*Updated 4th June 2014
Amazing close up video of borrelia biofilm
*Updated 8th March 2013
Lyme disease bacterium shows resistance thanks to biofilm according to study
Examiner: October 26, 2012
By: Robert Herriman
The agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) has been shown to have the ability to hide and demonstrate resistance from harsh environmental conditions to antibiotics used to treat the infection, thanks to the formation of a biofilm, according to a University of New Haven news release Oct. 24 
The research, Characterization of Biofilm Formation by Borrelia burgdorferi In Vitro, was published in the online journal, PloS One on Wednesday.
The research team, led by associate professor of biology and environmental science at the University of New Haven, Dr. Eva Sapi, investigated the hypothesis that aggregate formations produced by Bb, which gave the organism its resistance, were indeed biofilms.
For more on this story go to:
For details of the study go to:
Biolfilm is often talked about in Lyme disease. A Lyme biolfilm is a mass including all 3 forms of the borrelia bacteria (for a view of Biolfim go to : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4uNDWdChM8 )
This article discusses biolfilm in autism but also refers to Lyme and MS:
Dissolve Biofilms With Fibrinolytic Enzymes:
A Novel Approach to Chronic Infection in Autism Spectrum Disorders
An Interview with Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D., founder of Total Life Center in Northern New Jersey. Cohen specializes in treating children with autism using a biomedical / nutritional model. Cohen received her Masters in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and has been a Defeat Autism Now! practitioner for the past ten years.
Focus: You have evolved a highly successful strategy to treating chronic bacterial infections and biofilms that involves some new insights and relies in part on fibrinolytic enzymes like nattokinase and lumbrokinase. I understand you are working with autism experts like Anjum Usman, M.D. and functional medicine pioneers to get the word out on your new insights.
Cohen: I do a tremendous amount of testing and assessing the children through urine and fecal analysis. What got me so interested in nattokinase and lumbrokinase was the concept of what a biofilm infection actually is. If you do a medline search on biofilms and platelet aggregation, fibrinogen, and fibrin, boom, it’s there right in your face. Bacteria build biofilms by first aggregating together, and then rapidly weaving this protective web or matrix around them. They build a polymeric matrix. It’s a sticky, gluey, mucus-y goop and it’s got fibrin in it to give it an intact structure. The bacteria recruit fibrinogen to create fibrin as part of that matrix. At that point they can shed their outer membrane, which has the proteins that serve as antigens and as a target of the missile of the immune system. They’re very protected. They’re very crafty in creating a way to survive and procreate and hide from the immune system.
Focus: Why are they protected, and how does that impact our health?
Cohen: They’re protected because they’ve built this matrix but are still alive, still fermenting and metabolizing and leaching toxins into the bloodstream, although they may have a reduced metabolism compared to active, acute infection. Because of the biofilm they can no longer be reached by an anti-infectious agent or even the immune system. And because of the biofilm you may not find evidence of the infection in the fecal matter when you do stool cultures. For years, I knew from organic acid testing, from the short-chain fatty acids and metabolites the children were excreting, that they carried these infections. Yet when I did a stool culture I did not find the bugs.
Focus: When you began to work at dissolving the biofilms, did you find the bugs?
Cohen: Oh yes! But I found something else that was just as fascinating, something nobody was thinking about. Think about what that biofilm might really be made of. The biofilm matrix has a horizontal and a vertical weave. It’s standard knowledge that biofilm bacteria sequester calcium, magnesium and iron to help build that matrix. Minerals give the biofilm integrity—as if you’re building a wall. You don’t only want bricks, you want cement. To address this, first you use fibrinolytics to help dissolve the fibrin, then you use EDTA to chelate out the minerals. And guess what? We started getting huge dumps of toxic metal. Now why is that? I think the answer points to something so huge, whether we’re dealing with autism or lyme disease or multiple sclerosis or lupus or even cancer.
Focus: Why were the kids dumping toxic metals when you began to degrade the biofilms?
Cohen: Well, think about it. These are all positively charged cations, that’s why EDTA is able to chelate them well. Mercury, and copper, and other heavy metals are also positively charged. Why would the bug preferentially insert calcium or magnesium? It could use any positively charged metal. This has been the most fascinating part of my year-long work on biofilms. As we degraded this biofilm matrix and liberated these bugs, not only did the organic acid levels get higher—one child bounced into the 400’s—but the kids started to dump metals into the bowel. I felt like I’d exposed these little terrorists in a cell.
