The Morgellons Research Foundation has said many times that cellulose has been detected in fibers that Morgellons patients found on the skin, or in their wounds. They are also quite interested in tests that showed Agrobacterium in wounds. (Agrobacterium is a bacterium that normally infects plants, but can infect humans with weakened immune systems, particularly with chronic skin trauma).

Agrobacterium is one of number of species that produce microbial cellulose. Of course this is of interest, since some fibers tested have been shown to contain cellulose. Could those fibers be microbial cellulose from Agrobacterium?

Recently some SEM photos were released that showed “Morgellons” fibers. I demonstrated that they looked just like cotton fibers, which are also made of cellulose. But could they actually be microbial cellulose? Here’s the photo of the Morgellons fibers:

new_pa3-1.jpg

Note the scale in the bottom left, 10µm, meaning the smooth fibers are about 10-15µm across.

Now look at some microbial cellulose:

microbialcellulosestructure.jpg

At first glance it looks plausible that it might be the same thing. But look at the scale in the bottom right (click on the photo to zoom in). It’s 2µm, meaning the microbial cellulose fibers are about 0.1µm across. 1/100th the size of the Morgellons fibers. Here’s what the microbial cellulose fibers would look like at the same scale as the Morgellons fibers.

ag_on_cotton.jpg

So, no, these “Morgellons” fibers do not in any way resemble microbial cellulose from Agrobactrium. In fact, they look exactly like cotton. They are made of the same thing as cotton. Cotton is in nearly all bandages and dressings, towels, clothes, furniture and household dust. Cotton fibers are everywhere. These “Morgellons” fibers are clearly cotton.

But one mystery remains – why are the “Morgellons” patients’ samples testing positive for Agrobacterium? That’s difficult to say for sure, but consider that the samples came from patients of Raphael Stricker, who treats some people that he thinks have Morgellons with very long term intravenous antibiotics – which are often administered via an indwelling venous catheter (meaning a catheter into a vein, that you leave in all the time). Consider this report:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&uid=8448285&cmd=showdetailview

Agrobacterium infections in humans: experience at one hospital and review.
Agrobacteria are noted primarily for their phytopathogenicity [infecting plants] and when isolated from human clinical specimens are often considered contaminants or organisms of low pathogenicity [infecting humans]. We report six cases at one hospital over a 6 1/2-year period in which infection was accompanied by a compatible clinical syndrome and review 19 cases reported in the literature. Fourteen of the 25 combined cases involved central venous catheter-associated infections. Six cases involved peritonitis, five of which occurred in patients undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Additional infections included two non-catheter-associated bacteremias, one prosthetic valve endocarditis, and two urinary tract infections. Most infections were community acquired, and restriction enzyme analysis of Agrobacterium isolates from eight patients at one hospital revealed unique patterns in each case without evidence for clonal dissemination of these strains. Agrobacterium isolates may be resistant to multiple antibiotics, and optimal therapy has not yet been determined. Agrobacteria should be recognized as opportunistic pathogens in the immunocompromised host, particularly in those with indwelling plastic catheters.

So, several sick patients from Stricker’s patient community, who probably had indwelling plastic catheters, tested positive for Agrobacterium, and found cotton in their wounds.

 

There are some new photos on the MRF web site, including this one:

new_pa3-1.jpg

Which is captioned: “Ribbon-like fiber coated with minerals with a cylindrical fiber and faceted fiber adjacent“, with the implication being that this is some unusual fiber only found in Morgellons patients. But let me set this photo in a larger context:

combined-cotton2.jpg

I’ve taken the MRF photo and scaled it to the exact same scale as another (larger) photo. I’ve also taken two more photos and overlaid them to show detail of the “mineral” coated fiber. One image is just to the right of the middle, and the other is in the left. Note all I did here was rotate the images and moved them to similar regions. The images have been scaled to match (note the 100µm and the 10×10µm scales). Note the undamaged fibers are the exact same size, shape and texture in both photos, while the middle damaged fiber almost exactly matches the overlaid segments of damaged fiber.

All images are of cotton. The larger background image is of cotton thread, from here, the second inset image is of a water-damaged cotton fiber from here. Click on the above photo to zoom in and examine the cotton more closely. Note that they have the exact same “minerals” sprinkled over them. And not that the damaged fiber shows damage in the same way as the “Morgellons” fiber. Also the “faceted” fiber could quite possibly be a faceted fiber, like extruded polyester, but could equally well be a slightly twisted cotton fiber, such as those in the lower right.

Hence, the most likely explanation is that these are cotton, from any of: cotton bandages, cotton wool or cotton clothing.

Original images are linked below, click them to see full versions:

jaic40-02-002-ch2fg6.jpg jaic40-02-002-ch2fg4.jpguwbl-0412-w.jpg

Sources:

http://www.aber.ac.uk/bioimage/image/image.htm

http://aic.stanford.edu/jaic/articles/jaic40-02-002.html

© 2012 Morgellons Watch Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha