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Resolving Chronic infection

July 21, 2016

Numerous studies have shown that EBV/CMV can infect immunocompetent patients simultaneously with other agents including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP), human herpesvirus 6, measles virus and others. 1

 

Opportunistic 

Infectious agents exploit the work of other agents. Infection is not the result of a solitary invader on a single predatory path. And though infection is commonly viewed as an invasion, more than one species is in the line up. I've diagnosed many a patient with two or three viral infections, some related, some not. 2

Pathogens are opportunistic. 3 Many "...cause mild or transient immunosuppression during acute infection. These...often make the host susceptible to secondary infections by common environmental microorganisms." 4 A weakened immune system is an invitation. Other potential pathogens, some that may have been present all along, are latent and lay in wait for the opportune time to infect. 

Adaptable

But pathogens are in the business of gaining an upper hand. Simply put, "microbes are more adaptable to changing environments than we are" 5

New threats are always emerging as microbes reinvent themselves, learn to outsmart our medicines, and jump from other species to humans.

There's no surprise then that an infection lingers, for weeks if not for months. 

But there's more. 

 

Cooperative 

"The more researchers discover, new unknown issues add up to the complexity of biofilm infections, in which microbial species establish relationships of cooperation and competition, and elaborate phenotypic differentiation into functional, adapted communities." 6

Infectious agents do more than exploit opportunities and find ways to congregate, they organize their efforts and their defenses. They bind together and protect themselves as a unit. They do this with "...glue-like materials (carbohydrates)." 7 

The glue-like material that micro-organisms secrete allow them to attach themselves to surfaces. 

They're sticky little buggers. Dental plaque is a good example of biofilm. But the filmy substance isn't limited to surface anatomy, but can go deeper. The lungs and the heart valves are good candidate for biofilm, which can harbor dozens of agents that together pose a great danger.


Dangerous

Chances are heart disease, cancer and even obesity stem from infection. 8 

"Chronic infection can also reduce the body’s ability to respond to pathogenic organisms, tumors, or tissue damage. Chronic infections may get worse, lead to death, be cured, remain dormant or require continual monitoring." 9

Others in the list of potential illnesses that stem from infection are: Alzheimer's, Anorexia, Anxiety, Asthma, ADHD, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Crohn's disease, Dementia, Depression, Diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2, Epilepsy, Low back pain, Lupus, Psoriasis. And the list goes on. 10 Infections are far more notorious than first thought.

Dormant infections draw on the body's reserves unawares. Biofilms may explain the susceptibility of the body to other agents and why physical trauma falls into unsuspecting complications.

"Even though...chronic infections don’t always cause overt symptoms, they still tax the body and can cause nutritional deficiencies, stress on the adrenal glands and on the immune system as a whole..."9

Any one of us is vulnerable without notice, until the sudden onset of symptoms that cannot be traced back to any discrete cause.


Treatment 

Anti-infective drug suppressants, such as antibiotics and antivirals can halt the proliferation of infections. 11 These are useful, but are indiscriminate in their targeting of agents, and in their use increases the body's susceptibility to other agents and lowers its resistance to potential stressors. 

The best treatment is one based on pinpointing which agents are present, either dormant or active and removing them one by one from the organs they have infected. Only the body knows what and where they are, and recruiting the body's cognizance of their whereabouts is key. 

Accompanied with lifestyle changes to help the body along, this method of treating infection is the most effective. It will take some time and perseverance, because the body needs time to adjust and re-establish itself to homeostasis. 

1. http://www.virologyj.com/content/7/1/247
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coinfection http://danielcameronmd.com/coinfections/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunistic_infection
4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27176/
5. http://www.dana.org/Publications/ReportDetails.aspx?id=44163
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25877092
7. http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/food-safety/at-the-food-processor/what-is-biofilm.html
8. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/prevention/virus-alert-what-viruses-really-do-to-your-body#Dqtjmo3Qoo8XjMH8.97
9. http://www.hope4cancer.com/diseases-we-treat/non-cancer-diseases/chronic-infections.html
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_diseases_associated_with_infectious_pathogens
11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infection#Treatments

 

 

 

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