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Dear reader, I have read interesting information about research on bacteropphages on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Is this a study that is going on in Europe?

Dear questioner,
Bacteriophages (literally translated it means: “those who eat bacteria”) are the natural enemies of bacteria. They are for example very numerous in waste water and they keep the number and the type of bacteria in balance in the environment. Bacteriophages adjust their virulence (you can say weapons) as the bacteria change in the environment.

Therefore, using the natural enemy as a weapon in the treatment of a bacterial infection, has been an ongoing idea. Indeed researchers are testing whether administering bacteriophages leads to a better control of chronic infections, especially infections by resistant bacteria.

The easiest application is skin infections in burns, via a local application. But preparatory research is also being done with the ultimate aim to use bacteriophages to control chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis, especially in case of, for example, Pseudomonas infection with a high degree of resistance to antibiotics. There are reports from Eastern European countries that treatment with bacteriophages via inhalation can bring a major improvement in patients with cystic fibrosis. But these are rather anecdotes, than results from well controlled clinical trials: double blind, with a control group. Except for the treatment of burns, in Western Europe, research on bacteriophages is at an early stage of development. The regulations concerning therapy with bacteriophages via inhalation are very strict, and therefor research is only progressing slowly. An interesting alternative is not to use the phages themselves, but to create artificially 'the weapons' of the bacteriophages for example 'artelysines'. This way, threat to the environment by introducing phages is limited.
Best regards,
Prof. K. deBoeck