Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug science, "experiments," etc.

I don't believe that bedbugs don't carry disease

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  1. tisIsaidthefly

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 3:06:10
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    I remember when they told us right after nine eleven that the air was safe to breathe. Of course, as it turns out, it was not safe to breathe and guess what else? If a person can catch Hep C simply by sharing a straw to snort Coke with, what are the odds that a little bedbug (which can be engorged with as much as a full drop of blood) can also transmit disease? Who or what was that critter sucking blood from just before it got to you? A rat, mouse or the neighbor's cat? I have a feeling we're not being told the truth. Those of you who have ever squished a bed bug and seen the copious amounts of blood skeeting out know what I'm talking about. I don't see how it is even possible that these horrible ticks don't transmit disease. I'm sure they do. In particular, Aids and Hep C and certain std's should have no problem getting around with the help of a bed bug. Last but not least, let's stop calling them such a gentle name - there's nothing gentle about them. They're ticks, blood sucking ticks and I am sure they can carry disease, just like deer ticks carry Lyme disease etc., so can they.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 9:57:44
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    No one is saying they can't, tisisaidthefly. The statement health officials have made is that they are not known to. This can of course change, but there is as of yet no reason to panic.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 10:18:13
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    I will add that there have been extensive tests trying to prove that bed bugs can pass diseases; all of which have come up negative. We do know that the pathogens survive in and on bed bugs.

    Experts agree that the mechanism for disease transfer is there (very much like a mosquito's mouth parts). However; they cannot seem to get infected blood to taint good blood via experimentation. Keep in mind that mosquitoes are also not known to transfer many pathogens that we would expect them to.

    I am a scientist and by nature expect that at some point disease transfer will be possible (via adaptation and evolution - either of the pathogens or the bed bug) [my apologies to the creationists]. The question is ... how long before this is possible.

    Sean
    Entomologist/Pest Professional
    http://www.thebedbugresource.com

  4. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 11:24:14
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    Here is an article from PCT on the subject.

    http://pctonline.com/articles/article.asp?ID=2052&IssueID=74

  5. hatebedbugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 12:27:44
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    I would like to add to Doug's reference. I would look at British Medical Journal 29, September 1979,p, 752. Panic today; maybe not. Panic tomorrow; possibly. I am convienced that the potential for a health epidemic is very real. As,someone who served in the fire service and first responder medical service I know, the importance of scene-safe, gloves on. Meaning, take every precaution to protect oneself from injury and blood borne pathogens. After reading the above sited article I would suggest that if one has been bitten by a bed bug that they consider getting inoculated against Hepatitis B. At the very least one should consult their family doctor. The research regarding bed bug disease transmission is some what limited. However, based on the sited research, I would rather err on the side of caution.

  6. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 12:37:54
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    I put this in another post, but is relevant to this post :

    In fact, bed bugs are hosts to Hep B and Chagas' disease. Studies show that BBs are not known to actually spread the disease. The Mayo clinic posted information on this in December 2007. The link is below :

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedbugs/DS00663

  7. KillerQueen

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 14:29:57
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    They have come up with 27 different diseases if memory serves right. And yes all studies to date show they can't transmit only carry.

  8. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 14:50:04
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    Strictly from a blood borne pathogen perspective you don't want to squish BBs without gloves.

    It would be prudent to disinfect splatters of blood/BB guts.

    The studies do indicate they harbor pathogens but do not spread them via their bites. Some papers from the 30's refer to many diseases tested and although some could be transmitted by injecting BB feces or gut extractions, none were transmitted via bites.

    So in regards to the question, yes they harbor diseases but no evidence to date they can transmit them.

    Jim

  9. cilecto

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2008 20:51:37
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    I have a hunch that either a. we'll learn that bed bugs do, in fact transmit disease (other than mental illness, which is confirmed), or b. the mechanism that protects the host from disease will be discovered to have medicinal use.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  10. bugration

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Nov 25 2008 22:34:30
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    thebedbugresource - 2 months ago  » 
    I will add that there have been extensive tests trying to prove that bed bugs can pass diseases; all of which have come up negative.

    I agree that this is the generally accepted view (including among major health authorities), but I am still really puzzled as to how this impression can prevail in the case of hepatitis B transmission theory. After reviewing the literature (see e.g. the list of articles provided by Nobugs at http://delicious.com/bedbugger/pubmed), we have:

    - one study wherein 3 chimpanzees could not be infected, however this appears to have been a very limited experiment (and the conclusion even acknowledges that "it is still possible that mechanical transmission between humans might occur during interrupted feeds")
    - one study wherein, in a sample of rabbits and guinea pigs, "mechanical transmission has been demonstrated"!
    - lots of other studies, of which the vast majority seem to hint at a very real possibility of mechanical transmission

    So there is at least one study where mechanical transmission has in fact been demonstrated, yet which all the authorities for unspecified reasons seem to ignore? And as previously stated, one of the only fairly "optimistic" studies (i.e. the chimp experiment) seems on closer examination to be a rather wet reed to rely upon...

    I sincerely hope someone can tell me I'm missing something here

  11. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Nov 25 2008 23:57:58
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    No study to date has found any disease transmission via a bite.

    However a freshly fed bug, feeding on a person with a blood borne disease, gets squashed, now mechanical transmission is possible.

    No different than if the infected person was bleeding.

    Bites do not transmit anything.

    Jim

  12. cilecto

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 0:10:10
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    I wonder if the "BBs are not known to transmit disease" is meant to reduce panic or for municipal health departments to shrug off responsibility for dealing with the bed bug problem.

    If you frame "transmit disease" as a blood borne thing, fine. But, that ignores the most prevalent disease that's staring us in the face, the bite marks themselves.

    This would be like the health department saying "fire doesn't cause disease", so it's not our responsibility and buildings saying "fire doesn't destroy buildings, as long as they don't catch fire" and the mayor and council not connecting the dots that fire is destructive enough and important enough not to be the responsibility of health or buildings, but that a stand-alone FD is needed. Perhaps that's what we need. A department of bedbugs.

  13. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 1:01:15
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    "Transmits disease" in this context is that, unlike mosquitoes or ticks, BBs do not transmit organisms that cause disease in humans. They are not a disease "vector" which is a term you will read in reference to insects or vermin that carry and spread pathogens.

    Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Mosquitoes tons of stuff (malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever etc.)

    Fleas Bubonic plague, Mice Hantavirus. Komodo dragons, organisms that kill via massive infection

    BBs do not spread any contagion but no one would deny they cause human suffering. You will get no argument from me that they are a public health issue and should be treated as such.

    Science is very strict when you use certain terms and "transmits disease" is one of those. They do "carry disease" in that they will retain pathogens in their bodies yet via the grace of God or kindness of nature, those pathogens don't get back out when the bug feeds again.
    Certainly the logical thought is that due to their feeding the possibility of transmission is there and that is why there are scads of documented studies trying to see if this could be confirmed and to date it has not.

    There was an experiment done on rabbits injecting BB body fluid and infection resulted but this doesn't happen without a syringe and guy in a white coat.

    Jim

  14. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 14:39:37
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    Do you have a citation for the rabbit study? I'm curious about it.

    I don't think anyone has performed definitive research that an be cited as a refernece to rule out mechanical transmission of disease agents from bed bugs.

    Dr. Goddard talks about the crawling dirty needle hypothesis in his lecture on disease transmission & points out that dirty needle sticks in hospitals result in transmission of an infection about 2% of the time.

    I'm skeptical that our public health surveillance systems are sensitive enough to detect a low level transmission rate.

    Most doctors are unable to accurately diagnose a bed bug bite...how can we rely on physicians to spot a rare disease transmission, if they can't even identify a bite wound with any precision.?

  15. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 15:59:03
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    My error it was rats but still.

    Brumpp, E. (1913): Bull. Soc. Path. exotique, 6, 107.
    Trypansoma Lewisi can develop in the gut of C. lectularius and a
    rat was infected with the extract from the gut of an infected Bed-bug.

