C diff bacteria eaten by viruses

In the news:

A possible scientific breakthrough in treating the Clostridium difficile bacterial infection: Researchers from the University of Leicester in England may have discovered a more potent, and seemingly unlikely, treatment for these highly infectious bacteria: viruses.

Dr. Martha Clokie, from the University of Leicester’s department of infection, immunity and inflammation, stated, “(Researchers) haven’t really found C. diff phages before, partly because they looked in the wrong places,”   “We know C. diff to be a gut pathogen, causing huge problems in hospital settings, but it also has a strong presence in environmental settings… And wherever you find bacteria in a natural environment, you will almost always find viruses (that target them).”    “When we add the viruses to the bacteria, the bacteria die in petri dishes,” Clokie said.  “We can also grow gut cells on plates, infect our gut cells with C. diff, and show that adding these viruses gets rid of theC. diff.”

Dr. Clokie had also stated in this interview: “It’d be like an oral pill – a little capsule of viruses.  It’d allow viruses to pass through the stomach, degrade at that point and access C. diff where it needs to.  We’re at an exciting stage for this; we’re not quite there yet, but we’re in an exciting place.”

Dr. Clokie, and her research team, have partnered with the AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation, a U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the development of phage-based treatments for bacterial infections.

Through their partnership, they have patented Clokie’s virus mixture, hoping to develop it further into a viable treatment option.

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