Our researchers discover use for phages in fighting Clostridium difficile
A specialist team of scientists from our Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation has isolated viruses that eat bacteria – called phages – to specifically target the highly infectious hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C. diff).
Since the discovery of the first antibiotic – penicillin – antibiotics have been heralded as the ‘silver bullets’ of medicine. They have saved countless lives and impacted on the well-being of humanity.
But less than a century following their discovery, the future impact of antibiotics is dwindling at a pace that no one anticipated, with more and more bacteria out-smarting and ‘out-evolving’ these miracle drugs. This has re-energised the search for new treatments, such as phages.
The key advantage of using phages over antibiotics lies in their specificity. A phage will infect and kill only a specific strain/species of bacteria. This is particularly important when treating conditions like C. diff infections.
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