Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My Bacteriophage Journey Update


Good Morning from sweltering Australia! Today is our 10th day of heatwave, but hopefully a cool change will come this afternoon... phew!

My bacteriophage (aka: Phage) journey has officially begun!! A couple of weeks ago I gave sputum samples over a three day period. Every morning taking a sample and sending it away to a lab to be isolated for what strain of bacteria I am culturing. The reason for doing it over a three day period is so to get a complete picture of ALL the bacterias that may be breeding in my lungs. This process took around a week to find out the results. I am culturing 

A pseudomonas Isolate on a lab plate


First Isolate

Mycroscopy:
                   Moderate numbers of polymorphs.
                   Moderate numbers of epethelial cells.
                   Large number of mix bacterial forms.
Culture:

                  Org 1: Light growth of pseudomonas aeruginosa.
                  Org 2: Heavy growth of upper respiratory track flora

Second Isolate

Mycroscopy:
                   Moderate numbers of polymorphs.
                   Moderate numbers of epethelial cells.
                   Large number of mix bacterial forms.
Culture:

                   Org 1: Light growth of pseudomonas aeruginosa.
                   Org 2: Heavy growth of upper respiratory track flora

Third Isolate 

Mycroscopy:
                    Numerous polymorphs.
                    A few epetheliel clls.
                    Moderate numbers of gram negative cocci.
                    Small numbers of bacterial forms.

Culture:
                    Org 1: Moderate growth of pseudomonas aeruginosa.
                    Org 2: Moderate growth of upper respiratory track flora

           
Results

The next step was that these three isolate plates were sent onto Special Phage Services lab in Sydney to be cultured and tested for phage matches (phages that would kill the bacteria). Unfortunately there were no matches in Sydney for my strains of bacteria, the doctor is going to review the lab report to make sure they have tried every appropriate phage they have. If Sydney indeed still do not have a match then it's onto Tbilisi (my isolates that is!), what is still unknown is if Tbilisi have a phage to match, or not? Then it may take a while for them to find one, but we shall see this week what will be the next step for sure.... 

Interesting to note the doctor who examined my isolates in Sydney said that my bacterias behave/look very different under the microscope compared to other pseudomonas strains, hence the double check to make sure I am not culturing something else! But no, just like me my bacteria is unique! *ha ha. I am actually happy to know it is so difficult to combat as I have found this to be true myself. It puts my mind at ease to know it's not something I am not doing that causes this stubborn bacteria to remain in my lungs, it's difficult by nature. This news also gives me a lot more confidence that I am totally on the right track to pursue phage therapy. This little sucker (pseudo) needs a specific virus to combat it for sure!

Bacteriophages killing pseudomonas under the microscope


I want to put phages in perspective for those who still have trouble coming to terms with taking a virus as a treatment. Think of it this way, just like the world had to change their mindset on Bacteria: Friendly vs Enemy. So too is the case for virus's, there are good guys and bad guys. Phages contain the DNA of that specific bacteria, they infect that DNA of the bacteria, multiply and destroy. These virus are benign to anything but those bacterias, ineffectual on anything else including our health. They're only food source if you like is THAT bacteria, once there food supply is gone/eliminated then the phages are no longer active. You cannot get a super virus from a phage! It's impossible, just like you don't get ill from taking your probiotics. 

Till then I will continue my education on all things phage and hunt down my phage friend!! Hope to have some more exciting news next Phage update! 

This video is a very interesting article from Canada. Give a little history of phages (they claim that a french Canadian discovered phages, I read the English have claimed credit... obviously a bone of contention!)
One very poignant topic covered was that they gathered 18 strains of CF bugs, treated them with phages and 17 were wiped out. Fantastic!







14 comments:

  1. Thanks so much Eric! I hope everyone else enjoys it too!! :)

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    1. Thank you hajjandumrah for your support & prayer. It's very much apreciated!!

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  3. Hey Faye, is it possible for me to email you directly about this as I'm looking into doing this myself?

    Thanks

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    3. Thanks Faye I'll drop you an email. Cheers

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    4. Look forward to hearing from you Matt! :)

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