BIOFILM how viruses and bacteria hide out

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by victoria, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Just read this, quite interesting, certainly answers a lot of questions about how/why these nasty 'bugs' whether viral or bacterial adapt to hiding out in our bodies, be they viral or bacterial (herpes viruses, mycoplasma, lyme, e coli, etc)

    Infection Update—Biofilms, HHV-6, Valcyte and CFS

    New research is coming out giving us a clearer understanding of what is needed to fight infections in general, and especially in chronic illnesses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. In this article, we will talk about two new concepts that offer us more tools for, and insight into, eliminating these infections:

    1. Biofilms. Just as we have learned to fight infections by using antibiotics, bacteria are also adapting to survive. One way that they're doing this is by creating Biofilms. Biofilms represents a layer of bacteria and other organisms that live together in a jelly like film. This film protects them from antibiotics, ultraviolet light and other "predators" and makes them hard to kill. New research is suggesting ways to kill them—despite their protective layer.

    2. HHV-6 viral infections. As discussed in an earlier article on viral infections, HHV-6 is an important viral infection in CFS and other illnesses. New research presented this week at the HHV-6 conference in Baltimore Maryland showed that:

    a) HHV-6 makes a chemical that may contribute to the "brainfog" seen in CFS.

    b) Using Valcyte to kill HHV-6 can improve the cognitive dysfunction ("brain fog") seen in CFS.

    c) HHV-6 infection may also be responsible for many cases of bipolar illness and depression.


    In standard medicine, we are used to looking for bacterial infections by taking a few bacteria and putting them into a growth medium to see how they will grow. We then add antibiotics to the growth medium to see which ones are effective against the bacteria and what dose is needed.

    For early acute infections, this approach can be effective. What medicine has ignored, however, is that in CHRONIC INFECTIONS (my caps), both in humans and in nature in general, infections form their own "cities" called "biofilms."

    These biofilms are like a mucus (called "Extracellular Polymeric Substances" or EPS) secreted by the organisms, and leave the infections highly resistant to antibiotics. Often, a number of DIFFERENT BACTERIA OR FUNGI live in the same biofilm.

    Because standard culturing techniques will not pick up most biofilms, medicine tends to treat these as if they are sterile fluid collections. Common examples of these would include "nonbacterial" prostatitis, dental infections, sinusitis and infections of medical materials such as implants or catheters.

    Although just starting to become available, new tests such as PCR or antigen testing offer new hope for being able to diagnose and treat these biofilm infections. This is critical, as it is estimated that 65-80% (!!!!) (according to Center for Disease Control estimates) of human infections are caused by biofilms—which our current testing routinely misses.

    As our awareness of biofilms increases, new approaches are being developed to help fight them. For example, a simple mineral called "bismuth" has been shown to markedly disrupt biofilms in very low dose. Interestingly, this mineral is sometimes found in toothpaste. Dental plaque is one of the most common forms of biofilm infections, and has been decreasing considerably—possibly because of the bismuth (and also because of dental floss).

    Bismuth is now also being added to medical catheters to prevent infections. I suspect that fairly soon, as Medicine realizes that sinusitis also reflects a biofilm, bismuth will be tested in nasal spray form. In the interim, the Sinusitis Nose Spray I recommend (available from ITC Pharmacy by prescription: 303-663-4224) contains xylitol, which may have a similar effect.

    For more information on biofilms: Biofilms and Chronic Infections. JAMA June 11, 2008. P 2682-3
    HHV-6, Valcyte and Brain Fog

    At last week's HHV-6 conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Montoya presented his research on the use of Valcyte to eliminate HHV-6 viral infections. As summarized by Kristin Loomis, president of the HHV6 Foundation:

    "Dr. Jose Montoya, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford University, released preliminary findings on his double-blind placebo-controlled antiviral trial of Valcyte for a subset of patients displaying high antibody levels to human HHV-6 and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Statistically significant cognitive improvement was noted in the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) Mental Fatigue subscale and on patient self-reported of cognitive functioning, but there was not a significant result on the overall MFI-20 index. Data from treadmill testing, cytokine analysis, gene expression and other viral markers is still pending and will be announced at a later date."

    Basically, the early data suggest that the antiviral Valcyte is most effective against the symptoms of brain fog. Clinical experience suggests that in a significant number of people with CFS, the Valcyte can be very effective overall as well. As the Valcyte will not eliminate the infection completely, it is critical to treat with the entire "SHINE Protocol." This way your immune system can recover enough to eliminate the infection. We have found that by using the Valcyte along with the "SHINE protocol," we often get excellent results. I look forward to the release of Professor Montoya's complete study.

    Interestingly, another study presented at the conference suggests that chronic HHV-6 infections can create a special protein that is commonly found in the brains of those with CFS but not in those that are healthy, and that this protein may contribute to the brain fog often seen in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. "Causes of many chronic diseases are unknown and chronic viral infection is one of the most suspected candidates," said Dr. Kondo, who spent 20 years trying to identify the latent protein responsible for chronic CNS disease and mood disorders.

    Research suggests that other "psychological problems" may also be caused by HHV-6 infection. 71% of CFS patients with psychological symptoms, 53% of depression and 76% of bipolar patients possessed the antibody against the SITH-1 protein—but healthy patients showed no evidence of this protein. Although there are many causes of depression, it is quite possible that Medicine has been trying to treat a brain infection with Prozac!


    I apologize if this is a total repeat, I know Dr. Montoya's research has been posted, but didn't think the info about the biofilm was. I find this extremely interesting that all these bugs form it!

    AND yes bismuth in large doses kills (1 doctor tried it on a lyme pt who died)... but keep in mind they're talking about minute amounts....

    all the best,

  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    A Protein from a Common Smoldering Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression
    Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:28am EDT

    A study suggests that a "smoldering" central nervous system (CNS) infection may play a role in conditions that plague millions of Americans. Kazuhiro Kondo, MD, PhD, of the Jikei University Medical School in Tokyo identified a novel human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) protein present in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients but not healthy controls that may contribute to psychological symptoms often associated with that and other disorders.

    "Causes of many chronic diseases are unknown and chronic viral infection is one of the most suspected candidates," said Dr. Kondo, who spent 20 years trying to identify the latent protein responsible for chronic CNS disease and mood disorders.

    Support for Dr. Kondo's claim came from Stanford University's Jose Montoya who announced at the same conference that the antiviral drug Valcyte, shown to be effective against HHV-6, resulted in an improvement in the cognitive functioning of CFS patients, although not a complete resolution of their fatigue. According to Dr. Kondo, drugs like Valcyte combat active
    replication but can't completely control low-level smoldering.

    "To cure the diseases, we have to reduce the latently infected virus or prevent its reactivation," he explains.

    Novel Herpesvirus Protein is Associated with Altered Nervous System Cell Activity and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression

    Kondo identified a novel HHV-6 protein associated with latent
    (non-replicating) HHV-6-infected nervous system and immune cells. Transfecting this new protein, called SITH-1 (Small Intermediate Stage Transcript of HHV-6), into nervous system cells called glial cells, resulted in greatly increased intracellular calcium levels. Increased intracellular calcium levels are believed to play an important role in psychological disorders and can contribute to cell death. Expressing the SITH protein though the use of an adenoviral vector in mouse resulted in manic-like behavior.

    A serological study indicated that 71% of CFS patients with psychological symptoms and none of the health controls possessed the antibody against the SITH-1 protein (p < .0001). Further tests indicated that 53% of depression and 76% of bipolar depression patients possessed the antibody.

    Traditional Viral Tests May Overlook Important Disease Causing Processes

    Researchers have suspected that central nervous system infections could contribute to psychological and central nervous system disorders, and patients with CFS have a much higher than average rate of depression. This virus spreads cell-to-cell instead of releasing viral particles into the bloodstream. This has hampered efforts to demonstrate that the virus plays a role in CNS disease.

    "This virus persists in the brain and other tissues, but not the blood, which is where investigators have looked," says Kristin Loomis, Executive Director of the HHV-6 Foundation. ... New ultra-sensitive assays are under development, she reports, "but
    currently the best way to identify patients with smoldering HHV-6 infection is to look for elevated IgG antibody titers."

    Dharam Ablashi, the co-discoverer of the HHV-6 virus, and the HHV-6 Foundation's Scientific Director warns that the test won't be available in the near future.

  3. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    This is a very interesting post. I have never heard of the SHINE protocol. Are you on this protocol?

    Will research.