Focus: So the metals and the bugs are both in the gut?
Cohen: Right. At an Autism One Conference in Chicago last May, one researcher presented his proton analysis of brain tissue, attempting to verify the presence of mercury in the brains of autistic children, and he couldn’t find it. Yet he still found evidence of activation of the microglia (a type of glial cell that acts as the first and main form of active immune defense in the central nervous system) as a consequence of toxic metals. So where are these metals? I’m suggesting they are in the biofilm, along with the bugs, in the gut. If the biofilm wasn’t using toxic metals, along with common minerals, to build the biofilm, then why all of a sudden do I get these huge dumps of metals on stool tests?
Focus: What exactly is your therapy and what sequence do you use?
Cohen: I start with enzymes like nattokinase and lumbrokinase, as well as other mucolytic enzymes, to get the best, broad fibrinolytic effect. Dr. Usman feels nattokinase is particularly good at degrading strep biofilms and I think that strep is a very big player in these childrens’ health. I will run strep titers and they will be extraordinarily high. And these children—and certainly some adults as well—will manifest strep as a comorbid infection that has significant implications for neurological function. They will have very OCD type tendencies, and sometimes almost psychotic outbursts. There isn’t a precise, sudden onset with obvious symptoms.
Focus: How much do you recommend?
Cohen: Remember, these patients are very young; some are just a few years old. So I will recommend half a capsule of each, two times a day. That would be a 50 milligram capsule of nattokinase, and a 20 milligram capsule of lumbrokinase. First do the enzymes along with EDTA, then thirty minutes later, add in an arsenal of antimicrobials. I use formulations containing berberine, artemisinin, citrus seed extract, black walnut hulls, artemisia herb, echinacea, goldenseal, gentian, tea tree oil, fumitory, gentian, galbanum oil, oregano oil, neem, and pharmaceuticals as well when necessary, such as Vancomycin, Diflucan, Gentamycin. I use a different one every day. Then an hour later you come in with the binders to help mop up the debris. I use chitosan, citrus pectin, a special bicarbonate formula, organic germanium, chlorella and others. I also use buffering agents, such as buffered vitamin C, since when the body is destroying bacteria it becomes acidic.
Minerals must be assessed, and repleted when necessary. I test bloodwork and “pees and poos” (urine and stool) every two months to monitor the process.
Focus: Enzymes, EDTA, antimicrobials, binders, and buffering agents. What are the clinical results?
Cohen: They’re fantastic. It’s like the missing piece. I had one little autistic boy who lives in the city who is loaded with viruses and infections and is now almost fully recovered. His mother used to complain about the terribly high levels of copper in his bloodstream and that his hair was like a copper mattress. We measured the hair but there was a marginal amount of copper in it. He was not eliminating. As we got into the thick of the biofilms his copper blew out of his body in his stool, for months and months. He’d been loaded with copper. I’ve had other children struggling for ages to get mercury out, and out it came.
Focus: It sounds like this approach would work for any chronic illness in which chronic infection plays a role.
Cohen: Yes, I think biofilms are a huge missing piece in Lupus, Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and any autoimmune-type chronic infection. You have to ask, what compels the immune system to maintain this state of dysfunction? Ask yourself, how could an organism perceived by the immune system as foreign survive its presence? Either something has corrupted the immune system, or the organism has transformed itself in a way that the immune system can’t find it. That’s what the biofilm does. I believe it’s one of the biggest medical issues we’re dealing with today.
Getting Rid of Gut Biofilm and The Critters It Protects
Posted Oct 14 2008 4:06am
Biofilm is thought by some LLMD’s to be one of those “snags” to healing Lyme disease. As mentioned in a previous post, sometimes bacteria and other microbes cloak themselves in biofilm, a polysaccharide matrix comprised of minerals, metals and other elements, to protect themselves from anti-microbial treatments, which prevents antibiotics and other Lyme strategies from being fully effective.
When biofilm exists in the gut, it also disturbs digestion and prevents normal flora (like acidophilus) from thriving. If you have persistent dysbiosis, mysterious gut pain, or a borrelia infection that simply isn’t responding to treatments, consider the possibility that biofilm may be impeding your progress.
