What is phage therapy?

Do you really know?

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What is phage therapy?

Do you really know?

What is phage therapy?

Phage therapy refers to the use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections. While it has been used scarcely in the Western world in recent decades, some doctors and researchers see a need for it in the future, to combat antibiotic resistance among bacteria.

In 1917, French-Canadian microbiologist Félix d’Hérellee discovered phage therapy. Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are actually viruses which are extremely common in the biosphere. They’re able to kill bacteria by invading them and multiplying within them. 

Phage therapy can be used to treat basic wounds, as well as different kinds of bacterial infection, like bone infection, respiratory infections and MRSA. Instead of using antibiotics, which destroy all bacteria they come across, specific strains or cocktails of phages are used for each patient. 

At the time antibiotics were created, public authorities considered them more simple and effective than phages. To such an extent that phages were gradually forgotten and even destroyed in many countries.

But in the 21st century, certain bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, which is a major health issue. Researchers have renewed their interest in phages and are looking at their potential uses to fight otherwise incurable diseases.

Some countries actually already use phage therapy, most notably in Georgia. Sick patients from around the world are spending thousands of dollars to travel to Tblisi, the country’s capital. They then spend several weeks undergoing treatment at the Eliava Institute.

 

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What is phage therapy?

Phage therapy refers to the use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections. While it has been used scarcely in the Western world in recent decades, some doctors and researchers see a need for it in the future, to combat antibiotic resistance among bacteria.

In 1917, French-Canadian microbiologist Félix d’Hérellee discovered phage therapy. Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are actually viruses which are extremely common in the biosphere. They’re able to kill bacteria by invading them and multiplying within them. 

Phage therapy can be used to treat basic wounds, as well as different kinds of bacterial infection, like bone infection, respiratory infections and MRSA. Instead of using antibiotics, which destroy all bacteria they come across, specific strains or cocktails of phages are used for each patient. 

At the time antibiotics were created, public authorities considered them more simple and effective than phages. To such an extent that phages were gradually forgotten and even destroyed in many countries.

But in the 21st century, certain bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, which is a major health issue. Researchers have renewed their interest in phages and are looking at their potential uses to fight otherwise incurable diseases.

Some countries actually already use phage therapy, most notably in Georgia. Sick patients from around the world are spending thousands of dollars to travel to Tblisi, the country’s capital. They then spend several weeks undergoing treatment at the Eliava Institute.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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