Sunday, 26 July 2020

Virus helps to reduce COVID-19 related deaths


A type of virus that preys on bacteria could be harnessed to combat bacterial infections in patients whose immune systems have been weakened by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, according to an expert at the University of Birmingham and the Cancer Registry of Norway.

Called bacteriophages, these viruses are harmless to humans and can be used to target and eliminate specific bacteria. They are of interest to scientists as a potential alternative to antibiotic treatments.

In a new systematic review, published in the journal Phage: Therapy, Applications and Research, two strategies are proposed, where bacteriophages could be used to treat bacterial infections in some patients with COVID-19.


In the first approach, bacteriophages would be used to target secondary bacterial infections in patients' respiratory systems. These secondary infections are a possible cause of the high mortality rate, particularly among elderly patients. The aim is to use the bacteriophages to reduce the number of bacteria and limit their spread, giving the patients' immune systems more time to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

The aim is to buy time to enable a patient to produce their own specific antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and thus reduce the damage caused by an excessive immunological reaction.

See:

Marcin W. Wojewodzic. Bacteriophages Could Be a Potential Game Changer in the Trajectory of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). PHAGE, 2020; 1 (2): 60 DOI: 10.1089/phage.2020.0014

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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