A reader sent me a link to this site, which contained a reprint of a story by CBS 47 in Jacksonville. Mostly, it was a repeat of the story I already discussed, but it added this tidbit of information:
The NPA teamed up with the Oklahoma State Department of Health to study the creepy crawlers.
They took skin samples from 20 patients who claim they have the bugs, but were diagnosed by their doctors as delusional.
Researchers found collembolan, a microscopic critter, in 18 of the 20 patients.
Collembola feed on algae, bacteria and decaying matter. They thrive in wet or damp surroundings, and can be found under leaky kitchen or bathroom sinks, swimming pools, and the soil of potted plants.
The report was published in the journal of the New York Entomological Association. However, it wasn’t enough evidence to get the centers for disease control to take action.
Actual research–it was a start. So I dug up the paper, which can be found here (.pdf file). For anyone who may be an entomologist, they have shots of the organism (in better detail here), which they claim was associated with delusional parasitosis. They don’t look like much to me, but I’m not exactly sure what I should be looking for. (Morgellons watch has more on an insect connection, including many comments from people within the Morgellons community).
However, even without the pics, the paper has some giant flaws. For one, they only had a group of 20 patients–very tiny. Second, though they mention a control group in the paper, there’s no information on the presence of Collembola in the healthy controls versus the patient group–was it found in a similar percentage of the controls? In none of them? (If it were the latter, I would have expected them to mention it, since it would have strengthened the paper. Since they didn’t, that sends up a big red flag). Third, those who did the microscopic analysis weren’t blinded to the status of the sample–they knew if they were looking at a patient versus a control (which could have biased their findings).
So, even though this was a paper they sent to the CDC in order to encourage them to investigate Morgellons, I can see why the people there were completely unconvinced.