The discovery of antibiotics is one of the greatest scientific achievements of the early 20th century. But as it turned out, scientists underestimated the ability of pathogenic bacteria and viruses to adapt to them. As a result, according to the scientific community, now the glorious era of antibiotics is coming to an end.
To solve the problem of resistant microorganisms, scientists at George Mason University are studying the possibility of replacing antibiotics ... with viruses. The fact is that most viruses are completely harmless to humans, and bacteriophage viruses completely destroy pathogenic bacteria, which makes them an ideal means of fighting infections.
The most important advantage of bacteriophages is the absence of side effects. Many antibiotics “sin” with this, killing both “bad” and “good” bacteria in the body, which are necessary for a person to exist. In this sense, bacteriophages act extremely selectively, destroying only bacteria that cause infections.
Research results show that treatment with specialized viruses can be more effective than antibiotics: a doctor will prescribe an injection of an appropriate bacteriophage to an infected patient, which will destroy the aggressor virus without damaging the microflora of the body.
However, it is too early to talk about the imminent clinical use of bacteriophages. Research is at an early stage and it will be a long time before clinical trials.