New Study Claims Good Viruses Can be Turned Into Weapons to Fight Bacteria

Several diseases in the human body are spread by viruses but a new study has claimed that good viruses can become a weapon to eliminate pathogenic bacteria. The findings of this study, conducted by scientists from the University of Exeter, England, have been published in the journal “Cell Host and Microbe”.

Let us inform you that due to the increasing cases of infectious diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea caused by bacteria, antibiotic resistance is also increasing and treatment of these diseases becomes difficult.

Because of this, the treatment is also getting expensive. But now, to solve this problem, the concept of fag therapy has emerged. In this, viruses that are not harmful to humans are used, which can grow rapidly in bacteria.

It is believed that along with antibiotics, fag therapy can be an effective treatment for the infection. This will reduce the chances of bacteria becoming antibiotic-resistant. However, there is also the possibility that the bacteria may develop resistance to fag therapy as well.

What does this new study reveal?

The University of Exeter study reveals how effective treatment can be given utilising antibiotics and fag therapy. For this, scientists researched a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the lab. This bacteria causes cystic fibrosis (disease of the lungs and digestive system). Eight types of antibiotics were used on this bacterium to investigate how it develops resistance and how it differs from cases of fag.

To infect the bacteria, the virus penetrates the surface of its cells. Like the human immune system, bacteria have their defence mechanism made of proteins called CRISPR, which fights off infection. Yet the virus infects and kills the bacteria.

According to Professor Edze Westra of the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter, antibiotic resistance is a major public health problem and requires immediate attention to its solution. Fag therapy can prove to be an important toolkit in this direction.

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