Arthritis and Antibiotics – Archive from DrMirkin.com before 2015

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Arthritis Treatments – J106 2/9/2011
Gabe Mirkin

There are two major types of arthritis: osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, and reactive arthritis. Osteoarthritis means that cartilage wears away and doctors don’t have the foggiest idea why and therefore they have no effective treatment. Doctors usually prescribe non-steroidal pills that help to block pain but do not even slow down destruction of cartilage. Most serious scientists agree that an infection initiates the reactive arthritises and many think that the germ is often still there when symptoms start. Short-term antibiotics are ineffective, but if antibiotics are started before the joint is destroyed, they can prevent joint damage.

You are more likely to suffer reactive arthritis when you have:
I) positive blood tests for arthritis; all tests used to diagnose arthritis are measures of an overactive immunity;
II) swelling of the knuckles and middle joints of your fingers, causing them to look like cigars;
III) a history of a long-standing infection such as a chronic cough, burning on urination or pain when the bladder is full, chronic diarrhea and belching and burning in the stomach; and
IV) pain that starts at an age younger than 50.

Most rheumatologists refuse to treat their rheumatoid arthritis patients with antibiotics even though several controlled prospective studies show that minocycline drops the rheumatoid factor towards zero and helps to alleviate the pain and destruction of rheumatoid arthritis. The studies, referenced below, include: 1) First Netherlands study, 10 patients, J of Rheumatology 1990;17(1):43-46. 2) 2nd Netherlands Study, 80 patients, Arthritis and Rheumatism 1994;37(5):629-636. 3) Israel Study, 18 patients, J of Rheumatology 1992;19(10):1502-1504. 4) U.S.Mira Study, 219 patients, Annals of Internal Medicine. 1995(Jan15);122(2):81-89. 5) U.S. U of Nebraska Study, 40 patients, Arthritis and Rheumatism 1997;40(5):842-848.

I treat my reactive arthritis patients with Minocycline 100 mg twice a day, (sometimes azithromycin 500 mg twice a week), but this must still be considered experimental because most doctors are not yet ready to accept antibiotics as a treatment. There is also possibility of a rare serious side effect of lupus. Many patients do not feel better for the first few weeks after they start taking minocycline. If a patient does not feel better after taking 100 mg of minocycline twice day for 2 months, I add Zithromax 500 mg twice a week. If the patient does not feel better after taking the two antibiotics for 6 months, I do add the immune suppressants that most rheumatologists prescribe. But as soon as they feel better, I stop the immune supppressants and continue the antibiotics.

Other papers show that even osteoarthritis may respond to antibiotics (27). People who have chlamydia in their joints usually have no antibodies to that germ in their bloodstream and therefore cannot cure it (30). Reactive arthritis is characterized by pain in many muscles and joints and is thought to be caused by a person’s own antibodies and cells attacking and destroying cartilage in joints. This type of arthritis may be triggered by infection and antibiotics may help to prevent and treat this joint destruction (1 to 10). Short-term antibiotics are ineffective (5). Doxycycline may prevent joint destruction by stabilizing cartilage (3) in addition to clearing the germ from the body.

How do germs cause arthritis? When a germ gets into your body, you manufacture cells and proteins called antibodies that attach to and kill that germ. Sometimes, the germ has a surface protein that is similar to the surface protein on your cells. Then, not only do the antibodies and cells attach to and kill the germ, they also attach to and kill your own cells that have the same surface membranes. Some people with arthritis have high antibody titre to E. Coli, a bacteria that lives normally in everyone’s intestines (15). It has the same surface protein as many cells in your body (15). Normal intestines do not permit E. Coli to get into your bloodstream. Some people who get reactive arthritis may have intestines that allow E. coli to pass into the bloodstream and cause the immune reaction that destroys muscles and joints. The same type of reaction applies to several other bacteria and viruses that can pass into your bloodstream (15A). Venereal diseases, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and ureaplasma have been found in the joint fluids of many people with arthritis (16). People with reactive arthritis are more likely to have staph aureus in their noses (17) and carry higher antibody titre against that germ (18). Many people with reactive arthritis have had chronic lung infections, caused by mycoplasma and chlamydia, prior to getting joint pains(20,21). Mycoplasma has been found in joint fluid of people with arthritis (28,29). The treatment of arthritis with antibiotics is controversial and not accepted by many doctors; discuss this with your doctor.

1A) O’dell et al. Minocycline therapy for early rheumatoid arthritis continued efficacy at three years. Annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. November 9, 1997.

1a) Higher doses more effective. M Kloppenburg, H Mattie, N Douwes, BAC Dijkmans, FC Breedveld. Minocycline in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: Relationship of serum concentrations to efficacy. Journal of Rheumatology 22: 4 (APR 1995):611-616.

2) Lancet, July 11, 1992.

3) AA Cole, S Chubinskaya, LJ Luchene, K Chlebek, MW Orth, RA Greenwald, KE Kuettner, TM Schmid: Doxycycline disrupts chondrocyte differentiation and inhibits cartilage matrix degradation.(39 references and summary) Arthritis and Rheumatism 37: 12 (DEC 1994):1727-1734.

4) Barbara Tilley, Henry Ford Health Science Center in Detroit. Annals of Internal Medicine. January 14, 1995.

5) Short-term antibiotic treatment has no effect in manifest ReA, whereas a tendency to improvement has been seen with treatment over months, at least after chlamydia infection. B Svenungsson. International Journal of STD & AIDS 6: 3:(MAY-JUN 1995):156-160.

6) Kloppenburg et al. Minocycline double blind for RA. Arthritis and Rheumatism 1994;37:629-636.

7) Langevitz et al. RA with Minocycline. J.Rheumatlogy 1992;19:1502-1504.

8) Breedveld et al. J Rheumatology 1990;17:43-46.

9) Good summary in Lancet, 1995(May 27);345:1319-1322.

10) Kloppenburg et al. Minocycline double blind for RA. Arthritis and Rheumatism 1994;37:629-636.

11) Langevitz et al. RA with Minocycline. J.Rheumatlogy 1992;19:1502-1504.

12) Breedveld et al. J Rheumatology 1990;17:43-46.

13) Good summary in Lancet, 1995(May 27);345:1319-1322.

14) Kloppenburg M et al. Minocycline in Rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Immunother 1996(Jan);5(1):1-4. 14A) Keystone et al. Nature Medicine. April, 1995.

15) S Aoki, K Yoshikawa, T Yokoyama, T Nonogaki, S Iwasaki, T Mitsui, S Niwa. Role of enteric bacteria in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis: Evidence for antibodies to enterobacterial common antigens in rheumatoid sera and synovial fluids. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 55: 6 (JUN 1996):363-369. 15A) LB Siegel, EP Gall. Viral infection as a cause of arthritis. American Family Physician 54: 6 (NOV 1 1996):2009-2015. (parvovirus, chronic hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C) virus infections.

16) F Li, R Bulbul, HR Schumacher, T Kieberemmons, PE Callegari, JM Vonfeldt, D Norden, B Freundlich, B Wang, V Imonitie, CP Chang, I Nachamkin, DB Weiner, WV Williams. Molecular detection of bacterial DNA in venereal-associated arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 39: 6 (JUN 1996):950-958.

17) D Tabarya, WL Hoffman. Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in rheumatoid arthritis: Antibody response to toxic shock syndrome toxin-1. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 55: 11 (NOV 1996):823-828.>

18) T Origuchi, K Eguchi, Y Kawabe, I Yamashita, A Mizokami, H Ida, S Nagataki. Increased levels of serum IgM antibody to staphylococcal enterotoxin B in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 54: 9 (SEP 1995):713-720.

19) M Calguneri, S Kiraz, I Ertenli, M Benekli, Y Karaarslan, I Celik. The effect of prophylactic penicillin treatment on the course of arthritis episodes in patients with Behcet’s disease: A randomized clinical trial. Arthritis and Rheumatism 39: 12 (DEC 1996):2062-2065.

20) J Despaux, JC Polio, E Toussirot, JC Dalphin, D Wendling. Rheumatoid arthritis and bronchiectasis – A retrospective study of fourteen cases. Revue du Rhumatisme 63: 11 (DEC 1996):801-808.

