Bacteriophages to “Eat” Bacterium Responsible for Causing Hospital Superbug Clostridium Difficile

A virus has been identified by British scientists. The virus "eats" the bacterium that is responsible for causing the hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C. diff). This can act as a substitute for fighting against antibiotic resistance.

The method corresponds to a practical option to antibiotics for treating bacterial infection using naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages i. e. `eaters of bacteria', or phages for short.

Researchers at the University of Leicester have isolated phages, which particularly aim at C. diff. It killed 1,646 in the UK last year. Lab tests were performed. The funds for the tests were given by the Medical Research Council. The viruses were 90% effective against the most dangerous effects of the bug.

The major problem faced by the world is the danger to be faced with increasing use of antibiotics for resistance. Doctors have warned and told about alternative methods for treating bacterial infections are being immediately sought.

"The future impact of antibiotics is dwindling at a pace that no one anticipated, with more and more bacteria out-smarting and 'out-evolving' these miracle drugs. This has re-energized the search for new treatments", said Dr. Martha Clokie. She is the person who led the research at Leicester's Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation.