Gulf War Research on Illness Induced by Chemical Toxicity and Biologic Exposures
Related to the above paper, the Nicholsons presented their research on Gulf War illnesses. They believe that chemical toxicity and biologic exposures combined to produce these illnesses. It has now been documented that both chemical and biological warfare were used in the Gulf War.
The Nicholsons believe the biological organisms involved were Mycoplasmas, especially Mycoplasma fermentans, an intracellular bacteria. The Nicholsons stated that this particular organism was isolated by the Nazis in their biologic warfare program during World War II. At the end of that war, several Nazi scientists were brought to the United States by the CIA, but their story has never been released. President Clinton has signed into law an order requiring the CIA to release all information concerning these activities.
The presence of this organism in infected individuals is difficult to pinpoint. The organism can only be identified by forensic PCR and gene tracking. Further complicating the diagnosis process, false positive HIV tests are related to this organism because, like the HIV organism, it exhibits the GP 120 envelope.
There is a significant overlap between the symptoms of Gulf War illness and CFIDS/fibromyalgia. In patients diagnosed with CFIDS, the incidence of Mycoplasma fermentans has been found to exceed 70 percent. Gulf War veterans and their families show approximately a 40 percent incidence of Mycoplasma fermentans, which is about the same incidence rate as found in patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
For treatment of Gulf War illness, CFIDS, and fibromyalgia syndromes, the Nicholsons have advocated the use of specific antibiotics, specifically Doxicycline (200 mg/day) or Biaxin or Azithromycin (500 mg/day) for 6 months. The positive improvement seen with this protocol has further convinced them of their correctness as to the cause of these illnesses.
Here again we see exemplified one of the basic principles of Environmental Medicine: the concept of the total stress load resulting in increased susceptibility to infection and illness.
Reference: Nicholson GL, Nasralla M, Haier J, Nicholson NL. Treatment of systemic mycoplasmal infection in Gulf War illness, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndromes.