Nov 12, 2018
Bacteriophages -- viruses that
target and kill bacteria -- were one of the most promising medical
treatments of the early 20th century, and were used to treat all
sorts of infections, from cholera to staph, and everything in
between. But by the 1950s, they had all but died out in the West.
This episode tells the story of the humble phage, from its
discovery in the waters of the Ganges, love trysts ending in a KGB
execution, and to a resurgence of this once forgotten therapy in
the 21st century as an answer to antibiotic resistance.
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not Hankin, 1896, a phage reference? Bacteriophage. 2011 May-Jun;
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BM and Waldor MK, Filamentous phages linked to virulence of Vibrio
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acute medical and surgical infections,” Bull N Y Acad Med. 1931
May; 7(5): 329–348.
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antimicrobial agent: d’Herelle's heretical theories and their role
in the decline of phage prophylaxis in the West, Can J Infect Dis
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- Hankin EH. L'action bactericide des eaux
de la Jumna at du Gange sur le vibrion du cholere. Ann Int Pasteur
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bacteriophage in the control of cholera outbreaks, Proc Natl Acad
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difficile phages: still difficult? Front Microbiol. 2014 Apr
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- Leitner L et al, Bacteriophages for treating
urinary tract infections in patients undergoing transurethral
resection of the prostate: a randomized, placebo-controlled,
double-blind clinical trial. BMC Urol. 2017 Sep
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note, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
- Schooley et al, Development and use of
personalized bacteriophage-based therapeutic cocktails to treat a
patient with a disseminated resistant acinetobacter baumannii
infection. Antimicrobial Agent and Chemotherapy, 14 Aug
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from a Superbug, TEDxNashville, retrieved from:
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therapy. Bacteriophage. 2012 Apr 1; 2(2): 130–133.
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bacteriophage therapy as an alternative to antibiotics for the
treatment of bacterial pathogens. Virulence. 2014 Jan 1; 5(1):
- Ujmajuridze et al, Adapted Bacteriophages for
Treating Urinary Tract Infections. Front Microbiol. 2018; 9:
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Part 1: Causes and Threats,” P T. 2015 Apr; 40(4):