Outbreaks Week - October 22, 2002 - Page 9
Novel phage-based treatment effective against mycobacterial infections
2002 OCT 22 - (NewsRx.com) -- by Michael Greer, senior medical writer
- Researchers in the United States have developed a novel technique
for fighting tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections.
While effective treatment options are already available for afflicted
antimicrobial agents are "limited by the emergence of drug resistance
and the inability of antibiotics to kill dormant organisms," according
to Lawrence Broxmeyer and colleagues at Med-America Research in Whitestone,
New York and other institutions in California, Nebraska, and Texas.
To overcome these problems, nonpathogenic mycobacteria could be used
bacteriophage viruses to attack infected cells, Broxmeyer and coauthors
The researchers assessed the antimicrobial efficacy of Mycobacterium
smegmatis organisms carrying the lytic TM4 phage virus, introducing
these virus-laden microbes into tuberculosisinfected macrophage cultures.
The amount of viable intracellular pathogens dropped significantly after
phage treatment, according to the report.
Similar results were seen in cultures of cells infected with M. avium,
study data showed. This
organism is responsible for life-threatening opportunistic infections
in HIV/AIDS patients although it is generally harmless in people with
normal immune function.
TM4-induced reductions in bacilli levels were both time- and dose-dependent
Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium tuberculosis by a mycobacteriophage
delivered by a nonvirulent mycobacterium: a model for phage therapy
of intracellular bacterial pathogens.
Infectious Diseases, October 15, 2002;186(8):1155-1160).
suggest a potentially novel concept to kill intracellular pathogenic
bacteria and warrant future development," Broxmeyer and colleagues
The corresponding author for this report is Luiz E. Bermudez, Department
Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvalus,
OR 97331, USA.
Key points reported in this study include:
A novel phage-based treatment can kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis
This technique uses nonvirulent M. smegmatis loaded with TM4,
TB-infected macrophage cultures showed significant drops in bacilli
Similar results were seen in cultures infected with M. avium,
which causes lifethreatening
opportunistic infections in HIV/AIDS patients
This article was prepared by TB & Outbreaks Week editors from staff
and other reports.
TB & Outbreaks Week via NewsRx.com.