Bacteriophage ‘Muddy’ buddies up with antibiotic to combat antibiotic resistance

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Researchers discover bacteriophage ‘Muddy’ and antibiotic rifabutin as a new dynamic duo combination therapy against antibiotic-resistant Mycobacterium abscessus infection in a cystic fibrosis zebrafish model. 

A group of researchers from Universite de Montpellier (France) and University of Pittsburgh (PA, USA) have discovered a new combination therapy against an antibiotic-resistant strain of M. abscessus. Led by Matt D. Johansen (Université de Montpellier), the study assessed the survival rates of zebrafish with cystic fibrosis when infected with an antibiotic-resistant strain of M. abscessus and found that the bacteriophage–antibiotic duo improved survival rate far better than when either treatment was used alone. The study demonstrates that zebrafish are a valuable model for studying bacteriophage–bacteria relationships and that this combination therapy could eventually be used for patients in the clinic.

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