The New Undiagnosed Epidemic
by Brian LeCompte, MD, December 2003

A new test has been developed. This test is a fluorescent antibody assay. In other words, when fluorescent antibodies to Lyme Disease are added to the whole blood of an individual harboring the bug, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the antibodies attach to these antigens and can be detected by their fluorescence. So far, most of the tests on the American population are positive! Lee Cowden, MD, estimates that a quarter of the US population may be affected. There are very few symptoms where one should not consider Lyme Disease, especially in most chronic illnesses.
Our story begins in Lyme, Connecticut in the early fall of 1975. There was a mysterious outbreak of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This was coupled with a targetoid (bull’s eye) skin rash in about 20% of the patients. The constellation was recognized as Lyme Disease, thus immortalizing Lyme, Connecticut. It was not until 1982 that Willy Burgdorfer isolated spirochetes of the genus Borrelia, similar to the spirochete that causes syphilis, from the mid-gut of the Ixodes tick that the etiologic agent of Lyme Disease was found. This troublesome microbe was dubbed Borrelia burgdorferi.

Skip to modern day Houston, Texas. Patricia Salvato, MD and W.T. Harvey, MD, MS, M.P.H., were puzzled. A huge amount of the patients tested for Lyme with the new fluorescent antibody technique (FAT) were positive. Many of these patients had been diagnosed with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinsonism, Still’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibomyalgia, chronic fatigue – immune deficiency, and others. Some had the constellation of symptoms and findings attributed to classic Lyme, but most did not.

What was going on here? In addition, southeastern Texas and the Houston region were not known to be an area endemic to Lyme. What they found was startling. The tick is not the exclusive vector (carrier) of Lyme. It can be carried by mosquitoes, fleas, and mites. It can be transmitted vertically and horizontally; that is, since the spirochetes are secreted in body fluids, it can be transmitted from mother to child via the placenta and in breast milk, and from partner to partner via sexual contact. Dr. Charles Ray Jones, who is a pediatric Lyme specialist states that in over 5,000 children that he has treated, 240 of them have been born with the disease.

In November of 2000, Dr. Gregory Bach presented evidence to the American Psychiatric Association that showed Bb
DNA in human semen identified by the PCR test and confirmed transmission via sexual contact. If one spouse is Lyme positive, the other usually is as well. This is not all. There is strong evidence that Bb can be transmitted by casual contact due to its accumulation in the sweat, tears, and blood. This indicates that it can be spread via blood transfusion. Recent findings at the University of Wisconsin show that Lyme can be transmitted to animals orally via contaminated food, thus there is the possibility of acquiring it as a food infection. As far back as 1995, it was shown that Bb was present in the breast milk and urine of patients previously diagnosed with Lyme by the old cumbersome Western Blot and Elisa methods. In 1990, the CDC admitted that Bb can survive the processing techniques used to store blood for transfusion!

Jo Ann Whitaker, MD, developed the Rapid Identification of Borrelia burgdorferi (RIBb) by the fluorescent antibody technique and has over 2,900 positive results from 46 states including Alaska and Hawaii, and countries such as Brazil, The Netherlands, Scotland, Canada, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and the Canary Islands!

The previous testing method utilized the ELISA (Lyme titer) which if positive was then confirmed with the Western Blot test. This was woefully inaccurate for a number of reasons. Lyme antibodies must be present on the ELISA test for a positive result. If the individual was taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, motrin, and advil, this could cause a false negative result. Steroids can cause a false negative result. Any antibiotic consumption could cause a false negative result. Therefore, the patient should be off all over the counter medications and any prescriptions for at least six months prior to the test in order not to produce a false negative result!

There is more. Bb is a master of disguise. The organism exists in the body in at least three distinct states: the adult spirochete, which has the shape of a spiral filament, a cyst, or a Cell Wall Deficient (CWD, hooked rod or elbow) organism. Cell Wall Deficient organisms escape immune surveillance and hide in the body without provoking an immune response. Therefore the Elisa and Western Blot tests which depend upon antibody production are inadequate. Dr. Whitaker’s results have been confirmed by at least two other testing methods including culturing the organism from the patients. Dr. Harvey and Dr. Salvato estimate that 15.5% of the world population could be infected with Bb, affecting up to 1 billion people. Lyme Disease is the fastest growing epidemic in the world.

Lyme Disease is known as borreliosis in the rest of the world. It is recognized on at least six continents and is epidemic in many countries. Lyme is epidemic in Bulgaria and since TOA-free Cat’s Claw (uncaria tomentosa) has been made available to treat it in 2001, it has become the most widely sold alternative treatment in Bulgaria. It has been used to treat over 100 conditions that have been diagnosed as other things. These may be misdiagnosed Lyme Disease. We will return to the treatment of Lyme later. For now let us look at some cases histories.

Case 1: A 42-year-old woman with six children presented with migraine headaches, memory loss, light and noise sensitivity, muscle wasting, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. She soon became paralyzed from the neck down. Her husband began to exhibit some of these findings plus some peculiar to his case. They went from specialist to specialist and were diagnosed with everything from Grave’s disease to multiple sclerosis. Finally, a neighbor directed them to a Lyme literate doctor who diagnosed both with Lyme Disease. Five out of their six children were also diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Lyme can often show up as ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and other educational and social problems. These children had been put in special educational programs. According to the ELISA and Western Blot testing, this woman would have been negative for Lyme. Now, after treatment, she is pursuing her N.D. Degree.

