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Zoonoses – a load of cock-and-bull?

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I have had a lot of experience with parasites and testing (unfortunately) and a parasitologist explained to me that, as parasites live attached to the bowel wall, the chances of missing them in any one feces sample is high. He preferred to take as scraping from the wall of the rectum and also to do blood tests which would indicate a parasite infection.

    Sushi
    Valentijn likes this.
  2. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    I think you've written an interesting article and don't question that bugs or illnesses which animals have can cross over to us, as we are animals too. If we caught it from another human being, we caught it from an animal. However, I am definitely troubled by the intellectually or scientifically loose aspects of this article--or any other articles here.

    First of all, when people, or animals, are said to have CFS-like symptoms, what does this mean? Just fatigue, the number one symptom across all kinds of illnesses? What is the definition of CFS being associated to? Also, when there is only a very small study with no replication, and the rigor of that study is unknown, the conclusions don't seem to amount to much more than anecdotal evidence.

    The reason I am being critical is I feel it will end up being harder on patients if we start chasing after every possible cause and association out there. It reminds me of the problem with claims for alternative medicine, nutritional supplements, etc. There are thousands of potential causes and treatments, but which ones are actually valid for ME/CFS with a Canadian or International Case Definition?

    Many of us have already exhausted our time, energy, money and hope chasing after special treatments and doctors/practitioners, but what percentage of us defined by the Canadian or International Criteria have recovered? Very few, from my information. I hope our best doctors and researchers do study this illness and look into different treatments in particular (though I consider looking for THE CAUSE a waste of time) but I don't want to get emotionally involved with, or chase after, every possibility before they do.

    Even when high-profile people do get involved, we can still be fooled. Witness XMRV. I am as keen for answers and help as anyone, but I can't afford the disappointment that can follow too much speculation, or thinking that we might have our hands on a cause, when all we have is an association, maybe not even a proven association, and if proven, may not even linked to the strictly defined form of ME/CFS--or ME.

    I objected to some other specific points. There are people who believe that all CFS, or ME/CFS is Lyme Disease. The "all CFS =Lyme" has been shown to be false, by the spinal fluid study, our failure to respond to antibiotics, etc. The clinical picture may be overlapping, just as it is with Gulf War Syndrome, thought by Dr. Klimas to be caused by pesticide exposure, but the causes, illnesses and treatments are different.

    Then about Giardia--it does cause diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, etc. as a result of how the protozoan knocks out the small intestine. It does not attack the large bowel. Most IBS, I think, comes from large intestine problems instead. Giardia symptoms are closer to those of gluten intolerance, which also disables the small intestine, not the large bowel. The types of diarrheas, and malabsorption are different. A sign of a small intestine problem is the lack of fat absorption. It is important for all of us to try to be very careful about our data and claims.
  3. GcMAF Australia

    GcMAF Australia Senior Member

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    Yes
    that is because they wanted to see what you had to say about it before they published ;)
    snowathlete likes this.
  4. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    If you want it to be a parasite Toxocara would be a better candidate.
  5. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Hi Sing,
    Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you asked some of these question as it allows me to ellaborate on particular areas in a way that I couldnt really within the limits of the article itself.

    With regards to the animals Dr Tarello mentions in his papers, they were diagnosed with CFS-like illness based on the CDC's 1994 criteria (sometimes refered to as Fukuda criteria). Reasonable, given that these studies were carried out before Candian or International criteria were published (2003 and 2011 respectively). I myself was diagnosed originally by the Fukuda criteria, as most still are (at least in the UK) but susequently met the Candian and International criteria.

    Dr Tarello and his wife were diagnosed in a way that many of us can relate to: after many tests to rule out other causes, finally being diagnosed with CFS based on the Fukuda criteria. Serum creatine kinase (CK) were also found to be high at rest and CD4/CD8 ratio was found to be low.

    At that time, chronic mononucleosis was thought by some to be the cause of CFS and so their IgG EBV titers were also taken (1/160 patient 1 and 1/640 patient 2). So they were given magnesium, selenium and carnitine supplementation, but this had no benefits.

    Interesting to note as well that this Arsenic derived treatment was not their first choice. They tried antibiotics and anti-malarial drugs first without benefit.

    I agree that it would be nice to have the findings replicated and more research into this area. I think I said that in my article.

    At the end of the day people have to make their own decision about which avenues to pursue (if any) based upon the limited research that the illness gets, but I agree with being sceptical and cautious. XMRV is a good example. Personally, I thought it was to early to have an XMRV test or to take treatments to tackle it, but other people decided to go ahead and do that. Probablity favours the skeptic in such cases as until a finding has been reliably replicated, its just a possible finding. It may not stand up, and often doesnt.

    I'm glad you brought Borrelia up - not all Lyme is the same and some Borelia species cause illness but not Lyme disease. The overlap in symptomology does mean that it should be ruled out before a diagnosis of ME/CFS is made, and there is also no rule that says someone cant have both Lyme and ME/CFS. Borelia is very interesting indeed. My next article in this zoonotics series will be about Borrelia and Lyme. I look forward to your thoughts and comments once its published.

    I was careful to describe the Giardia findings in Bergen as Chronic Fatigue not Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, because the paper doesnt say that and it doesnt explain how the chronic fatigue they described was evaluated. Nevertheless, the finding demonstrates that a zoonotic can cause symptoms reported as IBS or fatigue, and thats what I am highlighting in this article.

    Whether Giardia is a likely cause for CFS/ME or not, I dont know - its not something I have looked into. I may cover it in this series, but I dont plan to cover every zoonotic ever linked with ME/CFS, so I may well not cover it. It depends on whether other studies have looked at it, and also how much interest people show in it as a topic. Some other zoonotics may be more interesting to explore. Thanks for your interest though.
    Nielk and Valentijn like this.
  6. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I used to wonder if my cat had ME. She never moved or wasted a single joule of energy she didn't have to.
    It turned out, when she was given painkillers for an injury, that she could move just fine. She's had arthritis all her life.
    Now she gets painkillers every day and can move and wash properly. But she's still pretty lazy.

    It's very difficicult to make a diagnosis of a creature who can't speak and tell you what hurts or doesn't feel right.
    caledonia likes this.

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