositive subjects developed symptoms of chronic Borreliosis... (I haven't checked the references, but if you follow the threads, you'll probably note that the author is rather knowledgeable in medicine Wink ):

Borrelia/Cpn arthritis: joint, skin, eye, CNS, respiratory, UG involvment; fatigue. Borrelia: Clinical, Elisa&WB IgG, and CPn IgG and IgA pos, HLA-B27 neg. (2010). CAP 5/9/2010 -> 3/2016 2017: some signs and symptoms returning, Borrelia?

Also, if you want to know how much your lyme is affecting you, you could get the CD 57 test to check your immunity against it...

Diagnosed with MS on March 2009, started CAP on Jan 2010. Doxy 200mg- Roxy 300mg- NAC and all major supplements.

First of all, thanks to all of you for your very valuable comments. Timaca: Dr. Schwarzbach sent the blood to Igenex, and I was talking to him yesterday. The US-PCR is much more sensitive than the European ones, and the positive result is at least enough to justfy an appropriate Lyme CAP (which is a bit higher in dosage than the Cpn CAP. I will start in January. Shahbah: this is also the opinion of the Lyme experts here, but not the MS experts. IPn my view, this is more than logical - very good example with the HIV! My CD 57+ NK is low, though not extremly low, it is at 78. nord: The German Lye forum is really great, I am writing there under the same alias. Also the Stratton abstract is very interesting.Leah: I am secondary progressive, so I am not taking any immune modulators. I stopped CAP after 2.5 months for the sake of clearer test results, and will restart soon. I had strong Herx reactions, so not doing really good. Must adapt my signature.. 

Diagnosed MS 1995, SPMS, EDSS 7, on Wheldon protocol since July 2010