Case 2: A college student began to have difficulty concentrating and dealing with the subject matter. The RiBb test showed positive after he had dropped out of school. After 4 months on antibiotics, he was able to resume his studies and a normal life.

Case 3: A 25-year-old professional golfer became so ill, he was not able to pursue his profession. After a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease) a RiBb was performed and was positive for Lyme. After antibiotic therapy, he was able to return to his career as a professional golfer.

Case 4: This individual had long been diagnosed with ALS. The RIBb test was positive for Lyme and no physician would treat him for Lyme. He deteriorated to the point that he had to be hospitalized and was placed on life support. When his wife learned of his impending death and the positive result indicating Lyme Disease, she obtained a court order directing treatment for Lyme Disease. He recovered, was weaned from the life support, was discharged to home and gained 32 pounds. He died eight months later of a heart attack.

It appears that many of the chronic diseases that we have seen blossom in this century and the last may be caused or contributed to by Bb. The list is staggering and includes MS, ALS, Parkinsonism, Still’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue – Immune Deficiency, ADD, ADHD, Parkinsonism, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and over 300 other conditions! Are you beginning to grasp the magnitude of the problem? There is no condition in which Lyme should not be considered. Period.

So, what can we do about it? Recently, a six-month pilot study was completed. 28 patients were suffering from advanced chronic Lyme Disease and there were 14 patients in the control group. The control group as well as the test group all tested positive for Lyme using the Western Blot blood test. The control group was treated with conventional antibiotic therapy (doxycycline or Cipro) and at the end of the study, three were slightly better, three were worse and the rest showed no change. The test group was treated with Pentacyclic Chemotype Uncaria Tomentosa (Cat’s Claw), a naturally occurring herb. At the end of the treatment, 85% of the patients tested negative for Bb and 100% reported a dramatic improvement in their condition! Let’s look at that again. There was 100% improvement and 85% tested negative for the bug that causes Lyme!

Cat’s Claw herb exists as a blend of Pentacyclic Oxindole Alkaloids (POA’s) and Tetracyclic Oxindole Alkaloids (TOA’s). Both act upon the central nervous system and the TOA’s can greatly inhibit the positive effects of the POA’s. The POA’s potentiate the immune response for non-specific and cellular immunity and modulate the immune system. Austrian studies show that the average Cat’s Claw product may contain as much as 80% TOA’s and only 1%POA’s.

Cutting edge research shows that Bb can be eliminated when it is in a mature spirochete form. It can move laterally amongst its three forms, the spirochete, the spheroblast or L-Form (Cell Wall Deficient Organism), and the cyst. Within six to eight months most to all the Bb organisms will be released and are susceptible to being killed by the POA Cat’s Claw. Many of these reside within the red blood cells. The severity of Lyme Disease is directly related to the spirochete load, so improvement may be anticipated with reduction of this load. To be sure, one should continue the POA Cat’s Claw for eight to twelve months even though clinical improvement is seen way before this. Many years can pass before a patient infected with Lyme develops symptoms. A 1998 study in Switzerland showed that only 12.5% of patients positive for Bb had any symptoms. The latency from time of infection to onset of symptoms may be five years or more!

Many people who are positive for Lyme are also suffering from concomitant infections or infestations such as Babesia. Babesia is a protozoal parasitic infestation, which is usually tick borne. It is similar to malaria and is especially significant in the elderly, asplenic, and immunocompromised population, but it is becoming more widespread and severe in the general population. It may cause hemolytic anemia and undulating fevers among other symptoms. An effective treatment for Babesia and other concomitant infections is the herb Artemisinin 100 mg taken twice a day. Artemisinin has been used for many years around the world against malaria.

It is common for people who are treated for Lyme and concomitant infections to experience a “Herxheimer Reaction”. This is a big name for a toxic reaction that occurs from the die off of the organisms resulting in the release of toxins in the body. The typical Herxheimer Reaction consists of a flu-like syndrome with fever, body aches, sweats, and horrendous fatigue.

Most people would describe it as the Algiminy Crankenhousen Fall-Apart-Syndrome if they knew what that was. It is treatable. Water, rest and Chitosan help. Chitosan is made from Chitin, the main ingredient in crustacean shells. It binds the toxins and passes them out of the body. Drink at least eight glasses of pure water per day and take two capsules of Chitosan before one meal daily for one week working up on a weekly basis until you are taking two capsules before each meal daily.

In summary, Lyme is the great imitator. It masquerades as many of the chronic diseases we were told had no known cause and no known cure. It is epidemic in the population and it can be treated and cured. For the RIBb test of Dr. Whitaker, contact the Bowen Institute at (727)-937-9077 or visit their website at The dose currently used in most centers for the TOA-free POA Cat’s Claw is four capsules three times a day.

This is what the studies have shown cause 85% seroconversion at six months and 100% improvement. Remember, though, that research is ongoing. To obtain the POA Cat’s Claw, visit or call (800)-545-9960. The artemisinin to treat Babesia and other parasitic concomitant infections can also be obtained from Allergy Research Group.