- Detailed report to come : Phagoburn outcomes will be presented in a report to be added soon on this website.
About Phage Therapy
Bacteriophages (or phages)
Bacteriophages are natural viruses: they can be found anywhere in our environment, our skin, in our intestinal tract, soil, water, etc.They ONLY target bacteria.
They are harmless to eukaryote organisms such as humans, animals, fishes, plants, insects, algae’s, etc.
They are highly specific towards a bacterial species and even to strains from that species.
When they recognise their bacterial target, they attach to its outer membrane, inject their genetic material inside and reproduce in their host to make new phages that can get out and repeat the same cycle.
The lytic phages, those we are interested in, kill properly the host bacteria as their progeny leave.
To learn more, click on the image below to access the reproduction cycle of lytic versus lysogenic phages (in French):
Bacteriophages and phage therapy
Phage therapy interest is based on bacteriophages. These environmental viruses are found wherever bacteria exist, and it is recognised that they represent Earth most important biomass.
Due to their antibacterial action, the use of bacteriophages for therapeutic purposes started right after their discovery, at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the advent of antibiotics in the late 1930s (perceived as “miracle” drugs) and the Second World War (resulting in their mass production) led to phage therapy decline. Yet its use remained in countries located beyond the Iron Curtain, which did not have access to Western world antibiotics at that time.
Nowadays, and mainly in response to the constant increase of bacterial resistance to AB, phage therapy encounters a high renewed interest because of its potentially high efficacy combined with an attractive safety profile.
Although phage therapy is currently available in some countries (Georgia, Poland, Russia, based on historical use) very few controlled, well-powered and well-designed clinical trials have tested its efficacy and safety.
This situation is a clear limiting step for implementing phage therapy outside Georgia, Poland and Russia in other European countries in spite of its numerous advantages. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) tends to consider that this therapy should go through the same authorisation procedures as any new human medication.
Conducting clinical trials to validate the relevance of phages in the treatment of human infectious diseases has thus become utterly important, even more so as a number of governments seems willing to initiate research programmes on phage therapy, increasingly considered as a promising way to fight MDR bacterial infections.
For a better undestanding of phage therapy, you can also watch the story broadcasted in May 2013 (only available in French) on RTS (Swiss television).