Phage therapy shown to kill drug-resistant superbug

Scientists from the University of Liverpool have shown that phage therapy could offer a safe and effective alternative to antibiotics in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis lung infections. Chronic lung infections caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa are becoming increasingly difficult to treat due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). With limited alternative therapeutic options available this has led to a renewed interest in (bacterio)phage therapy.

Phages are viruses that kill bacteria but are otherwise harmless. A major advantage is that phages only target the harmful bacteria, so there are less side of the effects often associated with antibiotics. Phage therapy however has not had the same level of funding as drug development, due to a lack of convincing pre-clinical efficacy studies.

Here for the first time, researchers have shown that phage therapy is highly effective in treating established and recalcitrant chronic respiratory tract infections caused by multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. They show that phages are capable of killing the bacteria in long term infected lungs, such as those suffered by patients with the inherited disease Cystic Fibrosis, indicating a potential new therapeutic option for these hard to treat life threatening infections.

Professor Aras Kadioglu, from the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health, who led the study, said: "Given the increasing problems caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with antibiotics, there is an urgent need to develop new approaches. We have shown that phage therapy has the potential to offer a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of such persistent bacterial infections."

Professor Craig Winstanley, who co-led the study, added: "Cystic Fibrosis patients face the prospect of life-long treatment with antibiotics, which often prove ineffective and can have side effects, especially when used for long periods. Hence phage therapy could be a particularly valuable addition to the treatment of chronic lung infections in these patients."

The recent UK Government Review on Antimicrobial Resistance by Jim O'Neil, highlights phage therapy as a potential alternative to antibiotics in the treatment of AMR infections. In addition, the WHO recently identified Pseudomonas aeruginosa as one of the key pathogens against which there is a critical need to develop new therapies. This new study provides valuable pre-clinical evidence for phage therapy being a viable option.

Waters EM, Neill DR, Kaman B, Sahota JS, Clokie MR, Winstanley C, Kadioglu A.
Phage therapy is highly effective against chronic lung infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Thorax. 2017 Mar 6. pii: thoraxjnl-2016-209265. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-209265.

Most Popular Now

Top 20 breaking World Pharma News of 2017

We are proud to announce the top 20 most popular breaking World Pharma News from 2017. Have a wonderful 2018 new(s) year filled with health, happiness, and spectacular su...

Novartis advances head-to-head superiority trials …

Novartis announced today the initiation of SURPASS, a head-to-head clinical trial of Cosentyx® (secukinumab) versus proposed biosimilar adalimumab** in ankylosing spondyl...

Diabetes drug 'significantly reverses memory loss…

A drug developed for diabetes could be used to treat Alzheimer's after scientists found it "significantly reversed memory loss" in mice through a triple method of action...

Sandoz regulatory submission for proposed biosimil…

Sandoz, a Novartis division and the global leader in biosimilar medicines, announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted its Biologics Licen...

Zika remains a research and public health challeng…

Since 2016, when Zika was declared by the World Health Organization as a public health emergency of international concern, the virus has become established in more than 8...

Try exercise to improve memory, thinking

For patients with mild cognitive impairment, don't be surprised if your health care provider prescribes exercise rather than medication. A new guideline for medical pract...

New research paper shows that AstraZeneca has achi…

In a research paper published today by Nature Reviews Drug Discovery(1), AstraZeneca's IMED Biotech Unit documents a more than four-fold improvement in R&D productivity f...

Dirt-dwelling microbe produces potential anti-mela…

A type of soil-dwelling bacterium produces molecules that induce death in melanoma cells, research at Oregon State University shows. The molecule is a secondary metabolit...

Novartis Kisqali® received FDA Breakthrough Therap…

Novartis today announced Kisqali® (ribociclib) received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Breakthrough Therapy designation for initial endocrine-based treatment of pr...

FDA approves first treatment for breast cancer wit…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Lynparza (olaparib tablets) to include the treatment of patients with certain types of breast can...

Berry gives boost to cervical cancer therapy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. One of the most...

Novartis appoints Elizabeth Barrett as Oncology He…

Novartis announced today that Elizabeth (Liz) Barrett, currently Global President Oncology at Pfizer, Inc., has been appointed CEO Novartis Oncology and a member of the E...

Pharmaceutical Companies

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Z ]