Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections may be effectively treated with phage therapy

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Researchers from the University of Liverpool (UK) have demonstrated that phage therapy could be used as an effective alternate strategy to antibiotics in the treatment of chronic lung infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The results from this study, recently published in Thorax, could be particularly valuable to cystic fibrosis patients who currently face the prospect of life-long treatment with antibiotics.

The WHO recently highlighted P. aeruginosa as a key pathogen against which there is an increasing need to develop new therapeutic strategies. Lead author of the study, Aras Kadioglu (University of Liverpool) explained: “Given the increasing problems caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with antibiotics, there is an urgent need to develop new approaches.”                                         

Previous research looking at the use of phage therapy to treat chronic P. aeruginosa lung infections is limited to a few clinically relevant studies. For this reason a research team led by Kadioglu developed a novel murine model that was infected with P. aeruginosa utilizing a natural inhalation route.

The results from this study demonstrated that phage therapy was an effective treatment against P. aeruginosa in chronic lung infections and in a cystic fibrosis lung-type environment.

The potential use of phage therapy to treat antimicrobial-resistant infections has also been highlighted in Jim O’Neil’s recent UK Government Review on Antibiotic Resistance and this new study will provide further evidence for phage therapy.

Sources: Waters EM, Neill DR, Kaman B, et al. Phage therapy is highly effective against chronic lung infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thorax. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-209265 (2017); https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2017/03/13/phage-therapy-shown-kill-drug-resistant-superbug/

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