21) H Lena, B Desrues, A Lecoz, C Belleguic, ML Quinquenel, J Kernec, G Chales, P Delaval. Rheumatoid arthritis and bronchial dilatation: A little recognised association. Revue Des Maladies Respiratoires 14: 1 (JAN 1997):37-43.

22) IC Tracey, GM Strand, K Singh, M Macaluso. Survival and drug discontinuation analyses in a large cohort of methotrexate treated rheumatoid arthritis patients. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 54: 9 (SEP 1995):708-712.

23) M Jones, D Symmons, J Finn, F Wolfe. Does exposure to immunosuppressive therapy increase the 10 year malignancy and mortality risks in rheumatoid arthritis? A matched cohort study. British Journal of Rheumatology 35: 8 (AUG 1996):738-745.

24) EM Veys, CJ Menkes, P Emery. A randomized, double-blind study comparing twenty-four-week treatment with recombinant interferon-gamma versus placebo in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. (Doesn’t work) Arthritis and Rheumatism 40: 1 (JAN 1997):62-68.

25) C Wilson, A Thakore, D Isenberg, A Ebringer. Correlation between anti-Proteus antibodies and isolation rates of P-mirabilis in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology International 16: 5 (JAN 1997):187-189.

26) JR Odell, CE Haire, W Palmer, W Drymalski, S Wees, K Blakely, M Churchill, PJ Eckhoff, A Weaver, D Doud, N Erikson, F Dietz, R Olson, P Maloley, LW Klassen, GF Moore. Treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis with minocycline or placebo: Results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis and Rheumatism 40: 5 (MAY 1997):842-848. In patients with early seropositive RA, therapy with minocycline is superior to placebo.

27) F Blotman, E Maheu, A Wulwik, H Caspard, A Lopez. Efficacy and safety of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip – A prospective, multicenter, three-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Revue du Rhumatisme 64: 12 (DEC 1997):825-834.

27a) GN Smith, LP Yu, KD Brandt, WN Capello. Oral administration of doxycycline reduces collagenase and gelatinase activities in extracts of human osteoarthritic cartilage. Journal of Rheumatology 25: 3 (MAR 1998):532-535.

28) T Schaeverbeke, M Clerc, L Lequen, A Charron, C Bebear, B Debarbeyrac, B Bannwarth, J Dehais, C Bebear. Genotypic characterization of seven strains of Mycoplasma fermentans isolated from synovial fluids of patients with arthritis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 36: 5 (MAY 1998):1226-1231.

29)TV Poggio, N Orlando, L Galanternik, S Grinstein. Microbiology of acute arthropathies among children in Argentina: Mycoplasma pneumoniae and hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 17: 4 (APR 1998):304-308.

30) NZ Wilkinson, GH Kingsley, J Sieper, J Braun, ME Ward. Lack of correlation between the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis DNA in synovial fluid from patients with a range of rheumatic diseases and the presence of an antichlamydial immune response. Arthritis and Rheumatism 41: 5 (MAY 1998):845-854.>

31) NS Lai, JL Lan. Treatment of DMARDs-resistant rheumatoid arthritis with minocycline: a local experience among the Chinese. Rheumatology International 17: 6 (APR 1998):245-247.

32) GS Alarcon. Minocycline for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America 24: 3(AUG 1998):489.

33) JG Kuipers, B Jurgenssaathoff, A Bialowons, J Wollenhaupt, L Kohler, H Zeidler. Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in peripheral blood leukocytes of reactive arthritis patients by polymerase chain reaction. Arthritis and Rheumatism 41: 10 (OCT 1998):1894-1895.

34) M Wuorela, K Granfors. Infectious agents as triggers of reactive arthritis. American Journal of the Medical Sciences 316:4(OCT 1998):264-270.

34a) S Nikkari, K Rantakokko, P Ekman, T Mottonen, M Leirisalorepo, M Virtala, L Lehtonen, J Jalava, P Kotilainen, K Granfors, P Toivanen. Salmonella-triggered reactive arthritis – Use of polymerase chain reaction, immunocytochemical staining, and gas chromatography mass spectrometry in the detection of bacterial components from synovial fluid. Arthritis and Rheumatism 42: 1 (JAN 1999):84-89.

