Scientists reconsider phage therapy to battle antibiotic-resistant infections

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Today, the world faces an alarming public health threat from multi-drug-resistant infections. The World Health Organization calls bacterial resistance “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today….”

As a result, scientists are taking a fresh look at what is called phage therapy.

“They are starting to dust off their old laboratory notes and re-explore the use of bacteriophages as a ‘new’ way to treat serious, life-threatening infections,” says William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Increasingly, specialists in infectious diseases believe phage therapy holds promise against bacterial diseases, especially in cases where antibiotics have failed. In 2016, the approach saved a San Diego man who otherwise would have died.

Several academic institutions and the U.S. Navy are collecting phage samples. The Navy, which has been researching phages for nearly a decade, sees them, among other things, as a potential treatment for infections cause by battlefield wounds.

Most phage researchers see none of [the] challenges as insurmountable. Moreover, they say that the growing urgency posed by multidrug-resistant bacteria underscores the need to find effective alternatives, including the greater use of bacteriophages.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists are dusting off a long-forgotten weapon to cope with modern bacteria

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