Phages: The Virus that Cures

Phages: The Virus that Cures

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Ratings: 7.82/10 from 17 users.

Phages - The Virus that CuresWith Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) threatening to infect huge numbers of patients who make even short trips to the hospital, and the gradual increase in the number of bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, scientists are turning to new ways to conquer the killer bugs.

The emergence of dangerous antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria is most prevalent in the USA where antibiotics are available over the counter and are often mishandled.

The answers to these problems may be locked in the science of the former Soviet Union, and whether this potential can be unlocked depends on subtle aspects of intellectual property and patent law, since pharmaceutical companies must be able to control the revenues from a discovery.

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Vivian Shaw
1 year ago

Very good documentary. Some phage-related services for drug discovery could be found at Creative Biolabs

7 years ago

Very topical. I just emailed bbc to suggest rebroadcast.

9 years ago

Where is that video (at 30:30) of the MRSA expanding while the other staph are dying from? That was a really nice illustration.

11 years ago

WOW this is old.

11 years ago

wow are you all working for drug company
as far as i know ...its only possible in all industrial nations to get antibiotics by a doc.
on the other hand they are easily obtained in third world countries if you have the money

11 years ago

Very good documentary - thanks. As a biochemist undergraduate I can give some further info. Bacteria typically combats viral attacks by two mechanisms (that I know of):

1) The use of restriction enzymes which cut foreign DNA/RNA injected into the host cell to fragments rendering it unharmfull for the cell.
2) Integration of specific parts of the injected viral genome into the host genome can be used to combat further viral attacks - this mechanism is know as CRISPR .

I mention these pathways to show that not only is Phage Therapy and research regarding this important and very interesting, but also to highlight that gaining an experience of how bacteria combat phage infection is crucial. Remember it is all described by evolution.

Anyways for those interested wiki have a document about Phage Therapy.

12 years ago

It's not just over-prescription of antibiotics and over-the-counter accessibility. Companies have been dumping antibiotics into the farm animals they raise, too.

reality check
12 years ago

Very interesting. I would love to know what further research has been done on this amazing form of medicine. I will continue to look for more information on the subject. So far I do not know enough about the topic to make an informed conclusion on whether this is a viable form of medicine. Thank you very much for bringing it to my attention.

12 years ago

That was really promising and exciting. I hope these phages move out of the lab in time to save people. I think that the ending was quite sad though.

12 years ago

Hehe Hi Mr V, I got a bit frustrated with some of the commentaries I was involved in and decided to unsubscribe from discussions - haven't missed a single new doc though and often read the comments!

12 years ago

this is obvious rubbish - jesus will save us all!

13 years ago

When I was in my microbiology class and learned about Bacteriophage, my question then was is it being used to cure diseases. Sadly, my professor had no answer for that. Now I know why.

13 years ago

This documentary has been a nice introduction into bacteriophages for me. Although I had study bacteriophages in gengeral in my microbiology class, I really did not understand how important bacteriophages may be to cure bacterial infections. So, from now on, I will study about bacteriophages and other types of phages. I wonder what the effects of bacteriophages and other phages are over time. May bacteriophages evolve to kill human cells? What role may bioengineering play in synthesizing viruses that perform specific or multiple tasks? How can viruses pathogenic to humans can be destroyed? Are the answers to these questions known already? Who knows them because these answers may do what sciences aims at, which is to improve the human quality of life and not to make tons of money that suppress the human quality of life.

David Midgett
13 years ago

It is amazing that the money hungry Pharmaceutical companies aren't on this like flies on S..t. I believe this is the future of infectious disease control, and perhaps the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

13 years ago

@ onedude, according to the roman numberals @ the end "MCMXCVII" I do believe the copyright would be 1997. Also a very interesting doc. I find it hard to believe that western medicine has such a problem believing this can work. Ask anyone with aids how good a virus can be at striping cells out of your body. In the same token viruses mutate as well and it could be a bad situation if it mutated and decided to go after cells other than bacteria.

In the amount of time since this has been produced and with current genome abilities it might well be a good idea to sequence these viruses and see how different they are from one another. Surely since the time this was made the antibiotic situation has gotten worse.

13 years ago

What year is this doc from?

thanks in advance.

13 years ago

Amazing advancements in medical knowledge in Georgia, being dismissed and negatively exploited by greedy and ignorant American industry and institutions. I am very proud for the Georgian phage researchers.

If I were a phage, I'd be proud to be called a phage to my face.
I'd call you a homo sapiens, and you'd have your feelings hurt because you most likely wouldn't know right offhand what that means unless someone looked it up on Wikipedia for you. But I'd be the proud phage. The meek lowly phage who had his beginnings in some sewer. I LVOE the concept !

13 years ago

reinforce this documentary using all positive forces. Specific details concerning the above mentioned, are indisputable. The knowledge provided to me in this documentary is priceless!

Thank You,
Robert James Cooper


14 years ago

My husband almost died in China from a simple lung infection that was underdosed for 2 months with antibiotics. He was so angry when they called in a "specialist" and the "specialist" took 3 seconds to say, "He's twice the size of a normal person, give him twice the dosage!" It took him 3 years to recooperate and still has weak lungs. Communist medicine was bad for him. I feel sorry for the Georgians. So dedicated, but no way to fight for thier rights to be credited with the phage the produce and to keep the money they make. It's not fair.

amicus curiae
14 years ago

amazing, someone can use/ do/ whatever/ prove success. for decades, but western med has to make money and patents. I hope the institute succeeds. such dedication, for less than a council employee makes in my country. and conditions some would refuse to work in. and their results are astounding.
In this day and age we CAN translate the research, so who? is pressuring that NOT to happen I wonder?