Prof Kim Lewis – Persister Borrelia

The Paradox of Chronic Infections – Kim Lewis

What processes take place in a bacteria population under antibiotic treatment? What important discovery made during World War II was forgotten? How can we circumvent the protection mechanisms used by bacteria populations? Professor of Biology at Northeastern University Kim Lewis explains the significance of a rediscovered phenomenon.

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researchers have found that the bac­terium that causes Lyme dis­ease forms dor­mant per­sister cells, which are known to evade antibi­otics. This sig­nif­i­cant finding, they said, could help explain why it’s so dif­fi­cult to treat the infec­tion in some patients.

Researchers’ discovery may explain difficulty in treating Lyme disease –

This is the first time, we think, that pulse-​​dosing has been pub­lished as a method for erad­i­cating the pop­u­la­tion of a pathogen with antibi­otics that don’t kill dor­mant cells,” Lewis said. “The trick to doing this is to allow the dor­mant cells to wake up.”

He added: “This gives you an idea that you could, in prin­ciple, estab­lish a sim­ilar reg­i­ment for treating patients for this and other chronic diseases.”

Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, forms drug-tolerant persister cells.

Bijaya Sharma, Autumn V. BrownNicole E. MatluckLinden T. Hu and Kim Lewis


Other videos of Prof Lewis Principles of Antibiotic Discovery – Kim Lewis

Uncultured Bacteria – Kim Lewis

Prof Lewis team at Northeastern were recently in the news for their discovery of a new antibiotic Teixobactin
Prof Lewis featured in a BBC documentary on Panorama on his research into finding new antibiotics