For over thirty years, there has been contentious debate as to whether Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme Disease) could circumvent standard antibiotic therapies and immune responses and achieve the unwelcome status of 'chronic illness' while at the same time evading detection in the body. This was confounded further by a two-tier blood testing protocol (ELISA/Western Blot) whose sensing capabilities relied on the presence of antibodies specific to this strain of Borrelia that were often not sufficiently aroused or seemingly not present. There are outstanding reasons for these deficits that result overall, with the ELISA having a sensitivity rate of just over 30% and the Western Blot just over 60%. A PCR test that is available has a somewhat stronger sensitivity rate that nevertheless wanes over longer exposure to the disease.Both the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NM) have recently rolled back these tests as requisites for diagnosis of Lyme Disease, citing their unreliability. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA, not a government body) continues to resist this change. In its various stages, Lyme is difficult to find in the body. It is also difficult to culture 'in vitro' in the lab. There are now over 475,000 new cases of Lyme Disease per annum in the United States, and we are just one country. Tick-borne diseases are the fastest spreading vector illnesses in the world today, beyond that of Malaria. To confound this epidemic further, no less than ten other tick-borne diseases (+strains) have been discovered to 'co-infect' humans in that same thirty-year period. Many of these diseases remain bereft of adequate 'clinical definition.' You are now more than 30% likely to incur one or more of these diseases alongside Lyme Disease infection. I am a long-term recipient of such a scenario in a chronic state.
BIOFILMSOne segment of this debate has been whether or not the Lyme organism constructs a defensive environment that is impermeable to anti bactericidal therapies, besides the fact that the organism can drastically alter its shape: from a 'spirochete' (dyno flagellate worm) to an 'L' shape 'pupa' and then again to a 'wall-less cyst' in its maneuverings to oppose eradication.It is useful here to describe Borrelia biofilms as gelatinous condominiums replete with sustaining materials (food) for the organisms to complete their reproductive cycle requirements, the current estimate being 28 days. All of this is indistinct and due for revision(s). However, due to advances in X-Ray Spectroscopy, we now have 'real time' footage of all three forms of Borrelia organisms 'going about their business within a constructed biofilm environment. Thanks to Dr. Elena Sapie, whose first footage of biofilm activities was captured at the University of New Haven Microbiology Laboratory.Re: BIOFILM, #1 (beaver) and #2 (bear) are examples of biofilms we might see having been constructed with surrounding resources in nature for the purpose of mammalian reproduction. I might add here that a more visibly accurate portrayal of a Borrelia biofilm resides within insect realms. A really good resemblance is a Tent Caterpillar nest.Here, the beaver lodge is an amalgam of sampled memories and stock camera footage. As a fisherman, I've seen many lodges. I have fished up against them as well as fished standing atop them and heard the squeals of the pups it houses in their thinking that I was their mother. I've also had the fortune to witness pups emerging in the Spring.
re: BIOFILM # 1 (Beaver)2013acrylic / paper42” x 57”Private collection