A Trojan Horse for Superbugs

Sewage-dwelling viruses could kill the superbug crisis.
 
Tom Patterson was about to die from the antibiotic-resistant superbug “Iraqibacter” when his epidemiologist wife Steffanie Strathdee tapped into a little-used experimental treatment.  
 
The US’ first intravenous bacteriophage therapy saved him.
 
Long sidelined by penicillin, phages are a Trojan Horse of a virus: Matched with a bacteria, they infiltrate, multiply, then leave—destroying it in their wake.
 
Overzealous disinfecting and antibiotic-ridden livestock bring worrying rates of antimicrobial resistance, spurring superbugs that kill 700,000 a year; possibly 10 million by 2050. Patterson’s story exposes an alternative: “Viruses have become our best allies against bacteria,” he says.
 
TEDx Nashville (video)

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