What are Biofilms All About?
The ability of bacteria to adapt and defend its self is truly amazing. Obviously, MRSA staph infections are very good at resisting treatment. However, our MRSA protocol is the best natural solution around. Part of the reason is our Monolaurin – with hundreds of clinical tests behind it. Part of the reason is that we are on the cutting edge of biofilms! Biofilms explain a great deal of chronic MRSA’s resistance and survival ability.
Some bacteria are especially good at hiding in your body and evading the treatments used to kill them. One of the cleverest tricks bacteria use to hide and defend themselves is biofilms. Biofilms are like thin protective fortresses, or “communities”, that bacteria build to live, breed and hide inside of them.
Biofilms are a relatively new area of research but you probably see biofilms every day without even realizing it. One type of biofilm is the slimy layer inside your pet’s water dish that’s so hard to clean off. Another biofilm is the dental plaque that develops on your teeth. Biofilms are tenacious and tough, shielding the bacteria from the outside environment – including antibiotics!
Bacteria can also form biofilms inside your body. Biofilm infections are linked to many types of stubborn infections and diseases, including Lyme disease and recurring Staph and MRSA infections!
The US Center for Disease Control estimates that 80% of chronic diseases are caused by pathogens within biofilms. These diseases stay ‘chronic’ because the bacteria, organized into biofilms, escape our immune defense mechanisms and antibiotics. Because of this, the bacteria embedded in biofilms are often difficult to kill with standard antibiotic regimens and immune system responses.(1)
These Chronic Diseases Include:
MRSA, (of course) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,
ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism,
Lyme disease, Infections caused by indwelling medical devices.
Antibiotics can have a chance to kill the exposed bacteria. However, they can’t get insidethe biofilm to kill the bacteria inside. It’s like trying to kill a colony of bees by spraying the ones flying in the air. Unless you can get inside the hive and kill the hive, the bees will be back again in no time. In the same sense, unless you can destroy the biofilm and the bacteria within it, you can stay stuck in the recurring (chronic) infection cycle.(2)
Now, our Monolaurin shows some ability to slowly penetrate a biofilm – depending on its thickness. However, at the very least, a biofilm definitely slows monolaurin down. If a person has a long term or stubborn case of MRSA, it is very probable that biofilms are the cause. Thus, we have an interest in getting rid of biofilms!
MRSA Staph Complications
Now, newer research is showing that staph bacteria are a major player when it comes to creating biofilms. If you have a history of recurring infections, there’s a good chance that a biofilm infection is involved. The trouble is, biofilms are a relatively new area of research and few relevant treatment studies have been performed. Most tests for both MRSA natural remedies and MRSA antibiotic drugs are done using free-floating bacteria, not MRSA in biofilms. And biofilms are much more resistant to treatments and your own immune system than free-floating bacteria.
MRSA is often found under biofilm ‘protective coatings’ (the outer walls that protect the inner core of the biofilm and prevent antibiotic influence). Biofilms stick to living tissue or implants and catheters within the body (often the cause of hospital MRSA). Then, free floating micro-organisms become attached to them until a dense mucus matrix has formulated.
The biofilm matrix adds a fibrin mesh to hold everything together. Then it can continue to grow through both adding micro-organisms and reproducing micro-organisms already in the biofilm.
MRSA infections are often caused by hospital procedures and can pose a major threat to hospital patients. Part of the reason is the extensive use of implanted devices which can be colonized by staphylococci. This ability for a biofilm to form on the surface of medical equipment and prosthetic devices provide significant breeding grounds for MRSA infection. Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis (and other gram-positive, gram-negative bacteria) can form on indwelling, or inserted surgical devices, and resist treatment.(3)
It is not just MRSA staph bacteria that live in the biofilm. Other bacteria can join them and work together. Now, there are multiple types of bacteria, in both S. aureus and S. epidermidis, that make it even harder to treat MRSA infections.
This packed concentration shows much greater resistance to antibiotics than their floating counterparts. The increased resistance comes from the penetration barrier that biofilms present to antibiotics (and the immune system). In one test, the cells in a biofilm were exposed to tetracycline, yet they were much more resistant than their planktonic (free-floating) counterparts.(4)
Surprisingly, the bacteria contained within biofilm interact and behave as a unit, rather than individual cells. This is why many researchers call biofilms infectious “communities”.(5) Chemical signals actually attract heavy metals, platelets and specific types of bacteria to protect the biofilm colonies. The communities can actually have food canals and other structures like an actual living organism! The biofilm matrix is physically dense, making it up to one thousand times more resistant to antibiotics and the immune system.
