What is a Biofilm

Paul D. Cosman n.d., PhD Natural Medicine & Nutrition and Naturopathic Consultant

From the desk of Paul D. Cosman n.d., PhD Natural Medicine & Nutrition and Naturopathic Consultant.

“In our research work since 1993 we understand that there are components within disease conditions that need to be addressed in order for the body to re-heal itself. One the biggest components is understanding that all diseases (labels) have biofilms to protect bacteria and or viral outbreaks. The other component is that they replicate in a state of heavy metal toxicity. In putting any type of alternative protocol together, both components have to be addressed at the same time!”

Paul D. Cosman, PhD Natural Medicine/Nutrition/CNM
1993- Founded SpiceMed International Foundation
1993-1997 VP International – Marketing Infinity2 – Scottsdale, AZ
1997- Present Founder HZ WorldGroup Of Companies/ViralScore International. Founder of ViralScore/Viral Report Card Solutions
Extended Education:
1997 CNM- Certified Nutritional Microscopy Specialist
1998-Present – Chief researcher SpiceMed International
2007 – Honoree PhD Natural Medicine/Nutrition
2014 – Naturopathic Consultant – Certified


What is a Biofilm? (Protective coating)


What is Biofilm

Biofilm is a self-made protective environment in which microbial populations hide from the body’s immune system and anti-microbial therapies. Biofilm allows the bugs to evade surveillance of the immune system and our best attempt to throw antibiotics at them.

Role in Chronic Infections

Biofilm communities can be 1000 times more resistant to antibiotics than free-floating bacteria. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 80 percent of chronic microbial infections are due to biofilm colonies.

How is Biofilm Produced

Resistant strains of microorganisms maintain their viability by producing a polysaccharide matrix that protects them from the hostile environment in which they are trying to survive. This extracellular matrix is called biofilm.

Our normal flora also produce a natural biofilm, but resistant organisms produce their own biofilm which then takes over, preventing the normal flora from flourishing.

Filamentous bacteria and Giardia lamblia

Filamentous bacteria and Giardia lamblia













The biofilm produced by these resistant organisms can only be seen by electron microscopy and makes it difficult to culture these bugs.

One image from the ASM collection (shown here), is a scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the mucous layer of the small intestine of a mouse. The image illustrates how organisms live within the mucous layer and on the villi. Note the way the mucous layer covers the villi and the relative depth of the layer.

One image from the ASM collection (shown here), is a scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the mucous layer of the small intestine of a mouse. The image illustrates how organisms live within the mucous layer and on the villi. Note the way the mucous layer covers the villi and the relative depth of the layer.

Where is Biofilm

Biofilm is also in the blood, as well as the gut and on the teeth. Biofilms can be transported to all organs of the body and can affect the 75 trillion cells within the human body. (DNA)

Biofilm Formation

Diseases for which biofilm have been implicated

Over 500+ biofilm species colonize the human mouth, causing tooth decay and gum disease. This image, retrieved infected dental implant, was taken by a scanning electron microscope. Source: Rachel Sammons, PhD, University of Birmingham, Dept. of Biomaterials
In just a short period of time, researchers studying internal biofilms have already determined they cause a number of chronic infections and diseases. Notable diseases include:

  • Atherosclerosis – Biofilm may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Ott et al.’s work showed a diverse groups of bacterial “signatures” in atherosclerotic lesions of patients with coronary heart disease. In a commentary following Ott’s paper, Katz and Shannon concluded that his work suggested that atherosclerotic plaques are composed of “functional biofilm.” The team noted that the characteristics of a “mature” arterial wall make it well-suited for biofilm formation and explains the inefficacy of antibiotics, such as macrolides or fluoroquinolones.
  • Cancer – viruses form biofilms. A virus is nothing more than DNA or RNA wrapped in a protein coat. (Sometimes 2 coats – known as a biofilm) What makes them unique is that they do not contain the necessary materials to function on their own. They are forced to invade a host cell (compromised cell) in order to thrive and reproduce. There are several ways that a virus can cause cancer. One way is for the virus that has invaded a host cell to alter the cell’s genetic coding, causing a mutation. In turn, these actions can result in cancer. Viruses present a special problem in biology and medicine because they are too simple to be classified as living organisms, yet they are able to invade living cells and direct the genetic machinery of these cells to reproduce the virus. They cannot be killed. (This is why antibiotics are useless against viruses.)


Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg, Nobel Prize WinnerThe Root Cause of Cancer

Biochemist Otto Heinrich Warburg, one of the twentieth century’s leading cell biologists, discovered that the root cause of cancer is too much acidity in the body, meaning that the pH, potential hydrogen, in the body is below the normal level of 7.365, which constitutes an “acidic & toxic state.

Peter Medawar, Nobel prizewinner in medicine, aptly referred to viruses as, “pieces of bad news wrapped in protein. The more toxic a person’s blood and emotional state, the faster viral infections will replicate and the more severe, or virulent, will be the symptoms. Thus, the greater the effort needed in diminishing the replication of viral infections, and, the more help initially is required to arrest and resolve replication (spread of, intensity of pain, discomfort, disorder, disease, etc.).”

Viruses present a special problem in biology and medicine because they are too simple to be classified as living organisms, yet they are able to invade living cells and direct the genetic machinery of these cells to reproduce the virus. They cannot be killed. (This is why antibiotics are useless against viruses.)

Thoulouze MI1, Alcover A. – The recent finding that the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) encases itself in a carbohydrate-rich adhesive extracellular ‘cocoon’, which enables its efficient and protected transfer between cells, unveiled a new infectious entity and a novel mechanism of viral transmission. These HTLV-1 structures are observed at the surface of T cells from HTLV-1-infected patients and are reminiscent of bacterial biofilms. The virus controls the synthesis of the matrix, which surrounds the virions and attaches them to the T cell surface. We propose that, similar to bacterial biofilms, viral biofilms could represent ‘viral communities’ with enhanced infectious capacity and improved spread compared with ‘free’ viral particles, and might constitute a key reservoir for chronic infections leading to disease.

There is some cancer that can be traced to genes, but it is rare. Viruses and bacteria are about 99% the cause of cancer. Biofilms are sticky polysaccharide sacs that surround bacteria and viruses, protecting them from macrophage attacks from the body’s immune system. You will hear all kinds of scientific studies, etc. that will give you deep explanations of cancer, but it is the ultimate infection attack on the body.

It is very typical to find between 40 and 200 biofilms in autopsied cancer victims. When these biofilms reach about 14 micro meters in size, they can spawn more biofilms that can be carried by the blood stream to other weak parts of the body. It typically takes about 8 to 10 years of infection to generate cancer from these biofilms. In a recent study in Europe, it was found that 98% of ALL Breast Cancer Victims had root canals that were in the breast meridian system that linked the teeth to the breast. This is more common than most will admit that the teeth are a primary source of biofilm production due to the low blood flow in the mouth. Many brain tumors, cancers, etc. can be directly linked to the teeth.

Cancer types with Biofilm protection
The July 14th 1997 issue of Business Week has an article in it about how many cancers are being linked to various viruses, bacteria and parasites. Among the organisms now linked to cancer are as follows:

  • Chronic sinusitis – One study found that biofilms are present on the removed tissue of two-thirds of patients undergoing surgery for chronic inflammation of the sinuses.
  • Chronic wounds – Biofilm have been implicated in chronic wounds. Dr. Randall Wolcott has published work offering strategies for managing wounds.
  • Cystic fibrosis – The lungs of individuals with cystic fibrosis are colonized and infected by bacteria from an early age. These bacteria, which often spread amongst individuals with CF, thrive in the altered mucus, which collects in the small airways of the lungs. Over time, both the types of bacteria and their individual characteristics change in individuals with CF. In the initial stage, common bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Hemophilus influenza colonize and infect the lungs. Eventually, however, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (and sometimes Burkholderia cepacia) dominates. Once within the lungs, these bacteria adapt to the environment and develop resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Pseudomonas can develop special characteristics that allow the formation of large colonies, known as “mucoid” Pseudomonas, which are rarely seen in people that do not have cystic fibrosis. Infection by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosais the main cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with cystic fibrosis.
  • Chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia
    A growing body of research and medical practitioners are pointing to heavy-metals toxicity as a probable primary cause of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue. In all cases the biofilm holds onto the heavy metal component which produces inflammation and pain. Here are four examples:

    • Fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue A study done in 1990-1 by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, Ph.D. of ten fibromyalgia patients found that all ten patients had heavy-metal toxicity.
    • The website for South Bay Total Health, where Dr. Arlan Cage practices, says, “Of the Fibromyalgia cases he has seen, Dr. Cage has found that 100% have heavy metal toxicities. They may have elevated levels of lead, mercury, aluminum, or sometimes other heavy metals in their bodies, and usually have several. In fact, Dr. Cage is of the opinion that Fibromyalgia is heavy metal poisoning until proven otherwise.”
    • Dr. Mark Pellegrino on WebMD says: ” I believe heavy metal toxicity can trigger FM. Heavy metal toxicity symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, numbness etc.(sound familiar?!) So there could be a FM-like condition present but also bona fide fibromyalgia as well. “
    • The staff at Pacific Medical Center of Hope in Fresno, CA, say, “We have found that in the majority of cases, heavy metal toxicity (especially mercury) and an unbalanced intestinal system (dysbiosis) are at the root of this debilitating condition [fibromyalgia].”


  • Endocarditis – Inflammation of the smooth membranes which line the inside of the heart is caused by a complex biofilm composed of both bacterial and host components.
  • Inner ear infections – The majority of ear infections are caused by biofilm bacteria. These infections, which can be either acute or chronic, are referred to collectively as otitis media (OM). They are the most common illness for which children visit a physician, receive antibiotics, or undergo surgery in the United States.
  • Kidney stones – Biofilms also cause the formation of kidney stones. The stones cause symptoms of disease by obstructing urine flow and by producing inflammation and recurrent infection that can lead to kidney failure. Approximately 15%–20% of kidney stones occur in the setting of urinary tract infection. According to Matthew Parsek, PhD these stones are produced by the interplay between infecting bacteria and mineral substrates derived from the urine. This interaction results in a complex biofilm composed of bacteria, bacterial exoproducts, and mineralized stone material.
  • Leptospirosis – Biofilms also cause leptospirosis, a serious but neglected emerging disease that infects humans through contaminated water. Previously, scientists believed the bacteria associated with leptospirosis were planktonic (free-floating). One research team has shown that Leptospira interrogans can make biofilms, which could be one of the main factors controlling survival and disease transmission. According to the study’s author, 90% of the species of Leptospira tested could form biofilms, and it takes L. interrogans an average of 20 days to make a biofilm.
  • Lyme disease – The spirochete is known as the most complex bacteria. Current findings confirm that it forms biofilms in order to hide from our immune system. Biofilms are organic material in the body that builds itself around bacteria, protecting it from various environmental stresses and from becoming eradicated. They are composed of calcium, magnesium, iron, mercury, lead, copper, and other trace metals. Dr. Alan MacDonald discovered the role of biofilms, and that it conceals spirochetes from antibiotics and organic bactericides’. The purpose of conventional antibiotics is to fight against free-floating bacteria. However, once pathogens have created biofilm colonies, they are 1,000-times more resistant to antibiotics. Even if patients see improvement from antibiotic treatment, it is common for them to relapse due to the presence of biofilms. The National Institute of Health states that approximately 80 percent of chronic microbial infections are caused by biofilms. Furthermore, providing an explanation as to why Chronic Lyme sufferers remain ill after extensive antibiotic treatment.
  • Osteomyelitis – According to Parsek, biofilms may also cause osteomyelitis, a disease in which the bones and bone marrow become infected. This is supported by the fact that microscopy studies have shown biofilm formation on infected bone surfaces from humans and experimental animal models.
  • Osteonecrosis and osteomyelitis of the jaw – Of 20 patients with these bone disease, all “exhibited large surface areas of bone occluded with well-developed biofilms.”
  • Periodontal disease – Perhaps the most well-known and studied biofilm bacteria. Hundreds of microbial biofilm colonize the human mouth, causing tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Prosthetic joints and heart valves – Pathogenic biofilms are also commonly found on medical devices such as joint prostheses and heart valves. Dr. Patel of the Mayo Clinic has concluded that prosthetic joints increase the likelihood of biofilm infection.
  • Urinary tract infections – In their 2003 Science paper, Anderson et al. reported that in the case of UTIs, intracellular Escherichia coli can mature into biofilms, creating pod-like bulges on the bladder surface. Explains how bladder infections can persist in the face of robust host defenses. “The idea that biofilms might form inside human cells is really novel,” said internist Pradeep Singh of the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City, who studies lung biofilms that plague children with cystic fibrosis.
  • Veterinary diseases – Biofilms have also been implicated in a wide array of veterinary diseases.


