Treatment after treatment, year after year, you still aren’t feeling well and still suffer from Lyme. Many patients talk about the Lyme roller coaster because even when a treatment does work it generally short lived and down they go again. That is because Borrelia Burgdorferi is one of the most difficult infections to treat due to all of its different survival mechanisms, such as biofilm.

Biofilm is described as a group of micro-organisms that adhere to one another on a surface, very similar to a mucous membrane that protects the infection at the core. In the human body it is something encountered every day, plaque on your teeth causing tooth decay is also a form of biofilm. Borrelia can hide within this biofilm layer for extended periods of time allowing the infection to lie dormant for several weeks at a time, which will effect testing for Lyme as well as a road block for treatment.

“Biofilms that form in the human body are up to ten thousand times more resistant to antibiotics than free-floating bacteria, making them very difficult to treat medically. These biofilms are responsible for the extreme persistence of many difficult to treat illness.” (2)

“The biofilm matrix can act as a barrier to delay the diffusion of antibiotics into biofilms because antibiotics may either react chemically with biofilm matrix components or attach to anionic polysaccharides” (1). The theory behind this is that over time the biofilm will develop slowly, and biochemically antibiotics are hard wired to attack faster growing infections, allowing the biofilm to protect and allow Lyme Disease to survive regardless of oral antibiotic treatment.

Zeng_life-cycle-of-biofilm-image-

What can be done to break through and treat the biofilm?

The easiest way to explain it is, to “pop the bubble” so to speak. By stripping the biofilm it exposes the infections, typically enzymes are used to treat and breakthrough however this is not adequate for treatment on its own. During treatment of biofilm you want to starve out the infection almost, some integrative practitioners; such as Envita Medical Centers are utilizing oxygen rich therapies because infections hate oxygen rich areas of the body. When you pair this oxygen rich therapy, enzymes, as well as targeted antibiotics all together to penetrate the biofilm layer and treat the infection then you will begin to see results.

 

References

[1] Fengjun Sun, Feng Qu, Yan Ling, Panyong Mao, Peiyuan Xia, Huipeng Chen, Dongsheng Zhou. Future Antibiotic Resistance and Novel Therapeutic Strategies. Microbiol. 2013;8(7):877-886. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/807731_4

(2) Sapi et al. “Characterization of biofilm formation by Borrelia burgdorferi in vitro.” PLOS One, 2012: 7 (10). [3] http://www.newhaven.edu/news-events/news-releases/462996/