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Dr. Nicolson noted that Mycoplasma infections in chronic Lyme disease are often overlooked by most doctors because they simply don't test for it. He states that those that do test for it find a much higher number of infected patients. Dr. Richard Horowitz, MD in New York finds a high incidence of M. fermentans, according to Dr. Nicolson.
Sadly, however, even if patients are tested for Mycoplasma, a similar problem exists here as the one that almost all Lyme doctors and patients are aware of - namely that reliable tests do not exist. Dr. Nicolson notes that once a laboratory gets a reliable test in place, the laboratory is often shutdown. There are only a few labs left that test for Mycoplasma as a result.
In testing ticks for various microbial species, Dr. Nicolson has found a very high incidence of Mycoplasma fermentans. However, other Mycoplasma species have also been found such as M. pneumoniae and M. hominis. The incidence of these other species is far lower. "Far and away", it is the M. fermentans species that is seen in ticks, and this probably reflects the high incidence of M. fermentans coinfections in Lyme disease.
In terms of laboratory testing, Dr. Nicolson generally recommends Viral Immune Pathology, formerly known as RedLabs. He has found that the usefulness of any given lab in testing for Mycoplasma changes regularly. In the past, Dr. Nicolson used Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (MDL) for testing, but later he and other physicians found that the testing was no longer reliable. As a result, he no longer recommends MDL.
Dr. Nicolson finds that laboratories testing for Mycoplasma are highly scrutinized by federal agencies and that may affect the way the labs test and report this type of infection.
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