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Chanishvili N.,Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage
NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2011

This review describes the use of bacteriophages against bacterial infections in the battlefield and protection of the civilian population. High therapeutic and protective potential of bacteriophages suggests that they could be an efficient means against bio-terrorist attacks. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Pirnay J.-P.,Burn Wound Center | Verbeken G.,Burn Wound Center | Rose T.,Burn Wound Center | Jennes S.,Burn Wound Center | And 10 more authors.
Future Virology | Year: 2012

The worldwide emergence of 'superbugs' and a dry antibiotic pipeline threaten modern society with a return to the preantibiotic era. Phages - the viruses of bacteria - could help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Phage therapy was first attempted in 1919 by Felix d'Herelle and was commercially developed in the 1930s before being replaced by antibiotics in most of the western world. The current antibiotic crisis fueled a worldwide renaissance of phage therapy. The inherent potential of phages as natural biological bacterium controllers can only be put to use if the potential of the coevolutionary aspect of the couplet phage-bacterium is fully acknowledged and understood, including potential negative consequences. We must learn from past mistakes and set up credible studies to gather the urgently required data with regard to the efficacy of phage therapy and the evolutionary consequences of its (unlimited) use. Unfortunately, our current pharmaceutical economic model, implying costly and time-consuming medicinal product development and marketing, and requiring strong intellectual property protection, is not compatible with traditional sustainable phage therapy. A specific framework with realistic production and documentation requirements, which allows a timely (rapid) supply of safe, tailor-made, natural bacteriophages to patients, should be developed. Ultimately, economic models should be radically reshaped to cater for more sustainable approaches such as phage therapy. This is one of the biggest challenges faced by modern medicine and society as a whole. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.

Rose T.,Burn Wound Center | Verbeken G.,Burn Wound Center | de Vos D.,Burn Wound Center | Merabishvili M.,Burn Wound Center | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Burns and Trauma | Year: 2014

Antibiotic resistance has become a major public health problem and the antibiotics pipeline is running dry. Bacteriophages (phages) may offer an ‘innovative’ means of infection treatment, which can be combined or alternated with antibiotic therapy and may enhance our abilities to treat bacterial infections successfully. Today, in the Queen Astrid Military Hospital, phage therapy is increasingly considered as part of a salvage therapy for patients in therapeutic dead end, particularly those with multidrug resistant infections. We describe the application of a well-defined and quality controlled phage cocktail, active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, on colonized burn wounds within a modest clinical trial (nine patients, 10 applications), which was approved by a leading Belgian Medical Ethical Committee. No adverse events, clinical abnormalities or changes in laboratory test results that could be related to the application of phages were observed. Unfortunately, this very prudent ‘clinical trial’ did not allow for an adequate evaluation of the efficacy of the phage cocktail. Nevertheless, this first ‘baby step’ revealed several pitfalls and lessons for future experimental phage therapy and helped overcome the psychological hurdles that existed to the use of viruses in the treatment of patients in our burn unit. © 2014, E-Century Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

Trupschuch S.,Robert Koch Institute | Laverde Gomez J.A.,Robert Koch Institute | Ediberidze I.,Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage | Flieger A.,Robert Koch Institute | Rabsch W.,Robert Koch Institute
International Journal of Medical Microbiology | Year: 2010

In 2006, monophasic, multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica spp. enterica serovar 4,[5],12:i:- strains appeared as a novel serotype in Germany, associated with large diffuse outbreaks and increased need for hospitalisation. The emerging 4,[5],12:i:- strains isolated from patients in Germany belong mainly to phage type DT193 according to the Anderson phage typing scheme for S. Typhimurium (STM) and exhibit at least a tetra-drug resistance. The strains have been shown to harbour STM-specific Gifsy-1, Gifsy-2, and ST64B prophages. Furthermore, the extensive sequence similarity of the tRNA regions between one characterised 4,[5],12:i:- phage type DT193 and the S. Typhimurium LT2 strain as well as the STM-specific position of an IS200 element within the fliA-fliB intergenic region (Echeita et al., 2001) prompted us to classify them as a monophasic variant of S. Typhimurium. In 2008, the monophasic variant represented 42.2% of all S. Typhimurium isolates from human analysed at the National Reference Centre. Searching for insertions in tRNA sites resulted in the detection of an 18.4-kb fragment adjacent to the thrW tRNA locus, exhibiting a lower G+C content compared to the LT2 genome. Sequence analysis identified 17 potential ORFs. Some of them showed high similarity to enterobacterial phage sequences and sequences from Shigella boydii, Sh. dysenteriae, avian pathogenic Escherichia coli and other Escherichia spp. The biological function of this novel island with respect to virulence properties and metabolic functions is under investigation. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Vandersteegen K.,Catholic University of Leuven | Mattheus W.,Catholic University of Leuven | Ceyssens P.-J.,Catholic University of Leuven | Bilocq F.,Burn Center | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The increasing antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations requires alternatives for classical treatment of infectious diseases and therefore drives the renewed interest in phage therapy. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major problem in health care settings and live-stock breeding across the world. This research aims at a thorough microbiological, genomic, and proteomic characterization of S. aureus phage ISP, required for therapeutic applications. Host range screening of a large batch of S. aureus isolates and subsequent fingerprint and DNA microarray analysis of the isolates revealed a substantial activity of ISP against 86% of the isolates, including relevant MRSA strains. From a phage therapy perspective, the infection parameters and the frequency of bacterial mutations conferring ISP resistance were determined. Further, ISP was proven to be stable in relevant in vivo conditions and subcutaneous as well as nasal and oral ISP administration to rabbits appeared to cause no adverse effects. ISP encodes 215 gene products on its 138,339 bp genome, 22 of which were confirmed as structural proteins using tandem electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS), and shares strong sequence homology with the 'Twort-like viruses'. No toxic or virulence-associated proteins were observed. The microbiological and molecular characterization of ISP supports its application in a phage cocktail for therapeutic purposes. © 2011 Vandersteegen et al.

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