Research Update August 2011
Center For Investigation of Morgellons
Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences
Randy S. Wymore, Ph.D
August 15, 2011
This summer the Center for the Investigation of Morgellons Disease (CIMD) at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences had an additional researcher. A summer scholar spent time in the lab complements of the Tulsa Area Biology Education Research Consortium. The student spent over 160 hours doing microscopy and molecular biology under the supervision of Emily VanDegrift, MSFS. Research has focused on the microbiology and molecular biology of material associated with Morgellons Disease. Approximately 40 solid and liquid media cultures were inoculated and grown under various conditions. Some media was fungal specific while others were suitable for growing various types of bacteria. Individual colonies were grown from blood agar or standard lab media and the DNA extracted. The DNA was then amplified by PCR and analyzed. Some samples were purified and sent for DNA sequencing. DNA primers sensitive to all varieties of Pseudomonas & Cryptococcus produced no DNA when PCR amplification was performed. While no PCR product was amplified from Morgellons samples the Pseudomonas & Cryptococcus positive controls all worked. This PCR product was examined on the highly sensitive genetic analyzer and suggests that, in the Morgellons samples and bacterial cultures grown, neither Pseudomonas nor Cryptococcus varieties were present in the Morgellons samples in question.
Thus far the DNA has most closely matched bacteria found typically in the gastro-intestinal tract and common skin bacteria. Samples are in the process of re-sequencing with different purification methods to more perfectly identify the specific strains, and to determine if any of the sequences have enough variability to suggest previously unknown bacterial types. Typically this involves sequencing both strands of the DNA to eliminate any sequencing errors. No pathogenic or previously unknown strains have been observed thus far.
Over the summer 30 sample collections have arrived from 4 countries and 3 continents, and are in the process of being examined. Pathology lab slides were submitted for evaluation with pathologists/histologists associated with OSU. The biopsy slides revealed moderate inflammation with some infiltration by immune system cells. No fibers or other Morgellons-associated material were observed on the submitted slides.
Randy S. Wymore, Ph.D.
Director, OSU-CHS Center for the Investigation of Morgellons Disease
Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Oklahoma State University
Center for Health Sciences
1111 W. 17th St.
Tulsa, OK 74107