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Biofilm and Lyme Disease
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Biofilm and Lyme Disease

To: Prof Garth Nicolson
I had  breast implants about 6 years ago and now have muscle fatigue in my legs and started having knee pain,dizziness at times.  My CD 57 was 44 and C4A was 5,100.  They said I had Lymes and treated me with Rocephin 2 gm Iv for 28 days and DOXYCYCLINE 100mg po BID for 28 days.  The muscle fatigue went away and joint pain but all my labs from quest were negative.  My western blot,bortenella,Babesia,Q-Fever.  Lymes specialist says a biofilm will form around the antibodies causing them to not show up.  Is this true?  I am still having pain under my left breast under ribs at times.  My muscle do get tired easier.  I am confused and do not know what to do.  Concerned Client

Response:

Lyme and co-infections (Borrelia, Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, etc.) are generally intracellular infections, although some extracellular microorganisms may appear when shed from cells and tissues.  In this later state some microorganisms could become integrated into biofilm (mainly a mucopolysaccharide meshwork that is difficult for antibodies and drugs to penetrate).  The intracellular infections probably cause most of the problems, but the release of some microorganisms likely stimulate immune responses and cytokine release, causing many of the symptoms found in Lyme and CFS.

Intracellular Lyme-associated infections (usually multiple intracellular infections are found in Lyme patients) can interfere with cellular metabolism, significantly reduce mitochondria electron transport function (loss of energy), release toxins that poison cells, induce inflammatory responses and can suppress immune responses.  One problem found in treatment is that at any one time some of the intracellular Lyme-associated infections may be in a resting or persistent state and less susceptible to antibiotics.  Another problem is that they are often less susceipble to antibiotics when they are at intracellular sites deep inside tissues.  Thus long-term antibiodics are usually required to completely suppress these infections. The problem is magnified when biofilm is involved, and in this form it is relatively easy for some of these infections to survive therapy and eventually cause relapse of symptoms some time later.

In a study that we conducted many years ago, breast implant patients with subsequent chronic fatigue or CFS were tested for chronic infections, such as Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, etc.  Almost all were positive for one or more chronic infections.  Although we had no way to determine the association with breast implants, we assumed that in these patients the implants leaked (almost all had some evidence of leakage), and at this time almost all implants were silicon based.  We assumed that the leaky implants contributed to the problem by causing local immune suppression, allowing chronic infections to take hold.  In a follow-up study on saline implants, similar problems were found but not at the same high frequencies.

Prof. Garth Nicolson


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