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New roundworm may be connected with CFS/Lyme


Neil Nathan MD is working with Dr. Klapow on looking into the connection between Vk and MCS.

By Neil Nathan MD

 Dr. Lawrence Klapow discovered a “new” roundworm, or nematode, approximately 15 years ago. As with many ground-breaking discoveries, the scientific community has been slow to accept or embrace his findings, despite the fact that he was able to complete a double-blinded study in which patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were found to harbor this nematode in a surprisingly high percentage of cases. To be more specific, of 40 patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Varestrongylus klapowii (which we will now refer to as Vk) was found in over 60% of them, while not found in any of 20 controls.

This alone should stimulate researchers to delve into this area with great excitement. Unfortunately, this has not yet occurred.

While describing his findings to us at a GMA staff meeting several months ago, Dr. Klapow reminded us that the Vk worm is similar to several other nematodes that are capable of making an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase. Dr. Gordon and I looked over at each other at that moment, simultaneously struck by the possibility that this would explain one of the unusual phenomena faced by patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)—–namely, the rapidity with which those patients react to chemicals or scents that set off their symptoms.

Let me explain. When a patient with MCS is exposed to an offending chemical, or scent, they will usually react almost instantly. This means that within seconds of exposure, they will experience extreme fatigue, cognitive impairment, or neurological events (spasms, tics, dystonias, even seizure-like activity). What has made this difficult to understand is that we have been viewing MCS as a form of allergy; however, no allergic reaction, even an anaphylactic reaction (e.g eating shrimp and breaking into hives or having trouble breathing) occurs that fast. Those reactions take at least 5-15 minutes to manifest. So why do MCS patients react so instantaneously?

Dr. Klapow’s suggestion, once understood, is that perhaps it is this nematodeVk, which lives primarily in the sinus and lung tissues, that is reacting to these chemical stimuli, producing acetylcholinesterase, which, in effect acts as a kind of neurotoxin or nerve poison, producing these effects.

Intrigued by this idea, we have embarked in a research project to study this possibility.

We started by asking as many of our MCS patients as possible, if they would allow us to wash out their sinuses and allow Dr. Klapow to analyze this material for the presence of the Vk worm. As of this date (7/14/12) we have looked at 33 patients, and 30 of them have clear evidence of the Vk worm.  We have looked at 5 controls, only one of whom is positive for the worm.

The first question appears to be answered: do patients with MCS have the Vk worm present?  Over 90% of them do. (The three patients who tested negative are being re-tested now as well.)

  • Does this worm make acetylcholinesterase?  We are working with several research groups and have sent them specimens for analysis. We hope to know this shortly.
  •  Do MCS patients have an increased level of acetylcholinesterase when exposed to a chemical that we know provokes a response in them? Several of our courageous patients have volunteered to check out this possibility and we are working with several labs to provide this information for us.
  • Does this mean that treating a patient who has this worm might help to cure them of MCS? We do not know yet, but we are looking into this possibility with great interest.

We will keep you abreast of this exciting research being done at GMA, as it unfolds.

This study is closed to new participants. If you are interested in possibly being included in the future, send your information to Susan.We are sorry, but most GMA studies, including this one, are open only to GMA patients.


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Posted 04 January 2011 – 09:01 AM

Thought this was interesting enough to post. It came around in one of my lyme newsmails. I often see people on lymenet post that until you tackle the worms, you won’t get the cure.I do remember that in Dr. Corson’s talk at ILADS this year, she told the story of how Willy Burgdorfer (who “discovered” borrelia burgdorferi and hence it is named after him) was really looking into nematodes in ticks when he then found the borrelia.

Here it is… it’s not for the squeamish!



Nematode Spirochete Farmers 

In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over a billion people are at risk for parasitic worm infections (filaria). 120 million people are infected with parasites in more than 80 countries (Africa, Asia, Central and South Americas, and the Pacific Islands). Of those infected, 44 million suffer filariasis symptoms.

Nematodes are parasitic worms which receive nourishment and/or shelter from hosts. There is a theory that nematodes ‘farm’ smaller organisms like the Lyme Borrelia spirochetes, similar to the way we humans farm cows or chickens, feeding and protecting them so we can later eat them. Nematodes may live symbiotically with spirochetes in humans!

Ticks and other vectors harbor numerous parasites: large ones referred to as worms (filaria) and microscopic bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi and microfilaria. Ticks in Connecticut and New York do carry nematodes according to Doctors Willy Burgdorfer, Eva Sapi, and Richard Ostfeld.

Can worms destroy American health, as in WHO’s reported 80 countries, or as in our American pets? The answer to the question, “Can nematodes wreak havoc as human parasites?” is supposedly unknown, at least in the USA. Well, can nematodes prevent recovery from “chronic” Lyme and tick-borne diseases? Puppies are de-wormed soon after they are born. Dogs typically and quickly recover from Lyme disease after antibiotics, perhaps because of their early-life and subsequent regular de-worming; there are no nematodes harvesting spirochetes in their canine bodies.

