Monday, October 26, 2015

Drug Could Kill Harmful Bacteria But Leave Benign Ones Untouched

According to the New Scientist researchers have been working on a way of making a class of bacteria-destroying viruses more useful. This meaning that they would be able to use this phage virus to kill disease-causing bacteria while still leaving the “good” bacteria unharmed. Timothy Lu and his colleagues are conducting the research at MIT. The phage virus is thought to be a possible alternative to antibiotics.

“Most phages infect only one species or even a few strains within a species; antibiotics aren’t so selective.” This however is an issue because it is not easy to determine what bacterial strain is present in an infection. Therefore, it would be necessary to have a mix of many phages to have an effective treatment. The phage created by the researches at MIT normally kills E. coli, however by switching in a different tail, researchers made the phage capable of killing at least 99 per cent of either Yersinia or Klebsiella bacteria. 

This research I find to be very interesting. However, it still has a long way to go in my opinion. It seems to have many benefits but also some downfalls that still need to be worked out.

1 comment:

  1. If they can find a way to make this technique effective, this could mean a lot for us. Antibiotics are becoming less effective the more we use them due to the bacteria becoming immune to them. The different strains of the bacteria could pose a big obstacle because it could make the technique very expensive making it hard to actually apply it.