Unfortunately, medicine is still in its infancy when it comes to understanding biofilm and its role in Lyme disease. It is even less equipped to offer effective treatments that will break it down so that microbes can be accessed and eliminated.
Combining enzymes with heavy metal chelators (since the biofilm is comprised in part, of metals), and taking these on an empty stomach, is thought to be one potentially effective strategy for “punching holes” in the biofilm and thereby breaking down the bugs’ protective polysaccharide blankies. Once this is done, then the Lyme sufferer can take anti-microbials to attack bacteria, yeast and other bugs. Subsequently, toxin binders can be ingested to clean up the mess left behind by the dead critters.
Tentatively, some of the enzymatic products that are currently being used for the hole-punching process include: SPS 30 (www.theramedix.net) and Mucostop by Enzymedica (www.enzymedica.com). Other enzymes that are being experimented with for Lyme sufferers with gut biofilm include: Lumbrokinase, Rechts-Regulat and serrapeptase. These latter enzymes, incidentally, are also widely used for hypercoagulation in Lyme. (So you might be able to kill two birds with one stone here; that is, break down biofilm while treating hypercoagulation).
Gut biofilm toxin binders, according to Dr. A. Derksen, a Lyme-literate N.D., include: fiber, clays, zeolites, chlorella, modifilan, apple pectin, butyrate, bentonite and activated charcoal.
A heavy metal protocol may comprise any myriad of options, which I have discussed (and will continue to discuss) in other blog posts.
In the meantime, how do you know if you have gut biofilm? Well, isn’t that always the question in Lyme disease? We never seem to know what’s wrong with us, do we?
My humble suggestion (which should never to be taken as medical advice! I’m just a researcher, not a medical expert), if you have any of the above-named conditions, and are actively chelating metals and treating hypercoagulation, would be to take your chelator, if possible, at the same time that you take your enzymes for hypercoagulation. After that, take your bug-killers, and over time, see if that seems to be more effective than the schedule that you used to follow for taking all of the above.
If you aren’t chelating metals or taking enzymes already, deciding whether to treat for biofilm may be a tougher decision. In any case, I would advise seeking out a biofilm-literate Lyme doctor (which are bound to be even more scarce than LLMD’s).
I don’t know how seriously we should take the idea of biofilm and its role in Lyme disease. Perhaps more than we have been, but not to the exclusion of other roadblocks to healing, as there are often many. This is just another one you may want to consider.
P.S. from Jenny: In case you’re wondering what the 3 forms of borrelia are – it’s spirochete (able to move around in muscle tissue, blood etc. Has a flagella). L-Form more difficult to treat – does not move around (no flagella). Can stay in L-form for up to 45 days. Cyst even more difficult to treat – balls up into a sphere with a protective coating – can evade antibiotics completely.
Biofilm is a mass made up of metals and fibrin and can include all of the forms – this mass needs to be broken up by biofilm busters such as protelytic enzymes – nattokinase, serrapeptase, Lumbrokinase. Will also need a toxin remover such as chlorella or Questran to remove the toxins.
Novel Fugitive Strategy for Borrelia burgdorferi: Biofilm
Luecke David Francis BS, Datar Ak****a BS, Kaur Navroop MS, Bien-Aime H Lubraine BS, Bastian Scott BS, Sinha Saion PhD, Sapi Eva PhD
Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Group, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of New Haven, West Haven, CT 06516 USA
Although antibiotic compounds exist that are demonstrably effective against planktonic Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, many patients that have been diagnosed with Lyme disease continue to have persistent symptoms that do not respond to treatment. B. burgdorferi is a known pleomorphic species, able to adopt alternative, defensive morphologies to increase antibiotic resistance of the individual. One of these morphologies is the cyst form, which is resistant to the front line antibiotic treatment. Additional compounds are effective against the cyst form, yet still patient symptoms persist.
Here we have employed several modes of microscopy to characterize another alternative morphology, the biofilm. Among optical microscopy techniques, dark field microscopy was used to observe the interaction of peripheral spirochetes with the biofilm, DIC microscopy revealed the heterogeneity of the biofilm matrix, and fluorescence microscopy enabled observation of the sessile internal biofilm population in a GFP-expressing population. A relatively new technique, atomic force microscopy, was used to directly scan the topography of the biofilm. The ability of B. burgdorferi to assume a biofilmic morphology may partly explain the continuing presence of symptoms in chronic Lyme sufferers. The B. burgdorferi biofilm likely provides a refuge for chronic Lyme infection, and offers an additional avenue of attack for potential treatments for Lyme disease.
