Submitted by Jim K on Sat, 2006-02-04 12:40

Under Construction

Eventually we hope to have more detailed discussions of:

  • The causal vs co-factor question.
  • A brief look at the arguments which refute Cpn as a causal factor (such as the cardiac findings that two weeks of zithro doesn’t prevent future heart attacks) and the counter arguments (e.g. that two weeks of zithro is a ridiculous treatment given persistencei). This should be done at least for cardiac, ms, arthritis.
  • How methodological differences between studies and logical confusion cause premature rejection (maybe premature expostulation!) of emerging findings.

In the mean time, an two excellent comments on this topic

An excerpt here from David Wheldon's book review of "The Potbelly Syndrome" where David describes some of the difficulty doctors have looking for occult infections, and a page on his website where he discusses the difficulty doctors have going against what has been so ingrained in them in training.

Excerpt from

And for years people have looked for infections in these chronic illnesses without success. It is forty years since Chl pneumoniae was discovered, and, as the author says, hospital consultants do, by and large, have little understanding of this organism. I can vouch for this. I was speaking to a colleague, a consultant medical microbiologist, who politely asked me my interest within the subject. 'The treatment of chronic infections with Chl pneumoniae.' 'Oh, I never see infections with that!' To which the answer is 'You don't look.' Charles Strattoni, a medical microbiologist at Vanderbilt University, and a member of the team who first discovered the presence - by culture as well as the detection of specific gene-sequences - of Chl pneumoniae in the CSF of people with MSi, believes that method is all important, with fastidious attention to detail and, in the case of culture, repeated centrifugation and prolonged incubation. Doctors are inclined to show undue credulity when it comes to negative laboratory findings. Saying 'we didn't find it so it's not there' is, after all, not that much different from saying 'you claim there is a needle in that haystack; I've spent a whole ten minutes looking for it without finding it so it's not there.'


David Wheldon's "The Curate's Egg"

For those not anglophiles, the phrase means:

"Something bad that is called good out of politeness or timidity."


The origin of the phrase, the George du Maurier cartoon - "True Humility", printed in the magazine Punch, 9th November 1895, gives fuller insight into its meaning, which relies to some extent on an appreciation of irony.


The Curate's Egg

TRUE HUMILITY. Right Reverend Host. “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad Egg, Mr. Jones!” The Curate. “Oh no, my Lord, I assure you! Parts of it are excellect!