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"Researching L-forms is like trying to catch a fish that appears on the surface and quickly dives back into the sea." ~ Dr Nadya Markova, Sofia, Bulgaria

Almquist_CWDSince the discovery of bacterial L-forms (Cell Wall Deficient bacteria) over a hundred years ago, many research scientists have been fascinated by their unusual nature and their possible connection with chronic disease. These are just some of the well-known researchers in this field and a synopsis of their contributions to our present-day knowledge.

1895 Richard Pfeiffer, German bacteriologist, describes a form of the bacteria Vibrio cholerae that is difficult to see with a light microscope. Others confirm that the bacteria lack rigid cell walls and are difficult to grow using standard laboratory techniques.

1890s Ernst Almquist, Swedish bacteriologist, friend of Louis Pasteur, begins to culture the L-form.

1941 Emmy Klieneberger-Nobel, German microbiologist exiled to England during the war, begins to study the L-form. Grows colonies of Streptobacillus moniliformis; confirms that several of the pathogens lack proper cell walls. Names these variants L-forms after the Lister Institute where she works.

1957 Ilia Kuiumdzhiev, Bulgaria, publishes Study on pleuropneumonia-like organisms and L-forms of bacteria. Many Bulgarian scientists continue this line of research, most notably Asen Toshkov.

1960s US researcher Louis Dienes begins to work with the L-form. Popularizes the term Cell Wall Deficient. Discovers that penicillin, and various other factors, can make some of the bacteria mutate into CWD variants of the same species.

1975 H M Butler and team describe resistance of L-forms to penicillin, and ability to change form. Says “such organisms may be clinically significant in cases of chronic and recurrent infection.”

1978 K A Bisset and R Bartlett identify L-form variants of Bacillus licheniformia within red blood cells apparently at different stages of its life cycle.

1970s-80s Thomas McPherson Brown explores link between Rheumatoid Arthritis and CWD bacteria, devises a treatment for RA using pulsed antibiotics, with encouraging results.

1989 Emil Wirostko, New York, begins to culture and photograph L-forms found in white blood cells from the liquid inside the eyes of patients with Sarcoidosis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Crohn’s Disease. Finds they have a membrane that keeps them from being digested by the white blood cells.

1982 US researcher Alan Cantwell applies a technique called acid-fast staining to tissue sections of the skin and lymph nodes of Sarcoidosis patients and finds L-forms. Convinced that L-forms are implicated in many chronic diseases.

1990s Lida Mattman, US bacteriologist, succeeds in growing L-forms using fluorescent antibodies and a variety of staining techniques. Tuberculosis patients’ blood found to be saturated with a variety of L-forms. Also Parkinson’s, Lyme, Multiple Sclerosis, Sarcoidosis – over 20 incurable illnesses. 1998 nominee for Nobel Prize in medicine, publishes numerous papers and in 2000, the textbook Cell Wall Deficient Forms: Stealth Pathogens.

1997 Gerald Domingue and team, New Orleans, implicate L-form bacteria in several kidney-related diseases. Speculate about the possibility of CWDB in other diseases, including the so-called ‘autoimmune’ diseases.

1998 Kenneth Nilsson, Sweden, publishes photos of the bacteria Rickettsia helvetica living inside the white blood cells of patients with sarcoidosis.

2002 A research team in the US investigates the connection between Vitamin D, CWD bacteria and sarcoidosis. They experiment with an Angiotensin Receptor Blocker and low-dose, pulsed antibiotics. Later come to believe that CWD bacteria are implicated in many other chronic diseases. Inflammation therapy is developed and used experimentally for various chronic inflammatory conditions. Lida Mattman later calls it "a miracle".

2007 In Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, researchers find L-forms are able to “internalize, replicate and persist” in the lungs of infected rats. Say “cell wall deficient bacterial forms may be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic and latent lung infections.”

Some of the researchers currently working with CWD bacteria
Dr Andy Wright and team, UK, currently studying L-form in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME), have detected L-forms in every CFS patient tested (600+).
Prof. Yoshinobu Eishi, MD, DMSc, PhD, Tokyo, links Sarcoidosis to CWD forms.
Nadya Markova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
P Woo & colleagues, Hong Kong, P B Fernandes, C Panos, E Calderon, A Albuerne, S Gonzalez, L Winkler, T S J Elliott, P A Lambert, etc etc.

Professor Jeff ErringtonProf Jeff Errington is an international authority on bacterial cell structure and proliferation.

Recently, the Errington lab discovered how to generate cell wall deficient (L-form) cells. These cells have many remarkable properties, not least the fact that they do not require the normally essential cell division and cell elongation systems. The ability to efficiently manipulate L-forms is having important ramifications in areas as diverse as thinking around the origins of life, to generating the "minimal cell".

For further reading:

Cell Wall-deficient Bacteria as a Cause of Infections

Bacterial persistence and expression of disease

Updated September 7, 2014