WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A discovery made at the University of New Haven about how Lyme Disease responds to antibiotic treatment could leave clues for future therapies down the road.

An article by a UNH research team led by Professor Eva Sapi is the first to show that the microorganisms that cause Lyme Disease are resistant to treatment due to what’s called a biofilm. A biofilm – which has a protective layer of “slime” – allows the organisms to hide away from antibiotics at the microscopic level. In fact, this biofilm boosts therapy resistance by nearly 1,000 times.

This may be why many patients who contract the disease may see recurrences as soon as they stop taking antibiotics.

The study, published in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology, is the first to show that the biofilm can exist in the human body when infected with Lyme Disease.

Sapi is hoping that this discovery could lead to a change in how people think about Lyme Disease, as well as new and better therapies down the road.