Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Morgellons Disease has been described as a delusional belief, yet patients struggle with a complex multisystem illness with little or no help from their doctors.

A recent research paper now reveals the scientific evidence that shows Morgellons Disease is an infectious disease.

Exploring the association between Morgellons disease and Lyme disease: identification of Borrelia burgdorferi in Morgellons disease patients  

Marianne J Middelveen1, Cheryl Bandoski2, Jennie Burke3, Eva Sapi2, Katherine R Filush2, Yean Wang3, Agustin Franco3, Peter J Mayne1 and Raphael B Stricker14*

link here 



Morgellons disease (MD) is a complex skin disorder characterized by ulcerating lesions that have protruding or embedded filaments. Many clinicians refer to this condition as delusional parasitosis or delusional infestation and consider the filaments to be introduced textile fibers. In contrast, recent studies indicate that MD is a true somatic illness associated with tickborne infection, that the filaments are keratin and collagen in composition and that they result from proliferation and activation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the skin. Previously, spirochetes have been detected in the dermatological specimens from four MD patients, thus providing evidence of an infectious process.

Methods & Results

Based on culture, histology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and molecular testing, we present corroborating evidence of spirochetal infection in a larger group of 25 MD patients. Irrespective of Lyme serological reactivity, all patients in our study group demonstrated histological evidence of epithelial spirochetal infection. Strength of evidence based on other testing varied among patients. Spirochetes identified as Borrelia strains by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or in-situ DNA hybridization were detected in 24/25 of our study patients. Skin cultures containing Borrelia spirochetes were obtained from four patients, thus demonstrating that the organisms present in dermatological specimens were viable. Spirochetes identified by PCR asBorrelia burgdorferi were cultured from blood in seven patients and from vaginal secretions in three patients, demonstrating systemic infection. Based on these observations, a clinical classification system for MD is proposed.


Our study using multiple detection methods confirms that MD is a true somatic illness associated with Borrelia spirochetes that cause Lyme disease. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal treatment for this spirochete-associated dermopathy.

The research paper is discussed on PR Web release here  

There is very much of interest in this important paper for those with Morgellons but also in respect of Lyme Disease.
Just a few observations from me from a Lyme Disease perspective-
1. International collaboration of authors and also acknowledging supportive discussions. ( Thanks to The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation for funding - Grant money from governments for Lyme disease have produced little over the past 30+ years to help patients, according to the late Willy Burgdorfer here )
2. Technology used to identify without question the organisms of Borrelia present rather than the hit or miss that many patients are left with - antibody tests.
3. This study shows the false negative antibody tests in some patients.
4. This study highlights persistent infection despite many patients having prior treatment of antibiotics.
5. Systemic infections as indicated by finding presence of Borrelia in blood, tissue and vaginal fluid in various patients.
6. Interesting to read the support from Dr Alan MacDonald who recently published on his method of identifying Borrelia using FISH and Beacon Probes here The comments on this article are worth noting.
An earlier post on my blog about Dr MacDonald's work using FISH and Beacon Probes  here 

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