A Pond Virus Has Cured A Man’s Antibiotic-Resistant Infection
In recent years, doctors have been dealing with something they’ve been dreading: antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This type of bacteria, as of this post, infects 2 million Americans a year. It kills 23,000 a year, so scientists and researchers have been searching for alternative ways to fight this new enemy that kills so many.
Bacteriophages could be that alternative way to fight this new bacteria. Bacteriophages are viruses that can infect specific types of bacteria (ED NOTE: A lot of these alternate virus vs. bacteria cases sound like the beginning of I AM LEGEND).
An associate research scientist in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, Benjamin Chan, showed Motherboard how these phages could be used to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Chan took some phage that was found in Dodge Park, Connecticut to try and find a cure for a patient that had an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection in his chest. Assisted by doctors from the Yale School of Medicine, Chan included the phage with an antibiotic and put it into the man’s chest.
To explain a bit more about phages, they are only compatible with the host they attach to, so they can’t really infect humans. What the phage attached to in the man’s chest was an exact match for the bacteria. Apparently, the introduction of the phage was a success. The patient hasn’t had a sign of his chest infection for over a year and a half.
As good as this sounds, this was only one test on one patient, so it can’t be automatically used as proof that it will work on patients. With science, you must have trial after trial after trial. Then after that, you have to have your finding peer-reviewed. Then go back at it and do it again and again. It has to be solid before moving forward.
Chan hopes to get more funding so that this one trial can turn to many trials. If it’s the possibility of stopping this super bacteria, then the world needs this work to be done before all antibiotics stop having its impact on illness.
A little more information on phages:
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR, ScreenRant, and by just looking up his name.