Friday, 8 February 2013

A Page on Phage

A Bacteriophage


About 2 years ago I became seriously allergic to all IV (intravenous) antibiotics. Until then the only allergy to them was gentimycin when I was 16 (my whole face and brain swelled up, difficulty breathing). It started with itchy palms, then feet, then knee, elbows, torso... everywhere itchy. Then welts start appearing all over. A massive headache and my lungs feel like a bee stung them, blown up, hardly can draw breath... awful, but also dangerous because this level of allergies can cause a catastrophic anaphylactic shock. From then on I was given an adrenaline epi-pen when on antis.

Another common CF issue as you get older is when your pseudomonas get resistant to antibiotic, meaning the drug doesn't kill/effect it anymore because the little bugger mutated! This is the case for me now too. The pseudomonas bacteria is resistant to most antibiotics.

When I realised this was starting to happen my first thought was... (actually I won't say my first thought!) My second thought was, 'Oh, no. What am I going to do? It's going to be a quick slide down the transplant route'. Once Kalydeco came along it greatly reduced my pseudo levels, simply being able to clear your lungs of the thick mucus reduces the pseudo from setting up shop. However, my lungs being damaged I have not been able to completely clear them of pseudomonas. All the natural things I do help, without a doubt and I'm so glad I have them to help contain it and the only inhaled anti I can tolerate Colistin and, helps too. Ciprofloxacin (oral pill) helps in times like now when I'm doing extra to avoid IV's, but my pseudo is resistant to cipro, it only takes the edge off of it....

Then one day another lovely person on a CF Facebook group mentioned the Georgian Phage centre in passing. I messaged her to find out more. I'd never heard of Phages before. I went on to look it up and then read all about Phages, it' was like music to my ears!!!!

Whats a BacterioPhage?

A Bacteriophage (aka: Phage) is a virus that infects a bacteria then go's on to destroy it. These virus are found in water, oceans, rivers and sewage! Where ever bacteria is in these waters so too are phage virus found. Reports of healing waters, like the Ganges in India, since acient times have been know to cure leprosy and cholera. In 1915 British Bacteriologist Frederick Twort discovered the waters contained a virus parasitic to bacteria. Here's a visual animation, like your looking under a microscope of a Phage infecting a bacteria:


I have been in contact with the Phage Therapy Centre in Tbilisi. Polish Phage Center in Wroclaw, Poland. As of yesterday Special Phage Services in Sydney, Australia. I am so excited by what I learnt!! 

1. They are now doing human Phage trials at The Brompton UK (on CF bugs).
2. It is very effective on: pseudomonas, cepacia and other CF related bugs.
3. They are going to do human trials (CF) in Australia in the near future

For someone like me who struggles with antibiotic and resistant pseudomonas or any other drug resistant superbugs (i.e. MRSA) this is such brilliant news!!!  

Here are a few links to read some more detailed and technical information all about Phages:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3417384/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812329/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3278644/

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016963


A common concern is 'will the virus make another problem for my body to deal with, potentially bigger than bacteria I already have?'. NO. These virus' are very safe, they only live off and in one thing: the bacteria it's made for. Once their food supply is gone (the pseudomonas) they disappear too. I urge you to educate yourself on this amazing wonderful science that the western worlds is just catching up to, I for one cannot wait!! I'm firmly on this Phage journey now, I will share with you my experiences when they happen...





3 comments:

  1. Faye, this is brilliant! What great research you've done, and to hear about the trials is awesome! Your allergies sound scary, so I'm so looking forward to hearing about your journey!

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  2. Thank you Chanda... REALLY THANK YOU!!! Your the lovely person who happened to mention Phages. It's been a revalation, I'm so HAPPY to have seen your FB comment! This whole field of science is brilliant, I can't wait to finally DO phage therapy... certainly keep you posted! xo

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  3. Thank you Faye for a very well written post about an important topic! I can't wait for the phage trials to begin here too :)

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