Eva Sapi, Lyme researcher talks about Biofilms – an excellent and very informative clip!
The Dangerous Mutation Awaiting Under the Lyme Disease Biofilm and How You Can Stop It
For people with chronic Lyme symptoms that don’t respond to medications
By Greg Lee Co-founder of the Two Frogs Healing Center
Have you ever heard stories about foreign spies getting a hold of classified secrets? Once they buy or steal secrets, they try to get out of the country as soon as possible. If they are being pursued, these spies often use a network of safe houses to hide out in until the way is clear.
How is a safe house just like the Lyme disease biofilm?
Lyme bacteria can create a shield called a biofilm to protect themselves:
Behind the biofilm, these bacteria are shielded from many medications. The biofilm blocks your immune system from finding the bacteria also.
This is how the biofilm is just like a safe house that protects the bacteria from being killed by drugs or your immune system. When your go off medications, they can re-emerge and aggravate your symptoms all over again. Not only do Lyme bacteria create biofilms, so do other bugs in your system
Other bacteria like staph and strep can also create biofilms which Lyme can hide in:
According to Microbial Biofilms by Ghannoum and O’Toole, different bacteria like staph and strep also create biofilm shields1.
In these biofilms, many different bacteria can hide within them.
When different bacteria congregate under a biofilm, they share information with each other.
Underneath a biofilm shield, different species of bacteria can swap genetic information:
In Microbial Biofilms, they cite studies which estimate that the Lyme bacteria have received one out of thousand genes from other species. The authors state that gene exchange happens quite frequently among different bacteria in a biofilm. This exchange may lead to a dangerous mutated form of the Lyme bacteria.
Unfortunately, Lyme bacteria may obtain drug resistant genes from other bacteria:
If Lyme bacteria were to obtain resistance to antibiotics, this could create an drug resistant monster. Given that Lyme bacteria reproduce in only a few weeks, it would only take a few generations for a drug resistant strain of Lyme bacteria to populate your system. Drug resistant Lyme bacteria may be an explanation for why it can survive despite years of multiple antibiotics.
Can earthworms prevent bacteria from sharing their drug resistant genes with the Lyme bug?
Earthworms have been used for over four hundred years to kill parasites:
Lyme disease is defined as a parasitic infection of the borrelia species of bacteria. In the Compendium of Materia Medica herbal encyclopedia compiled in 1597, dried earthworms were prescribed for improving circulation, expelling demons, and overcoming numbness in the limbs. They were used to effectively treat the signs of demonic possession: convulsions and seizures, parasitic infections, and numbness of the extremities2. In the past thirty years, they have been safely used with over 60,000 people in Chinese Hospitals without adverse side-effects. Recent results indicate that earthworms may have a biofilm busting ability also.
Earthworm extracts may stop the Lyme bug from getting drug resistant genes by breaking up their biofilms:
According to the manufacturer, an earthworm extract called Lumbrikonase contains six enzymes that are found in Red Wiggler and Red Marsh earthworms. A local LLMD shared that his clients on this extract are reporting Herxheimer reactions believed to be caused by cutting through biofilm and killing off the hidden bacteria. A few of his clients also report a reduction in their inflammation.
Several other Lyme doctors are reporting some improvements with their patients on these extracts. These enzymes may also be useful against cysts or tumors where the Lyme can hide.
Earthworm enzymes also break down cysts or tumors that Lyme can hide in:
Your body produces a protein called fibrin that helps to form cysts and tumors. The Lyme bacteria are believed to be able to hide within these cysts or tumors. These enzymes help to break apart the fibrin which ends up dissolving the cyst or tumor. Earthworms also help to reduce other Lyme symptoms as well.
Earthworms are also used to treat Lyme symptoms of tremors, pain, and co-infections:
They are also used to open up nerve conduction, blood circulation, urinary flow, breathing capacity, and energy flow. Which is why they are used to treat numbness, tremors, and pain due to blockages in blood flow. They are also used to clear mycoplasma parasite infections in the lungs and in the digestive tract. Earthworms are a powerful medicine to add to your Lyme treatment program.
