Saturday, June 14, 2014

Studies show Borrelia creates "persister" cells

Picked up around the web....

Had you heard the news out of ASM2014 (American Society of Microbiology)?  Kim Lewis from Northeastern has been doing research on what are called persisters. He had about $6M in NIH (National Institute of Health) funding plus was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for chronic Tuberculosis due to persisters. So he is the real deal in chronic infections and drug discovery to cure them plus has a culture team for bacteria that are difficult to culture. He was funded $.5M by the Lyme Research Alliance (LRA) to see if Borrelia has persisters which might explain chronic Lyme and lead to a cure. At ASM2014 they released the first results and Borrelia does produce persisters

This might be the most important Lyme news in a long time. He was the one who discovered and cured MRSA chronic infections due to persisters and NOT mutant resistant bacteria.

Watch Kim Lewis's video on the Paradox of Chronic Infections.... It's worth watching! This video was done before the recent announcement at ASM 2014 but watch with that discovery in mind and that this guy got $6M from the NIH. The NIH doesn't give just anyone that much. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation only supports the best.


  1. This gives me hope.
    an old problem seen with fresh eyes.
    thanks for posting this.

  2. Thanks for publishing my email to JB... Tom

  3. The LRA is also funding Dr Zhang at John Hopkins to investigate drugs used on TB persisters on Borrelia persisters. Since Kim Lewis re-discovered persisters, there has been an enormous amount of research on persisters in TB, Pseudomonas aeruginosa producing high levels of persister cells in patients with cystic fibrosis, MRSA and others. This research has explored how persisters are formed. So now that Borrelia has been shown to form persisters, much of what has been learned can be applied to chronic Lyme. It appears persisters may explain many oddities seen in Lyme that have led them to be ignored. Not only may it explain why chronic Lyme exists but also why its hard to culture in chronic Lyme as seen by Barthold/Embers and why certain antibiotic strategies sometimes work. The critical step is Lewis and Zhang finding a way to culture chronic Borrelia so its possible to look at the alterations in DNA expression of Borrelia in-vivo. Somehow Lewis and Zhang need to be introduced to Sapi to help them culture Borrelia to allow their drug investigations.

  4. Bob, a wonderful info share, thank you! It certainly points to those who fail to recover even given long term doses of antibiotics. I cycled as a child of the 60s with tonsillitis and "penicillin" cure following my 60s bite , with tonsillitis re-occurrence, each year from about age 6-7 to year 13. Oddly that health issue ceased with tobacco use as a young teen...I am of the mind that the poisons of tobacco chased bacteria away, and out of the lymph system as my tonsillitis (symptomatic of Borrelia infection) never came back! I think the Native Americans were onto something? I not longer smoke, years ago stopped,..but have done some reading about medicinal tobacco use in history, interesting subject too.


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