Vit A & mucous membranes

Andrew Louka bb95asl at brunel.ac.uk
Wed Dec 17 08:40:54 EST 1997

I watched a TV documentary in the UK ("Horizon") recently about the use 
of bacteriophage in the fight against bacteria.  A great deal of research 
and development had been carried out during the Cold War by the Russians 
who successfully used phage to combat infection in their soldiers.

Under communist law, the work could not be published in Western 
scientific journals, and so is, allegedly, often disregarded.  An 
American took interest, invested lumps of money into "modern" R&D with 
the aim of satisfying the FDA, but this collaboration stopped when a 
dispute broke out... I believe the American wanted to move all the work to 
the US.

The Russians still have huge banks of frozen phage.

The clever thing that they did (and are still doing) is that they isolate 
phage from the hospital effluent, since phage are naturally excreted, so 
the phage present in the effluent will represent the bacteria currently 
prevalent in the hospital.

But why bother?  On the surface, it seems to be a great idea, because the 
phage will evolve as the bacteria do, so resistance is unlikely to ever 
become a problem.

I understand that there is a chap in the UK who is working on this.

Any thoughts?

As Ralph said below, we are experiencing a significant rise in resistant 
bacteria, and it's now how many years since a new successful antibiotic was 


On 16 Dec 1997, Ralph L. Samson wrote:

> Dear Readers,
>        From my readings, considerable research was done in the 50's and
> early 60's on Vitamin A (Retinol) and the proper functioning of the mucous
> membranes.  Then with the advent of antibiotics, which were quicker acting
> and more profitable to pharmaceutical companies, this research was shelved
> or discarded.  With the significant rise in resistant bacteria, perhaps
> this avenue should be reinvestigated.  It also has the advantage in killing
> viruses as well as bacteria.  I know of one anecdotal case in which a boy's
> middle ear infection was not responding to antibiotics and the pediatrician
> wanted to insert a tube.  The mother tried therapeutic doses of Vitamin A
> and achieved a complete cure in about two weeks.  Proper functioning of the
> mucous membranes of the nasal passages might block respiratory infections.
>        Has anyone heard of any recent research or investigation of this?
> Regards, Ralph L. Samson

url     : http://www.brunel.ac.uk:8080/~bb95asl/                      

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