Today’s Solutions: May 30, 2023

The increasing occurrence of drug-resistant bacteria is a huge obstacle humans have to overcome to save lives across the globe. Researchers have done all they can to be prepared against this challenge, such as creating a model which calculates the chance of resistance against different drug combinations. Even though there is still quite a way to go until the problem is solved, researchers have come up with some creative ideas to tackle the situation.

Last year, we reported on how researchers may be able to use bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, to fight drug resistance. Now we can happily say the idea has become a reality! A new experimental study showing a woman’s persistent Klebsiella pneumoniae infection was cured using this biotechnology. The bacteria was so hard to treat as it was both drug-resistant and also created a film over the infected area, making it difficult for drugs to reach.

After a terrorist bombing attack, the patient suffered multiple injures, leading to some bone in her leg needing to be surgically removed. Consequently, an infection in this area occurred. The report, published in Nature Communications, describes how the use of bacteriophages over a three year period, freed the woman of her infection and also gave her the ability to walk again.

A research group at the Eliava Institute in Georgia, bioengineered, prepared and researched the perfect bacteriophage to use that would banish the infection. The solution was applied to the patient’s leg, alongside a mixture of antibacterial agents.

Currently, the means of finding the perfect bacteriophage to use as a treatment is long winded. Even though this study is promising, and shows we do have means to diminish pesky drug-resistant organisms, more efficient methods of finding the perfect bacteriophages needs to be developed.

Source study: Nature CommunicationsCombination of pre-adapted bacteriophage therapy and antibiotics for treatment of fracture-related infection due to pandrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae

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