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Could bacteriophages replace antibiotics?

A small-scale preliminary trial concludes that bacteriophages could be a viable replacement for antibiotics in the future.

Study results have confirmed the safety and tolerability of using bacteria-specific viruses to eliminate disease-causing bacteria in the gut.

The new treatment could be used in place of antibiotics to rid the gut of harmful bacteria and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria known to enhance gastrointestinal health, immune function and anti-inflammatory processes.

The results from the PHAGE study – the first clinical study in the Western hemisphere to provide patients with bacteriophages – were presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting held in Boston.

The participants tolerated the bacteriophage treatment extremely well, with no adverse events reported during four weeks of treatment.

During the treatment, researchers observed significant decreases in interleukin 4 – an inflammatory marker often associated with allergic response.

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