Bartonella as a Possible Cause for Rheumatic Disease

Hello to All,

Following is a link to an excellent audio interview with Dr. Robert Mozayeni, a rheumatologist in Bethesda, MD who has conducted research with patients with chronic inflammatory diseases and found a link to Bartonella infection. I highly recommend listening to it. This could be a real breakthrough, especially since it comes from a conventionally trained MD.

Here are some important points from the interview:

  • Chronic  rheumatological diseases often have an infection as a root cause
  • Lyme Disease is often a blanket diagnosis when in fact organisms other than borrelia are the problem. Those with Bartonella can often be misdiagnosed as having chronic borreliosis, which similarly manifests, though the two are distinct.
  • Treating a patient for Borrelia when they actually have Bartonella can have detrimental effects
  • Bartonella is hard to detect and difficult to treat
  • Typical testing for Bartonella is often faulty and results in under diagnosis
  • Treating Bartonella involves a long course of antibiotics, at least 6 months
  • Neurological symptoms are common with bartonella infection
  • Patients are often stigmatized and traumatized after repeated treatment failures in the medical system


In collaboration with Dr. Robert Mozayeni, a rheumatologist based in Maryland, and Dr. Ricardo Maggi, a research assistant professor at NC State, Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, professor of internal medicine at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and adjunct professor of medicine at Duke University, tested blood samples from 296 patients for evidence of Bartonella infection. The patients had previously been diagnosed with conditions ranging from Lyme disease to arthritis to chronic fatigue. Since rheumatic symptoms have sometimes been reported following cat scratch disease, the researchers wanted to see if these patients tested positive for B. henselae.

Of the 296 patients, 62 percent had Bartonella antibodies, which supported prior exposure to these bacteria.

Breitschwerdt and Maggi figured out how to cultivate the bacteria in the laboratory from blood samples of infected people. They founded a company called Galaxy Diagnostics to handle the laboratory volume. For information on Bartonella testing used by Dr. Mozayeni’s Clinic, please visit

I dislike the narrow definition of Lyme Disease as an infection of only Borrelia, because so often these infections go together. However, I think that this research is a big step. Hurray for Drs. Mozayeni, Breitschwerdt, and Maggi!




4 responses to “Bartonella as a Possible Cause for Rheumatic Disease

  1. Laura, thank you so much for this link. Excellent interview. Dr M stated that most of the patients with these chronic infections are also suffering with post traumatic disorder. This is so true as we are going through an experience that affects all aspects of our being- physically, emotionally and psychologically, often with little or no understanding or support from others. The medical community is slow to become educated about these infections and vets have more knowledge about them. We have to be our own personal advocates doing the research, learning as much as we can and then seeking out treatment with informed and compassionate doctors. It’s very reassuring to see that doctors like Dr M are making strides in the medical field with increasing knowledge, which will benefit all of us with Lyme disease and related confections such as Bartonella.
    Wishing you success in your Lyme journey.

  2. Interesting article and informative interview – but when you have been trying to cure Bartonella, and it’s harbored in your bone marrow, and constantly hitching a ride into your blood stream via immatures and stems cells -attached to what becomes any and all types of blood cells, and immunue system cells, and ultimately reaching every corner of your body – and while also having had so much exposure to anti-biotics that you are now completely rejecting all the helpful ones with massive allergic reactions ….the info just doesn’t help me. –I mean it’s nice to know some new info about Bartonella, and it’s encouraging to learn new things -but I already know I have Bartonella, and I know just how much I ache so often. I am 4 years and counting treating an apparent 28 year old infection, that I just cannot cure. After spending my last $100,000 I am basically still in the same place I started. —I often think I would’ve been better off frankly with an HIV infection, at least that’s a politically correct disease to have, with Governmental resources behind it….and to tell you the truth, Magic Johnson really is enjoying a much better quality of life than I am. –I am new here, and sort of venting about the disaster which is my life…thanks so much for letting me.

    • Hi Ed,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having such an awful time treating this infection. I don’t know what to say except to get multiple opinions from different doctors and keep trying. Have you used herbs or enzymes in conjunction with the ABX to improve penetration? Dr. Lee Cowden and Stephen Buhner have herbal protocols that have worked for those for whom antibiotics failed, or who need extra help. From what I’ve read, ABX with herbs is giving a higher rate of success that either of those alone. I think a lot about using ABX in my course of treatment, but I’m afraid of the effects on my gut and that I may develop resistance. I realize, however, that they are probably necessary.

      Good luck to you.

      – Laura

    • Ed, I’ve been suffering for 20+ years and just discovered that I have Bart, not Lyme as originally diagnosed and treated. I understand the pain and hopelessness. I intend to keep fighting until my money is also gone, if I don’t die first.

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