In some recent correspondance with Dr. Stratton at Vanderbilt University, he kindly answered some of the questions which had formed as I've understood more about the combination antibiotic protocol and about Cpn. From the patient's perspective I wanted to correlate some observations about treatment reactions with his deeper understanding about the biology of the Cpn. I'll list the questions I put to him, and then his generous response below.1. In an earlier correspondance you had mentioned pulsing the INH band metronidazole together. * Why do that rather than take it continuously? * My understanding is that INH is one of the anti-replicatives, and the point is to use these continuously to drive the bug into the cryptic phase where it will be obliterated by the flagyl/tini. Does INH act differently than the other antireplicatives? * I also understood that we use a dual abx to prevent developing resistance. Why can we use INH alone without developing resistance? 2. Although doxy/azith/mino and the other antireplicatives are not supposed to kill Cpn, only inhibit it's replication, clearly everyone with any kind of bacterial load reports a die-off reaction as they start these agents. People commonly note some agents as causing more die-off than others, azith for example seems to create more die-off than doxy. This could, of course, be an inexact measure of immunomodulatory action or it's lack, but azith is definitely immunomodulatory. My experience and others on the site say that it generates more die-off. What do you think this die-off is from? Do the antireplicatives also kill Cpn? 3. About flagyl and energy increase: Although often this agent creates a more challenging die-off reaction, it can also result in a burst of energy and reduction in brain fog. The liberation of energy and brain fog after (sometimes during) pulses suggests to me that the so called "non-metabolizing" or "dormant" image of the cryptic phase is incorrect. If cryptic Cpn wasn't stealing host energy or gumming up the machinery in some way, it should not have such an energizing effect to kill it. After all, flagyl isn't killing the RB's which we know are actively using host ATP.JimK
Dr. Stratton responds:
Here are some of my thoughts on your questions. First of all, remember that Cpn is able to shift to different phases in its life cycle. In order to eradicate the organism, you have to deal with all three phases and, I believe, you have to deal with them simultaneously. For example, INH alone does not eradicate Cpn from a cell culture, INH plus metronidazole does not eradicate Cpn from a cell culture, but INH plus metronidazole plus penicillamine does eradicate Cpn from a cell culture. (NAC does the same as penicillamine.) So, Stratton Rule Number One is that the best effect is going to be when all the antibiotics are present. It doesn’t mean that you have no effect if all are not present, just that the best effect is when all are present. One combination that we tried years ago was INH, Bactrim, and Amoxicillin (i.e., penicillamine). People got better while on the drugs, but relapsed when they were stopped, even after years of therapy. Therefore, Cpn was not eradicated. My educated guess would be that INH is more potent, but physicians are not happy prescribing INH. By the way, the most potent combination (in the original studies described in the patent materials) was metronidazole, INH, and penicillamine (NAC does the same thing.). My thoughts would be to pulse INH along with the metronidazole, starting slowly (1 pill at a time) so as to reduce the side effects. As long as you are also taking NAC, the metronidazole/INH pulse should root out Cpn very effectively. Again, the average physician is probably unwilling to do this. Because INH is known to have hepatotoxicity and physicians feel uncomfortable using it and thus must obtain monthly liver function tests when using it. This suggests to me that a pulse would be better (less risk of liver toxicity unmonitored), and if the best effect is when the metronidazole is present, that is when the pulse should be done. Now, on the resistance issue: INH is a prodrug and is converted to the active drug, a free-radical, by catalases/peroxidases – which may be supplied by the pathogen or perhaps by the cell, if the cell is a monocyte/macrophage. Metronidazole is also a prodrug and is converted by electrons to the active drug, a free-radical. Free-radicals damage DNA/RNA and can destroy the pathogen and in some cases the host cell. Although it does happen, resistance to free-radicals is much less likely to occur. Why the antireplicatives create die-off-Moreover, Cpn can prevent apoptosis (natural cell death), a cell mechanism to deal with intracellular pathogens. When Cpn is shut down by macrolides or tetracyclines and can’t make the proteins that prevent apoptosis, apoptosis can happen and the cell dies. The more cell death, the more side effects. Finally, Cpn-infected cells are protected from additional Cpn entering the cell and causing more infection in the same cell. When infected cells are cleared, they can then be re-infected if elementary bodies are nearby. This is why a reducing agent such as NAC is so important as they eliminate the elementary bodies. Re-infection is why we like rifampin, which prevents the re-infection as it targets the DNA-dependant RNA polymerase – elementary bodies need this enzyme to transform to a reticulate or cryptic body.Also, both the replicating phase and the cryptic phase may be stealing ATP – but the cryptic phase may also have anaerobic metabolism at work and thus be generating ATP as well. It’s all very complicated and much is theoretical. Hope this helps. Take care.-Chuck Stratton, M.D.