TOUCHED BY LYME: A beauty contest for biofilms?

11th June 2012

Bb biofilm

This microbiology website is holding an on-line photo contest for microorganisms. Your vote for the borrelia biofilm could help raise Lyme awareness in the international community of research scientists.

The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) is a private, non-profit, biological resource center. When scientists need samples of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa for their lab experiments, ATCC is one place they turn to.

Now, ATCC is sponsoring an on-line photo contest. Kind of a “beauty contest” for microbes.

Holly Ahern, an associate professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack (in New York state) submitted a photo of a Lyme biofilm to the contest. A biofilm is a slimy substance that forms a protective barrier around a microbe, making it harder for antibiotics to do their job. Like everything else about Lyme, there’s controversy in the medical community about whether borrelia (Lyme) actually forms biofilms. The photo was taken by Bob Myers.

There are two categories in the contest. One is scientific value, and the other is “most popular.” You can click on the link below and vote for the “Biofilm of Borrelia burgdorferi” picture. If the photo wins either category, there will be recognition at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) General Meeting and on the ATCC website.

If the photo wins, says Ahern, “This will be the first time that Borrelia’s ability to produce a biofilm will be recognized by an international community of scientists. Hard to believe when you look at the picture that there’s any doubt … but, there is.”

So please just click here, click on the “Vote” tab, and vote for the “Biofilm of Borrelia burgdorferi B31″ pic.

We’ll keep you posted on how the voting goes.

TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland,’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at

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  3. NEWS: Top 5 announced in tick-bite prevention video PSA contest
  4. LYMEPOLICYWONK: RELATIVE WEIGHT–Specialty Societies vs Patients, AKA no contest
  5. HARDSCIENCEONLYME: Biofilms Made Easy

7 thoughts on “TOUCHED BY LYME: A beauty contest for biofilms?

  1. I vote for the borrelia biofilm. Lyme disease is debilitating and needs to be at the forefront of research. We need to do everything we can to make sure others know about Lyme and how to prevent it. I have had Lyme disease for the past 15 years… it’s real.

  2. Unlike cancer or HIV, Lyme Disease has been privatized by the cdc. It’s the only bacterium in the history of medicine to have a patent. Once this happened everyone closed their window shades and slammed their doors to hoard their information, no one shares research knowledge like other diseases, they knew what they were doing on this one. Also back in the 90′s they removed numerous bars from the Western Blot test to make it harder to have Lyme on paper, it’s drastically downplayed and the game is rigged, just like Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome, it will take many decades to surface. I am on full disability due to Lyme, I go to a VA Hosp. and have just been used as a test subject, no treatment at all. I am one of those baby boomers that got ms-diagnosed in 1981 and now have reached the end game, late, chronic, 3rd stage Syphilis, that’s exactly what it is, a spirochete that drills through every tissue in your body until decades later after numerous relapses and remissions reaches the juiciest organs, the brain or the heart. Mine went to my brain. I basically spend my life at 58 staring at the wall. There are currently 2 patent holders, they both are employees of the CDC.

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