The enemy of my enemy is my friend !? 〜The strategy to fight against bacteria using the power of phage〜

Veterinary Biochemistry Unit Professor, Tomohide Iwano, DVM, PhD

掲載日:2022.01.24

Infectious diseases caused by the new coronavirus are spreading and the society is undergoing major changes. In fact, do you know that drug-resistant bacteria that antibiotics do not work at all are flooding around the world around us? We may take it for granted that if bacteria get into your body and you get sick, they can be easily cured with antibiotics. However, drug-resistant bacteria that have acquired resistance to drugs are now steadily spreading, and it is predicted that if nothing is done as it is, more than 10 million people will die annually, exceeding the number of cancer deaths in 2050.

What should we do~?

We are developing tools to combat bacteria using their natural enemy, the virus (bacteriophage: which does not infect animal or plant cells). Yes, it’s a spaceship-like object that you often see in biology textbooks. Bacteria and phage have been fighting on Earth for nearly 3 billion years, evolving each other and surviving. Now is the time for us to consider joining hands with phage, and using their power to counteract bacteria.

We are working on clinical trials to help treat animals suffering from ineffective bacteria with phage. This is the first initiative in Japan.

We are working with students to make this phage therapy widely used in veterinary and human medicine. Let’s enjoy the research that our R & D will change the world together!

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The transparent holes in the petri dish are the marks of the phage killing hundreds of thousands of bacteria. There are millions of phages that have killed the bacteria. *Practical training for trainees from five countries

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Phage therapy is given to dogs suffering from bacterial damage in their ears. The treatment with phage was successful and the dog recovered.