In chronic Lyme and associated diseases there are a variety of infectious agents that may be responsible for symptoms. For some to recover requires treating Lyme, other infections transmitted by a tick like bartonella, babesia, ehrlichia, and anaplasma, parasites, yeast, and chronic viral infections.
In this video and written article I discuss the role of chronic virus infections, the best tests, and treatment options including how to take herbs and supplements that successfully get rid of these problems.
Chronic virus infections occur in healthy people too. These germs are kept under control in healthy people and do not usually cause any ongoing health problems. However, in chronic Lyme disease they can become active due to immune suppression and can lead to ongoing fatigue, body pain, and many other Lyme disease symptoms.
If a person is not recovering from Lyme disease after 6 to 9 months of treatment then test for the viruses and treat if testing is positive.
The known viruses that cause chronic illness are: human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6), the mono Epstein Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Parvovirus B19. Some science indicates enterovirus infections may cause problems too. In addition to these, there likely are other viruses that cause health problems in Lyme.
IGG Antibody Levels
There are two ways to test for the CCIs. One is to measure IGG antibody levels. These are available for HHV-6, EBV, CMV, and parvovirus. IGG antibodies develop and remain in the body after the acute phase of an infection. IGG antibodies are the memory of the immune system so they will always remain present for the virus infections even if these germs are not active and kept under control by the immune system.
There is a theory with very limited science that if the IGG antibody levels are highly elevated this indicates a virus is no longer under control by the immune system but has become an active infection. I stress that this is a theory.
Another way to test for CCI activity is to measure a nagalase level. This is a newer test and is still considered by some to be experimental. Nagalase is an enzyme made by viruses and also by cancer cells. There is one advantage to testing nagalase. In theory it indicates known and unknown virus activity. Nagalase testing is available from Health Diagnostics Laboratory. It takes nearly 6 weeks for the results to return. I find benefit in treating when levels are above 1.8 to 2.0.
At 6-9 months of Lyme treatment if there is not adequate progress I do both IGG antibody and nagalase testing. It is not clear to me yet if nagalase is always elevated in a chronic active virus infection and specifically for each of the known CCI. However I test for nagalase because in theory it can detect activity from known and unknown CCI.
Turn on the Immune System
The best way to treat the CCI is to follow all of the steps in The Successful Treatment Recipe which collectively turn on the immune system. Often the immune system will work more effectively and control the CCI when Lyme disease and the co-infections are under control. However, after treating the Lyme infection (borrelia) and the co-infections for 9 months or more without major improvements following all of the steps in The Successful Treatment Recipe, then the CCI should be directly treated with either the natural medicines or GcMAF described below because they could be an ongoing source of health problems and immune suppression.
Natural Medicines Option 1
Olive leaf extract and monolaurin are anti-viral herbs that kill the known and unknown CCI. When treating these viruses it is also helpful to turn on the antiviral components of the immune system with reishi mushrooms, thymic protein A, or transfer factors targeted against viruses. This treatment option is useful for those with elevated virus IGG antibodies or those with elevated nagalase levels or those who have both. For those with elevated nagalase it is an alternative to Natural Medicines Option 2 discussed below.
Use either monolaurin or olive leaf extract in combination with both the thymic protein A and reishi mushrooms. Olive leaf extract is best, but if it is not tolerated, then switch to monolaurin. Generally a treatment with this approach is 6 months or more.
- Monolaurin 300mg 1 pill 3 times a day. Increase up to 3 pills 3 times a day as tolerated. Do not advance the dosing till any die-off-reaction or worsening of symptoms decline.
- Olive Leaf Extract 500mg 1 pill 3 times a day. Increase up to 3 pills 3 times a day as tolerated. Do not advance the dosing until any die-off-reaction or worsening of symptoms decline.
- Thymic Protein A 4 mcg 1 packet under the tongue 2 or 3 times a day. Three times a day is best.
- Reishi Gano Mushrooms 400mg 1 pill 3 times a day.
- Transfer Factor Plasmyc 1 pill 1 time a day for 7 days, then 1 pill 2 times a day.
Natural Medicines Option 2
GcMAF is a protein which turns on a type of white blood cell called a macrophage. Macrophages fight viral and bacteria infections. They also target some cancer cells. Nagalase removes a sugar group from this protein which prevents it from turning on macrophages. Thus people with high nagalase levels have a shortage of functional GcMAF and lack enough activated macrophages to fight virus infections. The Gc part of GcMAF binds Vitamin D3 which is required for GcMAF to work properly. Generally a treatment with this approach is 6 or more months.
- GcMAF .o3ml up to .25ml inject into the biceps muscle each week. Increase by .o1 ml per injection up to .25ml if possible based on response. Increase the dosing very slowly because killing viruses triggers a very severe type of Herxheimer die-off reaction.
- Vitamin D3 10,000IU 1 pill a day.
Some of my colleagues use antiviral medications like Valcyte, acyclovir, or Valtrex. I have tried these approaches and do not find them helpful.
Be careful treating the CCI viruses. Killing viruses can cause a severe Herxheimer die-off like reaction. To manage this at a minimum take Curcumin 500mg 1 pill 3 times a day and consider liposomal glutathione 500mg 1 time a day or using nebulized or IV glutathione. For more information read Herxheimer Die-off Reaction: Inflammation Run Amok.
by Marty Ross MD