Dr. Christine Green on Lyme biofilms and efflux pumps
Dr. Christine Green, a Lyme-treating physician who serves on the LymeDisease.org board of directors, recently gave a short talk to elaborate on some questions raised during her presentation entitled “How To Combat Stealth Pathogens Like Lyme & Co-Infections” at last year’s MyLymeData conference.
In this second talk, Dr. Green explains how biofilms function within our bodies. A biofilm is a jelly-like barrier created by organisms to protect against environmental stress. There are both healthy biofilms and those that contribute towards illness. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 80% of all chronic infections are associated with biofilms.
Research shows that Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen that causes Lyme disease, also forms biofilm. This helps protect the bacteria from antibiotics. Adding biofilm busters to antimicrobial treatment may be one way to combat chronic Lyme disease.
In addition to biofilm, Borrelia have something called “efflux pumps” that help the bacteria survive in hostile environments. The efflux pumps push out heavy metals and other chemicals, but they can also expel antibiotics before they’ve had a chance to work. Current research is looking at ways to deal with the problem.