Two US patients recover from intractable infections,Phage therapy’ successes boost fight against drug-resistant infections giving hope for treatments beyond antibiotics

Two US patients have recovered from intractable infections after being treated with a pioneering therapy involving genetically engineered bacteria-killing viruses. The cases raise hopes that so-called phage therapy could be used more widely to combat the global crisis of drug-resistant infections. One of the patients, Jarrod Johnson, a 26-year-old man with cystic fibrosis, was approaching death after suffering a chronic lung infection that resisted treatment by antibiotics for six years. After being given the phage therapy, his infection cleared allowing him to receive a lung transplant and resume an active life.

“I am so grateful for the effort, persistence and creativity of all the people who were involved in my treatment,” said Johnson, who lives in Denver. “I thought I was going to die. They have literally saved my life.”

The other patient, a 56-year-old man with severe arthritis, showed a remarkable recovery from a skin infection that was taking hold of his body and which had proved untreatable with conventional drugs. The team, who also developed the breakthrough treatment of a British teenager four years ago, say these latest cases will pave the way for a clinical trial of phage therapy, which could launch as soon as next year.

“These two reports really provide substantial encouragement for phage treatments for patients where antibiotics not only fail to control the infections, but also contribute substantial toxicity,” said Prof Graham Hatfull, whose team at the University of Pittsburgh developed the therapies.

Prof Martha Clokie, a microbiologist at the University of Leicester who was not involved in the work, said: “There is a growing feeling within the clinical community … that phages could be part of the solution for patients, especially with those that really at the moment have no other alternative option. The overall need for alternatives for antibiotics is huge.”

In 2019, 1.2 million people are estimated to have died globally as a direct cause of antimicrobial resistant infections and in about 5 million people, a multi-drug-resistant infection contributed to their death.

Bacteriophages, phages for short, are harmless viruses that are natural enemies of bacteria. Hatfull has spent nearly four decades amassing a collection of phages, stored in 20,000 frozen vials in his lab. “We’ve got a large collection of phages, and we’ve sequenced over 4,000 of their genomes, so we understand their genomic profiles and relationships in exquisite detail,

We believe everyone deserves access to information that’s grounded in science and truth, and analysis rooted in authority and integrity. That’s why we made a different choice: to keep our reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. This means more people can be better informed, united, and inspired to take meaningful action.

In these perilous times, a truth-seeking global news organisation like the Guardian is essential. We have no shareholders or billionaire owner, meaning our journalism is free from commercial and political influence – this makes us different. When it’s never been more important, our independence allows us to fearlessly investigate, challenge and expose those in power

Source: This news is originally published by theguardian

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.