Bacteria-killing viruses known as phages offer hope of solution to antibiotic resistance

A British teenager has made a remarkable recovery after being the first patient in the world to be given a genetically engineered virus to treat a drug-resistant infection.

Isabelle Holdaway, 17, nearly died after a lung transplant left her with an intractable infection that could not be cleared with antibiotics. After a nine-month stay at Great Ormond Street hospital, she returned to her home in Kent for palliative care, but recovered after her consultant teamed up with a US laboratory to develop the experimental therapy.

The scientists behind the breakthrough have said bacteria-killing viruses, known as phages, have the potential to be used as an alternative treatment to counter the growing crisis of resistance to antibiotics.



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Credit:  Image, Adenosine [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons