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Research Article

Clinical, Epidemiologic, Histopathologic and Molecular Features of an Unexplained Dermopathy

  • Michele L. Pearson,

    Affiliation: Division of TB Elimination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    X
  • Joseph V. Selby,

    Affiliation: Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California, United States of America

    X
  • Kenneth A. Katz,

    Affiliation: HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Branch, Health and Human Services Agency, County of San Diego, San Diego, California, United States of America

    X
  • Virginia Cantrell,

    Affiliation: Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California, United States of America

    X
  • Christopher R. Braden,

    Affiliation: Division of Food, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    X
  • Monica E. Parise,

    Affiliation: Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    X
  • Christopher D. Paddock,

    Affiliation: Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    X
  • Michael R. Lewin-Smith,

    Affiliation: Environmental Pathology, Joint Pathology Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Victor F. Kalasinsky,

    Affiliation: Office of Research & Development, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America

    X
  • Felicia C. Goldstein,

    Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    X
  • Allen W. Hightower,

    Affiliation: Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    X
  • Arthur Papier,

    Affiliation: Department of Dermatology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, United States of America

    X
  • Brian Lewis,

    Affiliation: Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

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  • Sarita Motipara,

    Affiliation: Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California, United States of America

    X
  • Mark L. Eberhard mail,

    mle1@cdc.gov

    Affiliation: Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    X
  • for the Unexplained Dermopathy Study Team

    Additional membership of the Unexplained Dermopathy Study Team is provided in the Acknowledgments.

    X
  • Published: January 25, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029908

Reader Comments (24)

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Plant Pathogens

Posted by BrianWatt on 27 Feb 2012 at 19:35 GMT

I would also mention that in addition to my comments regarding possible novel neurotoxin involvement in the Unexplained Dermopathy under study, I think it is justified as an early speculative inference to look in the direction Agrobacetrium. Morgellons patients who have taken antibacterials (and i know of several) have found no change in their symptoms. Massive fatigue, massive lesion outbreaks, and other symptoms that are consistent across sufferers.

What is the vector? Well, if we are dealing with Agrobacterium, the vector is likely ticks, bed bugs, lice, etc. This would account for why so many morgellons patients swear they must be contagious, since it slowly seems to impact the health of others in the household with similar symptoms.

I personally know of several people who identify themselves as "morgellons" sufferers who have a key mystery characteristic on the dermis that is likely a clue as to identifying the pathogen or process that is causing the lesions: Cellulose.....Now, for sometime i thought it was some form of bio-film, but now I am not so sure.

30% of most plants cell walls, is made of cellulose. Cotton is something like 85% cellulose...but i digress.

There are documented cases of plant pathogens impacting humans, to wit:

Dunne WM, Tillman J, Murray JC (1 September 1993). 'Rocovery of a Strain of Agrobacterium Radiobacter with a mucoid phenotype from an imunosuppressed child" and Cain, JR (1988) "A case of septicaemia caused by Agrobacterium radiobacter" Journal of Infection Vol 16 (2): 205-206.

It's like solving a mystery, and on my list of logical suspects, would be some form of plant pathogen, that has, as they say, "jumped the shark". That pathogen could come in the form of some sort of bacterium (more likely), or it could come in the form of a plant virus. (less likely)

Sincerely

Brian Watt


No competing interests declared.