Israeli scientists create ‘precision weapon’ consisting of viruses that eliminate bowel-harming bacteria

New Delhi, India Published: Aug 05, 2022, 03:15 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

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Phage therapy also referred to as bacteriophage therapy, is not a recent concept and was the subject of extensive research in the early 20th century. Antibiotics were developed, and efforts to employ viruses in clinical settings were mostly abandoned before any notable achievements, but researchers kept using phages in experimental settings.

Israeli researchers are aiming to create a "precision weapon" made of bacteria-fighting viruses to combat intestinal ailments. Phase 1 clinical studies of two separate virus "cocktails" have been conducted; preliminary findings suggest that they are safe, and substantial in vitro and animal testing suggests that they are antibacterial.

According to peer-reviewed research that was published in the journal Cell, the virus significantly decreased the amount of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacterium that is prevalent in the stomachs of those who have Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Phage therapy also referred to as bacteriophage therapy, is not a recent concept and was the subject of extensive research in the early 20th century. Antibiotics were developed, and efforts to employ viruses in clinical settings were mostly abandoned before any notable achievements, but researchers kept using phages in experimental settings.

Due to worries about germs that are resistant to antibiotics, interest in potential phage therapeutics has recently increased. Although none of the phage therapies is in common usage, some researchers have speculated that they might offer a solution to the issue. Researchers looked into the microbiomes of people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis to determine which bacteria would be beneficial to fight as part of the Weizmann study.

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The phages will now go through more clinical testing to determine whether they can fight bacteria and improve health in a practical environment. The Weizmann researchers want to turn them into medications that either treat Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis or maybe even prevent them in those who are thought to have high Klebsiella pneumonia levels.

(with inputs from agencies)


 

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