Phages—the Smart Weapon Against Drug Resistant Bacteria

antibiotic resistanceRecently, a hospital in Los Angeles reported that more than 100 of its patients had been exposed to CRE, a deadly “superbug” that is impervious to nearly all antibiotics. Currently, they know that seven patients were infected with CRE, apparently during a low-risk endoscopy procedure.[1]

This incident points out one of the greatest concerns of the medical community today: how to deal with the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Experts fear that we are reentering a pre-antibiotic era as these superbugs impervious to antibiotics emerge.[2]

Many routine procedures performed in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office or long-term care facility had been made safe through the use of antibiotics. But with these resistant strains of bacteria becoming more and more prevalent, our defenses have gotten thin.

The solution to these antibiotic-resistant superbugs is readily available—in Eastern Europe and Russia—but not here, at least not yet, and maybe never. Consider the Phage Therapy Center in Tbilisi, Georgia. In its 10 years of operation, they experience a success rate of over 95 percent against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.[3]

The Phage Therapy Center treated American Laura Roberts when she was told by the Mayo Clinic they could do nothing for her. She was dying, having suffered with three strains of MRSA for seven years.  But at the Phage Therapy Center, they cured her in three weeks. She’s been MRSA-free for 10 years now.[4]

What’s their secret weapon? Phages. A phage is a common virus that causes no harm to us, but when introduced to these antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the phage attaches itself to the bacteria’s cell wall, bores into it and hijacks its DNA. The phage then replicates quickly inside the bacteria and it explodes.[5]

In phage therapy, clinicians identify the offending bacteria strain and match a phage to it that will kill that strain. They prepare a viral cocktail that is either drank, topically applied, or injected.[6]

Advantages of phage therapy:[7]

  • Phages occur naturally in soil, water, in our bodies, and wherever bacteria thrive
  • Matching a phage to the target bacteria is relatively easy
  • Phages only kill the “bad” bacteria, while antibiotics wipe out the good with the bad
  • Phage therapy works rapidly without harmful side effects
  • Phage therapy is relatively inexpensive

Phage therapy seems like the obvious answer to a serious and growing medical problem, but don’t hold your breath for its approval here in the US. Universities across the US have studied phage therapy for years. But three primary roadblocks appear to be in the way of FDA approval: bureaucratic red tape, economics, and intellectual pride.[8]

Phage therapy is dynamic and new preparations are constantly crafted to match the newest superbugs. But these superbugs change so rapidly, that it would be impossible to obtain FDA approval for each and every preparation administered under the FDA’s current methods.[9]

Also, because phages occur naturally, they cannot be patented. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies do not perceive phage therapy as financially profitable.[10] Yes, money trumps our health and welfare.

Finally, because most phage research, testing and practice have occurred in former Communist countries, we distrust it and their foreign research methodologies.[11]

Will phage therapy be permitted to come to our rescue in America? Your guess is as good as mine. Meanwhile, if you are battling an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection, you may want to book a flight for Tbilisi, Georgia.

By: Joe Barton

joebartonJoe is the founder of Barton Publishing, Inc., a leading natural health company specializing in publishing cutting edge reports that show people how to cure and treat themselves using safe, natural, and proven remedies. He is also a contributing writer, helping thousands of people who suffer from acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, and 20+ other disease and ailments enjoy healthier lives.

[1] Rachael Rettner, “‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Require Old and New Weapons,” Live Science, March 2, 2015, http://www.livescience.com/49999-nightmare-bacteria-cre-prevention.html.

[2] Alexander Sulkvelidze, Zemphira Alavidze, and J. Glenn Morris, Jr., “Bacteriophage Therapy,” American Society for Microbiology, 2001, http://aac.asm.org/content/45/3/649.

[4] Koren Wetmore, “A Cure Exists for Antibiotic-Resistant Infections. So Why Are Thousands of Americans Still Dying?” Prevention, January 1, 2015, http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/cure-antibiotic-resistance.

[5] Koren Wetmore.

[6] Koren Wetmore.

[7] Koren Wetmore.

[8] David Templeton, “Bacteriophages Offer a Way to Fight Resistant Bacteria, but Their Use Still Awaits Approval in the U.S.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 1, 2013, http://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2013/04/01/Bacteriophages-offer-a-way-to-fight-resistant-bacteria-but-their-use-still-awaits-approval-in-the-U-S/stories/201304010124.

[9] David Templeton.

[10] David Templeton.

[11] David Templeton.

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