View Full Version : Science Type Questions

27-10-2005, 10:54:44
Why haven't bacteriophages as such been used as effectively as antibiotics? With drug resistant bacteria on the rise, I'd think that the phages would become a more common treatment. Has there been any success using phages to treat for bacterial infections? What's the deal here?

27-10-2005, 11:44:48
You buy one bacteriophage, you get one free.

27-10-2005, 11:53:41
I don't know of any in the US - they have the same drawbacks conventional antibiotics have - the bacteria can develop resistance to the phage. Industry is probably reluctant to put effort into developing phage therapy. The general public is likely to be reluctant to submit to being injected with/ingesting a living thing, no matter how safe we tell them it is. Anything "new" is very slow to be introduced by industry. Still, they're cheap to produce, and can be just as effective as antibiotics (and likely have fewer side effects), and have the potential to be used in combination with probiotics (phage can be very specific about what bugs they target).

Maybe when probiotics become more mainstream the phage therapy will develop. To be honest the probiotics are a little more risky, because their composition is more variable/unknowable. There's a greater likelihood of pathogenic bacteria being present in a probiotic/competitive exclusion product. Phage are small enough that you can filter the bacteria away.

disclaimer: my personal opinions, not the FDA's

27-10-2005, 12:21:34
Probiotics seem to be in all sorts of dairy related stuff over here. If you wanted to avoid them you have to read the labels twice. Read somewhere that it is questionable how much of it survive to do any good though.