Welcome to Borrelia-Ville!
©Tick Talk Ireland Tues Oct 5 2010
A new world that has that special something. Starring Spyro the spirochete, Ellie the L-form, Cyril the cyst, Barry the bleb & the lounge bar where they all hang out called Bio-film. Every soap star has a bar to go to right – Coronation Street, The Queen Vic in Eastenders. So why not Borrelia-Ville?
Spyro is very active – he much prefers to eat then replicate but to do that he has to push his way through flesh & blood. Munch, munch. His favourite food is collagen – yummy – Spyro propels his corkscrew shaped body to reach those tastiest of destinations. Behind the knee? Ankle joint? Back of the eye? Heck, it’s all good & tasty – Spyro isn’t fussy!! Sometimes, Spyro can hang out for a while in his favourite diner but anytime he likes to travel he can move fast. Spyro can be zapped by antibiotics so he better watch out!
Did you know that the spirochete can move faster than any human cell in the body?
In order to clear the body of infecting spirochetes, phagocytic cells must be able to get hold of them. In real-time phase-contrast videomicroscopy we were able to measure the speed of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the Lyme spirochete, moving back and forth across a platelet to which it was tethered. Its mean crossing speed was 1,636 µm/min (N = 28), maximum, 2800 µm/min (N = 3). This is the fastest speed recorded for a spirochete, and upward of two orders of magnitude above the speed of a human neutrophil, the fastest cell in the body. This alacrity and its interpretation, in an organism with bidirectional motor capacity, may well contribute to difficulties in spirochete clearance by the host. www.plosone.org
The spirochete is as long, as a fine human hair is thick. Borrelia burgdorferi is a highly motile bacteria, it can swim extremely efficiently through both blood and tissue because of internal propulsion. It is propelled by an internal arrangement of flagella, bundled together, that runs the length of the bacteria from tip to tip.
Many researchers have observed that the Lyme spirochete attaches to the human cells’ tip first. It then wiggles and squirms until it enters the cell. What Dr. Klempner showed was that when the spirochete attached to the human host cell, it caused that cell to release digestive enzymes that would dissolve the cell, and allow the spirochete to go wherever it pleases. www.canlyme.com
Barry the bleb is a little fella (he may also be known as a granular form)– new to the world & he’s probably very vulnerable. He needs to learn fast how to move around the body, he needs access to food, & to be able to mate – he’s lot’s to learn!
Lyme spirochetes have also been seen shuddering violently or breaking into pieces, producing small particles called granules or blebs. Radolf and Bourell (1994) believe that the granules are “pinched-off” bits of cell wall which have been shown to contain DNA material (Brorson and Brorson 1997).
Filgueira and others (2000) argue that granules are the remnants of previous outer surface proteins which have been shed in an attempt to confuse and evade the immune system, as described above (cf. Coyle and others 1995). Others have observed the formation of blebs in response to the presence of a strong immune response or powerful antibiotics, suggesting that granule formation is another way that Bb survives the action of bactericidal agents (Sadziene and others 1994, Dever and others 1993). www.natcaplyme.org
Ellie is a laid back kinda gal– she is cell-wall deficient (CWD) which makes it harder for her to be killed by antibiotics. She doesn’t really move much; she’s in resting phase so she no longer needs a tail (or flagellum). Instead she likes to rest & listen to her i-pod. Spyro thinks she’s lazy but she has all the time in the world. Besides, she’ll get going again once she’s ready to mate
When a bacteria like a spirochete loses its cell wall, it becomes incapable of holding its spiral shape. It becomes a sphere surrounded by a thin semi-permeable membrane. This round sphere is like the evil counter pare to the classical spiral form. Why evil? Well, when the bacterium sheds its cell wall, it also sheds several proteins that are markers to the human immune system. In other words, the immune system has trouble finding and recognizing this new form of the bacteria. It’s almost like a criminal using disguises to change identities after each crime. Only this disguise is also bullet proof because, without a cell wall, antibiotics like Rocephin are useless.
What is also intriguing is the fact that these cell wall deficient forms (also known as L-forms) can be seen from time to time as reverting back to the classical form. This means the Lyme spirochete appears to be capable of turning off the genes that create cell walls when it is convenient to do so, and the CWD form can then produce the classical spiral form when it needs to. www.lymeneteurope.org
Did you know that borrelia doesn’t need iron to survive?
