Lyme disease is difficult to treat because "the bacterium that causes Lyme disease forms dormant persister cells, which are known to evade antibiotics.” Last week, a team of researchers at Northeastern University led by University Distinguished Professor Kim Lewis (director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern) reported two new approaches to eradicating Lyme disease. Their findings have been published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
One approach involves the anti-cancer agent Mitomycin C, but it isn’t recommended for treating Lyme disease due to its toxicity. The second approach involves “pulse-dosing an antibiotic to eliminate persisters.” The trick to eradicate the persisters is to “allow the dormant cells to wake up and then hit them with the antibiotic before they have time to restore their population." According to the paper, "Four rounds of antibiotic treatments completely eradicated the persisters in a test tube.”
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