    No author cited..(1930): Mem. Inst Butantan, 5, 19.
    Experimental transmission of Yellow Fever virus by the injection
    of an emulsion of faeces of Cimex.

    BLACKLOCK, B. (1914): Brit. Med. J., 1, 912.
    Finds that Trypanosoma cruzi is capable of living and multiplying
    in C. lectularius, but is not readily transmissible by feeding. In
    only one case was it so transmitted. It could, however, be transmitted by injection of extracts of faeces, etc.

    Check out the disease transmission section of Usinger's Monograph pages 40- 42.

    Certainly the possibility of something yet undiscovered is there but there seems to be no definitive proof of any transmission suspected and tested.

    From an epidemiological standpoint if BBs did transmit something, the heavily infested areas of anyplace would have outbreaks of that disease.

    Conversely, if there was a cluster of disease, in an area heavily infested, any epidemiologist worth their salt would consider BBs as a vector but to date they do not appear to be a vector of anything.

    Sure there is the direct reaction to the bites and psychological issues brought on by the invasion of the little demons but nothing like mosquitoes and West Nile or ticks an Lyme disease.

    Needle sticks in hospitals are often happening to the caregivers right after injecting a patient so there is fresh body fluid on the needle resulting in high probability of transmission. BBs are biting days or weeks later so the pathogens may have died off.

    One monkey wrench is that BBs are often feeding from the same hosts so the host isn't going to catch their own disease or if switching host may have had such a duration that the pathogen died out.

    I agree that disease transmission is not 100% off the table, just isn't likely.

    Jim

  16. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 16:25:10
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    BTW my day job deals with medical equipment and BBP, Blood Borne Pathogens is a mandatory training we have to go through and Hep B innoculations are available.

    Any PCO dealing with BBs should consider the same things.

    You go into a house and start hunting bugs you may find fresh fed squashed bugs so the possibility of BBP exposure is there. Same risk or more so than a guy in a hospital handling gear hauled out of patient rooms.

    Universal precautions should apply.

    Jim

  17. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 16:51:39
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    Jim

    Thank you for the references.

    I don't disagree with anything that you are saying here. I just don't think anyone has performed the definitive research that allows us to rule mechanical transmission out completely.

    I do think we can tend to rule out a high transmission rate....or we would already have made the observation that mechanical transmission was common.

    I think it is likely to be a rare event....if transmission is a low rate.... like one or two percent or lower...then I am not so sure we would detect it readily with the public health surveillance programs that are currently in place.

    At the moment we don't even have anything close to a good estimate for the number of active bed bug infestations in the country...let alone the individual health consequences of a rare disease transmission event.

    I think Dr. Goddard's statement is accurate when he says that bed bugs do not seem to be a significant factor in the spread of human disease.

  18. parakeets

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 17:01:31
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    In addition to bedbugs possibly transmitting disease (which I don't think there is evidence that they do yet, especially since Hepatitis spreads so easily and they don't have evidence of people getting Hepatitis from bedbug bites)...I wonder about someone getting a disease simply by having the open bites on their bodies from bedbugs?

    The skin is meant to be a barrier. When the skin barrier is broken by a bedbug bite which stays open an undetermined time longer than a small cut, due to the saliva the bedbugs inject to keep it open, is it possible for the person being bit to be exposed to germs through the skin opening? For example, I had warts where I had bedbug bites. The dermatology clinic did agree that these warts were not common at my age, and that wart viruses were more likely to to infect a person where the skin was broken ... but they couldn't tell me there was a correlation with my bedbug bites. I also got shingles where I had bedbug bites and they didn't know what stimulated the retro virus. Could that flareup be related to bedbug bites?

    If you have a cut, germs can enter the blood stream. It would not have to be a disease the bedbug was carrying for you to get it that way.

  19. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 26 2008 17:49:21
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    Parakeets

    You are correct. A state health official at the NPMA conference stated that some health depts have decided bed bugs are a health issue due to the bite wounds. Fragile populations like diabetics & immune system disorders can be adversely affected.

    A PCO at the same session talked about a client that developed a MERSA infection at the site of some bed bug wounds.

    The wart question is interesting...I haven't seen any references to warts & bed bug bites, but I follow the logic. I don't know how you could confirm it, but it sounds worthy of further investigation. You might want to try to contact Dr. Goddard for some guidance.

  20. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2008 10:23:54
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    I do know that there could very soon be a study on the correlation between staph infection and bed bug bites. The bed bug carries the pathogen, or the pathogen is present on the unbroken skin of the subject. Subject then starts to itch and scrach the bite sites. Not sure how relevant it will be as only a small percentage of the population would fall into this category but it is a study nonetheless.

    Tony Canevaro

  21. bedbuggery

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 29 2008 19:24:28
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    Have read that chagas disease [/i] is being spread [i] by bedbugs in endemic south and central america. The disease mechanism cuases the bedbug to defecate it's blood meal on the host while feeding, then when the host scratches the bite they become infected. Chagas disease sounds like a nasty one to claim that "bedbugs cannot transmit." Maybe science is not concerned with things that don't directly affect the 1st world countries who fund it's endeavors? ALso bedbugs have a regular habit of making opportunities out of open or bleeding wounds. If bedbugs carry disease on them, how will they not spread it this way? I will say this, if you have bedbugs you'd better not crash your skateboard..

  22. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 29 2008 20:00:07
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    Hi,

    Could you please the reference to your source for the comment "ALso bedbugs have a regular habit of making opportunities out of open or bleeding wounds."

    You may also want to cross reference your ideas with research on the mechanisms surrounding traumatic insemination in insects.

    There is still a lot of research needed from both the entomology and medical side. I don't dispute the current state of thinking that they do not spread any disease. I believe that they are capable of under highly optimal and favourable conditions but as you said in the post above secondary infection is a greater risk but that does not rely upon the bed bug as a vector.

    David

  23. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 29 2008 21:28:33
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    Bedbuggery

    Do you have a reference for the source describing the spread of Chagas disease via bed bugs?

  24. KillerQueen

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 29 2008 22:28:11
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    I can't find hard facts on Bed Bugs W/ this. I found this on the CDC's website.
    http://www.cdc.gov/chagas/factsheets/detailed.html

  25. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 29 2008 23:23:03
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    Check this..

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol4no4/beard.htm

    The vector of Chagas, the kissing bug, has a similar niche in the ecosystem as the BB and I cannot find the paper but in South and Central America these bugs are invading homes much like BBs.

    Efforts to find a solution to these bugs may yield products that aid in BBs as well.

    Up to 18 million people have Chagas and a blood sucking bug is the vector.

    Jim

  26. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 30 2008 11:20:22
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    Greetings and good day. First off Chagas is not transmitted by bed bugs but rather by another bug in the Reduviidae "assassin" bug family interestingly an insect some folks have suggested be used as biological control for bed bugs, (obviously a bad move). While there are some old studies that theorize at bed bugs as vectors fortunately modern studies have disproved them and they are not vectors according to all reputable medical and scientific authorities and lets hope that continues to be the case, although I have heard a limited number of folks stupidly seem disappointed in that fact. Their thought process is that if they carried disease they would get the attention they deserved, sure just like Lyme, malaria, river blindness, WNV,plague and I could go on but you get the point. As for mechanical transmission while possible it is quite unlikely in most cases. Normally a bed bug feeds in the same environment and if it's not hot it doesn't become hot. Yes if you work in an environment with a number of infected persons and they feed on you and you crush the bug into an open wound you may be able to become infected,especially since many diseases don't survive well outside controlled environments the odds are lower and this is not the type of environment in which most people find themselves. So while we need to remain vigilant we certainly should not feed into fear or worse pseudo or bad science. Gloves are always a good idea when preforming most pest control work.

  27. Bugologist

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 30 2008 12:16:44
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    I think I've posted what I'm about to post in a previous thread about this subject but I'm going to do it again anyways. I'm sure there are going to be a few who don't like this post but it is what it is.