If nematodes work against antibiotics by protecting and increasing spirochete population, then antibiotic therapy may eradicate ‘loose’ spirochetes but not those under nematode farmers’ protection. If a nematode-Borrelia symbiotic relationship exists, Borrelia can screw its way out, escape the nematode farm, free to wreak havoc on us.

If nematodes are present, then a huge amount of antibiotics over a long period of time may only suppress bacterial growth. Symptoms will be somewhat relieved, a modicum of health will be maintained, but there is no cure while nematodes live to raise new spirochetes.

So for the duration, surviving nematodes will keep on farming. Can this proposed process explain the cyclical nature of Lyme in certain cases? Antibiotics destroy spirochetes, some nematodes starve and die, but survivor nematodes still farm. A human host might suffer a relapse or flare-up if a bountiful harvest releases excess spirochetes into the body.

Antibiotics relieve our symptoms by killing spirochetes. Antibiotics also decrease the nematode’s food supply resulting in nematode starvation and death. If enough spirochetes are destroyed and enough nematodes die of starvation, eventually there might be no one left to run the farm. A patient recovers.

However if nematode filaria causes some chronic Lyme, it might be more prudent to stop the farmer. Ivermectin causes starvation and death of nematodes by interfering with their ability to eat/digest. Although antibiotics have been our primary defense, a doctor once told me Ivermectin was the best medicine for Lyme disease. Interesting to note that since 1982, filariasis victims in WHO’s reported 80 countries were given millions of free doses of Ivermectin as part of a Global Health Initiative, but in the USA and Europe, it is typically not prescribed. A surging idea is that all we need is to live healthy and take vitamins and supplements but I suspect that what would CURE chronic Lyme would be a remedy for the cause!

Other causes may be virulent Borrelia, Mycoplasma, Morgellons, Candida, other Fungi, Molds, XMRV, (Xenotropic Murine Retrovirus) and/or other microbes or filaria.

The average chronic Lyme patient suffers a gradual decline into poverty and a lifetime of pain and debilitation. Find the cause, treat and have compassion.

Eva Haughie


Posted 04 January 2011 – 10:10 AM

Thank you very much for posting this. I have heard for quite a while that often with chronic lyme, the parasites/worms are a real part of the problem to deal with. Perhaps this explains why it is so important to deal with this issue, and another good reason to start on worms FIRST, before abx, as Dr. Klinghardt suggests in his slides/talks. I started on abx first, not knowing about the parasites/worms at that time, and while it helped me a lot, helped me keep my job, I do think it resulted in the parasites/worms becoming even more of a problem to deal with later.

Posted 04 January 2011 – 11:40 AM

This was a very interesting article. We are seeing a Dr. in Klinghardt’s office and Ivermectin was one of the first meds (after 2 days of biltricide and along with pyrantel pamoate) prescribed but I did not know why. Thank you so much.

Ds16: 5/10-PANS; 10/10 -lyme; Babesia [parasite]; Mico. & chlamydia pneumonieae; mold; T&A done; GcMAF done 12/13;

Current treatment

  Maintenance:  Vit. D3/Omega 3’s; Detox [chlorella-Chia seeds-charcoal/clay for stomach detox(during illness only)];  probioticKidney detox drink-electrolytes/’M’ Water/Galactose

PANS Support (mood/brain/anti-bacterial:  Kavinace;   B12 Spray; Calming Cream; Neuro-Immune Stabilizer cream; SpiroNil-Biocidin (anti-bacterial)

Immune Support-Winter:  Chaga mushroom; Vit. A pushes once a month to keep viruses away.

Prescriptions:  thyroid; Desmopressin [Urinary tract support]; neurofeedback (weekly);  Psychologist (bi-weekly); Exercise (finally!)

Manuka honey [+35]/distilled water for nasal spray/ear drops and in tea for throat)<p>Wow!–LOVE THIS HONEY for ears, nose (we keep to once/week or less), & throat!

Lyme Disease UK Discussion Group

Several of us were found to have this worm in 2007……
New Research Into Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: The Possible Role Of Varestrongylus klapowii…
By Neil Nathan MD Dr. Lawrence Klapow discovered a “new” roundworm, or nematode, approximately 15 years ago. As…

Neelu Bird y is worm tx only given to dogs these days and not humans?

  • Nina Maggs Seems medical treatment for dogs is better than for humans these days. If only the medical authorities knew that a dog can’t unfortunately pay tax or contribute to revenue…
    12 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Natalie Mischief So how do you find out if you have it? And have they successfully treated it in the patients they found it in?
  • Jacqui Butterworth More important what do you treat it with?This study is closed to new participants. If you are interested in possibly being included in the future, send your information to Susan. We are sorry, but most GMA studies, including this one, are open only to GMA patients.
    Tried Susan but not got through!
  • Michelle Rowland Denise Longman is this the nematode that was found by Wally Burgdorfer when he dissected tick guts?
  • Louise Dean Animal worming meds can be taken by humans with the dosages adjusted to our body weight I would assume.
    3 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Clare Turner Yes Louise, following initial treatment as advised by LLMD (no longer allowed to treat Lyme etc) I take a monthly dose of anti- worming medicine on the full moon, which is when they hatch.
    3 hours ago · Like · 2

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