35) E Veillard, P Guggenbuhl, S Bello, F Lamer, G Chales. Reactive oligoarthritis in a patient with Clostridium difficile pseudomembranous colitis – Review of the literature. Revue du Rhumatisme 65: 12 (DEC 1998):795-798.

36) R Oliker, BA Cunha. Streptococcus pneumoniae septic arthritis and osteomyelitis in an HIV-seropositive patient. Heart & Lung 28: 1(JAN-FEB 1999):74-76.

37) AA Butt, A Janney. Arthritis due to Mycobacterium fortuitum. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 30: 5(1998):525-527.37) JR Odell. Is there a role for antibiotics in the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis? Drugs, 1999, Vol 57, Iss 3, pp 279-282.

38)SM Cooper.A perspective on the use of minocycline for rheumatoid arthritis.Jcr – Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 1999, Vol 5, Iss 4, pp 233-237.

39)DE Trentham.A perspective on the use of minocycline for rheumatoid arthritis – Commentary.Jcr – Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 1999, Vol 5, Iss 4, pp 237.

40)DE Furst.A perspective on the use of minocycline for rheumatoid arthritis – Commentary.Jcr – Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 1999, Vol 5, Iss 4, pp 237-238.

41) E Markerhermann, T Hohler. Pathogenesis of human leukocyte antigen B27-positive arthritis: Information from clinical materials. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America 24: 4(NOV 1998):865.

42) RD Inman, JA WhittumHudson, HR Schumacher, AP Hudson. Chlamydia and associated arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 254-262.

43) TL Moore. Parvovirus-associated arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 289-294.

44) D Buskila. Hepatitis C-associated arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 295-299.

45) A Toivanen, P Toivanen. Reactive arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 300-305.

46) J Haier, M Nasralla, AR Franco, GL Nicolson. Detection of mycoplasmal infections in blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Rheumatology, 1999, Vol 38, Iss 6, pp 504-509.Nicolson GL, Inst Mol Med, 15162 Triton Lane, Huntington Beach,CA 92649 USA.

47) M vanderHeijden, B Wilbrink, LM Schouls, JDA vanEmbden, FC Breedveld, PP Tak.Detection of mycobacteria in joint samples from patients with arthritis using a genus-specific polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis. Rheumatology, 1999, Vol 38, Iss 6, pp 547-553.

48) Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2000(Feb);75(2):144-147.

49) S Johnson, D Sidebottom, F Bruckner, D Collins. Identification of Mycoplasma fermentans in synovial fluid samples from arthritis patients with inflammatory disease. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2000, Vol 38, Iss 1, pp 90-93.

50) M Rudwaleit, J Braun, J Sieper. Treatment of reactive arthritis – A practical guide. Biodrugs, 2000, Vol 13, Iss 1, pp 21-28.

51) JR ODell, KW Blakely, JA Mallek, PJ Eckhoff, RD Leff, SJ Wees, KM Sems, AM Fernandez, WR Palmer, LW Klassen, GA Paulsen, CE Haire, GF Moore. Treatment of early seropositive rheumatoid arthritis – A two-year, double-blind comparison of minocycline and hydroxychloroquine. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 2001 (October), Vol 44, Iss 10, pp 2235-2241. O’Dell JR,Univ Nebraska,Med Ctr,Nebraska Med Ctr 983025,600 S 42nd St,Omaha,NE 68198 USA

52) Persistent Chlamydiae and chronic arthritis. Arthritis Research, 2002, Vol 4, Iss 1, pp 5-9. C Villareal, JA WhittumHudson, AP Hudson. Hudson AP.

J159
REACTIVE ARTHRITIS
2010

I am amazed that more doctors do not treat at least some of their arthritis patient with antibiotics because there are hundreds of papers showing that many different infections cause arthritis. Doctors do not have laboratory tests to diagnose all of the germs that cause arthritis. Failure to treat arthritis early can cause permanent cartilaginous damage so that no treatment can be effective later. The most common cause of arthritis, particularly in people under 50, is reactive arthritis that often follows an infection.

