Antibiotic resistance has become a global concern. But Mother Nature has come up with a fascinating option for overcoming bacterial infection: viruses that fight bacteria.
Using Viruses to Fight Bacteria:
Viruses called bacteriophages target specific germs without doing damage to host tissue. They have been used for more than half a century in countries like Russia, Georgia and the Ukraine.
Now, researchers from George Mason and Colorado State University have tested specific viruses to treat intestinal infections. The PHAGE study included 31 people with severe intestinal distress (American Society for Nutrition annual meeting, Nutrition 2018, Boston, June 10, 2018). Volunteers took either targeted viruses or placebo in daily capsules for one month. After two weeks without any pills (known as a wash-out period), they received the opposite treatment.
Less Inflammation and Better Gut Bacteria:
The scientists noted decreases in inflammation and healthy changes in gut ecology in the volunteers taking bacteriophage viruses. There were no side effects from this therapy. If more bacteriophage therapies can be developed and accepted to fight bacteria, antibiotic resistance might become less of a threat.