The number of infections caused by multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria is constantly on the rise throughout the world. The rise of this phenomenon represents a real threat to public health and requires urgent new therapeutic strategies. Phagotherapy could be one of them. This technique aims to specifically destroy certain multi-resistant bacteria by administering bacteriophage viruses, also called “phages”. Our bodies are home to millions of bacteria, but we should remember that not all of them are harmful. Contrary to what we might believe, most of them are beneficial.
Saint-Luc University Hospital (UCLouvain) has achieved a world first by using intravenous phagotherapy on a young patient for 85 days (the longest ever recorded on a child). The 15-month old baby, who had received a liver transplant, was suffering from an antibiotic-resistant infection. The treatment was administered as a last resort and was tolerated perfectly well by the patient. Although this technique is still largely experimental and needs further clinical tests, it represents a major breakthrough in the fight against antibiotic resistance.