Phage therapy in Germany: two projects treat patients for the first time

Impressive results?

The dpa, citing phage expert Christine Rohde, is also reporting that there have not yet been convincing results on phage efficiency in very large clinical trials. But single case reports and smaller studies are said to show impressive success. In a study recently presented in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases”, 20 patients with stubborn bacterial infections were treated with bacteriophages. Therapy was successful for eleven. As a result, there were no side effects. Ziehr refers to the heterogeneous group of participants, which included children and adults with various clinical pictures, complex infections and different types of pathogens. The fact that, given these circumstances, more than half of the participants responded to therapy is impressive, says the expert, who was not involved in the work.

Bacteriophages will not completely replace antibiotics, as all experts point out. One promising way could be the combination of bacteriophages and antibiotics, based on the so-called phage-antibiotic synergy (PAS), explains Berlin phage researcher Willy. It has been shown that resistant bacteria can become sensitive to antibiotics again in a patient who has previously been treated with phages. “A relatively old idea is to combine antibiotics with bacteriophages. In this therapeutic approach, phages, for example, would dissolve a compact bacterial biofilm to pave the way for the antibiotic to be fully effective “, reads DAZ 27/2018.

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