If you develop sudden unexplained pain in one or more joints, your doctor should check you for an infection. You should be asked if you have a urinary tract infection: burning on urination, discomfort when your bladder is full, a feeling that you have to urinate all the time, getting up in the middle of the night to urinate. Check for a stomach infection: belching and burning in stomach or chest. Check for a lung infection: chronic cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, burning in your nose or soreness in your throat. Check for intestinal infection: diarrhea, belly cramps or blood in stool. Also check for gum disease, chronic stuffy nose, chills or fever.

The following are just some of the infections that can cause reactive arthritis: Salmonella, mononucleosis, parvovirus, chronic hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus, retroviruses, chlamydia, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, gonorrhea, gardnerella, Human T Cell Leukemia Virus-1, many different intestinal infections, Lyme disease, cytomegalovirus, streptococcal sore throat, cat scratch disease, human herpes virus-6, hemophilus influenza bacteria, AIDS (HIV), and staph aureus. References are listed below.

I treat my reactive arthritis patients with Minocycline 100 mg twice a day, but this must still be considered experimental; many doctors are not yet ready to accept antibiotics as a treatment for reactive arthritis. Many patients with reactive arthritis do not feel better for the first few months after they start taking minocycline. If a patient does nor feel better after taking 100 mg of minocycline twice day for 2 months, I add Zithromax 500 mg twice a week. If the patient does not feel better after taking the two antibiotics for 6 months, I do add the immune suppressants that most rheumatologists prescribe. But as soon as they feel better, I stop the immune suppressants and continue the antibiotics. The treatment of reactive arthritis with antibiotics is controversial and not accepted by many doctors; discuss this with your doctor. More on treatment of arthritis

1) F Kanakouditsakalidou, G Pardalos, P Pratsidougertsi, A Kansouzidoukanakoudi, H Tsangaropouloustinga. Persistent or severe course of reactive arthritis following Salmonella enteritidis infection – A Prospective study of 9 cases. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 27: 6 (1998):431-434.

2) T Schifter, UH Lewinski. Adult onset Still’s disease associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection in a 66-year-old woman. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 27: 6 (1998):458-460.

3) LB Siegel, EP Gall. Viral infection as a cause of arthritis. American Family Physician 54: 6 (NOV 1 1996):2009-2015. (parvovirus, chronic hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C) virus infections.

4) K Nakagawa, V Brusic, G Mccoll, LC Harrison. Direct evidence for the expression of multiple endogenous retroviruses in the synovial compartment in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 40: 4 (APR 1997):627-638.

5) K Eguchi, T Origuchi, H Takashima, K Iwata, S Katamine, S Nagataki. High seroprevalence of anti-HTLV-I antibody in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 39: 3 (MAR 1996):463-466.

6)S Francois, G Guyadiersouquieres, C Marcelli. Reactive arthritis due to Gardnerella vaginalis – A case-report. Revue du Rhumatisme 64: 2 (FEB 1997):138-139.

7) F Li, R Bulbul, HR Schumacher, T Kieberemmons, PE Callegari, JM Vonfeldt, D Norden, B Freundlich, B Wang, V Imonitie, CP Chang, I Nachamkin, DB Weiner, WV Williams. Molecular detection of bacterial DNA in venereal-associated arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 39: 6 (JUN 1996):950-958.

8) T Schaeverbeke, JP Vernhes, L Lequen, B Bannwarth, C Bebear, J Dehais. Mycoplasmas and arthritides. Revue du Rhumatisme 64: 2 (FEB 1997):120-128.

9) A Franz, ADB Webster, PM Furr, D Taylorrobinson. Mycoplasmal arthritis in patients with primary immunoglobulin deficiency: Clinical features and outcome in 18 patients. British Journal of Rheumatology 36: 6 (JUN 1997):661-668.

10) High seroprevalence of anti-HTLV-I antibody in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 39: 3 (MAR 1996):463-466.

11) M Leirisalorepo. Therapeutic aspects of spondyloarthropathies – A review. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 27: 5 (1998):323-328.

12) U Lange, M Berliner, W Weidner, HG Schiefer, KL Schmidt, K Federlin. Ankylosing spondylitis and infections of the male urogenital tract: Exploration of urinary tract infection in correlation to rheumatologic parameters. Zeitschrift Fur Rheumatologie 55: 4 (JUL-AUG 1996):249-255.

