The virus that kills drug resistant superbugs


Antibiotic-resistant bacteria kill 23,000 people each year in the United States, and the United Nations estimates that by 2050, more people will die from antibiotic-resistant infections than die from cancer.

Discovered 100 years ago, bacteriophage-viruses that eat bacteria could provide an answer. But phage therapy has been approved for human use only in the former Soviet Union. The mother travels to Georgia to meet with doctors who use phage therapy today, and meets with US scientists trying to normalize phage therapy in the United States.

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32 thoughts on “The virus that kills drug resistant superbugs”

  1. I saw a documentary on a group of russian nurses using viruses as an antibacterial agent in their hospitals… and american doctors went there to get the secret yet partly to them being so rude and demanding exclusive rights the deal broke down to bring that to the US.

  2. Bacteria never become resistant to phages because phages mutate just as the bacteria do. This is entirely a regulatory problem. The FDA can't deal with bioligics or individualized therapies. They should just get out of the way and go back to their original mandate which was to ensure drugs and food accurately indicated their ingredients. But the era of mass produced therapies is over. Let doctors and patients decide, not the FDA.

  3. How does the phage know to distinguish between human “helpful” bacteria and intrusive bacteria? Also why wouldn’t they attack the good bacteria in our bodies if they could distinguish that from the “bad” bacteria?

  4. If phages already lived for too long as natural killers of bacteria, and specific at that, then why did we focus on antibiotic research, which kill pretty much every bacteria they touch..even the good ones. Do antibiotics cure bacterial illnesses faster than phages? I think it's no true to reason out antibiotics are easier to find since phages are naturally abundant and exist everywhere, just scattered

  5. It works, so why don't we use it?
    Although is it bad that they're killing off the weak?
    A real cure would be to let the weak die and only the strong will be able to pass on their superior genes.

  6. This is beautiful, on the one hand. But on the other, there is a hidden danger; that of the cultivation or manufacture of a 'pure germ'…a phage with a taste for EVERYTHING good and bad, an 'Agent Smith' of phages, otherwise, the proverbial 12 Monkey germ.

  7. Over 1 million people die every year from malaria but its ability to spread faster than it can kill allows it to do so. Antibiotic resistant drugs at its core can only get so bad before it kills faster than it spreads

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