Iraq War and the Surge of Bartonella Infections in America

Dr. Sponaugle would like to share a study from the University of California Davis that is both alarming and thought-provoking relative to the exposure of Bartonella to American Troops serving in Iraq.

The study reveals that 47 percent of the domestic dogs tested in Iraq had an active Bartonella infection. The infection rate is potentially much higher because the antibody testing they used has far more false negatives than testing with actual blood smears.

Are our troops getting exposed to Bartonella in Iraq more than they would here in America?

The answer is, most likely, yes. Americans spend more money on their pets than Iraqi citizens. They treat their pets for fleas and often pay their veterinarian to test their dogs and cats for Lyme disease and Bartonella. Fleas on cats were found years ago to spread Bartonella. Thus, the original name for Bartonellosis was “cat scratch fever.”

As the Medical Director of Sponaugle Wellness Institute, I have treated hundreds of patients with Bartonella. Most of these patients did not have cats. You don’t need a cat to get “cat scratch fever.” Ticks, mosquitos, and fleas have all been proven to harbor Bartonella and the Lyme spirochete.

Iraq’s Desert sand fleas were credited for causing the first “Gulf War Syndrome.” They infected our troops with Mycoplasma, a bacterium smaller than the tiny Bartonella bacterium seen on my patient’s blood smear below. Indeed, the desert sand fleas in Iraq transport Bartonella from Iraqi dogs to our troops!

The slide below demonstrates how small the Bartonella bacterium looks compared to the surrounding red blood cells. For a frame of reference, our red blood cells are only 8 microns in diameter. Common sense dictates that the Bartonella bacterium is small enough to be carried by almost any vector, desert sand fleas included.

Bartonella in iraqi troops
Bartonella In Biofilm

Are American troops infecting their wives and husbands with Bartonella when they return from Iraq?

Most likely, they are. We know that the larger Lyme spirochete is passed from one spouse to another during sexual activity. We also know that Lyme spirochete can cross the placenta, infecting an unborn baby. Why would we not believe that the much smaller Bartonella bacterium would readily pass through the placenta and infect sexual partners?

Soldiers returning from Iraq have experienced a much higher rate of psychological disorders than other war veterans, including; depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, Bipolar disorder, and addiction issues.

Do Bartonella infections have causation in the higher prevalence of mental disorders seen in soldiers returning from Iraq versus soldiers returning from other wars?

If indeed, our troops are getting infected with Bartonella in Iraq, the answer is yes. Bartonella is notorious for causing mental disorders, especially rage issues.

I have performed clinical research on hundreds of Lyme patients, comparing their psychological symptoms to changes in their brain scans and brain chemistry patterns. Those Lyme patients, who revealed a significant Bartonella infection on blood smear testing, always experienced more severe psychological symptoms. This is with the Lyme biomarker CD 57 being relatively equal.

More specifically, patients with the worst Bartonella infections demonstrate dangerously high levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter, Glutamate. When Glutamate levels are excessive, calcium channels in brain neurons remain open, causing rapid and repetitive electrical firing.

These Bartonella patients suffer from excito-neurotoxicity; their brain is over-electrified. They often state their brain feels like it will explode or be on fire. Symptomatically, they suffer from insomnia, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, rage issues, and paranoia in the most severe cases.

Perhaps too many veterans from the Iraq war are being misdiagnosed as having PTSD when suffering from brain infections with Bartonella. We could argue that these soldiers have experienced no more psychological trauma than veterans from previous wars.

Lyme literate doctors understand that Lyme disease goes undiagnosed in millions of Americans. I have personally treated hundreds of patients infected with Lyme and Bartonella, and I am convinced that Bartonella is underdiagnosed far more than Lyme disease!

At Sponaugle Wellness Institute, we diagnose Bartonellosis in 90 percent of our chronic Lyme patients. Many of these Lyme patients were previously informed by other Lyme physicians that they were not infected with Bartonella.

The problem is that antibody and PCR testing for Bartonella will often produce false negatives when the bacteria are sequestered in a “bio-film bubble,” as seen below in my patient’s blood smear.

Bartonella is analyzed using a biofilm test from fry labs
Bio Film Diagnostic Testing For Bartonella

Perhaps the most compelling question is whether our military would find it more productive to routinely test Iraq war veterans for Bartonella than label infected soldiers as mentally disturbed and treat them with psychiatric medicines.

Dr. Sponaugle has identified numerous cases in the news where mental illness was triggered by an environmental factor such as toxicity or vector-borne pathogens. The article posted in the Associated Press Article titled “Iraq Vet Pleads Guilty to Killing 5 At Clinic” is a perfect example.

The story explains that Army Sergeant John Russell went on a shooting spree at an Army mental health clinic in Bagdad. It was one of the worst instances of soldier-on-soldier violence in the Iraq war.

Russell was nearing the end of his third tour in Iraq when according to other soldiers in his unit, he became distant and paranoid. He was referred to the Camp Liberty clinic, where he received prescription medication, which made him suicidal; he later returned to the clinic and shot five soldiers.

I couldn’t have made up a better story to match the science I explained in this article. I wrote a similar blog on Adam Lanza pleading for Lyme Disease testing. Perhaps if enough of you Lyme – Bartonella literate people share this on your Lyme blogs, we can unite to mandate testing for soldiers like John Russell.

Medical Director at Sponaugle Wellness Institute | 1-877-737-1959 | Meet Dr. Sponaugle | + posts
Dr. Rick Sponaugle, MD, is a licensed medical doctor in Florida, integrative physician, and board-certified anesthesiologist. With an emphasis on Environmental Medicine, Dr. Sponaugle specializes in treating brain and neurological disorders derived from Mold Toxicity, Industrial Toxicity, Gut Toxicity, Neurological Lyme disease, and five additional stealth infections that attack the Brain and Neurological system of most patients. Our Medical Director, Rick Sponaugle, MD, is an integrative physician who attempts to prioritize treatment through quality forensic medicine. Performing an analysis of 400 numerical bio-markers in his initial consultation, Dr. Sponaugle's goal is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your multiple symptoms.

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