In the days before modern antibiotics, some researchers saw bacteriophages, viruses that can seek out and destroy bacteria, as a promising candidate for fighting infections. Now, as more organisms develop resistance to existing antibiotics, phage research is finding new favor.
At the Society for General Microbiology meeting in Edinburgh, researchers presented work on incorporating bacteriophages into dressings for wounds and cleaning materials used in hospitals. The scientists found a way to bind the phages to polymer particles, allowing the viruses to remain active for up to three weeks rather than breaking down after a few hours. The hope is that the phage-based approach will provide new weapons in the battle against dangerous bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In this segment, Ira and guests talk about bacteriophages and their place in modern medicine.
Produced by Annette Heist, Senior Producer