Dr. Carlene Patterson, Veterinarian (Excerpt & Video Available)

The Silent Role of Biofilms in Chronic Disease Forums Biofilm Community Expert Interviews Dr. Carlene Patterson, Veterinarian (Excerpt & Video Available)

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    • #2817 Score: 0
        2 pts

        The video interview is complete, the 11 minute edited distillation is explained in the June 21 post. There’s an interesting excerpt from our fifty-minute interview below.

        Dr. Patterson is a 1989 graduate of Oklahoma State University. She spent her first year at New England Animal Medical Center in West Boylston, Massachusetts and taught veterinary technician students at Becker Junior College (now Becker College) in Leicester, Massachusetts in 1990. Dr. Patterson also worked at Gardiner Animal Hospital in Gardiner, New York in the spring of 1990 and spent a year as a radiology resident at University of California, Davis 1990 to 1991. She returned to Gardiner Animal Hospital until 1996 and purchased Sheep Meadow Animal Hospital, LLC in Ghent New York.

        Dr. Patterson is a member of the Columbia County Lyme Disease Task Force and attends Lyme Disease Association and International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) meetings. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society.

        Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Dr. Carlene Patterson: veterinarian, animal hospital owner and Lyme disease researcher.

        Question: So, in terms of what you just described, it sounded like Lyme-induced arthritis, is that correct?

        Answer: That’s the most common presentation. It can also cause neurological problems such as seizures, Bell’s palsy. I’ve seen that in a few dogs. They were both golden retrievers, purebreds. I’ve seen seizures in a purebred German shepherd. Usually if you have genetic variation, they can fight off the Lyme a little bit better.

        Question: Well, is there any accepted treatment for cats and dogs that do have these severe chronic issues in terms of antimicrobials? Are there any recommended standards that you’re using?

        Answer: Well, the recommended standard is to treat with doxycycline for 30 days in dogs. Also, you would treat cats in a similar fashion. I have diagnosed Lyme in a few cats that were very ill, and I’ve culled serology evidence that Lyme was the causative agent in that sense, and they usually respond very well to doxycycline. Some animals do not, and you need to treat them with other antibiotics such as amoxicillin is a really good choice also, metronidazole, sometimes I will use that in combination with amoxicillin, especially if there’s neurologic involvement, as I try to target some other forms of Lyme that can cause a cyst form; whereas amoxicillin will not take care of that and neither will doxycycline, so you have to employ multiple drug treatments.

        Question: That leads to my next question. I’m wondering if the animals are relapsing after treatment; whether it’s doxy or others, and is it too much of an extrapolation to relate that to humans. Specifically, what’s happening with some Lyme patients in terms of relapsing? Was the Borrelia or co-infection not cleared?

        sad report from DVM Magazine, which confirms that most dogs DO NOT get rid of Lyme infections.Answer: I believe that certainly is true. I’ve had a subset of dogs that the owner will call me up and say, “He’s got Lyme back. He’s not eating. He’s got a fever. His joints are swollen.” There is no placebo effect in animals. I’ll put them on antibiotics, and usually by the next day, the dogs act completely normal. We do treat them for a month. In some of these cases, I’ll repeat testing and they’re always Lyme-positive. That says to me that either in an area where the animal’s own immune defense cannot rid the organism from the body, and/or the antibiotic does not diffuse there, such as joints or in the cerebrospinal fluid.

        It’s hard to get the antibiotics in that area because of the blood-brain barrier but these dogs will always still test positive on the ELISA test, the C6 peptide…is that they’re still chronically infected. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re actively dividing, but these bacteria can release little blebs, which have antigens on them. The body will react to them and the immune system wants to get rid of it, and so then you’re going to make an antibody. So I think that’s one reason they test chronically positive. Most infections, bacterial infections, if the body clears it, the antibody will persist for about 9 months or a year and then it goes away. That’s not true with Lyme in most of the patients that I see. Once the dog is positive, they stay positive for the rest of their life.

        Question: Do tick-borne infections follow the same course in humans as they do in animals — or are their immune systems somehow different in how they’re able to prevent chronic, persistent infections?

        Answer: I would have to say that there is a small subset of dogs that will remain clinical even after treatment. It may take a couple of months before they cycle back, but there is a subset of dogs that remain chronically infected with Lyme. Most of the time they will clear it, and also, as I said, uh, only about 10% of the time does a dog appear to be clinical for Lyme, even when they test positive, so I, I think that their immune system is a little different or their bodies are better to fight it off; because their body temperature, for instance, is higher than ours. Lyme doesn’t really like to be too hot, so, for instance, birds. They have isolated Lyme in birds, but it doesn’t really live in, in them because I think, and their body temperature’s much hotter than, than we are, and I just don’t think that Lyme can live in the bird even though they have isolated it because ticks can feed off birds, but they’re not clinically ill with it, so…

        I think that, I think that their bodies are a little better adapted to get rid of some of these infections. However, a lot of the tick-borne diseases such as Babesia, the dogs are chronically positive and it can be spread to the offspring. Puppies can be born with Babesia, which is kind of scary when you think about it and also it can be transmitted by blood transfusions or bite wounds. It’s very common in fighting pit bulls.

        Question: What pathogens are transmitted by cat bites or even dog bites for that matter, and what kinds of problems, if any, might they cause in humans, and is this understood as a transmission pathway?

