Would bacteriophages kill resistant bacteria?
Oladele A. OGUNSEITAN
oaogunse at UCI.EDU
Fri Mar 22 14:45:05 EST 1996
The original idea of PHAGE THERAPY against pathogenic bacteria dates back
to the 1920s. It was investigated by the discoverers of bacteriophage -
Felix D'herelle and F. Twort. There were some problems but not
insummountable ones. The discovery of antibiotics led to disinterest in
It is time to rekindle research in this area, due to the increase
in bacterial antibiotic resistance. There are two important problems to
(1) Development of phage resistance by bacteria. This problem
can be overcome by more detailed molecular genetics and protein analysis
of host recognition signals which are often linked to the antigenicity of
bacteria. A situation can be conceived whereby the pathogenic bacteria's
resistance to phage is tied to the loss of pathogenicity to humans.
(2) Antigenicity of phage proteins. This is a significant question that
has not been studied much. Ingesting large amounts of bacteriophage can
presumably lead to another type of illness in addition to the ongoing one
caused by pathogenic bacteria. It is possible to select for phage that do
not interact with human immune system - yet are able to lyse bacteria
with low burst size.
We should keep this topic alive on the net....
Department of Environmental Analysis & Design
University of California
On 22 Mar 1996 klasteos at student.dtu.dk wrote:
> Dear reader,
> Behind the retorical question in my 'Subject' is the idea of using virulent
> bacteriophages for killing antibiotic resistant bacteria. A well chosen virus
> should be able to pass through a mammal digestion system and infect the
> resistant bacterium when it gets in contact with it.
> I would like comments to this idea, if you have any.
> Steen Oestergaard
> The Technical University of Denmark
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