Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2017

MeSH Terms

Lyme Disease, Biofilms, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Melitten, Bee Venoms

Subject: LCSH

Lyme disease, Bees--Venom, Antibiotics, Biofilms

Disciplines

Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Abstract

Lyme disease is a tick-borne, multi-systemic disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Though antibiotics are used as a primary treatment, relapse often occurs after the discontinuation of antimicrobial agents. The reason for relapse remains unknown, however previous studies suggest the possible presence of antibiotic resistant Borrelia round bodies, persisters and attached biofilm forms. Thus, there is an urgent need to find antimicrobial agents suitable to eliminate all known forms of B. burgdorferi. In this study, natural antimicrobial agents such as Apis mellifera venom and a known component, melittin, were tested using SYBR Green I/PI, direct cell counting, biofilm assays combined with LIVE/DEAD and atomic force microscopy methods. The obtained results were compared to standalone and combinations of antibiotics such as Doxycycline, Cefoperazone, Daptomycin, which were recently found to be effective against Borrelia persisters. Our findings showed that both bee venom and melittin had significant effects on all the tested forms of B. burgdorferi. In contrast, the control antibiotics when used individually or even in combinations had limited effects on the attached biofilm form. These findings strongly suggest that whole bee venom or melittin could be effective antimicrobial agents for B. burgdorferi; however, further research is necessary to evaluate their effectiveness in vivo, as well as their safe and effective delivery method for their therapeutic use.

Comments

Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland.

© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

DOI

10.3390/antibiotics6040031

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publisher Citation

Kayla M. Socarras, Priyanka A. S. Theophilus, Jason P. Torres, Khusali Gupta and Eva Sapi. Antimicrobial Activity of Bee Venom and Melittin against Borrelia burgdorferi. Antibiotics 2017, 6(4), 31. doi:10.3390/antibiotics6040031

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