        Answer: Certainly dog bites can spread bacteria. They, they’re well-known to spread Babesia, but that’s mainly between dog-to-dog bite. You’re really not going to get Babesia from your dog. They’re a different species. At least we believe right now the different species infect dogs versus people. Babesias are pretty specific. Bartonella is very difficult to isolate in a dog, but it’s very well-known that probably 60% of cats do test positive for Babesia; for Bartonella, even though they may not be clinical.

        So, if you were bitten by a cat, it’s conceivable that you could get Bartonella because it is almost considered a normal inhabitant of the cat mouth. Some people want to say it plays a role in chronic stomatitis and gingivitis in cats. I’m not so sure that it really causes it, or the fact that it’s a normal inhabitant of the cat mouth. Pasteurella is another bad bacterium that you can get from a cat bite. It certainly can cause cellulitis. Some people have to be hospitalized to treat that, and we could go on and on about the different bacteria that inhabit, uh, a dog’s mouth. Dogs also get periodontal disease just like people do: porphyromonas inhabit their mouth, streptococcus, many different species inhabit the dog mouth.

        Question: Conversely, is it possible that we as human hosts can infect our pets? Does it work the other way too?

        Answer: Well, I certainly have isolated streptococcus from ears of dogs and with people in the family that have had strep throat and, uh, it’s a beta-hemo streptococcus that we’ve isolated new sensitivities to. Where did that come from? Was it a household member, quite possible, but I usually do these cultures when there’s a member of the family that keeps getting recurrent strep throats. We need to treat everyone in the family if, if this is happening on a routine basis. There is also a cat that they did isolate H1N1 out of the cat, which we didn’t really think cats would get human influenza virus, but they tested this kitty because the kitty developed respiratory signs after all of the family members developed respiratory signs. An indoor kitty — and it didn’t have exposure to anyone else and they did actually isolate it. The cat recovered and was fine. Ferrets can also get influenza virus. Usually we don’t get those viruses from the ferret; we usually give them to the ferret. It’s pretty fatal in ferrets.

        Question: Referring to some of Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt’s recent work, he’s even identified that Bartonella has been found in dolphins. Other than a few brave researchers, who’s focusing on these zoonotic diseases and what are the challenges tackling some of these tough issues?

        Answer: To my knowledge, I don’t know of anyone that’s really focusing on zoonotic pathogens, especially not the bartonella, other than Dr. Breitschwerdt. He’s done a lot of research. Matter of fact, he visits the CDC and tries to impress upon them how severe a disease Bartonella can actually play in people, especially veterinarians that are chronically ill and .

        And he has to go back year after year to talk to them, and they still haven’t made a decision as far as how extensive Bartonella is — we can’t really do antibody tests because most people don’t test antibody-positive for Bartonella. It’s more of a PCR test, and it takes about three months before you can say that it’s positive or negative, because they’re very slow-growing bacteria.

        Question: A history question here – More than seventy years ago, researchers learned that ticks were what seemed to be a perfect carrier of multiple microbial pathogens. Even now, patients and researchers are learning how this “pea soup of pathogens” is transmitted by ticks into humans. Can you comment on this “pea soup” metaphor? I mean, what’s in the pea soup?

        Answer: Just about everything. I usually tell my clients it’s more like a septic tank. You name it; it can be in a tick. I think we’re just beginning to figure out what can be carried by ticks. They can even carry microfilarial organisms which, typically, for an example, heartworm is a microfilarial disease in dogs spread by mosquitoes. Now we found that ticks can also carry them. Do they transmit them? I don’t know yet. It’s possible.

        recent scientific abstractDepartment of Animal Physiology and Immunology, Institute of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, CzechRepublic.

      • #2818 Score: 0
          2 pts

          This interview with Dr. Carlene Patterson is of particular interest to me for many reasons. I first met Carlene at a medical conference in 2008 and was impressed with her knowledge of infectious, chronic diseases – in both animals and people. She’s practiced veterinary medicine for more than twenty years and has healed all kinds of animals; including sheep, cows, horses, cats, dogs, birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, and turtles. I maybe forgetting a few, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s treated hippopotamuses and llamas!

          And her knowledge is deep. She is able to “connect the dots” across categories of medicine unlike any other medical professional or researcher. For example, in our short interview, we discussed:

          – Persistent bacterial infections in the joints of dogs and people (Borrelia Burgdorferi);
          – Stealth pathogens like Bartonella and Babesia, how these naughty microbes are making vets, people and animals chronically ill;
          – How Borrelia “hides” from the canine immune system by changing forms, sequestering in joint tissue;
          – Transmission of pathogens via dog bites, birthing, transfusions;
          – H1N1 and strep transmission between people and their pets;
          – Why some animals with higher body temperatures may carry pathogens – but not become chronically ill;
          – Prosthetic infections in dogs: does this correlate to human patients with implants?

          This particular interview excerpt does not present any new material on biofilms. For information on the relationship between tick-borne infections (Borrelia, Bartonella, Babesia, Mycoplasmas, Microfilaria) and biofilms, see the interview with Dr. Eva Sapi and the actual video microscopy of a Borrelia biofilm community. Also refer to a study of biofilms and antibiotic resistance within cattle, sheep, pigs, chicken, and turkeys; see the abstract and full text document here.

          See the interesting eleven minute high definition video with Dr. Carlene Patterson here.

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