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Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that has been associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

In human disease[edit | edit source]

The Mycoplasma genus consists of large number of species, many of which are known to infect humans. There are standard documented diseases such as atypical pneumonia that can be caused by Mycoplasma. There are then a further number of diseases eg, Gulf War Illness,[1]rheumatoid arthritis,[2] which have been speculatively associated with Mycoplasma.

Pneumonia[edit | edit source]

In the medical community Mycoplasma is most often associated with the species Mycoplasma pneumoniae. In human diseases, this species generally manifests as an acute respiratory infection. The severity of this infection can range from mild to a more serious pneumonia. Normally the condition will subside after a course of antibiotics.[3]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome[edit | edit source]

A small number of published studies have suggested an increased prevalence of Mycoplasma presence in individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as compared to healthy controls.[4][5][6] These species include Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma fermentans and more.

Independent work by Dr. Garth Nicolson has found similar prevalence and symptom patterns and with Gulf War Illness (GWI) and fibromyalgia (FM).[7]

A later study, by a different group, was unable to detect the presence of Mycoplasma in either patients with CFS or healthy controls. The authors of this study have advised potential limitations of the patient selection and detection methodology of the earlier studies.[8]

Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

Standard Mycoplasma Pneumoniae infections are generally detected using antibody tests. Such tests may be insufficient for chronic Mycoplasma detection and instead PCR tests may be more effective.[9]

The reliability of Mycoplasma testing from specific private laboratories may not be well established. Variation in results may be seen between different labs so discretion may be needed. An example of a private test provider for Mycoplasma PCR is Australian Biologics.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

As the link between Mycoplasma and CFS is not well established, there is no standard treatment protocol for suspected cases. Mycoplasma are generally susceptible to antibiotics. There is one published study which suggests long term doxycycline may be effective for CFS patients who are detected with a Mycoplasma infection.[10]

Despite limited evidence, a number of practitioners consider and treat CFS patients who show signs of a chronic Mycoplasma infection. Treatment usually involves long term antibiotics along with supportive measures. Examples of practitioner protocols are those of Dr. Richard Schloeffel, Dr. Greg Emerson and the late Dr. Lerner.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Nicolson, Garth L.; Nasralla, Marwan Y.; Haier, Joerg; Pomfret, John (2002). "High frequency of systemic mycoplasmal infections in Gulf War veterans and civilians with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)". Journal of Clinical Neuroscience: Official Journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia. 9 (5): 525–529. ISSN 0967-5868. PMID 12383408.
  2. Haier, J.; Nasralla, M.; Franco, A. R.; Nicolson, G. L. (1999). "Detection of mycoplasmal infections in blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis". Rheumatology (Oxford, England). 38 (6): 504–509. ISSN 1462-0324. PMID 10402069.
  3. Kashyap, Surender; Sarkar, Malay (2010). "Mycoplasma pneumonia: Clinical features and management". Lung India : Official Organ of Indian Chest Society. 27 (2): 75–85. doi:10.4103/0970-2113.63611. ISSN 0970-2113. PMID 20616940.
  4. Nasralla, M.; Haier, J.; Nicolson, G. L. (1999). "Multiple mycoplasmal infections detected in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and/or fibromyalgia syndrome". European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases: Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology. 18 (12): 859–865. ISSN 0934-9723. PMID 10691196.
  5. Nijs, Jo; Nicolson, Garth L.; De Becker, Pascale; Coomans, Danny; De Meirleir, Kenny (2002). "High prevalence of Mycoplasma infections among European chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Examination of four Mycoplasma species in blood of chronic fatigue syndrome patients". FEMS immunology and medical microbiology. 34 (3): 209–214. ISSN 0928-8244. PMID 12423773.
  6. Nicolson, G. L.; Gan, R.; Haier, J. (2003). "Multiple co-infections (Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, human herpes virus-6) in blood of chronic fatigue syndrome patients: association with signs and symptoms". APMIS: acta pathologica, microbiologica, et immunologica Scandinavica. 111 (5): 557–566. ISSN 0903-4641. PMID 12887507.
  7. Nicolson, Garth L.; Nasralla, Marwan; Haier, Joerg; Nicolson, Nancy L. (1998). "Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Mycoplasmal Infections in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes: Relationship to Gulf War Illness" (PDF). Biomedical Therapy.
  8. Vernon, Suzanne D.; Shukla, Sanjay K.; Reeves, William C. (2003). "Absence of Mycoplasma species DNA in chronic fatigue syndrome". Journal of Medical Microbiology. 52 (11): 1027–1028. doi:10.1099/jmm.0.05316-0.
  9. Choppa, P. C.; Vojdani, A.; Tagle, C.; Andrin, R.; Magtoto, L. (1998). "Multiplex PCR for the detection of Mycoplasma fermentans, M. hominis and M. penetrans in cell cultures and blood samples of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome". Molecular and Cellular Probes. 12 (5): 301–308. doi:10.1006/mcpr.1998.0186. ISSN 0890-8508. PMID 9778455.
  10. Endresen, Gerhard K. M. (2003). "Mycoplasma blood infection in chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndromes". Rheumatology International. 23 (5): 211–215. doi:10.1007/s00296-003-0355-7. ISSN 0172-8172. PMID 12879275.

antibodies Antibodies or immunoglobulin refers to any of a large number of specific proteins produced by B cells that act against an antigen in an immune response.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.