Navigation Links
New viruses to treat bacterial diseases -- 'My enemies' enemy is my friend'

Viruses found in the River Cam in Cambridge, famous as a haunt of students in their punts on long, lazy summer days, could become the next generation of antibiotics, according to scientists speaking today (Monday 3 September 2007) at the Society for General Microbiologys 161st Meeting at the University of Edinburgh, UK, which runs from 3-6 September 2007.

With antibiotics now over-prescribed for treatments of bacterial infections, and patients failing to complete their courses of treatment properly, many bacteria are able to pick up an entire array of antibiotic resistance genes easily by swapping genetic material with each other.

MRSA the multiple drug resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus - and newly emerging strains of the superbug Clostridium difficile have forced medical researchers to realise that an entirely different approach is required to combat these bacteria.

By using a virus that only attacks bacteria, called a phage and some phages only attack specific types of bacteria we can treat infections by targeting the exact strain of bacteria causing the disease, says Ana Toribio from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, UK. This is much more targeted than conventional antibiotic therapy.

The scientists used a close relative of Escherichia coli, the bacterium that commonly causes food poisoning and gastrointestinal infections in humans, called Citrobacter rodentium, which has exactly the same gastrointestinal effects in mice. They were able to treat the infected mice with a cocktail of phages obtained from the River Cam that target C. rodentium. At present they are optimizing the selection of the viruses by DNA analysis to utilise phage with different profiles.

Using phages rather than traditional broad-spectrum antibiotics, which essentially try to kill all bacteria they come across, is much better because they do not upset the normal microbial balance in the body, says Dr Derek Pickard from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. We all need good bacteria to help us fight off infections, to digest our food and provide us with essential nutrients, and conventional antibiotics can kill these too, while they are fighting the disease-causing bacteria

Phage based treatment has been largely ignored until recently in Western Europe and the USA. The main human clinical reports have come from Eastern Europe, particularly the Tbilisi Bacteriophage Institute in Georgia where bacteriophages are used for successful treatment of infections such as diabetic ulcers and wounds. More studies are planned along western clinical trial lines with all the standards required.

The more we can develop the treatment and understand the obstacles encountered in using this method to treat gut infections, the more likely we are to maximise its chance of success in the long term, says Ana Toribio. We have found that using a variety of phages to treat one disease has many benefits over just using one phage type to attack a dangerous strain of bacteria, overcoming any potential resistance to the phage from bacterial mutations.

This brings us back to the problem we are trying to address in the first place. If anything, conventional antibiotic treatment has led to MRSA and other superbug infections becoming not only more prevalent but also more infectious and dangerous. Bacteriophage therapy offers an alternative that needs to be taken seriously in Western Europe, says Derek Pickard.

Contact: Lucy Goodchild
Society for General Microbiology

Related medicine news :

1. Birds breed viruses
2. Mutating viruses helps produce antibodies
3. New Molecule that can stop the growth of Viruses
4. Screening Of Blood Samples For Viruses
5. Stopping The Growth Of Viruses
6. Stopping The Growth Of Viruses
7. Mutated Viruses Can Cure Tumors
8. Understanding the Evolution of Viruses a little more Clearly
9. Specific Immune Mechanism against DNA viruses
10. Henda and Nipah viruses should fret: as there is hope for a vaccine.
11. Mass Spectrometry to Identify Viruses
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC (PER®) ... announced that the first annual School of Gastrointestinal Oncology™ (SOGO™) will be held ... treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are undergoing transformational change, providing oncologists with powerful new ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Growth in ... part due to decreases in utilization of hospital and nonhospital care, according to a ... CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for Louisiana, 16th Edition , found medical payments per claim with ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and share medical images have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ ... Society of North America Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates ... a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they ... Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and clinical solutions for the care management and population health arenas, is pleased ... providing clinical and cost containment services, has successfully implemented the ACUITY Complete Care™ ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... DUBLIN , Dec. 01, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Medium ... Adhesives, Sealants, Lubricants, and Other Applications - ... and Forecast, 2015 - 2023" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015   Nottingham Spirk , a leading ... publication of a free whitepaper , "The ... The whitepaper gives medical product companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers ... lucrative segment. Nottingham Spirk survey ... their own health, save money (i.e., fewer doctors, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015 Array BioPharma ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.  The ... conference through a webcast on the Array ... , --> , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: