Author Topic: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections  (Read 1605 times)

Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« on: October 18, 2016, 01:57:19 PM »
Research into using bacteriophage therapy to fight bacterial infections has been going on for decades. It has received a lot of attention from researchers recently due to the rise of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Some of the research looks very promising.

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Phages are viruses that seek out, infect and kill bacteria. BYU researchers have successfully used them to save beehives from American foulbrood, and now they are harnessing their abilities to find MRSA and eliminate it.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/byu-nmt091415.php
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Offline Baruch

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 02:15:00 PM »
There is no free lunch.  Viruses released ... are like releasing mutated fruit flies.  Mutated fruit flies reduce the fly population, because they mate but are sterile.  And as such, they can't make a new mutated mutant generation on their own.  I don't think you can do that with viruses ... a manufactured virus released into the environment, can mutate on its own and propagate, independent of the medical community.  A kind of Russian roulette.  In particular, if a virus is like Hepatitis, and stays in your body for extended periods, it is then available, after mutation to attack you, instead of the original bacteria.  To a virus, you are simply a colony of bacteria.
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Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 04:12:59 PM »
That's the beauty of bacteriophage therapy though, Baruch. It only affects bacteria. Could there be unintended consequences? Sure, but we know MRSA kills. It is probably going to kill a lot more if it overcomes the last few effective drugs. On the other hand there is no precedent for of evidence of bacteriophages doing the same. 
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Offline Baruch

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 04:44:05 PM »
"It only affects bacteria" ... today, but it will mutate.  Kind of like the mad idea of unloading uncontrolled nano-bots on the environment.  Now if you can find a way to kill targeted bacteria, and it can't mutate ... that would be cool.  Nano-bots might be the solution, provided you don't build self-modifying nano-bots.  I mean, if you want to kill bacteria (and you aren't phobic like Howard Hughes), just use bleach.  Some people will die form the bleach, but maybe more will die from infections.  I know that bleach can't mutate into something else.  WE like high-tech solutions too much, that backfire on us.  The biggest thing that would clean up hospitals, is adopting Japanese culture.  Face masks for everyone, and take your damn dirty shoes off a the entrance.  Our housecleaners have to fight random dirt brought in every day on people's shoes, staff and patients.  See, we could end all these iatrogenic deaths .. if we treated the whole hospital as a ICU ... but it costs too much, and people's lives aren't worth much.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 04:50:54 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Mermaid

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 06:57:03 PM »
That's the beauty of bacteriophage therapy though, Baruch. It only affects bacteria. Could there be unintended consequences? Sure, but we know MRSA kills. It is probably going to kill a lot more if it overcomes the last few effective drugs. On the other hand there is no precedent for of evidence of bacteriophages doing the same. 
No.
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.

John F. Kennedy

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 10:15:56 PM »
No?
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Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2016, 10:22:55 PM »
"It only affects bacteria" ... today, but it will mutate.  Kind of like the mad idea of unloading uncontrolled nano-bots on the environment.  Now if you can find a way to kill targeted bacteria, and it can't mutate ... that would be cool.  Nano-bots might be the solution, provided you don't build self-modifying nano-bots.  I mean, if you want to kill bacteria (and you aren't phobic like Howard Hughes), just use bleach.  Some people will die form the bleach, but maybe more will die from infections.  I know that bleach can't mutate into something else.  WE like high-tech solutions too much, that backfire on us.  The biggest thing that would clean up hospitals, is adopting Japanese culture.  Face masks for everyone, and take your damn dirty shoes off a the entrance.  Our housecleaners have to fight random dirt brought in every day on people's shoes, staff and patients.  See, we could end all these iatrogenic deaths .. if we treated the whole hospital as a ICU ... but it costs too much, and people's lives aren't worth much.

These virus already exist. These types of virus have existed for billions of years. They have heavily influenced evolution, and we wouldn't be here without them.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 12:20:50 AM »
These virus already exist. These types of virus have existed for billions of years. They have heavily influenced evolution, and we wouldn't be here without them.

So is Bubonic Plague ... Bubonic Plague isn't dangerous?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 07:14:27 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 04:38:35 AM »
I have to be on both sides of this.  First, we are adapted to most bacteria and viruses.  They are even part of our DNA,  Second, a lot of our bodies depend on them.  But some could gleefully be eliminated and it would not bother me to eliminate those. 

Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline SGOS

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 04:53:18 AM »
MRSA: a type of staph bacteria that's become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2016, 06:28:24 AM »
That can be beaten given a few year's research and some of us are already resistant to it.   
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Baruch

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2016, 07:10:18 AM »
MRSA: a type of staph bacteria that's become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections.

Iatrogenic .. another victory for mad science.  Human beings fight life ... but life will win, even micro-life we fear and hate.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 07:13:18 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2016, 07:12:08 AM »
That can be beaten given a few year's research and some of us are already resistant to it.

it isn't research that beats poisoning for example, it takes not intaking poison in the first place.  But use what high tech you will, since that is the agenda of the drug companies.  Like I said, it is as simple as everyone taking their damn shoes off (in some locations).  I work in a clinic, have for almost 20 years, and I have known this since I started, that we apply bandaids to a sieve.
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Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2016, 07:38:32 AM »
So is Bubonic Plague ... Bubonic Plague isn't dangerous?

This isn't Bubonic Plague, but it could be a cure. It isn't genetic engineering either. I mention that because I know you oppose genetically engineered organisms and want to make sure you read the article and understand that isn't what we are talking about. The scientists in the article I linked are testing naturally occurring virus. They have already identified 6 that kill MRSA bacteria. The goal of their research is to find one that infects MRSA bacteria without infecting the beneficial bacteria we host in our bodies. If they are successful then you are welcome to refuse such treatment if/when it becomes available.
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Offline Mermaid

Re: Using viruses to treat MRSA infections
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2016, 08:12:37 AM »
No?
Oops! I really need to read what I am quoting. I always get that wrong.
So to Baruch: No.
The vast majority of viruses and bacteria go about their business without harming humans. Very, very very few are pathogenic. Bacteriophage are incredibly diverse and have been going about their business for millions of years.

Yes. Pathogenic organisms probably evolved from nonpathogenic ones. The chances of creating one artificially are diminishingly small. Virus infection is so incredibly specific. Bacteriophage therapy sure beats another beta lactam antibiotic or other of its ilk. Do you have any suggestions? It sounds like you want to let nature take its course and let pathogens be pathogens for the greater good. Take one for the team.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 08:19:49 AM by Mermaid »
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.

John F. Kennedy