Infections And BIOFILMS – What Are They And What Lurks In Them?

By Raluca Schachter

Contributing Writer for  Wake Up World

A simple remedy to cure infections used back in the days is really not enough anymore in modern times! Today we have to deal with “leaky gut” (intestinal impermeability), low levels of beneficial gut flora, antibiotic resistance, overgrowth of gastrointestinal pathogens and low immunity to disease, to name just a few of the conditions which make the process of healing so much more complex and chronic infections hard to eradicate. This is the end result of the “modern living”, full of toxic, processed foods, heavy pollutants, genetically modified organisms and over medication.

So why exactly can’t we get rid of chronic infections after diligently following the recommended course of remedies? One important contributing factor is the  BIOFILM formation.  

What Are The Biofilms?

A  biofilm is a thin layer of microorganisms that adhere to the  surface of an organic or inorganic structure, together with their  secreted polymers.  Microbes residing within  biofilms may consist of one or more species that communicate and collaborate with one another in a  heterogeneous community. Biofilms are the predominant phenotype  of nearly all bacteria in their natural habitat, whether pathogenic or environmental.

They always existed.  And they also exist in your intestines, making pathogens harder to eradicate. How does this happen?

Life within a biofilm confers significant survival advantages to bacteria and yeasts.  Biofilms strongly  adhere to interfaces and  resist dislodgement.

Biofilm-residing microorganisms are  highly resistant to the spectrum of antimicrobials ranging from  germicides and disinfectants to antibiotics and bacteriocins produced by probiotics, as well as to host immunity.

Biofilms have demonstrated the  ability to persist in  100 to 1000 times  the concentrations of  antibiotics and biocides that can inhibit planktonic cells. Pretty hard to break down, don’t you think?

The diversity of the biofilm allows adaptation to overcome multiple  stresses and to survive most sequential therapies.

Concomitant therapies that not only attempt to eradicate bacteria, but also affect the biofilm’s community structure and communications may prove more effective than a single or sequential strategy such as antibacterial or antifungal therapy.

Because of molecular methods, science now has the ability to detect biofilms and understand the implications of interspecies chaos that contribute to chronic infections.    

Some Of The Infections Related To Biofilms

It is estimated that up to 80% of all human infections have biofilm involvement.  These infections range from urinary tract infections, middle-ear infections, cystic fibrosis, dental plaque, chronic skin infections, many chronic diseases, gastrointestinal infections and coatings on indwelling devices such as joint replacement, catheters, cardiac valves, and contact lenses.

Bacterial and fungal pathogens known to reside in biofilms include  Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens, Helicobacter pylori, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Vibrio cholerae.  

Gastrointestinal System

Among the more important species involved in gastrointestinal biofilm formation are Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, and Fusobacterium.  Fusobacterium  species appear to play a key role in formation and maintenance of healthy biofilm. However,  Fusobacterium can contribute to pathogenic biofilms  because it requires association with an aerobic species in certain environments and hence promotes  Helicobacter pylori biofilm  on the gastric mucosa associated with  gastric ulcers. Disrupted healthful biofilm permits colonization and biofilm formation by potential pathogens such as  Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans.

In  candida  overgrowth,  the yeast colonies can dig deep into intestinal walls, damaging the bowel wall in their colonization.  Candida colonization occurs within mucosal  and skin biofilms where it is highly resistant to eradication.    

Teeth

Perhaps the most commonly encountered biofilm disease is  dental plaque, and the  Streptococcus mutans  biofilm leading to cavities.

Typically dental biofilms consist of bacteria that are considered normal oral flora and usually are kept in balance by normal dental hygiene, the other cohabitating bacteria and a good nutrition for the teeth. However the population dynamics and members of these biofilms may change and induce conditions where tooth decay, gingivitis, and other oral health problems may arise. Where dental health is concerned, it is synonymous with biofilms.  

Chronic Sinus and Inner Ear Infections

Symptoms of  chronic rhinosinusitis (sinus infections)  and  otitis media (inner ear infections)  may be due to a persistent biofilm-based infection that the body fails to fully eliminate. Continual aggravation by these infections may produce lasting, disrupting, and damaging effects.  

How To Break Down Biofilms Residing In The Intestines?

Disruption of the healthy gastrointestinal biofilm facilitates an  inflammatory response to normal microflora and  compromises host defenses against a variety of pathogens.  A nonpharmaceutical approach to biofilm eradication  involves the use of specific enzymes and binding agents (such as the  Interfase  supplement by Klaire Labs), probiotics, gut healing supplements, concomitant  with antifungals, antiparasitic and/or antibacterial substances and  a right customized diet, which supports all metabolic functions.

Article Sources

http://endoexperience.com/userfiles/file/Biofilm_JAMA_Wolcott_and_Ehrlich_2008.pdf

Lewis K. Persister cells, dormancy and infectious disease. Nat Rev Microbiol.
2007;5(1):48-56

InterFase ®: Specialized Enzymes Disrupt Biofilm Matrix
that Embeds Potential Gastrointestinal Pathogens. – Klaire Labs

http://www.frylabs.com/biofilm.php

https://www.protherainc.com/images/prod/brochures/K-INT_Brochure.pdf

https://www.protherainc.com/DisplayDoc.asp

Wolcott, William. CANDIDA    ALBICANS . . .Are You Winning Battles But Losing the War?

Stephen Olmstead, MD, Dennis Meiss, PhD, and Janet Ralston, BS.   Fungal-Type Dysbiosis & Chronic Disease  Exploring The Nature of the Yeast Connection
Recommended reading by Raluca Schachter:

About the author:

RalucaLong-time contributor Raluca Schachter is a passionate Nutritionist, Metabolic Typing Advisor, and a Weston A. Price Chapter Leader. She believes in the benefits of traditional unaltered food, ancestral wisdom, sustainable farming and simple living.

Raluca was able to naturally reverse chronic health conditions she was struggling with most of her life, and now uses her knowledge to help as many people as possible do the same. Her unique Metabolic Typing® Ecological Lifestyle Programs for Optimal Health offer a very unique and comprehensive approach to health, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met using specific nutrients and foods that each metabolism thrives on. Raluca offers her services for local and distance clientele.

You can connect with Raluca via:

 


Wake Up World's latest videos



 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Wake Up World or its staff.