Earthworms help you to find and destroy the hiding places that shield the Lyme bacteria:
By adding earthworms or their extracts to your Lyme treatment program, you can help your anti-Lyme medicines and the immune system to kill the bacteria more effectively. Just like finding out all the safe houses where spies are hiding, earthworms help to uncover the different Lyme hiding places. Earthworms may be effective at eating through the biofilm shield and stopping a drug resistant strain of Lyme.
* They can help with dissolving cysts or tumors which can house Lyme.
* They can also help to improve the neurological and pain symptoms of Lyme disease.
* They can help you to clear out mycoplasma co-infections.
The benefits of a humble little red wiggler are amazing because of what they can offer for healing Lyme disease.
1. Mahmoud Ghannoum and George A. O’Toole. Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. 2004.
2. Li Shizhen. Compendium of Materia Medica. 1593.
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Healing with earthworms!
Has anyone heard of Lumbrokinase? Well, if you haven’t, lumbrokinase is a group of six, novel proteolytic enzymes derived from the earthworm Lumbricus Rubellus, and it is slowly establishing itself as possibly the best and brightest new treatment for chronic Lyme sufferer.
— Marty Ross, M.D.: I Use It in My Toughest Cases —
I’m an integrative medicine doctor who set up and ran, as medical director, the nation’s first publicly funded integrative medicine clinic in Kent, Washington. My practice partner is Tara Brooke-Nelson, a naturopath with a degree from Bastyr University. Both of us are very interested in the idea of bacterial biofilms as one phenomenon that blocks the ability of some of our patients to get well.
We are both using lumbrokinase to help break up the biofilms in patients who don’t seem to improve on antibiotics or herbal antimicrobials alone. I lean more in the direction of antibiotics for Lyme disease because they have more of a proven track record than herbs, but some of my patients prefer not to use conventional pharmaceuticals or just can’t tolerate them. In that case I use one or more of four herbal antimicrobials: cumanda, andrographis, teasel, and cat’s claw.
I prescribe one 20 milligram pill of lumbrokinase two times a day. I recommend this for patients who have been stalled for a while on more straightforward treatment and are not improving. I generally start to see improvement once I add in the lumbrokinase. I will even see herxheimer reactions when we finally add it in.
— Gary Sconyers, N.D.: It’s Very Effective —
I’m a naturopathic doctor in Texas who uses lumbrokinase in all my lyme patients. I give patients up to 10 lumbrokinase capsules a day, in divided doses, three times a day. I also use nattokinase, in amounts ranging from 250 to 500 milligrams a day. In our most difficult lyme cases, lumbrokinase seems to work the best. I also use carinvora, and herbal antimicrobials. I use herbs for liver detoxification. I recommend dietary changes. I had a lady in here who’d had lyme disease for twenty years. She had tried everything, and suffered from head to toe joint pain, brain fog and gut issues. She had gotten to the point where she’d given up. Now she is doing better than she has in decades.
See here for part 2 (on nattokinase)
Biofilms & Clinical Implications for Chronic Borreliosis
by Alan MacDonald MD, Uni New Haven
Biolfilms, Lyme & Autism
The Genius of Biofilm
Bacteria aggregate, then draw upon calcium, magnesium, iron, heavy metals, fibrin, and other elements to weave a protective polymeric matrix around themselves: biofilm. Inside the filmy structure, bacteria can shed their outer membrane proteins (OMPs). Without these, they have no proteins to serve as antigens or as targets of the immune system. Biofilms leach toxins into the bloodstream, which weaken the immune system while shielding the pathogens and facilitating communication among the community of microorganisms that live in the matrix. Biofilms can even develop “water channels” that distribute nutrients among the pathogen communities. When biofilms exist in the gut, they disturb digestion and prevent normal flora from thriving. Bacterial are very crafty in creating methods to survive, procreate, and hide from both the immune system and antibiotics.
Biofilms cause more than 70% of community and hospital-acquired infections, according to the CDC.
Peta Cohen, MS, RD, reported in May 2009 that biofilms are a huge piece of the puzzle in autism, lupus, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, and any autoimmune-type chronic infection.4 Others agree, including Dr. Stephen Fry of Arizona.
“Biofilms are the law in nature, not the exception,” Dr. Fry said. “Biofilm colonies are complex, difficult to treat. We do not have biofilm drugs yet today.”
