Scientists turn the tables on drug-resistant bacteria by infecting them with bacteriophages (bacterial viruses)
Every year, drug-resistant infections kill more than 50,000 people across Europe and the United States, and hundreds of thousands more around the world. According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK Prime Minister, failing to address the growing problem of drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths a year and cost up to $100 trillion USD by 2050. (See Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Crisis for the Health and Wealth of Nations)
This is bacteriophage EFDG1 visualized by transmission electron microscopy at a magnification of 20,000 — 30,000 times. Note that some phages are still bound to remains of the dead bacteria.
Credit: (Photo: Ronen Hazan / Hebrew University)
The research will appear in the April 2015 edition of Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal as “Targeting Enterococcus faecalis biofilm using phage therapy. ” Online 6 February 2015, doi: 10.1128/AEM.00096-15 AEM.00096-15
The research was supported by a Hebrew University / Yissum startup grant.