7-Week Integrative Oncology Program | Now Accepting New Patients

Brio-medical cancer clinic - health

Bartonella Treatment

bri·o - the quality of being active, alive, spirited, and vigorous

Holistic Bartonella Treatment Center in Scottsdale, Arizona

Bartonella is a bacteria that invades red blood cells and blood vessel lining. Inside these cells, it evades the immune system response, leading to persistent infection. Bartonellosis is one of Lyme’s most serious coinfections, producing symptoms that include headache, fatigue, swollen glands, and a streaked rash in the early stages.

Neurological symptoms are common, including encephalopathy, a form of brain damage or disease that may lead to seizures. Cognitive dysfunction and central nervous system lesions sometimes occur. Bartonella is the cause of more serious conditions, including cat scratch disease, Carrion’s disease, and trench fever.

There are almost 40 characterized species of Bartonella about 15 of which are implicated in human illnesses. They are gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that grow very slowly. Their average dividing time is about 22-24 hours, which is much longer than the 20 minutes that E. coli species (another rod-shaped bacteria) require. Their average size is about 2 micrometers in length and 0.5 micrometers in width. One unique characteristic of Bartonella is that their membrane has a “Type IV Secretion System” that supports their ability to attach to and invade various target cells, such as endothelial and red blood cells.

Symptoms of Bartonella

Bartonella and Borrelia species both cause acute and chronic infections that can be difficult for physicians to discern unless the patient has known exposure and recognizable clinical symptoms. Unfortunately, the latter is not a reality for many patients who become infected. Patients may first be diagnosed with another condition, like lupus or multiple sclerosis, before having testing done for bartonellosis or Lyme borreliosis. Why do these very different illnesses have similar symptoms?

The simple answer is that the body has a limited number of ways that it can respond to stress from bacterial infections. This host response is the result of a combination of differences between people in general health, genetic factors, and immune status that are integral to determining how an individual will respond to an infection. One person may experience neurologic symptoms, whereas another might only experience joint pain despite having the same infection. This makes it extremely difficult to define clinical patterns for infections, especially those that can lead to multi-systemic diseases like bartonellosis and Lyme borreliosis.

Differentiating Lyme Disease vs Bartonella Symptoms

The main differences between bartonellosis and Lyme borreliosis symptoms typically occur early in the infection. However, many patients do not experience the “classic” signs that define acute infections.

Cat scratch disease (Bartonella henselae Infection) is described as fever and lymph node swelling near the location of a cat scratch or bite. However, this acute presentation of bartonellosis is not the only course of infection. Trench fever (Bartonella quintana infection) and Carrion’s disease (Bartonella bacilliformis infection) come with their own set of symptoms.

Bartonellosis may be associated with long, thin, red marks on the skin called striae, but more research is required to understand Bartonella species’ role. However, it is associated with a skin condition called bacillary angiomatosis primarily in immunocompromised individuals.

The CDC reports that 20-30% of patients who are exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi develop a bullseye rash called erythema migrans. This rash can also have other appearances. Most patients do not have the rash, or they may not see the rash if it is small or covered by hair. They can also experience facial palsy or extremely swollen joints.

How do you treat a chronic Bartonella infection?

There are various treatment regimens that have been used in Bartonella infections. There doesn’t seem to be a one size fits all option for all patients. Sometimes herbal protocols can be helpful alone or combined with a variety of other therapeutic interventions, like dietary changes, immune support, efforts to heal the gut, detoxification, and electromagnetic frequency machines.

Sometimes antibiotics are necessary and research suggests that multiple antibiotics are often needed at the same time due to the high rate of resistance that develops in the Bartonella organisms.

Does antibiotic resistance play a role in Bartonella infections?

Yes, antibiotic resistance plays a significant role in Bartonella infections. In the April 2019 issue of Antibiotics, research on antibiotic resistance from Johns Hopkins was published in the article “Identification of FDA-Approved Drugs with Activity against Stationary Phase Bartonella henselae.” What they found was that a number of drugs that were not routinely used for Bartonellosis and without previous evidence for antibacterial activity did in fact completely eradicate the stationary phase B. henselae after 3 days in culture. They also found that the drugs currently used to treat Bartonellosis such as rifampin, azithromycin, and ciprofloxacin had poor activity against the stationary phase B. henselae. This is consistent with what we are seeing in clinical practice. Many patients are being treated with conventional antibiotics and not getting better and this is causing other doctors to question the diagnosis of the infection in these patients. These patients can have a chronic infection with Bartonella and yet not respond to treatment.

Many infectious disease doctors think Bartonella is a harmless infection and the reason why Lyme patients have antibodies against Bartonella is that it is a common infection. If antibody-tests are not helpful in all cases what tests are there that can differentiate between an active/chronic or past infection with Bartonella?

There are a number of tests such as PCR and FISH that can be done to help understand whether Bartonella infection is active. Unfortunately, these tests don’t always confirm the diagnosis. A diagnosis of Bartonellosis should still be considered in a patient who is negative on PCR and/or FISH, especially in the setting of clinical signs and symptoms and very elevated antibodies to one or more Bartonella species.

Some physicians say to patients with complex illnesses that they suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD, or a range of other psychiatric disorders.

Bartonella Infection Treatment

It is common for Lyme Disease patients to be suffering from additional tickborne co-infections such as babesia, Epstein-Barr virus, and Bartonella. Bartonella is an opportunistic infection found in many people. If the person is healthy and the immune system functions well the patient does not have any trouble. But if the person's immune system is compromised due to Lyme disease, childbirth, severe flu, mold, heavy metals, and other life stressors then the immune system begins not to work as well and the Bartonella begins to grow.

Interestingly about 40% of cats carry this bacteria there for a cat scratch or bite can allow this bacteria to enter your body weren’t like dormant for years. Bartonella can also come from bites of ticks, sand flies, mosquitoes, and fireflies

After a tick bites a person it takes this into its stomach and then later in Jack’s it back into that same patient. In this manner, the tech can inject not only lime but also Bartonella and the parasite Babesia and the microbe Ehrlichia and various other infections such as rocky mountain spotted fever and viruses. About 40% of tick bites and Calfornia Carry Bartonella.

The main symptoms of Bartonella include emotional instability and mood swings, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, vibration or trembling of the body, numbness and tingling, pseudoseizures, sensitivity to light, sounds and smells of foods, headache, joint or muscle pain, heartburn reflux, pelvic or bladder pain. Bartonella is unique in that it creates an overexcites the nervous system the immune system with a very unusual set of symptoms which need to be examined closely by every physician and patient. I had patients describe a burning and crawling sensation over the skin in later have found them to have Bartonella.

Not one laboratory test but many laboratory tests are essential to do. Not only is antibody tighter so important but also DNA testing and PCR are sometimes needed. Remember and a negative test does not rule it out you need to keep testing when you have a clinical suspicion

Treating Bartonella infections always needs to be done after evaluating for all the various infections that can result in a patient like this. Also, mold testing heavy-metal testing viral testing immunity testing just to mention a few are necessary. After treating this for several years I now realize that immunity is essential and evaluation of immune function is of paramount importance. Are use various different modalities including antibiotics, O-Zone, ultraviolet light, herbal supplements homeopathic treatments, and electrical treatments. Reconstitution of the immune system with both Stem Cells and exosomes and elimination of all toxins is of paramount importance

Scroll to Top