Tag Archives: drug resistance

Hunting bacteria, using their natural predators: bacteriophages

Antibiotics are becoming less and less useful, and people are dying because of it.  Drug resistance in bacteria is one of the possible game-changers for this century, but a new line of research could push that problem back by a decade or two.

Bacteriophages are viruses that prey on bacteria.  They work the same way that other viruses do – injecting genetic material into a cell to make it produce more viruses.  If scientists can engineer varieties of phages that can inject genetic material into bacteria that either kills them or reduces their drug resistance, then we have a new way to keep the bugs in check.

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More on Totally Drug-Resistant TB

Okay, if you haven’t heard about this, here’s a primer.  Coinciding with India’s announcement of a year without new Polio infections, a clinic in Mumbai announced that it had discovered patients with a strain of tuberculosis that was totally immune to all the drugs that they threw at it: Totally Drug-Resistant TB (or TDR TB).

This is a Bad Thing, and it gets worse:  A clinic in Bangalore (600 miles from the first reported cases) has reported that a patient, who it believes has TDR TB, has gone missing.

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