    Bed bugs have not been shown to transmit any diseases at this time. PERIOD. Is there another way I can say period? Not Chagas, not HIV, not any strain of Hep, not anything.

    I just think there are so many UNANSWERED questions out there that since this has been researched, extensively might I add, we should be focused on or worried about something else. I understand that the possibility is there and evolution and all that but for now it can't happen or isn't known to happen and that's it. You don't hear of all the people suffering from bed bug infestations coming down with this weird illness.

    Sorry, soapbox of mine. I can't explain why they can't transmit disease. I understand it doesn't make logical sense since related insects can. But they can't. Lets not add another fear onto this monster then we already have. Until something is proven otherwise, worrying about it seems like you're putting worry in a box that doesn't need to be there.

    Lets worry about how to kill these monsters in an efficient and effective manner and until something arises with disease try not sweat about it.

  28. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 30 2008 13:50:55
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    AMEN!

  29. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Dec 30 2008 16:27:05
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    Winston and Bugologist,

    Hopefully it didn't come across that I belive BBs spread disease. I have seen the huge listing of studies that have never found any linkage.

    I'm on that soapbox with y'all.

    While it is a bit of a mystery as to why they don't it is a blessing.

    My one concern is that bugs do harbor pathogens that they have ingested for a brief period and that anyone dealing with BBs should take wear gloves as a precaution in case one gets crushed.

    Once in a dwelling the Reduviidae bugs behavior, feeding, and control are very similar to BBs.
    Since the Reduviidae can transmit a disease there is lots off research into controlling them that, as a byproduct of said research, may lead to a tool in the BB war. *crosses fingers*

    Jim

  30. bedbuggery

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jan 2 2009 3:11:48
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    "...ingestion of the blood meal causes the vector to defecate. Upon awakening, the victim commonly rubs the itching bite area, pushing the trypanosome-laden feces into the bite wound or onto the conjunctiva.."

    "...Although bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) cannot support the full parasite cycle after experimental feeding on infected animals, their feces were infective to mice (37)..."

    source found here : http://www.pnas.org/content/101/7/2034.fullmaxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=peru&searchid=1116928801623_853&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&journalcode=pnas

    I have read that if bedbugs are able to spread disease, then it could be a matter of national security. Are we entirely sure, if this is the case, that the CDC and other mainstream scientific communities are sharing all of their findings?

    Also, if one smashes a bug that is in the process of feeding would this not cause the bug to regurgitate it's bloodmeal into the host? Has anyone read any research on interrupted feeding?

    I currently have a blood infection that my doctor believes may be pacific lyme's disease (a different strain that is usually overlooked for the more common one.) I will keep posted when my western blot test comes back. If it is Lyme, there is a possibility I aquired it before I met bedbugs, and due to my allergies to them my immune system was weakened enough for a slow infection to surface. The more likely case would be that a bloodsucking critter who feeds on rats and other humans in my building in large numbers is the one who gave it to me.

    It would be better to leave phrases like "let's not panic" or "there is no evidence yet" out of a topic like this one, as they aren't objective or helpful, and are rather counterproductive for the people who may actually get hepatitis or chagas from cimex lectularius. Let me also remind everyone that no matter how many times studies show that infection cannot be spread, one solid case is all it takes to counter that thesis.

    I just think there are so many UNANSWERED questions out there that since this has been researched, extensively might I add, we should be focused on or worried about something else

    really? Bedbugs have only been in my city on the west coast for about 4 years, they have made a huge population boom in the last decade were they have been introduced to myriad new diseases, vector hosts, hosts, living situations and adaptations. Isn't it sound ecology to say that there may be a little concern here? Yes, we should focus on eradiction, but if people begin getting sick (like myself) it is of some importance.

  31. bedbuggery

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jan 2 2009 3:15:43
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    sorry, that link didn't work,

    here is the PDF link...

    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/7/2034.full.pdf+html

  32. bedbuggery

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    Fri Jan 2 2009 3:24:15
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    Winston O. Buggy - 2 days ago  » 
    Greetings and good day. First off Chagas is not transmitted by bed bugs but rather by another bug in the Reduviidae "assassin" bug family interestingly an insect some folks have suggested be used as biological control for bed bugs, (obviously a bad move). While there are some old studies that theorize at bed bugs as vectors fortunately modern studies have disproved them and they are not vectors according to all reputable medical and scientific authorities and lets hope that continues to be the case, although I have heard a limited number of folks stupidly seem disappointed in that fact. Their thought process is that if they carried disease they would get the attention they deserved, sure just like Lyme, malaria, river blindness, WNV,plague and I could go on but you get the point. As for mechanical transmission while possible it is quite unlikely in most cases. Normally a bed bug feeds in the same environment and if it's not hot it doesn't become hot. Yes if you work in an environment with a number of infected persons and they feed on you and you crush the bug into an open wound you may be able to become infected,especially since many diseases don't survive well outside controlled environments the odds are lower and this is not the type of environment in which most people find themselves. So while we need to remain vigilant we certainly should not feed into fear or worse pseudo or bad science. Gloves are always a good idea when preforming most pest control work.

    could you cite the studies which have "disproved" bedbugs as vectors rather than use phrase like "stupidly assumed"
    Assuming an air of rationality by calling people pseudo-scientists is pseudo science -as well as poor form in proper argumentation.

  33. bugration

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Jan 4 2009 7:30:56
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    Like bedbuggery I cannot help but have my doubts about the "not a vector" argument, at least regarding hepatitis B. Please see my post earlier on in this thread - a cursory review of the literature hardly gives that much cause for optimism for the potential for hepatitis B transmission. One study even states that "mechanical transmission has been demonstrated".

    The reason that hepatitis B is one of the few diseases that could conceivably be spread is because it lasts so long in hostile conditions. For instance, I believe it can remain infective for at least a week after being exposed to outside air, in stark contrast to say HIV and hepatitis C which will die very quickly indeed after a similar exposure.

    The question therefore is, how long can it last in bedbugs? Well they have done studies that have found hepatitis B in bedbug feces many weeks later, so it almost seems that a bedbug provides a safer harbor for hepatitis B than the outside air? I'm not a medical expert but I presume that detection of hepatitis B traces means that it remains infective?

    A few more points - the 2% transmission rate (similar to needlestick injuries) that some have put forward may sound reassuring enough, however remember that this is per individual bug bite and that in most bedbug exposures people are bitten by multiple bugs, often more than 50. So e.g. one stay in a hotel room with bedbugs whose previous meal had hepatitis B, and if you take 50 bites @ 2% transmission risk then the overall risk of transmission from these 50 bites rises to 63.6%.

    Also, saying that we would have noticed if they were viable vectors for hepatitis B: well, according to Wikipedia at least 30% of hepatitis B infections come from an as yet unknown source.

  34. BBcoukHome

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    Sun Jan 4 2009 20:16:58
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    Hi,

    Sorry I think you got the maths on this one a little wrong.

    Assuming a 2% infection rate as with needle stick injuries the equation looks as follows:

    50 bites * 2% = 1 potential infection event

    However given that those 50 bites are likely to come from 17 bed bugs given that 3 bites per bed bugs is an acknowledged average you are actually looking at 0.3 of an infection event occurring.

    Now given that I have been doing this type of work for over 7 years and have treated in excess of 9,000 properties at all ends of the socio economic spectrum given your numbers I am either lucky beyond all statistical probability or the numbers are not as high as the 2% figure you have quoted.

    For the record I am screened on a regular basis for many different pathogens, STD's and have been a regular blood donor since the early 90's.

    If you are concerned about this as a possibility the best thing you can do is start a group and lobby for funding for the research you have outlined as needed. Sadly enough one of the early medical entomology papers claiming to show the spread of Hep via bed bugs was discredited as a researcher keen to secure funding for their research work, this is actually not that uncommon with some areas of scientific research.

    At present I would have to say that the greatest risks are likely to be from secondary infection from bites, another good reason why scratching bites needs to be discouraged at all costs but that one is a lot easier said than done.

    David

  35. bugration

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    BBcoukHome: thanks for your reply.

    A few points.

