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Bacteriophage: phage therapy for bacterial infections

  1. A bacteriophage as a solution for antibiotic resistance? Bacteriophages are viruses that destroy bacteria. The bacteriophage is a small virus that infects and destroys only a specific bacteria. For decades, patients behind the Iron Curtain had no access to some of the best antibiotics (a common anti-bacterial agent) being developed in the West. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union invested in using bacteriophages - viruses that kill bacteria - to treat infections. Bacteriophage therapy is still widely used in Russia, Georgia and Poland in 2018, but has never gained a foothold elsewhere. For example, people have been offered phage therapy for almost a century at the Eliava Institute in Tbilisi, Georgia. Now that the world is confronted with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, interest is gradually returning, and Western researchers and governments are showing increasing interest in phage therapy.

Potential benefits of phage treatment

  1. Not resistant

Phage therapy in the Netherlands and Belgium

  1. Netherlands

Bacteriophages not yet the alternative panacea for antibiotics according to RIVM (28-5-2018)

  1. Bacteriophages are not a good alternative to antibiotics. At least, certainly not in the coming years, the RIVM concludes. A lot of research is still needed before the bacteria-consuming viruses can be used to fight infections. This is a conclusion from a report of the RIVM published on May 28, 2018 about the current state of knowledge about phages.



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