Can Viruses Form Biofilms?
There has been a lot of recent research about bacteria’s ability to form protective biofilm shields and cysts. Seeing how and why bacteria forms these colonies, it seems very sensible that chronic virus diseases may also take advantage of biofilm protection.
However, the virus/biofilm connection have not been very well researched yet. One difficulty is that this type of virus research usually requires an electron microscope that many facilities can’t afford. Another is simply that biofilms are a relatively new area of research and interest hasn’t focused on the virus aspect yet.
In spite of this, there are clinical indications that it is worth considering a biofilm connection with viral illnesses. Any chronic viral condition, such as HIV, Herpes (Shingles), and Hepatitis, are worth considering. Even the possibility of virus being protected by a bacterial biofilm by default is worth being aware of.
The most often referred to study is one by researchers at the Institut Pasteur and CNRS. It showed, for the first time, that certain viruses appear to be capable of forming complex biofilm-like assemblies – similar to bacterial biofilms! These extracellular biofilm structures may protect viruses from the immune system and enable them to spread efficiently from cell to cell.(1)
They maintain that “viral biofilms” would appear to be a major mechanism of propagation for certain viruses. Virus biofilms are therefore emerging as new and particularly attractive therapeutic targets.
The HTLV-1 virus (human T-cell leukemia virus type 1) was the first human retrovirus to be isolated. It infects 15 to 20 million people worldwide and causes various diseases, ranging from adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma to forms of neuromyelopathy (tropical spastic paraparesis) or other chronic inflammatory syndromes, such as infectious dermatitis, uveitis and myositis.
The recent finding that the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) encases itself in a carbohydrate-rich adhesive extracellular “cocoon” (a type of biofilm). This enables its efficient and protected transfer between cells and unveiled a new infectious entity and a novel mechanism of viral transmission.
These HTLV-1 structures are observed at the surface of T cells from HTLV-1-infected patients and are said to be reminiscent of bacterial biofilms. In fact, it is proposed that, similar to bacterial biofilms, viral biofilms could represent “viral communities”. These have enhanced infectious capacity and improved spread compared with ‘free’ viral particles, and might constitute a key reservoir for chronic infections according to findings chronicled in Trends in Microbiology.(2)
An example of viral biofilm possibilities also happened when Dr. Jose Montoya, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford University, released preliminary findings. They were a double-blind placebo-controlled antiviral trial of Valcyte for a subset of patients displaying high antibody levels to human Herpes Epstein-Barr HHV-6 and EBV virus.
Another study suggests that chronic HHV-6 infections can create a special protein that is commonly found in the brains of those with CFS but not in those that are healthy. This protein may contribute to the brain fog often seen in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
“Causes of many chronic diseases are unknown and
chronic viral infection is one of the most suspected candidates!”
This, from Dr. Kondo, who spent 20 years trying to identify the latent protein responsible for chronic CNS disease and mood disorders. Healthy patients showed no evidence of this protein. HHV-6 and/or Epstein Barr Virus can cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and treating biofilms may be part of the answer.(3)
HHV-6 is a virus that attacks the brain. Although most people carry this virus in their body in a latent status. What most do not know that is that it is like a grenade waiting to go “Rambo” at a given chance. This virus “reactivates” which means that when a human is hit with a bacteria, gets a severe flu, catches a pathogen in some third world country or undergoes a physical injury/trauma, the grenade pin might get pulled. The human body is then weakened just enough for this virus to start replicating.
We have scientific proof linking HHV-6A to these diseases. This does not mean this virus is the sole cause of the diseases, but it does mean is that the patient has a better chance at recovery by treating the HHV-6 virus and getting it lowered to within an acceptable range.
The Virus / Biofilm 2nd Connection
There is another way a virus might use a biofilm as protection. The HHV-6 virus loves to hang out with the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) as well as a bacteria called Mycoplasma. It appears that, if a virus doesn’t actually make a biofilm, it at least likes move under the protection of a bacterial biofilm! This would help protect it from both the immune system, drugs – and monolaurin!
In fact, there might be two motivations for a virus to be attracted to a bacterial biofilm. It not only offers protection but viruses will also eat bacteria. This might like having lunch with a bodyguard!
The mechanism underlying the inhibition of biofilms by GV is unknown. However, according to Tirwomwe et al., in addition to host immune status, candida might be one example of this symbiosis of biofilms and viruses.(4) Candida biofilms, of course, are resistant to commonly used antifungals. This can provide a protective hiding place for something like HIV and is believed to be a key determinant of this disease according to an article in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.(5)
More research, of course, is needed in this area. However, we are finding that there are times when a person taking our Monolaurin for a chronic virus condition might want to take some Fibrin Dissolving formula to dissolve the biofilm protective shields. This is especially true when a person has been taking our Monolaurin for several months. They had lowering test count levels but seemed to have hit a block and started to level out.
This may be a time to use the Fibrin Dissolving formula to make sure there isn’t some combination of biofilm activity that is limiting the monolaurin from coming into contact with the virus (which is needed to kill it).
Heavy Metal Detox
Keep in mind that a biofilm uses heavy metals and has toxins in it. We need to dissolve the biofilms in order to kill the viruses. However, that also releases those toxins into the body. The liver normally filters out those toxins. However, ill effects (flu-like symptoms or hurting joints) may shortly follow the taking of biofilm enzymes.
If so, it is an indication that there are a lot of toxins in the biofilms being released. This is a good sign that the biofilms are being dissolved – but the Liver may need some help getting rid of them. If the ill effects are too strong, our Heavy Metal Detox formula will help capture the toxins, neutralize them and make it easier for the liver to eliminate them. This will greatly help reduce the ill effects.
Link to more Biofilm Information.
1. Maria-Isabel Thoulouze and Andrés Alcover. Institut Pasteur, Department of Immunology, Paris, France. 2 CNRS-URA-1961, F-75724.
2. Trends Microbiol. 2011 Jun;19(6):257-62. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 Mar 31.
3. Biofilms and Chronic Infections. JAMA June 11, 2008. P 2682-3 and Science 2000; 289:1754-1757.
4. Tirwomwe J. F., Rwenyonyi C. M., Muwazi L. M., Besigye B., Mboli F. 2007. Oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS in clients attending TASO clinics in Uganda. Clin. Oral Invest. 11:289–292.
5. Traboulsi R. S., Mukherjee P. K., Ghannoum M. A.. 2008. In vitro activity of inexpensive topical alternatives against Candida species isolated from the oral cavity of HIV-infected patients. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents 31:272–276.
Also: Thompson G. R. III, et al. 2010. Oropharyngeal candidiasis in the era of antiretroviral therapy. Oral Surg. Oral Med. Oral Pathol. Oral Radiol. Endod. 109:488–495.