Scanning electron images of the surface of a mouse bladder infected with urinary tract infection show large intracellular communities of biofilm bacteria inside pods. Uninfected bladders appeared smooth, but infected bladders had bumps all over them. “It was spectacular!” senior author S.J. Hultgren recalled in the accompanying Science article. “They looked like fried eggs on the surface of the bladder.”









Quorum sensing

Quorum sensing









Quorum sensing Sessile cells in a biofilm “talk” to each other via quorum sensing to build micro colonies and to keep water channels open. Source: Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University-Bozeman

Quorum sensing Sessile cells in a biofilm “talk” to each other via quorum sensing to build micro colonies and to keep water channels open. Source: Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University-Bozeman











The bacteria that become part of a biofilm engage in quorum sensing, a type of decision-making process in which behavior is coordinated through a “chemical vocabulary.”Although the mechanisms behind quorum sensing are not fully understood, the communication process allows, for example, a single-celled bacterium to perceive how many other bacteria are in close proximity. If a bacterium can sense that it is surrounded by a dense population of other pathogens, it is more inclined to join them and contribute to the formation of a biofilm.

Quorum sensing can occur within a single bacterial species as well as between diverse species, and can regulate a host of different processes, essentially serving as a simple communication network. A variety of different molecules can be used as signals.
For example, researchers at the University of Iowa (several of whom are now at the University of Washington) have spent the last decade identifying the molecules that allow the bacterial species P. aeruginosa to form biofilms in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Singh and his colleagues finally discovered that P. aeruginosa uses one of two particular quorum-sensing molecules to initiate the formation of biofilms. In November 1999, his research team screened the entire bacterial genome, identifying 39 genes that are strongly controlled by the quorum-sensing system.

In a 2000 study published in Nature, Singh and colleagues developed a sensitive test which shows P. aeruginosa from cystic fibrosis lungs produces the telltale, quorum-sensing molecules that are the signals for biofilm formation.

ProPectin™ (Modified Citrus Pectin – Medical Grade) is the only product endorsed by Dr. Michael Nobel–co-founder of the Nobel Charitable Trust and relative of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prizes. ProPectin supports the removal of environmental toxins and pollutants from the body. This medical grade formulation is used as well to break down the biofilms as discussed in this document.


The Amazing Health Benefits of Modified Citrus Pectin

by Nan Kathryn Fuchs, Ph.D.


Pectin is a soluble fiber found in apples and citrus fruits that is used in making jellies and jams. It’s also used as a bulking agent to relieve constipation and to protect against colon cancer. Ordinary pectin is a long-chain polysaccharide which means that its structure is comprised of a long string of sugar molecules. These molecules are too large to pass through the intestinal walls and be absorbed in the bloodstream. When pectin is altered or modified into a substance with smaller, uniform, molecules, it can get into the bloodstream and carry its unique properties throughout the body. These properties make it a useful nutrient in the prevention and treatment of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and in removing heavy metals. This altered nutrient is called Modified Citrus Pectin, or MCP.

