March 29, 2016 Thea Singer
… “I find it amazing that when you show up at the doctor’s office you are not told that there is a 10 to 20 percent chance that your life as you know it has ended,” says Lewis. “Nobody seems to be focusing on the next step: How to prevent the subsequent rise of the chronic condition.”
A new regimen
Lewis and his colleagues are providing that focus. A subpopulation of B. burgdorferi cells, they discovered earlier, are “persister” cells—they are alive but lie dormant, in a sporelike state. Because antibiotics attack only actively functioning bacterial cells, persisters escape the onslaught. However, once the antibiotic has been flushed from the system, the persisters “wake up,” says Lewis, dividing and multiplying until an army of progeny infect the host.
“That’s where “pulse dosing” comes in. Lewis’ team, in collaboration with researchers studying B. burgdorferi in mice at Tufts University’s Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences, …”