Phages Antimicrobial resistance: MPs call on UK government to maximise potential of bacteriophages (Jan 2024)

Michael Harrop

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https://www.bmj.com/content/384/bmj.q12

MPs have called on the UK government to invest in research into bacteriophages as an alternative to antibiotics, including establishing suitable manufacturing facilities in the UK.

The House of Commons select committee on science, innovation, and technology said that bacteriophages (“phages”)—specific viruses that target and kill bacteria—could be the answer to the “alarming” rise in antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics.

The committee’s detailed report follows an inquiry into evidence on the safety and efficacy of using phages as alternative antimicrobials, as well as assessing the funding and structural challenges in their development.1

Phages have been used as a treatment for over 100 years, but interest in them has increased recently because of their potential in tackling antimicrobial resistance. They have never been licensed for therapeutic use in the UK but are occasionally used as compassionate treatments of last resort in cases of intractable infections.

Each phage can target individual bacteria, can be combined with multiple phages and antibiotics, and can be adapted specifically for each individual patient. However, the committee’s report said that the further development of phage treatments faced significant challenges that would need to be overcome to realise their full potential. Like many personalised medicines they currently struggle to meet regulations that are designed for conventional medicines produced to a …

Note how they still only care about resistance. If collateral damage were taken as seriously as it deserves to be, the switch away from antibiotics would have occurred much sooner. https://humanmicrobiome.info/antibiotics/
 
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