Claudia I fully agree about scams and misinforming the buying public but we cannot dismiss out of hand theories that are contradictions to our beleifs.
I share your belief that bad science propels an industry targeting the naive to accept misguided treatments However, you are a bit inaccurate in saying
Antibiotics are usually effective against bacterial pathogens, despite their biofilms.
"usually" effective??? "despite" the films??? the point is that most films arent harmful BUT when they are, they DO impeded treatment...thats the point. In too many cases ( cystic fibrosis, diabetes etc) abx cannot get around the films.
Bioofilms are dangerous and CAN impede treatment. They are responsible in enough cases,for resistance to that treatment:
Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in biofilms
The Lancet, Volume 358, Issue 9276, Pages 135-138
P.Stewart, J.William Costerton
Bacteria that adhere to implanted medical devices or damaged tissue can encase themselves in a hydrated matrix of polysaccharide and protein, and form a slimy layer known as a biofilm. Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in the biofilm mode of growth contributes to the chronicity of infections such as those associated with implanted medical devices. The mechanisms of resistance in biofilms are different from the now familiar plasmids, transposons, and mutations that confer innate resistance to individual bacterial cells. In biofilms, resistance seems to depend on multicellular strategies. We summarise the features of biofilm infections, review emerging mechanisms of resistance, and discuss potential therapies.
Non Inherited Antibiotic resistance
BR Levin, DE Rosen, 2006
" ...drug resiatance, perisstence, biofilms are recognized as...non inherited forms of resistance"
and many others--try a pubmed search on " biofilm induced bacterial resistance" and " treatment of infections impeded by biofilms"
You also state the fact of biofilms being protective in almost en exclusive way...in areas such as the mouth, gut and gential tract they are in fact protective BUT can also turn infective with a tiny change in the complement of commensal organisms. The slightest imbalance of the naturally occurring bugs and that same fil can turn against the host so to speak. Can you disagree that this tiny imbalance can occur when on abx l;ike many of us are for long times? can you disagree that this imbalance can occur with diet changes ( due to illness or even preference)?
According to Medical Biofilms ed. by Jass, Surman, Walker,2003
"It is generally accepted that these naturally occurring biofilms, which do not cause disease, may in fact act as a barrier to potentially pathogenic microorganisms, and thus help prevent infections" but you MUST read further:
"Infections related to these biofilms, however can occur if there is an alteration in the commensal population such as may occur
it goes on to say that it is RARE, not absent, for this to happen in healthy undamaged tissues and does more often happen with damaged tissues ( burns, trauma etc) and if immune systemsd are compromised; or with underlying dieases like diabetes, cystic fibrosis and others
(http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr= ... Cj0KHQGQuQ
while many cases are of stents, joint hardware ( like hip and knee replacements),heart valve replacements etc...there are also documented cases of non hardware and non implant related resistant infections due to biofilms; such as in the mucosa of cystic fibrosis patients.
when we are trying to debunk shaky claims that are made by marketers it is imperative that we uphold to our own high standards and make sure our information is absolutely valid
it undermines credibility if we use information as invalid as the marketers' to debunk their claims
since you mention that they arent always protective, thats a good start BUT you negelcted to accpet the fact that those with long term tick illness isnt the typical "healthy" soul. They are by definition having chronic symptoms and in most cases also with comorbidants--immune system, nervous system and gut/microbe imbalances by virtue of the various treatments and simply due to being under siege by the tick organisms to begin with
It isnt such a big leap to presume there MAY be problems with biofilms in many/most of those with chronic sx from Lyme et al.Us folks are debilitated to begin with and thats why the films may be a factor--and biofilms CAN be a problem, and with any/all long term illness--we can agree that for many Lyme etc IS a long term illness that does affect the entire body at times--disregulating everything from hormones to neurochemicals so why under this disruption is it so hard to think that maybe biofilms are also playing their games the way they do in other chronic illnesses??
AND even with "harmless" biofilms--theyve shown that there is increased plasmid transfer ( thats how bacteria swap genetic resistance)--and so jsut the mere presence of the film may be impeding treatment by giving bacteria an easier way to 'tell' each other how to resist abx, etc--to ME that aint so harmless then
[Weigel L, Donlan RM, Shin DH et al.: High-level vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates associated with a polymicrobial biofilm. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.51,231–238 (2007)]
and our usually friendly oral spirochetes: when they "go bad" and cause infection and gum disease they are almost always associated with biofilms--now it may be those films were already there or they may have become stronger or even formed once the bugs went "bad"..BUT its interesting to see that even the good guys can turn bad with the help of the biofilms making this very important to not be so dismissive about. ( saying theyve always been around, found everywhere; kinda denigrates their importance...a LOT of things have "always been around" that we are now first realizing are pretty harmful!!!
What IS lacking for now re Lyme,are the connections:
-studies showing that biofilms surround the 'chetes as Fry claims
- studies then showing the films around chetes change the persistence/virulence/outcomes
-studies showing proven biofilm disruptors will improve tx outcome
-studies proving what Fry et al and Envita are testing as products will break biofilms AND also improve outcome