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An alternative to antibiotics?

Posted: 21 Sep 2020, 11:03am
by Mike Sales
For personal reasons I have been interested in bacteiophage viruses for many years.

I post this because I find many people, including some doctors, know little about the topic, and I think it interesting and possibly important.

Phages: the tiny viruses that could help beat superbugs

Bacteriophages were superseded by modern antibiotics, but scientists believe they could be key to conquering antimicrobial resistance


Discovered in 1917 by French Canadian biologist Félix d’Hérelle, phages – or bacteriophages – are tiny viruses that are natural predators of bacteria. In many countries they were supplanted during the second world war by antibiotics but continued to be used for decades in eastern Europe.

They are now being seen by some scientists as a complement – and perhaps an alternative –to antibiotics, the overuse of which has led to increasing bacterial resistance and the advent of the superbug.


https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/21/phages-the-tiny-viruses-that-could-help-beat-superbugs

I am adding a link to the Wikipaedia entry for the curious.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_therapy

Re: An alternative to antibiotics?

Posted: 21 Sep 2020, 8:44pm
by millimole
Phage therapy reached an advanced stage of development in the Soviet Union. This was unfortunately dropped as the drug companies entered the post-Soviet Russian Market.
The Soviet research was driven by lack of access to increasingly diverse antibiotics, and the absence of a profit motive.
I cant remember all the details but AFAIR the main issue is around the need for a degree of personalisation of the therapy for individual patients.

Re: An alternative to antibiotics?

Posted: 1 Oct 2020, 10:57pm
by windmiller
Phage therapy is a fascinating subject and will probably be more enthusiastically embraced in the West , now that we have abused antibiotics to the point of failure and harm in many cases. .

For mild gum infections I have used sodium ascorbate and xylitol, salt water can also be used but is more abrasive. I would only use napalm type mouth washes as a last resort - as they leave the mouth as a sterile cavern which invariably will be quickly repopulated by hostile bacterias.