When its molecules are broken down into smaller ones, MCP has a different molecular weight than ordinary pectin. The size of its molecules, along with its molecular weight, determines where MCP can go and what it can do. A product with smaller molecules breaks down too quickly, and one with larger molecules is too large to be absorbed.

Cancer cells are abnormal cells that either aren’t sick enough to die and be replaced, or are unable to protect themselves from dying. These cells multiply and adhere to one another, forming a tumor. When renegade cells break loose and travel to other locations, cancer spreads. This is called metastasis. One way to stop cancer is to stop metastasis, and one method of accomplishing this is to destroy proteins called galectins. Out of nearly a dozen different galectins, the one most studied, and the one that appears to play a key role in the development and spread of cancer is called galectin-3.

Galectins are sticky proteins that love sugar and attach themselves to the sugar molecules on cells. Because cancer cells have more galectins than healthy cells, it’s easy for them to attach themselves to one another and form tumors. Cancer cells have more galectins than healthy cells, making it easier for them to grab onto one another.

Numerous studies have supported Pectin use in dealing with multiple cancers — including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma. Modified citrus pectin is particularly rich in galactose, the substance described above that binds to galectins on the surface of cancer cells, resulting in an inhibition, or blocking, of cancer cell aggregation, adhesion, and metastasis.

A research team at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, discovered that a substance in pectin binds to a tumor-producing protein called galectin 3. Galectin 3 allows cancer cells to detach from tumors and to reattach elsewhere, and so it’s a major factor in the spread of cancer. But pectin blocks the activity of galectin 3 and in so doing, prevents the progression of cancer within the body.

A research team at the University of Georgia found that pectin destroyed up to 40 percent of prostate cancer cells upon exposure, while other studies revealed that pectin helps in fighting lung and colon cancers. And in fact, apple pectin was used after Chernobyl to extract radioactive waste from victims. Other benefits of natural pectin include protecting against hypertension, gallstones, cholesterol damage, ulcers, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and diabetes damage.

Cancer cells can’t live alone. They’re social cells that need one another. When cancer cells are prevented from attaching to one another, they die. MCP attaches itself to cancer cells so they can’t attach themselves to one another. MCP also stops new blood vessels from forming, cutting off their food supply. Without food, cancer cells starve to death.

Current thought, now under investigation, suggests there is a direct connection between angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and Alzheimer’s disease. One theory is that Alzheimer’s is cause in part by an inflammation in the brain’s blood vessels. Inflammation triggers the formation of new blood vessels and these new blood vessels cause the deposit of plaque and the secretion of a toxin that kills brain cells.

The rationale for using MCP for Alzheimer’s disease began with the observation by a team of doctors that particular anti-angiogenic medications appear to reduce a person’s risk for dementia. These doctors believe that if angiogenesis can be stopped, so can Alzheimer’s. Their article was published in The Lancet (February 15, 2003).

Heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic have been implicated in a wide number of health problems, including arteriosclerosis, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, impaired immune function, and an overgrowth of Candida albicans. Research exists showing the effectiveness of pectin in chelating (binding to) heavy metals and removing them from the body.

Recently, Dr Isaac Eliaz, MD, conducted a pilot clinical trial at Amitahba Medical Clinic in Sebastopol, California on the urinary excretion of heavy metals using MCP. He found that patients who took 5 grams of MCP three times a day had significantly increased excretion of heavy metals. One patient had a 68 percent decrease in mercury, and nearly a 50 percent decrease in lead and arsenic after ten months. Dr Eliaz, who uses MCP in his clinic, believes that MCP binds to heavy metals in the bloodstream. As they are removed from the bloodstream, he believes these toxins shift from tissues into the blood where they can then be removed.