Research Assets: Southampton Hospital, Southampton, New York, USA
I was very fortunate to work in the Eastern Long Island area (Hamptons), where money and donors are abundant. Generous contributions to the Southampton Hospital Borrelia Research Program, with all assets the property of the Hospital, included the following tools:
1. I had one of the first Perkin Elmer PCR machines, which enabled me to do Polymerase Chain Reaction studies.
2. Tangential Alternating Pulsed Gel Electrophoresis apparatus, which enabled the study of long segments of purified borrelia DNA recovered from Human and from Tick sources.
3. An UltraCentrifuge, which enabled the density gradient separations of elements of diverse buoyant densities from clinical specimens.
4. A Lyophilizer, which is an apparatus to Freeze Dry specimens of purified serum containing high levels of human antibodies to the Lyme disease spirochete.
5. A huge lab space (converted from a virtually unused Autopsy suite.)
6. A Photographic Laboratory for Black and White and Color Photography of clinical and microscopic research images.
7. The High Resolution 1Lux Television camera, with the ability to record Darkfield Images both Static and Dynamic from cultures of borrelia burdorferi organisms and similar documentation of the presence of borrelia borgdorferi isolated from human blood and Spinal fluid culture specimens.
8. The Polaroid Freeze Frame Image capture apparatus, enabling the documentation of images of motile spirochetes in a stop action format in high resolution Black and White Image format.
9. The unlimited access to a full service CLIA and NY State Dept of Health certified hospital full service microbiology laboratory following bioSafety Level 2 regulations, and outfitted with two Laminar Air Flow BioSafety cabinets for handling infectious microbes (Including Borrelia burgdorferi)
10. The Unlimited access to a full service CLIA and NY State Dept of Health certified clinical chemistry laboratory outfitted with state of the art chemistry automation equipment, Ultraviolet spectroscopy, High speed Centrifuges.
11. The unlimited access to a full service CLIA and NY State Department of Health certified Hematology and Serology laboratory, outfitted with automated hematology apparatus, Flow cytometry, Phase contrast Microscopy, and the ELISA apparatus for completion within the walls of the hospital , Antibody testing for Lyme Borreliosis detection.
12. The full and Unlimited access to the Department of Central Sterilization, outfitted with equipment for routine High Pressure/Heat sterilization and Gas sterilization equipment for use with Plastic implements and regents used in the manufacture of BSK liquid culture medium for the cultivation of Lyme disease spirochetes from clinical specimens from human patients.
13. The Millipore Filter sterilization apparatus for “cold sterilization” of selected reagents required to be sterile (derived from off the shelf nonsterile reagents purchased from Sigma Aldrich Company and from GIBCO Inc.)
14. The possession of a State of the art advanced optics Research Nikon microsope outfitted with epifluorescence to enable Immunofluorescent detection of Lyme antibodies in blood serology specimens and Darkfield examination. Darkfield examnation was particularly useful in checking cultures of human body fluids for growth of Borrelia burgdorferi.
15. Support from the Southampton Hospital Institutional Review Board, the Medical Governing Board of the Medical Staff,and the Board of Trustees of Southampton Hospital to undertake all Lyme Disease Research Studies using the property of the Southampton Hospital, its Equipment, Space, and Technical Staff.
16. The full cooperation of All Medical Specialists who were members of the Medical Staff of Southampton Hospital , who in turn referred to my laboratory, patients who were suspected of being infected with Lyme Disease or Babesiosis, for Blood and tissue studies to be completed within the Southampton Hospital Laboratories, and for autopsies to be performed in Southampton Hospital by me in cases where fatal cases of tick borne disease were suspected.
17. The full cooperation of the Obstetrical attending physicians for me to receive miscarriages and spontaneous abortion products of conception for immediate Lyme focused studies (Tissues submitted fresh for laboratory, Special advanced diagnostic cytology procedures to be performed with the intent of Detection of Borrelia spirochetes in these fetal tissues)
18. The unrestricted permission from the Southampton Hospital Institutional Review Board, the Medical Staff governing board, and the Hospital Board of trustees for Alan B. MacDonald MD to receive for special studies for Borrelia in tissue whole frozen autopsy brains obtained from the Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Bank (Dr. George Glenner, Director and Professor of Neuropathology, University of California School of Medicine at San Diego, San Diego, California)
19. The unrestricted permission from the Southampton Hospital Institutional Review Board, the Medical Staff Governing Board, and the Hospital Board of Trustees For Alan B. MacDonald MD to receive for Research study, Portions of Autopsy Brain tissues from Dr Vincent Palladino, Director of Laboratories, Nassau County Medical Center, Long Island New York, from patients who died with Multiple Sclerosis to investigate these tissues for the detection of borrelia burgdorferi.
20. The unrestricted permission from Southampton Hospital Institutional Review Board, the Medical Staff Governing Board, and the Hospital Board of Trustees for Alan B. MacDonald MD to receive for research study, Tissues from the Chief Medical Examiner of Suffolk County, Dr Sidney Weinberg, from cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, for the detection of possible Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes in Autopsy Brain tissue.
21. The Unrestricted permission From the Southampton Hospital Institutional Review, The Medical Staff governing Board and the Hospital Board of Trustees for Alan B. MacDonald, MD to receive for research study, Tissues from the Harvard University McLean Hospital Brain Bank, Dr. Edward Bird MD, Director, from cases of Alzheimer’s Disease (Fresh frozen brain tissue and also formalin fixed Brain tissue) from autopsies of persons previously diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease by Harvard Medical school faculty Depatment of Neuropathology. These tissues were subjected to Molecular interrogation for Borrelia burgdoferi DNA in the Autopsy brain tissue by PCR study, and in addition cultured in BSK culture medium for the growth of Borrelia burgdorferi living spirochetes still present in fresh frozen Brain tissue from these patients at the time of Death.
22. The full Support of the Southampton Hospital Medical Staff and the Hospital Board of trustees support Dr Alan B. MacDonald, MD, Conference Organizer, to underwrite the costs of organizing and producing a full day Symposium on Lyme borreliosis in year 1987 which consisted of Clinical case presentations of patients with Lyme borreliosis in Specialist Clinical Practices from the following Medical specialties:
Neurology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Dermatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Oncology, Infectious Disease, Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Cardiology, Rehabilitation Medicine and General Internal Medicine.
Present as distinguished guest speakers at the Southampton Lyme Symposium were:
Dr. Willy Burgdorfer,PhD, Dr. Jorge Benach,PhD, Dr.Edward Bosler,PhD., Dr.Russell Johnson,PhD, Dr. Tom Schwan,PhD and Dr Paul E. Lavoie,MD.
The proceedings were professionally videotaped on Broadcast Quality Videotape for later rebroadcast.