Bacteria are smart, antibiotics are dumb
10 years ago, when I worked for a dental drug company, antibiotic resistance was a big concern. The products we made contained Doxycycline and other antibiotics, and if the bacteria became resistant to those antibiotics, our products wouldn’t work anymore.
Antibiotic drugs are very simple in how they work. Most contain a single man-made chemical with a predictable line of attack against bacteria. These drugs act just like a boxer who always throws the same exact punch over and over again. If you fight with someone who throws nothing but front left jabs, you’ll learn to resist and defeat him in no time.
Antibiotics are just like that dumb boxer. The first punch or two might be a surprise, but the bacteria will learn to resist and defeat the antibiotic in no time. Once those bacteria know about that left jab, the boxer will get knocked down flat. And once they know how to defeat the boxer, they tell other bacteria how to do it too… more on that in a minute.
MRSA and Staph superbug survival strategies
The best way to defeat an enemy is to know the enemy.
Bacteria are very clever and experienced at defending themselves. For such tiny simple organisms, they’re quite intelligent when it comes to survival. Not only do they grow very quickly, they can mutate into different forms and hide in your body, one being “L-forms” as documented by Nobel Prize for Medicine nominee Dr. Lida Mattman. These mutated forms of bacteria can hide for years, sometimes within your own red and white blood cells, out-smarting even your own immune system!
Bacteria can even create “cities” inside your body called biofilms that resist modern antibiotic Staph infection and MRSA treatment protocols. Biofilms structures are very difficult to break apart, as their function is to protect the bacteria living within.
On top of that, bacteria can even communicate with each other and teach each other how to resist antibiotics. That’s right – these microscopic bacteria talk to each other using a chemical language, sharing information about when to create biofilms and even on how to resist the drugs we use to kill them.
How Staph and MRSA bacteria can talk to each other
Bacteria like Staph and MRSA can carry on more than one conversation at the same time. They can have one conversation with other Staph bacteria and another separate conversation with bacteria of other species, like E. coli for instance. This amazing ability is called “quorum sensing” and it allows Staph and MRSA bacteria to create biofilms, to coordinate their attack during an infection and to time their attack based on what other bacteria in the body are doing.
When you consider how cunning and adaptable bacteria are, it’s no wonder that antibiotics for MRSA and Staph can have such a hard time killing them. Imagine deploying an “antibiotic army” into your body only to find it failed because the bacteria had found out about bullet-proof vests.
The best that modern medicine has been able to do so far is to try and develop new antibiotics faster than bacteria like MRSA can learn to resist them. Not surprisingly, this has been a losing battle.
How do natural antibiotics stop bacteria?
As a microbiologist, one thing I love about natural antibiotics is they are inherently very difficult for bacteria to learn how to resist. Mother Nature has created ways to stop bacteria that have few if any side effects, whereas antibiotic drugs, especially the newer ones, have many negative side effects, one of the worst being acute liver failure.
Natural antibiotics are made of hundreds if not thousands of antibacterial components that work together against the bacteria. This is why I’ve been a huge advocate of medicinal strength natural antibiotics because bacteria can’t resist them. And, if they can’t resist them, they can’t share with other bacteria how to defeat them.
There are some highly potent versions of Oregano and Tea Tree essential oils, and herbs like garlic and olive leaf that, when used properly, can create a massive counter attack that bacteria can’t defend themselves against.
“Anti-communication” antibiotics in the future?
One of the biggest drawbacks to antibiotics is the “friendly fire” that kills many of the good bacteria in your gut and on your skin that help protect you from from “bad” bacteria and infection. We have billions of bacteria that fight for our health and are on our side. It’s really important to remember than when it comes to successfully stopping infections.
In the not so distant future, a completely new class of antibiotics may be available that has fewer problems with antibiotic resistance. This new class of antibiotic may be tailored to target one type of bacteria only, leaving other “friendly” bacteria undisturbed. This could be a huge step forward for antibiotic therapy for Staph and MRSA treatments and for all kinds of bacterial infections. This new antibiotic can stop bacterial communication, leaving bacteria “blind”, so they don’t know what is going on around them.
Short video on bacteria, your body and how they communicate
I love this video below. Bonnie Bassler is a professor at Princeton University and she does a great job of simply explaining how we fit into the world of bacteria, and how bacteria communicate with each other. You can see more about this fascinating 18 minute lecture at Ted.com using the link below (just copy it and paste it into your browser):
To your best health,
Microbiologist and Natural Health Expert