Biofilm compels the immune system to maintain a state of dysfunction.
SERRAPEPTASE, CYSTS, LYME DISEASE, CANDIDIASIS.
Serrapeptase is a powerful proteolytic enzyme derived from the microorganism Serratia E15.
* To dissolve the fibrin coating microbes.
* dissolve the fibrin (a kind of plaster) walls of capillaries.
* reduce inflammation.
For the treatment of Lyme disease, Dr. Lee Cowden now uses the product of the Serrapeptase Nutramedix instead of Carnivora. The initial goal of Serrapeptase in the protocol of Lyme disease is to dissolve the fibrin layer surrounding the bacteria associated with Lyme disease such as Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella and Ehrlichia.
Serrapeptase is used successfully to reduce pain. It reduces inflammation.
Serrapeptase has anti-inflammatory similar to those of ibuprofen and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Serrapeptase is also known for its ability to destroy harmful pathogens and unfriendly bacteria. This helps to greatly strengthen our immune system and free it up to fight more serious infections (such as Lyme disease.)
Surprisingly it has been known for over a decade that serrapeptase works to break apart and/or dissolve biofilms.
The wonderful collision of earlier research with the frantic search for a cure for the many modern chronic illnesses (such as Chronic Neurological Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein Barr, Autism, MS to name just a few) and auto-immune diseases (such as HIV, Celiac disease and Diabetes 1 to name a few) has resulted in the discovery of serrapeptase inhibiting and destroying biofilm.
Bacteria, as we have discussed in many blog posts, often follow a process called biofilm formation which results in virtually impenetrable fortresses for the bacteria to multiply and thrive growing steadily and in extended chronic infections causing the immune system to atack our most weakened and fragile organs and/or central nervous system making the disease incredibly painful and resistant to any anti-micrbial, anti-bacterial or anti-viral agents – pharmacological or organic in nature.
Throughout medical research into various means of inhibiting or destroying these biofilms, great breakthroughs have occurred – especially in the last few years.
One study from top Italian scientists suggest that “proteolytic enzymes” (see definition below) could significantly enhance the activities of antibiotics (pharmacological or organic) against biofilms by revealing the infectious colonies as the biofilms are destroyed, and actually inhibit the invading bacteria or virus from developing any new biofilm “hide-outs.”
If the body were always capable of producing adequate proteolytic enzymes, it is possible that cancer would not develop. In theory, cancer cells have a type of protein coating that is destroyed by these proteolytic enzymes. When this protein is destroyed, the body’s white cells are able to attack the cancer cells and destroy them.
This is also true of the protein coverings that enable Lyme disease to successfully evade our immune system and busily creating these strongholds – sometimes for years without any symptoms – and the WHAM! You encounter exceptional stress and everything shuts down. For “Lymies” we call that the “crash”. For those fortunate souls who discover their Lyme infection immediately, the infection is killed before the biofilms can be constructed.
Unfortunately, for those who think they have successfully eradicated a new infection of Lyme, it is not uncommon for a full-blown infection to flare up months or years later due to stree or extreme physical stress and find that a few spirochetes slipped into the central nervous system and evaded the antibiotic treatment.
Lymes disease can lie “dormant” for decades without showing more than a few aches and pains here and there…creating massive biofilm colonies while the unsuspecting victim pops ibuprofen for a sore joint or stiff neck.
To read more go to : http://www.lymediseaseresource.com/Serrapetase.html
Biofilms: A New Hideout for Borrelia burgdorferi?
Eva Sapi Ph.D.
University of New Haven
What is biofilm?
“Biofilm is a self-made protective environment for microbial populations in which they adhere to each other or to living or inert surfaces”. In the biofilm, single or multiple types of organisms can surround themselves with a complex matrix, better known as “slime” (3-4). The main purpose of the biofilm structure is to allow microbes to survive various environmental stresses, including the presence of attacking immune cells like phagocytes, or antibacterial agents.
While conventional antibiotic therapy is usually effective against free-floating bacteria, it is frequently ineffective once pathogens have formed biofilms, because biofilm colonies can be up to 1,000-times more resistant to antibiotics. Furthermore, even if a biofilm-related infection appears to respond to antibiotics, it could relapse weeks or even months later and turn into a very difficult to treat chronic infection.