    1) Math. No I don't believe my math is wrong, we are calculating different things. Your formula is the "expected value", i.e. average number of infection events that someone would experience using these numbers. Mine on the other hand is the "percentage chance of at least one infection event". Although yours is also useful I find mine more relevant since whether you get 1, 2, or more infection events in one sitting doesn't really matter in the case of hepatitis B, an infection is an infection. And since these are independent events the percentage chance of no infections occurring is hitting 98% fifty times in a row, or 0.98 to the power of 50, or 36.4%. Hence by definition the chance of at least one infection occurring is 63.6%.

    I don't know why we shouldn't regard each bite as a separate infection-potential event (separate needlestick injury), but even if we do insist on saying only 17, this still gives infection odds of 29%.

    2) Hepatitis B. Another thing to consider is that, when infected as an adult (in many cases this results in few/minimal symptoms), 90-95% will clear the virus completely and develop immunity for life. And when donating blood, they check for whether you are currently a chronic carrier/infectious, not whether you have ever been infected in the past, so in your case you could easily have been exposed earlier in your adult career, cleared the virus, and from then on you will have been rightly regarded as a healthy donor.

    And yeah, not that getting infected as an adult is a laughing matter (5-10% chance of developing a serious chronic illness), but infants and children are much more vulnerable in the case of infection. I believe 95% of infected newborns and 30% of children aged 1-6 fail to clear the virus, so if they are infected the odds are much higher of developing chronic hepatitis B.

    3) Studies discredited. I am eager to hear more. Would you happen to know which study in particular was discredited, was it one of the ones I mentioned above? That's one of the things I found mystifying - so many experts saying hepatitis B transmission has never been shown, yet failing to specifically refute any of the studies currently out there that either state that transmission has been shown or else state that transmission is probably possible.

  36. bed-bugscouk

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    Hi Bugration,

    Hmmm , so you assume that 100% of the population are infected and that is now you get that number. I prefer not to assume where possible.

    I appreciate that Hep is a nasty disease although I am no virologist I have worked with a number over the years and have good friends in infection control, as such detailed scientific discussions are actually quite common place in my social sphere.

    I cant recall the specifics of the paper other than I think it was in connection with a hospital in Canada.

    I think the best summary at this stage is that as I said before more research on the subject would help clarify the situation. I would however say that with bed bugs on the rise at rates in excess of 500% year on year growth if there was a significant risk of any blood borne pathogen being transmitted by bed bugs we would have seen a corresponding increase in infections. As I am not aware of such a massive increase which I am sure would get a lot of media attention.

    I would also point out that if we spent this discussion time educating people about bed bugs and how to detect them when traveling / staying away from home then infection risk or not its something of a mute point because you cant get infected by something that you avoid contact with.

    David

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.
  37. DougSummersMS

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    The best study to date was a group in South Africa that exposed chimps to Hb with bed bugs that were fed on Hb positive blood. They were unable to transmit Hb to the chimps via bed bugs, but the chimps developed Hepatitis B after being injected with the blood directly.

    Here is a link to the abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2017742

    If we had high rates of disease transmission (like 68%).... I think our existing public health surveillance systems should be able to detect those trends.... If there are any significant diseases that are being transmitted by bed bugs it would have be a fairly low rate of transmission to stay below the public health surveillance radar and remain undetected.

    I think math can deceptive when we look at small numbers.... powerful statistics are based on large populations.

    I am not enough of a statistician to explain it fully...but I think we are applying the wrong formula.... and we also need to keep in mind that we are comparing needle sticks to insect bites.

    We don't fully understand why bed bugs do not appear to be a competent vector of blood borne disease.... David is right about the need for further research in this area.

  38. bedbuggery

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    I would also point out that if we spent this discussion time educating people about bed bugs and how to detect them when traveling / staying away from home then infection risk or not its something of a mute point because you cant get infected by something that you avoid contact with.

    There are other forums for this topic, disease transmission concerns infestations only. Thank you.

    Found a number of pages claiming that louse borne relapsing fever is transmitted by cimex lectularius.
    none of them elementally scientific but this one claims to get it's info from the CDC:

    http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/tickids.html

    I could find no evidence on the CDC website on this claim which I find odd as 3 or 4 articles mention it.
    most of the articles I read on this predate 2004, just before the bedbug epidemic began running up major statistics in the US.
    Also, this disease lives in mountainous regions of the pacific northwest and canada and there were only about 25 documented cases a year at the time of the article. This supports my earlier comment on spreading new potential vectors (like tropical bedbugs) to remote regions that expose them to new demographics of hosts/disease.

    about scientific appeals to qualified authority I would say this; scientists are only as good as their research. This is not the evening news so if you don't have a study to reference or valuable theoretical advice, you're margin of confidence or "expert opinion" is meaningless.

    I think this topic is HUGE for science to tackle and there is no way if BB populations are expanding at rates of 500% that we can begin to make sound claims based on scientific evidence.

    About the math of Hep B, I read hep B can stay in a BB for up to six weeks, I dunno how this affects the equation but it would be a factor to consider.

  39. spideyjg

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    Mon Jan 5 2009 19:23:45
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    In 1927 some scientists discovered BBs will carry the relapsing fever organism yet in further research they could not get transmission in tests with mice.

    In 1934 the Ministry of Health concluded, based on many papers reference in the report, that BBs..

    Bed-bugs have not been definitely convicted of carrying disease
    It is possible that in certain circumstances they may carry infection
    from one person to another, but there is no evidence that they are
    active agents in tlie disseminaiion of any particular pathogenic
    organism in the way that fleas carry plague, lice typhus fever,
    or mosquitoes malaria.

    Those studies were from the times where BBs were ubiquitous.

    Usinger in 1975, studying the literature, came to a similar conclusion but neither claims that the BB can never transmit anything just that nothing has been found.

    I'd repeat some of my previous statements but just scroll up and read them.

    Jim

  40. BBcoukHome

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    Having just read the linked website I think it is safe to say that the CDC reference is in connection to the range data in the table above the one that mentions cimex as a potential vector of Borrelia.

    I will have a chat with a few friends in CDC and the UK equivalent groups and will ask they to search for cimex reference in regards to any blood bourne pathogens. If anything comes up I will get references for the published work.

    If you have concerns over research approach maybe you would care to share some suggestions and ideas with us on how you feel it should be tested? Who should conduct such research and what do you think is the best way to build the support to engage that research?

    If it is indeed a huge area for research and an untapped potential it would certainly justify its own blog, a focal point for research and discussion on both sides.

    It would also help a great deal if there was a way to access the Hep infection cases for a city like London by geography and overlay it with an infestation map. If you normalise for historic hotspots of hep then you might start to see the early signs on a link. I picked London because I have an extensive bed bug bag of the city and the software to map new data onto it.

    David

  41. bedbuggery

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    I think that referencing studies from the 1930's and 70's is making the case that there hasn't been conclusive research.
    Maybe the antiquated ideas in reference to the modern BB situation is one of the very things that is keeping a proper understanding and funding from surfacing. Lord knows the saying "don't let the bedbugs bite" has done damage to the cause in terms of marginalization. Louse Borne Relapsing Fever, for instance, get's it's name from the fact that the bacterium perpetually mutates in it's host.

    I would recommend looking at the homeless population and low income buildings for diseases which are practically undocumented, suggested by this article.

    http://www.headlice.org/news/research/head_louse_marseilles.htm

    A veritable petri dish awaits, these people rarely report cases of anything and are practically vectors themselves. (if you don't agree come to Portland, Oregon) they even have tuberculosis.

  42. spideyjg

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    I think that referencing studies from the 1930's and 70's is making the case that there hasn't been conclusive research.

    Yes and no. There should be studies done on pathogens that have emerged since then but in the example of Relapsing Fever which was studied in depth back in the '30's, unless you find flaws in the methodology, what disqualifies the findings?

    I'm all for the UK health dept looking at David's infestation map and see if there are outbreaks of anything that seem to follow.

