CASE STUDY: Undiagnosed and Untreated Chronic Bacterial Infection

The Silent Role of Biofilms in Chronic Disease Forums Biofilm Community The Standard of Care CASE STUDY: Undiagnosed and Untreated Chronic Bacterial Infection

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    • #3012 Score: 0
        2 pts

        Every day throughout America, patients with undiagnosed bacterial infections suffer greatly with chronic symptoms. Many may even receive surgical treatments which are said to be curative, but are not. And some patients may actually get worse after surgery, and still remain without a diagnosis and proper treatment.

        It is unbelievable to me that new innovations in both diagnostics and treatments are not being deployed to the point of care to help patients get well. My questions for you readers as you read through this actual case:

        1. This post-operative patient below, Roy, is still suffering after having his tonsils removed. What can he do if his ENT(ear, nose throat) doctor will not collect a sample and send it out to a biofilm testing lab? Why would he not want to help the patient get a comprehensive diagnostic analysis?

        2. How can the medical system be changed to heal people suffering with these bacterial biofilm infections?

        3. How many patients in this country are like Roy — have multiple medical visits & treatments — but remain undiagnosed and untreated?

        CASE STUDY:
        Undiagnosed and Untreated Chronic Bacterial Infection
        February 2011


        49 year old overweight male with history of frequent sinusitis. Deviated septum. Treated with courses of broad spectrum antibiotics but most relief with homemade nasal spray with xylitol, saline, grapefruit seed extract, thyme and oregano oil. Frequent history recurrent strep throat. CPAP machine due to sleep apnea. Hypertension controlled by medication and borderline diabetes diet controlled. Hiatal hernia repair 2001.

        Persistent periods of debilitating fatigue, night sweats, heat intolerance, migraine headaches. Re-occurring illness since trip to Puerto Rico in 1999 to repair homes devastated by storms. Illness in Puerto Rico developed after eating and drinking food prepared by homeowners. Visited ER due to diarrhea, abdominal pain; vomiting. Sent home early. No diagnosis discovered by US docs despite multiple testing and work up. Acute symptoms resolved with Levaquin. Patient states not well since this episode. Frequent exposure to tick borne illnesses due to working as gardener landscaper and outdoor hobbies.


        12/6 Onset symptoms including sore throat “Felt like strep throat” Patient presented at doctor for first visit on December 8, quick strep test negative. No long term culture done. Started Clindamycin due to penicillin allergy. Possible strep throat.

        12/10 developed extreme diarrhea vomiting. 12/11 back to MD stopped Clindamycin. New diagnosis Epstein Barr. Blood test mono spot negative. No prescription. Symptoms persistent sore throat fever headaches exhaustion.

        12/15 back to MD for follow-up. Diagnosis probable virus, suggested just rest etc. Diarrhea vomiting worse. Sore throat still. Weight loss.

        12/18 back to MD again due to debilitating symptoms. Repeat strep test; results positive. Penicillin added due to strep. Slight decrease in sore throat, but diarrhea worse with weight loss.

        12/25. Awoke with numbness hands and feet. Brought to local hospital ER with diagnosis possible C. difficile due to Clindamycin. Started Flagyl, repeated quick strep test negative. Ordered to stop penicillin. Two bags IV fluids given due to severe dehydration and sent home. Unable to continue working due to severe debilitating symptoms.

        12/26 Stool to hospital for C. difficile exam.

        12/27 back to primary care MD. He sent patient to ER again in hopes of admission due to persistent dehydration. No relief of diarrhea etc on flagyl. Still sore throat swollen glands temp etc. 2 bags fluid again no admit to hospital. Stop flagyl.

        12/28- To local ENT emergency office visit. Possible cytomegalovirus or persistent bacterial infection Sent to IV Room at local hospital for IV Rocephin. 14 day course with some relief. Stools for C. difficile negative.

        1/4/11- Local ENT visit ultrasound right neck swollen lymph nodes possible lymphoma, biopsy pending.

        1/10/11 Local ENT MD office visit repeat ultrasound some decrease in size lymph nodes. Biopsy put on hold. Hold Rocephin to see if symptoms increase. Rocephin stopped.

        1/13/11 CT Scan local hospital as symptoms increased off Rocephin. GI symptoms somewhat resolving.

        1/17/11 Visit to local ENT again. Surgery scheduled: tonsillectomy due to size tonsils and multiple stones from persistent chronic infection found on CT SCAN. Doxycycline started 100 mg twice daily.

        1/20/11 Surgery hospital tonsillectomy culture sent. Pain medication hydrocodone and Tylenol every four hours for pain.

        1/27/11 Phone call from ENT doctor Eikennella bacteria culturing from tonsil. Continue doxy but surgery should have been curative. Pain tremendous after surgery. Difficult post-op period.

        2/4/11 repeat visit to ENT. Weight loss now 50 lbs since Dec 6 due to sore throat, decreased appetite etc. Tonsil to be sent for DNA PCR analysis pending. Patient still out of work due to illness. Persistent headaches, light sensitivity, night sweats, fevers, exhaustion, poor stamina. Question of persistent undiagnosed bacterial infection.

