Monday, August 13, 2007

bacteria-devouring virus - bacteriophage to combat MRSA

'Red Army' virus to combat MRSA BBC News 8/13/07 "An old-fashioned treatment for bacterial infections which was once found in every Red Army soldier's kit bag is being touted as a new weapon against hospital superbug MRSA...a bacteria-devouring virus called a bacteriophage..."But it's this specificity which makes them so attractive," says Dr Ron Dixon, Head of the Department of Forensic and Biomedical Sciences at Lincoln University. "It will only kill the bacteria you want it to." ...Once the phage has entered the body, it attaches itself to the bacteria causing the infection, and shoots in its own DNA to make the bacteria start producing bacteriophages. Within 30 minutes, up to 200 new phage are created, according to Dr Dixon, and in the process the bacteria die...The job done, the phage automatically start to disappear. ...And if the bacteria become resistant to the phage, as they have done to antibiotics, a new phage matched to the new bacteria can be developed. In order to inhibit resistance, a cocktail of phages would most likely be used in treatment. There are no known side-effects, researchers stress..."

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