(IN2Ecosystem) How Phages Can Stop Drug-Resistant Bacteria

A scientist co-discovered phages, viruses that only target bacteria, in 1915 and used them to treat cholera during a 1927 epidemic. The emergence of broad-spectrum antibiotics in the 1940s put the research and use of phages on the backburner. However, the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is changing that and Cytophage Technologies Inc. aims to help put phages front and center.

“We love a magic bullet, but when they were first discovered, phages were not a magic bullet,” Dr. Tasia Lightly, a staff scientist at Cytophage, said. “Antibiotics come in and remove everything, killing all the bacteria, while phages work in what used to be a less exciting way.” Individual phages are very specific for their hosts, so they don’t kill everything. However, the positive aspect of this is that they don’t interfere with the microbiome the way antibiotics do.”

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