Bacterial Predator Could Help Reduce COVID-19 Deaths – “Potential Game Changer”

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A kind of infection that takes advantage of germs might be utilized to fight bacterial infections in clients whose body immune systems have actually been deteriorated by the SARS-CoV-2 infection that triggers the COVID-19 illness, according to a specialist at the University of Birmingham and the Cancer Registry of Norway.

Called bacteriophages, these infections are safe to human beings and can be utilized to target and get rid of particular germs. They are of interest to researchers as a prospective option to antibiotic treatments.

In a brand-new organized evaluation, released in the journal Phage: Therapy, Applications and Research, 2 methods are proposed, where bacteriophages might be utilized to deal with bacterial infections in some clients with COVID-19.

In the very first technique, bacteriophages would be utilized to target secondary bacterial infections in clients’ breathing systems. These secondary infections are a possible reason for the high death rate, especially amongst senior clients. The objective is to utilize the bacteriophages to minimize the variety of germs and restrict their spread, providing the clients’ body immune systems more time to produce antibodies versus SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Marcin Wojewodzic, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham and now scientist at the Cancer Registry of Norway, is the author of the research study. He states: “By introducing bacteriophages, it may be possible to buy precious time for the patients’ immune systems and it also offers a different, or complementary strategy to the standard antibiotic therapies.”

Professor Martha R.J. Clokie, a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Leicester and Editor-in-Chief of PHAGE journal discusses why this work is necessary: “In the same way that we are used to the concept of ‘friendly bacteria’ we can harness ‘friendly viruses’ or ‘phages’ to help us target and kill secondary bacterial infections caused by a weakened immune system following viral attack from viruses such as COVID-19”.

Dr. Antal Martinecz, a specialist in computational pharmacology at the Arctic University of Norway who recommended on the manuscript states: “This is not only a different strategy to the standard antibiotic therapies but, more importantly, it is exciting news relating to the problem of bacterial resistance itself.”

In the 2nd treatment technique, the scientist recommends that artificially modified bacteriophages might be utilized to make antibodies versus the SARS-CoV-2 infection which might then be administered to clients by means of a nasal or oral spray. These bacteriophage-generated antibodies might be produced quickly and cheaply utilizing existing innovation.

“If this strategy works, it will hopefully buy time to enable a patient to produce their own specific antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and thus reduce the damage caused by an excessive immunological reaction,” states Dr. Wojewodzic.

Professor Martha R.J. Clokie’s research study concentrates on the recognition and advancement of bacteriophages that eliminate pathogens in an effort to establish brand-new antimicrobials: “We could also exploit our knowledge of phages to engineer them to generate novel and inexpensive antibodies to target COVID-19. This clearly written article covers both aspects of phage biology and outlines how we might use these friendly viruses for good purpose.”

Dr. Wojewodzic is requiring medical trials to check these 2 methods.

“This pandemic has shown us the power viruses have to cause harm. However, by using beneficial viruses as an indirect weapon against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other pathogens, we can harness that power for a positive purpose and use it to save lives. The beauty of nature is that while it can kill us, it can also come to our rescue.” includes Dr Wojewodzic.

“It’s clear that no single intervention will eliminate COVID-19. In order to make progress we need to approach the problem from as many different angles and disciplines as possible.” concludes Dr. Wojewodzic.

Reference: “Bacteriophages Could Be a Potential Game Changer in the Trajectory of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” by Marcin W. Wojewodzic, 23 June 2020,PHAGE: Therapy, Applications, and Research.
DOI: 10.1089/phage.2020.0014

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