After decades of being treated like “lyme loonies” (who are hypochondriacs, lazy, or insane) we are finally vindicated.
In a surprising move Johns Hopkins shocked many in the medical field when doing an end-run around Harvard with a land-mark study on “persister” cells.
Of course, “persister” or persistent equals chronic. Right?
The reader can decide.
Some patients who have been treated for Lyme with standard antibiotics such as doxycycline continue to suffer significant and debilitating symptoms. The cause has been debateable remains uncertain but may include the presence of Borrelia persister cells, immune dysfunction or the remains of bacterial debris. Persistence of viable but non-culturable Borrelia has already been demonstrated in mice, dogs and monkeys after antibiotic treatment.
A research team from Johns Hopkins University recently carried out initial in vitro research on Borrelia in a culture medium. They used 27 FDA approved antibiotics and found that certain compounds such as daptomycin, clofazimine and cefoperazone tended to have an effect on Borrelia persister cells. This led on to the current study which compares the effectiveness of combinations of antibiotics, some targeting the actively dividing bacterial cells with some aimed at the persisters in a two pronged approach.
It has been shown that in the lab under conditions of stress Borrelia spirochaetes can form pleomorphic forms. The drugs were tested on a culture of Borrelia which included individual spirochaetes, round bodied forms and micro-colonies of ‘biofilm-like’ aggregates. In a previous lab study the micro-colony persisters were found to be more resistant or tolerant to treatment than free-living or round bodied forms. A special test was used in which dead bacteria showed up red whereas surviving bacteria appeared green.
Due to this study my doctor added a newly identified antibiotic (to the 2 grams/day of penicillin he prescribed in 2014, and I began to improve. Thank-you Johns Hopkins!
However, if you find a tick embedded on your body do yourself a HUGE favor and get on a month or two of antibiotics immediately.
If you don’t have a doctor who will treat you aggressively – find one.
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine2012 | 19 | 2 |Serological survey in persons occupationally exposed to tick-borne pathogens in cases of co-infections with Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp. and Babesia microti Chmielewska-Badora J. , Moniuszko A. , Zukiewicz-Sobczak W. , Zwolinski J. , Piatek J. , Pancewicz S.