We usually think that all bacteria is harmful. If it’s in us, we want it dead and out of us. But what if we really need to have loads of bacteria in us in order to evolve and to survive? And, even more importantly, can we ever get rid of lyme disease once we are exposed to it?
Lynn Margulis, in the current issue of Discover Magazine, is very clear on the fact that we need an abundance of bacteria in order to survive. She goes on to state that spirochetes (like the ones found in lyme disease) are the “ancestors to the cilia in our cells”. As in the precursor to sperm tails, and the cilia that are found throughout the human body. According to Margulis,
The sense organs of vertebrates have modified cilia: The rods and cone cells of the eye have cilia, and the balance organ in the inner ear is lined with sensory cilia. You tilt your head to one side and little calcium carbonate stones in your inner ear hit the cilia. This has been known since shortly after electron microscopy came in. Sensory cilia did not come from random mutations. They came by acquiring a whole genome of a symbiotic bacterium that could already sense light or motion. Specifically, I think it was a spirochete [a corkscrew-shaped bacterium] that became the cilium.
And why would our bodies incorporate spirochetes as part of their basic functionality? Says Margulis,
There are many kinds of spirochetes, and if I’m right, some of them are ancestors to the cilia in our cells. Spirochete bacteria are already optimized for sensitivity to motion, light, and chemicals… If I’m right, the whole system—called the cytoskeletal system—came from the incorporation of ancestral spirochetes.
YIKES!!! A bug skeleton?
OK, then, seems we’re made up of bugs… in fact, some say that we’re 90% bug cells, and 10% human cells… Here’s a theory that the men will appreciate (ha!):
Do you want to believe that your sperm tails come from some spirochetes? Most men, most evolutionary biologists, don’t. When they understand what I’m saying, they don’t like it.
Margulis isn’t alone in saying that we need lots of bugs inside us to survive, creating sort of symbiotic relationship. In fact, we’ve all been told to eat bugs on a daily basis, and in the BILLIONS, haven’t we? Yes, that’s in the form of probiotics, but aren’t those living, eating, pooping, reproducing BUGS?
They maintain our ecological physiology. There are vitamins in bacteria that you could not live without. The movement of your gas and feces would never take place without bacteria. There are hundreds of ways your body wouldn’t work without bacteria. Between your toes is a jungle; under your arms is a jungle. There are bacteria in your mouth, lots of spirochetes, and other bacteria in your intestines. We take for granted their influence. Bacteria are our ancestors.
So to bring this back to the lyme disease dilemma, we apparently have a long evolutionary history with spirochetes like lyme and syphilis. Margulis clearly states that a chronic spirochete infection is an example of symbiosis!
Dangerous spirochetes, like the treponema of syphilis or the borrelia of Lyme disease, have long-standing symbiotic relationships with us. Probably they had relationships with the prehuman apes from which humans evolved. Treponema has lost four-fifths of its genes, because you’re doing four-fifths of the work for it. And yet people don’t want to understand that chronic spirochete infection is an example of symbiosis.
We all know that spirochetes (like lyme and syphilis) roll up like Pill Bugs and revert to the cyst (round body) form when threatened by something like antibiotics. They hide out and wait for the environment to become friendly again, then unroll into their spiral form and start to eat, poop and reproduce again. According to Margulis, they actually become part of our basic body chemistry, like a little army hiding out in fox holes until it’s time for the next assault on our systems.
But syphilis is a major problem because the spirochetes stay hidden as round bodies and become part of the person’s very chemistry, which they commandeer to reproduce themselves. Indeed, the set of symptoms, or syndrome, presented by syphilitics overlaps completely with another syndrome: AIDS.
Seems we’re really deluding ourselves into thinking that there’s a “cure” for spirochetes like lyme or syphilis.
Syphilis has been called “the great imitator” because patients show a whole range of symptoms in a given order. The idea that penicillin kills the cause of the disease is nuts. If you treat the painless chancre in the first few days of infection, you may stop the bacterium before the symbiosis develops, but if you really get syphilis, all you can do is live with the spirochete. The spirochete lives permanently as a symbiont in the patient. The infection cannot be killed because it becomes part of the patient’s genome and protein synthesis biochemistry.
Oh, and here’s the kicker: Remember those negative lyme tests, the ones that say you’re healthy even though you know you aren’t anywhere close to being lyme-free yet?
After syphilis [or lyme] establishes this symbiotic relationship with a person, it becomes dependent on human cells and is undetectable by any testing.
And, just in case you’re still believing the IDSA propaganda that states that you should be “cured” of lyme disease after 30 days of antibiotics, and if you’re still sick after that, then you must need a psych ward instead of antibiotics or other medications:
Both the treponema that cause syphilis and the borrelia that cause Lyme disease contain only a fifth of the genes they need to live on their own. Related spirochetes that can live outside by themselves need 5,000 genes, whereas the spirochetes of those two diseases have only 1,000 in their bodies. The 4,000 missing gene products needed for bacterial growth can be supplied by wet, warm human tissue. This is why both the Lyme disease borrelia and syphilis treponema are symbionts—they require another body to survive. These borrelia and treponema have a long history inside people. Syphilis has been detected in skull abnormalities going back to the ancient Egyptians.
Or, in other words, the lyme buggers need us to survive, and thus they become an integral part of our bodies in order to make sure that this happens.
Margulis claims there are only TWO forms of organisms, bacteria and everything else, not the five that most scientists recognize. The standard five are: bacteria, protoctists (amoebas, seaweed), fungi (yeast, mold, mushrooms), plants, and animals.
The Discover Magazine interview with Lynn Margulis is about evolution, not on curing lyme disease or syphilis, so she doesn’t go into ways to control the overgrowth of lyme, syphilis or other organisms. However, this interview does make a strong argument that the spirochetes are here to stay, and the best we can expect to do is to live somewhat peacefully with them by getting their population (and replication) somewhat under control.
So, the next time someone (or something, as in a product) claims to be able to ‘cure’ you of lyme, save your money and run the other way! Seems the focus should be on reducing the overall population of the spirochetes to a manageable level, and restoring our body’s healthy immune response in order to keep them under control.