Phage Therapy a New Tool to Treats Patient with Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infection

Scientists (Rebekah M. Dedrick et al. “Engineered bacteriophage for treatment of a patient with a disseminated drug-resistant Mycobacterium abscessus.” Nature Medicine. May 8, 2019), used an experimental phage therapy ( to save a 15-year-old girl infected with drug-resistant Mycobacterium The patient had cystic fibrosis, and for eight years, she had been taking antibiotics to control two stubborn Mycobacterium abscessus strains. After the transplant, the girl’s infection had spread, and traditional antibiotics were no longer working. A specialized treatment based on genetically engineered bacteriophages was developed. After an extensive search, the team found a combination of 3 phages. After removing a gene that lets the phages reproduce harmlessly within a bacterial cell, the phages reproduce and burst from the cell, destroying it. Then they combined the trio into a phage cocktail, purified it, and tested it for safety. The doctors administered the cocktail to the patient via an IV twice daily with a billion phage particles in every dose. As a result of the treatment, the patient got better.

Phage Therapy Treats Patient with Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infection

Scientists have used an experimental therapy that relies on bacteria-infecting viruses collected, in part, through HHMI’s SEA-PHAGES program to fight a Mycobacterium infection in a 15-year-old girl.

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