Rationale for ozone therapy in lyme disease

Ozone therapy plays an important role in my treatment of lyme disease. Chronic lyme is always a see-saw between an adequate immune system that holds the spirochetes at bay, and thus the patient is without symptoms, in remission, or even cured, or between an immune system that is not able to keep spirochete numbers in check, and thus patients need longer courses of antibiotics.

My approach with antibiotics ranges from protein synthesis inhibitors (tetracyclines and macrolide class, eg high dose doxycycline) to high dose cell-wall agents (amoxicillin, cefuroxime, cefixime with or without probenecid). These agents are theorized to kill enough spirochetes in chronic lyme disease treatment so that the immune system can catch up.

Ozone therapy may speed up the ability of the immune system to catch up, improves symptoms and circulation, and protect the liver.

 
Studies on the biological effects of ozone: 5. Evaluation of immunological parameters and tolerability in normal volunteers receiving ambulatory autohaemotherapy.
Bocci V, Luzzi E, Corradeschi F, Paulesu L.
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A reasonable Approach for the Treatment of HIV Infection in the Early Phase with Ozonetherapy (Autohaemotherapy). How 'Inflammatory' Cytokines may have A therapeutic Role.
Bocci V.
Mediators Inflamm. 1994;3(5):315-21.

1) Effects on the immune system

Vaccines are widely known to prevent certain diseases by inducing an immune response, and thus if a patient is exposed to the same infectious agent, then an antibody response is mounted and infection tends to be milder or not occur. It was thought previously that vaccines were only useful for prevention. After all, if a patient had the actual infection, that patient's immune system would theoretically be saturated with all the "antigen" or foreign materal from the infectious agent, and thus a maximal immune response would already be stimulated. 

It turns out however, that vaccines given during an illness can be curative also. The most likely explanation is that vaccines present infectious "antigens" in a slightly different form from the natural infection. A slightly different stimulation could mount a different, possibly more effective immune response. Another possibility is that different routes of administration (eg injection into the muscle) other groups of immune tissue become active and thus immune cells can bypass blockades that might be present in the natural infection.

Ozone therapy introduces foreign lyme antigens from the blood (especially when combined with antibiotics that increases kill rate) into foreign sites such as the muscle and the fat, activating different immune sites (minor autohemotherapy.) The immune stimulation is aided by inflammation from the blood now outside of the blood vessel, fats in the blood, and of course by the ozone.

To follow the immune system, the CD57 subset of natural killer cells of the immune system can be quantified. In lyme it is often low, with very sick patients being below 20, and average 40-60. When patients feel well, we can stop antibiotic treatment if the count is around 120.  Of note, there is newer research that shows CD57 can be associated with infections other than lyme, and also research showing CD57 may be more if an immunoregulatory cell and not directly associated with infection.

 

2) Ozone therapy: chronic lyme disease symptoms and circulation

Ozone therapy may be recommended for patients with brain fog, fatigue and joint pain.  It also may be recommended when patients are having Herxheimer die off reactions with antibiotic therapy. Chronic infections typically increase inflammation in the blood, increasing the thickness and viscosity of the blood.

 The mild stress of ozone on red blood cells helps them to increase their glutathione, and helps them to unload oxygen to the tissues.

Ozone therapy is often recommended to my patients every two weeks when we start antibiotics.

 

3) Ozone therapy protects the liver

The creation of peroxides from ozone therapy, on reinfusion intravenously, delivers a mild stress to the liver. The mild biochemical stress stimulates the liver to increase its glutathione, the main antioxidant it uses for detoxification. It has been shown to protective in cases of hepatitis.