13) H Mielants, M Devos, C Cuvelier, EM Veys. The role of GUT inflammation in the pathogenesis of spondyloarthropathies. Acta Clinica Belgica 51: 5 (OCT 1996):340-349.

14) O Vittecoq, T Schaeverbeke, S Favre, A Daragon, N Biga, C Cambonmichot, C Bebear, X Leloete. Molecular diagnosis of Ureaplasma urealyticum in an immunocompetent patient with destructive reactive polyarthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 40: 11 (NOV 1997):2084-2089.

15) L Cirasino, A Marccotti, C Barosi, F Massaro, A Silvani. Misdiagnosis of post-traumatic splenic rupture in a patient with acute cold agglutinin disease due to Mycoplasma infection. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 29: 5(1997):522-524.

16) Y Aihara, M Mori, T Kobayashi, S Yokota. A pediatric case of polymyositis associated with Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 26: 6 (1997):480-481.

17) Braun et al. Chlamydia pneumoniae- a new causitive agent of reactive arthritis and undifferentiated arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 1994;53:100-105.

18) Gerard HC et al. Screening of synovial tissue from reactive arthritis patients for the presence of chlamydia pneumoniae. Arthritis Rheum 1995;38:S394.

19) IT Kufko, OM Lesnyak, VG Melnikov, NS Baranova, OF Ryabitseva, ZI Sokolova. Comparative clinical and laboratory characteristics of Lyme arthritis and reactive arthritis. Terapevticheskii Arkhiv 69: 5 (1997):12-15.

20) F Kanakouditsakalidou, G Pardalos, P Pratsidougertsi, A Kansouzidoukanakoudi, H Tsangaropouloustinga. Persistent or severe course of reactive arthritis following Salmonella enteritidis infection – A Prospective study of 9 cases. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 27: 6 (1998):431-434.

21) T Schifter, UH Lewinski. Adult onset Still’s disease associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection in a 66-year-old woman. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 27: 6 (1998):458-460.

22) P Roblot, F Roblot, A Ramassamy, B Becqgiraudon. Lupus syndrome after parvovirus B19 infection. Revue du Rhumatisme 64: 12 (DEC 1997):849-851.

23) S Priem, GR Burmester, T Kamradt, K Wolbart, MG Rittig, A Krause. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi by polymerase chain reaction in synovial membrane, but not in synovial fluid from patients with persisting Lyme arthritis after antibiotic therapy. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 57: 2 (FEB 1998):118-121.

24) HC Gerard, PJ Branigan, HR Schumacher, AP Hudson. Synovial Chlamydia trachomatis in patients with reactive arthritis/ Reiter’s syndrome are viable but show aberrant gene expression. Journal of Rheumatology 25: 4 (APR 1998):734-742.

25) M Mousavijazi, L Bostrom, C Lovmark, A Linde, M Brytting, VA Sundqvist. Infrequent detection of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus DNA in synovial membrane of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Rheumatology 25: 4 (APR 1998):623-628.

26) T Schaeverbeke, M Clerc, L Lequen, A Charron, C Bebear, B Debarbeyrac, B Bannwarth, J Dehais, C Bebear. Genotypic characterization of seven strains of Mycoplasma fermentans isolated from synovial fluids of patients with arthritis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 36: 5 (MAY 1998):1226-1231.

27) TV Poggio, N Orlando, L Galanternik, S Grinstein. Microbiology of acute arthropathies among children in Argentina: Mycoplasma pneumoniae and hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 17: 4 (APR 1998):304-308.

28) S Ahmed, EM Ayoub, JC Scornik, CY Wang, JX She. Poststreptococcal reactive arthritis: Clinical characteristics and association with HLA-DR alleles. Arthritis and Rheumatism 41: 6 (JUN 1998):1096-1102.

29) MC Jendro, G Weber, T Brabant, H Zeidler, J Wollenhaupt. Reactive arthritis after cat bite: A rare manifestation of cat scratch disease – Case report and overview of the literature. Zeitschrift Fur Rheumatologie 57: 3 (JUN 1998):159-163.

30) A Krause, G Krause. Arthritis in a patient with erythema infectiosum. Zeitschrift Fur Rheumatologie 57: 3 (JUN 1998):164-165.

31) C Alba, B Bailly, C Sauviat, B Depernet. Arthritis due to Haemophilus aphrophilus: A case report. Medecine et Maladies Infectieuses 28: 6-7(JUN-JUL 1998):529-530.

32) HJ Anders, FD Goebel. Cytomegalovirus polyradiculopathy in patients with AIDS. Clinical Infectious Diseases 27: 2 (AUG 1998):345-352.

33) D Vassilopoulos, LH Calabrese. Rheumatologic manifestations of HIV-1 and HTLV-I infections. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 65: 8 (SEP 1998):436-441.

34) B Svenungsson. International Journal of STD & AIDS 6: 3:(MAY-JUN 1995):156-160.

35) S Aoki, K Yoshikawa, T Yokoyama, T Nonogaki, S Iwasaki, T Mitsui, S Niwa. Role of enteric bacteria in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis: Evidence for antibodies to enterobacterial common antigens in rheumatoid sera and synovial fluids. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 55: 6 (JUN 1996):363-369.

36) LB Siegel, EP Gall. Viral infection as a cause of arthritis. American Family Physician 54: 6 (NOV 1 1996):2009-2015. (parvovirus, chronic hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C) virus infections.

37) D Tabarya, WL Hoffman. Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in rheumatoid arthritis: Antibody response to toxic shock syndrome toxin-1. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 55: 11 (NOV 1996):823-828.

38) T Origuchi, K Eguchi, Y Kawabe, I Yamashita, A Mizokami, H Ida, S Nagataki. Increased levels of serum IgM antibody to staphylococcal enterotoxin B in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 54: 9 (SEP 1995):713-720.

39) TV Poggio, N Orlando, L Galanternik, S Grinstein. Microbiology of acute arthropathies among children in Argentina: Mycoplasma pneumoniae and hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 17: 4 (APR 1998):304-308.

40) M Wuorela, K Granfors. Infectious agents as triggers of reactive arthritis. American Journal of the Medical Sciences 316: 4(OCT 1998):264-270.

41) H Mielants, M Devos, C Cuvelier, EM Veys. The role of GUT inflammation in the pathogenesis of spondyloarthropathies. Acta Clinica Belgica 51: 5 (OCT 1996):340-349.

42)RQ Silva, JB Garcia, JAF Sanchez, FJ Casillas, CO Calvo, RH Mesia, JLS Lombrana, AR Perez. Silent axial arthropathy in inflammatory bowel disease. Clinical, radiological and genetic characteristics. Revista Clinica Espanola 198: 3 (MAR 1998):124-128. high frequency of asymptomatic sacroileitis in patients with IBD.

43) M Leirisalorepo. Therapeutic aspects of spondyloarthropathies – A review. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 27: 5 (1998):323-328.

44) F Dekeyser, D Elewaut, M Devos, K Devlam, C Cuvelier, H Mielants, EM Veys. Bowel inflammation and the spondyloarthropathies. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 24: 4(NOV 1998):785.

45) E Markerhermann, T Hohler. Pathogenesis of human leukocyte antigen B27-positive arthritis: Information from clinical materials. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America 24: 4(NOV 1998):865.

46) F Dekeyser, D Elewaut, M Devos, K Devlam, C Cuvelier, H Mielants, EM Veys. Bowel inflammation and the spondyloarthropathies. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America 24: 4(NOV 1998):785.

47) RD Inman, JA WhittumHudson, HR Schumacher, AP Hudson. Chlamydia and associated arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 254-262.

48) TL Moore. Parvovirus-associated arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 289-294.

49) D Buskila. Hepatitis C-associated arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 295-299.

50) A Toivanen, P Toivanen. Reactive arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 300-305.

51) EM Ayoub, HA Majeed. Poststreptococcal reactive arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 306-310.

52) J Evans. Lyme disease. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 4, pp 311-317

53) J Haier, M Nasralla, AR Franco, GL Nicolson. Detection of mycoplasmal infections in blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Rheumatology, 1999, Vol 38, Iss 6, pp 504-509.Nicolson GL, Inst Mol Med, 15162 Triton Lane, Huntington Beach,CA 92649 USA.

