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Navy Researchers Use Bacteriophages to Treat Antibiotic-Resistant Wound Infections in Mice

HealthU.S. Navy researchers have developed a cocktail of customized phages designed to treat wound infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

A team of scientists at the Naval Medical Research Center teamed up with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to develop and test bacteriophages in mice with Acinetobacter baumannii-caused wound infections, the Navy reported Tuesday.

“Bacteriophages, commonly known as phages, are viruses found in the environment, and are known for their activity against bacteria; this is why they have therapeutic potential, and may be able to treat bacterial infections even when antibiotics fail,” said Cmdr. Michael Stockelman, deputy director of the infectious diseases directorate at NMRC.

Phages work to invade and destroy bacterial cells and have a tendency to replicate in the cells.

Stockelman said he expects the personalized phage therapy to help doctors treat wound infections in injured soldiers.

The NMRC team plans to advance the phage cocktails to clinical trials to determine whether the therapy is safe to use in patients.

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