If building a biofilm colony isn’t bad enough, nutrient deprivation or just shear forces can cause part of the biofilm to break off and spread elsewhere.(6) Now, they can start new colonies and make matters worse.
Biofilms are also of great interest to Dr. Anju Usman. She says biofilms act as a unique cloaking device.
“All of our tough cases, the non-responders – they show biofilms when we run their blood at Fry’s lab. Scientists are finding biofilms in polluted areas of our body – the teeth, mouth, adenoids, sinuses, and intestinal tract. The immune system recognizes a bug by proteins on its outer membrane. What happens when the bugs don’t produce outer membrane proteins? Well, these bugs don’t.”(7)
The Biofilm / Body Detox Answer
Dr. Usman is focused on dismantling the biofilm.
“Let’s look at what happened when experts tackled the superbug, MRSA…but they couldn’t knock it out because there was a biofilm. However, when they combined the drug (a Body Detox), then the chelating agent pulled out the calcium, magnesium, and iron – all elements of biofilm – and dismantled the film.”(8)
Dr. Usman uses chelating agents to lower one’s body burden of heavy metals. To break down biofilm, Dr. Usman also uses enzymes such as serrapeptase, derived from silk worms, and nattokinase which penetrates the GI tract and gets into the blood where it breaks down fibrin. Biofilm requires formation of fibrin.
Our recommended Biofilm Dnzymes and Body Detox have all these things – and more. The enzymes dissolve the fibrin mesh holding the biofilm along the mucus membrane, and the Body Detox helps take away the toxins (reducing any ill effects).
Fortunately, MRSA strains have a biofilm characteristic that is dependent on the fibrin binding proteins.(9) This is good news for us because our Bio-Fibrin can dissolve the fibrin proteins. These proteins are involved in the early stages of the biofilm production. Then they promote the biofilm building and maturing.
Now, researchers are even wondering if there is actually a connection between methicillin and MRSA biofilms. The methicillin resistance might actually encourage the growth of biofilms.(10) Fortunately, we already know what to do about the biofilms if this proves out.
We know Monolaurin will kill staph if it can come into contact with it. If your MRSA situation is not solved completely within 6 weeks with just Monolaurin, you may want to consider adding our recommended Biofilm Dissolving Enzymes. The growing number of bacterial factors involved in MRSA staph biofilm development underscores the importance of being able to deal with the situation.
(More Biofilm Information.)
1. Patel R: Biofilms and antimicrobial resistance. Clin Orthop Relat Res 2005, (437):41-47.
2. Leid JG, Shirtliff ME, Costerton JW, Stoodley AP: Human leukocytes adhere to, penetrate, and respond to Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Infect Immun 2002, 70(11):6339-6345.
3. Costerton JW, Stewart PS, Greenberg EP: Bacterial biofilms: a common cause of persistent infections.
Science 1999, 284(5418):1318-1322.
4. Foster TJ, Hook M: Surface protein adhesins of Staphylococcus aureus. Trends Microbiol 1998, 6(12):484-488.
5. Tolker-Nielsen, Tim, and Søren Molin. “Spatial organization of microbial biofilm communities.” Microbial ecology 40.2 (2000): 75-84.
6. Boles BR, Horswill AR: Agr-mediated dispersal of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. PLoS Pathog 2008, 4(4):e1000052.
7. Hassan, A., J. Usman, and F. Kaleem. “PP-015 Detection of biofilm producing Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria isolated from clinical specimens and their antibiotic susceptibility pattern.” International Journal of Infectious Diseases 14 (2010): S29.
8. Kaleem, F., J. Usman, and A. Hassan. “PP-016 Is tigecycline a solution for metallo-β-lactamase producing carbapenem resistant organisms?.” International Journal of Infectious Diseases 14 (2010): S29.
9. Allergy Research Group. Dissolve biofilms with fibrinolytic enzymes: a novel approach to chronic infection in autism spectrum disorders. Focus. March 2009. Available at: http://www.allergyresearchgroup.com/Mar-2009-Focus-Newsletter-Biofilms-and-Fibrinolytic-Enzymes-sp-90.html.
10. Gill, Steven R., et al. “Insights on evolution of virulence and resistance from the complete genome analysis of an early methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain and a biofilm-producing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis strain.” Journal of bacteriology 187.7 (2005): 2426-2438.