- This is a promising first for the treatment of specific antibiotic-resistant infections with a specific bacteriophage.
- East [estudio] it is the first case of phage therapy for the treatment of a particular organism.
- The main predator of the microbial world is a type of virus called a bacteriophage.
The main predator of microbial world It is a type of virus called a bacteriophage. It hunts and kills bacteria by hijacking the reproductive machinery of the microorganism and tearing it apart.
Because of this, the scientists These microscopic assassins have been appropriated to fight on the front lines of a growing threat: antibiotic resistance, or when bacteria find ways to beat the drugs meant to stop them.
A 2019 global survey found that more people died from antibiotic resistance than from HIV/AIDS or malaria. We have even seen a skyrocketing increase in drug-resistant gonorrhea, Salmonella, among many other diseases in recent years. Equally worrying is an increase in Mycobacterium chelonae drug resistant. A bacterium similar to those that cause diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy, which threatens immunosuppressed people and is a major public health concern.
That’s where bacteriophages come in…
Researchers in Boston used a therapy who used the virus to successfully treat a man suffering from an infection by M. chelonae drug-resistant, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature.
The infection belongs to a group of mycobacteria called nonmycobacteria. tuberculosisconsidered the most resistant to drugs of the group and, therefore, one of the most difficult to treat.
“There is a long history of bacteriophage therapy for a variety of bacterial infections,” Dr. Jessica Little, an internist at Brigham Women’s Hospital and first author of the study, told The Daily Beast in an email.
“East [estudio] it is the first case of phage therapy for the treatment of a particular organism and the first case of a single bacteriophage instead of a cocktail [de bacteriófagos] used for the treatment of non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
This type of bacterium it is typically found in water and soil. In general, they are quite harmless. That is, until these microorganisms enter the human body through contaminated drinking water or a skin break.
Antibiotic resistant: Nasty pathogen causes serious skin infection
the nasty pathogen causes a serious infection in the skin, soft tissues (such as cartilage, fat, muscles, and tendons), and even the lungs, according to NYU Langone Health. It doesn’t affect everyone, but if you have one underlying health conditionlike a weakened immune system, you are at much higher risk.
For those patients, conventional antibiotics they are not very useful, as mycobacteria are stubbornly resistant and rapidly develop ways to subvert modern medicine.
But that doesn’t mean he’s invincible. In the past, scientists have used modified bacteriophages to treat lung infections caused by Mycobacterium abscessus. Which inspired Little and his team to investigate whether the same thing could be used to treat the bacteria’s close relative, M. chelonae.
The key to this is finding the correct bacteriophage. Like a picky eater, bacteriophages have certain bacteria that they like to feast on.
Fortunately, scientists have developed centralized libraries and databases of microbes. One such effort was through the Science Education initiative Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science ( SEA-PHAGES ), which has so far isolated and cataloged more than 20,000 phages found in nature.
THE STORY OF THE PATIENT CURED RESISTANT TO ANTIBIOTICS
Armed with the correct phage, the researchers grew it and administered it to their patient through an intravenous drip.
The man did not improve while took antibiotics and even after undergoing surgery to remove infected skin lesions caused by M. chelonae. But within a few months of pumping Muddy into his veins, the man’s painful skin lesions shrank, eradicating the bacteria without any negative side effects.
This is a promising first for the infection treatment specific antibiotic resistance with a bacteriophage rather than a full spectrum of bacteriophages, which is how the therapy is often given to boost their bacteria-killing power. The wholesale approach may allow bacteria to become truly resistant to phages. However, Little cautioned that this is just a case study with one patient. antibiotic resistant.
“Clinical trials are needed to better understand the benefits of phage therapy on a larger scale and in a more controlled setting,” he said.
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