For the treatment of a pulmonary infection in a 15-year-old girl, US biologists used a bacteriophage virus created by them that kills bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, RIA Novosti reports. The results of experiments biologists published in an article in the journal Nature Medicine.
A girl of British descent for 8 years suffered from cystic fibrosis, a severe lung disease, due to bacterial infections. After a lung transplant, the bacteria are activated, and the patient is in a critical situation. Her London therapist turned to her friend biologist Graham Hatful for help, who had a collection of viruses that could destroy these very bacteria.
“I wasn’t even going to use viruses to treat real patients, and I had a huge collection of bacteriophages that I thought should help us unlock the secrets of the bacterial world, and they will be used for therapeutic purposes in the future,” said Graeme Hatful of University of Pittsburgh (USA).
Together, scientists have found in the collection of viruses that can infect or destroy the Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and the Mycobacterium Mycobacterium abscessus, a close relative of the tuberculosis bacillus. Three types of viruses penetrated into bacteria, but did not kill them, but turned them into their "accomplices." Borrowing various components of viruses, biologists have created three synthetic types of viruses designed to treat a lung infection in a British woman.
In June last year, the girl introduced a mixture of viruses. After six weeks, the infection disappeared from her lungs and liver, and microbes did not even have time to develop minimal resistance to a new drug. The girl recovered.
In recent years, the problem of the emergence of so-called superbugs — microbes resistant to the action of one or more antibiotics — has become wider and more acute for doctors.
Among them are very common and dangerous pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus aureus) or pneumococcus (Klebsiella pneumoniae). According to biologists, there is a real danger that all antibiotics will become ineffective, and medicine will return to the "dark ages."
The cure of the girl with viruses inspired biologists and doctors.
“At first, we showed that we can safely and very effectively use genetically modified bacteriophages for treating patients, and we showed that the idea of using viruses as antibiotics to fight infections is quite viable,” concluded Graham.