So little is known about how to treat bartonella, but fortunately, Dr. J. Schaller, MD, in his book, Bartonella: Diagnosis and Treatment , has come to the rescue with some new ideas for treating this pernicious, but little-understood infection that almost always accompanies Lyme disease.
After explaining the various ways that this infection can be trasmitted (from flea feces to cat paws), and how the multitude of ever-increasing strains affects humans, Dr. Schaller details the remedies currently in use in traditional medicine to treat bartonella, and then offers hope by suggesting new, and perhaps improved, remedies.
I was at first dismayed when I started to read his evaluation of current strategies: Penicillin doesn't work...neither oral nor IM form has been shown to be beneficial...Doxycycline and minocycline haven't had any effect that was clear at high and prolonged doses....IV Rocephin is useless...Zithromax and Biaxin are considered top treatments, but..."we" (referring to Dr. Schaller's practice) have not seen IV or oral dosing up to 1,000 mg per day significantly decrease bartonella, even after months of use...
Okay? Well, what DOES kill this nasty infection?
But as I kept reading, I was encouraged.
....Zithromax and biaxin at 1250/mg per day with augmentin XR have helped some...
And guess why this might be? Dr. Schaller speculates that bartonella might make biofilms, and that one of these antibiotics functions to get rid of the biofilm, leaving the bugs vulnerable to the other antibiotic. Not all antibiotics can destroy biofilm, and those that can't, basically are useless without another agent to remove the biofilm.
I know, back up. What is biofilm? Well, it's the in-vogue science topic of 2008...basically, plastic wrap that bugs make to protect themselves. Why haven't we studied biofilm as it applies to Lyme and co-infections before? (BTW, I'm going to call it plastic wrap for now...you can do a Wikipedia search if you really want to understand how the goo is made). Suffice it to say, biofilm keeps the rascals safe, and this may be another reason why certain antibiotics, when combined, are more effective at combating bartonella.
As I continued to read, my spirits lifted a little more when I came across Houttuynia, or HH. (No, HH is not Human Growth Hormone!).
This Chinese herb, apparently well-known amongst those who practice Modern Chinese Medicine, has been found to be quite effective for treating bartonella. Formulated for bartonella sufferers in the United States by Dr. C. Zhang, a Harvard-educated MD,
Zhang has found that HH is good at killing bartonella attached to, or inside of, red blood cells. Dr. Schaller does not mention, however, how much of this stuff is needed to eradicate the infection, if in fact, it can do that.
Offering further hope was Dr. Schaller's discussion of clove bud essential oil, which he contends has been effective for ridding bartonella in a handful of his patients (who had tried it on their own). He advocates high doses of 75% diluted clove bud oil with olive, coconut or grape seed oil, although again, did not comment on what constitutes a "high dose." So you'll have to jump on some rabbit trails if you want the answer to that one.
Dr. Schaller's evaluation of treatments finished with others that have not worked, according to his experience...Ceftin, Omnicef, Levaquin, and Cipro. Shucks. Rife machines were also given a thumbs-down. Come to think of it, Rifing didn't seem to help me with my bartonella, either. If it has helped others, however, I would like to know!
So we know what really doesn't work--according to one physician's experience and research. But alas, Dr. Schaller has presented a few new, and potentially marvelous strategies for treating bartonella...Houyttunia, clove bud essential oil, and perhaps the antibiotic combination of zithromax and biaxin, at high doses. If any of these appeal to you, consult a licensed practitioner versed in the use of these for the treatment of your bartonella. In the meantime, check out Dr. Schaller's book, which presents some fascinating facts about bartonella, as well as more detailed information regarding treatments.