“All bacterial pathogens described to date have developed specialized systems to acquire iron from their hosts,”said microbiologist Frank Gherardini. “Current dogma states that to be successful in humans, bacteria must overcome strict iron limitations that the human body imparts on them. Although iron is abundant in humans, the amount of free iron is well below the levels required to support the growth of most bacteria. To our surprise, we found that B. burgdorferi doesn’t even require iron. In fact, iron is extremely toxic to it.” www.sciencedaily.com
Cyril is a cunning one – having been a spirochete in his past he finds the bombardment from antibiotics very tiring. Instead he likes to rest & cocoons himself up in a little ball. That way he can be protected from the antibiotics & any immune fighting white cells. Hah, the world is his oyster. Once the war has gone away outside, he can unravel again & go about his business. Unknown to him, a drug called flagyl can weaken his shell.
The cyst form of B. burgdorferi develops when a single Lyme spirochete curls into a ball and forms a cocoon around itself, which is impermeable to most antibiotics.
Cyst formation in Bb occurs in response to common antibiotics such as ceftriaxone and penicillin (Murgia and others 2002, Kersten and others 1995). Researchers have also induced cyst formation by exposing the Lyme disease spirochete to other stressors, such as nutrient deprivation (Brorson and Brorson 1998b; Brorson and Brorson 1997) or high temperature, extreme pH variations, and the presence of hydrogen peroxide (Murgia and Cinco 2004). Gruntar and others (2002) found that B. garinii cysts proved infective when introduced into mice and could even survive freeze-thawing. Another study suggested that Lyme spirochetes prefer the cystic form when exposed to cerebro-spinal fluid, a possible reason why spinal taps often produce a low yield in diagnostic testing for Lyme disease (Brorson and Brorson 1998a). www.natcaplyme.org
The bio-film bar! – Many a time the different forms of borrelia can exist within the body in its different phases. They can be individual in their different forms or during a particularly stressful time (bad day at the office) they may hang out together. Their favourite hang out is the cozy lounge bar called Bio-film. A wonderful jellylike protective coating helps them to evade antibiotics while they sit & talk together – after all, living beings like to have a social life just once in a while. Plus they need somewhere to go to be safe. Along comes the protelytic enzyme to punch holes in their safety shield – can they help to burst their bubble?
Emerging research indicates that biofilm may be a significant factor in Lyme disease and subsequently will impact requirements for treatment. Biofilm is a polysaccharide matrix that traps the bacteria making it harder for antibiotics to reach and destroy them.
Biofilm protocols have five main goals:
1. Eat through the goo-like matrix using enzymes and thinning agents
2. Break the bonds between the goo using Ca-EDTA
3. Kill the now-exposed bugs using antimicrobials
4. Sweep the whole mess out using fibers and binders
5. Rebuild the gut lining with happy, healthy critters
A must see video showing cysts, spirochetes & granular forms in one massive bio-film mass!
Wow, borrelia has 3 times more plasmids than any other bacteria & is more complex than syphilis!
Borrelia has over 1500 gene sequences so this is a very, very complex bacteria. There are at least 132 functioning genes in Borrelia and this is in contrast to Treponema pallidum which is the spirochaete that causes Syphilis. This bacteria has only 22 functioning genes so Borrelia is a much more complex organism from a genetic point of view compared to the organism that causes Syphilis.
Now, in addition, to all of these functioning genes, the structure of Borrelia is quite interesting because it has 21 plasmids and plasmids are these extra chromasomal strands of DNA that are kind of the early response mechanism for bacteria.
So if a bacterium wants to do something very quickly, if it has a plasmid, the plasmid can make a protein very quickly to do things like avoid the immune system or enter cells or do whatever the bacteria needs to do to survive. 21 plasmids is three times more than any other known bacteria. I think that Chlamydia has the next greatest number – that’s 7. So this is an organism that has a very, very adaptable and effective gene structure in terms of infecting people.
by Dr Ray Stricker – York 2004 LDA Conference www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk
I hope you enjoyed your little peek into borrelia-ville – let’s hope you don’t have to endure these critters. If you do, let us all pray that someday soon, the medical societies of this world realize that we are not only dealing with a simple bacteria but one that is mightily complex, able to evade (& at the same time lower) the immune system, able to change its form at any given time to survive harsh conditions, able to swim faster through the body than any human cell & able to clump together in colonies until treatment is stopped – it then re-emerges causing more havoc down the line. This is why we need combination therapy, we need open minds on duration & type of treatment to fully eradicate all forms of the disease, we need co-operation from doctors, consultants & insurance companies, and above all we need your compassion to help us through this. Please don’t look away & ignore our suffering – if you are a doctor, researcher or medical student help us to bring more knowledge & recognition of Lyme in Ireland.
Contact us at ticktalkireland (AT) yahoo( DOT) co.uk
“Encouraging awareness, prevention & treatment of Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) in Ireland.”