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Mycoplasma infections in people with ME/CFS

Discussion in 'Infections: Lyme, Candida, EBV ...' started by Jaybee00, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Jaybee00

    Jaybee00 Senior Member (Voting Rights)


    In the late 1990's early 2000's there were several studies looking at mycoplasma infections in CFS, and researchers generally found much higher mycoplasma infection rates in PWCFS than healthy controls, e.g. https://academic.oup.com/femspd/article/34/3/209/558832. Doesn't seem like there has been much follow up on this research recently. In any case, wanted to know if:

    1) Should PWCFS be tested for mycoplasma infection (assuming PCR is better than serology tests)?
    2) If there is an infection, should this be treated with antibiotics or will the mycoplama simply come back due the potentially altered immune function of PWCFS?
    3) Have people with mycoplasma infections felt better after antibiotic treatment?
    4) What renders people with ME/CFS more vulnerable to mycoplasma infections?

  2. Dr Carrot

    Dr Carrot Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    N = 1, I was given antibiotics for a mycoplasma infection, it had no bearing on my state of health, if anything I got worse after the course.

    Edit: mainly sharing this because I think it shows how nebulous this sort of thing is. Maybe someone could have a lot of their symptoms explained by mycoplasma, and treating it would be very helpful. Until testing and treatment become more sophisticated it’s pretty much just a case of randomly trying things without any idea of how they’re connected.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  3. James Morris-Lent

    James Morris-Lent Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    United States
    I wonder if Ron Davis et al are looking at Mycoplasma in their probing for pathogenic organisms. I would be interested if the findings from Nicholson et al above were corroborated by a different group.

    I've personally benefitted profoundly from a particular antibiotic, but I don't know why.

    Presumably a large enough number of CFS patients have been incidentally treated with tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, or macrolides - these being the drugs active against mycoplasma - that if any of these treatments were generally useful we would have an inkling of that. Although, who knows.
    andypants, ScottTriGuy and Jaybee00 like this.
  4. Jaybee00

    Jaybee00 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

  5. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    fwiw, I'm currently taking minocycline and its made dizzy and spinning sensations which exacerbates my nausea. I'm hoping the dizziness lifts when I finish. Harder to think too.
    Inara and Trish like this.
  6. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    In his talk at IiME Ron Davis says that a number of pwME report feeling better when they have had bacterial infections and that they generally assume it is because of the antibiotics they were given.
    But he believes that it is the actual infection that for some bizarre reason causes the improvement.


    (my ME started after a bout of pneumonia which took more than one course of antibiotics to shift; the second lot being ciprofloxacin. several months after being diagnosed with ME I tried several more rounds of antibiotics (had read an article about chlamydia pneumonia and ME), but they made no difference.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
    Invisible Woman, andypants and Trish like this.
  7. erin

    erin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I was given a fluorquinoline anti-biotic after a mycoplasma infection previous year. It ruined my already vulnerable health. It took me more than a year to get back to a reasonable state of health with a lot of research and various private specialist visits ( gastro, skin, internist) without mentioning ME in general.
  8. Pechius

    Pechius Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I find this statement a bit dubious. I think bacterial infections are not that common to form any pattern. I thought I've heard some pwME reporting better health after getting viral infections. I wonder what infections is Davis talking about? UTI? Pneumonia? Gastroenteritis?
    andypants likes this.
  9. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Two subsequent mycoplasma (lung) infections after a strep infection were the start of my health issues that at some point (possibly immediately, I certainly had very persistent post infectious fatigue) became ME.

    Breathing/lung issues began with those infections and is my longest standing symptom other than the fatigue/energy issues. Gastrointestinal issues started up shortly after.

    The antibiotics certainly did nothing for me, given that I’m still dealing with the same symptoms 12 years later. No idea what kind of antibiotics, though.
    erin, Inara, Sly Saint and 1 other person like this.
  10. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    It may not be at all what Ron Davis is thinking, but if you have an infection it mobilises the immune system and all the other things that the body has to fix damage. In the course of fixing that damage they might fix some of the ME problems as well.

    Like having a kitchen which is a bit grubby; if you have a small fire with smoke damage, everything gets repainted so it sorts the old stains along with the new.
    Little Bluestem and andypants like this.
  11. oldtimer

    oldtimer Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    In the mid 1990s I had a positive blood test for mycoplasma infection. The doctor told me that testing at the time couldn't identify which species it was but I have deduced it was mycoplasma fermentans. After three months of azithromycin the bacterial load was greatly reduced but I felt no different.

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