Antibiotic resistant infections are projected to become the world’s leading cause of death by 2050. Bacterial superinfections are thought to be the cause of over 50% of the deaths due to COVID and were also responsible for deaths due to H1N1 and other pandemics even dating back to the Spanish Flu in 1918. Now that we have a multitude of antibiotics that are used frequently, the resistance is escalating to an entirely new level. One of the key reasons this occurs is because of something known as “biofilms”. Biofilms are known to cause most infections caused by medical devices and the majority of deadly infections acquired in hospitals. It’s not the bacteria by itself creating all these havocs but the biofilms that protect them and help them mutate.
Biofilms are not only found in severe illness but may decrease progress in people with recurrent urinary tract infections, resistant strep throat, lupus flares, Lymes, mold, yeast, viruses like Epstein Barr, corneal ulcers related to contact lenses, burn wounds, medical device infections and with breast implants to name a few. Recently, I am starting to believe some of the resistant gut infections are probably biofilm related and they have also been linked to Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis.
READ ON to learn more about biofilms and what to do to address them…..
Bioflims exist naturally in nature. They are prominent in unusual areas like the in the deepest trenches of the ocean and in the space stations. The most easily accessed and visualized biofilms are located in Yellowstone National Park. The brightly pigmented bacterial mats found in the Grand Prismatic Spring are a wonderous site that is truly beautiful but when you realize that these mats are made from bacteria with a sophisticated biofilm it gives it a whole new meaning. Even pond scum and the slimy, slippery moss on river rocks are thought to have a biofilm component. The good news is that scientists are using these biofilms to work on ways to break thru them to help with the medical problems they create.
Why are biofilms so dangerous? Biofilms act in several different ways. First, they produce a shell that surrounds the bacteria that protects it from medicines penetrating and killing the organism. Second, biofilms help the bacteria communicate with each other and thru signaling mutates the organisms helping them develop antibiotic resistance rapidly. After forming a biofilm, the level of antibiotic resistance can increase up to several thousand-fold!
While scientists are actively searching for ways to penetrate these biofilms we do have a few tools for mild infections. If you have bacteria, you still need the antibiotics but when combined with biofilm disruptors the end result might actually be better.
There are several biofilm disruptors and which one you use depends on the infection and the other medical factors. Enzymes like nattokinase and lumbrokinase have been used on coatings for implants as well as resistant strep. NAC has been helpful with implant devices as well as lung infections (this is one of the reasons it can be helpful with COVID). Monolaurin seems to be helpful with the viral illness Epstein Barr. Silver has been used in many instances and is actively used for burns and does have some anti-bacterial properties. These supplements don’t treat the infection, they just open the door so the other treatments may actually work more effectively. You need BOTH!!
The emerging research will hopefully give even more options to use in serious, life-threatening infections and hopefully the focus won’t be just on antibiotics but ways to make them more effective.
To your health,