Phage Therapy

by Ritu Verma

Phage therapy is not just a potential weapon against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections but also on other areas such as agriculture, biomedical devices, nano-medicine, bio-detection, etc. Almost 90 years of research in Eastern Europe has shown the effectiveness of phage therapy.

Increasing antibiotic resistance has led scientists to look into the usage of phage as an alternative. Personalized medicine to patients like Pranav Johri, Tom Patterson, Isabelle Carnell-Holdaway

has been provided. Phages are highly specific, have no side effects, versatile in the formulation and cost-effective. Treatment costs can be reduced by reducing the phage dosage which can’t be done in case of antibiotics. India can venture into the field of phage production just like Microgen Inc. (a Russian company).

But, before that, a lot of clinical research is first required on the Indian population. Another domain which India can work on is the usage of recombinant phages in not just for phage therapy but also for agriculture.

AI can predict modification of phages to efficiently kill bacteria. These modified phages can be tested & mass-produced. Bacteriophages can also be used as a ‘bio’-coating on biomedical devices such as catheters which can lead to infections. Phages can also be used as nanoparticles to deliver genetic material for targeted gene therapy.

Antibody/antisera methods can take up to months to detect bacterial species which can be

overcome by phage-based detection techniques. Since most of the phage strains are specific to a small range of hosts. This method can be improved by the “phage display” process. Evident data and literature on phage usage combating not just multidrug-resistant bacteria but, also in other domains shows promising use of phages which can be exploited by the researchers and industry.

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