Treatment of chronic bacterial infections: Bacteriophages as a potential treatment option

Life-threatening human infectious diseases caused by bacterial pathogens are now re-emerging, in part due to increased resistance to antibiotics. Antibiotics, while effective, lack specificity and target a broad spectrum of bacteria, ultimately disturbing our natural microbiota. Additionally, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has significantly contributed to the rise in antimicrobial resistance. In response to this growing challenge, we propose a new therapeutic approach by taking advantage of the antibacterial properties of certain viruses. Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses with the innate ability to kill bacteria. Due to their high specificity, phages can effectively control bacterial infections by selectively eliminating the causative agent, without disrupting the natural human microbiota. In recent years, phage therapy has gained increasing attention, due to its demonstrated efficacy in controlling infections within compassionate clinical settings. It now stands as a leading and innovative strategy in the ongoing fight against antimicrobial resistance. While its potential is promising, there remains a need for further pre-clinical validation to determine the efficacy and safety of phage therapy for a wider range of bacterial infectious diseases.

Funding Agency

Fundação “La Caixa”

GSK-Tres Canto Open Lab Foundation

Project Reference

Project Members

Main Project Outcomes

S. Queirós, “Right ventricular segmentation in multi-view cardiac MRI using a unified U-net model”, in E. Puyol Antón et al. (eds) Statistical Atlases and Computational Models of the Heart. Multi-Disease, Multi-View, and Multi-Center Right Ventricular Segmentation in Cardiac MRI Challenge. STACOM 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13131, pp. 287-295, Springer, Cham, 2022.

“Best Paper Award in the M&Ms-2 Challenge”, by M&Ms2 Challenge organizers and the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) Society.