Metamorphoses of Lyme disease spirochetes: phenomenon of Borrelia persisters


The survival of spirochetes from the Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) complex in a hostile environment is achieved by the regulation of differential gene expression in response to changes in temperature, salts, nutrient content, acidity fluctuation, multiple host or vector dependent factors, and leads to the formation of dormant subpopulations of cells. From the other side, alterations in the level of gene expression in response to antibiotic pressure leads to the establishment of a persisters subpopulation. Both subpopulations represent the cells in different physiological states. “Dormancy” and “persistence” do share some similarities, e.g. both represent cells with low metabolic activity that can exist for extended periods without replication, both constitute populations with different gene expression profiles and both differ significantly from replicating forms of spirochetes. Persisters are elusive, present in low numbers, morphologically heterogeneous, multi-drug-tolerant cells that can change with the environment. The definition of “persisters” substituted the originally-used term “survivors”, referring to the small bacterial population of Staphylococcus that survived killing by penicillin. The phenomenon of persisters is present in almost all bacterial species; however, the reasons why Borrelia persisters form are poorly understood. Persisters can adopt varying sizes and shapes, changing from well-known forms to altered morphologies. They are capable of forming round bodies, L-form bacteria, microcolonies or biofilms-like aggregates, which remarkably change the response of Borrelia to hostile environments. Persisters remain viable despite aggressive antibiotic challenge and are able to reversibly convert into motile forms in a favorable growth environment. Persisters are present in significant numbers in biofilms, which has led to the explanation of biofilm tolerance to antibiotics. Considering that biofilms are associated with numerous chronic diseases through their resilient presence in the human body, it is not surprising that interest in persisting cells has consequently accelerated. Certain diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria (e.g. tuberculosis, syphilis or leprosy) are commonly chronic in nature and often recur despite antibiotic treatment. Three decades of basic and clinical research have not yet provided a definite answer to the question: is there a connection between persisting spirochetes and recurrence of Lyme disease in patients?




Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common tick-borne disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in North America and Borrelia afzelii or Borrelia garinii in Europe and Asia, respectively. The infection affects multiple organ systems, including the skin, joints, and the nervous system. Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is the most dangerous manifestation of Lyme disease, occurring in 10–15% of infected individuals. During the course of the infection, bacteria migrate through the host tissues altering the coagulation and fibrinolysis pathways and the immune response, reaching the central nervous system (CNS) within 2 weeks after the bite of an infected tick. The early treatment with oral antimicrobials is effective in the majority of patients with LNB. Nevertheless, persistent forms of LNB are relatively common, despite targeted antibiotic therapy. It has been observed that the antibiotic resistance and the reoccurrence of Lyme disease are associated with biofilm-like aggregates in B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii, both in vitro and in vivo, allowing Borrelia spp. to resist to adverse environmental conditions. Indeed, the increased tolerance to antibiotics described in the persisting forms of Borrelia spp., is strongly reminiscent of biofilm growing bacteria, suggesting a possible role of biofilm aggregates in the development of the different manifestations of Lyme disease including LNB.


Serological and PCR evidence of Infection in 105 Patients with SPPT

Alexis Lacout1*, Marie Mas4, Michel Franck2, Véronique Perronne3, Julie Pajaud2, Pierre Yves Marcy5, Christian Perronne3

*Corresponding Author: Alexis Lacout, Centre de diagnostic ELSAN, Centre Médico–Chirurgical, 83 avenue Charles de Gaulle, 15000, Aurillac, France

Received: 11 December 2020; Accepted: 22 December 2020; Published: 05 January 2021

Citation: Alexis Lacout, Marie Mas, Michel Franck, Véronique Perronne, Julie Pajaud, Pierre Yves Marcy, Christian Perronne. Serological and PCR evidence of Infection in 105 Patients with SPPT. Archives of Microbiology & Immunology 5 (2021): 139-150.


Introduction: The main aim of this study is to determine the nature of the exposure of patients presenting with polymorphic signs and symptoms to the parasite Babesia, through the study of serology. The secondary aim is to report the different serological or PCR results observed in these patients.

Material and methods: The following serologies were performed in all patients looking for: Babesia divergens, Borrelia, Bartonella, Coxiella burnetii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The following PCRs were performed looking for: Borrelia spp, Babesia spp, Bartonella (Bartonella spp, B. quintana, B. Henselae,) Coxiella spp, Anaplasma spp, Ehrlichia spp, Rickettsia spp, most often on several matrices (venous blood, capillary blood, urine and saliva).

Results: In this study, 105 patients were included, 62 females and 43 males, sex ratio F/M was 62/43 = 1.44; mean age was 45.5 year old (range; 5 years, 79 years old).

  • Of the 105 serologies for B. divergens, 41% were found to be positive.
  • Of the 104 serologies for Borrelia, 19.2% were found to be positive.
  • Of the 95 serologies for Anaplasma, 27.3% were found to be positive.

Borrelia spp, Babesia spp, Bartonella spp, Coxiella spp, Anaplasma spp, Ehrlichia spp, Rickettsia spp were found by using rtPCR.

Conclusion: Our study has shown that patients with SPPT/PTLDS, a syndrome close to fibromyalgia, could harbor several tick borne microorganisms. Microbiologic analyses should thus not be merely limited to Borrelia’s research alone.



These relatively recent studies (within the past few years) reveal what Lyme literate doctors and their patients have been experiencing from the beginning.  They also reaffirm what many independent researchers have globally been writing about for years.  There are many other reasons patients remain ill as well but these three are biggies.

Yet, reality is best summed up by the following quote from the first study listed above:

Three decades of basic and clinical research have not yet provided a definite answer to the question: is there a connection between persisting spirochetes and recurrence of Lyme disease in patients?

Isn’t that sad?

The same, of course, can be said of biofilm and coinfections as well. Decades have gone by with no definitive answers because The Cabal doesn’t want the truth to be known. Why? Quite simple: a chronic, relapsing illness doesn’t fit their “vaccine” narrative which is the favored golden calf and cash cow of research institutions and our government, which have a cozy relationship with Big Pharma and Big Media.  This is quite convenient for all of them as they control all the messaging as well as threaten, censor, and ban doctors who dissent.

This has been blatantly exposed during the time of COVID but is nothing new.  Lymeland has been riddled with the exact same issues for 40 years.  Unfortunately, even well-meaning advocates and patients evidently can not see this and continue to demand more money and become giddy when they get it from the very agencies behind this debacle, who are incidentally profiting from it.

It’s a hot-mess for sure, but one thing is certain: we must stop playing into their hands by being ignorant or filled with “hopium,” a term I use to describe how hope can become a drug that stops you from thinking critically, logically, and honestly.

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