Treating Bartonella-Like Organisms There may be as many as 30 distinct pathogenic species of Bartonella-like organisms, most of which have never been clinically defined.

By Dr. Joseph Burrascano

I t has been said that Bartonella is the most common of all tick-borne pathogens. Indeed, there seems to be a fairly distinct clinical syndrome when this type of organism is present in the chronic Lyme patient. However, several aspects of this infection seem to indicate that these tick-associated strains of Bartonella are different from that described as “cat scratch disease.” For example, in patients who fit the clinical picture, standard Bartonella blood testing is commonly non-reactive. Furthermore, the usual Bartonella medications do not work for this–they suppress the symptoms but do not permanently clear them. Recently, thanks to advanced genotyping, it has been discovered that there may be as many as 30 distinct pathogenic species of this organism, most of which have never been clinically defined, and drug treatment studies, if they exist at all, are often misleading because for this intracellular organism, in vitro results rarely reflect in vivo efficacy. For these reasons, I like to refer to this group collectively as “Bartonella-like organisms” (BLOs).

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