zBioscience probiotic cleaners contain a very effective pH neutral cleaning solution which works quite well without considering the probiotics. It is non-toxic and can even be sprayed on food. The probiotics – the safe microbes – take cleaning to the next level, a level no chemical cleaner can match. The principle is called ‘competitive exclusion,’ a principle attributed to Georgii Frantsevitch Gause who is a Russian biologist. Gause utilized the principle to develop a new type of antibiotic which saved many lives from infections during WWII.
The principle finds application in ecology and many other sciences, but as applied to probiotic cleaners means that we flood an area with huge numbers – millions – of safe microbes. These microbes do two things:
First they consume the biofilm that protects and feeds other microbes including the COVID virus and other harmful microbes. Once the biofilm has been consumed, all the microbes – including the probiotic microbes – starve to death and – most importantly – are exposed to the cleaning solution which destroys the protective fatty organic coating that surrounds the COVID virus, causing its destruction. We can’t really say that we ‘kill’ a virus because viruses are not technically considered to be a living entity; they are just a piece of RNA or DNA that attaches itself to a host where it can then reproduce. But viruses are very fragile; deprived of the protective biofilm, the viruses rapidly become incapable of infection – they are no longer ‘viable.
Secondly, the huge population of safe microbes prevent harmful bacteria from reproducing. When bacteria sense that conditions are not favorable, they stop reproducing. This does not apply, however, to viruses because viruses cannot reproduce indepently; they must have a biological host to support reproduction.
Many studies have shown that the multicellular construction of biofilms affords protection for cells. This protection is the result of intrinsic shifts in genetic expression when floating bacterial cells attach to surfaces and begin to form biofilms. Some of the hypothesized mechanisms of protection from antimicrobial agents are pictured in the diagrams below.
Free-floating cells utilize nutrients, but do not have sufficient metabolic activity to deplete substrates from the neighborhood of the cells. In contrast, the collective metabolic activity of groups of cells in the biofilm leads to substrate concentration gradients and localized chemical microenvironments. Reduced metabolic activity may result in less susceptibility to antimicrobials.
Free-floating cells carry the genetic code for numerous protective stress responses. Planktonic cells, however, are readily overwhelmed by a strong antimicrobial challenge. These cells die before stress responses can be activated. In contrast, stress responses are effectively implemented in some of the cells in a biofilm at the expense of other cells which are sacrificed.
Free-floating cells neutralize the antimicrobial agent. The capacity of a lone cell, however, is insufficient to draw down the antimicrobial concentration in the neighborhood of the cell.
In contrast, the collective neutralizing power of groups of cells leads to slow or incomplete penetration of the antimicrobial in the biofilm.
Free-floating cells spawn protected persister cells. But under permissive growth conditions in a planktonic culture, persisters rapidly revert to a susceptible state. In contrast, persister cells accumulate in biofilms because they revert less readily and are physically retained by the biofilm matrix.