(ORDO NEWS) — Belgian doctors claim they have managed to cure their patient’s antibiotic-resistant infection with the help of specially grown bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria.
However, large-scale clinical trials are likely to be required for these therapies to be widely adopted.
No matter how useful antibiotics are, time has shown that they are not so miraculous.
Bacteria have developed resistance to these drugs over time, to the point where there are now infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics at all.
A new report published in the journal Nature Communications tells of a 30-year-old Belgian woman who lived with a “superbug” infection for nearly two years.
Four months after continuing antibiotic treatment, doctors confirmed that she was a carrier of a broadly antibiotic-resistant strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae.
By November 2016, after several months of unsuccessful attempts to get rid of the K. pneumoniae infection, her doctors agreed the use of bacteriophages with the hospital’s ethics committee.
The specially selected phages were provided by the Georgy Eliava Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and Virology in Tbilisi.
Three months after treatment with a combination of antibiotics and bacteriophages, she was completely cured of the “superbug”. “ There are no signs of recurrent K. pneumoniae infection ,” the doctors said.
The results suggest that phages can be used simultaneously with antibiotics to treat incurable infections, doctors say.
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