    Nobody here has the ability to fund any kind of study but everyone here I believe would agree that BBs should be tracked by health departments and monitored.

    Nobody is poo pooing the idea of further studies but the lambasting of the earlier studies doesn't help your case.

    Go here http://lrs.afpmb.org/rlgn_app/ar_login/guest/guest

    and search for author. "MONIER-WILLIAMS G W HENDERSON P H KERWOOD C R ET AL"

    That is the Ministry of Health Bed Bug report form the 30's. Now download it and read it! These men knew BBs and laid out the very same kinds of control methods that are still in use today and much of the biology contained therein has not been refuted because bugs are bugs. That is hardly antiquated! Way down there are reference to buttloads of studies they reviewed.

    My good man we are on your side for more research into the modern era of the bedbug to have conclusive updated info, just as these scientist in the 30's had a complete grasp of the 30's BB era.

    Instead of dismissing thorough documents like the above and Usinger's Monograph it may help your case to build upon them rather than toss them aside like modern medicine looks at bloodletting.

    Jim

  43. BBcoukHome

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    Sun Jan 11 2009 16:05:06
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    Hi,

    No wishing to drag this thread back up but when I say I will do research I like to include it in the thread.

    I asked some personal contacts within the CDC to have a look internally for who would be the best contact for issues about Bed Bugs. I am in contact with that person but in searching came across the author of a chapter in a book entitled:

    HETEROPTERA OF PUBLIC HEALTH IMPORTANCE:
    KISSING BUGS AND BED BUGS

    C. Ben Beard
    Division of Parasitic Diseases
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    from

    The Biology of Disease Vectors, 2nd Edition, Marquardt et al, eds. Elsevier, 2005.

    The sentence of greatest significance is:

    Bed bugs have been suspected, at one time or another, in the transmission of 37 different human disease agents. Their importance, however, in the natural transmission of any known human pathogen has never been definitively proven.

    Interestingly enough other paragraphs of the same text appear to have been the basis of the link in a previous post to this thread:

    http://www.anapsid.org/lyme/tickids.html

    It appears that the bed bug reference may have crept into this web page through data mining rather than something that was meant to be there.

    At this stage the best information available is still that although bed bugs display the characteristics necessary to be vector of blood borne pathogens there are no known examples of this happening.

    David

  44. bedbuggery

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    Tue Jan 13 2009 15:50:38
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    hello,

    I've received the test results from my western blot test, they show a bacterium not consistent w/ lymes disease, but nevertheless tested positive for A few aspects. Also they show inflammation of the spleen. I had a particular batch of bites that showed bruising, scabbing and surrounding discoloration that never reacted in a bullious manner. Some symptoms include sore joints, bruising, and impaired breathing. Also have developed a bad case of Myocarditis. I am in contact w/ an infectious disease specialist and will keep updates.

    As I said before, one case of evidence for transmission proves the theory of "it has not been shown..." to be founded in limited science. At which point, the debate is really about quantity and degree and has spread to the realm of the socio-political.

    also will add that quelling fears about disease transmission is a social endeavor, not a scientific one.

  45. spideyjg

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    Tue Jan 13 2009 16:38:13
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    Sorry to hear of your condition and the impaired breathing and Myocarditis.

    Again and again and again disease transmission is certainly possible and perhaps you have obtained something due to the BB bites but but but but but but BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT to date research hasn't proven any transmission in the wild. That is the science!

    You seem unable to acknowledge this fact and are determined to pin the blame of your condition on BBs without definitive proof and spook people.

    I really hope your IDS can determine what is causing your condition and remedy it. By all means BBs shouldn't be completely ruled out as a factor but the other side of the coin, that you seem to ignore, is that BBs may have nothing to do with it in any way.

    Best wishes for your recovery from this condition.

    Jim

  46. BBcoukHome

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    Tue Jan 13 2009 16:38:25
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    Hi BedBuggery,

    Would you mind making the results and method of your western blot analysis available.

    As it happens I did a few thousand Northern blots as an undergrad looking changes in gene expression during gravitropism.

    I appreciate that you may have had unusual symptoms with some of your bites but I am sure you appreciate as any good scientist does a sample set of one person is not statistically accurate particularly as they could so easily be caused by a secondary infection.

    As someone on the front line of fighting bed bugs and in fact one of the first dedicated pest specialists of bed bugs in the world the potential of disease transmission is something that has always been a concern for me. I, as you obviously have as well spent a lot of time reading the literature and reviewing it. Although bed bugs display every potential characteristic to be carriers of blood borne pathogens there is no supporting evidence to illustrate a case where it has been proven.

    I have knowingly worked on cases of bed bugs in locations where blood borne pathogens have been present in the occupants. I have also worked on a number of cases where they have been suspected. I am screened on a regular basis for more social reasons than work and give blood when I can (its a social service in the UK with no payment for donors so it is a precious commodity). If I felt there was a risk of infection I would simply find a more protected way of working or would start collecting samples to calculate the extent of the risk.

    David

  47. spideyjg

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    Tue Jan 13 2009 16:53:00
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    FYI a battle you will have to have with the IDS is that since the body of literature has nothing regarding disease transmission the IDS can't hone in on a specific pathogen to test for.

    If fleas they would be all over testing for bubonic plague because they are a proven vector of that.

    See if you can find the list of pathogens that BBs have been known to harbor yet not transmit and give it to him as a list of suspects to rule out.

    Jim

  48. bedbuggery

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    Wed Jan 14 2009 22:16:33
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    BBCoukHome -

    for results of the western Blot: http://rapidshare.com/files/183431654/img003.pdf.html

    would appreciate your professional opinion...

    I'm not trying to spook anyone, maybe am just experiencing a touch of the anxiety that third world countries feel.
    Also, can anyone reference a study where the bugs were repeatedly crushed into a bite wound during feeding?

  49. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jan 14 2009 23:26:53
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    bedbuggery,
    I was not able to download anything by clicking that link.
    You could try a free flickr.com account.

  50. bedbuggery

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    Thu Jan 15 2009 5:48:57
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    you just have to click on "free download"
    but I've put it on flickr as well.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/34384007@N07/3199009900/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/34384007@N07/3199009778/

    any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  51. bed-bugscouk

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    Thu Jan 15 2009 11:47:21
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    Hi BedBuggery,

    Sorry I had assumed that your Western blot was available as raw data as in a research project rather than a medical diagnostic test.

    As it is based on a diagnostic test the only people who can discuss this with you are your chosen health care professionals as they have fun the test and know what test parameters have been used.

    All I can tell from the file you put up is that they tested your for infections including Lymes disease and that in the panel you showed positive for 5 bands associated with Borrelia.

    May I ask what makes you think this is associated with Bed Bugs? I cant see anything in your posts to indicate that you have a confirmed case of bed bugs or that you have been exposed to bed bugs.

    It may be sensible at this stage to establish if you have bed bugs and the extent of the problem. Otherwise this is starting to look like an academic exercise because if there are no bed bugs in the equation then I cant see where the link has come in.

    David

  52. bedbuggery

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    Thu Jan 15 2009 14:48:04
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    you can read more about my experience at the end of this thread:

    http://bedbugger.com/2007/03/16/lingering-sensations-phantom-bed-bug-bites-what-does-a-bed-bug-infestation-really-do-to-our-skin/

    As, I understand it, Borrelia bacteria are only vector borne and the only thing I'v been bitten by in the last 6 yrs or so is a crapload of bedbugs in a seedy apt. complex. Also will add that I think I was sensitized after my initial allergic reaction and may be having autoimmune responses alongside the infection-

    There was a set of bites I had at the beginning of this that looked real ugly, I have photo's I can post as well. They developed bruising, turned hard and discoloration.

  53. bedbuggery

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    found an article from a link provided earlier

    http://lrs.afpmb.org/1ZMRAPX9B5SY046ST3C2HMHE/arc/al_06_tit_fetch/6/12872

    this is not a comfort to me. The article displays results of disease transmission to nymphs/eggs during reproduction.
    These bugs harbor (and often facilitate) some of the worst diseases in man's dark history. They keep a delicate virus like AIDS alive for up to a week. Any of these could be transmitted by crushing a bug during feeding (who doesn't smash a bug that's making them itch?)

