Sometimes, what’s old is new again—even in the ever-advancing world of medicine.
The use of bacteriophages—viruses that feast on bacteria—to fight infectious diseases began in France 100 years ago. As the most abundant organisms on earth, with each type having evolved to destroy a specific bacterial host, phages are nature’s version of precision medicine. As such, they enjoyed a brief vogue in the United States before being displaced by the much broader-based antibiotics in the 1940s.
Lyon J. Phage Therapy’s Role in Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens. JAMA. 2017;318(18):1746–1748. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.12938
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