I updated this Lyme disease biofilms article on December 13, 2017 to include new information about how biofilms form and grow; plus information about the herbal product Biocidin. Marty Ross MD
Lyme disease biofilms are protective communities for Lyme germs. In these various forms of the Lyme bacteria hide from prescriptive antibiotics, herbal antimicrobials, and the immune system. In chronic Lyme and associated diseases they cause:
- treatment resistance,
- antibiotic resistance, and
- relapse once antibiotics or herbal antimicrobials are stopped.
Biofilms are not unique to borrelia, the Lyme disease bacteria. They are known to occur based on scientific studies in various infections such as staph infections of the skin. In Lyme disease, Alan MacDonald MD has shown biofilms to exist in people with Lyme based on his microscopic exams of brain tissues.
About Lyme Disease Biofilms
In Lyme disease biofilms bacteria produce and cover themselves in a layer of slime composed of mucopolysaccharides. To add structure, the bacteria recruit a protein found in blood called fibrinogen. Then they convert to the protein fibrin. Because the fibrin gives structure, the bacteria in biofilms can rid themselves of their outer protein coverings. This makes it harder for the immune system to react against them. In addition the slime layer covers the germs so the immune system cannot see them. In addition antibiotics or antimicrobial supplements may have difficulty reaching the germs. In biofilms germs use efflux pumps to remove antibiotics creating antibiotic resistance.
Within the Lyme disease biofilms the germs establish highly organized structures and functions. For instance they have tubes they use to take in nutrients. They also communicate using various chemical messengers, excrete waste through channels and perform other complex activities to promote the longevity of the community. Biofilms require calcium and magnesium and contain other minerals and heavy metals.
Biofilms grow through a number of steps. First biofilms have to stick to surfaces. Then germs in biofilms talk to each other through quorum sensing making the germs and biofilm stronger. Germs in biofilms use efflux pumps that flush antibiotics out. Biofilms also grow through germ swarming motility where some bacteria develop tails to rapidly spread.
Lyme Disease Biofilms and Treatment
In my practice I intentionally treat Lyme disease biofilms