Bacteriophages

How Can Bacteriophages Perform As Antibiotic Alternatives?

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Bacteriophages are being considered as viable alternatives to infectious diseases that are no longer responding to antibiotics. Currently waiting U.S. approval, bacteriophages could be used to treat animals and humans.

Bacteriophages -- so named when they were first discovered because they appear to eat bacteria -- are naturally occurring viruses that can infect and kill bacteria.

Currently there are many bacterial diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics. Stronger antibiotics have been used in treatment but at the risk of continue the evolution of the bacteria to become "super-bugs".

Fast forward to the present, where an increasing number of bacteria strains -- often referred to as "super bugs" -- are becoming resistant to antibiotics typically used against them. The fear of seeing human medical science being hurled back into a pre-antibiotic era is ever present.

In the battle against antibiotic resistance in animal agriculture, researchers from Washington and New York states are hoping to help pave the way for U.S. approval of a promising biological therapy that has the potential to not only treat sick cows, but also save human lives threatened by infectious diseases that no longer respond to antibiotics.

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