In Test Tube, ‘Pulse-Doses’ Of Antibiotic Wipe Out Lyme Disease Bacteria Persisters
Excerpted from WBUR: (0\6/12/2015)
From the Northeast to the Midwest and beyond, it’s high season for Lyme disease. An estimated 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with the spreading, tickborne disease every year. Most can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but for some, symptoms persist for months and even years — pain, fatigue, arthritis.
For me, Lyme disease news tends to range from horrifying — stories of insidious, life-ruining symptoms — to just depressing, like recent speculation that New England’s massive snowfall this winter may have insulated ticks and helped them survive.
So, though it’s still extremely early research, I was gladdened by a report just out from Northeastern University that a prominent germ-fighting scientist may have found a new way to kill off Lyme disease bacteria even when it persists after antibiotics. In test tubes, at least.
Prof. Kim Lewis, chief of Northeastern’s Antimicrobial Discovery Center, made a big splash just this January in the journal Nature with the discovery of a potent new antibiotic.
Now, he reports finding not a new compound but a new anti-Lyme timing regime for dosing of antibiotics.
“We decided, ‘OK, let’s look at, what are the potential vulnerabilities of this seemingly invincible pathogen?” he says. “It has all these strengths, but what are its vulnerabilities?”