Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Phage therapy shown to kill drug-resistant superbug

Phages are viruses that kill bacteria but are otherwise harmless. A major advantage is that phages only target the harmful bacteria, so there are less side of the effects often associated with antibiotics. Phage therapy however has not had the same level of funding as drug development, due to a lack of convincing pre-clinical efficacy studies.

Researchers have shown that phage therapy is highly effective in treating established and recalcitrant chronic respiratory tract infections caused by multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. They show that phages are capable of killing the bacteria in long term infected lungs, such as those suffered by patients with the inherited disease Cystic Fibrosis, indicating a potential new therapeutic option for these hard to treat life threatening infections.

For further information see:

Elaine M Waters, Daniel R Neill, Basak Kaman, Jaspreet S Sahota, Martha R J Clokie, Craig Winstanley, Aras Kadioglu. Phage therapy is highly effective against chronic lung infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thorax, 2017; thoraxjnl-2016-209265 DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-209265

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle