Bee Venom for Lyme

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Apitherapists have long known that bee venom helps those who suffer the inflammatory pain of Lyme disease. As the founder of the American Apitherapy Society in 1986, we have overseen the recovery of many people with Lyme. So this article did not come as a surprise to me.  Nice when science catches up with clinical wisdom.


Antibiotics 20176(4), 31; doi:10.3390/antibiotics6040031

Antimicrobial Activity of Bee Venom and Melittin against Borrelia burgdorferi

Lyme Disease Research Group, Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven, West Haven, CT 06519, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christopher C. Butler
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017

View Full-Text   |    Download PDF [7477 KB, uploaded 29 November 2017]   |



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. View Full-Text

▼ Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *