Phage therapy: Alternative to antibiotics?

Phage therapy: Alternative to antibiotics?

Some bacteria are difficult to combat, because they have become resistant to antibiotics. In such cases, phage therapy could &ndash help; it has been around for a long time, but it has been used due to various concerns, hardly. Researchers in California have developed a method with which the phage can be controlled use.

Irene Chen, Professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Santa Barbara, has turned to her Team on the search for Alternatives for antibiotics, the bacteriophages. These are viruses that only infect bacteria. "It is their natural function to grow bacteria and you abzutöten", explains Chen. The researchers use the ability of the bacteriophage, in particular bacteria to penetrate without damaging the Rest of the Multiple.

The phage therapy is not new, it is used in the former Soviet Union for decades. Concerns exist, however, because the biology of the phage is completely controllable, it is possible that they change during their quick multiplication, for example. The therapy works on the "All-or-Nothing-Prinzip", you say works – or not.

Controlled therapy shows success

To meet these challenges, the Team has developed to a method for the controlled phage therapy, the phages are coupled to gold nanorods. These phage were then exposed in the laboratory, mammalian cells infected with bacteria. "If the nano-rods are stimulated by light, convert the energy of light into heat, and produces very high local Temperaturen", Chen explains. The resulting heat is enough to be prevented, the bacteria and the phage to kill, resulting in unwanted developments.

With this method, the researcher pathogens are able to destroy such as E. coli, P. aeruginosa and V. cholerae successful, with more than 80 percent of the mammal survived cells, even though the heat had destroyed the bacteria and phage successfully.