        2/5/11 Unable to send tonsil for PCR DNA testing as only slide was saved. Tonsil tossed by accident. ENT repeatedly asked to send swab away for testing but stated that surgery is curative and persistent symptoms due to healing from surgery.

        3/1/11 ENT doctor reluctantly ordered outside testing for limited PCR panel. Results pending.

        3/10/11 Patient work limited to 4 hours daily; symptoms of pain, headache, light sensitivity, poor circulation, extreme lethargy, night sweats,

        3/21/11 Requests for advanced molecular diagnostics denied. Patient still sick and suffering.

      • #3450 Score: 0

          This is crazy! I’m sure this isn’t the only time or the only case like this in the USA. If he stayed in PR I’m sure he’d be dead by now, or would he have recovered on his own. What if he tried a biofilm penetrating product, for instance:

          Xylitol – gargle/nasal spray
          Cranberry juice
          Prunes (I can’t believe it either)
          Licorice root extract

          Any of these topically, at least, could reduce the biofilm in his mouth and throat. Swallowing could improve overall health slightly.

          In Europe they use xylitol in an IV solution, which has been effective in septicemia. So I guess it comes down to money and whether he has an opportunity to fly to Europe for “experimental” treatment.

          He can also find someone who is versed in ozonating blood. Removing small quantities of blood, hyper-oxygenating the blood, and putting it back into the body may work well in this condition. O3 dissipates very quickly and heals along the way. I think there is even a video on YouTube about ozone and Lyme Disease.


        • #3451 Score: 0
            2 pts

            Thanks Shirley, this is helpful information. What was established is that there are two or more pathogenic microbes involved in Roy’s infection. As is the case with polymicrobial infections in the mouth, biofilm is the “gunk” making the infection persistent. Obviously, surgical removal of Roy’s tonsils was not “curative” even though that’s the way it was explained to Roy by the doctor and the NP.

            The latest update: Roy is working part-time and cannot work more hours due to fatigue and headaches. The ENT has referred him to a doctor specializing in CFIDS.

          • #3452 Score: 0
              2 pts

              Roy’s new PCP is taking the time to read his clinical history and noted that Roy uses a CPAP machine at night. He asked Roy and his wife about how frequently they clean the machine…more on that later.

              In the meantime, this got me curious. How many CPAP users are instructed as to the proper method to clean the machine every night? Here’s a blurb on this subject:

              Cleanliness is very important for patients using CPAP or Oral Appliances. With CPAP scrupulous cleaning on a nightly basis prevents formation of biofilms that can be carried into the lungs, bronchi, and sinus cavities. Patients who have problems with daily cleaning can have several sets of CPAP masks and hoses. Oral appliances require that the patient be scrupulous not only in cleaning their appliances but also in brushing and flossing their teeth before bed.

              The appliance does not allow the normal flow of saliva to self-cleanse the teeth and bacteria and plaque will accumulate rapidly if normal brushing and flossing are not done. This extra attention to oral health may save patients from numerous problems with decay and gum disease. The effect on overall health of periodontal disease is similar in magnitude to the problems of sleep apnea. Patients with periodontal disease show a six fold increased risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as increases in diabetes, lung infections and numerous other problems. All Patients using CPAP, Appliances or nothing should follow a similar routine, but it is most important for patients with appliances.

              Source: Sleep Apnea Dental Appliances | Snoring Device

              Another helpful topic, and discussion forum for CPAP users is here:

              CPAP Community – View topic – pink slime in tank?

            • #3453 Score: 0

                Tonsils. We do T/A’s frequently. Those little crypts that hold tonsillar liths are generally described as calcium and other minerals deposits in the tonsils that cause halitosis. My daughter had one that we put under a microscope (no stain) with phase contrast. Now there may have been Ca and Mag in the lith, but the most notable things we saw were multiple (1000’s) active microbes of various kinds including spirochetes. These are BIOFILMS, and as Dr. Randy Wolcott has so aptly described, culture swabs and antibiotics are often useless tools to identify or treat them.

                Had a veterinarian friend who has been on varying antibiotics for two months for tonsillitis, all to no avail…the next thing they wanted to do was remove his tonsils…..i.e. cut into the biofilm and spread it systemically. Got him to try salt and baking soda gargles (change the pH), then vinegar gargles (if there was a fungal component), and finally suck on Manuka honey lozenges (tea tree). He has been well since.

              • #3013 Score: 0
                  2 pts

                  Pat, your reply was very interesting and insightful. I don’t know why it’s difficult for some clinicians to perform the diagnostics you mention, but this omission can have devastating consequences for the patient’s treatment plan.

                  Case in point, in an update of Roy’s condition: he was admitted to the ER on Tuesday after fainting at work. He’s still in the hospital without a diagnosis. He does have headaches, swollen lymph glands and also had blood in his urine.

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