  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Grammy that's great you're doing better! I'm so happy to hear that helped! I always feels like someone's hit the jackpot when s/he finds something that works so well!

    Marti- No, I'm not on that, I'm on the MP/Marshall Protocol. Yep, I know it's controversial, but I've seen results; I just keep getting interrupted by 'life' so not done yet unfortunately. But I plan to finish once I get moved.

    I am interested in this subject overall, due to my interest in tick infections and stealth pathogens like lyme, mycoplasma, etc...

    and also because I used to get a lot of bladder infections, I was fascinated by research since then that shows that the e coli can form cysts in the bladder to hide from abx, apparently what happened to me.

    (I finally had to be cultured after a year-long bout with constant infections, then stayed on cipro for 4 months to get rid of it. I've found d-mannose (1 of the major helpful things in cranberry juice) to be very helpful since, as the e coli don't know it's not a complete sugar and it fools them - they try to eat it, but it's 'poison' since it's a sugar alcohol)

    I think that 100 years from now, knowledge will have progressed so much that people will be looking back on us now thanking the powers that be they were not alive now...

    all the best,

  5. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    I have heard of the Marshall protocol but I'm not that familiar with it. I had never heard of the shine protocol so I will research that.

    I am also open to anything that helps.

    Due to your interest in stealth pathogens, are you familiar with the ciguatera isotope? 99 % of CFIDS patient test positive for this stealth pathogen.

    Univ of Hawaii offers a test for $100 or so.

    This would due to the work of Dr. John Martin.

    Just adding another pathogen in case you hadn't heard of it. sigh...

  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I did the VCS test online 2X and passed, I guess that's why I didn't do anything more with it. Interestingly, my DH flunked both times... yet he functions way better than I do.

    I think it comes down to genetic susceptibility to and the variety of bugs we do have &/or what has already weakened us... very complex unfortunately. It does feel like peeling layers off an onion...

  7. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    I am vaguely aware of the VCS test.

    The test for the ciguatera isotope is a blood test that must be sent to Hawaii. The lab then cultures the blood (the old fashioned way) and determines if you have this stealth pathogen (similar to ciguatera which is a fish toxin).

    Just a thought.
  8. victoria

    victoria New Member

    This is Shoemaker's site:

    I have no insurance and neither does my son... so it's all out of pocket for us... so I've been trying to make 'educated' guesses as much as possible; (needless to say, the testing for lyme etc for him was really expensive but well worth it as otherwise he'd have been in denial for sure).

    But, maybe down the road...


  9. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    This is very interesting information. A biofilm makes so much sense. Many of us have excessive mucous and that may be what it is. It makes sense that bacteria and viruses are evolving, I remember learning that they evolve much more quickly that other life forms.

    The SHINE Protocol is from Dr. Teitelbaum and if it works for you then great...but there are many of us that it doesn't help or that only parts of it help. SHINE stands for Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutritional Supplements, and...drum roll please........Exercise.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/06/2008]
  10. mrlondon

    mrlondon Member

    <a href="">Biofilms are inhibitted by the peptide LL-37.</a>

    And <a href="">LL-37 production is increased by 1,25(OH)2D</a> in certain immune cells. Stimulation of these cells increases the conversion of 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D, so that's one reason why it might be important to have sufficient levels of 25(OH)D. - Mark
    [This Message was Edited on 07/06/2008]
  11. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I had my son take the VCS test last night. While the questionnaires obviously indicated he could have neurotoxins, he actually passed it. Weird because he does have cognitive difficulties, but maybe not perception difficulties - or can someone tell me how that would crossover anyway? Of course I packed Shoemaker's book and have no idea if it's going with us or not now, may've been put in storage.

    Anyway, that said, Shoemaker says there are about 5-10% false negatives, and so my son is going to try the treatment anyway. We're guessing because of his past 3 years of treatment for Lyme (CDC+ 2X) it could be a false positive. I reallllly wish I'd thought of testing him when he first was dx'd, but with all of that going on I never thought of it; and I don't think Shoemaker was talking about lyme and other tickborn infections back then

    So he will start after our big move, we're leaving tomorrow for Mexico............ but I'll be back......... and will report on how he does with it.

    all the best,

  12. marti_zavala

    marti_zavala Member

    Hope it is uneventful and that you do not crash.