Soviet-Era Treatment Could Be The New Weapon In The War Against Antibiotic Resistance

Every year an increasing number of health tourists are travelling to Eastern bloc countries to receive an old Soviet medical treatment, which could be the answer to the West’s crisis in antibiotics. Receiving life saving medical treatment a long way from home is never ideal, but for many of these patients phage therapy is the last in a long line of previously unsuccessful remedies used in the fight against chronic bacterial infections – which conventional Western antibiotics have been unable to shift. Phage therapy – the use of bacteria-specific parasitic viruses to kill pathogens could offer a viable alternative to deal with multi-drug resistant infections. Viruses that kill bacteria may sound like something out of a sci-fi film but phages have been used in this way for decades in Russia and Georgia – neither of which have the same issues surrounding antibiotic resistance that we do. It is this rapid rise of antibiotic resistance that has led the Western world to look to Georgia in a bid to find new ways to control bacterial infections.