Clinical Phage Therapy
Elizabeth Kutter, Jan Borysowski, Ryszard Międzybrodzki, Andrzej Górski, Beata Weber-Dąbrowska, Mzia Kutateladze, Zemphira Alavidze, Marina Goderdzishvili and Revaz Adamia
from: Phage Therapy: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Jan Borysowski, Ryszard Międzybrodzki and Andrzej Górski). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)
Since the first therapeutic use of phages in humans in 1919, a large number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the safety and the efficacy of phage therapy in a wide range of bacterial infections, and phage therapy has become a well-accepted part of clinical practice in some parts of the world. Elsewhere, interest in phage therapy has been growing strongly in parallel with the emerging threats of antibiotic resistance worldwide and the paucity of new approaches, but progress has been hampered by the lack of the rigorous double-blind clinical trials now widely required for governmental approval and the challenges in getting funding for such studies. Earlier therapeutic phage applications are important for further development of clinical phage therapy in multiple ways. First, their results strongly suggest the safety of bacteriophage preparations; no serious side effects have been reported despite their use by hundreds of thousands of people, suggesting that any such effects are almost certainly rare and/or subtle. Secondly, they may help to select specific diseases and approaches to be best targeted by future more tightly controlled trials of phage therapy. Thirdly, more in-depth exploration of the strongest earlier work and of recent advances in the field should help spur private, governmental and academic investment in further research. The main goal of this chapter is to discuss in detail the recent controlled trials of bacteriophage preparations along with the clinical experiences of the two major centers of phage therapy, the Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Wrocław, Poland, and the George Eliava Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and Virology, Tbilisi, Georgia. The positive results of hitherto conducted studies, as well as dramatic increase in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, warrant concerted further explorations of clinical phage therapy as one element in our arsenal read more ...