    Maybe it's my encephalitis talking, or lack of real sleep for the past 8 mos., but frankly, this prospect scares the s*&!# out of me.

    -m

  54. bugration

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    Sat Jan 17 2009 7:31:41
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    For a start, BBcoukHome and others, you mentioned we would have noticed an increase in infection rates given the supposed 500% growth rates of bedbug populations (personally I am skeptical that the growth rate is this high year on year but that is for another thread). Well, check out this Times article from late 2007 on Hep B cases doubling:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article2910610.ece

    They blame the doubling of cases over the last five years on immigration but a large part of this increase could certainly be explained by bed bugs. I saw another article about China where the Hep B incidence was rising despite a massive vaccination campaign and they "didn't know why". See what I mean? There are enough cases of unexplained rises in Hep B incidence, not sure if the US has done similar studies.

    Bedbuggery, I couldn't get your link to work but I am surprised there is talk that the HIV virus could be kept alive for a week inside a bed bug - all the studies I have seen say that it is undetectable after only a few hours (which makes the chance of an infection exceedingly remote, since bed bugs only feed once every few days and basically don't feed on multiple people in a single night).

    Nevertheless, like bedbuggery I would also want to see a study where they crush bed bugs over wounds or otherwise simulate likely modes of mechanical transmission. Also where they for instance vary the time between the bed bug feeding on infected blood and the infection-potential incident occurring to see how quickly the risk factor decreases over time (all we know for sure on this is that after circa 12 weeks Hep B is no longer detectable and hence presumably the bed bug is no longer a threat). To my knowledge there have been no such studies, and even those which test the "less risky" mode of transmission (i.e. intact bed bugs feeding), including the chimp study, generally conclude by suggestively stating that mechanical transmission is certainly possible, e.g. during interrupted feeds. Please refer to the links I posted earlier in this thread.

    It is all very well for the experts to say that transmission of Hep B has never been definitively proven but given the limited nature of the studies to date this is hardly a huge relief. If we have to consistently cite a limited chimp study (which as I have stated numerous times, doesn't even conclude on THAT optimistic a note) as the best sign that this is not an issue, then clearly there is something wrong. By the way, another study to note:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=675426

    "These very high infection rates, even in unengorged bugs, suggest that C. lectularius could be a vector of hepatitis B virus in the Transvaal, and that the varying degrees of infestation could explain the markedly different HBsAg-positive frequencies previously shown in sera collected from different population groups in that province."

  55. BBcoukHome

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    bugration - 23 minutes ago  » 

    Nevertheless, like bedbuggery I would also want to see a study where they crush bed bugs over wounds or otherwise simulate likely modes of mechanical transmission. Also where they for instance vary the time between the bed bug feeding on infected blood and the infection-potential incident occurring to see how quickly the risk factor decreases over time (all we know for sure on this is that after circa 12 weeks Hep B is no longer detectable and hence presumably the bed bug is no longer a threat).

    As I am sure you are aware if you have thought about these types of studies but the only way to ensure that they would be accurate is to use human samples as the study. Using anything else and you would not be able to get a 100% accurate answer.

    Therefore I suspect we are now looking for volunteers to conduct such as study, if we get enough the ethics committee may be willing to waive the usual restrictions.

    If you wish to volunteer sign up below:

    (Your IP address will be traced and a sample collection team will be dispatched immediately)

    David

  56. bugration

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    Sat Jan 17 2009 9:09:20
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    BBcoukHome - 52 minutes ago  » 

    bugration - 23 minutes ago  » 
    Nevertheless, like bedbuggery I would also want to see a study where they crush bed bugs over wounds or otherwise simulate likely modes of mechanical transmission. Also where they for instance vary the time between the bed bug feeding on infected blood and the infection-potential incident occurring to see how quickly the risk factor decreases over time (all we know for sure on this is that after circa 12 weeks Hep B is no longer detectable and hence presumably the bed bug is no longer a threat).

    As I am sure you are aware if you have thought about these types of studies but the only way to ensure that they would be accurate is to use human samples as the study. Using anything else and you would not be able to get a 100% accurate answer.
    Therefore I suspect we are now looking for volunteers to conduct such as study, if we get enough the ethics committee may be willing to waive the usual restrictions.
    If you wish to volunteer sign up below:
    (Your IP address will be traced and a sample collection team will be dispatched immediately)
    David

    I never said these experiments had to be carried out on humans for us to get a reasonable picture of the likely risk. The proposed tests I mentioned (crushing bugs over wounds, and varying the time between exposure to infected source and subsequent bite) haven't been formally carried out on chimps, guinea pigs, or any other lab animal. My issue is not with the organisms used for the study but with the procedures used in testing, and what exactly they are testing. The chimp is widely regarded as a good approximation of a human response, well fine. So in that case, if crushing infected bed bugs over a chimp wound led to infections, then we have very strong evidence that mechanical transmission is a real risk when infected bed bugs bite humans.

    In any case, why does everyone consistently ignore this study?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/573506

    Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive blood meals were fed to a colony of the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius L) in a series of 5 experiments. Antigen persisted in the bugs for at least 7 1/2 weeks, but was undetectable after 18 weeks. Trans-stadial transmission was demonstrated through one moult only, and transovarial transmission did not occur. Antigen was successfully transmitted by adult bugs into 3 out of 35 canisters of HBsAg-negative blood. Antibody of HBsAg was detected in the serum from a rabbit on which HBsAg-positive adult bugs had fed as well as in the serum of 2 out of 10 guinea-pigs on which HBsAg-positive 4th and 5th nymphal instars had fed. The results as a whole indicate that biological multiplication and biological transmission do not occur in C. lectularius, but mechanical transmission has been demonstrated. This is probably an important means of hepatitis B virus transmission among humans in South Africa.

    Mechanical transmission was demonstrated and this wasn't even using the higher-risk transmission model of crushing a bug over a wound.

  57. cantstopscratching

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    Testing on animals is bad science.

  58. DougSummersMS

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    The sample collection team approach sounds like a rather interesting way to conduct a study.

    Reminds me of Dr Charles Campbell's work from the early 1900s with human subjects.

    http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0302hsted/030212campbell/campbell%203-1.htm

  59. bedbuggery

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    sorry about the link, go here: http://lrs.afpmb.org/rlgn_app/ar_login/guest/guest

    and do a search for "bedbugs disease." should be able to find the article.

    As I am sure you are aware if you have thought about these types of studies but the only way to ensure that they would be accurate is to use human samples as the study. Using anything else and you would not be able to get a 100% accurate answer.

    Therefore I suspect we are now looking for volunteers to conduct such as study, if we get enough the ethics committee may be willing to waive the usual restrictions.

    If you wish to volunteer sign up below:

    (Your IP address will be traced and a sample collection team will be dispatched immediately)

    David

    I'm sorry BBCouK how does this require testing on humans? Are you threatening people by telling them if they voice concerns about BB's and disease that you will trace their location? Furthermore how does my presenting a documented medical case of a vector borne illness (borrelia related) when I've been exposed to repeated vector/host exposures discredit my cause in light of it's not being part of some vague heap of statistical data?
    Please, trace my IP and send a committee, hopefully they don't accidentally stick themselves with the needle carrying my as yet unidentified blood borne pathogen.

    Also, we cannot get a "100% accurate result" by testing on humans or anything else because scientific studies are limited by those who create them. We can only build confidence in an idea, this is why we need more (useful) studies to build a stronger inductive case. sorry to bring everyone back to an intro philosophy of science class...

    Will keep everyone posted when I get more info...

  60. DougSummersMS

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    Sat Jan 17 2009 23:03:57
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    Bedbuggery

    I think David's response was intended as dark humor with regard to the IP address reference & the use of human subjects.

    I believe that we can all agree that further study of the issue of mechanical transmission of disease & bed bugs would be beneficial.

