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Researchers in Zurich are relying on phages to treat bladder infections

Researchers in Zurich are relying on phages to treat bladder infections

February 29, 2024 at 12:52 pm

Researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich Act according to one a report In UZH on phage therapies against urinary tract infections. They see this as a way out of increasing antibiotic resistance. Phages — viruses that attack and kill only bacteria — could free infected people from their dependence on antibiotics and may be a solution to recurrent chronic infections, which often cause kidney problems.

The report traces how Thomas Kessler, the hospital's chief neuro-urology physician, came to be Balgrest University Hospital, I learned by chance more than 15 years ago that you can buy a medicine to treat urinary tract infections from a pharmacy in Tbilisi that does not contain an antibiotic, but bacteriophages. In response, Kessler and his team published the world's first randomized study in 2011. Among other things, it showed that phages act like antibiotics.

As a result, Martin Lossner of the Swiss Federal Technical University in Zurich genetically modified phages so that they specifically destroy bacteria in the bladder and urinary tract. It resulted from cooperation between researchers CAUTIphage And immunity Two new projects. Phages modified in this way are expected to enter the clinical stage this year.

Since 2023, Kessler has been working on another project called mTORUS. In addition to phage therapy, a healthy microbiome is also transplanted into the bladder. “These findings can also be extended to other bacterial infections, as well as systemic inflammatory diseases and possibly bladder cancer,” says Kessler. But more research is still needed. m/mm