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G221
Why I Prescribe Antibiotics
2005

I am often asked why I prescribe antibiotics to my patients with rheumatoid or reactive arthritis, late-onset asthma, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia and other so-called “autoimmune diseases”. Before I prescribe any medication, I ask myself whether it will help or hurt. All of the “auto-immune” diseases cause severe disability. Conventional medications neither cure these diseases nor stop the progressive destruction that they cause. Doctors prescribe immune suppressives that sometimes have deadly effects. Antibiotics are far safer than the drugs conventionally used to treat these diseases. So, if antibiotics can be shown to help control these diseases, they should be used long before a doctor thinks of using the conventional immune suppressives.

When a germ gets into your body, you are supposed to produce cells and proteins called antibodies that attach to and kill that germ. These diseases are felt by many doctors to be caused by your own immunity. Instead of doing its job of killing germs, your immunity attacks your own tissue. If it attacks your joints, it is called reactive arthritis; if it attacks your intestines, it’s called Crohn’s disease; your colon, it’s called ulcerative colitis; and if it fills your lungs with mucous, it’s called late-onset asthma. I do not believe that your immunity is that stupid. Accumulating data show that all of these conditions can be caused by infection. Many diseases that were thought to be autoimmune turn out to be infections: stomach ulcers are caused by bacterium, helicobacter pylori and others; multiple sclerosis may be caused by HHS-6 virus; rheumatic fever is caused by the bacterium, beta streptococcus, group A; Gillian-Barre syndrome may be caused by the bacterium, campylobacter; Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by E. Coli, Klebsiella, Bacteroides or Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis; and so forth.

Shouldn’t We Be Concerned About Resistant Bacteria?
The argument that giving antibiotics causes bacteria to be resistant to that antibiotic is reasonable, but it has no place in discouraging people with these diseases from taking them. First, these people have serious diseases that cause permanent damage and death. Second, the treatments that are available are toxic, shorten life, cause cancer, and have to be followed with frequent blood tests. On the other hand, I prescribe derivatives of tetracycline and erythromycin. These drugs are extraordinarily safe and do not require drawing frequent blood tests. If you were to become infected subsequently with bacteria that are resistant to these antibiotics, you would have lost nothing. No reasonable doctor would prescribe erythromycin or tetracycline for acute serious diseases, such as meningitis, pneumonia or an abscess, because tetracyclines and erythromycins do not kill germs, they only stop them from multiplying. Instead, doctors prescribe far more bacteriocidal antibiotics that kill bacteria.

Many doctors criticize my use of antibiotics, but antibiotics are far safer than conventional treatment, cost less, can be administered by a general practitioner, and often cure the condition, rather than just suppressing symptoms. I know that the most physicians who develop these conditions will treat themselves with antibiotics because they know that conventional treatments with prednisone, chloroquine, azathioprine and methotrexate are toxic, and treatment with erythromycins and tetracyclines is safe. However, treatment of many conditions with long term antibiotics is controversial and not accepted by most doctors; discuss your particular condition with your doctor.

How you can help to prevent antibiotic-resistant bacteria:
Suffer through short-term illnesses. Don’t ask your doctor for antibiotics when you have a cold, flu or other self-limiting illness. You may feel miserable, but antibiotics are useless against viruses.
Finish your prescription. If you stop taking a prescribed antibiotic as soon as you feel better, you encourage the development of resistant organisms.
Become a vegetarian. The bulk of antibiotics are given to animals raised for food. As long as humans demand huge amounts of meat, farmers will use whatever means they have to deliver their product economically.

Definitions:
Bacteriocidal Antibiotics, such as penicillins and cephalosporins, kill bacteria. They are used to combat most bacterial infections, particularly acute, serious diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, a ruptured intestine or an abcess. However, most bacteriocidal antibiotics are not effective against chlamydia, mycoplasma or ureaplasma, bacteria that have no cell walls.
Bacteriostatic Antibiotics such as tetracyclines (including doxycycline and minocycline) and erythromycins (including Biaxin and Azithromycin) keep bacteria from multiplying. Your own immunity is then able to kill the bacteria and remove them from circulation.