    Dr Jerome Goddard participated in a podcast interview about disease transmission & bed bugs a couple of years ago. He compared the potential for mechanical transmission from a bed bug bite to a dirty needle puncture accident in a hospital setting (where the transmission rate is roughly 2% according to studies). He called it the crawling dirty needle hypothesis. The link I have to the podcast doesn't seem to work now, but here is a link to a related article he wrote on the subject.

    http://pctonline.com/articles/article.asp?ID=2052&IssueID=74

  61. BBcoukHome

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    Thank you Doug for appreciating the darker side of my sense of humour I have always admired the persistence and tenacity of a classic conspiracy theory. The fact remains there is no current definitive proof of an infection and the only 100% proof of potential is either a verified medical case or a duplication of the scenario under controlled conditions.

    Ethics aside although animal models would tell something they are not 100% accurate to humans, there would still be some doubt. As this thread seeks to push the envelope of knowledge on the subject it might be best to conclude it with the understanding that to be more conclusive on the subject of do bed bugs transmit diseases we have identified an need for experimentation.

    I would respectfully suggest that the best people to conclude the design and validity of such experiments are in fact medical entomologists and medical statisticians. As I am neither I will step back from this thread now other than to read any comments that people of such qualification care to post.

    bedbuggery the tin foil hat is in the post.

    David

  62. bedbuggery

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    If I may add,BBcoukHome that you would likely wear a tin hat and pull your fillings too if you had a swollen/ heart/ liver/ brainstem, a long record of sleep deprivation, and a persistent fear of dying from a msyterious anaphylactic shock. Add to that chronic shower urticaria, and my entire normal life being devastated. This website I believe is for the objective exchange of ideas in order to raise an awareness of a poorly understood epidemic. I believe my case is extremely important to the cause in this manner and that the real problem is bedbugs are an extremely messy job for science. SO, I will say this, rather than cracking "dark" jokes about the mental stability of a possible victim of disease transmission, you can spend your time talking to your "friends at the CDC" or whatever and grab a shovel!!!!! These bugs are EVERYONES problem. and I can't bare the fact that someone else might have to go through what I did because a self proclaimed "expert" declared that the pyrethroid resistant BB's of today are merely a nuisance and "cannot spread diseases from the 1930's to chimps during a few hundred controlled bites." Except for Hep. B of course, but who's worried about that? -the few hundred thousand people who die a year from it?

  63. Adele

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    Bedbuggery

    I can tell you that David (aka BBCoukhome) does not need me to come to his defense - but if you read his postings you will see that his efforts at "dark humor" are really his way of lightening things up with his British point of view - much like Monty Python I suppose

    I don't happen to understand British humor myself and don't think I "get" half or more of David's jokes but I can tell you that he was in no way trying to marginalize or trivialize your postings or point of view

    In my opinion he is by far one of the most repsectful and understanding (not to mention mostly helpful) PCO's on this board

    please don't get upset as it will not lead to productive outcomes and will likely just make others upset as well

    Even though I have not posted on this thread I have been following your postings and found your point of view to be a very intelligent and thoughtful perspective, even though others may not agree or think that your point is substantiated by current studies.

    I believe one of the points behind this forum is to have open and intelligent dialogue and discourse on subjects related to bedbugs

    Your postings certainly are thought-provoking

    Please don't get upset

  64. spideyjg

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    What did you do, grind bugs into your bleeding skin?

    The studies don't have a smoking gun of commonly transmitted diseases from BB bites because there are not any.

    That said If you were healthy up until the BBs coming into your life, certainly in some way they are a factor in your condition.

    Do you still have bugs? Have you been over sensitized and bug remnants are causing a reaction? Did the bugs trigger some sort of auto immune condition? Did you self treat or the PCO treat improper and you have an overexposure "poisoning" from the products used.

    Many possibilities if once exposed to BBs you are now unwell but a pathogen is highly doubtful.

    Have you perused the possibility of overexposure to pesticides?

    Jim

  65. Adele

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    Mon Jan 19 2009 0:40:04
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    before Killerqueen started to treat my apartment I was nealry killing myself with pesticides - overexposure can make you quite ill

  66. bedbuggery

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    Mon Jan 19 2009 21:22:35
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    many of my symptoms occurred long before pesticides, don't think that's the issue..

    A triggered Autoimmune response is a definit possibility considering my first exposure resulted in anaphylaxis, then I become desensitized to bites for a long time w/ no real allergies. Then attacks resurfaced when I had positively removed myself from bugs.
    Although the latter responses could also be related to my current BLOOD INFECTION of a VECTOR BORNE borrelia related bacterium. The knowledge of the latter is based on Micro viviscopy at which point I even personally confirmed along w/ the doc. atleast 6 or 7 bacterium which my immune system was fervently attacking. (read my earlier post about western blot)

    The studies don't have a smoking gun of commonly transmitted diseases from BB bites because there are not any.

    One of my biggest road blocks has been this rather ill- informed statement which was regurgitated by doctors to me and which I even found myself stating before my heart began failing.

    I would like to add once again that the bed bug epidemic is an extremely huge issue for the following: government, landlords, PCO's, scientists, the economy, and the medical community.

    It's obvious why no one wants to address it, I don't blame them, but what I see are the same basic social dynamics involved on a broader scale as what one experiences when they first face an infestation, mainly; EXTREME DENIAL. MOst people believe that spraying lavender or alcohol on their bed and putting their stuff in the freazer for a couple of days will solve the problem dispite what they've read.

    Something else I find interesting was the fact that I went to two separate emergency rooms for my bites- the second one said I was having panic attacks and put me on sedatives, the first one made me and my girlfriend bag up all of our clothes in a safe room before letting us into the E_room.........The difference? The second hospital had actually HAD an infestation and had to close down an entire wing, so they were aware of what a clusterf*** bedbugs are. Regardless of what "the studies show" or wether you need to "grind a bug into your skin" or 'cook them at low temp for 10 minutes before ingesting' in order to transmit any of the 40 diseases that existed in the 1930's which bedbugs are known to carry........what if bedbugs infest an infectious ward?
    WHAT A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR A STUDY!........... (that was 4 you BBCouk)

    I'm going to say what everybody's trying to avoid which is that BB's are a nightmare, but w/ the proper conditions (of which it's obvious we haven't tested enough for) they could be catastrophic.)

    Please, somebody reference a study w/in the last 4 years!

    -m

  67. Nobugsonme

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    Mon Jan 19 2009 21:28:58
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    bedbuggery - 2 days ago  » 

    I'm sorry BBCouK how does this require testing on humans? Are you threatening people by telling them if they voice concerns about BB's and disease that you will trace their location? ...
    Please, trace my IP and send a committee...

    I realize this is probably rhetorical, but as the site admin, I have to say it:

    FYI, David is a valued participant in the forums, but not an admin. Therefore, he can't see your IP address, email address, or other private information. Anyone with concerns in that area is referred to the site's privacy policy.

  68. bugration

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    Tue Jan 20 2009 12:14:44
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    bedbuggery - 13 hours ago  » It's obvious why no one wants to address it, I don't blame them, but what I see are the same basic social dynamics involved on a broader scale as what one experiences when they first face an infestation, mainly; EXTREME DENIAL.

    I more or less have to agree with this. As I have stated many times, mechanical transmission of Hepatitis B via bed bugs has already been demonstrated in a study (see my previous post), in stark contrast to what many people claim, yet for some reason everyone seems to want to pretend that this study never took place.

    The other textbook response I keep hearing is that we would have noticed if they were spreading disease. Well, the article I previously posted is one of many examples of unexplained rises in Hepatitis B infections over the last 5-10 years. Furthermore, according to Wikipedia at least 30% of current Hepatitis B infections come from an as yet unknown source, so BBs could certainly account for part of this percentage in the event that they are able to transmit Hepatitis B.

    I will agree that the majority of diseases that BBs have at one time or another been suspected of transmitting are probably not a cause for concern in this context. However, in my opinion this has far more to do with the specific biologies of those pathogens rather than any inherent inability of BBs to transmit disease. Hepatitis B, perhaps uniquely among these suspected diseases, can apparently survive for months inside a BB and furthermore is about 100 times more infectious than HIV, hence the reason I'm focusing on it in this discussion.

  69. spideyjg

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    Tue Jan 20 2009 16:45:48
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    Like Dave I'm gonna recuse myself from this discussion.

    By all means research should continue on pathogens that are blood born and the possibility of BBs being a vector. The majority body of evidence to date is that they are not.

    However BBs should not be either excluded nor all other possibilities ignored in a case such as bedbuggery is describing. I really hope the cause of your maladies can be determined and rectified Bedbuggery.

    Perhaps there is something yet undiscovered. Hep B and C should be further explored since it doesn't seem they were as extensively studied as the pathogens tested up to the 70's.

    Jim

  70. bedbuggery

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    OK, upon seeing an infectious disease specialist I was told that the methods used in diagnosing my blood infection by the naturopath were questionable, as was my lyme test results. The specialist didn't seem to think I had contracted anything from BB's (although he didn't entirely rule out this possibility), He thought I had developed asthma, and insinuated my symptoms may be a result of allergies or autoimmune responses but couldn't offer me professional advice. As this was my first assumption before I was led astray by a crooked naturopath, I will have to apologize to those on this thread (spideyjg and BBCouk in particular.) for being so defensive about things. It would seem my experience no longer proves useful on this particular thread. I still feel this subject is immensely important and would encourage anyone with valuable input to post here.

  71. bed-bugscouk

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    Tue Jan 27 2009 5:49:34
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    hi bedbuggery,

    Thanks for the apology and I am glad to hear that your health issues are now being dealt with correctly.

    The potential or disease transmission and the actuality of disease transmission is an important subject and one that does come around from time to time. I appreciate that it can be frustrating to get the line "there is no known case of disease transmission connected with bed bugs" but is the most accurate way of explain the truth as we currently know it. Trust me if it were any different between all the people networked through this forum and in our professional networks we would know about it.

    If there were a danger we would be putting ourselves right in the front line and would have to make sure the advice we gave was as pest as we could on the subject. I still feel strongly that we are doing that when we say "there is no known case of disease transmission connected with bed bugs".

    IN fact as a medical curiosity the last person to die from bed bugs was in about 1850 and the cause of death was long term anemia from someone who had been living with bed bugs for a very extended length of time. In 2007 I saw a close where the main occupant was close to that stage but the main medical issues were not directly linked to the bed bugs.

    Regards,

    David

  72. spideyjg

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    Accepted and everything Dave said.

    I hope your physicians are making headway in getting you back to health.

    Jim

  73. bedbuggery

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    IN fact as a medical curiosity the last person to die from bed bugs was in about 1850 and the cause of death was long term anemia from someone who had been living with bed bugs for a very extended length of time.

    Are you entirely sure about this statement? Maybe look into anaphylactic reactions. Allergies in the west have been on the rise the past 20 years. Bedbugs cans till be extremely dangerous... I found this incredibly informative article today from the World Health Organization that seems to have most of the facts in line. (although they do mention that encasing mattress in plastic and duct tape will trap bugs- which i've found to be entirely unsuccessful. ) They also state that hepatitis B would be the most likely culprit for transmission.

    http://www.euro.who.int/document/e91435.pdf

    this article even mentions bedbug induced asthma, which seems to be one of my symptoms.

    at the end of the BB's chapter they summarize a lot of what I stated a couple of posts ago;

    •Steps should be taken to make accurate and practical current information readily and
    widely available to PMPs, health professionals and the general public. This should
    include information about the biology and behaviour of bedbugs and about effective
    control and prevention strategies against them.

  74. bedbuggery

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    Thu Feb 5 2009 13:58:42
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    Here is an Article (maybe a repost?) stating mechanical transmission was demonstrated in 3 cases out of 35 for Hep B.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/573506

    also states: "This is probably an important means of hepatitis B virus transmission among humans in South Africa."

    This study is from 1979.

  75. bed-bugscouk

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    hi nobugs can we have an ignore this thread button, I feel a need to press it.

    Sorry if this seems rude but we have kind of been over this issue more than a few times now.

    David

  76. bedbuggery

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    Ok, I am now going to make an important point for this thread if indeed it is coming to a close..
    Although I think we can still maintain that bedbugs CAN transmit blood diseases and ARE a likely cause of Hepatitis in Africa,
    After having seen many doctors and having put together a vague idea of what has happened to me I think it's quite clear I
    developed an autoimmune condition comprised of the symptoms of; bronchial asthma, Urticaria, and anaphylactic reactions.
    I have read recently that sleep deprivation seems to be related to the onset of autoimmune including lupus,

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16809486

    so that a person such as myself w/ allergies to the bugs or immune discrepancies may develop such autoimmune conditions during a prolonged and difficult infestation. I am not suggesting that bedbugs give you lupus, but I am suggesting that they may be the straw that broke the camels back.. ANd in fact, these conditions can be life threatening and more difficult to treat than a lot of the vector borne illness that this forum addresses..

  77. BBcoukHome

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    hmmmmmm an interesting point.

    I had the flu the other week because I was run down from doing too much bed bug work following your lupus logic I could blame my brief illness on bed bugs as well.

    I am however pleased to see that your extensive research has not proven any disease transmission caused by bed bugs.

    David

  78. Adele

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    David - Since bedbug extermination is your work, and you were run down and thus became ill from being overworked - then too much work is to blame not bedbugs

    Following that logic I could say that each time I am run down from too much work that being overworked is to blame for my illness not a bedbug infestation

    I don't beleive that was the point that bedbuggery was trying to make - we know that an infestation can cause ancilliary health issues due to lack of sleep, immune respnoses from bites, anemia in worse case scenarios, etc

    I beleve that was the point that bedbuggery was trying to make

    we've beaten a dead horse here

  79. BBcoukHome

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    Hi Adele,

    I fully agree with all your points and should have inserted the sarcasm quoted on the second line, those that know we well enough know that in 7 years I have only had 2 days off sick, I simply don't get ill, run down maybe but never ill.

    I think the horse was declared dead 5 months ago I am just watching them boil the hooves up to make glue boards with

    David

  80. Adele

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    Sorry David - did not catch the sarcasm at all - my bad

    by the way - I thought it was the tail that was used to create the glue!

  81. BBcoukHome

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    I am sure its the hooves, I would post a link of what they use the tail for but NoBugs would tell me off

    David

  82. Adele

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    I'm sure you're right:)

  83. Crime Scene Clean

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    There were so many posts, I only read about one third at present. But I didn't believe the whole "bedbugs don't carry disease" thing either. I would like to know why they are less effective vectors than mosquitoes. They must be a reason, but I will read more online.
    I did find an article to reference Trypanosomiasis, the pathogen which causes Chagas disease. It is a PDF that can be downloaded here:
    http://www.metapathogen.com/bedbug/bedbug-metapathogen-pdf.pdf
    The other thing that is at least as scary, which I think has been talked about in the comments also, is the potential for resistant staph or strept infections. My reference article is here:
    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/05/11/scientists-discover-bedbugs-carrying-mrsa-germ-in-study/
    The first article I referenced also talks about HIV and a few other things.
    I sometimes think maybe the WHO, CDC, my own American government, etc., that they say these things, about bedbugs not carrying disease, so as to prevent hysteria.
    I'm really glad to see this, I am being bitten by, and have seen something. But ... I have to get documentation. I wish I felt better at this time. I could have dealt with this better in times when my health wasn't as run down.
    I am very grateful for this forum.
    Thanks,
    C

  84. Els89

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    I'm sure this is entirely unrelated as I know next to nothing about disease transmission, but I did find it strange that I developed ringworm within inches of three separate bite patterns. I ran track throughout high school, and even though we spent a lot of time stretching on some pretty overused mats, I never seemed to get it. Apartment becomes infested with bed bugs, and suddenly I'm prone to ringworm. Strange, really.


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